Cutting slopes

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Fieldman12, May 3, 2008.

  1. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    Just wondered how you guys cut your slopes. I sometimes use the stick and string method with the string set at the correct slope. I also have done it measuring the drop with the laser. I do a good bit of this type of work and eventually down the road may step up to a laser system on the machine. For now though I was wondering if there was a way I could mount a bubble level to the bucket. I know they do this on dozers and is very effective. Simple set the level the correct amount of drop and once the level is between the bubbles you are right on. Any other tricks you guys use. The old string method seems to work fine.
     
  2. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    Everyone laughed at me but I installed a self-stick bubble level that is used for leveling RV's. I just mouned it in my cab and for things that aren't 100% critical, it gave me an indication. I can usually "feel" a grade but sometimes you get used to it and don't feel it a much especially if it's a gradual grade. Are you talking about your JD? Do you use a tilt-tatch style attachment?
     
  3. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    Yes, it is for my JD skid steer. I am using just a basic 72" low profile quick attach bucket. I have thought of the idea mounting it in the cab and will work fine but for small jobs such as a 15' patio I thought it may be a better idea to have it mounted on a pole and on the bucket. I would have to make it where I could adjust the level to the desired slope. I usually just feel a good slope as you stated and just check the depth with the rotating laser. The sticks and string works fine but I dont like it as well for bigger jobs. I was just curious how everyone else was doing it on here. Have a pic of your setup in the cab?
     
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    There is a company that makes a laser pole with a magnet on the bottom. You drill a couple of holes in the top of your bucket and the pole rocks into place. Holds well. The name of the company is Laser Horn I believe. You need a laser transmitter of course and something like an Apache Plus 5 or you could get by with the 3 which is cheaper. The Laser Horn was like 350. It is worth it I thought although a guy could fab one yourself. I did not think it was worth it to reinvent it to save a couple hundred dollars.
     
  5. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 989

    Are you talking ditch slopes or long slopes? If I knew what you were doing I could help more.

    Most of the stuff I do is done with the eyeball method. Pretty scientific I know.

    I do have a cheep slope laser but I havn't got to use it as of yet. I would love to have a nice Highend dual slope but since I hardly use the other on I can't justify it.

    J.
     
  6. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I do both actually JPG.
     
  7. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 989

    What are you doing now?

    Are you asking what to use to cut them or how to measure them.
     
  8. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I am just asking how everyone else does them? Do you guys have any tricks to cut them perfect that makes it faster. I don't have any trouble cutting them it just takes some time. I have cut a few ditches lately and have a customer that would like a patio pad cut. I was just going to use the stick and string method and on the first pass closest to the string I was going to mark a mark on the bucket that would show I am six inches below the string. I was going to follow it with the bucket adjusting up and down as needed.+
     
  9. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I imagine a guy could drive bluetops (hubs) I think they call them into the ground and trim down to them if needed like grader operators do.
     
  10. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 989

    If its just short slopes. just eyeball them. If with your experience you can't do them that way, then you shouldn't be doing them. I think the biggest problem we have as contractors is technology that slows us down.

    That being said.

    Is the area staked for you? What are you going to use machine wise? How close do you realy need to be on this job.

    I (Me) use my excavator for 90% of my slope cutting. I would go in, stake the job to find the edges of the patio (Call this the toe) Figure out the angle of slope (2 to 1, 3 to 1 etc) then cut it. If its a small job then I do some hand work on it to "Pretty it up" but on larger jobs I stick my skid loader on the slope to perfect it. But 100% of the major cut is with my excavator.

    Most of my work is existing residential landscape/turf/Drainage repair. So 99% of the time I have 0 prints just me with my experience and knowledge. As long as it looks good when the job is done and a home owner likes it, is happy with it and signs off on it. Then its been done right.

    I have way to much trouble explaining it and I hate writing long posts.

    J.
     

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