Friday, 4 November 2011

Floor wheel drive

The travelling floor show hits town as we bring floor boards from another province all the way back to their new home.

The trailer looked perfectly capable of carrying our floor, but the little
Suzuki vitara inspired less confidence.
 As Dean fast approached the point where he’s ready to begin laying our floor boards, we realised we’d better make actually getting them on site our priority.
Back in August, we ordered some recycled matai floor boards from a disused factory in Palmerston North, and also decided that we would collect them ourselves. In the meantime, a little apprehension had begun to creep in regarding whether we’d actually be able to achieve this – having no idea what kind of load we’d actually be expected to carry until we saw it for ourselves.  The possibility only being able to bring some of it home ourselves, and then having to pay to freight the rest was just too galling to contemplate.

Borrowing our neighbour’s tandem trailer, we set off for Palmerston North, and returned to the factory which our timber originally adorned.  The poor building was in even more of a derelict state now, the roof thieves having turned their attention to the guttering down pipes, which had caused even more interior water damage.  Fortunately our boards were fine and we had the help of Jason and one of his workers to help us load up.  Jason approved of the trailer, which manfully soldiered the considerable load of timber, but had misgivings about our little Suzuki Vitara’s ability to pull it all the way home.  Commonly known as Barry (he’s white, get it?) this humble vehicle has been the best car we’ve ever owned , triumphing over everything we’ve thrown at him, so we still clung to some hope.

Enduring some mild ridicule over the washing line rope and bungee cords we had expected to tie our load down with, we purchased a ratchet cord, grabbed some lunch, and then made an assault on the hill leading back to the Wairarapa.  
Crawling up the steep incline while trying not to let traffic build up behind us, we nervously watched the temperature gauge all the way.  But once we reached the summit, things got easier and once again, Barry came through.  It was a very slow trip home, with our rapidly emptying petrol gauge becoming the one to watch but our mighty load didn’t budge a millimetre - must have been the washing line rope.

Rose relaxes in the sun after the floor boards are safely stacked in our bedroom
 After the floor was unloaded another important job beckoned before the boards could be laid.  I’ve mentioned our high water table often, and this can result in a house’s underfloor becoming very damp as the moisture as drawn upwards by the warmth of the rooms above.  Some cases have even reported constant dripping water as if a pipe has burst.  A solution is to cover the ground under the house with heavy black polythene, which acts as a very effective moisture barrier.  Obviously the time to do this was while we still have easy access beneath the floor, so I donned my boiler suit and once again became the ‘under-floor monkey’. As I slithered about in the cramped semi-darkness I recalled a news report I’d heard about emergency services in Turkey using particularly thin people to locate and rescue survivors buried in earthquake rubble.  Perhaps I’ve missed my calling…
Within a couple of days, a smooth sea of black plastic covered every centimetre of our under-floor space, painstakingly cut and fitted around piles. And as of next week – we’ll be floored!

The ‘under-floor monkey’ begs to be let out into the light


  1. Well, what a load.Thank goodness no weigh stations on the way. I couldn't get the video clip to start, maybe my fault. I cannot help but laugh at your days toils, and now the floor waiting in the wings, sorry, the bedroom.Super idea to lay the polythene when you can get access underneath,Well done little white vehicle!!! Cheers from Jean.

  2. Thanks Jean, we really appreciate your words of encouragement! Seems the non-existent video-clip was my fault -no idea how that got there...
    The 'little white vehicle' has earned itself a good, long rest!