Friday, July 12, 2013

Big Boys and our Toys

I've gotten certified on a bunch of Heavy Equipment while here at Alamosa NWR, but haven't had much opportunity to utilize the certifications.

That changed this week when we started reworking an RV pad in anticipation of another couple arriving at the end of the month. The existing pad is tiny and covered with deep loose gravel. It needs to be expanded and covered with firm road base.

So I got to jump into the backhoe and start on the new pad. After spreading out the old gravel, I began hauling road base from a stockpile several miles away. It will take a few buckets of base to complete the new pad, but we decided it is easier to carry it over in the backhoe bucket than to get a dump truck.

Driving over with a load of base
I loaded up the bucket and "roaded" it over to the RV site on a refuge road. The trip takes about ten minutes each way, but the backhoe has an air conditioner and a radio, so it's not a bad ride.

Once at the site I drop the load in small piles and then spread it evenly. Teri is my spotter and helps me get the base where I need it.

Dropping base
Empty bucket
This is good practice for me and a good project for the refuge. We'll finish it next week.



  1. Now I'd like to try my hand with one of those toys! Don't know a thing about operating them though.

  2. Earn is jealous! We used to own one back in the day as that is what Earn did on his days off from the Fire Dept. Just be careful and have fun!

  3. Do you need to keep up with your hours on the heavy equipment to maintain your certification? -Rick

  4. Hi Rick-

    I don't really know. I recall mention of needing to take an online refresher every couple of years, but I don't know about actual "seat time". It is up to the refuge to decide who they let operate what equipment. Since I hadn't been in a backhoe in 9 months, I took the initiative of having the refuge maintenance guy give me a quick refresher before I started.