Job Tips for Campsite Couriers 14 : My Other Tractor is a Lamborghini

Click on the link below for Part 1 of the series.

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Job Tips for Campsite Couriers 14 : My Other Tractor is a Lamborghini

In the penultimate article in this 15-part series I look at the advantages of technology.

It will ease your pain and stem your sweat during those hot summer months.

Machinery of every size, style and condition will help make your job that much easier.

So never pass up the opportunity to use what is available from the humble to the complex and sophisticated.

Too much elbow grease is a waste of your resources. Get lazy, stay fresh.

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A prime example at one of the biggest sites I worked on was when an Italian was driving over masses of tree cuttings that literally carpeted the nearby road. I don't know the machine he was driving but it destroyed the branches and pulverised them completely into dust. I called it 'The Decimator' in honour of its destructive powers.

Tip: Be careful what you uproot

Nearby there was one particular tent of ours which had small bush in the way but we were too scared to uproot it in case the Italian Camp Manager took umbrage. He had a reputation for kicking couriers off the site for any misdemeanour. So! The bush stayed.

But then at another site we had fun watching the installation team emplacing a mobile home on its pitch. But unlike us cowards with the bush, the lads immediately ganged up on it and started shovelling furiously at the roots to get it out.

We even witnessed the comical sight of one guy swinging from the trunk like a human pendulum. Too many bananas at lunch I fear. All to no avail so it took an Italian in a small mechanical digger to gouge it out.

The triumph of technology over brute force and tropical fruit.

We also did some groundwork again working alongside a couple of Italians getting the pitches neat.

They were also flinging down some grass seed after clearing rocks, branches, leaves and excess soil.

My mate pointed over in the direction of their tractor which was pulling the trailer;

"Look, a Lamborghini"

"Where?" I asked mystified,

"There! The tractor is a Lamborghini"

"Bloody Hell! So it is!" I exclaimed, reading the name on the side in it's familiar style of lettering.

They keep that quiet do they not? The fact that they make tractors too, it can't be good for their flashy image worldwide.

I wonder if Ferrari make combine harvesters or Alpha Romeo churn out threshing machines from the production line. Somebody must build muck-spreaders surely, but I bet that's kept quiet outside of Italy.

It would make for an interesting hi-speed race around the track at Monza. The 'Demolition Derby' wouldn't have a look in although my money would be on 'The Decimator', because if it's not winning it could just obliterate the opposition.

Tip: Installing a mobile home is best with a handy crane

Across the road I had noticed other Italians installing mobiles with a small crane fitted with 2 large strops.

This meant that all you had to do was pick up the mobile-home in the strops, swing it gently into place then drop it down. Dead easy!

Not for us of course, no fancy gadgets to play with.

Our lot would tow the mobile onto the pitch with metal 'trackers' under the wheels to stop it sinking into soft ground. Then they would winch it back into place using 'sliders' which are like long trays which the mobile wheels slide back laterally into place.

A bit of a twist here and a tug there and you've got it aligned with the rest of the row, after which you prop it up with patio slabs, breeze blocks, bits of wood or anything that'll keep the it flat and in place.

As well as us three intrepid adventurers there was an Area Site Director and also a young guy from Maintenance. We laid the bits of rubble along the ground in line with the mobile's wheels.

Tip: Always listen to good advice and common sense

A young guy said to me quietly, "They won't get it on without trackers"

But the rest persevered

"OK! Pull it on, pull it on......Wait! Wait!, sinking on this side"

"Break up a couple more slabs!"

Crash! Bang! Crack!

"Get those bits in line"

"Stick a big chunk behind the wheel!"

"Put more down here in the left"

"Give it some wellie, we should be OK!"

The young guy said "You won't get it on without trackers" Nevertheless the rest were determined to prove him wrong.

Revving of engines, shouts of encouragement, intense concentration and mud,

"Whoa!!" I yelled, "Coming down on the right"

"Reverse up!"

"Get it line again"

"Have we any more slabs?"

"Plenty"

"Break up a couple more of the buggers then"

Crash! Bang! Crack!

"That's it, put them in line with the tyre tracks"

"Stick 'em fast"

"Keep yer eyes on the wheels"

"We'll do it this time"

"You won't get it on" said the young guy, although we could argue that he was only half-right.

We did get it on, sort of I suppose, after a multitude of attempts at various angles and with broken masonry. But it needed to be brought back a bit.

The young guy said "You won't get it on without sliders" But this fell on deaf ears once again.

"Right! We'll need to tweak it a few times"

"Pull to the right!"

"Down to the left"

"Bit more! Bit more!"

"OK! Twist it, twist it"

The young guy whispered to me "They'll never get it on without sliders". I think I may have been the only one paying attention now amongst all the unbridled enthusiasm around us.

"If we pull it round....."

"Over to the left"

"Start again"

"Up a bit"

"Down a bit"

"Whoa!"

"Almost there!"

We eventually gave up

"We need trackers and sliders" someone said and everyone heartily agreed.

During the night it poured down with rain making the ground worse and even with the essential trackers and sliders we didn't get the mobile on the next morning. With just 6 inches to go to get it just right two blokes were recalled to another site for urgent gas maintenance. So near and yet so far.

So we quickly propped up the mobile and I couldn't help commenting that one pile of a patio slab, breeze-block construction topped with assorted pieces of wood looked a little like a fine Roman palazzo, or perhaps even a crumbling temple of ancient Greece.

You've got to see the mundane in a classical light I guess, just to get the most out of the job.

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