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One Man Silo Buster
Homer Dotson, of Leetonia, Ohio, a one-man "silo buster," takes down silos without benefit of dynamite or fancy equipment. Using "elbow grease and a sledgehammer" as his only tools, he can bring down an old or damaged silo in only a few minutes.
Dotson pounds out a few layers of staves or tile near the base of the silo, working in an area about half the total circumference of the silo. He stops occasionally and puts an ear to the silo, listening for interior sounds of falling debris an indication the silo is ready to fall and a warning for Dotson to make a speedy retreat. The pounded-out area faces the direction he wants the silo to fall and, in more than a dozen silo take-downs to date, Dotson hasn't been wrong in his calculations.
Most recently, he was summoned to the Harold Koontz farm near Salem, Ohio, where he toppled two heat-damaged concrete stave silos. Koontz, cleaning up from a barn fire last August that damaged the two silos, had a hired crew on hand to clean up and haul away the debris after the dismantling.
Dotson began his unique "silo busting" craft several years ago when he took down a silo for neighbor Russell Cook. "I figured taking down a silo would work the same as felling a tree. After taking down the silo for Russell, the news spread fast and I knocked down a half dozen or so within the next year."
Once, Dotson took down three silos in one day at one location. The second silo he worked on that particular day "went over half way and stopped," Dotson recalls. "The gash I'd made in the bottom looked like two big jaws. I didn't knock the hole wide enough to start with so I had to do more precarious sledgehammer work under the leaning silo to finish the job," Dotson recalls.
Over the years, he has helped dismantle old wooden silos, but he doesn't use the "sledgehammer treatment" on them. "You have to tear them down piecemeal," he notes.
For more information, contact: FARMSHOW Followup, Homer Dotson, 4508 Woodville Road, Leetonia, Ohio 44431.
(Reprinted from Farm and Dairy, Salem, Ohio).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #2