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A Day at the Office…

Readers will know that I call myself a “Serious Fulltimer”. I do excavation work with my brother and we live at the various jobsites for up to 6 months at a time. I had the Dolphin 32D diesel pusher before I started helping my brother and the Old Girl has been further modified to live at a variety of different jobsites from extreme boondocking to a full hook up site.

Our current job is just east of Jasper, TX deep in the East Texas Piney Woods. We are working on an 800 acre tract of timberland that had no improvements except some logging roads that have not been maintained for seven years. Our first task is to open up the property with some roads and determine the location for a 5 to 6 acre lake.   My “office” the past few days has

Building a road therough the Piney Woods of East Texas

Building a road through the Piney Woods of East Texas

been a John Deere 850C bulldozer. At 23 tons, it is a heavy rascal but it is really extremely quick and nimble.   I tease people when I tell them it is just like playing a video game.  This tractor is controlled by two joysticks and a foot decelerator.  Gone are the days of pulling levers to steer and shifting gears manually.  The huge machine can actually spin in its’  own length by counter-rotating the tracks.   The big plows on the rear of the tractor are Vail Rippers.  They are used to rip apart hard or rocky ground and I can tell you they sure save a lot of work.  However, when you are working clearing heavy timber growth like we are now they sure get in the way.   It seems I am continually having to watch to make sure I don’t back in to something with them.  The cab is sealed and air conditioned so it is a pleasant environment.

This aerial shot from our Cessna 182 gives

Aerial Shot of the Job

Aerial Shot of the Job

you an idea of the formidable task at hand. You can distinguish the hardwood stream management zones that are left in place to control erosion. The lake will be placed in one of the stream management zones – we just don’t know which one yet.

You know it is a funny thing. None of us know what adventures are in store for us. Life changes and we have to be flexible to meet those challenges. 10 years ago when I was wearing a suit and tie every day and had a corner office with a great view, I never thought I would be knocking down trees and pushing dirt for a living. As far as I am concerned, my present job is a definite improvement!

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