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Old 03-12-2010, 11:54 PM
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queen of spades queen of spades is offline
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Grading a pad

I'm getting ready to grade a 32 x 24 pad for an outbuilding on my own property. The soil is red clay, and two weeks ago I grubbed 12 large pine stumps in the area.

My question is what is the best way to ensure that the dirt is compacted for a concrete pad, and how (other than seat of the pants) do you check to make sure the pad is level? I was thinking of using a level and a long 2x4, to check as I went.

I'll either use a RC-85, CL-35 or a mini-ex (NX-55). Any preference towards the mini ex vs. track loader? I'm leaning towards the NX55 since I also need to dig some french drains.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:28 AM
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Scag48 Scag48 is offline
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Grading a pad with a mini will be a disaster unless you're really confident in your ability to hold a grade, especially with a mini. They aren't the easiest pieces of equipment to grade with, can be done, but definately not preferred if a skid steer is an option. I recommend going the skid steer route.

The easiest way for you to check grade is to get a laser or transit. Set it up, establish your grade and go from there. You could also set up a pair of stringlines for each axis, then run your 2X4 off the stringline elevation out into the grade and drive hubs into the ground across the pad. It's an odd way of doing it but would work if you're not able to score a transit and aren't familiar with using a pea gun.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:37 AM
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tmf lawn care tmf lawn care is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queen of spades View Post
I'm getting ready to grade a 32 x 24 pad for an outbuilding on my own property. The soil is red clay, and two weeks ago I grubbed 12 large pine stumps in the area.

My question is what is the best way to ensure that the dirt is compacted for a concrete pad, and how (other than seat of the pants) do you check to make sure the pad is level? I was thinking of using a level and a long 2x4, to check as I went.

I'll either use a RC-85, CL-35 or a mini-ex (NX-55). Any preference towards the mini ex vs. track loader? I'm leaning towards the NX55 since I also need to dig some french drains.

Thoughts?
i would do the loader just take ur time with it
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:46 AM
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queen of spades queen of spades is offline
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What steps need to be taken to compact the pad area? Is running over the dirt with machine's tracks in 6" layers enough?
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:23 AM
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Personally, if I had more work to do that a trackhoe was needed for. I'd just get the trackhoe and do the whole job with it. Sure its a little harder to hold a grade with, but why rent 2 machines? Thats just more money going out..
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Just run the god damn sh*t out of the machine and the hell with all the other crap, make money instead of worrying about crap that only accountants think about!
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:28 AM
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queen of spades queen of spades is offline
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Junior that is my thought process too. I have a small compact tractor with loader, so I can do light grading with it. Plus the NX-55 has a dozer blade for moving small amounts of dirt.. I was thinking of using the 3' dirt bucket for the excavation, then doze it as needed.

The alternative is rent two machines as you say. I'll spend the same for a smaller mini-ex and CTL as i would the NX-55.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:20 AM
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Junior M Junior M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queen of spades View Post
Junior that is my thought process too. I have a small compact tractor with loader, so I can do light grading with it. Plus the NX-55 has a dozer blade for moving small amounts of dirt.. I was thinking of using the 3' dirt bucket for the excavation, then doze it as needed.

The alternative is rent two machines as you say. I'll spend the same for a smaller mini-ex and CTL as i would the NX-55.
Thats the way we do business right now..

Except we rent a 5ton mini pretty much all the time..

We've done plenty of jobs with a trackhoe that it woulda been nice to have a loader and trackhoe on. But the trackhoe got the job done.. I'll see if I can find a pic of that pad and swale we graded with a trackhoe cause it wasnt in the budget for a loader to come in and grade after removing the stumps..
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Originally Posted by bobcat_ron View Post

Just run the god damn sh*t out of the machine and the hell with all the other crap, make money instead of worrying about crap that only accountants think about!
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:28 AM
Danny Boy Danny Boy is offline
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Do you intend to put the concrete slab directly on the clay?
I would put four to six inches of clear crush gravel under the slab for drainage, extend it past the slab by at least 18 inches all round and level and compact it.
CTL would be my choice for grading a pad this size
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2010, 11:09 AM
AWJ Services AWJ Services is offline
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3 to 6 inch lifts will be fine. If you are going to pour a slab it is best to do a mono and dig the footers to virgin hard pan. If it is a portable building just compact well.

The skid will be the fastest but the mini x will work .

For level you can use anything or just rent a laser from where you get the equipment. They usually charge about 45 a day for them.

One problem you will have is where the stumps where the soil will need to be removed and all roots gone. Usually you just window the area down to you get to clean virgin soil.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:08 PM
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flairland flairland is offline
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I think it depends on your skill level. If it were up to me, a mini ex would be my first choice. If you have never ran one, its a tough job to learn on. Use whatever you feel most confident on, because if you're not dead on grade, you could be spending a lot of extra money on concrete... and that gets expensive quickly. Also, I'd never lay a pad down on virgin soil, I always put at least 6" of gravel down, plus compact w/ a compactor, any track machine does not have near enough psi.
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