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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / which heavy equipment to use when you are inexperienced?
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optimistic
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 07:19
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Hey everyone,

I need to add/spread some stone on my road. Probably have 100ft to do and it is very narrow - 90"-100" about. (I will measure next time I go)

If I can't find anyone to do it for me...

Which heavy equipment can I rent to do it myself assuming:

- I never used heavy equipment (skid steer, backhoe, and so one)

- it is a tight fit in my woods

- in some spots it is very muddy so I need to be able to not got stuck/ self rescue using equipment

Any advise on what I should rent assuming these?

Hoping to make it up there soon and I will post photos of the areas that need to be fixed.

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 07:35
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Modern tracked skid steers are very user friendly and have great traction.

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 07:37
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If you have some really wet spots you might consider laying some geotextile fabric down first so your gravel doesn’t get swallowed by the mud

optimistic
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 07:46
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Only fear I have with skid steer is that since it has a small bucket and I am inexperienced- - that it will take me a long time which will result and very expensive adventure with renting fees.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 08:05
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I did the side yard of my city house, 50' but twice as wide, out of a pickup. Rock moves easy with a rake. Just pulled forward ever 10' or so as I went. That was only about 3 tons though, maybe you are thinking deeper.

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 08:41
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Quoting: optimistic
Only fear I have with skid steer is that since it has a small bucket and I am inexperienced- - that it will take me a long time which will result and very expensive adventure with renting fees


A skid steer bucket is 6-7 feet wide. If it takes more than 1/2 a day to spread 100’ of gravel I will eat my hat

ICC
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 09:26 - Edited by: ICC
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IF you are lucky you might find a rock and gravel supplier that would be able to back into the rough driveway and dump as the box is slowly raised as the truck moves in reverse. We have a very talented gravel supply near us. Small company and very good to work with.

Other than that a skid steer move the gravel from the dumped site to the drive. Depending on one's mechanical aptitude a skid steer does not take too much time to learn.

The job will take a while. Here, a week costs about 3x the daily rate. If you have any distance to travel from the rental place a week may be the best choice.

If you have muddy areas, are they always muddy or just now? Simply pouring rock/stone into it now will mean adding more in future years. Repeatedly. There is a science to building a good road on wet and soggy ground. Different size rock is laid in layers and the aforementioned geotextile fabric helps a lot. Think back about the learning process when you decided to buld your cabin.

Tim_Ohio
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 09:29
Reply 


I support using a loader, as well. You can see down at the bucket from the operator position. I used geotextile fabric. Then, a layer of about 3” of stone,
304 (crushed 57’s with dust). As for getting stuck, remember, you can in most cases, push yourself out with the bucket. Don’t forget that trick. If you can get a unit with tracks, it’s much less likely to get stuck. Also, one of the easiest ways to spread the stone (if you don’t have good skills dumping as you move) is to dump a full load. Then pull forward over the small pile, lower the bucket in front of it and then back up dragging the stone with the back of a leveled bucket.
Hope this helps.

Tim

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 10:37
Reply 


Is the rock being delivered?

DaveBell
Moderator
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 10:47
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Tracker skid steer. Tell the rock driver to tail gate it in. Most important part of heavy equipment, Seat Belt. See andrew camarata and letsdig18 on Youtube for tail gating gravel.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 10:56
Reply 


Find a neighbor with a skid steer or a small 4wd tractor c/w bucket? Their already developed skills will make it go way faster. Offer to pay 'em what the day rental would be.
There is generally more to graveling a new driveway than dumping gravel if you want it to be good.
Those low/wet spots may be problematic if it isnt just where runoff collects because they are low. Address that properly, make a good roadbed, then gravel.
Dont use rounded rock gravel, you want sharp edged stuff that will lock together. My supplier's stuff also has a good lime content; it really set up/locked together tight and strong.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 11:11
Reply 


I would suggest a rubber tired backhoe. Most are 4 wheel drive now so they don't get stuck as easy. I prefer the back hoe because it is heavier n more power and the longer wheel base makes getting things smooth n level easier.
Fellow can dig holes to burry brush n stumps to.
They are near equal in price, I know I could do more work with the hoe. Skidsteer is a nice machine but can be kinda jerky . Also the older bobcat skidsteer had foot controls for lifting the bucket and hard to get used to. I believe that newer ones and different types have all the controls in the hand grips. I know they are easier for me.
If you have a built up an area with pit run gravel they may not be able to spread that much. If you're putting down fractured rock such as D-1 , 3/4" rock broken on the sides so it binds together better they may be able to spread that if they can lift the box without hitting trees. I've done lots of driveways and ran both pieces of iron many hours. You should be able to get the hang of either pretty fast.
Good luck n have fun

optimistic
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 11:30
Reply 


I love this forum.

Irrigation Guy - haha. I hope you are right. That will be great.

ICC - no way for a truck doing that. Very wooded and muddy area. I am thinking geotextile, very large stone, then gravel. And see how far that gets me. I don't need the road to be perfect. Just to avoid beating up my new car... I will be happy to drive slowly in the 1500ft of drive in the woods as long as it isn't beating up the car.

Tim - great tips. I will do that.

Paulz - yes. they won't be able to get in too far to dump for me. if I am lucky they will go 100ft in. if not then 30ft. From the 100ft mark I will need to drive about 400ft to reach the trouble area.

DAVEBELL - "tail gate it in" what does that mean?

gcrank1 - I wish. I don't want to bring people to my off grid cabin. so that won't work

Aklogcabin - I need something easy and small. I am concerned about a backhoe.

DaveBell
Moderator
# Posted: 30 Apr 2022 20:42
Reply 


Quoting: optimistic
"tail gate it in" what does that mean?


On a dump truck, it should have a short chain at each lower corner of the tailgate. The driver will attach the chain to a pin or hook on the tail gate. He raises the bed and the chain lets the tailgate open only as far as the number of links he uses. Then drives forward or backward dumping the gravel in a controlled way versus just making one big pile. It reduces the amount of spreading work you have to do.

Back spreading is useful for mud, the truck is driving over dumped gravel.

If you have loam soil you need to remove it else over time the gravel will sink and your back to mud. If its really boggy, you may have to use a membrane.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey_NEoM2SpM

Use 2-3 inch gravel first, then next year apply crusher run gravel.

Make sure you grade the road first with ditches so that water wants to run off the road.

Pictures would help.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 1 May 2022 06:30
Reply 


If it's very muddy use road fabric and then 2in stone topped with stone with fines in it. The idea is the road fabric keep the stone from pushing and mixing in with the stone.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 1 May 2022 08:39
Reply 


Opti, skid can be used to push over trees with the bucket raised. Depending on the species and root system it can be fairly easy or difficult. That breaks roots and tears the root ball out so no problems with stump removal. Push 'em over before cutting the tree down; the upper weight acts as a lever and helps.

BRADISH
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2022 13:04 - Edited by: BRADISH
Reply 


IMO - the best bang for your buck is gonna be a skid steer. You can be competent with it within an hour and they are fairly forgiving. Theyre not so big so you won't end up doing more harm than good. A tracked rig will be easier for level spreading than a wheeled rig, but it is certainly possible in either. Locally rentals are about $350/day here, although there are personal rentals that can be had for $250/day on classified ads. Schedule it over the weekend to grab those free days whenever possible.

Personally I have an 863 Bobcat and I've mined, moved and spread 200 yards of dirt with it last summer for my driveway/ pad. It's a 150' driveway with a 50x60 pad, about 12-16" deep.

When spreading it's all about the angle of your bucket. More forward to spread the dirt, back drag it to flatten/pack it. A steep angle on your bucket while back dragging will cut the high spots, a low/no angle will smooth everything.

Get the surface fairly even then spend 10 mins tracking it evenly, then repeat the process.

In terms of starting I suggest you scrape off the organic layer (top 8") and dispose of somewhere out of the way. Then as mentioned above, put down geotextile/typar down before your road bed material. It's gotten spendy in the last year (doubled in price locally) but it will save you big $ in material and really helps from things getting rutted out.

Plenty of YouTube videos out there to watch and learn from as well. Best of luck!
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