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Proper scraper operating rules of thumb and tips

Discussion in 'Scrapers' started by Questionable wizard, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Questionable wizard

    Questionable wizard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm not a scraper operator, just a mechanic. Have only been in this industry for 5 years. Spent 32 years in grain farm machinery operation and repair. I've been impressed with the efficiency how scrapers move yards/meters per man hour or fuel rate. I know with changing weather patterns, scraper use has fallen out of practice in areas, thus fewer and fewer experienced operators to coach the beginners. No arguing an excavator and haul trucks have taken the place of scrapers.

    I've gathered some tips from past operators where I work, running tires on a pile near the edge to pack so later trips don't result in a machine sliding over on a soft spot, maintaining haul roads, not spinning tires when being push loaded. Hustle-hustle-hustle for that 100 load-a-day count. Grading fill and packing properly. Splitting passes and wheel tracks. Where to set your seat suspension so you don't take a beating.

    Another 30 year experienced operator said you should never let a open bowl scraper struggle to get full for best production, thus push load or push/pull(what's the rule of thumb of increased daily yards when push loading versus solitary operation).

    The guy I work closest ran 627s for Kokosing Construction one winter stripping in one of their pits. That crew only ran scrapers. They were good, and if you got out of line or weren't doing something right, they were on your a$$ in a heartbeat. The average newbie there starting out in a scraper trying to work up to a dozer operator position didn't last long.

    What are the tips for working wetter material? Rocky areas? Pull scraper operation with tractors? Elevating scraper operation? Open bowl tips?

    What I'm trying to do here is put together training program for our operation for the new people. Short coaching sessions when I see something not right. Would love for training videos, not sure where to find. Many of our job foreman don't coach the new guys and bad habits aren't corrected. Every once in a while I like to run one.

    Put the tips out here so the wisdom doesn't disappear when the experienced help leave.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  2. Questionable wizard

    Questionable wizard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Ohio
    Some tips I heard: when starting a ditch or bank, lower the cutting edge while in the turn to tilt the cutting edge.
    Wear the seat belt to reduce head bruising on the cab roof.
    Raise the seat high enough to have a good view of the cutting edge and as much ground around the lower blind spots, but still leave suspension travel.
    When ejecting wet plastic material from a Terex with the roll out bowl, keep the cutting edge higher so the load slides out not packing against the cutting edge giving it room to fall away. Then turn around and try to level the load.
    Push/pull, rear operator shouldn't hammer the front scraper push block.
    When filling a bowl, load a nice full load, but not excessive. Reducing cycle times will yield higher volume per day.
    Maintaining haul roads, apron up-ejector forward, keep cutting edge low to shave haul road smooth
    Always straddle wheel tracks when on wetter ground or fill areas
    Duck walking- slow down, split your passes.
    When stripping larger areas, use skip cuts so the skipped ribbons are the width between the wheels, then come back and cut out the skips.
    When loading unloosened material, filling the bowl with shallower ribbons of dirt will eject and spread better than a deep cut.
    There won't be any time to play on a cell phone if running a scraper correctly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  3. Blocker in MS

    Blocker in MS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Messages:
    785
    Location:
    Mississippi
    All your points seem very valid, especially the very last one. Scrapes and pull-type scrapers are a world apart.

    We like to keep keep the edge next to a slope lower so you can get a crisp cut and square off the floor easily when the time comes in a pond or landfill cell ect.

    A good operator is always looking where dirt needs to be moved and how he can get it there the quickest shortest route. Very many of us tractor guys make most of our money by load counts....even the new ones.

    Your smooth, maintained haul roads AND fill make you money. Even when it is smooth, if it is not rough you are not going fast enough. Most of my life has been 4WD articulated tractors working jobs. I had a friend who was paying the same hour rate for a FWA 200HP tractor running a drag bucket over the roads on a longer haul. His math said 4 big tractors moved X amount per day. One smaller tractor added only smoothing fill and haul roads was like adding 2 more big tractors will less fuel and a lot less wear and tear, so he was still making good money.
     
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  4. Blocker in MS

    Blocker in MS Senior Member

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    785
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I have always liked speed and maneuverability. I am not sure this pays in every scenario for every tractor to be this way, but it seemed I always did better running faster with a yard or two smaller bucket and quicker loading times and gaining speed more quickly if hauls were long.
     
    RZucker likes this.
  5. Blocker in MS

    Blocker in MS Senior Member

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    Messages:
    785
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I always would rather make swallower cuts and run 1-2mph faster then deep short cuts. Usually this is easier on the power train as well it seems as there is not as much lugging and strain that way.
     
  6. Blocker in MS

    Blocker in MS Senior Member

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    785
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Of course all my answers are for tractors pulling buckets and not scrapers. Only spent a total of maybe two days on a self propelled in the last 20 years.
     
  7. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    860
    Location:
    Az
    Dont run an elevator in rock like 1 foot plus it's just ugly

    Be careful running scrapers on farm ground if you want to farm it afterward you may not get the compaction out better to use tractor and cans

    like blocker said tractor and cans work great for shallow cuts like 6 inches max to keep ground speed up tractors dont have a torque converter like a scraper does
     
    RZucker likes this.
  8. ShaneK

    ShaneK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Canada
    Here are videos showing scraper operator tips with some good nuggets included for
    Tractor and Scraper Pan:
    ADT Truck and Scraper Pan:
     
  9. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,783
    Location:
    North Dakota
    Best quote I've ever heard about running scraper.
     
  10. Questionable wizard

    Questionable wizard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Ohio
    Never rub a tire sidewall against a bank or cut. Had to break one down today to clean the bead area of the rim. Would like to remove the operator's gonads non-surgically!
     
  11. Blocker in MS

    Blocker in MS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Messages:
    785
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Got several of those t-shirts....I was always the operator and we fix our own tires. If I removed the part you mentioned, I might get in less trouble:)....probably would not help the tire situation much though.
     
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  12. Dew

    Dew New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    wyoming
    Cut in ribbons and dump in ribbons and finish a ribbon before moving over. do not skip around. Always work your edges first, in your cut and dump. Always keep your dump edges filled higher and tipped inwards. remember a 10 ft edge is easier too be rescued off of then a 50 ft so it's best keep your lifts at shallow .
     
    zhkent likes this.