Life at the end of the road

March 26, 2018

A king amongst shovels :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:43 am

WooHoo, we’ve ‘sprung forward’ at last, sure, that’ll be my ‘body clocked’ confused for several weeks but at least the evenings will be longer. Did I ever mention ‘I hate all this fecking around with clocks’ Smile and now we have an extra dug to confuse. Having inherited me Mum’s Labrador, Leah, who is somewhat ‘institutionalized’ when it comes to feeding time and walking time. Molly has never had the luxury of regular anything in our chaotic household so she’s OK, Leah on the other hand was fed at 16:00 and walked at 12:30 so starts whining about 15 minutes before Sad smile

The dresser

Saturday was, as is usual these days, spent round at me mum’s house sorting stuff out. It’s usually quite a draining and emotional day as you can well imagine. I didn’t think I was a very sentimental sort until recently and I’ve found myself keeping all sorts of mad stuff, quite a lot of which I don’t actually like Smile The embroidered Japanese lady for one and my three legged pot pig for another.


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There was never any doubt about the dresser, my Mother loved the thing but as for the oriental lady, I’ve always hated it, still, I just couldn’t throw it away Smile The unhappy looking pig I was ‘forced’ into keeping, I told my cousin it was going in the skip. She then informed me I’d had since childhood and robbed it regularly to which I relied. I don’t car, I hate ornaments and clutter with a passion, it’s going in the bin unless you want it. The week after when we went to do the first ‘clear up’ the unhappy pig was on my Mum’s mantelpiece on top of a note saying ‘please look after me’ Smile 

As for the dresser, all 80” tall and 70” wide of it, I can’t believe we actually got it here in one piece.


Back to the concrete

That was Saturday, the rest of my ‘spare’ time being filled with the major civil engineering project which is the Arnish fish farm slip.


Had to do a wee modification on the rear of the dumper to enable me to hitch up the trailer full of aggregate right enough. All up the trailer weighs around three tons with the two tons of 20mm ‘all in’ mix in the back. The first time I took it down to the slip using the Land Rover (some 5 tons in all) and I just didn’t have much in the way of control reversing down the slippery slope.

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Since then I’ve been using the 3 ton dumper, it isn’t prone to skidding down backwards so much Smile

The first was of course making up shuttering.


A large piece of timber being bolted to the steel supports first.

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With that done I screwed the shuttering to it,

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and started mixing, pouring and ‘poking’. There’s a large void to fill and the vibrating concrete poker was essential to make sure the concrete flowed into all the air space under the slab.

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The ‘poker’ is a small electric motor with a 6m hose and vibrating metal probe at the end, it really does ensure the concrete flows everywhere.


The thirty year old shovel

Just like when I look at the dresser, Japanese lady or pot pig, I always think of my Mum, when I pick up my steel tapered mouth shovel, I always think of ‘Grump Pete’.


He gave me this shovel over thirty years ago and despite it being split at the end for the last three or four of them, it was still the best shovel I had for mixing concrete.


That was of until Saturday when I purchased this beauty from Jewson’s in Broadford, a Novi Pro ‘tapered mouth’ steel shovel! I dunno what they paint them with but I’d just mixed a cubic meter of concrete with that shovel when the picture was taken and there isn’t a scratch on it!!! Methinks that will be ‘Grumpy Pete’s’ shovel officially retired now Smile


  1. Shame on you for buying a new shovel, ten minutes with the grinder, welder and hammer and it would be as good as new.

    Comment by Kev — March 26, 2018 @ 6:08 pm

    • The last one I repaired cracked a few months later 😦 You’d think with the amount of practice I’ve had on old Land Rovers I’d be better at it Kev 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 26, 2018 @ 6:41 pm

      • I wonder if you need to temper it after welding ’cause the welding will have hardened the steel? Dunno.

        Comment by San — March 27, 2018 @ 7:09 am

  2. Bet you won’t be getting rid of the old one though 😉

    Comment by Lloyd — March 26, 2018 @ 6:54 pm

    • I’m tempted to polish it and place on the new dresser Lloyd, ole’ Grumpy Pete was ‘one in a million’. When told by the doc he had terminal lung cancer, Grumpy replied, “I can’t have feckin cancer, I’ve just spent 3K on a mountain bike”!!!! Dunno what ever happened to the bike right enough but Grumpy confounded everyone by riding it for almost another year and living for two. Old Grumpy was a bit like his shovel, he just kept going.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 26, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

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