I’m overdue for a shoutout to Aaron Valachovic for helping out with icehouse hardscape in recent weeks. During a site visit to review autumn tree work he happened to mention that he’s done stonework before and had some availability. Wait! What? I’ve been pleased with Aaron’s work as an arborist, and his work ethic is outstanding. I was quick to enlist his help, and he is proven as worth manyfold in the weeks sense.
He mentioned early on that he owned a walk-behind skid steer (or two) that might be helpful. As it turns out, his Bobcat mini track loader has been a nice addition.
Muscling through close quarters is increasingly useful as we advance upon the icehouse courtyard finish line. We no longer can navigate the tractor and backhoe within the tight confines between deck and stone walls, but this clever piece of equipment has proven quite capable. It’s powerful yet nimble and compact enough to work in tight spaces.
In the photo above Aaron’s using the loader bucket to remove a mound of excavation material and then grade the for installing crushed stone, fines, and then stone pavers. Hats off to the Bobcat MT52 upping our workflow efficiency!
In the next photo, Aaron is instructing Tony how to operate the mini loader. You’ll note that the attachments have been changed. A wheeled pull behind platform facilitates longer trips, such as moving large rocks from the staging area to the wall they are constructing. And in place of the loader bucket, a power grapple has been attached, enabling Tony to pick up, transport, and place large stones. Hydraulic opposing claws, lift, and 180° rotation provide plenty of elbow grease to get the job done. Pretty remarkable functionality from such a mini machine.
Thank you, Aaron, for bringing your brains, brawn, and muscly mini machine to this project. We really appreciate the help!