Best equipment for hardscaping

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Agape, May 20, 2012.

  1. pacemkr

    pacemkr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Exactly my point alldayrj,
    My guys have never been so vocal about a piece of equipment, saves our backs, and our time.
    If I could say, after using the competing products like the dingo and bobcat, the vermeer is way better, stronger, safer. I sound like a salesman.
    Finished a job two weeks ago: approx 550sq.ft interlock with armor stone retaining wall etc.,,way down the side and behind a large sub division home.
    Drop over 9 feet in grade from front of house to back , approx 60ft.
    Would never get a full size skid str back down there, let alone a mini ex.
    Hit clay and water under topsoil,.had to remove everything in back yard and refill with proper aggregate and cloth, grid,.etc. Brought in 65 tons of aggregate just to backfill plus whatever I needed for patio build.
    This machine saved me and the customer literally thousands. Can't imagine how we would have completed that job properly and in good time without that one piece of equipment. It has just been a real blessing. Good luck in your search.
    I've heard good things about the little husgvarna tracked buckets also.
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  2. pacemkr

    pacemkr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Don't quote me on this, but the hp is around 30.
    Lift capacity is only rated at 675lbs.
    But it will lift allot more than that easily.
    I commonly use it to transport armor stone from front of property into back yards using pallet forks.
    I just try to keep rocks under 1000lbs. And move on soft surfaces, no scrubbing on concrete etc.
    it will lift and dump into a 48"side dump trailer, f550,
    Or similar. Something I found the dingo would not do was go high enough to fill the back of a truck properly.
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  3. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    If I were to start my business again I would buy a mini ex before the skid steer and the mini skid steer, I now seldom use my skid steer and the mini skid.
  4. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    100% agree with that. We purchased a 5t mini-ex last year and it already has 650hrs on it. (That's a lot for our seasonal company, our 2001 3.5t mini-ex only has 1400hrs). The 5t mini is our most used piece of equipment over the last year and a half. The small walkway jobs with granite stoops that we used to have to bring the small mini and a skid to can now be done with this machine. Nearly all patios are excavated, prepped and graded with this machine. An excavator in the hands of a good operator is the most versatile machine you can have.
  5. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    I agree 100% we use our mini probably 5x's more than our skid. About the only thing I use a skid for is moving pallets of block and pavers.
  6. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Do you find yourself running jobs differently having the mini ex? For example, sometimes i load the truck with the skid, send him to dump, and keep hauling with the skid to the street. How would you do this with a mini ex? I imagine an ex with a tooth bucket doesnt clean up the street well.
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  7. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    Yes, usually more planning is involved. Lets take a 50' walkway for example. Excavate the material and dump it directly in a truck (our 5t can load any size truck even tri-axles) then scoop gravel directly out of another truck and place in walkway. On jobs that only the mini-ex is on we almost never dump material. Always work out of the truck. I can lift full pallets of material out of a 6 wheeler no problem and place them. Also being really efficient with an excavator depends on what attachments you have. We have a 24" tooth bucket, 36" tooth bucket, 52" grading bucket w/power tilt(you can tilt the bucket 90deg to either side) and a hydraulic breaker.
  8. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    So tomG how are you getting these trucks into backyards and how do you remediate the soil compaction??
  9. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    Well my example was with a walkway. Almost all those are off driveways so obv no issue with that. But for patios, we usually have a skid onsite as well. There aren't and nice level sites anymore. So material must be brought in with the skid. All depends on the site. But a long long time ago we stopped trying to save peoples lawns, used to throw down ply-wood and all that good stuff. Just repair with loam and seed it. Its grass it will grow back.
  10. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581


    I read my post again...I wasn't trying to be snarky or mean....

    On a further exploratory level--those here that just hardscape and those that landscape as well. What do you do to get rid of the compaction caused by the machinery and materials entering and exiting the site--particularly if the entrance/exit will be landscaped.

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