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Low Ceiling

As they say in the aviation industry, today had a low ceiling.

I started the day at 7AM with a call from the excavator.  He was going to send a truck, but I had nothing to load and really needed the big excavator to proceed.  I was not sure what his plans were for the day.

I then headed off to the district and applied for my below grade electrical permit (the tech cable that will go from the panel to a power pole in the front yard.  The inspector will allow me to install the tech cable under the footings and slab and part way to the power pole and then wrap up the remainder and keep safe until I move the shipping container and can then install the power pole and dig the rest of the trench.  This will not be for some time.  I was very appreciative of this accommodation.  While there, I also asked some questions about markups on my building permit drawing set. I then also applied for my perimiter drainage permit and will need to have this system engineered because it is a pump up system.  While on the subject I confirmed I can re-use the shallow sump I have by the road as long as it meets the current size requirements.  I will check this soon.  Finally, I was going to apply for the plumbing as well, but need to provide a schematic which I had not prepared yet.

On my return from the District Hall, I was greeted by Parm and company who had arrived with the 30 yard rock truck AND a very large excavator.  Immediately we had a problem.  The excavator cannot load the truck without its boom rubbing the tarp.  They made do and took away another three loads.  They are working quadrant by quadrant and the first quarter is probably 50% dug including a section that is close to our target depth.  I am trying to see if my arborist can come this weekend and raise one side of the tarp main line by 6 ft and also lift one of the attachment points near the street cam.

The second hiccup was that the Hitachi EX200 excavator has a SAE (Caterpillar) Joystick control pattern and my machine has a ISO (John Deer) control pattern.  Every machine I have used to date has a selector switch between the two within the cab, but the EX200 does not and a quick look on the net shows the only way to convert is to switch around pilot hoses in the engine bay (obviously not something I am going to do).  So Parm’s crew is also operating the machine.  This is really not making a big difference for them as their driver was just sitting waiting for me to load anyway and now can load much faster than I could.  I practised on their machine after they were gone (with permission of course) and was able to successfully navigate the controls, but I had to think about each movement and had no muscle memory I could rely on.  With Alfie, I do not even think about the controls and the movement just becomes an extension of my arms and dose what I want.

I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon taking Parm to a few banks to try to cash a cheque from a past client who had not paid him (I regularly drive Parm and crew to other jobs and such as they arrive in large trucks that are otherwise engaged on the site and so they would otherwise be stranded.  I do not mind being of service).

On our return, I laid out the batter board lines so I could start marking off the footing locations to identify where we have to dig.  Just as I was finishing this, the rock truck showed up to load the third and final load for the day.  While he was loading, I spent the time setting up the laser level and determining the depth we needed.

Parm and the crew knocked off a bit early once they had the 3rd load complete.  I spent the next 4 hours scraping the second quadrant of the top 2-3 ft of dirt and stockpiling the dirt at the back of the build site.  This will be used for back-fill.

So while not to plan, and completely filled with stress (I do not do well when I cannot plan things out, so was frazzled when we started digging before I had the batter board lines out or before I figured out the depth), we all got a lot done today. And I have just heard from my arborist who will be able to help this weekend to raise the tarp higher – excellent. The best news was Parm advising that we will be done by the end of this coming week, that he will pickup and place the concrete mass blocks (saving me over $1000), and that we will also figure out a way to use the excavator to lower the skids of ICF into the hole.

Parm will be back Saturday for another set of loads.  If the day goes well, we will have about 35-40% of the foundation dug.

Thanks for visiting.  I really appreciate your interest.  This website has now had 3000 unique visitors and I am now averaging 600-800 visits a month.  You are all awesome!

A tight fit!
A tight fit!



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