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Calling in reinforcements

October 11, 2014
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On another rainy and cold autumn day, it was time to continue the front yard project. After a rough landscaping job with heavy duty machine 2 weeks ago, we ordered 40 tons of gravel to create an even surface for the cars to drive and park on (sorry for the grainy photo, it was raining at the time).

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However, that project failed already in the very first phase. What happened?

When the truck came with the first load of gravel, which was supposed to be dropped onto the parking place, he sunk in 20 cm in the wet mud and stone mixture making up the front yard.

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The wet soil and stone mixture reshaped two weeks ago did not agree to carry the 36 ton heavy truck (20 tons payload). While this soil and stone mixture carried many, many other trucks in the past three years, 36 tons on 4 axes was just too much because it hadn’t had time to settle yet. So, what did the truck driver do? He just dumped the payload in the middle of the yard which was nowhere near to where it was supposed to be. On top of that, he left behind beautiful tracks across half of our front yard ruining essentially a third of the work done two weeks ago…

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So, what does the innovative Villa owner do when he has 20 tons of gravel laying in the middle of his yard? He orders 20 tons more!

It turned out that the ground 3 meters beside the first delivery attempt could carry the fully loaded truck. The second load went all the way back to the parking place and could be dumped where the first load was supposed be. Now I had two piles of gravel. One of them roughly right and the other one, well…, somewhere. Let the shovelling begin! I started to move some 10 tons of soil together with the Other Half with the wheelbarrow, but I figured after one hour that this way of working was going nowhere.

It was time to call in reinforcements!

We called our local farmer who also plows the snow in the winter. He kindly agreed to come on Sunday as we were stuck with this mess.

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First, the local farmer removed with his tractor about 20 cm of the wet soil and stone mix which was distributed two weeks ago. Then he distributed the remaining 30 tons of gravel across the parking place and the front yard. While it took us some 10 hours to move 10 tons of gravel, he was done with 30 tons in 45 minutes. Kind of depressing! Anyway, the result makes it all worthwhile. Now the gravel is where it is supposed to be and we can drive over it without the risk of sinking in. We have learned our lesson.

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