Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ancient History ( a slice of a younger , machine-operator Waymad)

The context is that common taters aver that a residential subdivision needs a lotta Plannin'.


A much younger Waymad built the rough levels in a section of an entire subdivision (Newfield - the hilly bit, Invercargill) with a Cat D7 and a cable scraper (which I broke in half, but that's a story for another day.) Yes, there were Plans - and a few sticks in the ground, and the occasional surveyor with a dumpy, but nothing a tech drawing refugee from the local Technical College could not handle. Strip the topsoil out to a temporary heap, cut out the main road and footpath levels to 20mm or so, level the sections, respread the topsoil on siad sections, done. Services, K&C etc, laters. Not a lot to it.

Te Anau useta be grass verges and gravel tracks, off the main drag. Making streets was a two-man operation: a grader with towed vibratory roller, tractor to buzz around, sweep and tow, contractors for K&C and gravel, sealing last. Services (water only) already there. Not a lot to it.

We useta seal 20+ miles per year, from a starting point of average County gravel roads. One rough-cut grader, one do-everything-else grader (Cat 112, me), contractors for gravel, make yer own topcourse from screened river run and clay from a likely local roadside bank, excavated with - what else - a grader. No plans. No surveyors (a level bolted to the front cab rail in the graders was all we ever used). No engineers (except if they fancied a long drive into the sticks, which was not often). Experience, feel, a taste for the right clay, and the knowledge that every single person ya met was a ratepayer, who Paid you, and who Expected Service. Not a lot to it.

Them were the days, so you can see why I get a little excited about the current ways: 12-tonne diggers everywhere, mostly at idle, Elfin Safety up the wazoo, a whole lotta jobs for the unskilled, and 'a lot of planning needed for a subdivision'.


A lotta Cost fer a subdiv, more like......

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