TAFE & SAGE — Moving the potting shed

One of the great things about a community project is that things that you need tend to just materialise. Moruya TAFE had a purpose built potting shed that had been made redundant by the construction of new facilities and very kindly donated it to the SAGE project.

There is already good co-operation and interaction between SAGE and TAFE, and the students of the wonderful ‘Organic Food Production’ Course are working on the SAGE project for the practical component of their training. The potting shed will be invaluable for this work.

Michael guides Tubby in the truck with the potting shed loaded through a very tight exit

Left a bit

The exit from TAFE was a very tight fit

A tight fit -- less than 50mm

On Friday 21 August, 2009 we relocated the timber framed shed. After much discussion about how to move it (the building is 6 metres by 3 metres) it was decided to take it ‘cross country’. We had no money to pay for a wide load license to take it on the Pacific Highway, and as the two sites are only 1km apart we went through the paddocks. The drought worked in our favour here, as the only possible track went through a wide creek bed.

The posts were unscrewed from their steel stirrups, timber cross pieces connected to the posts to support the frame and provide a cradle for the truck bed, and the entire structure was lifted onto the truck by the carpentry students.

The first hurdle was getting it out onto the driveway past the lightpost and a classroom. There was about 50mm clearance.

Getting out of the TAFE was a breeze. Getting through the farm gate into the paddock was not so easy. We had less than 20mm to spare this time, and the cows were taking bets.

The truck and potting shed hit the road and leave TAFE grounds

Goodbye to TAFE

Cows watch on as the truck and potting shed squeeze through a paddock gate on its journey to the SAGE site

The cows were taking bets

A closeup of just how little room for error there was in getting the truck and potting shed through the gate

Plenty of room

The truck made quicker progress once in the open space of the paddock

Born free

After a few adventures through the creek and down the lane, SAGE has its first roof.

The truck and potting shed make their way across country towards the SAGE site

Down the lane

The truck and potting shed turn into the driveway of the SAGE site

The new home!

We then had to get it off the truck. There were about 10 lifting it on, and only four of us to get it off. With some help from a young brain (Toby) and the timber beams left over from the table construction we worked out a way off supporting the posts over the footing holes. Tubby’s forklift saved our backs and with the help of some timber pallets the mission was accomplished.

Piles of pallets were positioned to support the potting shed so the truck could drive out from underneath

About to drive the truck out from under

With the shed off the truck, a forklift was used to lift the potting shed so the pallets could be removed

Forklifts are wonderful

Careful manoeuvering with the forklift got the shed into its final position

Almost done

Boral Concrete kindly donated the concrete for the pad footings which have been poured and the shed is now safe from blowing away.

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