Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Leaving the pipeline

We have called the company and asked to be relieved this coming Friday morning.
The arthritis in my spine is, I believe, closing off the nerve opening and causing pain and other problems. It is becoming difficult to walk properly and going up steps is very difficult. I have made an appointment for April 1st to see an Orthopedic and spine doctor in San Antonio.

Thought I would post pictures of some of the equipment used in putting in a pipeline.

This guy cleans up the ends of the pipe for welding.
and this is how they manuever the pipe into position

These are some of the welders. They have their own trucks and hire out for the welding. All the trucks are dualies to carry the weight of the welder and have been customizer by their owners. Some have awnings for shade

It is always interesting when they move the tracked equipment over the highway to continue working on the pipeline. The worker scurry around laying down the plywood and than the old tires in two lanes so that the steel tracks do not chew up the pavement.

The road is very busy and they send out a flagger in each direction to stop the traffic so the equipment can get across. Than they scurry around again to get the tires and plywood off of the road.

Remember you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.
Hope you have a gread day
love to all of ya
Jim and Linda

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pipe Bending

This morning the pipe bending crew came in. They needed to bend one last piece of pipe on this side of the road.
Interesting to watch the workers scurrying around, but not a lot to see as far as the actual bending. It is done inside of the machine by large hydraulic cylinders. One guy drives the dozer with the crane attatched and moves the pipe into the bender.
Do not know how they know where to bend it, but they get it done.
here are a few pictures but afaid it will be pretty boring.

Thats it for pipe bending. Going to be real slow for a few days until the welders get here.
Love to all of ya
Jim and Linda

Finally we are done

I thought I had lost this one. It is out of order, but am posting it so we remember what we have done.

Just a short note today
We finally got releived off of this gate. It has been a very trying experience. It has been so slow here.
  So anyway, we left the gate about 4pm. Drove to Peasanton, and stopped to check the trailer and got a phone call.
We have a gate for you. It is in Cotulla, TX. So we turned around and head southwest. They told us we could stop at another gate guard who was about a mile from our new site. But in the black of night we missed him and drove into town.  Now by now I am really tired of driving and I had driving at night. Linda called the company and they said "you missed him" shit.
We turned around and drove another 10 miles back up the shitty highway.....sorry Texas.....but you have some really bad roads.....and found the guy.
We are pluged into his electric and they will come out tomorrow morning and meet us here and take us to our gate...which is a pipe to us., but pays the same and we only work 12 hours a day.

Plus we are close to town and have  decent internet and phone without the antenna.
I am writing this at by tomorrow with the antenna up, we will have good internet....for once.

Nite nite for now
Jim and Linda
p.s. we have to be up, at the crack of dawn.....6am

Finally some activity

This section of the pipeline starts a long way from where we are at. There is another gate guard on the other end of this ranch and everyone has been using that gate.
A couple of days ago they started bringing in pipe thru our gate. The pipe is approx. 60 foot long and is loaded onto special trailers just for hauling pipe. The rear wheels of the trailer pivot and are hooked to the tractor by cris-crossed cables so that the wheels turn when the tractor turns.
Yesterday we could finally see them stringing the pipe. They put down about 3 miles of pipe a day. Once all the pipe is down they have a follow up crew that bends the pipe to match the contour of the land. Than a welding crew will follow along and weld up the joints. They weld about 2 miles a day.
I am showing you these last two pictures to get an idea of the dust.
The stringing crew moved across the road yesterday. Today the benders will finish up and move across.
At last we are finally seeing some action. The welders should be here in about 4 days, and after they are done they will dig a trench and bury the pipe. Can not immagine the dust when they start on the trench.

Have a great day
love to all of ya
Jim and Linda

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

pipe line update

Well the wind came up last night and blew pretty strong (25-30mph) till late morning.
Here are the results.
This is a window sill on the side the wind was coming from. Linda wiped it off about an hour ago.
I opened the door, you can see the sill is covered and the steps....
and the rug, and the mat. The wind knocked over our sign and both lights......but the dust is the killer...when I went out to log in a truck I got a mouth full of dust.

On another note,  I stopped to take a picture of another gate guard about a mile down the road.

They have a baby Airstream trailer about 18-20 foot long with a tent behind it. One of them sits in the hunting blind and logs the truckers in from there. If you make the picture bigger you can see him in the blind. It looks like they have been here a long not know how they survive in the tent in the summer....its damn hot, plus snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and other critters.....uggggggg
89 degrees here it cooled off to low 70's.
Y'all have a great day
Love to all of ya
Jim and Linda

Sunday, March 3, 2013

making dust

Since we have been here the crew has been working to remove the top soil on this ranch, at the owners request.  BTW, we are here at the owners request, not the companys.
Yesterday they moved 11000 lineal feet (over two miles) of topsoil in a path that I am guessing is 40-60 foot wide.
Today they kept moving closer and closer to us. And making lots of dust. Of course the wind has to blow in our direction....could not be blowing the other way.
Anyway they got here, and have moved across the road to continue removing the top soil. According to one of the supervisors we should not have any one here the next couple of days. Than they will start to bring in the 12 inch pipe, and start digging the trench. They will bore under the road and I understand that that takes some big equipment, which is why we will have to move.
Here are a few pictures of what is going on....remember you can click on a picture to make it bigger.

In the background you can see the crew working further back away from us.
Now we sit and wait for the next phase.
love to all of ya
Jim and Linda

Friday, March 1, 2013

relieved and new site

Yesterday they told us we had been relieved. By the time the crew came to unplug us it was about 3:30. We left and headed westnorthwest towards Kenedy to a Gate Guard lot. We got as far as Pleasanton and got a call that they had a gate for us in Cotulla, TX which was back in the opposite direction we had just come from. They wanted us there at 7am and gave us very vague directions.
We told them that we needed a place to stay for the night and all the campgrounds are full. They gave us again vague directions to another gate guard that was supposed to be close to where we would end up.
We missed his place and ended up in Cotulla and had to call back and get new directions. Had to head back the way we just came about 9-10 miles and the gate would be on the right. He has a FEMA trailer and a white truck.....we finally found him and plugged for the night. They came and got us at 7am to go to the new site. Two Gate Guard trucks. We all got lost as the directions again were very vague. Find the pipeline. It is on hwy 97.
After finally getting the rig turned around we went south for several miles and pulled over again. After several phone calls, someone from the pipeline came and found us and took us to the site.
After looking at the site I told the set up guys that they could get another gate guard out there as I was not going to pull our trailer onto that site.

That started more talking and the company man said he would get a road grader on site to level it out and clean it up. After about an hour wait the grader showed up, did his thing and the more he did the worse it got. They had come thru and cut all of the underbrush out and when he started grading it brought up all of the roots and made things really bad.

We came very close to saying goodby, but decided to give it a try. We are on a pipeline which looks like it will be a 12 hour gate. 7am to 7pm. We still get paid for 24 hours though. It is very very dusty, much worse that the caliche. If it rains we are in deep shit....mud, mud, mud.
We are right off of the very busy highway, about 50 yards or so.

So thats it. It has been one bad day, and last night also.
Hope yours was better.
Oh, BTW we do have good phone and internet. The best internet we have had in Texas.
We are three miles east of Cotulla on hwy 97.
Take care, and remember, we love ya,
Jim and Linda