So far, I've explained the movement of the beam to where it is sitting at the base of the supporting walls, waiting to be lifted up on top of them. This lifting was the most dangerous part of the job.
In the photo above, the workers are creating the base of what will become a tower of squared off logs and other materials. Russell is at the controls of the front end loader, keeping the beam up off the ground while the base is created below the beam. Eventually this tower will be 9 feet tall, and will hold up one end of the 20 ton beam - so having a solid, level base is extremely important. (Oh, and just for fun, check out the tiny goat in the top left corner of the photo. It just happens to be a goat grazing next to a house far in the background, but we think it's funny how it looks like a tiny toy goat atop the beam!)
With the base carefully made level and stable, it was time to add logs to the tower. Again, Russell lifts the beam, the men put down the squared off logs, and then the beam is lowered to rest upon the completed part of the tower.
The logs are quite heavy - something like 600 pounds each.
With a couple of feet of tower built at one end of the beam, Russell lowers the beam to rest on the tower. He and the crew (and the front end loader) will move to the other end of the beam, to get to work on building the second tower.