Best equipment for hardscaping

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

  1. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    We use plywood to run our mini ex down the property line between homes and hydraulic wheelbarrows do the running back and forth with the waste, and with the granular. Typical situations our workways don't get compacted much at all. I think you'd be looking at less than 10lbs per with full loads. I'm on a job now where the only tool I've used is my kx-91, its handled large rocks, excavated 800sqft. I had the truck back up right to the patio and loaded directly into it. No mess. My track loader has sat idle most of this job. I think the question to this op should be what 2 machines are best for hardscaping. Mini x first, track loader second. imo anyway.
  2. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    Hey hey I dont beat up you business practices lol:laugh:
  3. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    No worries, didn't mean to come across harsh, been a long day working in the rain. We found we would spend more time trying not to mess up lawns than it would to just mess them up and repair them. Most people realize that there will be lawn damage and are fine with it (of course we explain that to them from the beginning)
  4. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    No I understand lawn damage....the damage I m talking about is the compaction to the soil from vehicular traffic in a concentrated area--particularly if it rains. Just loaming the ruts doesn't fix the underlying problem of the compaction in the soil profile.

    We do tear up our share of grass--I m just looking for the fastest method for truly repairing compacted egress routes. Right now I prefer rotadairon with compost amendments then seed---just wanted to see if there was something else
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    thanks tom.

    unfortunately I'm still working with a skid and 1 truck so when it comes time to add a mini ex I will probably have to bring the skid as well.

    any other tips to running a job with a mini ex? not operating wise, I want to make the transition from using one tool for every job to two tools (skid and ex) more effectively/ productively
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    So many tools are available. So many variables.

    I have a buddy that owns an excavating company. He has around 36 pieces of equipment. One thing he does not one a single one of - is an excavator. He says it's cheaper to rent one by the month rather than buy one because each job always requires a different size machine.

    Same mentality could be said for building patios. So many equipment choices.

    I always think about the grand scheme of staffing. If you buy a truck with air brakes will you find honest dependable hard working people that can drive it? If you use an excavator to dig for a patio will you always readily have an employee that can run it?

  7. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I would love to add a 550, a triaxle, a mini skid, a CTL, and a mini ex but only in my dreams!

    so what kind of equipment DOES he own?? and why? the same argument could be made about skid steer sizes
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    Seems most of the folks partaking in this discussion are small owner operators (such as myself).

    When you're small, it's important to diversify as much as possible. The last two weeks of July and 1st (2) weeks of August are usually slow periods in the residential hardscape industry, as this is peak vacation time. Limiting yourself to a compact walk behind loader will hinder you from taking on other jobs to fill in for the slow periods.

    If you excavate with a certain machine - will you always be able to load the truck direct from the work site? Of all the jobs we do annually - I think we may ever only have 2 to 3 jobs where we could actually get the truck near the worksite. We do not drive trucks in the client's yards. I've never been a fan of that concept. Heck, its seldom that even if we wanted to, that we'd even be able to get the truck into the backyard. It's either no access, too tight, too steep, or too muddy.
  9. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    yea i frequently find myself driving the skid in the yard and either
    A. using it to haul out and in material to the truck or street
    B. load 3 wheelbarrows til we're done excavating then bringing it to the street to do the same thing with base matl.

    the worst thing about patios? they're in the damn back yard!!! people only see the mess and commotion and not the beautiful finished product
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    See, Tom works for a company that has multiple pieces of equipment. Whatever the scenario, they're equipped to do the work efficiently.

    I'm pricing a patio now, an there is a steep hill into the back yard. No one is getting a truck back there. So that rules out an excavator. It's too far to walk a mini skid steer back and forth. This patio is under a deck - excavator ruled out again, the boom will rip the deck down. A walk behind skid steer would be perfect, but it's too small to get the spoils from point a to point b in a timely manner. You have to really look at the overall picture when you buy your first machine.
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