Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by DAVELAWN, Jul 4, 2005.


    DAVELAWN LawnSite Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 73

    Here are some questions for someone in excavating...while they may sound dumb I am quite curious...

    How does one get loam?

    Can it be made, or is it simply the top layer of soil on existing lands?

    Also, how does one start there own gravel pit, sand pit etc? Can I buy a plot of land, and start digging, or are there special areas i would need to be in?
  2. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    When an excavator strips a lot for a foundation, he strips off the top 1.5 to 3. ft of top soil and piles it up in a corner of a lot. The rule of thumb is that you stop stripping the topsoil when you hit sand (I am from Cape Cod, so that is where we stop digging atleast). The topsoil that has been collected is then trucked to a facility where they have a screener. The screener sorts out the loam from sticks and medium to large rocks . To answer your question, all loam is the top soil which is screened.

    Depending on where you are, you could start your own pit, but it would take a lot of start up capital.

    1. A used screener starts around 50k
    2. you would need a large front end loader.
    3. Unless you had your own excavating company(inwhich you take the topsoil for free off the jobs you get), you would have to buy your topsoil/loam from other companys that strip lots

    4. Rock screeners are big money, they range from $150K to 500k.

    There is a lot of money is dirt, a pit on the cape where I used to buy all of my loam from for my bobcat jobs was bringing in 150k a month in loam and rock. The biggest problem is you need a huge amount of money to just to start up your buisness and there is no guarentee that you will be sucessful.

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