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Advice for my first big job

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by OldandWorn, May 4, 2011.

  1. volvobl

    volvobl Well-Known Member

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    im sorry i thought this was your first job but your actually fair play like that youve done these jobs for years there is some impressive work there my friend even if it is your first job

    very good keep it up and with sending us some more pics
     
  2. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Umm.....kinda...sorta. It does have electric start and a remote stop/start but not automatic. It's a very manual machine and I could retrofit an auto start but will most likely leave it as is. I'm not sure if the auto starts have a warm up period but I like to baby my old stuff and running full load at startup in the dead of winter doesn't sit right with me.

    The outside metal work was a nightmare when I bought it as if it was dropped a few times and run into with fork lifts. None of the doors would shut and one was torn completely off. The hour meter said 43 hours and mechanically it's like brand new but I was doubting the hour meter for a 50 year old unit until I did some reasearch on this model. It turns out that this is an emergency backup generator for a generator. :confused: When the military sets up a base, in some cases the base is run on generators. In the background there is another set of generators all set up and ready to go if the primary generators fail, thus the low original hours. What had me wondering about this generator is the fact that it has a gasoline powered heater installed in it that heats the cooling system, oil, and battery box but it also has an electric blower fan that runs on the 24 volt batteries. I'm thinking, what good is a heater if it runs the batteries down? Well, there is a big electrical umbillical cord that is hooked up to the running generators that feed 24 volts to these generators. So these generators sit with toasty fluids and batteries to be able to start and immediately take over no matter how cold it is outside.
     
  3. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Thank you for the nice compliment volvobl.

    Well, the knowledge part was gained here on this forum. :notworthy

    The big giveaway clue is the timeline, 700' in 6 months. They say....first you get good and then you get fast. I'm still working on the good part. :eek:
     
  4. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Another simple wire holder, I went with the full roll this time since I wasn't dealing with the weight working up against a power pole. Thanks for the ladder idea ijoker.

    BTW, I found a feature on the front loader that I didn't know about....a tilt blade. :cool:
    While I was pushing dirt in the trench from the side, with the edge of the bucket pointing straight down, I was wishing I could get the edge of the blade level with the ground for a cleaner push. I found that if I swung the hoe over to whichever side was high I could substantially change the angle of the loader blade. Even though the spoil pile has been there since May it made a clean seperation from the existing grade, maybe because I never drove over the pile with the hoe and it was on dirt, not grass. It was nice having enough room to push from the side and was a real time saver with no manual labor to dress it up.

    PB190018.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  5. volvobl

    volvobl Well-Known Member

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    the main thing is though i bet youve enjoyed the work no matter how fast or slow your doing the job il love my work i must admit im on my 10th year and still enjoying it
     
  6. Scout_1969

    Scout_1969 Well-Known Member

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    O&W-

    I really like your thread and it's one of the ones I check on.

    I saw where you swung the backhoe bucket to pitch the loader bucket. I've done that too, sometimes with a full bucket of dirt especially if I am cutting a slope on a parallel when I was working on my pond or cleaning out my side ditches on my drive way.

    A couple of other things that may help:

    >When final grading keeping the front bucket full of dirt (as much as will stay in while flat) helps to cut the high spots and has a little dirt to fill the low spots. The bucket seems to behave better.

    >For grading over banks, really soft/muddy areas and cleaning around trees, a 4'-5' or so drag for the backhoe bucket made out of I beam works good. It has a double edge so it doesn't dive-in as much. It's fairly simple to make, cut small holes in the web for the teeth to rest in (not so deep the teeth touch the ground) and cut two holes in the ends of the webs to run a chain through with a binder to the back of the bucket. With your extendaboom, this would be real slick.
    There are similar things on the web, like two cutting edges welded in a 'V' and some with a plate bolted to the teeth.

    >A 12'-14' or so I beam on the front bucket helps in wide areas to keep from making as many passes and it sort of averages out the materials. My machine has a 4 in 1 bucket so I can clamp onto the beam. I have used one on a track loader with teeth set up like the one for the backhoe above but it may take a little rigging to work on your machine.

    IMHO these techniques/attachments work best once you have the material 'hogged out' and are ready for fine grading.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  7. skipper

    skipper Member

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    Hello again oldandworn
    In my previous life as a utility worker I would have a few additional thoughts for you regarding your electricity requirements.

    In the area I am from in the great white north nobody uses electricity for heat because it is way too expensive. We also have very few hot days a year so air conditioning isn't a requirement for most people. That being said most residential services are 100 amp. Some farm or acerage customers such as yourself will have a 200 amp service. 400 amp services for these situations are unheard of unless there is grain drying or some other unusual situation going on. Your area and utility may be different.

    Without going into the complexities of how utilities make thier money,I will say this. With a new installation such as yours,the utility must take into account your demand requirements at any given time.

    Residential is pretty straight forward with similar charges being applied to 100 and 200 amp residential services.

    400 amp services which are usually used for commercial or industrial applications are a different story altogether with demand charges and demand meters and penalties for exceeding the maximum demand that your account is set up for. It all spells out big money.

    From the utilities perspective it goes like this. Thier electrical system must be large enough to accomodate that 400 amp load every hour of every day of the year even if you only use that much power for 1 hour of every year and the rest of the year your electricity requirements are only 1 amp. that means your transformer and all components of the system must be larger than you may ever need.

    For most people in your situation a 200 amp service will be more than adequate. That means 1 set of wires feeding from the transformer to a 200 amp main breaker and meter. From there you may feed other breakers,sub panels and or splitters to your buldings as required.

    That does not mean you can't have a 200 amp service feeding each building. It only means you cannot use more than 200 amps @ any 1 time. Which you would probably never do anyway.

    That so called 400 amp breaker box that ijoker refered to may be set up this way but then it would be refered to as a 200 amp main with a 200 amp sub feed. Me not being an electrician I can't be sure of this however it makes sense to me.


    Utility workers and safety codes will also have some very deffinate concerns and methods for wiring up your back up generator. Backfeed from incorrectly wired customer generators has killed more than a few linemen over the years.

    I can expand on that in a further post if you like.

    As a do it youselfer my self I can appreciate all the excellent work you are doing out there as well as the thinking and planning that is going on in your head probably most hours of the day.

    Talking to an experienced electrician about your situation will make that planning way easier for you.

    I hope this helps.
     
  8. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Thanks scout, I see a lot of views on this thread and I often wonder who checks in. I used the hoe swing trick today and it worked very well but working space is getting tight on me again because of trees behind me on the other side of the road. Just moving the hoe over one bucket width takes quite a bit of maneuvering and I was really wanting a skid steer or small tractor with a loader to push the spoil piles. There is about a 2’ steep drop off from the road where the hoe is sitting to the trench elevation. As luck would have it, as I’m pushing the spoil pile the front wheels of the 410 drop off the road onto this down slope so I basically coast with the brakes on just inching along while adjusting the height of the loader to keep from digging into the grade but it’s way better then using a shovel and garden hoe. The next trip up I’m going to try my little tractor with the rear blade turned around and see how that works out. I bought the rear blade late last year and haven’t even used it yet so it’s time to get some dirt and scratches on it. :(

    Thanks for all of the grading ideas, something I haven’t done with the 410 yet. I really really wish I had a 4n1 loader bucket as they seem so versatile. Speaking of clamping with a 4n1 I came across something interesting that I have never seen before. When I first got my 410 I found a free downloadable military service and parts manual that shows a 4n1 installed on the hoe, not the loader bucket. Among the optional accessories, they listed a hydraulic auger and jack hammer that had strange looking metal plates attached to them. To install them you would simply clamp them into the 4n1 on the rear hoe and connect the hydraulic lines up. Pretty cool and quick I thought.

    I have read a couple of threads here on HEF about the neat grading setups for excavators, I think there were a lot of pics and ideas in a dirtman2007 thread IIRC. I’m not setup for heavy metal fabrication yet and time is a big issue but yea, I’m wishing for something like that whenever I’m trying to push dirt around with teeth hanging out of the bucket. :Banghead


    PB210038.jpg

    PB210028.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  9. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Thanks for checking back in skipper. It is different in this area, maybe because electricity usage is higher or less expensive, but a 200 amp service is the norm for new installations and 400 amp is popular with larger homes and acreage. That being said, if there was a monthly cost difference between a 100, 200, or 400 amp service I would be looking carefully at what my real needs would be but I can’t see how they could charge more. I will call the billing department and make sure before I make a commitment though. The reason I’m so sure of this is because all of the equipment is the same no matter what size of service that I choose. The high voltage primary wire that they will be pulling through the conduit is the same size for any residential amperage. The transformer is the smallest that they stock and is capable of supplying up to five 200 amp services. The only difference between a 100 amp service and a 400 amp service is the size of the secondary wire that they run from the transformer to the meter socket and they provide that wire at no cost. Now, the equipment that I have to buy from the meter socket on is more expensive but I would rather be oversized than undersized and not have to redo my work in the future. I have heard so many times from people that wish to install something but their service isn’t large enough or their breaker box has no more space. You are correct about the main and sub as I will split it down right after the meter and provide 200 amps to the house and pick and choose what size of service I want to run to the different out buildings with fused disconnects or a meter main. I can do the exact same thing with a 200 amp service but if the only difference is the size of a short piece of feed wire and a larger meter socket I may as well have 400 amps to play with. Nothing is set in stone at this point and I appreciate the input but 200 would definitely be the minimum I would consider.

    The POCO approved generator transfer switch is installed right after the meter and is similar to a normal disconnect but it is a double pole double throw arrangement. The load would be on the common bus, generator on one set of contacts, and utility power on the other set of contacts. It is virtually impossible to connect the generator to the utility lines because you can only choose one set of contacts at a time (break before make) to be connected to the load.

    Please feel free to continue on this subject as I want to understand all of my options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  10. skipper

    skipper Member

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    Hello again oldandworn

    It appears as though you have done your homework regarding the backup generator and transfer switch and are planning on a safe installation.

    Regarding the 400 amp versus 200 amp service. In my end of the world and probably yours as well 200 amps is the largest self contained meter that is available. That means that all of the current (amps) being used go through the wiring and circuitry in the meter.

    For a 400 amp service the wiring would have to be too large to be self contained within the meter itself. Therefore,something called instrument metering is used. That requires additional components called current transformers(CT's) which all the current flows through and a proportionate but much smaller current flows from the ct's through smaller wires to a special meter which registers your electrical consumption. That is just 1 of the reasons for added expense with a 400 amp service.

    Is electric heat and air conditioning common in your area? That would explain why 400 amp services are popular for acerages and larger homes.

    In my previous post I mentioned that utilities charge more for larger services because all of there equipment must be larger as well. You stated the equipment serving you is a minimum size that would accomodate much larger than 1 200 amp service. I was also refering to all of the utilities equipment back through the main line,back through the sub stations and back to the generator itself. 1 customer of course doesn't make a difference however they must be able to supply your 400 amp service as well as well as the thousands of others at any given time because the potential is there. So if every customer were to overbuild thier system,the utility must overbuild thiers and you can see how that could impact the utilities bottom line which of course would be passed on to the customers.

    I hope that makes sense. I am just trying to explain to you why an electric utility might be concerned about the size of your service and make you pay in some shape manner or form. Whether it be the original contract for power installation or your monthly bills or a combination of those 2.

    Once again I will say that the info I have provided pertains to my area and your milage may vary.
     
  11. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

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    Had not been on here since September, was able to do some reading and catch up.

    As to the e-service: Some folks here think 400a is needed on a country property, others say only if there are big pumping loads for irrigation or maybe electric heating. A/C loads for a house is a debatable point but the motor starting rating is what drives up the ampacity requirment, a soft start compressor wont have that problem.

    2WD going downhill: we are sure glad we have 4WD as it makes downhill braking possible, glad you survived the pucker!
     
  12. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Good to hear from you again Bob. I took this weekend off and stayed home because of heavy rains last week.
     
  13. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

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    Generator backup power and fuel

    There are some electrical panels that have a few switches in them, when you wire the house you can use this concept so you can place easily place certain loads on the generator....basically the panel has circuits which go through a on - off - on switch......the generator is started and feeds the so to speak dead bus, then switching from the one On position through Off puts that circuit over on the generator. There is no possibility of paralleling.

    We are going to try out VP's $15 per gallon, ethanol free, long term storage gasoline fuel for these seldom used machines. Thinking of keeping a quart or two in the tank, then when the machine is needed, it can be started up right away...at some point, additional fuel from the service station (which will have been freshly purchased) could be added.
     
  14. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

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    Cross Slope work with Backhoe Loader
    To change cross slope, pay attention to area where rear wheels travel.
    Go to stockpile, shape as required in order to fill loader bucket on one side only.
    Place this fill in area to be raised, reverse hoe and groom this material with the hoe.
    Traverse area and rear wheels will now produce the desired cross slope as seen on the loader bucket.
    If cross slope can be affected as desired by lowering one half the driven area, then use backhoe bucket to so accomplish, remove spoils from driving area and produce cross slope similar to above.
     
  15. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    I thought about going that route but I'm going to energize the whole property and just be aware of the loads. Luckily, the generator engine can be converted to propane easily. Thanks for the grading tips. :) In this case I'm just pushing the spoil pile back in the trench from the side and the machine wheels are running on undisturbed ground that I don't want to change. Just a little tweek of the loader angle is all I need.
     
  16. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Thanks skipper, I do electrical engineering and testing (fiber optic communications) for my day job which doesn’t mean I’m an electrician but it’s kinda the same except the wires and watts are much bigger with electrical work.

    Around here CT’s don’t start until you go beyond a 400 amp service. When I say 400 amp it’s really 320 continuous 400 peak.

    I would think the local utility would factor in the total customer usage on their system but the engineer is treating this decision very lightly and here is how that conversation went. Make sure you run 4” conduit between the transformer and meter and call us before we come out if you decide on a 400 amp service so we can bring larger wire. And this conversation was for the 2 separate transformers so if I really wanted to be an energy pig I could end up with an 800 amp burden on their system.

    The small all electric house I’m living in now (no natural gas available) is about normal in the Washington/Baltimore area for a house with no gas.

    200 amp service:

    100 amp breaker to the indoor heat pump air handler for the backup and emergency resistance heat.
    40 amp breaker to the outside heat pump compressor.
    40 amp to stove
    40 amp to oven
    30 amp to water heater
    30 amp to cloths dryer
    15 and 20 amp circuits to the rest of the house.

    I have never tripped the 200 amp main but here is an example of the draws that have occurred many times. Wifey is cooking and has the oven and stove going. Water heater kicks in, heat pump goes into defrost mode (every 90 minutes when cold out) which turns the high wattage backup heat on, outdoor unit is still running in A/C mode for defrost. It’s possible if my MIG welder was fired up while all of this was going on it may have tripped the 200 amp main.

    I do agree that it will be rare to ever need more than 200 amps at one time and I still may go with the smaller service. Home Depot and Lowes sells the 400 amp stuff and the cost of the larger equipment that I would have to buy isn’t really that much more money as long as there is no added monthly bill which I still need to check on. I’m big into metal fabrication, welding, and I have a medium sized machine shop with motor starting loads but what about the future? With 150 acres I may decide to farm, start a winery, build a rock crusher,:crazy saw mill, or just sell the place and the larger service might be a good selling point. The larger hydro company wire is free on the initial install but if I wanted to upgrade in the future they would charge to run it.

    I wasn’t planning on researching this install for a few years but if I want to change my conduit route and go with one transformer I need to get this done now. Here are some examples I have found on the web and I would appreciate some input if you or anyone else viewing is familiar with this equipment. Ijoker?


    Here is a 400 amp meter socket, nothing special but really really big. Notice how there are two separate 200 amp services coming out of it.

    4859.jpg


    Here is an example from a different hydro company of a 400 amp service split down to 200 amp disconnects which is what I want to do.

    Clipboard01.jpg


    These meter mains are really cool, a 400 amp meter socket and a breaker panel all in one enclosure. The second 200 amp breaker would fill the open area on the far right. What is nice about this setup is I would have easy access to some smaller clip-in breakers. I’m pretty sure that my well pump is going to be close by and that would be a perfect application. The generator shed could use a light and some outlets so there is another breaker spot taken up. All of this equipment is rated for outdoor use but I would feel better having at least a roof over it because I have seen how corroded and rusted this stuff can get over the years.

    electrical024-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  17. MMH

    MMH Member

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    getting my post count in - #4
     
  18. skipper

    skipper Member

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    Some interesting looking electrical equipment there that I have not seen in the areas I worked. Silly me for thinking the world revolves around my little portion of earth.

    With that much land, no natural gas, and you doing some welding it seems as though the 320 amp service should be a consideration. Especially if there are no additional utility company charges for the larger service.
     
  19. ijoker

    ijoker Well-Known Member

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    I have not seen a 400 amp meter socket hooked up like the one you posted. At first it looked to me like it is hooked up wrong. I don't see any lugs for the utility. And i assume those two feeders in there are not longer than 6 feet going to seperate mains? If there are no lugs there for the utility, then it is hooked up wrong. Please enlighten me on that one.:confused: As for the 400 amp service you pictured, good deal! That is better than what i had told you about previously. The panel i had in mind has the utility side with a meter, and then it has 2 200 amp mains in it to feed whatever service you want.
     
  20. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    The line side has not been hooked up yet. It would come in the conduit on the far left, make a turn at the top of the box and connect to lugs that are on top of the meter socket which I can see on the larger pic. I found this pic on the web and I'm guessing it goes into two 200 amp breaker panels inside of the structure.

    Is the panel you had in mind like the last photo in my post?