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How would YOU push a dirt pile down?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by smalley360, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. smalley360

    smalley360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I just had a job where I had to distribute dirt on a steep property. The Dump truck brought in about 15 loads of dirt making many small mountains. I had to maneuver around a cottage so I had to cut some of the piles from the side and make a path but had to watch out for land slide from the pile. Once the path was in I could push the dirt down the path. Other piles I pulled the front of them down to make a ramp then pushed over the top. There were a lot of football size rocks so I had to backdrag to keep a level/flat path.

    My question is, is there a more efficient way to push a pile down. If so what would that be? Let's get your thoughts and experiences on the best way to push a mound down.

  2. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    rent yourself a bobcat skid steer
  3. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Rent or hire a skid steer loader. If the area you are spreading close to the pile start on one corner of the pile and push a bit at a time. With a skid it is pretty easy to place the dirt exactly where you want it.

    Or rent a D3 cat dozer and play :) the skid steer would seem to be cheaper and easy choice.
  4. Dirt Digger2

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

    i imagine he had a skid loader in there...anyway with our takeuchi i would start pushing on the sides, get about 1/4 of your bucket on the pile and drive forward, that is the best way i have found to get rid of a tri-axle pile fast, unless you have to carry dirt...but you just work your way from one side of the pile across to the other, i can usually knock out a pile in 4-5 passes....with our dozer i go head on, push up over the pile, get on top then push downhill on the backside, 2-3 passes usually takes out the pile...with our bigger trackloaders i just tilt the bucket down and go, 1-2 passes usually knocks it out
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Neither, a 10 or 12K excavator is the tool if you're working on steep slopes. I'm sure it could be done with a skid steer, and I've done a little bit of this type of stuff with a skid, but it is risky sometimes. Depends completely on the site, but if I had the choice of a skid steer or excavator it would be an excavator any day of the week. You can work all around you sitting in one spot, once you're locked in with the blade you shouldn't move anywhere. Plus, the blade can help you push material, keep you level, and stabilize you in the event of a small slide.
  6. Dirt Digger2

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

    you dont use a trackhoe to grade lots...trackhoes are not the "miracle machine" people make them out to be
  7. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    A track hoe to grade lots, that is crazy. :) Like other's have mentioned just take passes on each side of the pile about a 1/4 of a bucket at a time. You could just scoop and spread but the other way is much quicker.
  8. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Smalley has an ASV RC-30 or RC-50, one of the two. Without seeing it, it sounds like you went about it the only way you could. You'll get the hang of it and find shortcuts as you go along.

    The most important thing is that the approach that you use is safe. Working on slopes with any machine can be risky and very dangerous if you don't have your head on a swivel. Track machines are more stable than skids, so that's to your advantage. Those rocks can be potential hazards if one gets under your track while your on a embankment. Remember to try to grade vertical with the slope, and keep that bucket down when you're grading on a slope.

    Maybe these slopes weren't to drastic, but I've seen some of the hills and cliffs you guys have... they're amazing! I was pretty puckered up when we drove the Road to Hana!:eek: :laugh: That drive was one of the best times I've ever had.:clapping:
  9. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Smalley....I read all the above posts. I assume the piles were there to begin with and you were not in charge of the delievery of the material? If that was the case, then what I have to say does not apply.......If I was to do that job I would want to be in charge of the material and have it delievered as I am knocking down the piles and have the next truck arrive as I am finishing the first pile so I can control the grades/fill and material. Sounds like you lived without rolling over.........that's a good start, lots of chaps don't make it that far. Be safe is my number one priority above speed or anything else. When I get to a job, I always walk it a couple times back and forth and try and work out a game plan in my head. I also look for any hazards or hazard areas - spray paint or ribbon them if possible and then proceed the best way I can...
  10. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    A guy around the corner from me spread a load of gravel in his driveway with a mini-ex! Looks like Ruffles potato chips.

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