It’s just a little damp…

For some ungodly reason, I decided that our fencing needed to be wooden posts on the outside perimeter. It does make a strong fence, but it’s a ton of work to dig holes by hand for six inch around posts. In fact, after just one hole, we rented a Bobcat to auger the rest. It went pretty well along the side of the property facing the creek: measure the distance, set the drill, and then the person in the machine engaged the gears and dug the hole.

Then we got to the “dry” part of the pasture. As we moved along, the dirt piling around the hole was becoming damp. It was then noticed that the previous dug holes were filling with water. “Huh. That’s weird.” We assumed we hit springs…or something.

At some point, we became bored with drilling holes and decided the Bobcat would be perfect to mow down some smaller trees and make a path to the creek through the woods. There was just a teeny runoff of water, not even four inches wide.

When the front wheels of the Bobcat hit that four inch puddle, the forward motion stalled. It would not go back either. To our horror, as it sat, the Bobcat sunk lower into the mud until the wheel hubs were covered. Uh oh.

Our first solution was an S10 pickup, it was a six cylinder, but still no match for the mud and was soon stuck next to the Bobcat. (At one point, my wife said to gun it, which launched an impressive ten foot high rooster tail of mud…right at her. It was really hard, but I didn’t laugh all that much.)

Next up was the family van. It couldn’t pull the truck and now we had a train of vehicles stuck in the pasture. Thankfully, we got the van out using a few two by fours for traction.

In shame, I called the rental company and the owner sent a young man with a truck they used to haul Bobcats. He arrived and parked on the top of the hill. In full empathy, he took off his ball cap and rubbed his forehead, and asked how we managed to get a Bobcat stuck. I shrugged. He got back into his truck and was now mired in mud on top of the hill. He radioed the shop to have another Bobcat brought to our site. (Not such a mystery now, hey smarty pants?)

The owner pulled in with a second truck and quickly yanked the pickup truck out of the way. He gave it a valiant effort to walk the Bobcat, now with mud to the floor, out of the puddle using the front bucket to rock and twist. It didn’t work to free the machine, but did create a massive hole that was now filling with water. He unloaded the second piece of equipment and dragged the mud-covered Bobcat backwards.

While he reloaded the second Bobcat, and pulled his first company truck out of the pasture, we spent the rest of our rental time scrubbing mud out of the Bobcat.

We learned our lesson and instead of renting another Bobcat, we bought an auger for our tractor. But that’s another story….

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