The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Runaway utility trailer

Tow strap in use once again

Last winter I was adjusting the position of our utility trailer beside this hill and it got away from me. Luckily it stopped by a young box elder tree near the bottom.
tow strap in action
Today was the day we decided to pull it back up the hill with the tow strap to make room for some future piles of wood chips from the local tree cutting crew.

It's still at the bottom of the hill.

The tongue kept rubbing on the hillside while the Ford Festiva exhaust blew extra strong puffs in my direction.

We'll attack this problem another day when I can figure out a more reasonable approach that involves more oxygen and less carbon monoxide.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Try putting a 2 x 4 vertically near the top of the bank and use it like a gin pole to get the tongue of the trailer up so it doesn't dig into the bank. You may want to put a single nail through your tow rope into the end of the 2x4 so it doesn't slip off. By the time the time the gin pole falls down you should be most or all the way up the bank.

Make the gin pole like and inverted "T" with a short diagonal brace to keep it from tipping. Make sure it's a bit more than 90 degrees to the slope. Down slope not up. The arc of the moving pole will pull the tongue up and get you up and out.

Comment by vester Tue Oct 26 18:49:32 2010
I wonder if you could turn the trailer around? If it is not too heavy:)
Comment by Jon Tue Oct 26 18:53:04 2010

Vester-I like the gin pole idea. That's a new term for me.

Jon-Thank you! That makes so much sense. I'm pretty sure we can pivot it around so that the tongue is facing the other way.

Comment by mark Tue Oct 26 19:24:51 2010
I'm glad Mark commented first --- I was being a bit dense and didn't realize until just now how useful it would be to be pulling the trailer up in reverse. I don't think I'm quite able to envision the gin pole idea yet, but I'm sure some google searching will help me out there....
Comment by anna Tue Oct 26 19:31:46 2010
If y'all don't get that trailer up between now and then, I'll pull it up for you in December. :D
Comment by Shannon Wed Oct 27 02:09:47 2010
We're still hoping to have you make us a zipline in December instead. I need to "sit down" over email with you and figure out what kinds of supplies we should buy! We're very excited to have your ingenuity coming to our farm. :-)
Comment by anna Wed Oct 27 13:19:44 2010
WE had a zip line growing up. It was a lot of fun but we ran into a problem several times! where the pulley would not rotate easily enough and the line would cut right through the pulley over time. we ended up replacing the pulley like 4 times over the course of 2 years. So splurge on your pulley, get a good weather resistant self lubricating pulley.
Comment by Rebecca Thu Oct 28 10:15:33 2010
It sounds like using quality materials is key! I'll hope that Shannon's experience will help us pick them out.
Comment by anna Thu Oct 28 18:32:16 2010

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