#37 – September 22, 2017 – Bulldozer Ballet!

Dear Friends,

There has been a lot of activity on ISHA Hill this week. Most of the work has involved moving large volumes of dirt, which turns out to be much more complicated than one might imagine. Dirt is heavy, and expensive to move, and so it takes specialized equipment and a good plan to move it safely and efficiently. The workers need to be able to pick it up (excavator), move it from place to place (dump truck), and spread it and level it (bulldozer). In a small area, such as on ISHA Hill, the equipment operators must perform a “bulldozer ballet” to work together safely and efficiently.
The satsangi in charge of our dirt moving has some special skills. He has a 3-dimensional map of the entire property in his head, plus he has a map of the what the property needs to become. And he has to be able to visualize the exact amounts of dirt that need to moved from here to there. And finally, he has the ability to map out the “bulldozer ballet” in real time, so that each of the machines is playing it’s part perfectly.
Here are some photos of yesterdays dirt-moving choreography.
The two dump trucks arrive at 6:30 in the morning, and the excavator starts loading them up.
These Peterbilt 5-axle trucks have the capacity to haul about 16 cubic yards of dirt. Sand weighs about 3000 pounds per cubic yard, so these trucks can haul about 48,000 pounds (24 tons) of dirt.
This lovely little bulldozer (Caterpillar D6N LGP Crawler Tractor) weighs 40,000 pounds, and can push about 4 cubic yards of dirt. In this photo it’s smoothing and leveling the ground around the Dome site.
In this photo, it’s pushing a full load of dirt.
The excavator, dump truck, and dozer working together in unison.
Gilbert (the conductor of the ballet) is using a high-precision GPS to survey in the exact elevations of the land. This tool will show him the current elevation of the ground, and the elevation that is called for by the detailed engineering plans.
Stay tuned for more tomorrow, as the excavation sevadars dig out the area for the basement kitchen!
With warmest regards,
Paul Bauer
Chair of ISHA Building & Fund-Raising Committee