Best piece of equipment for grading

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by N1K, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. N1K

    N1K LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I had a large pile of dirt that had been sitting in my front yard for about 9 months since my new construction was complete.

    I rented a bobcat s185 to move the pile to the back of my split grade lot where I could use it as fill. Its mostly clay/brown dirt.

    Using the bobcat was easy enough from an operational standpoint, but I had a difficult time getting the bucket to dig into the flatter parts of the pile or to get the bucket to dig down on level ground.

    I would lower the arms and tilt the bucket down and drive forward but the bucket wouldn't dig in, just slide across the surface until it reached the more vertical part of the pile. The gound wasn't bone dry or anything, it was moist. And again, the dirt pile was a clay/brown dirt mixture. (mostly clay)

    This of course left me with a pretty sizeable mound that I couldn't get down into.

    Is the bobcat not the right machine? Do I need a bucket with teeth on it? Or is there a technique to get it to work better?
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Oh yeah...

    If the dirt's been sitting a while, gravity + time + moisture = nasty mudpie that's hard to move.

    There are different sizes of Bobcats, of course.
    I'm sure you could get one big enough to do the long as the place you rent from, also rents them that size, with teeth.

    Then there's always the friendly neighbor down the road, who you maybe haven't met yet, who also happens to be an excavator !
    Maybe invite him / her over for a game of horseshoes !
  3. D8dozerboy

    D8dozerboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    A S185 is plenty large enough for what your doing you need a bucket with teeth really. But since you don't have one instead of lowering the arms all the way keep them 6" or so from bottoming out and tilt the bucket down the rest of the way. The key is to keep all four tires on the ground you start lifting the front and your just making it hard on yourself. If you still can't cut the hard pack try only using only one corner of the bucket and once you get started you may only be able to cut the hard pack with 1/2 the bucket or less. Once you start cutting the hard pack don't haul the dirt off leave 1/2 or 3/4 of a bucket in the bucket. The weight will help you cut the rest of the hard pack and just push what you cut into a pile. Once you have all the hard pack cut down or have a big pile haul some of it off.

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