Wow! That’s a lot of cardboard!

Tractor trailer loaded with cardboard bales
Not even finished loading yet

Recently I’ve been trying to figure out ways to free up time here on the farm. You always have to look at what you are doing and if it adds value or not. Does it make sense for me to do things that Miguel does when there are things only I do that everybody is waiting for? No. Does it make sense for Miguel to do things that we can have someone else do? No. It’s all about pushing tasks down the ladder and making sure everyone is doing the things that provide the most return for their time (and payroll).

One of the things I was doing routinely was driving our monthly cardboard to the recycler. It took about 1/2 of a day, all in. That’s if everything went smoothly, which sometimes happened, sometimes not. It also sent me down major, busy roads with a huge trailer that was loaded to the max, and honestly beyond. What if I had a wreck? What if I blew a tire? Was this really the best way to spend my time when they offer a pickup service, even though there is a charge? Nope.

So we started collecting more than our normal cardboard, knowing that there would be a minimum amount for a pickup with a great big tractor trailer. But not really knowing what that minimum was we just kind of guessed. Miguel was guessing 30 bales, which sounded good to me. At 24 bales I finally bothered to call them and see about a pickup. It turns out, as usual, I should have called first. They will pick up 10 bales, no problem. As in, once per month like we’ve been doing. Oops. But they’d come get our 24 bales and clean us up and we’d go forward from there.

Once the truck driver got here and loaded the first few bales, he commented, “Those are some heavy bales.” Yeah, about 1900 lbs each. He’s driving a tractor trailer, I figured he’d load all my cardboard and make another stop.

“Yeah, I’m going to be overweight with this load.”

Uh oh. I guess we are packing our bales a little bigger than the normal farm, or even factory. I seem to recall they wanted a minimum of 500 pounds per bale when we first started. We are at 1900 lbs. Sometimes 2200 lbs. I always forget we have an unusually large compactor compared to, well, normal people. I guess sending 45,000 lbs of cardboard on one load may have been a bit much.

Oh well, it all worked out, and I didn’t have to take it myself.

Now! What else can I get out of around here?

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

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