Screening Topsoil

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by GradeMan, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 214

    What does everybody use? Box screener, Home made or a Trommel? I just recently got a 15acre field in the heart of the city to do. Looking at starting in spring and makin some cash:drinkup:
     
  2. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 906

    I have had a Thomas box style screener and a Rawson conveyor feed belt discharge style. Both worked well, the box style was a bit quicker in topsoil. The Rawson had easier to change screens. I've never used a trommel style.
     
  3. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 214

    What do you feed your screener with? Can you screen enough with a box screener to make it profitable? Most times the topsoil is damp and cloggs the screener up:realmad: Do you have the same problem?
     
  4. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 906

    I was feeding the Thomas box with a skid steer. It did really well in topsoil, even wet stuff. It had a pretty large deck and was a double deck style and shook pretty aggressively. The other nice thing with the box is there is essentially no set up time and its easy to move. On the downside, unless you set it up with a conveyor, you have to move the product twice. Still worked pretty good though, even doing it with a somewhat small machine.
     
  5. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 214

    What model thomas? What screen size does everybody use? I think I'm going with 1/2 ?
     
  6. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 906

    Mine was a 300. I used 3/4" square because its what I had. 1/2 might be a better choice. I wouldn't go any smaller though, smaller the screen, longer the processing time and my experience is that super fine topsoil just takes so darn long to settle. Something with just a little thicker material here and there makes it a little more solid. Just my opinion though, some take it right down to 3/8's.
     
  7. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    Grademan......what is the job? Stripping the 15 acre parcel down to a particular grade?
     
  8. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 214

    They are going to turn the parcel into commercial land, In order to do that they need to raise the grade of the property. They roughly need about one meter over the whole thing, They (engineers) want the topsoil removed before filling the property. So the site will be mine for a year, I hope. Nothing worse than moving dirt more than you have too.

    Hoping to sell all the soil in a year, but that going to be tough, I have no room to store it and they want it gone. I will definitely flood the market here, I am hoping to sell at average prices but by the end of june its not gone I'll have to be like walmart. Rollback sales :cry: :hammerhead: I just need it gone and put some $ in my pocket. I probably won't have time to spread it at customers yards:cry:
     
  9. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    Don't know what your market there is, but here - without trucking, screened top soil goes for $11-13 a ton. Time to figure out your marketing........sounds like a great deal and time to be very creative....
     
  10. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    For a job that big, with that much time to do it, I'd seriously consider at least a small dump truck and a driver, maybe even lease a 2nd machine, hire an operator. You could sell the dirt, deliver it, and spread it. That's maybe 72,000 yards of topsoil, assuming it is 3 feet thick. That's 9000 loads at 8 yards each, or 4800 loads in a tandem (~15 yd) dump truck. Screened top soil could fetch upwards of $150 for a tandem load, that would work out to nearly three quarters of a million dollars. You could pay for the truck, new loader, new trailer, and overpay somebody to load it / screen it and still do pretty well for yourself.

    Of course, that assumes you have a lot of it and everybody wants some of it.
     

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