Monday, September 12, 2011

Innovation for moving a 5000 pound shipping container

So for the past few years there has been a giant 20 foot long, 5000 pound shipping container sitting in my front yard. Not the most lovely of lawn ornaments I assure you! Because we were not yet ready to launch the men`s apprentice program ministry, and Paul enjoyed having his `shop`nearby we kept it in our yard.

But now that the men`s program is starting, and we need to be able to keep a good work-life balance, I am thrilled to finally be moving this out of our yard!

But things in Niger are never easy. Our yard is tight quarters with overhead electrical wires and a couple of trees. It was a tough job to get the container in the yard in the first place, and no less tricky getting it out!

Paul, our teammate Roger, and three Tuareg guys spent the whole day working to get this out of the yard. They used a truck with a winch to pull it all different ways, a truck with a bush bar to nudge and move with a tow strap and sheer willpower and thinking through each step of the way! They made slide planks out of wood boards, rollers out of metal tubing and used some old, tired farm wagon wheels as well (which did not last too long).


Using the winch to pull it out from the wall. Poor old tires!DSC02356


Now comes the hard part of a 90 degree turn. We used boards to slide, metal rods to roll and a truck on either end to push and pull. We didn't even ram the wall or anything! I was impressed with all the manoeuvring and work the men did to do this right!DSC02364


Coming around the corner to go out our narrow gate, barely wide enough for the container. Here they are jacking up one end to reposition a roller bar.


Night starts to fall, only 6 hours into the job! The container is slowly making a tight 90 degree turn.



The awesome team of Paul and Roger!


Bennett had fun sitting in the truck with Daddy while he worked the winch. (As a fun side note, Bennett has lost 3 of his 4 front teeth recently and has a huge gap grin!)


It made it out the gate! Without a scratch! It was fun to see the Tuareg guys learn and watch and work alongside Paul and Roger. I think they really enjoyed the challenge too!


Other visitors to the evening show- a baby and Momma hedgehog


Check out this cutie! Bennett held him and he walked around on his hands and tickled him.


And the view the next morning. A lovely container sitting in the road outside our house (after  making yet another 90 degree turn!) Now the next task is to find a truck to haul it to it`s new home!



Steve said...

Always appreciate the "guy stuff" in your blog from time to time! Looks like fun! Take care, Steve

Judy said...

There's no shortage of adventure for you guys is there? Looks like fun to me!

Anonymous said...

Oh my stars! What a feat! Good job guys...I was exhausted knowing what it took to get that monstrosity out of the yard. Phew. heather

Mom said...

Having visited your home and having seen the container and it's surroundings in three dimensions, we appreciate the ingenuity needed to move it thru the gate!! Like one gigantic puzzle. Looks like an exercise in logic and patience!! It definitely would take someone like Paul to figure that one out. But then he was always a whiz at those hands-on manipulative puzzles. Good work Paul and team. And you did it outside in 35+ degree temps. We're proud of you!!!