Trucking through the S-bends

In all the permaculture courses they teach you that you should have easy and short access to your work area, especially for big delivery trucks. But at Dreamland the property just doesn’t allow itself to that. With our work and delivery area right at the back, it creates a few interesting challenges for deliveries.

Like the time we had the rocks delivered for the pond and the truck got stuck in the soft wet clay in the access path and had to dump its load right at the start of the path… Luckily it is dry and the soil is hard now.

Work area

With the way the property is laid out, when we did our site assessment and planning, the only “good” location for the work area was right at the back. With the goal of one day turning Dreamland into a health sanctuary, we needed to have the work area “behind the scenes”. Lying right at the back also creates a buffer zone between us and the school behind us. Furthermore, it allows us to have a work path, totally hidden from sight, all the way from the Homeland gate behind the native screening, right to the work area. In that way we are actually making good use of the easement where a storm water pipe runs below ground all along the back.

The S-bend

We knew when we did the Dreamland layout that there was an “uncomfortable” sharp S-bend in the access path right before the work area as you get to the back, which was going to give big trucks a bit of a challenge. But that was the layout we had to work with. It was either the S-bend, or we had to remove the entire long “driveway bed”, which has a lot of beautiful established native trees.

Driveway photos showing natives trees and shrubs we wanted to keep

We have had a few deliveries of very small loads on very small trucks already, but only one of them had to go all the way to the back. Before all the beds were established we just got the compost dumped as close to where we were going to use it. Now that the place is taking shape, we have to get the deliveries dropped off right at the back.

Much more mulch

We are obviously planning and expecting to use a ton of mulch at Dreamland. Vast areas were left as barren ground, and if we don’t mulch these quickly, they will either get overrun by strong weeds, or the ground will crack up as it gets dry, or both. So we get our mulch in bulk load – tons of it – and we still run out every year, but that’s another story…

Just before we got this massive load of 50 cubic meters mulch delivered, Patricia still asked me to demarcate her new pumpkin beds, which lie right at the start of the S-bend – you know right there where the truck has to swing its front wheels wide in order to get the back around the bend… At the time there was just a dirty thin little orange building line pegged in with flat weedmat pegs.  I still said to her “don’t worry, if anyone can drive a big truck through the S-bend, then Shaun from The Mulch Centre in Geelong can”. Mark my words, he did!

What I so like working with these guys is that they take such good care when delivering the stuff. My mate Shaun has now delivered mulch and topsoil to us for more than four years, at Homeland and at Dreamland – always manouvering his massive trucks with great care through very tight spaces, and not once have we had a single plant touched. Unlike some other drivers, but we won’t go there now…

Shaun negotiating s-bends

Shaun from The Mulch Centre negotiating it through the tight S-bend

Now to get that mulch spread out!

Lessons learnt

  • Make sure you work with suppliers and drivers that know your values. The guys at The Mulch Centre know we only use organic products and they know that our plants, even the smallest little pumpkin runner, are extremely valuable to us.
  • You sometimes just have to make a not-so-optimal design and layout work. The fact that we got 50m3 mulch through the S-bend illustrated to me that it can actually work.
About (207 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

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