Built on Sand – and stuck in it

Next to my house, a double garage with a solar cell covered roof is being built. The actual construction will start on Monday, but laying the foundation started yesterday. Here is a photo, taken from my kitchen window:


Two workmen and a dredger beginning excavation work.

The workers continued dredging and excavating throughout today and poured sand onto the site of the future garage and driveway. Around four in afternoon, they ran out of sand and had to call in for more sand to be delivered.

The sand promptly arrived, delivered by a three-sided tipping truck with a crane:

Three-sided tipping truck

A three-sided tipping truck with crane gets ready to deliver sand.

The crane attached to the rear of the truck, because it meant that the truck had to dump the sand to the side rather than to the rear. So the train dumped its load and promptly got stuck in the sand:

Three-sided tipping truck

The truck has dumped its load and got stuck. What to do now?

The truck tried to get loose by moving its crane up and down, but it was to no avail. The truck was stuck. Several workmen stood around the truck, at a loss what to do now. So they dumped the entire load of sand, hoping that would help. It didn’t.

Truck stuck in sand

The truck has dumped its full load and is still stuck.

So they attacked the problem with shovels…

Shoveling the truck free

Shovelling the truck free. It was getting dark by this point and I didn’t want to use the flash, so the image is a bit dim.

…and the dredger:

Stuck truck

Dredging the truck free.

But even digging out the wheels didn’t help, the truck was still truck. So they called in a tractor to tow it free:

Truck towed by tractor

A tractor tows the truck free.

And this time, it even worked. The truck was free. It still blocked the road, though, much to the annoyance of the lady who just had to drive past and wouldn’t turn her car around.

The whole episode took maybe 45 minutes and was extremely entertaining, at least when observed through the window from a warm kitchen.

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3 Responses to Built on Sand – and stuck in it

  1. Steve Vernon says:

    Definitely a poorly-thought working design. It probably looked great on paper when that engineer sat down and decided to draw himself up a plan for a sand truck that tipped out the side.


    • Cora says:

      I agree, this looks like a design flaw. Normally, vehicle cranes are not attached where they could impede the tipping process or they are easily detachable. Other three-way tippers also have a bit of an overhang on the side to keep the wheels clear of the cargo.

      One of my translation customers is a truck customiser, that’s why I see a lot of them.

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