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Living in a vacuum!

The long awaited upgrade to my domestic heating system has had to wait another couple of weeks as other jobs have come calling. For the best part of the last 20 years Katherine and I have run a toilet and shower hire business serving a range of customers including construction sites and the summer events like festivals etc. Needless to say this has been greatly reduced for the last 2 seasons but the wheels of commerce grind on as do the wheels of our transport fleet,

2 years ago I designed a pump out system to fit on the back of our Toyota pickup truck to enable us to use a small 4 wheel drive service vehicle when the fields are wet. I had Jeff the blacksmith make the vacuum tank in winter 2019 and since then it has sat in a shed awaiting some business to come along. In spite of the current event season being curtailed it seemed to be about time to get the job finished so instead of starting on my new solar thermal set up for hot water in the house I’ve been busy getting the tank fixed in the truck and adding in the necessary motor, pump and water storage.

Now I’m retired from the business and hopefully won’t be operating the kit I threw caution to the wind and added in an electric start motor so the operator doesn’t have to pull a cord for starting. Much easier and civilised. Setting up the Toyota has taken about 10 days between bed making and cleaning in the domes. Whilst in the truck fettling mode I have also created a slightly larger rig on a newly acquired Transit flat bed truck.

Affectionately known as “Stewarts truck” one of our vehicles is getting very old and tired and in spite of having a new engine fitted in the last couple of years; with in excess of 250,000 miles on the clock it is time to retire it. Last month we brought a newish flat bed Transit with a rear tail lift. Katherine had a day trip to York on the train, brought the truck and then drove it straight back the same day.

So having finished the Toyota I had to get all the pump out rig etc. unbolted from Stewarts old Tranny and then get it lifted across on to the new truck. Some adaption to the tank support legs was needed so the truck was moved from our yard down to Jeff the blacksmiths for fettling; finally I drove the truck back here to complete the reinstallation of the pumps and motors before adapting (enlarging) the loads bed so it can carry 4 porta loos if required.

So, we now have some nice new kit to play with, some burgeoning event business and a lack of truck drivers to fulfil demand, but the kit will still be there next year. I’ve now built 5 of these truck mounted vacuum pump outs and I’m hoping these will be the last.

And now I can get on with my long awaited solar thermal project before the winter arrives


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