Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shed Moving

Since Marjie and Chuck arrived here in the beginning of August, their sixty some Rubbermaid totes of stuff have been stored in Tom’s shop. This was not only a pain for Tom who didn’t have any room to work in his shop, but also a pain for Marjie and Chuck who had to go rooting around through all the totes every time they wanted something. Marjie has been shoeing a few horses here and there and all of her farrier supplies were in the totes, so it was a big pain for her since the totes containing the shoes and farrier equipment were very heavy, and every time she needed something she had to move the totes around and sort through them.

Finally, last Saturday, the problem was solved, although the solution wasn’t especially easy. Marjie had ordered a 10’x16’ storage shed from Pine Lumber on the Western Highway, and they planned to deliver it in the normal way – completely built, towed to the site on a trailer, and slipped onto a pre-made foundation. It sounded like a good plan, but the guys at Pine Lumber didn’t realize they had to traverse more than ten miles of bad road, back the truck and trailer down a fairly steep hill into a natural amphitheatre, and then maneuver the trailer between trees to get it to its resting place.

We knew they had underestimated the situation when they told Marjie they would leave their shop at 8AM and be at Moonracer Farm at 8:30. It takes a good 45 minutes to do the route in an SUV, so we knew their estimate was considerably short, although they obviously thought that traveling nine miles in a half hour was very reasonable. We estimated that they’d arrive at our place around 10AM, and even that proved overly hopeful. They finally pulled up to the driveway at 10:30, with both the driver and the guy riding shotgun looking a little shell shocked about how bad the road was and how slow they had to go.

Then they looked at the driveway. They thought they could back the trailer down it, although they informed us ahead of time that they might need to be towed out with a 4WD truck. Then they looked at where Marjie wanted the shed to go and just rolled their eyes and shook their heads.

Tom had been chopping our neighbor’s property line all week with a group of guys from 7 Miles. These guys changed hats for a day and became shed movers rather than machete men. When the trailer finally arrived, Chuck radioed them and had them come in from the bush, and they arrived just in time to see the truck back the shed-laden trailer down the driveway. There was obviously no way they were going to get the trailer maneuvered between the trees so they could just slide the shed off and onto the cinderblocks, so they just got down to the flat part and we all began the physically difficult task of getting the shed off and somewhere close to the spot prepped for it.

The moving crew at this point consisted of Chuck and Marjie, Tom and me, Alex, the two men from Pine Lumber, and three men from 7 Miles. We knew we were in trouble when all the men jumped up on the trailer to slide the shed towards the back and it didn’t budge. So, we began the long process of levering it up high enough to slide long boards under it, and then pushing it a few inches. The trailer tipped, so when the shed was far enough back we were able to tip the trailer and slide the shed to the ground. Then we had to get the shed properly oriented so the door was at the front, which meant turning it 90 degrees before sliding it back.

Treated pine may not be as heavy as hardwoods, but it’s heavy. Tom had a brainstorm and went to his shop to get metal poles from the dismantled cages on the property. He found enough short sections of these poles that they could be used as rollers. This really helped, but we still had to lever the shed up to get the rollers under it, get planks to be used as runways onto the path where we wanted it to go, and then get everybody behind it to push.

It moved, but it wasn’t easy, and we never did get it in the originally intended location. Nobody counted on the roof overhang, which made it too wide to go between some of the trees, and in any case it was difficult enough to move that everybody agreed a shorter distance was better anyway. Around 1:30, the owner of Pine Lumber showed up to see where his crew had disappeared to, and he was just in time to see us get it where it would end up – and to use his 4WD truck to tow the dump truck and trailer back up the hill.

The shed is now in place and loaded, and Tom has his shop back. There’s even enough room for Louie and Recona to play!

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