Excavation Methods?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Drafto, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    I have done 2 patios so far with many more on the horizon.

    The first patio I used a Mustang skidsteer to excavate, what a mess. It left ruts I took out almost 40% more dirt than I needed to.

    This week I used a Kubota L35 Backhoe, it worked much better than the skidsteer. But there were still some issues, clearing the piles, the wide turning radius.

    I have a large driveway job lined up next week, I am sure the Kubota will do just fine b/c it is a much more open area.

    I am just curious as to what some of you guys use for patios, walkways, and retaining walls..........and why? (or advantages/disadvantages)

    This site is great, this forum is great.

  2. Qualey

    Qualey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Cat 302.5 Excavator because it was priced well.
    Cat 277 track loader becuse it will not rut lawns, longer effective "wheelbase" so it is much more stable with the load lifted, great on sidehills, can use it in our stoneyard to move slabs in the winter, etc. I think its great.

    Depending on your volume of work it may be wise to rent an excavator seasonally and use the tax break. We only use ours for exterior stonework and for a 2 month project the machine may only run 5 hours (only 1 crew uses it)
  3. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    WE excavate all of our patios with a skid steer and it works very well for us. Maybe you need a little more experience on the skid steer. I have found that you tend to dig more out with a hoe, but that is just my experience. There are far more advantages to using a skidder.....More control over excavation depth, better grading capabilities, able to back drag debris, move piles more quickly, use it to stage materials...etc.
    If you experience alot of rutting, then you have not dug deep enough. You must excavate to a more suitable subsoil or let your soil dry out, although you will never eliminate rutting alltogether, you should not see major rutting like you are experiencing.

  4. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 402

    I am with Chris. We use a Bobcat to excavate for everything. Patios & retaining walls. Only time that we really use a backhoe (we rent on if needed) is on steep slopes that we can't get the bobcat at.
  5. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Since it is a peak LS time I just wanted to bring this one back to the top.

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