Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Mini man, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Mini man

    Mini man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Frustrated digging basements!
    Can't get the damn floor level....always need to go down the ramp after and clean it up...what is the secret to digging a flat floor in a 6 foot deep basement ?
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    You're digging it with your 315, right? A cleanup bucket or grade beam really help to get the floor level and clean. Also make sure you're sitting level, left to right, when you're cleaning the floor. Try as best you can to clean as you go, time = $$$ and it's easier to catch it the first time.
  3. Mini man

    Mini man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Using the 315 with a ditch cleaning bucket.....can't seem to hold grade within a couple of inches and the floor looks like a washboard
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Grade it to the best you can, it is where the footings on the perimeter that the builder wants nice and even.
  5. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Like scag said , make sure you are sitting level. Also when you are "cleaning" the bottom of the hole, make sure the bucket is flat on the ground. I have seen so many people trying to use just the tip of the cutting edge to clean up .
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    What is the soil conditions you dealing with that makes a big difference it it has hard and soft spots.

    I don't know about eastern Canada but most basement floors here see 4 inches of compacted sand overtop of the native dirt.
  7. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Knew I was forgetting something. haha. Set that bucket flat and use the heel to your advantage. I've seen a lot of operators not use the bucket to it's full capacity, the heel can definately be a big help. Unless it's hardpan, you can usually make a cut of a couple tenths just by dragging the bucket across the grade.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Like AWJ displayed, I use an Apache grade reader. Here is my stratagy. The concrete guys like a ramp down into the hole anyway. I dig it within a couple inches and put the VTS skid in the bottom and level it out. Its much faster and it looks great. The concrete guys are very happy. Actually they routinely say that my holes are the best they pour on. I quickly grade the floor with an inch tolerance with the skid steer. On a 2k square foot basement I will have it super tight in 20 minutes. The reason I do it is this. It takes longer to put it that tight with an excavator, and it still is not as smooth and compact as it is with a skid steer. With so few holes to dig, any advantage you can create is a plus. I believe that making that basement as flat and smooth as possible gets more work.
  10. bobcatexc

    bobcatexc LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 276


    All these years I've been cutting grade with the cutting edge and teeth on excavator buckets and now you tell me!! I only use the bottom or heel of the bucket to smear mudd or level out clumpy dirt.

    Like Scag and the rest stated just keep the machine level by throwing out a little dirt under the tracks and cleanup and grade as you go. Or do like another guy in town that does a lot of basement digs and put a helac tilt attachment on pretty slick setup he has.

    I like the idea KSSS except it ties up a skidsteer for 20 minutes of work plus the cost of mob of an extra machine.

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