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How to dig a ditch fast?

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by rshackleford, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. rshackleford

    rshackleford Senior Member

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    i have operated an excavator very little. When i did run a hoe i fond that there was a certain angle in which i would have my bucket that suddenly it would just fill with ease. other angles would pull and strain the machine.

    what is the most efficient way to dig a trench. how should i place my bucket to engage the earth? how should i spoil? how should i re-enter the trench.

    mostly i am thinking about how my teeth and bottom of the bucket engage the earth and what kind of angle i should have.

    maybe these are impossible questions to answer, but i thought i would ask anyway.
     
  2. diggerman57

    diggerman57 Well-Known Member

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    This is a hard question to answer because it depends on the circumstance. Generally you want the teeth to be even with the dipper stick. In other words, if you draw an imaginary line from the end of the dipper stick down past the bucket, the bucket should be positioned so that the teeth touch that imaginary line. As you dig you should be adjusting the bucket, stick, and boom at the same time. I hope you can picture what I'm saying. Just try to be smooth and the speed will come soon enough.
     
  3. bigcatpip

    bigcatpip Well-Known Member

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    if you want to dig fast put the seat back crank the radio up and start pulling the sticks hard
     
  4. thebaz

    thebaz Well-Known Member

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    The general rule is to let the teeth do the work of leading the bucket into the soil. The sharp tip of the tooth should engage the ground and dig so that the bucket floor is following the line of the tooth as it moves toward the operator. Whatever direction the tooth is facing will be where the bucket wants to go, that is, if the tooth is facing down, the bucket will want to go down, it the tooth is facing up the bucket will want to come toward the surface. You will want to point the teeth down at the start of the dig and curl the bucket up as you bring it towards you to fill the bucket fully. Also depending on the type of ground you will generally point the teeth down slightly as you cut to grade to guarantee that bucket keeps cutting and doesn't take the path of least resistance that is moving up from the trench floor.
    Baz
     
  5. stumpjumper83

    stumpjumper83 Senior Member

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    how do I explain this the easiest... Ok, filling the bucket is only part of digging a ditch. There is swinging to the spoils, dumping, and swinging back.

    The goal is to think ahead, do it right the first time, and to do it with minimal motion. And occasionally to multi task.

    Its all an accumulation of little things. One place to same time is by not lifting the boom up all the way to dump, open the dipper back up because it clears the ditch, and you will need it there for the next bucket. Also alot of new guys when they dump their bucket uncurl it all the way and sometimes bang it. I just uncurl to about where I want to be to fill it again and twitch the dipper and it all comes out, if I'm playing in material that doesn't want to hang in the bucket. here watch this guy dig, he is good. YouTube - Yanmar VIO 55 Mini Excavator Moving Dirt

    Another time the owner's son wanted to race me to see who could dig faster. We were digging water lines thru a pole barn that was 90' wide. He picked one that was free of posts and in an open area. I got one that was beside a 6' deep ditch and around posts. I beat him by 10 minutes.

    Why did I beat him, because every time he repositioned, he pick up the stabilizers, spun the seat back around, fastened his seat belt and put it in drive. I just lifted the stabilizers a little and shoved myself along with the bucket.

    Basically, practice, practice, practice. And when you see someone else digging, learn from what they are doing. You will see what makes you seconds and what costs you seconds.
     
  6. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    you've got that Yanmar really moving....sweet!
     
  7. LT-x7

    LT-x7 Senior Member

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    I don't even lift the stabilizers when trenching, I just lift the front bucket a little, pick up the back just a little with the boom and shove.
    I think planing your spoils so they don't have to be moved any more than possible saves more time than anything.
     
  8. rino1494

    rino1494 Senior Member

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    If you hear the hydraulics squealing, you are not doing it right.
     
  9. Wardiker

    Wardiker Well-Known Member

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    When using an excavator you dont have stabilizers, so if an excavator is what you using, what I have were I work is extremely hard rock, gravel and clay. We have to lossen or scratch the ground 1st, just sticking the bucket down and curling wont work. Once you gotten to depth, what I do is curl the bucket so the smooth side is down and carefully draw back the last 4" of loose dirt on the bottom from the teeth digging towards you to get a smooth finish. Best to dig with the unit facing what your digging, doing it sideways can throw your tracks of the unit. And lastly remember the most power is when your curling your bucket. Youtube is a great resource.
     
  10. thebaz

    thebaz Well-Known Member

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    "Dont waste 20 minutes to figure out how to do a 10 minute job 5 minutes faster."

    That is gold advice.
     
  11. Bumpus

    Bumpus Well-Known Member

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    If your working by the hour why be in a hurry.

    Why try to make others look bad by competing on the job against others.

    If everyone gets in a hurry there will soon be a mistake or an accident because of the effort of trying to out do someone else.

    Keep it up and the boss will expect it every day.

    Give the effort your paid for, and do the job safely.

    Your not there to win the turkey, or the prize behind door # 2

    Do your job only, and not someone else's ...

    NOW ... GET-ER DONE ! ! !
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  12. daman

    daman Well-Known Member

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    Well said and that's how i feel also...
     
  13. Bumpus

    Bumpus Well-Known Member

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    .
    Do you think you made yourself look good to others when you beat
    the Bosses Son by ten minutes. :umno

    Son looks at Dad and feels how good ? :eek:ops :(

    You don't suck up, :crazy and you don't go for brownie points, :duh
    and you don't make some one else look like a looser,

    ( especially above all )

    The Bosses ... Son ! ! ! ... :Banghead :pointhead :eek:

    .
     
  14. cummins05

    cummins05 Senior Member

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    Just dig it. LOL seen that sticker on a JD 450 in BC

    (just do it NIKE)
     
  15. stumpjumper83

    stumpjumper83 Senior Member

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    In my defense, the boss was at another job that day, and winner got to dig the next ditch. No one else around but me and the owner's son.

    I wasn't rushing, but I wasn't cutting much slack either. Had boss been there, he would have smoked the both of us...

    And you make a good point, not much sense making waves...
     
  16. rshackleford

    rshackleford Senior Member

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    draw a line straight down from the dipper pin and keep your teeth there? would this be the same as keeping your bucket bottom parallel?
     
  17. rshackleford

    rshackleford Senior Member

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    i like to see the guys push a little bit of the previous spoil out of the way with the back of their bucket when they make the current spoil. to me this means they are keeping their bucket lower and wasting less motion. i like to see a little bit of the spoil trickle back into the trench. this says that the minimal motion is being made. i only want to see a bucket change direction twice per scoop. once when bringing it from the spoil and back into the ditch and the second time when leaving the ditch going towards the spoil. if the bucket goes forward or away any more than those two times time and energy is wasted. i like to imagine the bucket making the same motion as a chain trencher--one long fluid arc.

    also i like to see them fall into the ditch in an arc, not stop and find the slot then drop.

    thanks for the good points.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  18. rshackleford

    rshackleford Senior Member

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    sounds like an employee with a really bad attitude that i would rather not have around.

    i need speed and the job depends on speed. i am not concerned with a safe trench--i don't put anyone in it. i just want to know the most efficient way to get the dirt out of the hole fast!
     
  19. rshackleford

    rshackleford Senior Member

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    thanks for the good posts.

    the question i was most interested in was how to fill the bucket the quickest and easiest and how the geometry of the bucket and teeth work.
     
  20. stumpjumper83

    stumpjumper83 Senior Member

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    as far as how the bucket teeth work its simple.

    Pointy end first.

    Think of it like digging with a pine handled excavator, the blade slides in the best when the force applied is directly in line with the intended direction of the blade.

    The teeth make a crack for the bucket to follow. You need to adjust your bucket as to crowd in depending on desired actions.