Excavating w/ skid steer

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by SCAPEASAURUSREX, Aug 29, 2002.


    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Hey Got a few questions regarding excavating....

    I have an opp to bid on the excavation for the building of a new 2 car garage.. It has to be 3' deep. My question is am I just digging a trench for the foundation or do I have to dig a pit thats like 20' x 20' x 3' deep ??? Then back fill after the foundation walls are up ?? Do I need to compact the inside once backfilled for the slab or do the concrete guys usually do that... Also , Do I have to transit the area out and set up the grades ?? or would the mason contractor do that ?? Never done a job like this, so dont want to ask stupid questions of the builder if I dont have to , or at least sound like I have a clue when I talk to him .. Thanks...
  2. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Well you only have to dig what will be needed to pour footings and have it wide enought for them to set there forms up,usually 4'.Also be below frost at 4'.As far as grade you should have same grade all around your trench should be level .For that you could use a transite ,laser level like those new Dewalts or set up backer boards and run string lines around to establish grade to dig to.

    As far as backfilling you don't have to use a compactor just use the machine .And see if your code requires a dranage system to be installed before you backfill.

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Thanks cat320..... So if I just do a trench with the 66" bucket on my machine I'm OK.. little bigger but OK ?? and The code in NJ is 3' which is below frost line.. Cool.. Thanks
  4. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Glad i could help,if you have any more questions please ask and i will help if i can.
  5. digger242j

    digger242j LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    For something like a garage you might be able to get away with simply trenching the footer (I know the rest of the world calls it a "footing", but I'm from Pittsburgh, we call it a "footer".) A backhoe with a 2' bucket will give you the right size hole. The only problem is that the masons will probably whine about not having room to work, but we're only talking about three courses of block, so let em whine. Trenching it will save a ton of labor in formwork, not to mention the cost of form lumber. You'll probably also have to put your rubber boots on and mess around in the trench to pour the concrete to get it right.

    If you do decide to dig it with a 66" skid loader bucket I'd definitely do some sort of compaction of the fill that'll end up under the floor slab. If you trench it you might get away with not compacting a width of 6" or so around the edges of the slab, but if your hole is 5' wide now your asking the floor to span a couple feet of settled dirt, and most likely it'll have to carry the weight of a car too. You might be able to compact it with the machine, but a careless move by your operator can push the block over and then you've got problems. (Cat's probably never had that problem, but *I* have...)

    Cat is right about making sure it's level. With only three courses of block to fiddle with it's hard for the mason to make up for humps and dips in the footer, and he's got to have his top course level. And my experience with masons is that they don't want to do *anything* but mix up their mud and lay block. That includes putting corner points in the footer. They need a nail or something that shows them where each exact outside corner of the foundation is. Get straight with the customer beforehand who is responsible for those.

    Also, does code there require rebar? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put it in, but it costs in time and material.

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    WOW ! Thanks guys, lots of great info to ponder.. Now... Have you guys seen the backhoe attachment that northern has.. Its like a boom lookin thing that mounts in place of the bucket. has looks to be about 5 foot boom and then at the end it has a small backhoe bucket that opeates off of a ram.. Have you guys ever used something like this ?? does it sound good or more trouble than its worth.. Can get it for about a grand with bucket, so It sound s feasable to me to add to the arsenal , but if it sucks I would rather wait and save money for a full scale attachment ?? But if I start doing alot of this type of work which I would like to do ? I would probably be better off looking into a real back hoe or mini X ?? What do ya think ??
  7. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I have never used it but i think it would not be that great and would rather save for a full scale attachement or mini excavator.I run a 580L casr and love the option to dig or loadfrom one machine but a bobcat /excavator combo would be great for these small jobs.
  8. digger242j

    digger242j LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    A mini excavator is at the top of my wish list.

    I haven't seen the attachment you describe, but I agree with Cat that it sounds less than ideal.

    It's been a while since I used a backhoe attachment for a skid steer, but it's not something I'm looking forward to doing again. It sure beats pick and shovel work, but compared to a backhoe/loader like a 580 it's just sorta clumsy. And once you get some time on an excavator and find out how nice it is to be able to spin anywhere in 360 degrees around to cast your dirt, and move with a simple push of the pedals rather than messing with: pull the stabilizers up, bring the front bucket up, which way are the front tires pointing(?), where's the best spot to put the backhoe bucket to push myself(?), put the stabilizers down, and put the front bucket down..... that 580 starts to feel clumsy too.

    The only part that the excavator suffers on is when you need a couple yards of material 100 feet away from where it is now. That's where you want that loader bucket on the front end. But if you already have the skid steer you're covered.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If you got alot of trenching or general excavating nothing really can beat a mini excavator I know one of the contractors I work for a has a 151 Kubota mini. This little machine does alot of work in one day it digs just as good as a rubber tired hoe and it goes where a backhoe won't. This machine weighs 11,000 pounds so its no lightweight but its not too large and not too small and has more work on the go than the EX-150.

    I have used the local rental shops Bobcat 323 Mini on my parents place and its too small the machine weighs 8000 pounds and it struggles at digging. I found this machine tobe have a real tippy feeling I know when I was working on a part of the property that is fairly steep it was kinda scary running the machine. It wouldn't walk itself backwards up the slope I had to push myself around. Even with the front blade pushed all the way down the machine was still not completly level doing a front roll over was on my mind.

    Anyhow if you figure you got the work for a mini excavator its worth buying one.
  10. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    The mason contractor should give you the elevations and you excavate as much as needed on each side to give them the proper depth for a level footing. A transit/laser would be best to figure and check your depths. Let the mason mark it all out and you just make sure it's excavated properly. If they have you come to backfill, offer to bring in the stone for the floor and make it a full day.

    As for that attachment, my advice is save for a mini-x.

    I just realized how old this thread is. Did you get the job?

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