Best way to strip topsoil: Other Home Building  -- Home Building Discussion Forum and Review Best way to strip topsoil: Other Home Building -- Home Building Discussion Forum

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 04-19-2002, 08:39 Post: 37632
NHnewt
2002-04-19 08:39:39
Post: 37632
 Best way to strip topsoil

I remove and stockpile the top soil from an area about 4000 sf, and wonder what the best method is. The soil is all sandy loam (from the test pits), and the top horizon is about 8" deep with well established grass.

Should I be using some sort of sub soiler, plow, tiller, etc to loosen it up and then a blade or FEL to push it around?

Any help from those who have done this would be appreciated.






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 04-19-2002, 08:40 Post: 37633
NHnewt
2002-04-19 00:00:00
Post: 37633
 Best way to strip topsoil

Sorry, that should have read, "I need to remove and stockpile....."






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 04-19-2002, 08:49 Post: 37635
Murf

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 Best way to strip topsoil

I presume that the reason for this little task is to prepare an area for construction of something. Other than as an excuse for a little 'in the seat' time, I would say the easiest way to do is, don't do it. Let me explain, if you are bringing in a contractor to do some work, the few minutes it would take with a big excavator or dozer to strip an ~60' square area compared to the hours it would take with a compact is not worth it, price-wise or based on the end result. Without the proper machine it is almost guaranteed that the strip will be uneven, sub-soil will be mixed with the topsoil, and vice-versa. Best of luck.






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 04-19-2002, 09:00 Post: 37636
NHnewt
2002-04-19 00:00:00
Post: 37636
 Best way to strip topsoil

Murf, your point is well taken, but lets just assume that the joy of playing with a new tractor overrules the economics and or practicality of the matter. Is there a method that will work?






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 04-19-2002, 10:04 Post: 37640
Murf

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 Best way to strip topsoil

I would think that the easiest way would be to plow/disc, etc. ALMOST through the topsoil layer then scoop it up with the bucket bottom as flat as possible, leaving a little topsoil behind to minimize the comingling of layers. Then after the bulk of the topsoil (and still not 'contaminated') has been removed, scrape a little at a time using a box blade (prefereably, otherwise standard rear blade) until you have it piled and can scoop it up also, it is a good idea to keep this second, mixed pile seperate from the first clean pile. Best of luck.






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 04-20-2002, 07:03 Post: 37665
TomG

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 Best way to strip topsoil

I've done that sort of thing once to a somewhat larger area and also several smaller areas with just a box scraper and loader.

I use the scarifiers first to cut the sod and then the loader bucket or front scraper blade to take up the sod. With a bit of care, I end with a fair yield of usable sod. I then cut with the front scraper blade until the box is full, lengthen the top-link to stop cutting and drag the load to a pile. There's not much topsoil around here on the Canadian Shield, so the pile doesn't all that big.

As Murf says, the cutting isn't exactly even and quite a bit of sub-soil can get mixed in unless a lot of care is exercised. I have to ride the hydraulic top-link control so I can stop the cutting action if I start seeing sub-soil. I think a hydraulic top-link is essential for doing this sort of thing.

If I had a disc or plow, I might try them but it can be done with just a scraper and loader. If the top-soil layer was thicker than around here, I'd keep the scarifiers down while cutting the top layers. They'd kick up a lot of sub-soil if they went through the topsoil, and the same would be true with a plow or disc.






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 04-20-2002, 20:20 Post: 37676
Peters

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 Best way to strip topsoil

If you are not going to save the turf. Disk the area to cut up the turf. Using a rear grader blade can move the top soil off of the subsoil. Drag the material into a pile and then use the FEL to place the material where you would like to store it.
I had a dozer in last fall to cut an area down. We had the laser set up and used the compact tractor cut the last 6 inches or so to make sure the area would drain properly. We had a backhoe moving the earth to a different area. For the final cuts the tractor was as fast as the dozer as the tractor could move much faster.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Other Home Building Forum

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