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Dragging a concrete septic tank off of a trailer

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by MCE1993, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. MCE1993

    MCE1993 Member

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    Hello all, and thank you in advance.
    I'd like to figure out how i could unload a 1000 gallon concrete septic tank off of a low, fender style tilt equipment trailer. My initial thought was to wrap a hefty strap around the base of it and just pull it off with a dozer. I have nothing to lift it here atm. It has been used for water storage for about 20 years so it isn't brand new, but overall seems solid. So, for anyone that deals with concrete tanks, will it withstand dragging, or must it be lifted?
     
  2. suladas

    suladas Senior Member

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    Even if the deck height is 2' there is a decent chance it could damage the tank if you don't have anything soft for it to land on, they are generally only about 3" thick so not much to them. If the trailer has ramps you could drag it down on them.
     
    hvy 1ton likes this.
  3. terex herder

    terex herder Senior Member

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    Old tires make great bumpers for dropping heavy objects. 4 stacks of semi tires as high as you can get under the tank should do it. Drag it part way off so it tilts onto the first stack first, then pull the trailer out so the other end drops on the other stack. The tires go under the edges, not the center.
     
    Steve Favia and Truck Shop like this.
  4. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    You have a dozer so I wouldn’t mess with the trailer ramps, that’s a fool’s choice. It’s a tilt trailer so it may not even have ramps. You can just build a dirt ramp up to tail of trailer, or dig a hole for the trailer tires to drop into .
    Then get some pipe cut the width of the tank. Get the pipes under the tank using the dozer or a big bar one side /end at a time.

    You can put plywood under the transition from trailer to dirt and roll it right onto the plywood on top of the dirt using the pipes.
    just keep moving the pipes along as it rolls off them.

    No need to drop it off the trailer, get the trailer down or bring the dirt up.
     
    Welder Dave, Camshawn, CM1995 and 6 others like this.
  5. MCE1993

    MCE1993 Member

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    Thank you, yes it is a smaller tilt trailer, 21k 3 axle, thin wedge style beaver tail, so there will be no drop. Mostly wondering how it might fair the lateral pull, guy i talked to at the local precast place didn't seem to think it was the best plan, but also he was just a salesman... eventually will have a machine capable of lifting it, just not very convenient to have it moved home at the moment.
     
  6. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Why haul it yourself, most precast facilities will deliver and set into a precut hole, does it HAVE to be On Site immediately, if Not then discuss with the Precast Company as to a Later Deliver to save having to purchase another when manage to damage this one.
     
    digger doug likes this.
  7. MCE1993

    MCE1993 Member

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    It was previously used as a water cistern and i am salvaging it.. I could have hired a boom truck but needed an excavator at the jobsite anyways. Only reason I talked to the precast place was to borrow a lifting sling.
     
  8. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Would leave on the trailer until can access proper lifting mechanism, chancing fate is not a good day with these. They are designed to be Lifted/situated FLAT, side loading will apply stresses not designed to. Minimal to No reinforcement in the walls and floor, top cap unless a cast onto cap should be removable and have a seal joint where still negligible reinforcing, MAYBE Mesh but that will not gain you much.
     
    BigWrench55 likes this.
  9. terex herder

    terex herder Senior Member

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    CO has a much better idea than dropping it on tires. Build your unloading dock. When you load it, do you have any steel plate or scrap plywood you can place between the cistern and the trailer deck? Then you can make the sliding surface between the plate and the trailer as you drag it off, and the cistern doesn't even know its being moved.
     
    aighead and DMiller like this.
  10. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Either pull it off on sand or pea gravel, flat or concave so it doesn't put pressure in the middle. or build an A frame and put tension on with the dozer, then pull the trailer out, then set the tank down on loose material but not heaped in the middle to keep the pressure off the middle of the floor.

    To explain the A frame, two suitable poles attached at the top, dozer behind trailer, chain from dozer secured to top of A frame, another chain or straps down to tank, A frame leans away from the dozer with feet stuck in the ground a little if it's hard or won't sink on their own, the top of A frame could be directly above the tank, or back at an angle. It will support all or some of the weight of the tank as you pull the trailer out from under it.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  11. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Around here everyone uses 1200 gallon poly tanks for their privet under ground wine vat.
     
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  12. MCE1993

    MCE1993 Member

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    Thats a good idea, but I think I would just have my excavator moved home before i went to all the trouble. Starting to think I just need a big old clunker 200-300 size for the odd job like this

    Got one that size too already, saving it for the next property which will be a few hundred miles away.. Handy to haul the tank and mini in one trip to put the septic in...
     
  13. MCE1993

    MCE1993 Member

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    Thank you, this is the kind of constructive criticism I was looking for. At this point I think my plan is to try to slide it off with plywood (possibly greased), and a thick strap slung as low as possible so it is around the tank floor. If it looks like too much strain I can wait and lift it. At the end of the day, it is just a free 20 y/o tank I am getting off a job so my feelings won't be terribly hurt if something happens..
     
    DMiller and hosspuller like this.
  14. westerner

    westerner Well-Known Member

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    I think that if you can avoid any load applied to the floor of the tank, you will be fine. The walls, at 3 inches thick and 16-24 inches tall will withstand ALL the vertical load this job will put on it, and then some.
    One 8 inch tall rock under the center of the floor will kaibosh the whole day....
     
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  15. westerner

    westerner Well-Known Member

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    The 1000 gallon concrete septic tank delivered to my house in 1988 was in two pieces. The 'bottom half' and the 'top half' were equal in height, 30 inches or so.
    The supplier lifted it off his truck in two picks with a 3/8 chain as a choker around each half, with (2) 3/8 chains on either side to pick it. No spreader bars, or any such rigging.
    That is how I set it into the hole on grade after we shot this pile of rocks into submission....I was sorta fussy about the subgrade, that is true.

    Still using it, and I see no signs of leakage.
     
    digger doug and DMiller like this.
  16. Acoals

    Acoals Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't take much to crack those tanks; I wouldn't try dragging it around with a dozer ....
     
    DMiller likes this.
  17. CM1995

    CM1995 Administrator

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    Craneop explained perfectly how to do it. Dig a hole with the dozer to the depth of the trailer deck height then gently pull it off the trailer with the dozer. When you get an excavator capable of handling it safely you can hoist it into place.

    I wouldn't suggest dragging it around with the dozer. Demo'd many, many septic tanks and grease traps, they just don't do too well in tension.;)
     
    DMiller and Acoals like this.
  18. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Does it have grooves cast in it for lifting with a cable? If you dug a ditch to make the ground level with the trailer and could drive the cat up to the tank and lift it up enough to put a pipe under, then could do like Crane Op suggested. Roll it back on the pipe and have a 2nd pipe to put under when the 1st pipe is still under the tank at least about 18 inches. When you get close to the end of the trailer put some plywood or even 2 or 3 2x's on the ground to support the pipes and pull it off the rest of the way. Leave the back end of the tank on the pipe and put the front end on the ground to keep it from moving. You don't want it to crack falling off the pipe.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  19. ps66x4

    ps66x4 Well-Known Member

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    Timbers or steel runners under it and pull on the runners gently. If you have a way lift it.
     
  20. chidog

    chidog Senior Member

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    Dozer, well yeah size is important, that blade can lift alot. I'd use blocks to pad it. Maybe end up with lots of dust in the end too?