March 19, 2023
my parents stayed over for a weekend, which means more free labor from dad.

the pastures where we keep animals and dead bodies are separated by a trail and multiple cattle gates. so far i've only moved animals to either side of this trail around 4 times because our bull makes it difficult and dangerous.

and danger notwithstanding, whenever i move the animals something goes wrong too. a cattle gate breaks off, a goat escapes, or my woman starts crying.

so my task with dad was simple -- make it easier and safer to move animals between pastures.
here's the area we had to improve

the problem

in this picture you'll notice quite a bit of red clay on the left half of the photo. that's because i took it after* we started moving dirt around with the tractor.

but in summary, the ground level is too high and the cattle gate swings too low on the left side pasture. this blocks it from opening all the way, creating a channel (think: parallel circuit) between the right-side pasture with its own gate swung open the opposite way.

here are a couple close-ups.
gate is too low and digs into the ground

ground is too high and prevents gate from opening


we started off easy, taking a couple inches from the top on the left half of the trail only.

this created a little concern because those top couple inches have a ton of small stone. this stone prevents erosion and horrible muddy nightmares for vehicles driving down the trail.

in the future i can perhaps dig even deeper down, then re-apply a fresh layer of rock to the new (lower) surface.

after about 15 more passes with the tractor, taking as little as just a centimeter off the top per run, we finally freed up enough room beneath the left pasture's gate to swing all the way open.

the 2nd problem

by this point at least 1.5 hours had gone by. i'm not the best tractor driver and also, i had to hide all the extra dirt and rock we were digging up.

when the ground was low enough for the gates to swing out, however, a new problem emerged: the tail end of the 2 cattle gates collide.
this image's right-side gate prevents the left one from swinging open

the 2nd solution

i'm not gonna lie, this was kinda ghetto but it worked. we pounded the crap out of the right-side gate (depicted above) with a mallet.

we also re-hung the left side gate to tuck it closer to its supporting wooden post. these 2 small changes gave us just enough wiggle room to open gate A (into gate B), then swing open gate B.


in case all of this geometry is overwhelming to read about, let me show you the finished product.

now i can move animals without making the lady cry. win win.
Spent: $0.00 | Time: 6.0 hours
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