Life at the end of the road

April 6, 2013

Winching away

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:22 pm

The day started off a pure cracker, with me up early and out on ‘bin duty’ even before feeding. It’s been a while since the ‘bin men’ have been up and it was ‘blue bin’ day today. Much as I’m a fan of recycling I do wonder what the true cost of it all is, the amount of hot water and detergents used in cleaning everything, fuel and ferry collecting it, damage done to roads etc. etc. If we just bought things to last and not heaps of carp from China it would do a lot more good, reduce greenhouse gasses and save money.




Probably half of this weeks recycling bins would be full of Easter egg packaging, I mean what  is all that about. How as  chocolate got anything to do with the resurrection of Christ or the older tradition of the sun rising in the east ?? It wouldn’t be so bad if they were just chocolate eggs, but they’re huge air filled spaces of nothing with a chocolate coating. Even that would be forgivable were it not for twelve layers of paper, foil and plastic covering them. I’m sure that if you crushed all the contents of an articulated lorry full of Easter eggs you’d end up with a wheelie bin load of edible stuff, three wheelie bins of packaging and  sixty cubic meters of air.

You may have gathered that I am not a fan of Easter eggs Smile Sorry about that, I go ‘off on one’ every year at this time, though this was a little later than usual due to my upset routine Smile Anyway, I feel better now, as in fact, I did for the whole day. After depositing the bins at the end of the road I gave the trailer a quick service by removing both hubs, greasing and then adjusting the wheel bearings.

 003  004

The more grease you can pack in, the less water can enter Smile

The next task, after feeding and breakfast was to move a pig ark from one field to another in preparation for Ellie’s farrowing around the 14th May. I know that’s over a month away but the ground has never been so dry so I thought I’d get it done before any change in the weather.



A few weeks ago you couldn’t walk here, let alone drive, so I drove to within 20m and lifted the ark onto some plastic pipes that I keep as rollers just for this job.


006  007


Once it was facing the gate I winched it through using the Land Rovers Warn XP9500 winch.



Having a wooden floor, plywood lining and insulation these Bidgiemere  http://http// are very good but they seem to have gone bust Sad smile Or at least their website has vanished, anyway good and warm they may well be but they’re seriously heavy, or at least ours are with the none removable floor. The quad doesn’t have enough traction to pull them and the Land Rover could easily damage them if it got caught in a rut, so I winch them slowly .



Then once clear of all the major ruts and clumps of rushes, pull gently in reverse.




It’s supposed to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of electric winches is this American job from Warn but to be honest I’m less than impressed. OK, it’s done quite a bit of work but I’ve had to replace both the solenoid and motor. As well as strip it down several times to free of seized brushes and replace brush springs. Not what you expect from £800 worth of ‘quality product’, still it has certainly pulled me out of a few holes and saved my bacon once or twice Smile



Next job was a bit of joinery on the floor Sad smile




Well once I’d gone up to the new house site and robbed some wood that was Smile




So, with the ark sited facing a good bit of ‘hard standing’ so Ellie wouldn’t turn the front doorstep into mush, I went to get the boys Smile

Lowering the Proven

It wasn’t a crucial job, but with the ground being so firm and the winch on the Landy still warm I decided to lower my wind turbine. I actually bought the winch prior to the Proven for the sole purpose of servicing the turbine, though in the seven or more years it’s been up I’ve only ever actually used it a handful of times.



The advent of pigs has turned this

into this and I found I was spending more time winching the Land Rover up to the turbine than it took me to actually service the turbine. Consequently I now generally use the Tirfor.

The turbine needed one of its springs changing as last time one broke I could only find a short one, it didn’t affect the performance but made an annoying noise at low speed. My good friend Bill of had given me a couple of the correct ones some time ago so today seemed like the ideal day to change it. The weather was good, the ground hard and I’d two extra pairs of hands Smile

This time the Old Girl got up without help past my new fence Smile


That piece of wood on the right is in just about the same place as the trailer with the young Dude on Surprised smile



Using an electric winch is far quicker and easier than the Tirfor Smile



The job only took about half an hour from start to finish, and here was the problem,

020  021

one of the springs was too short causing the others to bend and occasionally touch the plastic cowl.  This it only did at very slow speeds but it was driving me nuts as I worked on the fence for three days. These spring sets are £176 from the new owners who are far more agreeable to deal with than Proven ever were and I really must dig into my pockets and buy some. It will be the first money I’ve spent on my trusty 2.5kW turbine in seven years so hardly a fortune when taken over its lifetime and they are a highly stressed part.

That black sky in the first turbine picture deposited some unforecast rain upon us, the first in weeks, but it fell as snow on the Storr Sad smile


Even worse a couple of hours later when I fed the pigs but I didn’t have me camera.





  1. I shall bring you a Yorkie or two next month, probably more chocolate in one of those that two Easter eggs.
    Is that really the dude in those two pictures five years apart? If so cut down on his Shredded Wheat.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — April 6, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

    • Hi ATB, it’s seven years, the picture was two years old when I posted it, funny, we were just talking about it today, the Dude remembers the turbine going up but not riding on the trailer.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 6, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

  2. It is amazing how quickly time goes by, I hope he has inherited your enthusiasm for taking things apart & repairing them. I take it you would not be without your winch despite its shortcomings.
    Ps: The sun shone for about 7 hrs darn sarf today. Hoorah.

    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — April 6, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

  3. It’s looking like there may be a 3.5 heading to the republic. Nowt set in writing as yet but i got my fingers crossed… Note to self… Make sure they supply two sets of springs.

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — April 6, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

    • How exciting Steve, that should see you through the winter and retire Mr Lister 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 6, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

  4. Paul, you really should be more careful with your language! In my youth ‘winching’ meant that you were stepping out with a young lady and ‘winching away’ was something that many young people did but they didn’t usually announce it on their blog! -especially if the wife was liable to be reading it. Glad to see that you are ranting again, you’re obviously back to your old self.

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — April 7, 2013 @ 10:00 am

  5. I totally agree about Easter eggs. As a child I rapidly figured out that if people gave me the same amount of money’s worth of chocolate it would be much better, but frustratingly, none of my relatives went for it. At the age of 40 I would much rather they donated the money to charity, saving my waistline and being far more use, yet still I get one or two (and not even my favourite kind!). It seems awful to whine about it and I don’t want to hurt them by going on about it, but why can’t people just listen to what you actually want? Surely that shows more love than persisting in something which is not appreciated? I think I will never understand some people…

    Comment by knotrune — April 7, 2013 @ 10:02 am

  6. Glad the winch works well because if the Dude gets much longer you will need it to extract him from his warm bed in the mornings. Be careful with your rants about Easter because I hear the hen lady is sewing a large bunny suit –so you can delivered colored Arnish eggs to every girl and boy on Rasaay!

    Comment by drgeo — April 7, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

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