A neighbor on the road where I grew up in northern Michigan made one of
those for himself AT LEAST 30 years ago. It's been hit by the plows and
vandals time after time after time through the years, but when I left
the area 8-9 years ago, it still stood there, looking pretty near as
good as it did the first time I remember seeing it, back in about 1973.
A couple dings and dents, some paint scuff, that sort of thing, but
nothing to stop it from working just as well as the day it was new.
About the only way to trash one of them is for the plow to hit the
upright squarely, completely wiping out the whole thing. If the post is
set far enough back (with an appropriate adjustment to the length of the
swinging arm) that's never going to be a problem. For extra protection,
add the neighbor's refinement: A rebar and expanded metal bumper/cage
around the mailbox.
Just don't do what our next-door neighbor did...
The guy punched an empty 55 gallon drum down onto four 2 foot tall
chunks of rebar (that were already staked into the ground 18 inches or
so deep) stuck a post with his mailbox on it in the center, then filled
the barrel with sand. Come about turkey-day, when the first real freeze
of the year was happening, he ran a line out to it and filled it with
water. In mid-January, there was a helluva snowstorm, so of course, the
plows were out and about. Me and my brother were home from school (Bus
couldn't get any of the kids on our route) watching TV when we heard a
mighty BANG from just down the road. Next thing we knew, a miniature
avalanche slammed into the side of the house. When we got outside to see
what the heck had happened, we found a county snowplow laying on its
side in our front yard.
Once the driver was out and talking about what happened, we found out
that he caught the mailbox-in-the-barrel with the right-hand end of the
plow, which spun him end-for-end several times before dropping him into
the ditch to flip over into our yard. Apparently, the combination of
barrel, sand, stakes, water, and well-below freezing temperatures for
several weeks had worked together to form your basic "immovable object".
Along came the plow, AKA "unstoppable force", and things got just a
little bit messy.
Needless to say, there was a bit of a flap about it, and the "mailbox
stand" went away when the thaw started and it became possible to bust it
On the plus side of the ledger, I understand that claims against the
county for mailboxes destroyed by plows dropped to a 20 year low through
the rest of that snow season and into the next...
Don Bruder - firstname.lastname@example.org - New Email policy in effect as of Feb. 21, 2004.
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