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 03-19-1999, 00:00 Post: 1836
Bruce



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 Can a tractor build a road

This is a question for all of you with more knowledge than me about excavating,tractors, etc. I have purchased some land which is all wooded. I will bebuilding a house within the next two years. I would like to build a roadthrough the woods to the site. This driveway will be about 900' long. The first 600' already consists of a logging road...it is passable, but narrow.I intend to widen the road, grade, and lay down stone of some form. The funstarts next...The next 130' is a "switchback" up a steep slope (I need to cut into the slope). This part of the road will be completely new. The remaining few hundred feet is also completely new, straight up a "gentle"slope. The ground throughout is basically 2-3 feet of dirt on top of shale.I expect to push away enough dirt to have a hard base to lay the stone on.Some tree stumps will need to be moved. The road will snake through the woods,so tree roots will be everywhere. I have already felled a number of 12" or sotrees to clear the way. My question is this: Is it possible to build such a road, from the limiteddescription above, with soley a tractor-loader-backhoe? I am meeting a professionalexcavator tomorrow in the woods for a real estimate. I have been consideringpurchasing my own equipment and do the work myself...I am in no big hurry andI estimate by the time I build the road, dig the foundation, septic system,burry the electric service, backfill, landscape, etc. I could probably buymy own tlb for $15K or so...easy. But, would a tlb be able to build thisroad? Clearly it will not be as fast as a dozer, but as I mentioned,I am in no specific hurry. The thought of doing it myself is appealing, havingthe machine is appealing (I'll have to clear that driveway and do other workanyways). Will it work or am I crazy? I have no good idea about what a tlbcan actually "push" as far as dozing. Could I cut into the slope with the backhoe and move earth that way? As I mentioned, time is not critical.Also, are tlb's expensive to maintain? Clearly it depends on what I initiallypurchased, but is there any rule-of-thumb? For example, I was thinking aboutpicking up an old dozer for $3-5K or so...I see them every now and then for thatprice, but I have been convinced that this would result in an expensive to upkeep and somewhat limited in utility machine.Any comments/suggestions would be most appreciated.






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 03-19-1999, 00:00 Post: 1837
John



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 Can a tractor build a road

In the medical profession there's a clear advantage to quality of life when you use the right tools for the job. I have a driveway that was packed after it was cut in with a dozer, up a hill and then level, total distance of 630'. I have a Kubota B7100 with a blade, rake, and scoop, no loader. My impact on my driveway has been minimal at best. I strongly recommend that you get a dozer, especially for the switchback. Even though time is on your side, don't be a glutton for punishment.






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 03-19-1999, 00:00 Post: 1841
dsg

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 Can a tractor build a road

Bruce; John is right. You would be much better off spending the 15k on an older loader/hoe, a dozer and a small dump truck. If you look around you can find these items for around the $$ you want to spend. IMHO, you will not pick up a tlb large or strong enough to do the job you want for around 15K, if you did it probably would end up needing as much or more repair than the above items. When you're done with the job, sell the items and buy a small compact tractor for up keep. I have a JD 755 compact tractor, which is small, only 20 engine hp. I built a road this past summer. About 300' of road, I knocked down a bank of large rocks and gravel, started my own gravel pit and build the road one bucket full at a time, one LITTLE TINY 1/4 yd BUCKET FULL AT A TIME!! Now I didn't have many stumps to clear, maybe 10 or so and only a few where 12 to 14 inches all the rest were 2 to 4" or so. I also did not do much dozing, tractors with buckets do not doz well. I just put the sand right on top of the ground. Yes I said SAND, thats all my little tractor could manage to dig out of the ground. So you see a pattern here. Hope these rambles help,David






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 03-19-1999, 00:00 Post: 1842
Dave



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 Can a tractor build a road

I would strongly recomend you hire the pro. I'ts true , you might be able to buy a passable tlb in the range you specified, but it would still not be the tool for the job. I would strongly recomend not attempting your own septic system. As far as a dozer goes, a 5000 dollar dozer is just that. You cannot imagine the amount of dollars you will spend just to keep it where it will move to the scrap pile under its own power. Most small contractors are not getting rich , just making a living. In the long run it's cheaper to pay a pro and mow your lawn with your tractor. - By the way, I'm a pro who builds highways for a living.






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 03-20-1999, 00:00 Post: 1854
KG



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 Can a tractor build a road

Bruce:A couple of years ago I tryed to build a road. I had about 3/10 mile of run to build through the woods with a switch back near the top. I had a full size backhoe (case 580) and started digging. The stumps were a real show stopper, you can spend an hour or two on a 12" dia. stump. But even with out the stumps the project was two big for the equipment I had. After about the first 100 ft. I hired a guy with a big excavator, dozer and motor grader. The results were ten times better than what I would have done, and much quicker. He cut back the banks so much cleaner then I would have been able to do and the rocks he was able to cut through with the dozer (D5) would have stopped me anyway. And he hauled off all of the stumps. My opinion (for what it worth) Spend the money and hire the work done, use whats left to buy a small tractor. Good luck.Kelvin






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 03-20-1999, 00:00 Post: 1858
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 Can a tractor build a road

I have built a house and have the same opinion as the other people! What you wantto do would kill a compact tractor. When I built my house I had a John Deereloader/backhoe, not a compact, but a construction size, and even with that, Istill opted to rent a tracked excavator to dig my basement, and septic. The $500it cost to rent the excavator to get the job done in a day was well worth the weekI saved. Just a warning, no matter who does the work, when you cut the trees cut them 3 footoff the ground, that way they are easier to knock lose with a dozer or a loader.Good luck!






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 03-20-1999, 00:00 Post: 1867
Bruce



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 Can a tractor build a road

Thank you all for your comments. I am not surprised by them, as I figuredI was really thinking about doing something stupid. On the happy note,I met with the contractor this morning in the woods and a) He doesn't thinkI'm too crazy for placing the road where I have and b) He says he can cutin the road in one day with a D5. So, for something under $1K, the road canbe cut in. Gravel and such of course is extra...but the whole road projectwill come in less than $3K easy...(of course that solid giant boulder couldturn all this away).Even better yet, the fellow is a great guy and I look forward to working withhim.Thanks to all for your comments...Most appreciated. I have throughly enjoyedreading this message board. My tractor days are coming closer.....Bruce






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 03-22-1999, 00:00 Post: 1890
LARRY



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 Can a tractor build a road

RENT A DOZER! IT WILL SAVE A LOT OF TIME AND WEAR AND TEAR ON A SMALL TRACTOR.






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 03-29-1999, 00:00 Post: 2138
goliver



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 Can a tractor build a road

Bruce,Get yourself a Magnatrac Hydro 5000 w loader and backhoe. You can get a dozer blade that fits the loader bucket arms. It may take some time, but you can do all of the stuff you talked about and a lot more. I have one and it sound like the lay of your land is similar to mine. Give Struck a call, they'll send you a video that will fully illustrate why the Trac is VASTLY superior to comparable compact tractors.






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