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Posted by Rob in Washougal, WA on 11/30/2015

First thing to do was corner stack so we could figure out where the holes for the posts were going. Getting square was more of a challenge than we anticipated. 


Once we had the flags stuck in for the holes, it was also difficult to get the auger on the bobcat to put the hole right where we wanted it. The rock content of the soil kept moving the bit around so are holes didn't quite stay centered and then after pulling some huge rocks out, ended up bigger than they needed as well. 

We also ran into a water problem because it was now the rainy season in the PNW and we were getting rain out of the sky and water run off from the soil. We starting digging a trench around the pad trying to divert the water but the holes kept filling up anyway. We didn't want to pour concrete in holes full of water so we got a pump and kept draining holes, which then the next day would be full of water again, and we'd repeat the same thing hoping for a different outcome. Did this for more than a week thinking some how thinking we were going to get a different result, not! 

Ultimately we got a crew of temporary labor together, and had guys pumping water while other guys were mixing concrete, while my wife and I were figuring out where to set the pole in the hole. Very time consuming, we worked late in the evening with spotlights for a couple of nights in a row to get all the posts set, straight and as true as wood poles can be. Key point to note, always put bowed poles with the curvature facing in (IE the top of post makes for the shortest distance then between two posts). We had the kids getting in the holes to clear mud out that had fallen into the holes because all the water and pumping action. They used buckets to scoop out the much so we were pouring concrete on top of solid ground. What a mess!

Also, hopefully a silly point, brace every single pole two different directions. Don't skimp, especially in windy conditions.   

Photos

Setting corners
Setting stakes
Digging the holes out
Water water in all the holes!
One side almost set
The tracker with forks had to help on the the really tall poles, they were 28 footers
All poles set
First pole set
Nice but got covered up by the footing
Mud rats!
Totally dirty



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