In which a tractor named "Tootles" makes moving heavy posts easier

Jim and Willy really smoothed out the process of planting heavy railroad ties as posts for our new pasture fence. Click on the photos to enlarge them and enjoy the amazing action in breathtaking full color.

The approach: Willy steps on the far end of the post to make it easy for Jim to lift his end with the loader.

The lift: Tootles the tractor hoists the post up so Willy can throw the sling under his end.

The choker setting: Willy attaches the sling and snugs it into position. In the old days of logging in the Swamplands, choker setters would do this task with a gigantic cable around the trunk of a tree. A good choker setter made really good money, because the cable set precisely made it quicker and easier for the booms to lift fallen trees up so they could be limbed and put on sledges to be dragged out of the forest. The choker setter also made good money because they were given "hazard pay"; if the choke slipped or broke under tension, it generally maimed or decapitated the setter.

We are using a nylon sling for this task, and there is not really much danger of mutilation, but I know a really cool spooky story about a ghostly choker setter, if you ever want to hear it.

The drag: Tootles drags the post to the hole.

The drop: Willy guides the post into position as Tootles lowers it into the hole.

In the last two days we have planted, leveled and cemented into place 46 railroad posts. Now we are tired, and we deserve a day off!

Tomorrow's forecast: sunshine and music, with a 75% chance of dancing.


  1. hey, great series of shots! i like the one with jim talking and willy listening intently.

    i like your long row of tposts! if you had planted that row of them in germany, people would slow down while driving/walking by, thinking, "What kind of fence is that!?!??!"

    i wonder how well our tpost corner brace sets are gonna hold up. they seem a little too easy to install compared with your tractor work.

    i can't wait to have it done (19 to go!) and get that hay mown, cuz it's up to my shoulders now and no fun to walk through.

    we're going to bremen this weekend for a geocaching event, and watch, i bet they'll mow my hay while we're gone. good thing i got photos of our neighbor's hay being made! hey, you have a tractor - you can make your own!


  2. This is really clever! I'm impressed.

  3. I love the fence. Tell Lytha our good friend Jutta lives in Bremen and we love that part of Germany. Mom

  4. Wow! A tractor named Tootles. You must tsalk about how it was given that name one day. hehe!

    That looks like a lot of work...and even a little bit dangerous, too. I bet there were a lot of sore muscles afterwards.
    Thank goodness for Tootles.

    Your forecast made me giggle.



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