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Long reach trackhoe or Dragline??

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by notime1977, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. notime1977

    notime1977 Member

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    Which machine is going to provide the best productivity in building and deepening ponds?? Pros and Cons of each?? Thanks!
     
  2. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Welcome notime1977,are you building a new pond that needs a dam or woking on an old pond that needs cleaned out?
     
  3. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

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    IMHO the long reach is more for sloping than mass excavation. If you compare a dragline and a hydraulic long reach of the same size/weight the dragline has a bigger bucket. The disadvantage of a dragline is you need a very skilled operator to run and maintain one. Not as many skilled dragline operators around as there used to be. If you don't want to use a dragline, maybe instead of a long reach trackhoe, a large standard trackhoe like a 365 or 385 could be productive. I don't know how much experience you have with draglines, perhaps you could rent one with operator from a contractor in your area.
     
  4. notime1977

    notime1977 Member

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    I am looking to add to our fleet. We have been doing oilfield work, very busy for the past 6 years....but now it is slow and I have some pond digging jobs to do. I have D6R dozers and a Cat 320 trackhoe for support. I have 2 employees that have run draglines alot. The work we have started is near a river and we have dug 1 two acre pond with just the 320 hoe and a buldozer to spread. Right now we are digging another same size with the hoe and a rented artic 6x6 truck, to haul material a short distance away, but this one is going to need to be deeper. Seems a dragline would be waaay cheaper, but I hear they are hell to maintain.
     
  5. roddyo

    roddyo Senior Member

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    RB Industries VC20/20

    That's why I got a Draghoe.

    The power of a dragline with the speed of an excavator.:)

    65 Foot of Reach
    1 YD Bucket
    18,000 Pounds of Breakout Force
    Standard Cat Controls
    The Look on Peoples Faces when they see how well it Works
    Priceless
     

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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  6. Colorado Digger

    Colorado Digger Senior Member

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    what size bucket is on that 320, why not put the biggest bucket it will handle. rip and push with 1 6 load out to the haul truck and push out with the other 6? i would think about buying a truck before a dragline becuase you can use it in the patch as well.
     
  7. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    I my area the terrain is somewhat hilly & rolling with clay subsoil so most of our pond jobs have a large dam and we use dozers for most of the work & sometimes scrapers.It sounds like your in flatter country working close to the river where there is little or no dam needed,just dug out.Being you allready have an excavator & two dozers I would look into the dragline.As far as buying one they will be cheaper than a long reach excavator and it could also be used for crane work .I think I would go with the drag line.As far as maintinance goes they like alot of grease & check your fluid levels.They are a little harder to move from job to job .they are not as agile as an excavator but they will reach further & dig deeper if we are comparing the same size machines,say a 30 ton excavator VS. a 30 ton drag line.Good luck with your job notime1977.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  8. notime1977

    notime1977 Member

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    The area I am working is sandy and has a high water table and it will get higher soon. We are digging with the trackhoe now lowering the entire level within a foot or two of the water table. We will then need to deepen what we have dugout. The trackhoe has a 1.5 yd bucket and we are basically digging the pond and reaching as far as we can with it and loading directly to the truck. Very soon it will be too wet and soft to get down inside the pond without pumping the water away with a large pump, which we may do.
    That drag hoe deal is pretty cool roddyho!
     
  9. roddyo

    roddyo Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    That thing is a neat rig to run. What I like about it how much it will pull. It really cuts down on your cycle times not having to extend the boom all the way out every time.

    I just got it moved to the farm last week. This winter when things are slow I'm going to clean out a pond or two and probably put in some Rock Veins and Weirs down at the River.

    BTW, When your water table starts Rising this Winter you might try a Pond Syphon or Two and save the expense of pumping. Just an Idea.
     

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  10. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Your jobsite sounds just like our river bottom ground.Sandy & dig down about 6 feet to the water table,All quicksand after that.Sometimes it's 30 to 40 feet deep before it turns back to bedrock.At one of our municipal lakes they had a similiar problem when they dug the keyway for the dam.This was built in the mid 1970's.They started in with motor scrapers got down about 4 feet and started getting stuck.They ended up installing wells every few hundred feet & pumped water 24/7 and ended up diging the keyway with draglines & loaded the scrapers with the draglines as well.They got down to bedrock,Drilled & shot out a notch 4' deep x 20' wide the whole length of the dam.Then brought the scrapers down a causeway to start back up with clay to build the core.Now this was in the mid 1970's so the long reach excavators had not evolved yet.It sounds like you have a dragline job notime1977.How deep below the water table do you have to excavate?
     
  11. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    I like your long reach excavator roddyo.Is it a Ruston-Bucyrus? Pretty cool.
     
  12. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    roddy, do you have any pic's or vid's of that rig running? it's interesting

    Pj
     
  13. dozerdave

    dozerdave Well-Known Member

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    Hi roddyo,

    Where was that rig made? Is the bucket original eq. What kind of engine does it have?
     
  14. roddyo

    roddyo Senior Member

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    Thanks for the nice comments about the excavator.

    It's a 1991 RB Industries. Ruston-Bucyrus got in Financial trouble and was bought out by there employees. So yes it was a Ruston-Bucyrus but it was made after the buyout so it is badged a RB.

    They were made in England and have a Turbo Charged Perkins Engine like in a 1135 Massy Tractor. Very few come to the US. They were pretty popular in South America and the Middle East. These machines were used a lot after the first Gulf War putting out Oil Well fires in Kuwait.

    Although the cables throw everyone for a loop it operates just like a Cat Excavator. The only real difference is the swing speed is 5 revolutions a minute vs 10 or 11 for a standard excavator.

    The idea with the drag winch is you have 18,000 lbs of breakout force no matter where the bucket is. It's hard to get any leverage to the edge of the bucket on a long reach. The drag winch takes care of that problem.

    The boom extends back in the machine where the counterweight is on a normal excavator. The stick cylinder works the counterweight which pulls the cables on the boom which kicks the stick out.:) This way the farther the bucket is from the machine the farther down the boom the counterweight is. This keeps the machine in "equilibrium". It really works. I was loading some concrete pillars the other day swinging at 55 or 60 feet. No problem, even over the side.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  15. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    Got it figured out now ;)

    I was wondering about the weight thing when I was reading.

    I would like to have a long reach machine but as little as I would use it I cant justify it.

    Pj
     
  16. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    Wow, that's an ingenious design the way the cylinder the pulls the cables to extend arm also extends the counterweight. That would maintain optimum balance of the machine and minimize stress on the slew ring bearing. Cool. :cool:
     
  17. Digger Dan

    Digger Dan Well-Known Member

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    That's a very impressive design for your excavator... I would love to see a video of it working:cool:
     
  18. roddyo

    roddyo Senior Member

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    That's why I included the pictures.

    Did you notice where the boom bolts on? You can add an 8 foot section in and change the cables and go to 73 feet. That's getting pretty close to small dragline territory.

    All in all it's a really neat machine that was ahead of it's time. I always liked these machines and bought this one really just so I could say I had run one.:D Just another benefit of being single. lol

    The dust finally killed my cheap Wal Mart camera so no pictures right now.:eek: I'm probably going to get a video camera sometime this week so I'll be stepping in the video era.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  19. ih100

    ih100 Senior Member

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    Hi Roddyo. I had the pleasure of operating one of those babies in the '90's. Mine was one of the original Priestmans, a VC15. Like you said, it was way ahead of its time. I was on river cleaning and widening with it. There were a lot over here in the early days, but they're rare now. I visited the states in 1987 and I remember just west of New York seeing at least six VC15's working within two miles of each other. Can't remember what the job was.

    I remember the balance being perfect, I also remember working off mats and when they got greasy if you slewed too quickly the tracks spun the opposite way to the top half.
     
  20. I CAN DIG IT

    I CAN DIG IT New Member

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    Just a note: I have dug well over 100 ponds in the midwest, anything from settling ponds in gravel pits to $200,000 jobs on lavish estates. We have a B-E 30B, a B-E 50B, as well as a Liebherr 934, 70'LR hoe and a Link-Belt 240LX, 50'LR hoe. We have been battling this question for years and have come up with some answers. On larger ponds (2+ acres) where the excavated material will stay close to the pond we try to use the draglines as it is easier to cast material with a full bucket. It then keeps the cat operator farther away from the crane and more productive. This all depends on the operator skill. We have discovered that the D/L's do not measure up to a LR hoe when trucking is involved. Many other factors contribute to this data,(again, operator skill) but most of all it is maintenence. As far as we are concerned, it is a substantial savings (+ - 18%) over the length of the job. We also consider the length of time the job will take and we will be more apt to send out a D/L if the job will take more than 3 months. Strict heavy haul regulations and dismantling expenses weigh in on this decision. There is no differnce in hauling a LR hoe than a regular one except for a yearly permit for length. (assuming you have a multiple trip oversize/weight permit allready) I am sure people will argue any and all of these points this is what works for us, not necesarrily them. The biggest factor in any of this is the skill of your crew. Good luck.