Saturday, May 19, 2012

The moving of the tank

Back when the Village was young, in the mid-80s, there was no electricity, no gravelled road, no school. The pioneers used ATVs to get in and out (or snow machines in the winter), and cooked and lit their houses with propane. So when I came here I inherited an enormous propane tank. Eventually I was informed by the propane company that it was much too close to the house and would have to be moved. Furthermore I would have to replace the copper pipe that leads the gas inside the house. All this at great cost. No, said I and made other arrangements, at a tenth of the cost. But the tank was most inconvenient.
As you can see, the tank (a) is huge; it must weigh (mass) about 200 Kilos or 400 lb. as you prefer, and (b) solidly blocks the way to the woodshed. It had to be moved. So John and I started out on this odyssey. Regard the cable. What is it connected to? Why, my new come-along. This machine is indispensable for all bush Alaskans.

A come-along is a ratcheting winch. You connect the cable to an otherwise immovable object. You connect the other end to a really immovable object, such as a tree. You work the winch.
Observe the chain at the left of the picture. It is connected to faithful Vicky, my car, on her towing loop. One sweats. But the tank did move. Up to a point. You see, it has feet. The feet were set on top of concrete bricks. Came a point when tank would not move at all! The feet dug into the ground and would not budge. So after conferring, we connected tank direct to the car. Put car in 4WD compound low gear. Tank obediently rolled over and played dead.
The feet of the tank are now in plain view. If you look carefully you can see the concrete footings too, at the left. Once the tank was on its side we used the car to all the hauling. It was quite easy. We used rope rather than chain because we could lead the rope around trees to change the direction of pull, whithout mortal damage to the tree.

The tank now reposes at the regulation distance from the house. I don't need it at all, so if anyone wants a 300-gallon propane tank, you're wealcome to it. But you will have to come and get it and haul it off yourself!

My only complaint at this point is with the manufacturers of the come-along. They did not pre-stretch the cable, and dealing with it is like wrestling with an anaconda. Otherwise a fine piece of gear, much more solid than my previous come-along, which died in battle this winter. RIP.

No comments:

Post a Comment