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How much is too much?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ians06, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. ians06

    ians06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I have been operating skid steers for 5yrs. I am a swimming pool contractor, and almost all of my digging has been on skids. I recently decided to get into some homebuilding. My question is what would you consider a job too big? With wheeled skids excavation always depended on traction/power, and bigger machines typically had more, but with ctl's you have tons of traction even w/ a small machine. I just bought my first ctl a Cat 247b,and I went with a smaller machine because it works better in confined places and it dug as good as some of the bigger machines and I know I would not have a problem digging a split-foyer design home foundation with it. Anyway sorry for the long post but I was just wondering How much is too much/what would you consider machine abuse, are these things made to dig constantly?
    Again sorry for the long post.
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I have dug foundations with a skid steer. Most were split entry and manufactured homes. The deciding factor for me would be what it would cost to have someone dig the hole. If that number is reasonable than I probably would be content to just do the backfill and grading. You could always dig one just to see what it is about if you have the time. Depending on ground conditions it may take a while with a small machine like that. You don't know till you try.
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    When i first got my skid, i tried to do some jobs with it that i normally would of rented a 5 ton mini for or subbed out.

    I ended up loosing my butt on it.

    In my area i could get a guy to dig a founddation for 5-600 a day.
  4. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Digging a large hole in Florida with a skid steer is usually a bad idea. South Florida is all rock, so it's no good there. Central Florida is mostly sand so you're getting stuck without tracks. Excavator is the way to go, the skid steer is good for backfilling though, you'll just waste too much time trying to dig with it. My general rule is never to dig more than one foot deep with a skid steer bucket, but for those small deep holes the skid steer can be used with a backhoe attatchment. Guess it comes down to what you need to do and the accessibility of the site. Once when installing a dry well in a rocky backyard I used a small skid steer with an auger, and then the backhoe attatchment. There was simply no other way except by hand.
  5. ians06

    ians06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Thanks for the great replies, I live in TN and we have many different soil compounds, inc. rock red clay and dark soil, most of it being either clay and/or rock. I'm going to try digging the split foyer with the ctl and see how it does. Can you overwork these machines? Not meaning running on abrasives, but overwork engine/hydraulics,etc.?
  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    OK normally this is where I would insert a comment about overworking a Cat. However, I wont do that. The machine will protect itself from about anything you can do to it. I would not worry about overworking it. If it doesn't like it, it will let you know through the instrument panel. I would just try and be kind to the tracks, especially if you end up in rocky soil. Other than that, giver hell. Let us know how it goes.
  7. ians06

    ians06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    KSSS thanks for the posts love the suttle humor, by the way you answered one of my previous posts and I said that the 440 that I rented stalled 5 times, I was mistaken as the machine was a 420.

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