Tag Archives: tractor

Progress on solar panel mounts

I am extremely happy with my new tractor. The other day I moved more dirt with it in a couple hours than I could have in several weeks with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Berming the north side of the earthbag home is well under way. Next I used the loader to flatten out the spot where the solar panels will be set up. Kind of odd actually that it needed doing at all. We live in a place so flat that on a clear morning, you can see the back of your head. Image

But there it was, a small area that the previous landowner had built up to place his fuel tanks on stands. There was also an old windmill there that had come down. Digging it out with the backhoe was fun and easy compared to the manual digging out of an old satellite dish. I frigging love this new tractor.

Tomorrow the concrete truck is coming to pour the blocks for the solar mounts. I built the forms using wood from pallets and some plywood that I keep reusing for various things.Inside the forms are some rebar cages I made and then welded to the vertical posts. Image

Putting the cross bar in place would have been impossible without the loader. It’s a fifteen foot length of 4.5″ diameter x .335″ wall steel at the top of 8 foot posts. All the pieces are hot dipped galvanized so everything should last a very long time.

There is still plenty of work to do before I can tell the power company to pack sand but we are making good progress. It’s going to feel really good to flip that breaker switch to turn the panels on.

Midnite disco combiner box


Bring the Spring!

Still plenty of snow here at the domestead, but I’m starting to feel the warmth in the sun’s rays. Soon though, the trees will be budding and the gophers will be humping. And as usual, we have a long list of projects we are anxious to get to as soon as the weather allows. There’s the berming of the earthbag house, a new dog house, a chicken coop, gardening and hoop houses and many more. pv_mountOne project I’m excited about is mounting our solar panels.I’ve finally decided on what kind of mount to get and it should be ready for delivery in a couple weeks. It’s being built by my solar supplier. I chose his setup because he really overbuilds things. Quite a plus since we both live in very high wind areas.

In the last three years, my wife and I have shoveled countless tons ( I estimate at least 500 tons) of dirt, clay, sand and gravel by hand. We both agree we now have enough experience shoveling and that nothing good can come of shoveling another 500 tons. So…. a very welcome addition to the domestead is….

We go pick it up this weekend. We were supposed to get it last week, but were snowed in and could not get off the property. I figure more more dirt can be moved in less time than if I had 50 wives with shovels. (It’s a good thing my wife and I get along so well since even one wife with a shovel can be extremely dangerous.)