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Building a farm road dozer, excavator, or ?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Dadnatron, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    A small disk like that will serve to compact more than loosen soil. (I know it sounds wrong but if the soil is the slightest damp, after several trips you will begin to make a hard-pan just a few inches down.) I would be inclined to try the box blade. Drop the shanks as low as you can get them. Tighten the centerlink on your tractor as much as possible to pitch the cutting edge of the blade high. Pitching the blade should allow you to get more depth with the shanks.

    If you box blade if a farm store brand be careful and go sloooooow. The tractor you have will bend your blade into a pretzel if you hook something solid underground.

    As a thought.... Implement dealers sometimes rent subsoilers, rippers or what ever you call them in your neck of the woods. The rent is usually pretty cheap. A 5 shank chisel plow might workout really well also.

    Check with your neighbor who has the grain bins. I'll bet he has one or both tools and may help you do the job.
     
  2. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    Hmmm... I have a single shank ripper. I might run that a time or two.

    I have a heavy Gannon 4x2 Box blade. I've broken several shanks... but the box hasn't felt it at all. My biggest issue is actually finding shanks that are the quality of the box. Everything I find has been 'too cheaply made' to have the strength of the blade. I hook a big root, and next thing I know, I'm down 2 blades. Its the type with the notches in the front, but my box requires the notches to be about 5" apart. The main tube is about that big. So I have to notch the shanks myself. Hmmm... I wonder if that is causing the weakness as well. They break at the bottom of the tube, but that, by definition, is at the bottom of the notch I have to cut. I've just been using a cutoff wheel and grinder. They notch out easily enough. But... eBay is the only place I've found them thus far.

    I have a single shank ripper. That might be the ticket, although, I'd have to run up and down several times, thereby packing what I am ripping. Still, probably a lot looser than what it was before.
     
  3. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    I think Gannon became Woods. Maybe they have shanks that would work better?

    A single ripper is better than your disk. Try it! The worst that will happen is an unsatisfactory result.
     
  4. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    See how the disc does or use the rippers followed by the disc. Experiment a little and you'll see what works the best.
     
  5. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Planedriver made a good point about working the ground when it's to wet .

    Unless customer says " money is no object " and they want it done now ! We try to schedule jobs where we have the " weather gauge " in our favor . Makes it more cost effective for everyone . Just something to consider ?
    Allot easier working up ground on a dirt project in May or June verses late February or March .

    You might hit the road a few passes with the shanks down on the box blade then mount the disc & work it up 5 or 6 rounds .

    I'm a firm believer in disking up the sod as it breaks it all apart & spreads nice on finish up or sell it to customers that need a little top dirt for the lawn .
    We have a 8' three point mount and 21' disk for dealing with it .

    http://www.heavyequipmentforums.com...ay-to-strip-top-soil.39121/page-2#post-457847

    http://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/threads/good-top-soil.13536/#post-630569
     
  6. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    td25c... along those lines of 'waiting for favorable weather'...

    When is it 'too wet' to work on building a road?

    I have this coming week off, and had planned on jumping into it with both feet. However, it has been storming for the last couple days with likelihood of continuing into the weekend and perhaps beginning of next week. I know the ground will be slick mud for at least a day or so afterwards, but given that I will be digging deeper... I'm not really sure how 'wet is too wet'.

    At what level would you 'not work' and at what level would it be 'reasonable although suboptimal'? What should I look for?
     
  7. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Yeah , Good question Dadnatron . My High Tech " dirt test " where it works up & compacts the best for building.

    Grab a handful of loose dirt off the cut and compress it in to a ball with your hands .
    Then drop it from about chest high . In optimum working conditions it should break apart in pieces when it hits the ground .
    If it don't break apart its to wet .
    If it wont compress it to a ball it's to dry .

    :)
     
    check likes this.
  8. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Same storm system hit us last light & early morning hours . We got about 2" of rain & heavy winds with power outage .
    Spent most of the day clearing trees off the county roads .
    March coming in like a Lion I reckon :)
     
  9. treemuncher

    treemuncher Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    eatin' trees, poopin' chips
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    In our neck of the woods (KY & TN), don't expect things to dry out to optimal until June unless it is a dry year. You will likely end up working the ground while wet and that will cause it to pump a lot until it passes through a really good dry spell and firms up. Once it dries well and sets up firm, regrade and topcoat with dense grade limestone. Once the limestone gets a really good soaking and then dries to a concrete like surface, your road should be done to perfection.
     
  10. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    Working on this road. I have to build up a spot which is a little low, to even out the overall grade. I have the topsoil stripped, but have a question on what I should use to build it back.

    I seem to have 3 distinct 'types/appearances' to the soil on my place.
    1. Black clearly defined topsoil. This varies between 8" to 2'
    2. A red subsoil immediately under this, which remains 'crumbly' but I know little wants to grow in it as I have pulled some of it to the top before and noted that drilled wheat grows poorly in those patchs.
    3. A definite 'clay' which is sticky, dense, etc. Appears you could build a skyscraper on it and it wouldn't budge.

    My question is, do I need to strip my 'donor spot' down to this deepest layer of sticky dense clay #3 in order to use it to build the low area in the road up, or can I use the less dense clay which is closer to the surface #2? I am currently in #2 and while its relatively easy to work with, #3 is not. If I don't have to have #3 to build up the road, I'd rather not have to deal with the sticky density of it. It doesn't load or unload from my dirtpan worth a crap. The low spot in the road I need to build up, is scraped down to this dense #3 layer.
     
  11. farmboy555

    farmboy555 Well-Known Member

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    With the price of rock here in Kentucky the fabric is well worth the cost. I would rent a dozer with a tilt angle blade (the longer you rent it, the cheaper it is)
    Ask around and find a laid off equipment operator hire him and get the job done. Figure how much stone your going to need and contact the sales person at you area quarries and shop for the best price.
    Little phone time will save you a lot of cash
     
  12. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    Location:
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    Working on this road. I have to build up a spot which is a little low, to even out the overall grade. I have the topsoil stripped, but have a question on what I should use to build it back.

    I seem to have 3 distinct 'types/appearances' to the soil on my place.
    1. Black clearly defined topsoil. This varies between 8" to 2'
    2. A red subsoil immediately under this, which remains 'crumbly' but I know little wants to grow in it as I have pulled some of it to the top before and noted that drilled wheat grows poorly in those patchs.
    3. A definite 'clay' which is sticky, dense, etc. Appears you could build a skyscraper on it and it wouldn't budge.

    My question is, do I need to strip my 'donor spot' down to this deepest layer of sticky dense clay #3 in order to use it to build the low area in the road up, or can I use the less dense clay which is closer to the surface #2? I am currently in #2 and while its relatively easy to work with, #3 is not. If I don't have to have #3 to build up the road, I'd rather not have to deal with the sticky density of it. It doesn't load or unload from my dirtpan worth a crap. The low spot in the road I need to build up, is scraped down to this dense #3 layer.
     
  13. auen1

    auen1 Well-Known Member

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    You might try to find out what's below the clay layer, (not in the middle of your road, of course).
    Maybe there is a better source of fill material just below the clay.

    If you find better fill material, strategically plan a borrow pit somewhere on your property.
    You may also need good material for other roads, house pad, etc.

    Show us some pictures of your progress.
    Cool thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  14. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    The issue is, I don't know what is 'better' fill.

    I know it needs to have no organic material. And this is my quandry. I don't believe either the clay just below my topsoil or the dense clay has anything in it. But, I don't know whether either is adequate for building up the road. Its interesting, but one of the hardest parts about this build, is confidence that I have stripped the topsoil adequately.

    My donor location is an angled hill about 9ft higher than the corner of my barn. All the runoff is directed towards the barn, and I had the option of putting in a berm for diversion or trying to take down the hill and use the dirt. Given my farm is beautiful, and quite honestly, there isn't a spot that I'd want to 'dig a hole for a donor site' I decided the best place for donation would be this hill which is problematic anyway. Overall size is about the size of football field, with one corner 9ft higher than the opposite corner. It drops in a dual slope from that corner. This is the amount of dirt I have to work with for my entire farm. At least I would like to keep it relegated to this location if I am able. I've stripped the topsoil (I think although there are still areas which seem darker than I'd like). It is stored at the end of the hill, and I should be able to push it back up covering the dig after it has been leveled. I have 4 large topsoil storage hills for this 1/4m road. Hopefully it will allow me to dress the sides and waste and get things growing again, upon completion.

    I just looked, and I guess I don't have any pics. I won't be back until the weekend. I'll get some then.
     
  15. auen1

    auen1 Well-Known Member

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    One thing about a borrow pit, it could be turned into a nice pond after your done.
    Assuming there is some ground water to fill it.

    Sump water can be handy on a farm as well.
     
  16. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    The lowest level of my road lies along an area which was recently plowed. As I cleared away the topsoil, I noted that the soil, obviously, was very soft. I took the soil to below the plowline, which gives me about 10" deep 'trench' on the only relatively flat part of this road.

    I have 2 options at this point, I can fill compacted lifts for all or part of it, or I can fill it with aggregate. I know some of you have railed against the 'trench' and I would not have taken it down as much as I did, except for the softness of the soil in this stretch. Overall, its about 100' long portion. It runs adjacent to, but separate from, a drainage ditch which is only wet during big storms.

    I have all the fill I need, and was going to get a vibratory padded compactor for other spots in the road anyway. Would I be OK filling the trench with compacted clay fill then aggregate or would you recommend just aggregate to fill the entire depth. I want to insure I keep the road surface above grade, so this will entail a lot of gravel, should I go this route.
     
  17. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    After reading more on compaction on this site, and I know that someone (td25c?) previously mentioned that a loaded scraper would be adequate for compaction, I'm wondering whether I can get enough compaction with the scraper.

    It is a conversion of a dolly scraper, now direct towbar mounted. Its capacity is 6cu yd. It has 4 tires along the back, distributing weight approximately 1/2 - 3/4 the width of the scraper itself. (obviously working against my needs for this situation). My tractor is around 8.5K and I can load about 1-1.5K in the bucket.

    I've ran over the cut with the scraper, and it shows no 'compaction' and my tractor only leaves superficial tire marks on the dirt. I tried compacting a little of the fill in the low spot to even out grade, and it compacted, but remained 'lumpy' from the roughness of the lift drop. It worried me, so I quite, thinking I might need the padded vibratory compactor after all.

    These are the best photos I have on my phone.

    IMG_3562.JPG IMG_3462.JPG
     
  18. John Shipp

    John Shipp Well-Known Member

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    What pressures are your tyres at, if they are 18-20 psi you may get slightly more compaction if you raise them to say 28pounds per sq inch. Will trucks be bringing your rock/gravel in, could you do a section at the far end if it's dry enough, ask them to compact it ask best they can as they go in. Then add a layer in your low spot before getting more gravel trucked in...
     
  19. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    [QUOTE="Dadnatron, post: 688365, member: 56691"

    I've ran over the cut with the scraper, and it shows no 'compaction' and my tractor only leaves superficial tire marks on the dirt. I tried compacting a little of the fill in the low spot to even out grade, and it compacted, but remained 'lumpy' from the roughness of the lift drop. It worried me, so I quite, thinking I might need the padded vibratory compactor after all.

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah , that's a nice scraper rig Dadnatron . I like it !
    With the tractor & scraper combination you have compaction is no problem .
    About the lumpy & rough look of the lift drop ...... When filling / building with a scraper you can also come back over it with an empty bowl to grade out any rough uneven areas just using the cutting edge .

    A scraper is one of the most versatile dirt moving tools . It's a haul truck / grader / compactor all in one unit .:cool:
     
  20. Dadnatron

    Dadnatron Member

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    I decided that the better part of valor would be to pony up and rent a dozer for a week. I am more time limited than money in some ways.

    Cat D6K did the trick.

    I'm sure its not as nice or 'clean' as could be done by someone with actual skill, especially given this was the first time I've been at the controls of a dozer. But I laid it out, followed the plan, and other than cutting the side slope, which had some pucker factor for me, everything went smoothly.
     

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    auen1 likes this.