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exmarkhp
01-31-2005, 10:13 AM
Last summer I received an account to mow a small cemetary that required that I also dig the graves. I dug them by hand. This year I am bidding on another account just for the grave digging. I am looking for opinions for the best piece of equipment to do the job. I have never used any type of excavation equipment so I am not sure what will fit my needs. I just know I don't want to use a shovel this year. I have talked to a few dealers and they recommend that I go with a backhoe loader. They feel it is more versitile. I have been leaning towards a rubber tracked excavator because of it's compact size and better digging ability. What would everyone recommend and what size tractor would do the job?

JB1
01-31-2005, 10:19 AM
I have friends that dig graves, they use a small john deere 40 -50 hp tractor with a backhoe attachment. They have tried other pieces of equipment and this works best for them and they dig around 350 graves a year.

exmarkhp
01-31-2005, 10:51 PM
My dealer was trying to sell me a 30 horse yanmar tractor with a case backhoe attached to it. He said it was a 6' hoe. Would this be big enough to get the job done. I want to make sure that I get something that is small enough to be manueverable but not underpowered or slow. I would be upset if it struggled to dig the hole when needed. Thanks for your input

TerraFirma Excavating
02-01-2005, 01:52 AM
Whatever you decide upon, you need to make sure it will minimize turf damage. Keep it light as possible or use as big as wheels as possible to reduce ground pressure. I think a tracked machine (or any skidsteer style machine) MAY disturb the turf more than a tractor would.

6' dig depth may not be enough. I don't know how deep you have to excavate for the graves, but 6' dig depth will not give you very much reach at max depth. You may end up moving the machine multiple times to complete one grave. If loose material sloughs back out of reach, you'll have to hand excavate it or move the machine around to the other side to reach it.

I think I'd look at a tractor large enough for a 8'-9' backhoe with turf tires. You could drop the backhoe and pull a finish mover as necessary. Not quite the size I'm talking about, but a JD 790 tractor (27 HP) can mount a 7.5' backhoe and can utilize a mid-mount mower. Available in 2WD or 4WD also. Tractor weighs ~2000#, but not sure about the backhoe attachment.

YardPro
02-01-2005, 07:33 AM
guy here uses an OLD terramite.
he has a special bucket on the backhoe. it's really wide.

ksss
02-01-2005, 02:40 PM
A six foot max. reach would be inadequate for digging a six foot grave. If you plan on digging 6' deep a machine with a 10' dig depth would be as small as I would go. The max. dig depth is rated by max. depth directly under the hoe and that isn't usable reach. A backhoe would be more convenient as you could dig and move dirt around with one machine. If you needed higher production digging perhaps a compact excavator would outdig a compact backhoe, but you might find yourself needing two pieces of equipment which would offset by far the increased efficiency of the compact excavator by itself.

exmarkhp
02-01-2005, 02:49 PM
Thanks for all of the replys. I am going to seriously look into a backhoe. I was originally thinking of using an excavator because I felt it would work better at digging and loading a one ton dump truck. I figure this would allow me to back fill by just backing to the hole and dumping. Some sites this would work and it would only be efficient if the vault was placed the same day. If not I would be riding around with a load for awhile. What size bucket and how much digging power would be needed. The site is mostly sandy soil with occassional rocks.

ksss
02-01-2005, 03:28 PM
There is a special bucket just for grave digging. The hole need to square and flat and the bucket made for that provides the long lip that is needed for grave digging. I would pick a machine with a 10' dig depth and suitable breakout force (with the conditions described that should be easy, then buy the bucket that fits the machine. I use Werk Brau quick couplers and buckets, excellent quality.

xcopterdoc
02-01-2005, 07:10 PM
When I worked for a rental company, I set one up for a guy. It was a T6 Teramite with a 3ft bucket, turf tires. Worked great.. still using it after 6 years.

YardPro
02-03-2005, 08:43 PM
it wasn't munden's was it??
that' the company here that has a t6 with turf tires, and a special bucket???

xcopterdoc
02-04-2005, 07:28 AM
I dont recall the last name... he lives in Hope Mills, Nc.

YardPro
02-04-2005, 07:50 AM
here you cannot dig 6 feet.
graves are only 4 feet at the most.
water table is so high, so the terramite works fine.

Albemarle Lawn
02-07-2005, 12:28 AM
Make sure you have Dave Matthews "Gravedigger" both regular and acoustical versions in your CD player as you work. :help:

exmarkhp
02-07-2005, 01:47 PM
Here we also only dig 4 feet deep. I should have mentioned that before.

BostonGuy
02-17-2005, 08:39 AM
Wow, I hope frost heaves don't push things up! :p

wojo23323
02-18-2005, 05:09 PM
Grave digging, that's a dying business.

GTLC
03-01-2005, 01:46 PM
OH COME ON, WHOP WANTS to be digging graves at the young age of 18, i'd rather clean bathrooms.

yorkpaddy
03-04-2005, 04:07 AM
I dug a grave this summer with a mini excavator. I would definetly (?) recomend a mini-x. Where I did the work, I don't see how you could have fit a backhoe in there. not only could I drive down the rows, once I was there, I could turn the tracks towards the grave. The best you could have hoped for with a backhoe would be to dig with your arm all the way the side and turn towards normal to dump, which just seems awkward to me.

Check out the pictures in my flickr gallery
Page 1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/?saved=1http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/?saved=1)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/?saved=1
Page 3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/page2/)
Page 3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/page5/)

vntgrcr
03-04-2005, 04:27 AM
I dug a grave this summer with a mini excavator. I would definetly (?) recomend a mini-x. Where I did the work, I don't see how you could have fit a backhoe in there. not only could I drive down the rows, once I was there, I could turn the tracks towards the grave. The best you could have hoped for with a backhoe would be to dig with your arm all the way the side and turn towards normal to dump, which just seems awkward to me.

Check out the pictures in my flickr gallery
Page 1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/?saved=1http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/?saved=1)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/?saved=1
Page 3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/page2/)
Page 3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorkpaddy/page5/)
Hey Yorkpaddy,
checked your pics and they look great, but curious as to whether you tow the 331 that far forward on the trailer. Looked like the back of the truck was way low. Plus the exc. could be moved further back over the wheels to balance things out. Just curious, looks good though!
David

yorkpaddy
03-04-2005, 04:45 AM
That was the only time I pulled that excavator. The truck was really loaded down. Its not my excavator. The grave had to be dug that day, and my friend who had the contract was busy so he had me do it. When I picked up the trailer and excavator, the chain wasn't long enough to reposition the machine properly. In addition to that, the control lever was jammed to the setup that I wasn't used to and I couldn't put it back to the one I like. Notice also that there was no ROPS on the machine. The guy took the ROPS off to do work in an existing basement and never put it back on. It was a scary situation in a lot of ways. But I had a blast, and I have a great story.

Grave Diggers
05-09-2006, 09:55 PM
Humm Well we use a Kubota here. Actualy we have about 4 tractors one needs a new front end one oliver one Dig it And Are Kubota. For this line of work a Deer Isnt needed, I cant see how u went a hole year with diging them by hand though. What type of monument are in your cem.? flat or tall? and the tank tracks just wont cut it.

But we have 3 ways of diging. A) Pull the big moy out if it's in the wide open.
B) Find a way to crawl over plots with the dig it. which it will get almost anywhere. And Lastly c) A good Shovel or 2 and a pick axe :)) Id like to say that the kubota is 80hp but i will double check tomarow. with a standered back ho. As for your coment for the dump truck Umm my Advise is get that bucket to fill in your hole with or you will have a mess.

And you can get a dump trailer, a good stout one. maybey Heavy enough to haul around ure tractor. are measurements are 48D x 42W x 8L

Well if you need any help just let me know :->

O and have you had a double dept grave yet? If you Havent When you get one u will be glade to have a good tractor. just be carefull of a cave in. And i mean very carefull.

2004F550
05-09-2006, 10:06 PM
dave matthews is a must no matter what your doing lol....

GreenMonster
05-09-2006, 10:18 PM
by chance, I got into the grave digging biz last year. I use my 331 and it's a great machine for the job as far as I'm concerned.

Good money, but a pita, as the digging is usually the day before the service, and then come back the next day to backfill. I'm not sure how much longer I can do it unless I get another machine capable of doing the work, and maybe a p/t guy to handle the work. It's a great gig for a retired guy with a tlb and nothin' better to do.

Dirty Water
05-09-2006, 11:02 PM
I'm waiting for Gravel Rat to pop in and say that in BC your need to use at least a Cat 325 to dig graves.

Wait, Did I say Cat? Nevermind, I meant Hitachi.

tylermckee
05-10-2006, 09:31 AM
I'm waiting for Gravel Rat to pop in and say that in BC your need to use at least a Cat 325 to dig graves.

Wait, Did I say Cat? Nevermind, I meant Hitachi.
:rolleyes: everyone knows it takes a blasting team, and a 400 hitachi

murray83
05-10-2006, 05:54 PM
how do you charge for that service? by the hour or say a fixed rate for the benifit of the family?

Gravel Rat
05-10-2006, 06:35 PM
In this area creemation is the number 1 choice its pretty rare now that anybody is put in the ground because its very expensive. I forget the price for a burial plot but its in the 5000 dollar range.

If a grave is dug usually its done by a contractor that has a rubber tired backhoe like the contractor that does it here he has a 590 Case 4x4. Runs out to the cemetary digs the hole and leaves. He may dig a grave once a year or may be one ever couple years.

When you have a acre of decent flat property with good ground that you can get 4 feet dig depth which is very very rare is prolly worth 300,000 dollars or more. The one grave site in the area is prolly sitting on 3/4s of a acre it has a land value if the graves were not there of 400,000 dollars.

The 6 acres beside the grave yard which is waterfront property is valued at 1.6 million.

turboawd
05-11-2006, 09:45 PM
i've seen a local cemetery use one of these JCB 208S
http://www.machinerytrader.com/images/Machinery/fullsize/71744931.jpg