31 October, 2015

Pool House Expansion Project, Days Twenty-Two, 23/10/15

Today's the day the Mennonites deliver the trusses.

Day Twenty-Two - 23 October, 2015

Carl got his guys busy beforehand filling a couple of small cave-ins with rock, so that the truck delivering the trusses wouldn't have a problem.
Bringing A Few Wheelbarrow loads of Rock
Here's a close-up of the rocks being pitched into the cave-in. It's not deep, a couple of feet at best, but with a full load of extremely heavy trusses, dropping a wheel into one could be disastrous.
Tossing Rocks Into the Cave-In
And, in short order, just after the crew finished filling the holes, here comes the trusses. All forty-foot length of them. There's about 29 trusses in all. It's plain to see that this is going to be a job getting the trailer, much less the trusses into our compound.
Forty-Foot Trusses Arriving
At first, the Belizean driver the Mennonites use (they don't drive rubber-tired, motorized vehicles themselves) was going to attempt to back in. He almost made it, but not quite. Even with a goose-neck hitch, there just wasn't enough room for him to swing the trailer around to make it in the gate.
We'll Just Back It In
Then, they decided to pull the trailer in frontwards. This necessitated pulling out going down to the next wide spot in the road and turning around to get a shot at pulling in frontwards.

Most of the rig managed to get in the gate, but there just wasn't enough swing room without scraping (or worse) the right side gate and fence. So, the best minds in the business stopped a passing truck and asked if he would be willing to take a pull chained to the back end of the trailer.
Now We'll Just Pull It Around
Even with the truck and lots of willing bodies pushing, there was no way to slide the trailer around to clear the gate.
Everybody Push!
Once they got it more or less squared away, and were ready to come in, a couple of things happened in short order. First, the tail-end of the trailer, or maybe the wood from the trusses, snagged Denis and Vivien's fence across the road.

This wouldn't necessarily be a big deal, except it was in exactly the same location where, a few months back, John Harris had plowed into the fence when he was attempting to back Mike and Shelley's boat into their yard.
Second Hit on Denis and Vivien's Fence
And, just minutes after that, Craangg! Our gate and post took a hit from the trailer. Enough that it totally dislodged the gate from the post. In talking with Carl about both, we agreed that, regardless of who was at fault, it would be fixed by the end of the day.
Our Gate Took a Hit
At long last, the trailer and it load all made it into our place, ready to be off-loaded. There was also a couple hundred board-feet of baseboard trim and a bunch of ship-lap siding to be taken off as well.
Finally, In Where They Can Be Off-Loaded
 Moving truss number three. No small feat with it that high up in the air. Luckily, Carl was able to hire a back hoe to help unload the trusses.
Starting On the Third Truss
 You can see the back hoe was able to hoist about half of a trus and about eight guys helped move the other half. My back just twinged watching.

A quick word about the trusses. They're all made out of bullet-tree wood. Bullet-tree can be sawn while it's still green, but once it's had a chance to dry, forget it. Some of the posts for our porches on the Mennonite house are bullet-tree. I can't count the number of drill bits I've broken off in them trying to drive pilot holes for our screens. I've even bent a thick concrete nail trying to use that for a pilot hole instead of a bit. Tough, unforgiving stuff. The real benefit of using it, it it's virtually termite-proof.
Set 'Er Down Gently, Boys
 This is a good view showing how the chain was simply wrapped around the truss and then everyone just picked up what they could and lifted.
Setting Another One Down
 This view shows the louvered window the Mennonites built into each end truss. They ajustable, similar to the metal ones. Carl and his crew will add screen material to them to help keep critters out, and we should be good to go.
Wood Working Louvers and Siding On Both End Trusses
After the trusses were off-loaded, then they were lightly wrapped in a protective plastic till they can be hoisted up to the top of the walls of the house.
Wrapped in Protective Plastic Till They're Installed
I mentioned about fixing the fence and the gate. Here's a shot of a couple of Carl's guys doing just that. Denis and Vivien were kind enough to donate a short length of chain link fabric to the repair effort, as it's almost impossible to buy less than a full roll of chain link.
Carl Wasted No Time Having the Guys Fix the Fence
There's many more photos than appear in each posting. You can see all the photos of the construction project on Flickr at: There will be new photos added each day of the project.

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