Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Great Oil Tank Move

We find ourselves five days from the start of the groundworks, with an 1850 litre oil tank and two trees in the middle of the building site. I had built a new base and walls for the oil tank - http://anacreinhampshire.blogspot.co.uk/2014_05_01_archive.html - but the actual relocation was left to the last minute. I drained about 300 litres of heating oil from the tank into a 55 gallon drum we bought from eBay for a tenner, and a collection of yellow plastic jerry cans our neighbour lent us.

Our neighbour has a farm manager who visits once a week, and we bribed him with beer to bring the tractor to lift the oil tank and set it on the new base.

Firstly, some site prep was needed in the oil tank's new spot. I had hoped that there was just enough space to get the oil tank in. To maximise our chances, I slackened off the tensioner for the telegraph pole and tied a rope to pull it out of the way.

Our little John Deere mower took the slack of the end of the rope...

...while the big John Deere took the weight of the oil tank!

And in it goes! There was only just enough room - and the tractor couldn't get in far enough to drop the tank perfectly square on the new base. Mark the tractor driver suggested a sheet of plywood would let us slide the oil tank on the concrete lintels - this worked amazingly well, and I was able to slide the 300kg tank alone.

Here I am checking for level - I must have a haircut this weekend!

Finally, here is the (almost) cleared site. Regrettably, the large Cherry tree has to come down, along with some of the smaller Ash. The odd tunnel - the last reminder of the previous occupant's pet wallabies - will also be dug up. In a fortnight, I'm confident there will be a picture of a lovely smooth, flat concrete base for my Barn in this spot!


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