Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground: John Deere Review  -- John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground: John Deere Review -- John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum

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 01-07-2004, 19:48 Post: 73401
ncrunch32



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

I'm anxious to complete banking fill against my poolyard extension so that I can get my CO on fence before the building permit expires April 30th. The town gave me a hard time about pool fence height exceeding 6' (from outside of poolyard) so I had to bring in 64 yards of bank run to increase the grade around the poolyard extension.

I have a JD 4310 with 430 loader and 47 backhoe. There is no snow - but after the cold weather this week there will be a crust of ice on the surface. Has anyone ever worked through winter digging with their CUT? Will I be needlessly stressing my baby? Or can it handle the abuse?






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 01-07-2004, 20:24 Post: 73404
Art White



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

Doesn't sound to bad unless the frost gets in over 6"s I wouldn't worry as that's why you have the teeth on the backhoe to loosen the top crust easier. A tooth bar on the front might do it with no trouble but unless you plan to do this on a regular basis it might not be worth the money to you. The fill while frozen will not settle in without a thaw so make sure you get it close the first time.






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 01-08-2004, 08:58 Post: 73433
Murf



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

As Art said it shouldn't be a problem.

If you want to be extra cautious with your baby you can use a propane tiger torch or build a very small fire in one area to draw the frost out. Once you have a few square feet of frost-free earth you can usually get under the frost and break it up very easily.

Best of luck.






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 01-08-2004, 15:23 Post: 73460
tk_csa



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

I've got a 48 hoe on my 4700. It is so much heavier than earlier CUT hoes ie; 955 with a 3X? hoe. I've dug in winter and the biggest obstacle has been breaking through the frost. With a 4310 the ground breaking force will be even less than my 4700 (weight) so my feeling is if you can get through the frost it will be OK. I think the hoe will bounce off the frozen ground long before you hurt it. But if it "feels" like it's rough on it then it prob is. Best thing to extend the life of your 47 is to keep it WELL greased.






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 01-08-2004, 18:24 Post: 73477
itsgottobegreen

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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

An old landscaper/manson trick is to take black plastic. Place it over the area you want to work on. Leave it there for a day and the ground in no longer frozen. If it still is leave it for another day. The later in the day the more likely its isn't frozen. The sun's heat is absorbed by black and heats up the ground underneath. I use this all the time. I don't have a backhoe so a shovel has to have soft ground. Don't worry the backhoe is comming.

The soft ground will reduce the stress placed on the machine. Also reduce your fustration.






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 01-09-2004, 07:51 Post: 73510
ncrunch32



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

Thanks everyone, lots of interesting tips! Maybe I will give it a try this weekend.






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 01-09-2004, 21:25 Post: 73581
F350Lawman



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

I am not that far from you and I can tell you the ground is HARD right now. I was out working today with the tractor filling some ruts in the horse field that had been mcreaqted by hoofs and the tratcor last during the rain. The ruts had frozen and become "ankle breakers". Also because of the rain, my dirt pile is like stone. I had to use another pile which is a topsoil/manure mixture to fill the ruts as the FEL wouldn't dig the pure dirt pile. I am sure your hoe will dig with some effort but the FEL may bounces off the ground like it was solid rock. I also broke some ice up by hand with a maul and due to the ammount of moisture in the frozen earth when I missed and hit ground it bouced off with out even scratching the dirt!

With temps around -5 tonight the weekend doesn't seem like the ideal time for a digging project with a cabless CUT.

My advice: kick back and watch the NFL playoffs this weekend! Smile

You said your permit goes until April, I am sure it will be much warmer and easier on you and the tractor before then.






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 01-12-2004, 19:19 Post: 73822
ncrunch32



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

Thanks Lawman - I did go out and check the ground with the FEL. Ground was like stone and it was bitter cold. I didn't even try using the backhoe. So I took your advice and took it easy. I'll wait until it gets warmer.






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 01-12-2004, 21:22 Post: 73825
Art White



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

I never thought about the black plastic. I've seen it over the ground before at construction sites and covering the sand but never thought about the use to thaw the ground to make digging easier! When digging frozen ground the toughest bucket full is the first. After that you can dig in under and pull it up to break it.






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 01-13-2004, 03:36 Post: 73841
harvey



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 Using BH FEL with Frozen Ground

Generally at construction sites there are ground heaters involved.

Plain Black plastic will absorb some of the sun but with the weather we just had -20+ for 2 days (our little valley) it would not help. For what little you'd gain during the day you'd lose more at night.

Maybe you can find the kind that has some baffeling in it for minimal insulation talk to a contrete contractor for some info on that.

I have used wedges of hay to insulate the ground for late season digging and or push lots of snow over the area to protect it from frost.






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