Job #1 when you get your Earth Change Permit is to change the earth. To do that, you need an excavator. Like this one for sale on Puerto Rico:
With about 700 hours of excavation in front of us for the entire project, doing the math on “rent” vs “buy” was pretty straightforward. At the right price, it makes sense to endure the pain in the tail it will be to get this machine here from Puerto Rico. This way, we know it’s on-site at all times, unless we rent it out during a “down window”.
The sooner we can get it here, the sooner we can move some dirt!
The excavator is waiting at the terminal in San Juan and has been inspected and ready to set sail for St. Thomas on Saturday and ready for pick up on Monday in St Thomas after we clear customs, excise tax and leap over any other government hurdles which our marvelous bureaucracy can toss our way. We’ve got a truck ready to pick it up and transport it here, but with one of the larger car ferries being impounded due to late payments on a loan, one out for repairs, one grounded because of USCG inspection, the transport of any type of vehicle between STT and STJ has really been painful for the last few weeks. No concrete being delivered here either, but hopefully the situation will resolve itself before we have pours large enough to demand multiple yards of the grey matter and thus require a series of cement trucks. We’ll use an on-site batch plant for our footing needs and it will be a while before we will require multi-yard pours.
On a side note, I remember an occasion traveling for my previous career. I was delayed in an airport during the last recession. Home building was in the tank and the housing bubble had blown up in spectacular fashion. I happened to strike up a conversation with a fellow passenger and he told me he worked for Caterpillar Corporation. I kind of winced and asked him how business was going. He just looked at me, cocked his head and said in a full Texas drawl. “Son. Business is great. There’s a lot of dirt in this world and most of it’s in the wrong place.” What a character.
At any rate, we do have a lot of dirt in the wrong place for this project, but soon we’ll start moving it into its proper resting place!