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Thread: best way to digging with a skid steer bucket

  1. #1
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    best way to digging with a skid steer bucket

    I am trying to dig into the ground with my bobcat 743, I need to remove some topsoil. I have a bucket with no teeth. When I try the bucket just seems to bounce off the ground and never digs in. Is the 743 to light to do this type of work? Do I need teeth on the bucket before I can dig?

    I know this is first grade stuff, but not sure what my next step should be.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HeyUvaVT's Avatar
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    I don't know off hand what the weight of that machine is...we have an ASV RC100 which is about 10k lbs i still have trouble starting a dig in hard soil...usually I will just chop away at it with the cutting edge for a few seconds then once I can get the lip under just use the forward power of the machine to shave the top soil off..if you are in rocks then I dont know what to tell ya...maybe someone with a bit more experience will chime in soon

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyUvaVT View Post
    ...usually I will just chop away at it with the cutting edge for a few seconds then once I can get the lip under just use the forward power of the machine to shave the top soil off..if you are in rocks then I dont know what to tell ya...maybe someone with a bit more experience will chime in soon

    Good way to get started. I don't know of any "special way" to start. Just pick or, like above"chip" at it , until you can move forward then expand the cut.
    William Gurtner

  4. #4
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    You really need teeth to dig effectivley with out them you are only burning fuel and putting needless wear and tear on the machine , if you have alot of stripping to do an excavator is the way to go because you can sort out the rocks from the top soil and use you skid steer to move the piles of rock and top soil to your truck or stock pile

  5. #5
    Founder Steve Frazier's Avatar
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    I've been very successful in stripping topsoil with my skid steer, I've done it on several occasions. My edge is smooth, no teeth. What I do is set the blade angle fairly sharp to the ground to break through then quickly level out once the desired depth is reached. I usually cut 4 to 6 inches in a pass. Our soil here is called hard pan, a combination of topsoil, clay and gravel which can be hard.

    Moisture content of the soil can effect the ease in which you can dig. In my case, if it's extremely dry the soil can be almost like concrete. If your area is dry you could hose it down the day before and allow the water to soak in, that will help soften it.

    As is often the case, we don't always have the best tool for the job at hand and make do with what's readily available.

  6. #6
    Member Alan Mesmer's Avatar
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    If my excavator is not on site then I sometimes need to also dig with my skid steer. I try to get a half bucket full of dirt (for extra weight)and use the boom angle combined with the bucket angle to break through the hard pan. My New Holland is only 6000 lbs. and by using the extra weight in the bucket I can keep all 4 wheels on the ground and usually chew through the hard surface stuff. Without the right bucket angle you are just going to bounce along. As others have said it makes a big difference in the moisture content of the dirt and what it actually is you are digging in. For digging there is no replacement for an excavator. Around here many times you get through the crust only to find it harder and more rocky the deeper you go!
    For raw digging, it is best to have teeth on your bucket - maybe try a removable tooth bar.

    Alan

  7. #7
    Senior Member fireman050's Avatar
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    i'd say get a bucket with teeth

  8. #8
    Senior Member KSSS's Avatar
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    I see this mistake with inexperienced operators or operators who are experienced just have never been taught anything.

    It is seldom productive to bring the loader arms against the frame and use the tilt of the bucket to gain entry into hard ground (tactic works fine in softer material). Immediately the front wheels come off of the ground, you lose tractive effort and the bucket tends to skip across the ground.

    Try this instead. Raise the loader arms about 1 foot give or take, then use the tilt to make fine bucket corrections. This keeps the weight from transfering totally to the rear, helps keep more front tire contact (you may still pop off the ground slightly at times). Keep the cutting edge at more of a tight acute angle (10-25 degrees) to the ground will penetrate better than steeper entry angles. Some issues that you cant control. Your machine is light and is not overly powerful. I have a scarfier attachment that I use for hard ground. Works great does a good job and does not waste time and fuel prying into overly hard ground.
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  9. #9
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    A bolt on tooth bar would be a more economical way to add some digging capability. That' if you don't want to spend the money on a whole new bucket.

  10. #10
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    It all depends on the type of soil you are in and ground conditions. I always have had good luck with lowering the boom all the way down and gradually lowering the bucket into the ground while going slow. If you try to go real fast with the machine you wont give it a chance to dig in and bite. Once it digs in be prepared to start curling the bucket back especially when you tires start to drop into where you just dug. Teeth do make it allot easier and in some soils Im sure that would be the only way. What ksss, says will work also as I have tried it.As has been mentioned you can always rip the ground open with something if it is really tough. So far I have not found anything my skid steer would not dig into in these parts.

  11. #11
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    Will get some bolt on teeth for the bucket. The 743 may be to small for this task. The ground is soft here this time of year, and still cannot dig in.

  12. #12
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    a tooth bar made a night/day difference in my skid steer.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Countryboy's Avatar
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    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums lccmo!

  14. #14
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    Thank you

  15. #15
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    digging without teeth is like p_ _ _ _ _ g into the wind if you weld the shanks on top of cutting & if u line them up right they will line up with cutting edge so u can still use the bucket on a hard surface

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