1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Built a pole barn in Michigan's UP in winter

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Cowboy Billy, Mar 14, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Well I have been a busy puppy for the last two and a half weeks. I went to the farm on 2/19/10 to get ready to have a new pole barn put up. That we have been wanting for the last three years. The first thing to do was get the farmall 130 out and push the snow off of our 1/4 mile of private road. So I could get the truck up to the trailer we stay in. Then I had to replace the blown hyd hose to the tilt cylinder on the dozer and get that going. And fire up the loader and push back all the snow banks and widen the road so they could get two semi's up there pulling 52' trailers.

    The materials are supposed to be dropped off on the 24th and building starts on 26th and I still do not have a building permit :oops: The address we applied for sept 25th is not for our property so I cannot get a permit. Monday I head to the Soo. With my plot book and maps to get it straitened out. All worried that it was going to take a long time to get it corrected. It ended up being a simple mistake. Our address got mixed up with someone elses. A beautiful lady that works at the state equalization office printed me out the right address and I was off again. I should have ask her out for a date. Now back to town to start the building permit. I get the paperwork and stop at the county road commission and ask them to plow and sand the seasonal road to my gate. So the semi's won't get stuck or slide off the slippery road to my place.

    Tuesday the county plows and sands the road all the way to my trailer. Gotta love being Up north. After filling out the building permit. Carefully measuring off the property lines to where the building is going to go up and taking pictures. I take the paper work back into town to have it looked over and get started. Oops the township hall does not open until noon. Back to the farm. I still have to put sand on the last 400' of road and build a ramp into the building area to get the trucks in. I go back to town and turn the paper work in. The guy that has to sign off on the first part does not come in until about 2pm. So back to the farm and fire up the loader and dump truck. Fuel filters are plugged up and maybe water in the tank from it sitting out side for the last three years. I call at 2:15 and the paper work is ok'ed and signed. I go pick it up. Now it needs to go to the Soo for the building inspector to ok and sign. But I need to call and make a appointment as he is really busy and is in the field alot. He is not in right now so I stop at napa to get new filters for the loader. :evil: They do not have them in stock but can have them in the morning for me. I am able to get the loader running long enough to get three truck loads of gravel. Before the filters totaly plug up and it shuts off for good. I could have used more gravel but I got enough to make do. It was well after dark before I got done spreading it out.

    Wednesday the the first truck shows up at 7:30 am. Gets up the road and to the building site without a problem. The second truck show up 15 minutes after the first one leaves. I have to wait until noon for the last one to show up. So I called the building inspector and was told I could meet him Thursday morning at 8:00 am in his office in the Soo. I get the last truck unloaded. put a propane heater under the tank of the loader to melt any water in the tank. Then go to town to get my filters. And a pump to pump out the tank with a sock duck taped to the end of the hose to catch some of the crud. It was full with 38 gallons of diesel. I pumped all I could get out into a 55 gal drum. Then I cracked the drain plug on the bottom of the tank. I got maybe a 1/4 cup of water out of it. But there was still 12 gallons of diesel in the tank and I took a diesel bath getting it out. Filling three five gallon buckets.

    Thursday I go to the Soo to meet the building inspector. He said it looked good but did not give me a permit. And the builders are showing up tomorrow. Said I didn't need it as it is primarily for farm equipment and personal logging equ. If I was going to do logging for hire I would need a permit. I also had to stop at TSC. For a new sweat shirt and jacket as my old ones were soaked in diesel fuel.

    Three truck loads of materials. Doesn't look like a whole lot for a 40'x80' building with 14' foot sidewalls 14' wide x 12' hight roll up door and 18' wide 14' high sliding door.

    [​IMG]

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Friday morning it was cold snowing with a hard wind. And was supposed to be snowing harder to the south. The builders are supposed to be here at noon. I used the farmall 130 to plow two miles from the building site to the main road. I had not heard from them by 3:00pm and figured the weather kept them home. 5:00 pm he called and said he was on my road. I met him at the gate and told him to keep his speed up as it was slippery at the top on the hill. He didn't listen and got stuck before the top of the hill. He unloaded his Bobcat and tried to push the truck and trailer up the hill but that did not work either even when I used the tractor to help pull. So I fired up the dozer and pulled him up with no problem.

    I showed him the site and he squared up the building and marked his holes. Put the auger on the bobcat and tried to drill the first hole. It wasn't working. The frost was deep and the ground was hard pan with cobbles in it. And the auger would not cut it. He called it a day and went got rooms in the Soo. He came back saturday with a electric jack hammer. He worked all day and only got four and a half hole in. We were afraid he was going to pack up and go home. I went to town and bought a frost burner and put it on a 20lb propane tank to help melt the frost. That helped and he started a fire in every hole. But it still took two more days to get all the holes in. By Monday he had enough holes in to start the 80 foot long south wall.


    [​IMG]

    The reason we started so early was that we got a 10% discount on the price if we ordered by Jan 31. Which we did. He then said it would be up in 30 days. I ask if he was sure he could build it in the UP in the winter. And he repeated that it would be up in 30 days. I said the pad was not level and was out 2.5 feet front to back and I could not level it until the frost was out of the ground. As my dozer could not cut through the frost to get it level. And he said it was not a problem.

    Monday evening he had enough in to do the north wall and start putting up trusses

    [​IMG]

    Tuesday he had all the trusses up. And only had to drill two more holes for the front wall.

    [​IMG]

    Friday at 4:00 pm he was done and out of there. As you can see its kinda up in the air and needs a whole lot of fill around it :D

    [​IMG]

    Dad and my Uncle Dennis came up to see it friday nite. Dad followed me all day saturday. As I used the old W-14 articulated wheel loader. To load the old 1976 GMC 9500 dump truck with a supercharged Detroit Diesel 6-71 in it. I hauled 31 heavy loads of gravel to the building. Through the woods from a gravel bank I found after new years. My friend Scott was cutting trees off of the pit I was digging sand out of before I would get to them and fall on the loader and me. He said he could hear the truck screaming from over four miles away and over a hill as hauled the gravel out of the woods.

    [​IMG]

    My dirt working crew gathered around the barn.

    [​IMG]


    Still needs a lot more gravel inside and out but it will work for now!

    [​IMG]

    Finally the toys are inside!!!!

    [​IMG]

    I got home monday evening just before dark. I through Dancer a bale of hay. And took my first shower in over two weeks. And it felt good. Washin' up from a pan of hot water on a stove is just not the same. I am beat I sleap most of the day tuesday. And am still tired today. I have been up at daylight putting heaters under the equ before breakfast and not stopping until after dark. But its great to have the building up

    Billy
  3. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    So what was I doing while the barn was being built ? You ask ?

    Well I needed some gravel. When I made the 3/4 mile trail around the south 40. I saw some gravel clinging to the roots of some of the trees I was pushing over. I picked the closest spot that looked like it had a lot of gravel and that I could get to. Then I took the dozer and started clearing snow and brush off of it. Then I tried to push the trees over and off of it. Wow even the little trees were froze into the ground. And I could not push them over. I had to slowly chip the frost away from the trees to knock them down.

    The start of my little gravel pit

    [​IMG]

    Blasting through the woods. In the old 1976 GMC 9500 dump truck with the supercharged Detroit Diesel 6-71 roaring away. My friend Scott said he could hear it from his house over four miles away

    [​IMG]

    The old 1981 Case articulated wheel loader after loading the truck

    [​IMG]

    How much gravel did I need for my little Project ?

    First loads of gravel on my 1/4 mile dirt driveway. Well I built my road of mud driveway in 2006. And it held up ok until last fall. With all the rain it turned back into mud. And I could barely get up it. So now was the time to stone it. I put 12 to 18 inches of gravel on the whole thing. Took me about four days to do. Having to get up in the morning tarp the dump truck and put a propane heater under it and then the loader. The dozer would start but sometimes I had to fire up the generator and hook up a battery charger to it to get it to crank fast enough to start up.

    [​IMG]

    It was in the low teens overnite and some days single digits. But was getting into the mid 30's by the end of the day. And you can see behind the dozer where it was turning to mud.

    95% of the loads I backed down the hill. Near the end I was backing up almost a 1/4 mile from where I was able to turn around at. When I finally got to the point I could drive down I took the load down in 5th gear and was on the brakes all the way. (the truck has a 10 speed two range air shift road ranger trans in it) The second time I took it down in fourth and was still on the brakes. Finally it was ok in third. But not any faster than backing down but at this point I was really tired of backing up down the hill.

    [​IMG]

    Frost in the ground?

    I thought snow on the ground was supposed to keep the frost out. Obviously not! Thats a 20oz pop bottle hung from the tree roots above the loader bucket. I had pushed the brush and snow off the top earlier in the day and thats how much frost was in the ground! No wonder my JD 450 would not push over any trees. Even after I undermined the frost I could not break it off with the loader. Once in a while when I got a lot opened up it would break off. But sometimes it was too heavy for the loader to lift and I had to go get the dozer and push it away.

    [​IMG]

    I took the pit down until I was on solid limestone. There is a big limestone quarry 1/2 to 3/4 mile away I was surprised I was able to get this deep.

    [​IMG]

    The little pit was bigger when I was done hauling for now. I do believe I got a little gravel moved in the week I was hauling.

    [​IMG]

    I also got three and a half dump truck loads of birch and hard maple fire wood out of there so far and there is more to haul out. My friend Scott came out on Saturday and cut 2 1/2 loads himself that day I hauled 31 loads of gravel to the barn. But I am done hauling until the frost comes out and dries up of freezes again.

    Billy
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,770
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    Great looking building and site.
  5. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Thanks Solar and Wind

    Its a lot of work but its coming along. Its off grid and I hope to have the two 750 watt windgenerators up by the end of the year. Right now I have a old 24v forklift battery and 5000watt power inverter for power. With a diesel generator to charge the battery back up. But its great being off grid.

    Billy
  6. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,825
    Super nice.

    Zap
  7. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    NW Ohio
    Awsome pics and story Billy. Nice looking pole barn too. We have a place in Grayling after reading your story and talking about being off the grid i wished we would have went up to the UP and bought. But the ex is from Gwinn and i better stay away from there :lol:
  8. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Loc:
    Mukilteo,Washington
    I enjoyed the pictures and story. I would love to be doing that kind of stuff. Thanks for sharing.
    Thomas
  9. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    Yup me too...loved the pics and story.
  10. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Thanks Zap

    Thanks Ohio WB

    Grayling is beautiful area and lots to do around there. Our family was in the next town over from where we are and I have a lot of great friends up there. I hope to get thing set up to where I can live up there part time.

    Thanks Tomas

    My Dad and brother bought a 80 that adjoins Dad's and my 40 in 2006. My Dad and Brother were wonder why they bought it as the only way to get up there was with a fourwheeler. We needed to make a road across 1/4 mile of my Uncles property just to get to ours. My brother and I went up with chainsaws to start cutting a road in. And after a day we had only gotten 20 feet or so and I said we needed a bulldozer. Mu Uncles keep telling us we had to hire this guy to do this and that guy to do that. Dad just got me the equipment and I did it myself. And the cost of the equ was probably less than hiring it out. The barn is the only thing we hired out and thats way more than I had skills or ability to do myself.

    Thanks Savageactor7

    Its a lot of work but a lot of fun too. And the bragging right are great too. My Uncles and Cousins keep telling us we can't do this or that and we just do it. Then they say I did this or that and my brother no you didn't you wrote a check to the guy that did it!


    Billy
  11. Blizzard

    Blizzard New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    what part of the eastern U.P. is your farm at?
  12. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Howdy Blizzard

    Its by Cedarville. Or about 30 miles east of I75 and 15 miles north of Lake Huron.

    Billy
  13. Blizzard

    Blizzard New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Looks like you have an awesome place, keep up the good work!
  14. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Thanks Blizzard

    I will do! All the work is fun for me!!

    Billy
  15. fyrwoodguy

    fyrwoodguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    344
    Loc:
    eastern central NH
    NICE JOB !....and keep them pic's and stories comming.
    i hope to build me a toy box about the same size, with heated cement floor.
    some day soon.
  16. woodracerx

    woodracerx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Loc:
    Florissant,mo
    Thats a great story and pics I need a pole barn like that.
  17. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Thanks FyrWoodguy

    I like the "toy box" what a cool thing to call it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Thanks WoodRacerx

    Hope ya get one!

    Billy
  18. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    Nice barn ! Why did you build in febuary? Did the crew complain or just happy to be working? I installed steel in jan once and will never do it again. Ive also had to thaw the ground to work. It tends to slow things down.
    Looks like they did a nice job despite the conditions.
  19. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Howdy Woodsmaster

    The road was in really bad shape going up the hill. When I put it in I did not have any gravel to put on it so it was just dirt. Last fall was cold and rainy and it was all mud and ruts to the point a 2wd truck would not make it up the hill. So the barn needed to go up either before the frost came out or in the summer after it dried up. Its also off grid and I wanted to be up there while they were building to tend my home built generator and do anything they needed with my equipment. Plus watching to make sure they did a good job. I run heavy equ building landfill cells and am usually really busy in the summer but am still laid off now. I just found the gravel I used on the road after newyears. And did not know if I could get any down before summer.

    They were complaining on how hard it was to get the holes in. But that was all. There were a few little things I did not like but I would not have been able to do a better job.



    This is the road as I was putting it in.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  20. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,770
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    Sweet road and beautiful property. We've been framing all winter. Got the foundations in just before they turned boilers on at the concrete place. Saves $8/yd. With the masonry work done, I'd rather frame in the winter than summer. The guys are happy to be working too. Only lost a couple days to high winds/low temps and one to the snow a few weeks ago. And, had to carry the trusses up the hill from the road by hand as there was no way to get the truck or a machine up with them. I had all the skids of plywood up the hill before the snow started to fall.
  21. gibson

    gibson New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    663
    Loc:
    Lincoln, RI
    Cowboy, If you have beer and food up there I would love to do that for a week. Just kidding, but not really. That is the kind of stuff that a few of us suburban guys would think of as a good time. Just a few, I think! Did you really scrounge all of that gravel?
  22. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    More than a few :)
  23. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Thats great SolarandWind

    Another good thing about getting your work done in the winter is that you have to summer to play in. We have been working most every time we go up. And we are looking forward to having some time to relax and play. It is fun to build and get things setup the way we want. I am 44 now and want to have all the major work done by time I am 50. So after that all I have to do is maintenance and cut firewood!

    Howdy Sen. JB

    There is always beer and a bonfire at the end of the day. Sometimes all day. We always have good friends stopping by. I have two fourwheeler and my saws up there so I can play in the woods.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The living conditions are not too bad either. We have a 2007 26' travel trailer and I built a 12'x20' room with a wood stove. And attached it to the trailer. Just before deer season.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Our property is 1/4 mile wide and 3/4 mile long. Lots of room for hidden treasures. I had found smaller runs of gravel. But that is the best and biggest. It looks to be 5 to 12 acres of it. But it is under my only hardwoods. But I have lots of pine spruce and cedar. The whole property is woods other than where I pushed out open spots. Its a lot of fun and I have great friends up there. One day while I was hauling sand one of my friends came out with his saw and cut and blocked wood before I got to the point I would undermine them and have them fall on the loader. I hauled out 2.5 dump truck loads and there are one or two more waiting for me to haul out. Dad wanted to buy him two more chains for his saw to thank him but he would not accept them.


    Dave thats for sure!!!!!

    If any of ya all find your selves going up that way let me know. If I can make it up at the same time. It would be fun to hang out and crack a few open next to a fire!

    Billy
  24. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    273
    Loc:
    Bonaventure, Quebec
    I really need a pole barn like this !!!! I have a land of approx 60 acres where I am building the house now.... no garage yet and my pole barn looks like a out house compare to yours, mine is 14x45 and it's already full of me, my dads & mt borthers junk... I need to build one like 60 x 120 to make sure it going to take a while before it'S full.......

    You have a really nice setup and lookis like you have a lot of wood on that land, 50% of mine is an old reclaimed gravel pit, 25% is swamp and the remaining is sick wood... but it's mine (Well, me & my bother, he own 50% of 40 acres out the the 60...)and the land just got paid for (Wish I could said the same thing about the house), and I am only 28.

    The good thing too is I have nice seeneries on the River delta and on the sea, but I'm not oin the shore

    For your pole, are they burried only or you build like a 2x2 footing where you sat the pole on... or only a 5-6 feet deep buried pole ?

    Enjoy your beer and bonfire, think about all your Hearth forums virtual friends the next time you're there !!!!!

    Fi-Q

    Attached Files:

  25. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Loc:
    Britton MI
    Howdy Fi-Q

    It looks like you have a great place there!!!! My poles are 42 inches deep and set on 20 inch round concrete pucks. But the size of the pole pad depends on the size of the building ie how much weight will be on each pole. And the soil conditions a pole set in soft or medium clay will need a bigger pad to support the weight than one set on had clay or sand and gravel which it sounds like you have.

    I would have liked to go 100' long but we just could not afford it. But with the 14' high side wall we can put up a 20' lean to on the side and still have it 8' feet high on the low side.

    Two years ago I picked up a tractor snow plow in Ohio for a guy in Northern Ontario. I did not ask for gas money or anything as it was not too far out of my way. But he got me a case of Labatt Blue and 5th of Royal Canadian 12 year reserve. And I have to say it went down mighty well!!!


    Have a good one yourself! And keep up the good work its looking great!!!!!

    Billy
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page