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Breaking up concrete

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Fieldman12, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I never have tried to break up concrete with a track hoe, backhoe or skid steer. Just wondering if you guys think it seriously cuts the life of your equipment? Do you have allot of welds break and so on? How do you charge for tearing up and removing concrete? Is it worth doing it for money? I know myself I like to stay in the dirt all I can.
  2. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    I'm far from the most knowledgable or experienced guy on here, but I do know that breaking up concrete is extremely hard on a machine. Unless the concrete is already cracked and crumbling, you are a lot better off using a jackhammer or better yet a machine mounted breaker to break up the concrete and use a bucket machine to load it. Price would vary widely depending on thickness, access, reinforced vs. non-reinforced, distance to dump site and disposal costs.
  3. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    You will shake any machine apart, no matter how much you grease it. Skid loader breakers will also shake you apart by the end of the day. It beats a handheld hammer, but price in all the bushings/pins that you will need to replace.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    What kind of concrete is it slabs,house foundations ?

    Breaking up concrete is a h*ll of alot easier than scraping at solid granite like we do here on the West Coast where your ripping teeth shanks right off of digging buckets.

    For busting up concrete a hammer is nice to have if the concrete has rebar in it then your going to need a gas powered chop saw.

    We need to know what your doing to give you a better answer.
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I make good money at it. Concrete removal represents about 25% of our gross income. That is inconjunction with preparing base for new concrete. I use an Okada breaker on a 440 CASE skid steer. I don't see any problem putting a breaker on a skid steer and I bought my first breaker in 1996. I also use the breaker to break lava rock. I may go through a couple sets of couplers but thats it. When I am removing concrete it is almost always in tandem with a thumb equipped mini excavator. I can pull concrete that most other guys can't. With the excavator you can remove the concrete without tearing up the subbase, it is really the key to increased productivity. As far as charging, it depends on location from landfill, dump fees if applicable, type of concrete flat or foundation, reinforced or not. One clue is don't under estimate the strength of fiber mesh concrete. It requires using a breaker to almost pulverize the slab to remove it. It maybe harder on equipment than moving dirt but if your smart about it the impact is minimal and it pays well.
  6. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Okay, we will use one of my farms for example. I have a concrete slab where an old corn crib use to be that is about 15' wide by 30' long by about 6" thick. How much could I charge someone to do a job like that and bury the concrete next to where I removed it at? I figure burring it would probably be cheaper and I know allot of guys around here don't like to haul rip rap let alone broken concrete. I'm sure a construction company would have to haul the concrete with there own equipment because of this.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    You have to be carefull about burying concrete in some cases its not legal because it can get into the ground water or a stream/creek. The dust off of broken concrete can be acidic.

    As for charging a slab like that you might beable to charge by the square foot or something like a house foundation that would have to be by the hour because of the unknowns.
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Charge by the hour, that's the best way to go. I'd have no idea where to start bidding by the square foot until I did it a couple times. Charging hourly is the way to go, customer doesn't get billed for more than what gets done, you don't get the shaft. Sometimes, you're better off just doing it hourly. If I had a 3 ton excavator with a breaker on it I'd be charging $130 an hour for it. And yes, breakers will beat the piss out of machines, no way around it. Grease the carrier every 4 hours at least and the breaker every hour.
  9. RockSet N' Grade

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

    I won't do a job where the say "just bury the concrete". It rubs against my basic nature to bury trash to save a buck or two AND the big thing is.......that buried concrete, no matter where you bury it, is always in the way of the next phase of the project.....and who gets bad mouthed for burying the concrete even though you followed instructions? To the meat and potatoes: As an example, one of our neighbors bought an excavator, equipped it for full time use with a breaker, and paid for the outfit in less than a year. If you do it right, you can make a grundle breaking out concrete. The rate part, you will have to determine yourself through the demand in your area....
  10. bobcatboy

    bobcatboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I have been thinking about diong that. What kind of machine does he have and how big is it

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