View Full Version : Staying on

09-28-2008, 02:29 AM
Found out today I will be staying with our cut in half crew for the remainder of our time on the job I've been working on. I was told a couple weeks ago that I might be let go right about now, then I was told that I might stay on. Well, we're done with the bulk work finally, I think we have about 2 more days of trucking and all of our focus will be on the footings.

This week has been pretty crazy, we were on a dead run to get down to the floor so the drillers could get gone. I think I did 4 or 5 lifts around the building, it's about 1,000 feet per lift around the whole building. Crazy to think that myself and a guy in a 200 faced over a mile of wall. Had some real long days, grade checking for 12 hours is really hard on the body. Today I got lucky and was in a 400 for about 4 hours, then I jumped in the D6R for about an hour, finished up the day in one of our Komatsu WA-350's running material from a ramp cut down to a sloped bench so it could be loaded out in the trucks.

Here's a photo of the site taken 2 weeks ago. The wall straight across is 4 lifts deep. We went down to 2 more lifts from there, it's pretty damn deep now. You can see the drill rig parked, it's that blue excavator with a huge drill mounted on it, pretty sweet. They can drill 450 feet of wall in about an hour and a half, then the machine sits the rest of the day. This photo was taken on a Saturday, we weren't trucking material out. You can see the orange fabric rolled out right in front of the D8. Typically when exporting, trucks would come down the ramp and take a left, come around and shoot back up the ramp. In the heat of trucking, it was wide enough for 2 trucks wide and they'd be stacked in there pretty tight, we ran 50 trucks on a 1 hour cycle during the heat of things. Once we hit sand at the bottom, trucks can't run on it, so the sandy bottom where the fabric is laid was used to bridge over the sand, Then we placed 4-6" spalls over the fabric so the trucks don't get stuck. I believe when this photo was taken the trucks were bringing in the stone and that 400 is stockpiling it. When I first started this job, there were no walls shot in yet and only the road in the bottom was cut but it was much higher. We had 30 foot wide benches at the top of where the walls now sit and the D8 would carve down and push toward the 400's loading trucks. Slowly and surely, we made it down to the floor. As you can see, there's a cable railing all the way around the tops of the walls, the general contractor is very safety oriented. Angle iron bolted to the walls with some hardcore wire rope. Very safe site, everything is run very well by the GC.

This photo you can see the huge bucket we run on that 400. I was running that hoe today stockpiling sand, we only had 2 hoes loading till today, no sand. Got a call on the CB that one truck needed a load of sand. The dash 7 I was in has a fairly long stick compared to the dash 6 I was used to loading trucks with. Truck made me reach at least 10-12 feet, just couldn't get close enough to me with the pup. Had that 400 on her toes a little bit stetching out with 4 yards of sand.

Gravel Rat
09-28-2008, 03:16 AM
That is one h*ll of a hole is that one store or is that a whole mall ?

You have proved yourself to the boss/foreman so its why they are keeping you on which is good.

I don't think you could dig a hole that deep in B.C. without hitting solid rock or in Vancouver and not hitting the water table.

09-28-2008, 03:27 AM
It's for a technology company based here in the Seattle area everyone here is familiar with. :)

The top of the cut was very, very hard till. We had to rip it all with the 8 before it could be pushed to the 400's. I was in the 8 one day about 3 weeks ago and had to rip some of that hardpan on a 2:1 slope coming down from one of the walls. The dirt is so hard the 8 would start skipping on it going up the slope, it would wiggle back and forth. Tough to feather an 8 up that slope when she's sliding back and forth, especially with an old school 8 running steering clutches instead of diff steer. I'll take the 6R, so fast, so smooth, rides like a chariot, and is louder than hell.

The day I loaded trucks a couple weeks ago I got the hoe with our dubbed "donicker" bucket. No teeth on that 72" beast, just a cutting edge. I ran out of soft material after I got slammed with 6 or 7 trucks in a row and absolutely could not get through the hardpan with that bucket, it would just glaze it. Of course I was sitting on a bench where we coudn't get the 8, not like I had time to wait for it to be ripped. Just struggled along to get the bucket filled.

This job is getting to be nuts, tons more people on the site now compared to 2 weeks ago. Now the electricians are here running temporary power for the tower cranes and all that stuff. Big crane company showed up earlier this week with a Liebherr truck crane and dropped 2 gigantic modular buildings in place. No joke, each one of these buildings is at least 3,000 square feet, they're about 60 feet long and they're a double wide deal, 2 stories each, so a total of 8 sections for both buildings. The ironworkers showed up to set the rebar for the tower crane footing we dug out Thursday. I think they're going to pour the pad sometime next week and start throwing up the first tower crane. We'll be digging the other tower crane footing sometime next week, it will probably start being erected the following week. I hear things get even crazier once the carpenters show up and start building forms. Should be interesting to see what happens.

Overall I've been pleased with this job and I love the company I work for. I'm learning a lot, this is HUGE money stuff compared to what I'm used to. The stuff I'm learning is so diverse, one day I'll be running a GPS rover, next day I could be on the 8 or a 400. It's hard to replicate this kind of experience anywhere else, this is exactly why I went union.

Gravel Rat
09-28-2008, 03:54 AM
I bet they are in a hurry to beat the weather get the foundation started.

Once the iron workers get flying they will have that building constructed quickly.

09-28-2008, 12:13 PM
You Yankees and pin on couplers are like pigs and sh*t. That's an average bucket size here. I sure miss that 330CL and the seven foot "2 scoops and you're loaded" bucket.

09-28-2008, 12:40 PM
Can you please describe what wall facing is?

09-28-2008, 02:52 PM
Can you please describe what wall facing is?

Prepping the cut for shotcrete or tie backs.

09-28-2008, 03:33 PM
Can you please describe what wall facing is?

Just like Ron said. Take a hoe and vertically cut a wall within 1" of tolerance either way from vertical. I was grade checking this process, running a laser to guide the hoe. We've faced with a 400, but I don't prefer it and the operator usually doesn't either. The 200 is much more suited to facing. With the 400, you're 40 feet away from the wall, tough to see. It's all about hand signals and I've become pretty good at that.

After we cut the walls, the drillers come in, throw in some soil nails, tie some mesh to the previous lift and shotcrete the wall. Then tie the nails into the finished face. Pretty cool process.

As for pin on buckets, I was never a huge fan of pin grabbers. But when you have a huge fleet of iron, it's nice to be able to share buckets with other hoes. The ability to turn them around backwards is nice as well. The big bucket I've found out is around 4 yards.

09-28-2008, 05:25 PM
What's wrong with pin grabbers? :( I agree with Scag, the ability to share is nice as well as turn the bucket around...Scag, that site is looking nice! :) They are really working away at the Safeway site near my house too...the neigborhood project slowed down a tad though.

09-28-2008, 06:29 PM
We sent a few trucks to Safeway on Friday I believe. After the rain, Friday was a mess. Trucks kept getting hung up, so we shut the trucking down early. Another guy and myself scraped the haul road clean of mud after all the trucks were done, rolled it a bunch of trimes, and we were smooth sailing all day Saturday. Supposed to be good weather until Wednesday, we should be done trucking by then.

Demolition has started on another job we just got, hopefully within a month or two the dirt crew will go in. Not sure if that will be us, probably not, but if things dry up I can only hope I will be sent over there. We do another building next spring for the same company we're working for now, that very well could be my crew heading over there to dig that bad boy. It's supposed to be bigger and deeper than this hole.

09-28-2008, 06:55 PM
What's wrong with pin grabbers? :( I agree with Scag, the ability to share is nice as well as turn the bucket around...Scag, that site is looking nice! :) They are really working away at the Safeway site near my house too...the neigborhood project slowed down a tad though.

I have never used a pin grabber system, I like them for being able to turn the bucket around, but they add to the attachment's tip radius and rob the power away from the bucket breakout forces. Cat (and a few other manufacturers) have at least started to build their buckets with the pin recessed into the top of the bucket, giving the power back again, that would be a system I would like, but wedge couplers (hydraulic and manual) are still safer here.

09-28-2008, 06:58 PM
Like I said, for a guy that has maybe has a couple excavators that could share buckets, pin grabbers are nice. My dad's 312 had a wedge lock and for us, a pin grabber definately wasn't the way to go.

09-29-2008, 12:49 AM

Was the GC expecting that much sand? What is the Orange fabric, is it some kind of Geo cloth?

09-29-2008, 01:26 AM
Yeah, we knew the sand was there. We're getting rid of it fairly easily so it's no big deal.

The orange fabric is a geotextile fabric used to bridge over soft areas. We rolled it out over the sand, placed 4-6" rock on it, hammered it into the ground with a big Sakai roller, and it's rock solid now. Without the fabric, the rock just disappears into the sand.

Gravel Rat
09-29-2008, 03:06 AM
It looks like it was fairly clean sand it would be good for redimix screen it wash it and mix it with 3/4 clear crush.

Atleast it was easy digging but a pain in the azz for driving trucks on.

10-01-2008, 12:56 AM
When you guys are done digging will they crane the equipment out, like in this video or dig the ramp as you work out of the hole?


10-01-2008, 01:13 AM
We'll probably bring everything out that needs to come out when we pull the ramp. Tower crane number 1 is going to start getting set up this Saturday, the first piece was dropped in yesterday. It will be able to sky out a 580 or small dozer very easily. So we'll get the big stuff out and leave some of the smaller equipment down there that we need. I'm not sure how long the ramp will be in place, could be a couple more weeks, hard to say. All I know is that the floor is practically finished except for where the ramp is. I spent a good hour and half today finish grading the floor with the 6R. Buddy on his 400 ran out of sand to load out so I pulled some high spots out to keep him going. Stressed me out, no GPS hooked up today, had to get it close by eye. That sand is tough to grade, that's for sure, but I got it within 2 tenths without being guided. Not bad for a novice dozer operator with only about 3 hours total on that 6R before today. Love that thing now that I have a good feel for it, I bet I could get within a tenth now that I have a good feel for her. 2nd gear full tilt trying to keep up with the trucks and still finish grading, good thing I was only making that push for a little while. Love running that dozer, she has some MEAN bark. Popping the decel after shifting promotes a throaty growl, that 6 sounds badass. Then I got back up to polishing haul roads absolutely flying. We usually backdrag them to clean them up, I hate backdragging, makes me feel like I'm cheating. I was able to plow the whole ramp clean in about 10 minutes.

10-01-2008, 01:32 AM
Now you understand why i enjoy running my dozer!!!!!!!!!:) Good luck:usflag: