Digging to deep

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Fieldman12, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Since we have been talking lately about dozing and digging with skid steers I will go first. What is the best way you guys find on these two types of machines that keeps you from getting pulled too deep into the ground. I usely just dig it out trying to level it the best I can and then the last two inches I take very very light cuts so by the time the last cut is made its perfect. I occassionally back drag and pack in if needed also. I do the same with a dozer also. I was talking to my buddy today and he said on there dozer to keep from wash boarding they angle the blade and keep moving across. On the last couple inches they level out the blade and cut to finish. What ways do you guys use on dozers and skid steers? I think most people know here what I mean about going along cutting and then all at once your edge sinks into the ground. I know allot has to do with keeping an eye on the edge and material and constantly adjusting up and down as needed.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Great points made, I know exactly what you're saying. I try to get within 2 inches of finish grade in the first pass if I can. If you're running a skid or a dozer, this will give you some "play" so if you get a little wheel spin it won't penetrate deeper than your finish grade. This also allows you to make turns on the surface while rough cutting without causing the same problem. Once I'm within 2 inches, I can usually finish it out in 2 passes depending on how long the run is. If it's a longer run, I'll take less of a cut so I don't start boiling material over the top of the bucket and risk some wheel spin. This all is dependent on the job as well. For lawns and such, it's not a big deal, just backdrag and you're money. But if you're working on a floor pad you don't want to be making those mistakes. Precision is key and making the most of every move counts.
  3. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Keep a constant speed with your machine, and adjust your bucket or blade as needed. It makes it harder to grade when you machine is jumping around at different speeds.

    On cutting down a high spot, cut deeper then fill back in. If you try to shave away at it, you'll spend more time. It's much easier and faster to cut 'n fill then to shave. Backdragging is the key to breaking up the material and filling in low spot, all while leaving a nice finish.
  4. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    If I've got a good rough shape but just need to shave down a little to make sure I'm not holding water in a spot, I've found I can open my 4-in-1 just a couple inches, and tilt until the back of the bucket is just an inch or so off the ground. Backdrag on float, and the back part of the bucket acts like a depth gauge and only lets the cutting edge go down that one inch. Works kinda like a cheese slicer.
  5. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    Well stated
  6. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I have also done the cut a little deep/fill/back drag way that Dozerman21 talks about. Also if I get somewhere that is real critical on depth I will take just a 3/4 pass with the bucket so I can really see that edge of blade where its at.
  7. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    dozermans right...cut then backfill. it leaves a much smoother look when completed too. when you just cut then backdrag theres lumps and bumps because the uncut soil is hard...if you cut a little deeper then you need and backfill you can get a much smoother look because the dirt you are dragging off is much softer...i do this alot when final grading...if theres a hump i'll cut the whole thing out then push soft dirt around to get it dialed in.

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