Here at Dirt Hugger we find that often our most valuable learning experiences are derived from our lowest moments—the moments where everything is just hitting the fan. …And we sure had plenty of those over the past year – we are thankful for every one. Designing a whole new composting facility and implementing completely new operations means that we are often doing things that none of us have really done before. So, naturally, the landing gear on our 27 ton tanker will collapse once in a while or maybe our loaders will find themselves perpetually spinning out on the uber-slick concrete. It is experiences like these that humble us, and help us grow.
So to celebrate some of these experiences, we decided to compile a short photo essay of some of our favorite fails of 2015
- Wet ground settling under the tanker and collapsing the landing gear. Take aways: never put full tanker down on landing gear (keep it on the truck), and always have hard surface under landing gear.
- Loaders can’t get traction on new aeration pad. We thought we wanted a super slick surface for our new pad, but we learned day one that the loaders couldn’t run on the surface. Luckily we were able to pick up a compost turner a few weeks later and didn’t really need to use loaders on the pad. Take away: ask around before finishing a concrete pad.
- Not GPS locating the aeration heads before we poured the concrete. We thought that the aeration heads would crack out as the concrete dried, but they did not. So, five of us spent a couple days hammering as hard as we could on our newly finished concrete to listen for a ‘hollow’ sound in order to locate all 416 aeration heads. Tennis elbow anyone?
- Using “outside diameter” drawings instead of “inside diameter” drawings. Last summer we build a sediment trap that captures solids in water, which then can be scooped out by a front end loader. We built the entire sediment trap and then wanted to double check the width with a loader – turned out it was too narrow. So we rebuilt the entire thing. Our drawings used the outside of the blocks for a measurement not the inside. Take away: check the details first.
- Getting stuck in the mud. This happens every year in the spring. Take away: stay on the road.