When a Field Becomes a Bog and Eats a Big Truck

We have had a lot of rain here recently. The ground is saturated and at our place, winter springs have appeared in places where we’ve never seen them before. Being on a hill, most of our water runs off and causes standing water problems elsewhere. Over at Maypenny Farm (the destination for the young hogs), the field where we were to drop off the hog shelter looked deceptively field-like but, in fact, was more like a deep bog disguised with a top crust of soil and grass.

The field didn't look so very wet...

The field didn’t look so very wet…

It didn’t take long for things to get sticky… one minute we were inching along…

And the next minute, we were stuck fast!

Sinking fast!

Sinking fast!

We tried backing out… moving forward and over to the right where the ground looked a bit firmer, but no luck. Even in low gear and four wheel drive, there was just a lot of tire spinning and no movement in any direction except deeper.

MC - Considering the options. Going back to Germany was looking pretty good at this point...

MC – Considering the options. Going back to Germany was looking pretty good at this point…

It was pretty obvious we weren’t going to be able to haul the trailer anywhere – the tongue was buried in the mud – so we jacked it up and took it off, thinking that if we could get ┬áthe truck out we might be able to drag the trailer backwards from behind…

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I called home to see if someone could bring us a couple of sandwiches… They arrived half an hour later just as we were getting the horse trailer pried off the truck hitch.

We scrounged around and found a heap of old bricks, some scrap wood, and piles of brush. We made a crude ‘road’ in front and managed to squirm forward about ten feet before sinking even deeper into even wetter territory.

At this point, the residents of Maypenny had come out to see what was going on and we were a couple of hours into our ordeal… More backing and forthing and digging and hauling of rocks to try to create a more stable ‘road’ for the truck to get a grip on… the end result of which was sinking deeper into the muddy water.

It is at this point in any bog meets truck ordeal that one calls in the friendly neighbour with a tractor.

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Because the access to the field was sort of narrow and huge boulders were strategically strewn around to create an obstacle course, our initial thought of trying to pivot the trailer around before pulling it out of the way was thwarted.

IMG_8603The drama intensified as ominous clouds rolled in. Pulling the trailer back by hooking it to the tractor bucket didn’t work too well… so we turned the tractor around, jacked up the front of the trailer a little higher, and wedged a spare tire under the tongue.

IMG_8609This provided a bit of bounce and protection to the trailer jack as we hauled the trailer backwards, dragging it to safety…

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Note that four hours or so after arriving in the field, the hog hut is still sitting in the horse trailer!! So much for being ahead of schedule…

With the trailer out of the way, we still had to haul the truck out. Chains, ropes, etc. were stretched from tractor to bumper, more rocks, brush, bricks, boards, etc. were strategically place and slowly but surely, the tractor pulled the truck to high ground.

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As you might expect, the truck was completely coated in mud… Unfortunately, because we had the windows open for screaming at each other purposes, the inside of the truck looked just about as bad as the outside!

With truck and trailer on solid ground once again, we re-hitched and tootled down the road to the house end of the property and then stopped traffic while we backed into the driveway and up to the lawn. MC and I crawled into the trailer and shoved the hut out (this part was much easier than we had anticipated) and with all the extra bodies that had shown up for this mud-wrestling spectacle, we slid the hog hut over the lawn and into the new field.

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

All that remained to do was to go back to our place and pick up the hogs. If, however, you have ever tried to move a pack of teenaged hogs, you will know this is no quick and easy job. By this point, our daylight had pretty well faded away, so we had to postpone the fence-erection/hog retrieval part of the operation for another day. I’ll spare you the details of all that (suffice it to say that MC and AB were HEROES and somehow we got the job done!!)

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Happy hoglets in their new field. They are clearing it out and rototilling this area so Maypenny Farm can expand their market garden growing area.

9 responses to “When a Field Becomes a Bog and Eats a Big Truck

  1. All through reading I kept thinking, “oh, Nikki! oh, Nikki! What a mess!”

    So the hut is delivered but the hogs are not? However difficult they are, they can’t be that bad!

    We’re enjoying our first day of spring with sun and mild temps. Our lack of moisture has kept most of our ground more solid than yours. Now we need some rain.

    • You can have some of our rain!! The hogs in the photo are actually the hogs in question, after we moved them into the field… I was just getting weary all over again thinking about moving them, so I skipped writing about that part… The post was fast becoming a novel! Since all that happened we’ve had a couple of other adventures here – I’m getting way behind!

      Great to hear spring is arriving in your neck of the woods. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it will ever get here and then you wake up one day and realize you missed the deadline for getting the tomato seeds started!

  2. Wow! What a nasty mess. Reminds me of some similar mud issues I’ve seen when farmers try to get into their fields with big combines. http://youtu.be/pdXB3Xi86VE

    Those boggy fields will eat your equipment as you found out. I hope the hogs will appreciate all the work you did.

    • Oh, man – bigger equipment, bigger mess!! Thanks for that… made me feel a bit better. So far, the hogs are enjoying themselves immensely. They don’t seem to mind the wet at all – makes it all the easier to root it up!

  3. Been there, done that. I nearly turned a tractor over in a well-hidden rut in a sloppy muddy pasture once. And I’ve gotten stuck like that too. Glad it all worked out for you. I tried tilling a field this afternoon that I thought was dry enough. I sunk in a couple of feet at one point. If it had been my truck I’d have been stuck or ruined the field trying to get out. I’m ready for things to dry out some. :)

  4. Oh gosh …. this sounds like something that would happen to us!

  5. That was quite the drama! You must have been so pleased to get that behind you. We’ve got our little tractor stuck in a couple of sticky situations, which at the time seemed like a big deal, but nothing this epic in scope!

  6. Been there. Glad you got it sorted in the end, but how frustrating in the moment. Boy those hogs are going to have fun with that soft field…

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