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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: mike_belben on June 04, 2021, 11:37:41 AM

Title: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 04, 2021, 11:37:41 AM
Creating this so as not to derail a fescue thread. Please everyone feel free to use this as a catch-all for anything to do with dirtwork.  Questions or answers, sharing your projects... whatever.  Roadbuilding, gravel, drainage, septic, ponds, construction pads etc etc.  If a shovel or hoe was used in any way (manual or hydraulic) then it fits here.


Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 04, 2021, 11:44:08 AM
Whatís your favorite recipe for a gravel parking lot?  Iím going to be doing one next year and I want it turn good.  I see some interesting info on enzyme additives for improving road bases and parking lots but so far I havenít talked to any contractors around here that have even heard of it, much less used it.
Here is the original post. I will dig up some good example pics when i get a chance
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on June 04, 2021, 11:53:07 AM
I just built this drag to topdress a couple of acres with topsoil.  Dragging it on growing grass, it doesn't harm it a bit, and won't even top Dandelions (was hoping it would).

It's 6-1/2 feet wide, and 12 feet long.  I've seen shorter ones, but I figured longer would level out low spots better.  It's built from four 20' lengths of 3x3x3/16 angle iron.  I could have gone to 4x4x1/4.  

The cross angles are tipped up at the front the thickness of a regular 3/8 washer, whatever that is, so it won't dig in.

For a guesswork prototype, with no drawings, it works pretty good.  I already had the utility lift, and just added some longer arms, and diagonal braces.  It not only fills low spots, but I can use it to build up an area with good topsoil too.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3211.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622821820)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3222.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622821851)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3225.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622821880)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3227.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622821909)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3224.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622821937)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: HemlockKing on June 04, 2021, 12:15:23 PM
Looks like good lake frontage. I like whatís going on with those dock houses/lounges.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on June 04, 2021, 12:30:34 PM
All those are boathouses, and have boat lifts in them.  This lake is maintained within one foot, so all the docks are on pilings.

I had all the Pine trees taken off our point, and lost what little poor topsoil was on it, in the process.

We have a place we've been letting four subdivisions dump leaves for forty years, and have dumped stall cleanings too.  It's full of worms.  I'm waiting on an excavator to come pile it up, so I can get someone else to come with a screen.  I intend to level a couple of inches of that great topsoil on this two acre point, so I can get grass to grow. It's bigger than it looks in this picture.  You can see the hard, poor ground in the first picture with the drag behind the tractor.  That's what I built that drag for.

That cove with the hole filled in is at the bottom of the hill, to the left, in front of the house.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_2104.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622824142)
 

We plan to rent it for special events, like weddings.

That little brick building has four restrooms in it.

Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Southside on June 04, 2021, 02:49:42 PM
Geotech is your friend.  Nobody around here uses it or ever head of it - just buy more 57's and let them push down through the clay is all I was told in these parts.  Growing up it was like Christmas when the paper mill would change the felt.  Everybody was getting a new driveway, walkway, etc after that.  

During spring breakup I have watched loaded log trucks and massive wheel loaders running on a foot of shale that was over a layer of Geotech, in the middle of cedar swamp ground.  The whole road would wave up and down, but the tires would not leave so much as an imprint.  
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Bruno of NH on June 04, 2021, 04:37:11 PM
Geotech is your friend.  Nobody around here uses it or ever head of it - just buy more 57's and let them push down through the clay is all I was told in these parts.  Growing up it was like Christmas when the paper mill would change the felt.  Everybody was getting a new driveway, walkway, etc after that.  

During spring breakup I have watched loaded log trucks and massive wheel loaders running on a foot of shale that was over a layer of Geotech, in the middle of cedar swamp ground.  The whole road would wave up and down, but the tires would not leave so much as an imprint.  
I have seen the same thing with the road fabric.
Lay it down over the wet area or swamp add 2 " crusher run and drive anything over it.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: alan gage on June 04, 2021, 05:32:06 PM
The only dirt work contribution I have is to not be afraid to rent a Harley Rake. My yard was an absolute mess after building my wood shop a couple years ago. I used the skidloader bucket to move all the dirt back and roughly grade it (rough being the key word) but it was still a mess with lots of high/low spots, rocks, sticks, and clods. There were existing slopes as well as a pretty big slope where the building grade needed to drop down to the rest of the lawn. Even with the Harley Rake I expected a long full day of moving dirt around with a shovel and raking it smooth.

I was shocked how good of a job the Harley Rake did and 2 hours later I was on the way back to the rental place to drop it off. The only reason to pick up the shovel was to scoop up the rocks and sticks it separated and deposited at the end of each run. Broke up all the clods and left a nice surface ready to seed. It was like magic.

Alan
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: SwampDonkey on June 04, 2021, 05:34:20 PM
I've seen it used on the university woodlot. It's heavy clay on top of sandstone there. One April after snow melt I was walking out one of the roads and it moved under your feet when someone drove bye. :D  Never use the stuff unless on a well maintained forest road. Most others, not a chance. Most of the time in the area I work there is so much rock and sand you don't need it. I was on a block this week with water filled ditches like a mote, dead standing, road was solid as concrete. :D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: SwampDonkey on June 04, 2021, 05:39:27 PM
A pallet drag works good behind a 4-wheeler or SxS. I levelled 16 loads of screened loam last week with one. I put 40 lbs on the pallet with a strapped on tire and rocks in the rim. A hardwood pallet will take a lot of abuse. I shoved piles around with the tractor first then had fun. ;D  It don't hurt the grass either, just looks mowed. ;)  My ground was not all flat, some was up and over a drain field, a really big one. ;)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: SwampDonkey on June 04, 2021, 05:53:44 PM
This is about a quarter of the area around the drain field. That starts flat then rolls down over toward them trees.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/drainfield-2021.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1622843393)


This is between the house and shop foundation. There is another area more than twice this size around the garage. Then around to the left behind the house an area about same size.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/shop-yard-2021.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1622843365)


Grass is germinating, but the area around the garage not shown is ahead of this, easier to see the green. ;D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Old Greenhorn on June 04, 2021, 06:15:21 PM
Geotech is your friend.  Nobody around here uses it or ever head of it - just buy more 57's and let them push down through the clay is all I was told in these parts.  Growing up it was like Christmas when the paper mill would change the felt.  Everybody was getting a new driveway, walkway, etc after that.  

During spring breakup I have watched loaded log trucks and massive wheel loaders running on a foot of shale that was over a layer of Geotech, in the middle of cedar swamp ground.  The whole road would wave up and down, but the tires would not leave so much as an imprint.  
I have seen the same thing with the road fabric.
Lay it down over the wet area or swamp add 2 " crusher run and drive anything over it.
Add me as another proponent of geotech. I have seen the work Barge does with the stuff on his working roads and also some demo roads done by others.  Amazing stuff when used properly. As am aside it also makes a good cover for mushroom logs letting the rain in but keeping the sun out.  :laugh:
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: snowmountain on June 04, 2021, 06:38:29 PM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/57370/D7E959BB-00F2-4BA0-A085-EE14C9C674AB.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1622846091)
 This was a messy little corner Iíve been intending to fix for a while. Stumped out some small trees and multi flora rose bushes. Cut a road to access an area I have trouble getting to.
Jack
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on June 04, 2021, 07:41:37 PM
Geotex definitely helps, but I remember installing it over really squishy ground and getting what we called "fabric hemorrhoids" where the pressure from trucks going over it would cause a bubble up and burst situation😂
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: woodroe on June 05, 2021, 07:05:54 AM
Where to start, all in the  last few weeks ,350' driveway needed to be built back up after 15 yrs of neglect so
had 12 yds 1 1/2" crushed gravel delivered and with my new to me 35hp 4x4 Kubota w FEL, spread that for a rough base material then had delivered 12 yds of 3/4" crushed gravel and spread that over the new base for a smooth finish.
It all compacted very well. Had 6 yds of 3/4" stone delivered for the top 50' of the drive to cut down on
tracking in the grit.
Was able to back drag the gravel in float mode for very decent results.
Now working my main woods rd 500' behind house, 8" culvert bought from thecfarm here on the forum placed in the bottom of ravine muck hole . Very good tough culvert BTW.  
Had to haul in about 4 buckets of rock prior to placing the culvert
to stop the sucking sounds.
Placed some 3/4" crushed gravel on top the rocks for a culvert bed. Now have a 14'
culvert topped with 1/1/2" crushed gravel . Turned out very nice, drove my f 150 over it the other day. Nice to be able to access the property without getting mired in mud.
Next job is 24' bridge approaches. Need to build up about 20" on both ends of bridge.
Running low on gravel so thinking about laying some logs in there then topping with gravel.
Doesn't have to be permanent, getting old.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 05, 2021, 07:52:40 AM
Whatís your favorite recipe for a gravel parking lot?  Iím going to be doing one next year and I want it turn good.  I see some interesting info on enzyme additives for improving road bases and parking lots but so far I havenít talked to any contractors around here that have even heard of it, much less used it.
Here is the original post. I will dig up some good example pics when i get a chance
There are 3 key components to any parking lot or road. Stable subgrade, aggregate base, and wear surface. I've been operating heavy equipment and grading job sites for almost 30 years now and I've seen lots of examples of how it should and shouldn't be done. For the past 15 years I've been a foreman and motor grader operator preparing subgrade and setting up stone base for asphalt paving. There are a lot of variables involved in building a gravel lot such as how heavy the vehicles using it and traffic volume that will be a factor in how you build it, but basically it's all about starting with a solid base. Ideally you would strip off all topsoil and organics to prepare for grading the site. Next step is grade the area so it will have positive drainage. The biggest enemy to any parking lot or road is standing water. Now you choose what you want for an aggregate base. You need something that can be compacted to be impermeable to water. Here in North Carolina our quarries call it ABC stone or crusher run. Basically it's 1.5"- stone with a lot of fine pieces and rock dust in it. Or if you are fortunate enough to be near an asphalt paving company that's milling and paving a road you can buy ground up asphalt to use as a base. Either way, spread the material to the desired thickness and compact. If you're using ABC stone, you will need to use a good bit of water when you compact it. The water helps push the air out of the voids in the stone base and when done properly will produce a slurry on top similar to when you finish concrete. This slurry will dry after a day or so in the sun and seal the stone base so water won't soak into it in the future. Once dry, you can topdress with small washed stone for a wear surface. 1.5" or smaller.  
Edit: All compaction should be done with a vibratory smooth drum roller for best results. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 05, 2021, 08:08:00 AM
Geotex definitely helps, but I remember installing it over really squishy ground and getting what we called "fabric hemorrhoids" where the pressure from trucks going over it would cause a bubble up and burst situation😂
That can be prevented ba using geogrid, not fabric if you are covering it with stone. Fabric is made for using dirt over it and geogrid is used when using stone. A good quality geogrid such as Tenstar 1100 with a minimum of 12" of stone/ gravel over it will bridge over some pretty nasty ground. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: btulloh on June 05, 2021, 08:35:06 AM
Good info Patrick.  Thanks.  I need to find a local contractor with your level of experience when I build this thing.  Good info on the geogrid vs fabric.  This will be built in a dry area, not a bog.  Subsoil is mainly clay with a little sand so it makes a pretty good base after removing the topsoil.  I have quarries and asphalt plants close by, so proper materials are easy to get.  Main thing is to get a good contractor.

This isn't really a parking lot I'm putting in, it's a yard for shuffling equipment and attachments, as well lumber on pallets and general shuffling around.  It's going to be along one side of a new building (probably Morton) and the yard will be somewhere around 20k sq ft. 

What's the minimum fall on the grade for something like this?  It needs to be almost level I think, but have enough fall to shed the water.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: btulloh on June 05, 2021, 08:37:47 AM
Some interesting things already getting posted in this thread.  I like Tom King's drag for finishing topsoil.  Looks like a good way to finish off.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: btulloh on June 05, 2021, 08:56:21 AM
Patrick, do you know anything about these enzyme additives that improve base material?

TerraZyme - Natural Ezyme for Drying and Stabilizing Soil (https://www.l-q-international.com/about_terrazyme.html)

Hard roads, easy fix | Agweek (https://www.agweek.com/business/3789023-hard-roads-easy-fix)

This stuff looks very interesting, but I've never talked to a contractor that's even heard of it.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 05, 2021, 08:58:47 AM
Good info Patrick.  Thanks.  I need to find a local contractor with your level of experience when I build this thing.  Good info on the geogrid vs fabric.  This will be built in a dry area, not a bog.  Subsoil is mainly clay with a little sand so it makes a pretty good base after removing the topsoil.  I have quarries and asphalt plants close by, so proper materials are easy to get.  Main thing is to get a good contractor.

This isn't really a parking lot I'm putting in, it's a yard for shuffling equipment and attachments, as well lumber on pallets and general shuffling around.  It's going to be along one side of a new building (probably Morton) and the yard will be somewhere around 20k sq ft.

What's the minimum fall on the grade for something like this?  It needs to be almost level I think, but have enough fall to shed the water.
Minimum fall should be about 2%. Thats 1/4" per foot. If your grading contractor is really good, you might get away with 1.5% but that's pretty flat. 2% is what the crown is in most paved roads. So the travel lane that you drive on slopes towards the ditch at 1/4" per foot on most roads. 
For a lot such as you are describing I'd use either 8" of ABC stone or 6" of ground asphalt. My preference is the asphalt. The heat of the sun will activate the liquid asphalt in the material and the more you drive on it, the harder it will get. Great stuff. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 05, 2021, 09:12:51 AM
Patrick, do you know anything about these enzyme additives that improve base material?

TerraZyme - Natural Ezyme for Drying and Stabilizing Soil (https://www.l-q-international.com/about_terrazyme.html)

Hard roads, easy fix | Agweek (https://www.agweek.com/business/3789023-hard-roads-easy-fix)

This stuff looks very interesting, but I've never talked to a contractor that's even heard of it.
We do a lot of soil stabilization but mostly use cement or lime. We tried a similar product about a year ago and it worked well, but the cost was about the same as using cement. You only have to use about 1/3 the amount per square yard, but the cost of the material was about 3x more. So it was about the same either way. You will come out a lot cheaper and have just as good of a finished product by preparing a good subgrade and covering it with ground asphalt. You would only need to use a soil stabilization product if you're ground is really wet  or has other issues such as lightweight dirt or very high plasticity. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on June 05, 2021, 12:01:32 PM
Patrick, it's been over 10 years since I was in the dirt work game. As far as I know, the fabric was all we had available to us at the time. I've only started seeing the geogrid product since that time.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 05, 2021, 12:44:40 PM
Patrick, it's been over 10 years since I was in the dirt work game. As far as I know, the fabric was all we had available to us at the time. I've only started seeing the geogrid product since that time.
Your right about that. The first time I used geogrid was about 2010 or so.  We never liked using the fabric under stone because of the exact thing you are taking about. Usually it was better to undercut all the unsuitable material and fill back with a good fill material. The fabric was mostly for temporary roads or construction entrances where the cost of undercutting and filling wasn't justified. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: blackfoot griz on June 05, 2021, 01:50:15 PM
The only dirt work contribution I have is to not be afraid to rent a Harley Rake. My yard was an absolute mess after building my wood shop a couple years ago. I used the skidloader bucket to move all the dirt back and roughly grade it (rough being the key word) but it was still a mess with lots of high/low spots, rocks, sticks, and clods. There were existing slopes as well as a pretty big slope where the building grade needed to drop down to the rest of the lawn. Even with the Harley Rake I expected a long full day of moving dirt around with a shovel and raking it smooth.

I was shocked how good of a job the Harley Rake did and 2 hours later I was on the way back to the rental place to drop it off. The only reason to pick up the shovel was to scoop up the rocks and sticks it separated and deposited at the end of each run. Broke up all the clods and left a nice surface ready to seed. It was like magic.

Alan
I agree with you on the Harley rake. They are amazing tools. If renting one, I highly recommend getting a tracked skidsteer versus a wheeled version if possible.

What I don't recommend is snapping off the pressure relief valve on your underground propane tank like I did to mine. That was not fun!
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Walnut Beast on June 05, 2021, 06:50:46 PM
Try a Harley rake in clay pack 😂. I owned a new one with the power angles and it went down the road in a short time
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on June 05, 2021, 07:20:44 PM
I wish I could rent one that had teeth longer than a half inch.   I don't need one bad enough to buy one, but the ones sitting on rental lots don't look like they'd do much.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 05, 2021, 10:30:39 PM
Creating this so as not to derail a fescue thread. Please everyone feel free to use this as a catch-all for anything to do with dirtwork.  Questions or answers, sharing your projects... whatever.  Roadbuilding, gravel, drainage, septic, ponds, construction pads etc etc.  If a shovel or hoe was used in any way (manual or hydraulic) then it fits here.
Thanks @mike_belben (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=33722) for starting a thread that I have some knowledge about! 😁
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 06, 2021, 08:58:05 AM
Thanks for all your input.. Its nice to hear what the techniques are when money isnt much of an object. (State/federal roadbuilding)

All of my experience is the opposite.. Sparing money, or doing something useable without any at all, is THE primary object
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: florida on June 06, 2021, 12:10:59 PM
The mother of geogrid!

Mechanical Concrete This Changes Everything HD - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdKbbhQWl3s)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 06, 2021, 01:15:16 PM
The mother of geogrid!

Mechanical Concrete This Changes Everything HD - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdKbbhQWl3s)
That is a genius idea. I've never used it, but I've seen plans for using that system under a truck stop parking lot where there is constant heavy traffic. With all the emphasis on using recycled materials these days I can see that becoming a big thing. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Kindlinmaker on June 06, 2021, 02:13:10 PM
Harley feedback

I installed dozens of high-end lawns during the housing boom.    Most of our work was in subdivisions of 1+ acre lots with large center hall colonials in serious hill country.  Adding topsoil to acre+ lots was cost prohibitive so most used existing soils where we would remove about 30 yards of stone per acre. Process was: 1) required mechanical drainage build  2) Irrigation install as required  3)drainage grading  4) York raking, debris removal and final grade adjustments  5) 2-3 machine passes with hand raking behind the final pass  6) Seed, fertilize and mulch or hydro.

Harley rakes are designed to windrow stone lying on the surface.  A landscape tiller is designed to level, windrow, smooth and prepare a seed bed.  They look somewhat similar but the tiller will have a much larger/heavier drum with very significant carbide teeth counter spinning to direction of travel.  The tiller will also have a trailing metering roller pressing down the finished seed bed and controlling the tiller depth which has a maximum practical depth of 2 - 3 inches.  Tillers  are 2 - 3 time heavier than rakes and double or triple the price to match.  

At the request of equipment dealers, I tried a few Harley style rakes.  None ever ended up on one of our tractors permanently.  I don't think I would spend any time at all trying to put a seed lawn in without a good tiller.  I happen to like ATI's preseeder but there are others that are equally good (ATI was my first and I learned to comb a field mouse's hair with it so it was just very comfortable to me.)

Since we used heavy duty Yorks for hydro prep abrading on rough finish erosion control projects, I just never found a practical application for a Harley.  Might work for spreading screened top but you wouldn't use one if you have tillers on your tractors.  
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on June 06, 2021, 05:13:50 PM
What do you mean, Kindlinmaker? I was on a Facebook skidsteer site, and the Harley rake seemed to turn all of those guys into instant grading contractors, according to them!😁
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Kindlinmaker on June 06, 2021, 06:56:07 PM
I hear ya Barbender and that is one important point.  Having the right equipment helps so much.  I could put a finish grade down and make seed beds as well as anybody.  I never had a shortage of orders and generally had to turn work away during planting season.  

I didn't do much rough grading nor back blading but I had access to the most beautiful new dozer sitting outside a friend's shop where I did a lot of my repair work.  I certainly knew how to run it.  Cannot tell you how many times that dozer saved my bacon - those tracks were just the right height for me to sit my weary butt down while I was on the phone arranging for somebody that actually knew what the heck they were doing to come rough grade my next job!

Anybody can buy a fiddle but that don't mean they can play Orange Blossom Special.

Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: aigheadish on June 07, 2021, 01:42:45 PM
This is an interesting thread I'll be keeping an eye on. 

I have about 3 acres of yard, which I've essentially destroyed with about 15,000 lbs. of backhoe. I do a fair amount of honeysuckle removal with it, tree removal and extraction, pond digging, creek recontouring, etc., and I've got fairly huge ruts in a lot of different places that I'd love to smooth out. It was suggested, on the heavy equipment forums, to try a harley rake also and it sounded like it may work, but I'm not sure. I've got grass growing everywhere and grass seed cost, for the space involved, is a bit prohibitive to come in and make a wreck of things but that may be the route I have to go. The other part is I'm not done running around on the backhoe, my pond still needs tons of work and there are lots of trees to drag around. I'm certainly learning that dry ground helps a lot but sometimes that's not feasible either. The problem really boils down to mowing is either crazy slow or bordering on painful. I can't imagine that I'll be able to do anything without really disrupting things but I guess we'll see, eventually.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 07, 2021, 02:05:43 PM
Question: woven or non-woven fabric to line a road ditch before a layer of 2-6" stone or rip-rap? Or is fabric necessary for that? Flat or steep grade - does that impact the decision?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 07, 2021, 02:20:37 PM
Question: woven or non-woven fabric to line a road ditch before a layer of 2-6" stone or rip-rap? Or is fabric necessary for that? Flat or steep grade - does that impact the decision?
Woven is for soil stabilization and non woven is used to keep materials separated. So in a ditch you would want non woven. The main reason is so the rock doesn't sink into the dirt and become contaminated. Same theory as covering the rock in a septic drain field with fabric or straw before backfilling. As far as how steep the grade is, with a steep grade you need to use bigger rock. Depending on how much water flow there is you may need head sized rip rap or riverbank ballast. With a fairly flat grade and less flow you can get away with smaller rock such as 6" rip rap. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 07, 2021, 02:26:42 PM
This is an interesting thread I'll be keeping an eye on.

I have about 3 acres of yard, which I've essentially destroyed with about 15,000 lbs. of backhoe. I do a fair amount of honeysuckle removal with it, tree removal and extraction, pond digging, creek recontouring, etc., and I've got fairly huge ruts in a lot of different places that I'd love to smooth out. It was suggested, on the heavy equipment forums, to try a harley rake also and it sounded like it may work, but I'm not sure. I've got grass growing everywhere and grass seed cost, for the space involved, is a bit prohibitive to come in and make a wreck of things but that may be the route I have to go. The other part is I'm not done running around on the backhoe, my pond still needs tons of work and there are lots of trees to drag around. I'm certainly learning that dry ground helps a lot but sometimes that's not feasible either. The problem really boils down to mowing is either crazy slow or bordering on painful. I can't imagine that I'll be able to do anything without really disrupting things but I guess we'll see, eventually.
If I was going to use a Harley take in that situation I think I'd fill all the ruts first and then work a seedbed with s disc harrow first. Then Harley take to finish. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Bruno of NH on June 07, 2021, 05:54:42 PM
Ventrac makes a type of rake tiller thing that looks like it prepares a good seed bed.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Bruno of NH on June 07, 2021, 05:59:13 PM
One other thing.
When I was building full time there was nothing worse than a bad site work guy.
I told one guy once he moved the same dirt so much he wore it out and had to get new dirt  :D
Some guys are smooth as silk on a site.
I learned to ask who was doing the site work. If it was certain guys I would decline the job.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: HemlockKing on June 08, 2021, 07:14:25 AM
One other thing.
When I was building full time there was nothing worse than a bad site work guy.
I told one guy once he moved the same dirt so much he wore it out and had to get new dirt  :D
Some guys are smooth as silk on a site.
I learned to ask who was doing the site work. If it was certain guys I would decline the job.
I know of someone who hired a Craigslist/kijiji ďContractorĒ aka just a dummie with little know how, anyway, the guy was suppose to smooth out a area for a yard of which there was massive beautiful oak trees in the yard(the whole reasoning of picking that spot), buddy cutt/ripped all the surface roots up with his blade and the trees died shortly after. Leaving just a bare ugly yard. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Wudman on June 08, 2021, 06:31:20 PM
Geotech is your friend.  Nobody around here uses it or ever head of it - just buy more 57's and let them push down through the clay is all I was told in these parts.  Growing up it was like Christmas when the paper mill would change the felt.  Everybody was getting a new driveway, walkway, etc after that.  

During spring breakup I have watched loaded log trucks and massive wheel loaders running on a foot of shale that was over a layer of Geotech, in the middle of cedar swamp ground.  The whole road would wave up and down, but the tires would not leave so much as an imprint.  
I've heard of it......... ;D  And have used a bit to cross booger holes......And I start with #3s. ;D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Hilltop366 on June 09, 2021, 11:38:50 AM
I redid 800 feet of my driveway a while back, it was originally made by digging out the top soil that was 2 to 3 feet deep and filling it in with a soft shale but after 15 years and several wash outs it was getting pretty bad so I put in a layer of 2" road material and a layer of 3/4" road material it seems to hold up quite well. I lost count of how much material I put in after 300 ton, probably no more than 400 ton. (24 ton per load) 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 10, 2021, 09:45:59 AM
Improving access road to my woodlot. Several wet areas. Worst of them I used woven fabric and some 3" screened gravel. 11 loads (15yds each) so far. Use by dump trailer to bring into the road. Not suitable for a truck. Trailer holds 4-5 yds. First load of gravel is dumped in a pile and spread with the Case 310 dozer. Subsequent loads I can tailgate spread.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_41925B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623308386)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_41935B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623308898)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_41945B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623308883)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_41955B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623309191)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_41965B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623308870)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_41975B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623308859)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 10, 2021, 11:21:27 AM
Nice old dozer. Is it diesel or gas?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 10, 2021, 12:45:04 PM
Looks like you have your own native gravel bank to choose from.  Wish that was an option in clay country.  One way or another youre paying the quarry and the truck out here. 


In my case for a narrow forest road like that where you cant deviate from the two tire tracks...  i would tailgate spread 4-6" rock with a vee deflector clamped in the center of the duckbill on back of the truck so it only fills the tire tracks and neglects the center.   Will about double your linear footage per load.  

Can cap it in finer rock if you want a prettier finish for cars or feet.   
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 10, 2021, 12:49:11 PM
Nice old dozer. Is it diesel or gas?
Gas. Unbelievably reliable in starting. Whether hot or sitting for 4 months.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 10, 2021, 12:54:31 PM
Looks like you have your own native gravel bank to choose from.  Wish that was an option in clay country.  One way or another youre paying the quarry and the truck out here.


In my case for a narrow forest road like that where you cant deviate from the two tire tracks...  i would tailgate spread 4-6" rock with a vee deflector clamped in the center of the duckbill on back of the truck so it only fills the tire tracks and neglects the center.   Will about double your linear footage per load.  

Can cap it in finer rock if you want a prettier finish for cars or feet.  
Great idea. There are some portions of this road that are narrow enough as you describe. But most is wide enough for at least 2 quads to pass, maybe two SBS's. Plus the road is used by full size trucks down to a bicycle, so not everyone is following the same tracks. I get a similar effect where there are defined ruts when I pass over with the dozer. Blade skims the higher portions and fill the ruts. Where I am, 3" gravel is cheaper than tailings (2-6"stone) by $2/yd, so I've been using all gravel. Crushed stone is like 2-3X the price, but would be ideal.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 10, 2021, 01:02:23 PM
Looks like you have your own native gravel bank to choose from.  Wish that was an option in clay country.  One way or another youre paying the quarry and the truck out here.
I live in clay country, but there is a vein of good gravel within a mile of my house. One outfit has a crusher operation. The other has only screened products. I use the screened products when I can because it's much cheaper. But the crushed gravel is much better for a compacted driveway surface. For this road there was a section I used dense grade (6" minus crushed rock with rock dust). Here I was filling a ravine of smooth ledge and concerned anything else would wash out. It sets up like concrete. Everything else is 3" screened gravel.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 14, 2021, 01:46:01 PM
My previous pics were of the access road to my wood lot from the side I live on. It is a half-mile section of "class 4" town road (town right-of-way, but not town maintained) which was barely passable with an ATV. That section is done. Easily traveled with a pick-up now.

Now I'm working on access from the opposite end. The landing is about 400 ft from a maintained section of road. This would be the access for any equipment or log trucks.

This is what the road looked like before I began work. Here I had just starting clearing the landing. The road was narrow and basically a rocky river bed. Over the years, finer material was pushed to the sides causing a bowl-shaped profile that caught water in the spring and anytime it rained.
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_33775B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688358)
  

I cleared alongside the road where my property abuts it.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_34455B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688365)
 

Then I moved material from the cleared path to the road in order to raise its height a bit.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_34605B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688735)
 

This is where I left things last fall. With the leaves gone, cooler weather and rain, it became a muddy mess in the fall and this spring.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_34635B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688917)
 

Fast forward to now. Road dried and packed nicely (clay-type soil). Installed a 15" culvert to direct drain to the right-side. 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/EAPR04645B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623689065)
 

And have begun digging the ditch and raising road some more so that water doesn't run into the road again. Will then line ditch with fabric and stone tailings. Unsure If I'll top road with gravel or leave as is. It may remain dry enough to stay packed and hard without a topping. We'll see.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_42505B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688999)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 14, 2021, 02:02:16 PM
nice work.  ive explored many a class 6 road in a past life.  nice solitude.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: woodroe on June 15, 2021, 06:27:07 AM
I was surprised at how well the crushed gravel compacts. Costs a little more, $16 yd delivered 12 yd loads.
Used the 1 1/2 " stuff to build up the driveway base and topped it with the 
3/4" . It solidifies after packing it.

On my woods road I used the same stuff when I put a culvert in. Had some leftover from the driveway.
Bed of rocks, 3/4" crushed gravel bed for the culvert , encased it with the 3/4 and 
topped it off with the 1 1/2". 

If i had my own digger probably would have done things differently in the woods
but pretty happy with the results .
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: thecfarm on June 15, 2021, 06:56:00 AM
Get the water off and out of the road is the key. Built them high!!
Hog tough is the words my Father used to call your road PognyHill before you fixed it.
Your road looks good.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on June 15, 2021, 07:21:14 AM
I was surprised at how well the crushed gravel compacts. Costs a little more, $16 yd delivered 12 yd loads.
Used the 1 1/2 " stuff to build up the driveway base and topped it with the
3/4" . It solidifies after packing it.

On my woods road I used the same stuff when I put a culvert in. Had some leftover from the driveway.
Bed of rocks, 3/4" crushed gravel bed for the culvert , encased it with the 3/4 and
topped it off with the 1 1/2".

If i had my own digger probably would have done things differently in the woods
but pretty happy with the results .
Crushed gravel (ABC, road-bond - depending on where you are) is the best. Spreads like butter and packs nicely. Only issue is price. The screened gravel I use for woods roads is less than half the cost of crusher run. I use crushed gravel when I want a super-smooth surface or need it to compact really well.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 15, 2021, 08:32:04 AM
Nomenclature is so regional.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Iwawoodwork on June 17, 2021, 01:12:05 PM
I have recycled old/used carpet to put down on soft areas that I covered with gravel, worked as well as road fabric, it takes planning ahead to get enough carpet ahead but the local carpet stores allow me to remove it from their dump boxes plus I have friends who know that I will take old carpet regardless of how bad it is. Sure takes a lot less base rock to put it down in the soft spots and then spread the rock. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 17, 2021, 02:50:16 PM
used to use carpet to preserve the integrity of fresh bmx jumps. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on June 17, 2021, 03:56:39 PM
I was surprised at how well the crushed gravel compacts. Costs a little more, $16 yd delivered 12 yd loads.
Used the 1 1/2 " stuff to build up the driveway base and topped it with the
3/4" . It solidifies after packing it.

On my woods road I used the same stuff when I put a culvert in. Had some leftover from the driveway.
Bed of rocks, 3/4" crushed gravel bed for the culvert , encased it with the 3/4 and
topped it off with the 1 1/2".

If i had my own digger probably would have done things differently in the woods
but pretty happy with the results .
Crushed gravel (ABC, road-bond - depending on where you are) is the best. Spreads like butter and packs nicely. Only issue is price. The screened gravel I use for woods roads is less than half the cost of crusher run. I use crushed gravel when I want a super-smooth surface or need it to compact really well.
If you flood the ABC stone with water and roll it with a vibratory smooth drum roller it will work up a slurry on top sort of like you get when you finish concrete. The fines and rock dust will fill in any voids and will cure out hard as a rock. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 17, 2021, 11:09:33 PM
I often mix clay and water to pancake batter mix and pour it into potholes or little backfills.  Screed it up like concrete so the cream comes up and gets dried out faster by sun and wind.   Dries very hard in a few sunny days as long as ya dont go too thick.  

Ive also "mortared" a field stone barbecue together with mudcrete the same way. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: HemlockKing on June 18, 2021, 05:27:06 AM
I often mix clay and water to pancake batter mix and pour it into potholes or little backfills.  Screed it up like concrete so the cream comes up and gets dried out faster by sun and wind.   Dries very hard in a few sunny days as long as ya dont go too thick.  

Ive also "mortared" a field stone barbecue together with mudcrete the same way.
My only problems with using clay is after a few days of dry weather itís a dust storm every time you drive down the road lol
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on June 18, 2021, 05:33:06 AM
Mike, you are one of the most CRAFTY people that Iíve ever had the pleasure of reading and interacting with! 

I promise you one thing, what I said in my previous sentence is an EXTREMELY good complement!  8) smiley_clapping smiley_blue_bounce
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: HemlockKing on June 18, 2021, 05:49:52 AM
Mike, you are one of the most CRAFTY people that Iíve ever had the pleasure of reading and interacting with!

I promise you one thing, what I said in my previous sentence is an EXTREMELY good complement!  8) smiley_clapping smiley_blue_bounce
When you REALLY donít wanna spend a dollar that inspires creativity lol 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on June 18, 2021, 06:05:16 AM
Yes!

Necessity is the mother of invention.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 18, 2021, 08:52:21 AM
thanks todd.  i endeavored to be wealthy when i was young but the Lord had better plans.



(quote keeps messing up, to HK)

yeah we do get that (dust bowl) in a drought, especially with the mower.   generally i try to have stone for cap.  you cant fix a pothole with more stone.  you need to displace the water first and clay is a supreme material for shedding water.  but you cant be letting it sit flat on clay or itll slake and consume your rock.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on June 18, 2021, 09:03:55 AM
here is a clay slurry example.  for me its just a basic retaining wall so i can pitch the water against its drainage and not have it eroding across my lawn. but if one wanted to say remove the blocks after it dries and then pour a swimming pool or coi pond form, something like that.  the clay will hold its shape perfectly once set up.  you could use any form shape you want just like concrete.  can trowel and smooth and shape it after then spray-crete it or put a liner or whatever you can dream up.  the water removes all the air space so it becomes much less penetrable by future water and incredibly compact.  loose clay fill will flow apart in the first downpour but not slurry mix once dry.  it will shrink and crack a lot when drying.  you can only do a few inches thick per lift.  below 6" it may never dry. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0613211556_Film1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1623731804)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on July 01, 2021, 10:04:01 PM
Working on an asphalt repair project at a Wal-Mart distribution center. The parking lot has only been there for about 12 years and is designed for a 20 year cycle. The reason it failed so early is the original grading contractor didn't cut the subgrade deep enough. There was supposed to be 8" of abc stone under the asphalt and he only had 4"  in places. That caused the asphalt to fail and water to seep in and cause more problems. I am removing the asphalt in 50,000 square foot sections, removing the stone, grading the dirt to proper depth, and replacing on top of geogrid. 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/59254/20210701_111904.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625191255)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/59254/20210701_145211.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625191254)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/59254/20210701_145319_3.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625191252)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/59254/20210701_145558.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625191248)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on July 02, 2021, 09:23:07 AM
Does ABC come in different sizes? Or does it refer to a single size, such as 3/4" and under? What is the size of the material you are using for the asphalt base?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on July 02, 2021, 11:06:15 AM
Abc stone is basically crusher run that will pass through a 1.5 " screen. To meet NC DOT specs it must weigh at least 130lbs  per cubic foot and have 25-35% fine material. 
Our asphalt base is 1.5" , intermediate is 1" and surface is 1/2". On this particular job we are adding fiberglass to the asphalt mix for added strength. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on July 02, 2021, 11:22:26 AM
Thats a heck of a job.  Theres nothing harder on tar than a distribution center.  Nothing but jackknifing tractors at 60k + 24/7/365.  Tire scrub is real hard on ground.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on July 02, 2021, 11:41:21 AM
We've got 3 more of these jobs at different distribution centers across the state. They are really good jobs because the upper management at Walmart is smart enough to fix it right. I've done other repair jobs in high traffic areas where the owners just want to patch the bad areas. We always end up back within a year or so to do it again because patching doesn't work. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on July 03, 2021, 12:44:23 PM
Are you running any kind of TopCon laser on the grader blade? (Don't see any receiver).
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on July 03, 2021, 12:59:54 PM
Are you running any kind of TopCon laser on the grader blade? (Don't see any receiver).
No sir. String line and eyeballs. I'm one of the few left that doesn't depend on GPS or a laser. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on July 03, 2021, 01:49:55 PM
Nice! smiley_thumbsup I've worked with different operators on different jobs who have been able to do that, and I'm always impressed. The guy that built my septic system got the grade smoothed within 1/4" just with the big excavator bucket. :o
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on July 03, 2021, 03:32:25 PM
I let the water tell me when im right.  It never cares what a gadget says.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on July 03, 2021, 04:04:39 PM
It all has it's place. On the one hand I wouldn't want to be clueless when the technology goes down, but the fact is it increases productivity. Take setting grades- do you want to use an old optical instrument and use 2 people, or push the button on the laser and do it with one? There's no way a person can match the speed and precision of machine laser grade controls. Sometimes it is faster to do the job manually without setting the laser equipment up. I got out of construction before GPS controls were really prevalent in my area, so I haven't worked around those but I'd expect much the same.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on July 03, 2021, 06:16:42 PM
It all has it's place. On the one hand I wouldn't want to be clueless when the technology goes down, but the fact is it increases productivity. Take setting grades- do you want to use an old optical instrument and use 2 people, or push the button on the laser and do it with one? There's no way a person can match the speed and precision of machine laser grade controls. Sometimes it is faster to do the job manually without setting the laser equipment up. I got out of construction before GPS controls were really prevalent in my area, so I haven't worked around those but I'd expect much the same.
GPS absolutely has its place. We have several machines that have it. I always get the jobs that don't have a model to download or grades have been changed rendering the GPS model useless. The average job that we do costs $20,000 or more to have the plans put on a file thats compatible with the machines. If we can save that much money by using the GPS then thats what we do. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on July 03, 2021, 06:30:33 PM
Oh its snazzy.. But im just a bum in the woods building one little homestead as i can afford it.    Save money any way i can. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on July 03, 2021, 06:47:04 PM
One of the big excavator channels on Youtube talked to his friend in the grading business, and had a good selling point for using laser GPS on his equipment. He had to build a pad for a huge distribution warehouse to be built on, and by building the slab base perfectly laser flat, he negotiated a bonus in his contract for how much less concrete would be needed then if the sub base was uneven. And on a big job like that, that can add up, and pay for the GPS.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on July 27, 2021, 10:34:27 AM
My previous pics were of the access road to my wood lot from the side I live on. It is a half-mile section of "class 4" town road (town right-of-way, but not town maintained) which was barely passable with an ATV. That section is done. Easily traveled with a pick-up now.

Now I'm working on access from the opposite end. The landing is about 400 ft from a maintained section of road. This would be the access for any equipment or log trucks.

This is what the road looked like before I began work. Here I had just starting clearing the landing. The road was narrow and basically a rocky river bed. Over the years, finer material was pushed to the sides causing a bowl-shaped profile that caught water in the spring and anytime it rained.
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_33775B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688358)
  

I cleared alongside the road where my property abuts it.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_34455B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688365)
 

Then I moved material from the cleared path to the road in order to raise its height a bit.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_34605B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688735)
 

This is where I left things last fall. With the leaves gone, cooler weather and rain, it became a muddy mess in the fall and this spring.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_34635B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688917)
 

Fast forward to now. Road dried and packed nicely (clay-type soil). Installed a 15" culvert to direct drain to the right-side.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/EAPR04645B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623689065)
 

And have begun digging the ditch and raising road some more so that water doesn't run into the road again. Will then line ditch with fabric and stone tailings. Unsure If I'll top road with gravel or leave as is. It may remain dry enough to stay packed and hard without a topping. We'll see.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_42505B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1623688999)

Finished road in front of my landing. Raised the road 8-18"  from original topped with 3" screen gravel. Seeded landing to minimize erosion and help absorb water from the heavy clay.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/HJHN82335B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1627396187)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/YHWT13435B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1627396250)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_43815B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1627396324)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: VB-Milling on July 27, 2021, 10:51:46 AM
@PoginyHill (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=48760) DanG that looks good.  I love seeing transformations like that. Nice work.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Andries on July 27, 2021, 11:31:05 AM
That looks like excellent road work, PH.
Well done!
As VB said, the before and after transformation photos are super interesting. Did the drainage work out well?
Also, how many yards of screened material do you estimate to have used to get that distance elevated to the height?
Motor grader, box blade or land leveller on a 3pt. hitch? What was the machine(s) of choice to get that looking so good? 
I'm pesky with all these questions, hey? 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on July 27, 2021, 12:16:56 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Labor of love - although picking rocks can get old after a while. @Andries (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=9307) to your questions:

Total of 100 yds (7 loads) for about 400 ft of road 12ft wide. Much of the height I gained using fill from the roadside, making the ditch, and leveling the landing. Had planned for about 6" of gravel to top it. I let the fill settle for several weeks (including some rain). It set up well even with rain and some traffic, so I decided no need for road fabric.

Drainage appears to work well. We've had only 1 downpour since I cut the ditch, but that was before lining it with fabric and stone. Had to shovel out some silt from the culvert and discharge area.

Most of the gravel was tailgate spread. A couple areas could not be tailgate spread, so had a few piles to spread out. I used my Case 310 - pictured earlier in the thread. Back-dragging with a floated blade makes me look like a professional! The blade is quite heavy for its size, so it levels material pretty well.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on July 27, 2021, 02:28:15 PM
Excellent.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Andries on July 27, 2021, 11:58:22 PM
Beautiful work - and done with the most basic of tools.
Good onya! 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on August 30, 2021, 10:59:51 AM
Different area than my previous road work. This one is an intersection of 5 woods roads (skid trails). Intersection was poorly placed as it has shallow groundwater and shallow bedrock. It does not freeze enough in the winter for easy passage with a tractor. A lot of road fabric and about 60yds of 3" gravel later and it's done. All pics are the same area from different angles and various stages of work.

First two pictures, I relocated one road to the left so as to not scrape up two decent yellow birch and for a better approach to the other roads (original road went between the two). Took down a few red maples for the relocated section.



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/EBQH75445B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1630068337)
 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/LFON52995B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1630068241)
 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_44215B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1630068424)
 


The rock is 8" and under crushed rock. I used in for smaller wet areas along roads with shallow groundwater where tractor wheels tend to make a rut.
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_44905B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1630334255)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_44915B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1630334298)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: thecfarm on August 30, 2021, 08:38:26 PM
Nice dump trailer you have.
How do you load that?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on August 31, 2021, 07:30:26 AM
Nice dump trailer you have.
How do you load that?
I load it with my excavator. Takes about 10 buckets - 5 yds or so. I load it less if going in a particularly muddy area.
Trailer works well. But I wish it had larger flotation tires. These are 11L-15.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Roundhouse on September 04, 2021, 10:57:36 AM
Last weekend I took a couple extra days and got back to my project in the UP. I've posted about this before on other threads before I found this dirtwork thread. At this point it's still heavy on the dirtwork so it makes sense here. In the future I should recap the whole twisted tale on its own.

Basically, I have a lot I bought a half mile down the road from my sawmill lot with an unfinished cabin on it. I'll be moving the cabin and finishing it but it's in the middle of 10 acres with no discernable trail to it (still haven't figured out how they got there to build it with the materials 10 years ago). 90%+ of the ground out here is heavy clay, I'm lucky that the glaciers left me a sand and rock hilltop right next to my sawmill and I'm using that to improve the road on the cabin lot. 

Here is my old reliable Allis Chalmers backwards loader at "the pit". I turn left to take a scoop and turn right to load my dump truck off an earthen berm, about 5 scoops per "load". I had to make my first repair to the tractor this trip. When making my first load a cotter key had gone missing and an arm pin came out of place. With an assist from my forklift I got everything lined back up into place before long.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/loadersandpit_lot224_082921.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630629008)


My dump truck is rather old and tired so I've "de-rated" it to move half loads, I really just want to get it through to the end of this project without a major failure. Here is a shot from one of the trouble spots on the new road. This is where a pair of hemlock trees blew over, roots and all, quite a few years ago. They left a crater that collected water, leaves, etcetera, and created an impoundment with the rootball "wall". I've since ditched the spot to drain and busted up the roots with the forklift yet it remains a soft spot. Here it is with the first 5 loads of sand and rock dumped in position.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/treefallfill1_lot224_082921.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630704413)


Spots like this where I'm not spreading but filling I kept the skid steer handy to spread the fill and shape the road. This spot would ultimately take 9 loads to be decent for driving back and forth on.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/treefallfill2_lot224_082921.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630704512)


One of the big goals of the trip was to get enough fill on the road to reach my larger culvert with the truck. This was the first time getting the dump in here. Up to this point it had been "make do" trips with the tractor and wagon or even smaller means. I want plenty of fill here and the truck is my best way to pour it on. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/DumpTruckCulvert_lot224_083021.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630631753)


Things were going very well until we had a whole night of heavy rain. Needed rain, but not ideal for road building. So I switched gears for a while and worked on the road beyond the cabin (but on the route I plan to move the cabin). I used the skid steer to work on one of the (surprising few) pesky trees that blocked the roadway. Normally this about 12" tree is way out of my machine's league for uprooting and removal but it was located on the side of a shallow hill so I set about digging around and under it. Periodic pokes at the trunk showed a little movement so I kept going. Working on the slope definitely helped and eventually the tree went over. Of course the top got hung up in another and this is where it stopped. I would chain the trunk up high and to the machine, then cut most of the way through, finally pull it all down with the skid steer. I was very happy to get this one out of the way.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/looptree_lot224_082921.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630634266)


Overall the lot is pretty well drained but there are spots like this one along a ridge where it is flat enough for water to settle on the road and not go anywhere. The valley is not far away so I dug this small pool to get the water off the road and am working on a ditch to drain it off into the valley. It's better already and should be long-term solid once the ditch is complete. My fill material from the other lot can be seen in the foreground.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/Hilltoppool_lot224_083121.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630703471)


With the road getting dry-enough I was back to hauling sand and rock. When slowing traveling some uneven spots there was a loud sickening bang from the dump truck, followed the crunching and crackling of metal. I feared the frame had given out and my dirt dumping days might be over. Things had definitely shifted when the sagging drivers door opened smoothly and in line with the door frame. Once I inspected what happened the frame was fine (well not fine but at least the same as it had been before), and it was the back of the cab that had come apart specifically the spot welds where the floor meets up with the back wall on the drivers side. Everything still operated normally it just had a horrible grind whenever the truck flexed. The cab mounts and floor were still solid so I implemented a quick backwoods fix to stabilize everything. With a square block of wood inside the cab I lag screwed a couple pieces to the outside, that eliminated all the flexing and grinding and I was back in business.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/Truckcabfix_lot90_083021.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630678872)


By the time the sun was going down Monday night the new road was passable as far as the cabin and I was turning around there on my last dump truck runs. All told I brought in 31 loads of sand and rock while I was there plus a few loads using the tractor and wagon. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/sundown_lot224_083021.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630683460)


It was a nice accomplishment to be able to drive to the cabin for the first time, 10 months ago walking was the only option.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/truckcabin_lot224_083021_.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630704759)


The rain had made puddles that I subsequently filled and although passable they were still leaving ruts due to the water remaining underneath. For the road to set up nicely and dry out I would need to take care of the ruts. Tuesday before I left I ran the new road a few times with my four wheeler and drag. This did a nice job of evening everything out. By mixing everything up and morning moisture the surface looks a lot darker than the topping as I hauled it in. Toward the start of the road here the curve had a soft spot, now leveled if it will set up by next trip I can then finish it by spreading one more layer on top. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/roadgrade_lot224_083121.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630680611)


The culvert location. Still a little more depth and width to add but driving over it in a truck feels like a real victory.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/trail2_lot224_083121.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630704371)


Looking the other direction, down the "straight-away". What a great feeling to have your old equipment hold it together (for the most part) and see the progress resulting from a few days of solid work.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/trail1_lot224_083121.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630704199)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: newoodguy78 on September 04, 2021, 12:00:22 PM
Great job on the road 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: thecfarm on September 04, 2021, 07:26:20 PM
That road fabric is pricey stuff but works. My father and me did a truck road without it. We did not know about that stuff and no one mentioned it either. That gravel is just about gone. It has mixed in with the soil that was there and has sunk just about out of sight. The contractor did my driveway with it, 500 feet. I had a logging truck on it 3 times and you really could not tell.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Roundhouse on September 04, 2021, 10:22:15 PM
Happy Birthday cfarm!
I've been impressed with the results I've seen on here from use of road fabric. I haven't used it yet and didn't have any for this project. I did however have some extra rolls of garden/landscape fabric laying around here so I brought those along. I tried them in the wetter areas as a "poor man's road fabric" narrower than road fabric so it went down in two strips. I'll be curious to see if it makes a difference in the better than nothing sense or just disappears into the depths. The traffic shouldn't be super heavy in volume or weight, I don't expect it'll see more than my F350 dually.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: thecfarm on September 05, 2021, 09:16:09 AM
Thank you for the birthday wishes!!
I use to work at a place that made interior trunk parts, we made some roll goods. It was all made out of plastic, but was like carpet in a house. I got a lot of rejects stuff that was no good for parts. No wider than 8 feet, but was free. That went down a lot for a road on my land. Even under a few raised beds too. Keeps the grass from growing up through.
A layer of rock really helps out on the mud part.  ;D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Iwawoodwork on September 05, 2021, 12:26:38 PM
I used old house carpet for road fabric in the work/turn around area behind the house over 25 years ago and it has worked great, the soil was red clay/ hard when dry but real soft and slick when wet, of course it was wet when time to gravel.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on September 10, 2021, 12:57:18 PM
Here we are repairing another failed walmart parking lot in Henderson NC. 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/59254/20210910_125316.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631292886)
On this one we removed the broken up asphalt and are mixing Portland cement into the top 16" of stone and dirt at a rate of 60lbs per square yard. Basically turning it into a 500psi concrete slab. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Don P on September 12, 2021, 07:42:58 PM
Cool, that's a recipe to keep in mind.

I need some fill to build an entrance into the bottom and fill some low areas down there. For at least the bulk of it being rocky fill is a benefit so I went over to the far end of our property where there is a rock rookery. This is a place where rocks come from. It's the foot of a cliff that's about 80' tall but If I were able to dig level from here to the base it would be twice that tall. This is everything that has tumbled down. I guess for that matter I've never found the bottom of the pile either. I'm not gonna run out of rocks  :D.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10017/cliff1~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631489881)
 
I'm going to leave that one till i have a need for a 15' rock.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10017/cliff2~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631489945)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on September 12, 2021, 11:45:26 PM
Stacked on pallets turned to baskets via wire fence, those weathered surface boulders are sellable, especially in NC triangle, charlotte or the richie lakes of southern pisgah end.  

They need to be sorted by size class.. Typically called 1man, 2man etc.  As in how many old men to pick it up.  A bit larger than a bowling ball is a 1man. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: doc henderson on September 13, 2021, 05:44:23 AM
check with old road construction companies.  some states call for it (Ok) and others do not.  they built some real cheap roads in the Obama years.  I got 4 rolls 14 feet wide and 300 feet long for about 50 bucks a roll.  I have used some, and sold it by the foot.  I still have 2 rolls left.  we used it as landscape fabric.  can barely cut it with scissors to add a plant, so my wife hates it. :)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on September 13, 2021, 11:01:05 AM
Was $500 a roll a few years ago, probably 800+ now
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Patrick NC on September 13, 2021, 11:22:49 AM
Was $500 a roll a few years ago, probably 800+ now
There's 2 different types sold by weight per square yard. The cheap stuff is $650 per roll and the expensive stuff is over $1000
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: doc henderson on September 13, 2021, 12:58:16 PM
this was a DuPont product and new it was thousands a roll (my brother sometimes over estimates)  but the left over stuff, the co would sell to employees for not much.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Al_Smith on September 13, 2021, 01:30:07 PM
Every piece of iron I own is old .I used a 1943 Cat D4 to shove out between 5 and 6,000 cubic feet to build a slightly over 1/2 acre pond .My neatest trick was putting the final touches on a village park on a section  of abandoned rail road right of way .I used a 30 foot section of rail  chained behind that old dozer and shot around the whole thing in fourth gear just a gettin it . ;D came out smooth as silk ----
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Roundhouse on October 28, 2021, 09:32:52 AM
Last weekend I wrapped up a number of items at the cabin in advance of winter. One of those was moving the skid steer that has lived on my new lot all summer back to its mini barn. Before putting it on the trailer I took a couple hours to do a little digging along the new road in places where I need settling ponds to get water off the road. I also did some more work on the drainage I'm making to move water away from the road and over the hill. 

This is the spot I'm talking about that is particularly flat but has a good slope nearby. Earlier this year I made a small pool for water and the start of ditching towards the hill along with starting to build up the road.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/Hilltoppool_lot224_083121.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630703471)


It was a start in drying out this area of the road but the ditch portion had a slight crest in it. The ground was dry enough to work on it with the skid steer so I widened and deepened the ditching. Still not perfect but the water that was there moved a little further from the road. The next step will be a little more ditching on the low side of this new dugway. I had other tasks to tackle but next year I'll go back in and either shovel out a watercourse or do the same with a fork on the skid steer if the ground is dry enough.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/NewDitch_lot224_102221.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1635389596)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on October 28, 2021, 10:57:31 AM
another feature that will help tremendously is widening the tree line to get more sun and wind directly on your road surface.  you would not believe how fast dirtpiles (and laundry) can dry out on a frigid, gray windy day as long as it doesnt rain.

another helper to keep that road together and soak up moisture in a rain event is seeding it.  the light will help establish the root web.  the birds and such will love it too.  in my yard, the hardiest stuff growing out of the demo and rubble piles is barnyard grass aka cockspur grass (echinloa crus galli, widely suited across the nation) and yellow sweet clover which is a tough bushy thing ft high in no time.  i didnt plant any of it, but they grow in terrible, terrible dirt.  literally gravel piles with continual washes of sand. tough prolific seeders and good wildlife forage. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on October 28, 2021, 11:34:03 AM
Makes a huge difference in wintertime also to cut trees back along the south edge of a driveway, letting in sunlight to melt the snow and ice.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Roundhouse on October 28, 2021, 01:44:24 PM
another feature that will help tremendously is widening the tree line to get more sun and wind directly on your road surface.  you would not believe how fast dirtpiles (and laundry) can dry out on a frigid, gray windy day as long as it doesnt rain.
You guys are both speaking my language and indeed there is a lot of widening to be done in the future. This year my work sessions were triage. The road was needed for access to the rest of the work and my standard for it was "passable". I'm looking forward to the "improvement" stage starting next year. The grass coverage is in the future as well. I immediately thought of my established road where my camper sits. It's 12+ years farther along in development. When I arrived this trip there were two of my resident whitetails munching away on the grass. They love it, in fact there were days I would return after dark and there they were having a nitecap, eating away just out of the headlights.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/CampDeer_lot90_102221.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1635441750)

With winter drawing close they are eating all the time, enjoying the salad bar.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/Doe_lot90_102221.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1635441866)

Farther up my older road a couple days later they were partaking of the shoots and saplings that grow along the clearings. 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/42799/Doe_lot90_102421.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1635441933)

It's remarkable how tame they are, practically pets almost walking right up to me.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on October 28, 2021, 06:49:17 PM
heck yeah!
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Al_Smith on October 30, 2021, 10:53:38 AM
Deer more or less are like goats ,browsers .They take little nibble of every thing from new tender growths from pine trees to soybeans .
  I've got a 13 point "timber buck " from the high country   of Colorado ,muley .White tail from Ohio ,Pa. and West Va .and might add the Ohio were larger .Corn fed you know .. I use a camera any more BTW . ;)
Funny about deer .On a piece of farm machinery they aren't timid .However if you get off that tractor that tail goes up and off they go .They make sport out of a dog and will run them to death if the dog is stupid enough to give chase .
  
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on October 30, 2021, 12:33:37 PM
Some thing with logging equipment, Al. They're not afraid of it, and I think at times they're actually attracted to it. They will hang around us all day in the winter, because wolves won't come around the equipment.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on October 30, 2021, 01:02:18 PM
I put out pig guts and still cant get a coyote to come into my scent patch.  They all howled in a roundup and were yipping right at the back pasture an hour after i dumped them.  Next day still all there exactly as i left them.  Hence why the does fawn in my thickets.  Probably how guardian dogs work, running all over peeing on fence posts.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: aigheadish on November 01, 2021, 09:37:55 AM
I've noticed the same thing with deer in southwest Ohio, Al. They don't seem to care when I'm on the backhoe but will run away immediately if I hop out. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Hilltop366 on November 01, 2021, 10:28:01 AM
I took this picture of this small deer from a backhoe, I was digging on one side of the driveway and it was eating on the other side close enough that I could have touched it with the bucket.
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18975/20201120_115426.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1634248683)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 01, 2021, 08:22:03 PM
That thing half donkey or what?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: farmfromkansas on November 01, 2021, 09:03:55 PM
I have found coyotes act about the same as deer when on a combine or tractor.  As long as I am going back and forth across a field, a coyote will stay at one end of the field and let me push the game to it.  Usually mice and such.  Deer just ignore you unless you stop and get out. Seems like the population of deer is increasing, see dead deer along any road where they got in the way of a vehicle. You would think the insurance industry would be lobbying for some policy of lowering the deer population. Should be legal to harvest deer with just a hunting license, rather than all the hoops folks have to go through.  My opinion of deer meat is it is dog food, but some folks enjoy it.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 01, 2021, 10:13:46 PM
In terms of omega3 fatty acid its a pretty exceptional quality dogfood.  The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in deer is perfect.  Probably because theyre the only red meat americans ever eat without its face stuck in a grain bucket.  Animals werent designed for that. 

Top of the list in human deficiency.. Omega 3.  Some serious disease comes as a consequence of this chart. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1635819092921.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1635818960)




Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on November 01, 2021, 10:17:31 PM
When the Red Tailed Hawks hear my tractor clipping the front field, they perch in the tops of trees on the edges of the field, and wait for the rats to start running across the clipped area to get away from the mower.  Smorgasbord. 

Sorry, not about dirt work, but the wildlife comments made me remember that.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on November 02, 2021, 01:23:06 AM
I have hawks and owls follow me around in the forwarder sometimes, watching for a squirrel or mouse to get flushed out.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Al_Smith on November 02, 2021, 06:28:26 AM
A few years back I ran in the maple festival in Chardon Ohio .It's about 4 hour drive for me .On that trip I counted 26 deer that got hit on the road .They claim there are more deer now of days than in pioneer days .I can't catch sight of them much because of the under growth now  but come winter about every morning I'll likely see them .
Deer are creatures of habit .For example all summer they would take cover in the corn fields which now most have been harvested .They still run in the fields thinking they are invisible or something . :D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 02, 2021, 09:45:03 AM
Nah, Loverboy just loses his one track mind right about now.  You remember those days al!

Saw a beautiful buck trailing a doe right out in an open pasture yesterday while bringing the kids to school yesterday, and this is an extremely high pressure region overall hunting wise so most of the year is purely nocturnal unless you bump one or are in some seriously seriously deep sanctuary.  

Went and checked a hollar bottom and set 2 cameras out on 3 fresh clustered scrapes.  Things are heating up.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Al_Smith on November 02, 2021, 10:30:41 AM
The bucks lose their  minds about now .Here they come, heads up curling their upper lips ,sniffing the wind and not paying much attention to anything else .In about 200 days more or less next years fawns will arrive which often in these part are twins because of the abundant  food supply .Ohio corn fed some of the largest white tail .I'll say this you don't need a microscope to put antlers on them like W Virginia or Pa /NY border country .
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on November 06, 2021, 07:38:45 PM
Replaced the grass ditch in front of my house with one easier to maintain (well, no maintenance) and reset my 18" culvert as it was leaking underneath during spring run-off. Used 45 yds of rocks.
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/CBDY30135B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636241080)
 



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_46355B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636241229)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_46795B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636241327)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_50305B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636241154)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Walnut Beast on November 06, 2021, 10:02:06 PM
That looks Awesome. I really like it
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Al_Smith on November 07, 2021, 04:09:53 AM
Old story .About 27 years ago I moved into this place that had a 2 acre field of weeds . New Years day with 2 inches of snow on the ground I mowed them down with a flail mower and about a million mice ran to and fro .For the next two weeks the cats prowled and the red tail hawks watched from the tree tops ,free lunch . . 
 .
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: aigheadish on November 08, 2021, 09:07:23 AM
That's a clean ditch Poginy! Are there teeth on your bucket?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on November 08, 2021, 12:25:35 PM
That's a clean ditch Poginy! Are there teeth on your bucket?
Thanks - looks better than what I had been looking at for 25 years! I have a regular toothed bucket. I made a smooth-edge attachment that is welded to old teeth and mount on the bucket tooth holders. (I've heard it called a poor man's trenching bucket) I'll try to remember to take a pic tonight.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on November 08, 2021, 07:46:06 PM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_50675B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636418648)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_50665B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636418625)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: aigheadish on November 09, 2021, 06:46:04 AM
Thanks for the picture! That looks like something I may want to look into doing for my backhoe, I'd never thought to just replace the teeth with a bolt on edge, though I've see stuff similarly done.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: PoginyHill on November 09, 2021, 07:10:56 AM
Thanks for the picture! That looks like something I may want to look into doing for my backhoe, I'd never thought to just replace the teeth with a bolt on edge, though I've see stuff similarly done.
I use the same pins/bushing to secure this as the regular teeth use. But for this, I only pin the outboard teeth. No need to secure the inner ones. There is enough support with the teeth against the tooth holders that are attached to the bucket. I forgot I had a couple of pictures of it mounted. I welded it together on the bucket, so this was newly completed - not used yet.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_32765B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636459711)
 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58760/IMG_32755B15D.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1636459595)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 09, 2021, 08:29:17 AM
Beauty  8)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on November 09, 2021, 10:29:47 AM
I like how you've got it set up to be removable, I've seen plenty of ex-utility company buckets where they welded flat bar across the teeth. Fine if you want to peel back sod or make a flat grade, but not so good if you have to break through hard material.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: aigheadish on November 10, 2021, 10:38:05 AM
For real, I agree with Mike and Resonator, this is really good work! And it looks like it does the job very well! Thanks for the extra pictures too!
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on November 10, 2021, 07:19:18 PM
When I was doing a basement waterproofing dig around a 1798 house, no one around here had a Grade-all, so I had the excavator owner weld some worn down bucket edge parts onto the teeth.

He did a clean job with that setup, and was having a great time running it.  About the time he had finished the drainaway, downhill ditches, the welds stopped holding, and the blades fell off.

It served its purpose perfectly.

The removable edge is a Great design though.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/bucketedge.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1636589947)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: aigheadish on November 12, 2021, 06:22:23 AM
One day I hope to have the skills to throw something like this together.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on November 12, 2021, 07:09:21 AM
I hope to have a WELDER!
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mudfarmer on November 12, 2021, 10:27:11 AM
Todd if you were closer I'd give you my little lincoln and buy a replacement. We have been together for 20 years next year and it has done more than anyone could ever ask of the poor thing. It should go to a good home where it would be treated better :D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on November 12, 2021, 10:32:37 AM
But I donít think that currently I have the ďskillĒ to use one properly. Only to make bugger welds. But I do appreciate that offer. Iíve used a wire welder & stick. The wire I used did an ďokĒ job and with me and the stick it made a decent cutting torch, for BURN BARRELS :D

Plus, I donít (currently) have a place to keep them from the elements >:(
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: HemlockKing on November 13, 2021, 01:08:55 PM
But I donít think that currently I have the ďskillĒ to use one properly. Only to make bugger welds. But I do appreciate that offer. Iíve used a wire welder & stick. The wire I used did an ďokĒ job and with me and the stick it made a decent cutting torch, for BURN BARRELS :D

Plus, I donít (currently) have a place to keep them from the elements >:(
The wire is pretty easy, make sure itís flux core because I assume you arenít running gas, you can weld
Anything almost with just a little welder, just gotta stack the welds and takes much longer. Make sure the areas you are welding are clean with just pure metal and no mill
Scale, wire wheel
Or flap disc on a grinder works good to clean up the metals
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mudfarmer on November 13, 2021, 01:53:38 PM
110v lincoln wire feed, ran it with gas for most of its life fixing, modifying and restoring cars and trucks and other fab work. Like Hemlock says, if you gotta, it will do it.

Now I'm a farmer and required to use flux core, booger weld and splatter everything in a hurry to get going :D

If you want a clean weld you gotta have clean material is one of the earliest hard lessons I learned. THis is REALLY DIFFICULT in the land of rust and no $ for good steel, just a scrap pile. Flap discs are your friend.

Todd a little lunchbox mig like this would make a mighty fine foot stool in the living room
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on November 13, 2021, 04:02:33 PM

Todd a little lunchbox mig like this would make a mighty fine foot stool in the living room


Iíd still have to ok it with the CFO even if the price is right ::). I DO know what I can get away with after all. Iíll have to PM you once she gets home from work on this ďlovelyĒ :D day when she normally doesnít have to work. Sheís in SUCH a great mood on these kinds of days ;)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 13, 2021, 04:12:28 PM
With a hot enough (big 220v) machine you can actually weld horribly rusty stuff without grinding.  It just needs a few scratches to get the first popcorn fart arcs going.  The rust will melt and form as slag on the puddle.  Youve gotta have the heat to really make a liquid puddle though.. Then you just advance that puddle.  A few passes with slag brushing in between can do it.  Learned this fixing stuff at the scrapyard where do it right was prohibited.


An oxyfuel preheat can burn the scale off too for corners you cant get with a grinder but there is a fire hazard. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: HemlockKing on November 13, 2021, 04:28:49 PM
I find much easier to weld dirty/rusty equipment with stick welder and I really do burn the Junk right out of er just be sure to not turn it into a a shade tree arc gouge lol 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: thecfarm on November 13, 2021, 05:18:28 PM
There's a thread on welders here. Well at least one.  :D
Get a 220v, I had a 110v,  ::). The duty time on that small one is not fun, if you are welding ľ" steel. Weld for 10 minutes, and wait 15 minutes for it to come back on.  ::)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: moodnacreek on November 13, 2021, 07:53:40 PM
If you fabricate with ' what you can find' steel, hacksaw, file or peen first. Years ago I spent days making a fork conversion for my 310 Case loader for loading logs. Every weld broke. All that 3/4" plate I torch cut was hard steel.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 13, 2021, 09:06:04 PM
A pneumatic needle scaler is a very good weld prep tool btw.. Especially for those rusty inside corners a grinder cant reach.  They peen pretty good between passes too actually. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on November 13, 2021, 10:08:27 PM
  As long as there is enough meat to the metal under the rust, there isn't much a Lincoln buzzbox and 6011 rods can't burn together. And if you have good steel and do your prep right, there aren't many people that can weld better than the machine can. A very useful tool, for how much they cost.

  Poginy, we always used to just weld flat stock to the teeth on an excavator for a flat cutting edge, but your's is a fine piece of fab work! 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on November 14, 2021, 11:29:14 AM
I'm not a welder, but from my experience hacking together projects with wire feed and stick, the main thing is to get the weld HOT enough. Grinder prep is important too, but the weld itself has to melt into the steel and puddle everything together. I've learned the hard way if it doesn't fuse solid, it will just be a scab on the surface and break.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Don P on November 14, 2021, 11:51:18 AM
I always figured if the entire rod was on fire it was about right. The welding instructor frowned on burning the base metal to a crisp  :D. There's a happy point in there somewhere.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on November 14, 2021, 11:59:11 AM
Thatís why I always thought of a welder as a hot glue gun on meth/crack :o It goes WAY in, not just surface. I know ďjust enoughĒ about welding to get me in trouble :(
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Resonator on November 14, 2021, 12:02:08 PM
A boilermaker welder on you tube said if you don't burn the rod right down to the numbers, your wasting company money. ;D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: ljohnsaw on November 14, 2021, 12:27:38 PM
there isn't much a Lincoln buzzbox and 6011 rods can't burn together.
I always found 6013 to work better in rust.  But since I've picked up a couple 50lb cans of 7018, I've learned how to make it go on not-so-prime metal.  Plus it doesn't splatter nearly as much.

Back to our regularly scheduled program (Dirt works):

So, way up, there was the tire hoop road base posts.  Anyone get motivated enough to try that? (Mike Belben?)  Ive got about 150' of driveway that is on big rock (1 man up to 10 man rocks) lightly scattered in moon dust.  Turns to pancake batter if you try to traverse it wet.  Then I have 500' of a good slope that, someday, I'd like to be a decent road/great ATV trail.  I could get all the free tires I'd need off of CL - just have to fab up the side wall cutter.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on November 14, 2021, 03:42:56 PM
I only claimed the 6011 will burn it together. I never said it would look nice😁 I've actually never tried 6013. 6011 and 7018 are the most commonly available and work well for me si that's basically all I've ever used.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: SwampDonkey on November 15, 2021, 03:42:17 AM
My cousin was a welder, he welded everywhere except on the moon. But I don't know anything about welding. ;D Dad welded all his stuff at the farm though. Back in his day, a lot of trades like that was taught in high school. I came across one of his textbooks from high school on welding. Now you have to go to community college, yet he went to grade 10 and learned enough to keep stuff fixed on the farm. Had to run the farm by then as grandfather was quite ill between diabetes and tuberculosis. But dad did grow up in a family of teachers, his oldest sister taught in the one room school here in Royalton, like you'd see on TV shows such as 'Little House on the Prairie'. Out house in the back, hand pump for water at the front entrance. No power lines then either. That's not that many years ago my friends. School is still standing to, was used as a WI hall. ;)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: SwampDonkey on November 15, 2021, 03:49:26 AM
there isn't much a Lincoln buzzbox and 6011 rods can't burn together.
Ive got about 150' of driveway that is on big rock (1 man up to 10 man rocks) lightly scattered in moon dust.  Turns to pancake batter if you try to traverse it wet.  Then I have 500' of a good slope that, someday, I'd like to be a decent road/great ATV trail.  I could get all the free tires I'd need off of CL - just have to fab up the side wall cutter.
5 feet deep field stone or crushed stone, dressed with screened glacial-fluvial gravel. Will hold a freight train in all kinds of weather. ;D I worked on the wet north coast of BC, the roads were built with crushed/blasted rock and held up in the wettest times of the year. Here they tend to push mud around on private ground and all you get is a mud hole, no ditches, mud berms on the sides so the road is the ditch. On crown land the roads are much more solid if you're working for certain mills. Some mills still haven't learned to build dry roads. :D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tacotodd on November 15, 2021, 04:55:32 AM
SD (or anyone else), what is a WI hall?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: SwampDonkey on November 15, 2021, 05:36:16 AM
Women's Institute.

https://www.fwic.ca/history
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 15, 2021, 06:30:16 AM
Dad let me start welding 31 years ago when i was 10.  Ive paid a lot of bills with that since then and have taught many other people since.  In person i can have anyone gluing iron in 15 minutes.  Jesse james the chopper builder said something along the lines of 'hey single mom.. You wanna keep your son out of trouble? Buy him a welder."  And i can attest that to be true.  

 A welder was always in the background of keeping me from going too far down the wrong road with the wrong people, and into an industrial circle of people that help each other.   Industry is a device that pays mortgages and mortgages keep most people from behaving too badly. 

I would probably not be free to tell the world to get out of my face today if i did not learn to weld.  It facilitated everything ive done since i got out of the marines.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on November 15, 2021, 08:39:46 AM
Yep Mike, knowing how to weld, and a CDL you'll always be able to find living wage work.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 15, 2021, 12:25:22 PM
my problem in the last 20 years is too many choices. anywhere ive ever been employed i could do almost every job there.  a lot of times i did 3 or 4 jobs that really werent mine just because i cant sit still or turn my brain off, which is a curse. then im getting paid 1 guys job and doing a bunch of them and earning unofficial responsibilities because "mike usually does that" and i get disgruntled. i get big headed and think why do i put up with this place and all the stupidity here, or the people or politics or whatever.  aha.. i should be my own boss.

  well, james brown wasnt joking when he sang about the costs to be the boss. youve gotta be real good at managing yourself to make any money and for most of my life i have been terrible at that.  just as i started to get me under control and maybe have a chance to make some money, they overprinted the money and now i have no incentive to run around chasing it. just my luck!  i seriously only work for money when i completely run out of it and then a few hundred bucks is enough to last a few weeks and i go back to being retired and doing whatever i want. but all i wanna do is work. work is like a vacation to me.  
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: snowstorm on November 15, 2021, 07:40:26 PM
The almost impossible steel to weld is on a sander. The salt dose something to it. Grind all you want it just blows up. Even 6011 dose not work good it will do it but not look all that great. Last week was replace the rusted through panels on a m g side dump then on to building a new tailgate. For paint I niddle gun first use Cora seal then dura plate 235 then top coat. After that lots of oil.now itís on to a Everest body to do the same less the tailgate thatís almost new. My new truck has a stainless steal body. I like that one a lot less work
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Corley5 on November 24, 2021, 08:42:26 PM
This project has been on the list for too long.  The pressure tank was still in the well pit with the long defunct rod well.  The rod well was drilled in the same hole that was the original dug well.  Over the years it settled and the tank tipped over.  The original plan was to move the pressure tank into the basement of the house but plans have evolved and instead it's going in the garage.  We just have to make the connections to the well and house and fill it all back in.  Tomorrow's project and it has to be done tomorrow because our window weather will close in the afternoon.  Backfilling with the 544H won't take long  ;) ;D  The excavation was made with the 8N backhoe.  It's no 580 Case but it got the job done well.  Only had minor trouble with cave ins.  Looking forward to crossing this item off my list  8)


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/20211124_155027.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1637793360)
 
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Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 24, 2021, 09:01:58 PM
well that looked like a chore
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: trimguy on November 24, 2021, 09:33:57 PM
That looks like red pex, is that to pump hot water to keep the line from freezing ?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: barbender on November 24, 2021, 11:51:16 PM
Mike, my curse is that I have no problem sitting still, but that doesn't pay $$$😊
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Corley5 on November 25, 2021, 07:40:19 AM
The pex is just in case we have a freeze up.  It's buried deep and there's 4" of pink board over it but it is under a plowed and driven on area.  If it does freeze we can pump boiler fluid through and thaw it out.  That's the theory anyway ;) ;D :)
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Corley5 on November 25, 2021, 07:48:01 AM
We plugged the old well the best we could.  The wooden rods were still in it and weren't much more than mush.  We were able to get about four feet of them out, tamped the wood mush into the casing as far as possible and filled it with bentonite pellets.  I would liked to have plugged it top to bottom but there was no way.
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mudfarmer on November 25, 2021, 09:07:22 AM
That's a cool backhoe! Good luck getting it all buttoned back up, that's going to feel good
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 25, 2021, 09:25:29 AM
  If it does freeze we can pump boiler fluid through and thaw it out.  That's the theory anyway ;) ;D :)
I have some experience with this.  If the boiler loop is just water youll have to keep it flowing on the deepest frost events. If the boiler loop freezes itll be useless until a natural thaw.   But with it flowing hot water youll be golden at any temp.  
Ive buried 110v  icemelt cables to solve my freezeups in the problem spots and theyre great for thawing as needed. 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Corley5 on November 25, 2021, 01:38:49 PM
  Done 8) 8)  It'll get a final grade in the spring.  The post is set to mount the electric panel so we can have a couple plugs and a disconnect for the well and maybe a light.  We also installed a hydrant and we beat the weather :)  This OWB has boiler anti-freeze in it.  Straight up water wouldn't do what I want.  The underground loop filled with anti-freeze and a heat exchanger hooked to a boiler loop is what I'd have done if the boiler had straight up water just like for domestic hot water.  IF the well line freezes I want to be able thaw it out.  It's meant to be a remedy not a prevention :)  



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/20211125_122824.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1637864683)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Corley5 on November 25, 2021, 02:00:29 PM
That's a cool backhoe! Good luck getting it all buttoned back up, that's going to feel good
It's a 52 8N with a Sherman Power Digger backhoe and Wagner loader.  It's been on this farm longer than I have ;D
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on November 28, 2021, 05:48:45 PM
Since this is the Dirtwork thread, I finally found a guy who would do a single day's work with a large excavator.  He wanted to work this weekend.

Yesterday, he dug up some large stumps down on our point, and took down a few trees I've been wanting to take down.  That only took three hours.  The rest of the time I had him pile up some of my extraordinary topsoil.

Our place has probably 150 lake lots on two sides.  For forty years, I've been letting those people dump leaves in this spot, and dumped the stuff from the lots I cleared when I was building new houses on the lake.  Also, stall cleanings for 40 years.

It used to be a hillside.  Now, or at least before today, it is flat where I've been pushing it level, to about a 14 foot cliff on the downhill side.

I had him dig a test hole, to see about how deep it was, and he couldn't hit bottom.  I think it probably averages about 8 feet deep, for 3/4 of an acre.  I only need to put a couple of inches on the two acre point.

He started on the cliff edge, and piled it on the uphill side, until he ran out of room to put it.  He didn't dig up 25% of what's there.

It's full of large Earthworms.  I could go in the fishing worm business, if I wanted to.  I intend to spread two, or three inches on our point that I've had a hard time getting grass to grow on the hard, poor ground.

I have a guy coming with a pretty good sized trommel dirt screen.

Not exactly what I wanted to do this weekend, but I was glad to get it done.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3563.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1638139559)
 
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Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 28, 2021, 10:17:47 PM
Gonna start selling it?
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: thecfarm on November 29, 2021, 06:24:36 AM
You might be able to retire early on that income!!
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on November 29, 2021, 08:14:35 AM
I'll see how far it goes here, first.  I have a lot of grass to cut that I'm going to topdress/level with it, and need to get pretty grass growing on that point.  We're planning to rent it for weddings, as soon as I can get it ready.

That's what I built this drag for.

That little brick house had/is going to have bathrooms in it.  It's the brick house you've always heard about how well built it is.  Already a good septic tank there.  

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35437/IMG_3225.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1622821880)
 
Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: mike_belben on November 29, 2021, 11:46:03 AM
Boy that drag really floats. 

Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Walnut Beast on November 29, 2021, 12:47:27 PM
Guys seem to really like these. They make various models for Skid and 3 point 
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Title: Re: The dirtwork thread
Post by: Tom King on November 29, 2021, 04:58:20 PM
I don't want to shape what's there now, and Really don't want to bring any more rocks to the surface.  I have all sorts of grading implements for the tractors.  I have it graded out pretty good, and all the rocks on, and near the surface up.  It has a big crown on it, and after taking all the Pine trees down, we lost most of the good topsoil in the grading after that.  What's left is hard as a rock, and water runs off most of it.

My drag is strictly for topdressing, including over existing growing grass.  I can spread some with the bucket, and level it out with the drag.  It fills in all the low spots, and won't even knock off a Dandelion stem.

I can lighten up with it, and it will leave one, or a few inches.

That drag was made as a test piece, out of 3x3x3/16 angle iron.  It does pretty good, but I may build a bigger one out of 4x4x1/4. It does good if I go over an area multiple times, but I can see where a bit more weight, and taller vertical parts would be better.  I'm afraid if I get too heavy with it, it would move too much, rather than spreading it.

I intend to put in a sprinkler system, pumping water out of the lake.