Hill Removal

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by greenacresusa, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning to take down a hill that was build up in the late 1800's for a train track. The rails and wood was removed years ago leaving a hillside that I can't get up on and cut as well as making the back pasture a mess when it rains hard, the hillside blocks the natural drainage. It's mostly a clay mixture. The hill is about 20-25 feet high, 30 feet wide and about 150-200 long. I plan on buying a skid loader with a bucket with teeth to remove it. Normal backhoes would take forever, tried that 20 years ago. Was thinking of a Bobcat, New Holland, Case, etc. Any ideas on brands, models, etc. Or any other equipment instead of a skid loader? I plan to buy a used one vs renting since it's so much dirt to move that I would spend more on renting than buying. When I'm done I can either keep the machine or sell it without lossing much. ((Skid loaders make great manure loaders)).

    Thanks.
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Can you sell the soil as fill to someone who has the equipment allready? Might come out with enough cash to buy your own equipment to do the finishing grades.
     

  3. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Skid-steers are fun and great for moving dirt, but I would think a good sized track-loader could do the job much quicker. Esp. since this dirt has been there a long time and is probably packed hard. Good luck in whatever you choose.
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What are you going to dump the dirt into to haul away? I'd look into real construction equipment, at the least you will need a very sturdy tough skid steer, perhaps beyond the manure handler size....

    Have you looked into selling the dirt for fill, you will make a bit of money & not have any expense or time lost?

    Moving dirt is a lot tougher & costs more than it would first appear, don't know your experience level, but be prepared for a lot of time used up, as well as fuel & repairs.

    --->Paul
     
  5. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning to spend a lot of time moving the hill. Might take most of a year as planned and as plans tend to expand it might actually take close to two years LOL!!! I will be using the dirt to fill in lots of low areas etc around here, there's lots of low areas here that would benefit from the spreading of the dirt. I'm hopeing to keep the costs of the loader around $8k - $16k. Really don't want to go the route of big time machines and not good enough mechanic to tackle the older big machines.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is the quality of the dirt up to what you need for surface use? Sometimes you will find construction debris in it, or very stale clay that does not meet your needs of filling in dips. really only good for another hill construction......

    I would look at what the construction companies have for their work near you, & look for models & makes such as those. Case is getting pretty popular around me as a tough skid steer; Bobcat is popular with frugal home-mechanic types - less costly, easier to repair at home. Other brands are less common 'here'. You want big & tough. You can't move a mountain with a teaspoon. :)

    --->Paul
     
  7. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    The dirt does seem to be good for surface use, we had a barn built about 15 years ago and we used the dirt from the first 30 feet or so of the hillside to build the pad for the barn and spread the rest of that around and it's great for pasture grass etc. It looks like the hill was built from local dirt (mostly from my pasture and neighboring pastures when it was created.

    Most people around here tend to use Bobcat, Case, and in some cases New Holland skid loaders. My youngest son (electrian) and some of his fellow construction workers are pretty handy in most repairs. Only would need help on major problems. We've been checking around lately for prices and ideas and I also have been doing internet research as well. We want to be prepared to start early next spring.
     
  8. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    we own a new holland ,have owned a bobcat and know people with case . none of the above . an older hyhoe would do a better job than any thing and have better resale. have seen some very large hoes sell for half that of a decent skid steer.
     
  9. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    I'd just use a fair sized tractor, deep plow the hill, and carry away the "hill" with a very big box blade or moderately sized dirt pan.
     
  10. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    I would look into hiring a bulldozer and operator. That would be a fast job for them.
     
  11. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    Buy yourself an old tracked excavator, something with about a 3 to 4 yard bucket. This means a machine in the 20 ton range.

    Buy an old dump truck and away you go. Make no mistake, you are moving HUNDREDS of truckload of dirt.

    Sell the machines when you are done, cross your fingers and pray that the machines don't suffer a catastrophic breakdown.

    Pete
     
  12. tallpaul

    tallpaul Well-Known Member

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    I have over three thousand hours in a skid steer... I would think twice about that project... You will be there a LONG time if you need to move it away from the immediate area. Most guys around here use an excavator and a tandem or bigger truck to move that much dirt with reasonable cost or time. I would talk to contractors and the township and put the word out that you have free fill for the taking.
     
  13. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I see this dirt removal in to different ways. Either as fun and play time on a skid steer loader at great expense, or as an oversized task for too small of equipment, still at great expense.

    150' X 30' X 20' = 90,000 cubic feet of fill divided by 27 cubic feet in a yard =3,333 cubic yards of dirt.

    How many cubic yards or % of a cubic yard will the skid steer bucket hold?

    What is the fuel consumption of a skid steer loader per hour. How many hours will it take you to move 3,333 minimum cubic yards of dirt.

    If you move 10 yards per day you have taken up most of a year of effort.

    A a large bulldozer would be the fastest to level the fill. It will not however get any dirt where you want it. A pan or paddle scraper could move the dirt where you want, but would be much slower at total fill removal.

    Have fun with a skid steer until you get the low spots filled in, then think about having a dozer do the rest is my opinion.