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How to estimate the weight of boulders

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DeTwang
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 268 Shingletown, Ca. (Near Redding)
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2006-05-19          129590


There are a couple house being built down the road from me, and while digging the foundations, some rather good size boulders were removed from the earth....The builder said I could have some.....So for various reasons, including determining if my stakebed can carry them, the small tractor/loader/hoe can lift/move them, etc...I'd like to know how to guess their weight....

Is there a formula for this somewhere?...I've tried google searches, but come up with nothing useful.....

Also, later on, I'd like to get my hands on some very large boulders..ie 6'x6'x4' or even bigger...where do I buy these, and is shipping them going to make such an idea unrealistic?

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How to estimate the weight of boulders

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-05-19          129592


Boulders are really hard to estimate since different types of rock from the same site can vary vastly. In my part of the country the rocks are very dense (granite, quartz). For example one rock the size of a bushel basket weighed 600 lb, while another type of the same size weighed 200 lb more. The rule of thumb I use is picture the volume of the rock compared to a bag of 60 or 90lb. redi-mix concrete, and you'll be close within 50 lb. or so (about 100 lb. cubic foot). Keep in mind that a cubic yard (3x3x3') of concrete, sand or rock or wet topsoil weighs about 2800-3200 lb. so that big rock you're eyeing could be about 130 cubic feet or over 3 cubic yards or 9,000-10,000 or more lb. (I got such a rock for a friend off a job and he paid $350 for delivery 2 miles away) If you're running short of rocks and are using them to make a ring or border on the ground (not stacking them), try cutting them in half with a 14-16" hand-held diamond bladed saw most of the way and break them in half. The normal practice in my area is to bury them halfway in the ground so they look like they are more natural. Splitting them in half doubles your stock and makes it easier to install them since you don't have to dig a hole for each of them. When I move rocks I use my big bobcat and pallet forks, or my backhoe with a thumb attachment. ....

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How to estimate the weight of boulders

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2006-05-25          129830


I usually just go by if it's bigger than my sis-in-law, then I need serious equipment to move it.

Sorry, that's the best joke I could come up with. But then, she did break my couch. ....

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How to estimate the weight of boulders

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2006-05-25          129831


Iowafun,

ROFLOL

Just how much better off would Michigan be with you? ....

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How to estimate the weight of boulders

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7152 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-05-25          129834


We use a simple rule of thumb, we measure the width & length and work out what it would be in cubic feet, then multiply that by 168 pounds per cubic foot, then guess-ti-mate how much to round off for the, well, rounding off, LOL, of the boulder.

It's surprisingly accurate.

Best of luck. ....

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