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Right machine for Excavation

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2007-09-05          145400


Hey ya'll, hope everyone is doin fine!
I need your experiance a bit. I am trying to decide when and what to use for my upcoming project. I have an acre of what some, may refer to as, "pete bog". Tag adlers on top of clumps of soil and a soupy mess in between the clumps of tags. If anyone knows what I am saying and can describe it better (I am in Northern Wisconsin) go for it. (This is the same project that I was working on last spring before my health gave way again) Now that I am mobile again I need to know what time of year would be best and which piece of equipment to use?
1)winter , hopefully before alot of snow comes but after it freezes OR
2) Summer, this summer we have had near drought conditions and this area is still a bit slushy but is considerably dryer.
I am going to excavate a small watering hole but not more than 4' deep, The spoils will be deposited in the same area and leveled out. The water hole will be around a 1/4 to a 1/2 acre dia.
Should I get a back hoe in here or a dozer? My question also is which piece of equipment is less likely to get burried and at what season?
I have both options but wanted to ask the pro's.

The dozer would be ideal, with its leveling capability's and since I am only going 4' down but, after he gets thru the frost it will be like soup agaon till he bottoms out?

OR does the back hoe do a better job of floating over this crap?

Thanks ya'll

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-05          145401


A backhoe is not going float. But a 10-14,000 lb. excavator will. The excavator will be able to dig and throw the material anywhere around you you wish. I rented one (Cat 330c) that had a 35' reach so I could dig a 3yd bucket full, spin around and literally throw it 75' from whence it came. A dozer will be slow going (been there) and you may have to winch it out of the muck.

Did you EVER buy that LS180? ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Right machine for Excavation

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2007-09-05          145405


Thanks Earthwrks
My bad. that is what I mean't. Back hoe=wheels, excavator=tracks Right?? LOL.
So what time of year would you think be best? This is what I was planning to do. (Last spring wife and I started clearing by had the tags, I made it about 30' wide by 100' long before the heat cooked me out (unusual 80 deg day). Also knew I would not finish that weekend so I quit .
I have 2 guy lines up to help me. I was gunna have one hand cut the tags while me and my other buddy hand haul them out of this aera to a landing (dry one) This way here I dont have a huge mess in my future yard/water feature.
We were thinking of doing this over deer hunting (end of Nov.) Want the machine to come in right after us? With the excavator, you think it dont matter what the ground conditions are?
Im gettin excited now, thanks earthwkrs! (PS) I am bear hunting this weakend and will be looking at this spot all weekend from a tree stand) ....

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2007-09-06          145409


When I was a kid my Dad dug out a swamp and turned it into a pond. The work began with a dozer - but when it hit the muck it sunk. They had to bring in another larger dozer to tow it out. The job was completed with a huge bucket on a crane that reached in from the side. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-06          145412


If you have had a dry summer like we in SE Mich. have had, now is the time. Water tables will be low due to evaporation, lawn watering and well water use. I really don't see any advantage waiting 'til winter or fall. The only time I have heard waiting 'til winter is a buddy waited for his 10-acre swamp to freeze over so he could drive his dozer over it to get it to the other side to do some excavating.

If you're in a swampy situation, and there trees nearby, bring a sharp chain saw. You may need to cut them down and use use the excavator to make a temporary road or even a place to "stand up" on to keep from sinking. And have a backup machine and operator (neighbor, local contractor, etc.) that has a machine twice your size to pull you out if you get mired. Excavators are strong but they don't always have enough power to lift or push themselves when surrounded or covered in additional 20,000 lbs of mud. (been there).

Crunch that machine you spoke about was called a "drag-line". ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-09-06          145414


BA, glad to hear you're on the mend now. :)

As was touched on, you definitely need something on tracks!

FWIW, if I was trying to tackle it, I'd start about now, any later and you risk heavy fall rains bringing the ground water back up, or at least re-wetting the now dry bog.

Start by getting the trees out, but cut them off at least 3' (preferably 5') up from the ground. Drag them out with something light like a CUT or ATV.

Then have at it with a mid-sized excavator, something in the 10k -15k size, enough grunt to pop the stumps, not so big (read $$$) to be easily moved and not so expensive to hire or rent. In the long run hiring might be as cheap as renting but not as much fun. A good operator would clear an acre as you described in WELL under a day. On an acre a dozer will spend too much time pushing stuff around, pushing any further than about 25' is a waste of time.

The excavator will do everything but finish grading with ease, that you can do later with a box blade and pulverizer or grade-maker.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-06          145452


Be sure to get an excavator with a manual or hydraulic thumb too so you can grasp logs and stumps. And do yourself a favor and find a machine with a backfill blade. They can be just as useful as a small dozer, and if you're pulling a lot of stumps you'll have a lot of holes to fill as you go. And falling sideways into a hole is not good for productivity as it can double your time trying to get yourself out. Plus the holes will be filled beforehand when you go to grade with a wheeled machine.

And BA I see you tip-toed around buying a skid steer. With my tracks I was able to go places in Mississippi mud that only dozers could previously go. All you'd need is forks to dig out stumps----providing you can stand up on the soil. A grapple bucket would be handy too. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Right machine for Excavation

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2007-09-06          145457


Great advice! Thanks alot fella's I am headin out there this weekend to do some bear hunting. I think I will take your advice and look up an old friend that has a excavator. He done all my digging for my house and my pond, I know what he can do but he also is not affraid to charge a good penny. In the long run I will be way ahead to hire it out as long as I can get what I WANT from the operator. (EW) yes your right, wont be near the fun but, the older I get, the less running machines is fun? I kinda like watching a real pro WORK his rig! I know I know, sounds a bit wimpy, but, there is just something about watching a profesional work his machine that turns me on! In the mean time, I can keep pointing to where I want things LOL.
EW, I am waiting for the optimum time to buy the skidsteer. As soon as I start excavating for the house, I will pull up with a brand new skidsteer, guarenteed! (I have 3 kids entering college in 4.5 years and I promissed each of them a 25 thousand dollar bill to help em out. I have 2 of them paid off and I am working on the last one now, ahemm, my skidsteer will have to wait till the ground breaking, per the ceo)
Thanks again ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2007-09-06          145459


PS. there are no tree's larger than 2" dia in this area. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-09-06          145463


2"?

Them's "weeds" boy!

With my skid steer I've pushed over and/or simply pulled out 40' tall Lob Lolly pines with a caliper of 8" and tap roots 4-6' in the ground with the grapple. It's like picking carrots---bigg'uns!

I'm not too busy--looking for work---what's it worth to ya to "watch me work"? (You really should get some help about that---I'm jis' sayin...")

And PLEEEEEZE don't tell me I got a purty mouth! (uh-oh I hear the theme song to "Deliverance" in the background) ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-09-07          145469


BA.... 2" ??!!

Like Jeff'ry said, them's weeds not trees!!!

Wanna borrow my Brush Brute? It on your TC40 FEL will tear those Alders out in a couple of hours!!

Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-09-07          145478


BA, understand some on the gound issue so you may not be able to but you probably could either wrap a cable or rope or such with slip knot at the base of those trees and pull them up possible with the tractor lift. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-09-07          145480


...and be sure to wear a hardhat, 'cause when you pull forward it'll wap you on the noggin'. ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2007-09-09          145584


I had previously always called them Tags, or tag alders, untill my last post where I called them (trees under 2").
Yes your skidsteer could handle them, yes my tractor and brush hog could also but the problem comes in again that my tractor would be burried before I could get anywhere near em. Pulling em out is not an option either since they are so small, a quick whack with a chain saw and all that is left is a ball of root system that is above the muck. This is where the excavater with a blade on it should come in handy. The idea of hand cutting and then stacking in a neat pile to be hauled away later is to avoid a huge pile of sticks,twigs, root balls
and a ugly eye sore that can be burned but still will be there for a long time. I dont mind
hauling em out by hand (since anything els with wheels woulkd get stuck.
Jis thinkin, maybe if I luck out, and the watering hole get low enough to suck most of the water over towards it that adding the spoils to the other part will help lift it high enough to make a perfect wetland/sanctuary that will not be used for a back yard football game but more like a nesting area ande cover for many birds/ mammels etc. The end picture is to have a pretty looking watering hole with grasses and cattails surrounding that from the ridge will look structured, yet still semi wild/natual? This place is set up perfect for this and if it works I will post pics. I am calling the guy with the excavater tomarrow.

PS. I had 2 bear (only 160# 1 1/2 year old bears) less than 45 foot from me while I was on the ground. Pretty cool, I was waiting for my son to get out of his tree stand when the bears came walkin in. I got some pretty cool video of it! Yes, I had nothin in my hand but a camera. My kid had just unloaded his gun and was about to come down! Did not see any bear that were shooters yet but this weekend was the bomb with what happened ....

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