Solar panel rack is back upright…

I had strong doubts about success, until things suddenly started going well.

You might recall that the front legs had completely collapsed, pulling their piers right out of the ground…

We put some forward pressure on the rack with the Jeep and tow strap but clearly needed to raise the front so those piers could fall back into their holes. We still hadn’t figured out what we were going to do about the piers, but clearly lying on the ground sideways was not a good look.

So we ended up raising the whole front of the rack with 3 jacks after loosening the lag bolts holding the uprights to the ramps so they’d swing free when we got them high enough. And sonuvagun, that worked. Took forever before it became apparent that it was going to work, though.

As soon as the piers were pivoting in their holes, I pulled the Jeep forward slightly and eased the whole thing upright.

Turned out we needed a more even pull, so it turned into a 2-Jeep job. Props to Terrapod: That super-long length of heavy nylon rope came out of the Jeep kit and saved the day.

And then with the Jeeps keeping forward pressure on the rack, we dug two new footers, lag-bolted a couple of 8-foot 2x6s to the rear of the rack diagonally between the long uprights and the footers, then filled the footers with rebar and concrete. I kinda forgot to take a picture of that, but you can imagine rear diagonal braces against the wind. The Jeeps are kind of stuck there, holding the whole thing up until tomorrow when Landlady goes home.

The front piers are currently just sitting loose in their holes and we’re not too thrilled about that but I personally believe that once the new concrete sets up the rack will actually be more secure than it was. But on her next visit we plan to prop the front with jackstands and then rebuild the piers and uprights – doing it properly this time with more depth and some rebar.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Solar panel rack is back upright…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hope ya didn’t get your straps dirty Ha!Ha!Ha!

  2. Joel says:

    Do I even want to know what that means?

  3. John of the GMA says:

    “Middle of the Right”, right?

  4. terrapod says:

    Quite chuffed that the rope turned out to be useful. Great work there Joel.

    How are you set for scissor jacks? I have spare (new in box) sitting in the shed which might come in handy, The issue is how to get it to you without breaking the bank. Have to work out a road trip to Tucson one of these days, and yes, it is about 1300 miles each way, nothing much.

  5. Kentucky says:

    Tried to send you an email. No go.

  6. Malatrope says:

    I had similar problems with my solar frame until (DUH!!)</b I put horizontal 2×4 straps from the rear footers to front footers to make triangles. No issues since. Your diagonal should work out fine. In my defense, I really didn't imagine that the concrete footers could rotate like that…

    I used a come-a-long to pull it back up, which had much more control than yanking with a vehicle. You don't need those things very often, but when you do they are lifesavers.

  7. Malatrope says:

    (sorry for the broken bold closing tag)

  8. matismf says:

    Do you have a come-along, Joel???

  9. Joel says:

    Yeah, an old one a neighbor was throwing away. It works…not really all that well and it’s currently buried in the back of my powershed. The Jeep was much simpler.

To the stake with the heretic!