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How to Protect Concrete Walks from Heavy Equip / Trucks

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jhgilliland, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. jhgilliland

    jhgilliland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Im starting a project in a few weeks that has very limited access. It is at a retirement home and the garden area will be constructed between two long retangular buildings.

    The issue is that the only way to get materials in and out (11 skids of pavers, 50 tons of topsoil in, 55 tons of 2A base material, probably 75 tons of existing soil out, ect) is to drive over two concrete walks. Im guessing both walks are 4" thick.

    I can just squeeze my 4700 international around the corner of the building, but if its loaded on the way in or way out im afraid it will crack the walks. We could bucket everything in with the skid steer, but it would take longer and i still question the durability of the concrete.

    Obviously one option is to see if the walks break. If the do, form and pour new ones. No huge deal on a project this size other than typically the concrete doesnt end up exactly the same color.

    What have you guys used in the past to protect concrete walks. Here are some options ive been thinking about.

    1. Laying down plywood, then a layer of 2" thick planks on the walks.

    2. Same as above, except planks go down first.

    3. A layer of seperation fabric followed by 6-12" of soil to "cushion the walk"

    4. A layer of soil or stone (say 3") then a layer of geogrid, followed by another 3" of stone.

    Obviously if the cost incurred is more than simply removing, reforming, and replacing the walks, i would just replace at the end of job.

    This area is going to need reseeded after the project is complete, hence the reason im considering burying the walkway.

    Ive inserted a couple pics of one of the walks (there are two, but this is the most difficult to protect)

    What are your thoughts?


    All 016 (Small).jpg

    All 017 (Small).jpg
  2. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    I think.....

    If whatever your bringing in/taking out is going to break the concrete, it's going to break the concrete even if you put down planks or plywood.

    I would say, save your time and money in the beginning and if you need to repoor at the end, then do so.

    I would imagine you'll be fine, assuming you use some caution when driving over the walkway. stay to the center when possible.
  3. GMTA

    GMTA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    1) I am sure your going to crack the walk if you drive over it with a loaded truck regardless of how careful you are.

    2) Why not just take your skidsteer and scoop away a buckets width or whatever distance you need out of that hillside in order to fit the truck around the back. Then replace the soil/plants/mulch.

    3) I would protect the ground with something so you don't have a muddy mess with huge tires rutts leaving you with the possibility of getting the equipment stuck.

    Good Luck - Take Pics - Keep us Informed
  4. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    I would agree with the above post. What we have in our contracts states that we cannot be responsible for the craftsmanship of other trades on the site. If I see it's going to be a problem, I will address it with the job super and split the job with them if the need arises. In other words they are responsible for materials and I will cover the labor.
  5. jhgilliland

    jhgilliland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    As far as scooping out the hillside, there is a little catch, otherwise i would agree.

    Here is another pic i should have posted, i forgot I had it.

    All 021 (Small).jpg
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    Steel plates is the only way to go. Find someone in the excavating bidness and borrow from them.

    But I would have simply factored in replacing concrete.

    The well being of the walk withstanding heavy trucks has very little to do with how well the walk is constructed. This is because the walk was put in for pedestrian use...not heavy vehicular use.

    Was this job awarded to you because you were the lowest price? If so, this walk could be the reason why.

    If we were doing the job I'd probably price it with plans of using small equipment (compact utility tractor) to get materials back there. Smaller equipment = increased production hrs, which = a higher job cost.

    And I'd also place a clause in the contract stating that contractor ain't liable / responsible for the walk (which we already have in place in our disclaimer page).

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  7. GMTA

    GMTA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    All of this project could be done without pulling a truck around to the back. Personally it seems more logical to move the materials in and out with skidsteers to eliminate the worry of walks, drainage grates(or whatever that is in the back), or bumping the building trying to fit a truck around that corner.
    How much time is it really saving you bringing a truck around to the back ?
  8. jhgilliland

    jhgilliland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    DVS - Thanks for the imput. I dont know why i never thought of steel plates. I acutally have 2 steel plates (both 4x8) that would work great. Ill have to track down a few more.

    As far as low bid. Nope, no low bid here. I was the only one to bid the project. I designed the project. I did a residential project for one of the high-ups at the facility. I could replace that walkway 3-4 times and still have a true 13-15% profit margin on this project. It just seems foolish to ruin a good walkway and have to replace it if you could "use steel plates" for instance.
    I bid the job at 778 man hrs. Ill let you know how it comes out.

    Again thanks for the advice.

    GMTA - I may end up doing it this way. We have plenty of hours to machine everything in, but im big on efficiency. Ive i save hours, i make more money.
  9. GMTA

    GMTA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Risk vs. Reward
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    I think I'd walk the material in with a skiddy bopper.

    I don't know what size truck you plan on backin in there. But with that drain there - it's gonna be tight.

    We have a speciality service we offer. And 9 times out of 10 it's necessary for us to hump 200 cubic yards from the front to the back with a skid steer.


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