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those huge waste concrete blocks

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by David Gretzmier, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I'm from over on the landscape lighting side of lawnsite. quick question- has anyone here ever tried those 2 foot by 2 foot by 6 foot waste concrete blocks with the fake stone face you can get at concrete distribution places? they weigh aprox 2 tons each, and I was thinking of using them for a stub wall on a storage building.

    they seem to interlock like retaining wall blocks, but straight up instead of stepping back. I was looking for someone who has used these to tell me how they are to deal with.
  2. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    they arent bad to work with. just prep your base, we go 14-18in deep and lay from there. You will need a bigger machine to set them since they are 2tons ea. We like using a mini x for manuverability. But we also had a skidloader bringing them close. if you can get the concrete guys to offload them within reach of the mini or have them set the stones w/ their crane. For a building you probably want a concrete footer instead of stone base, for stability reasons.
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    David, how high up to you intend to go and what will you be holding back?

    I have used them in the past 2 & 3 high in sandier soils with good drainage and have had no movement. They can be an inexpensive retaining wall, soil and mulch bins or used as a screen or barrier. As WWA has stated, they are heavy and need some larger equipment to move them around. We have always had the base prepped and ready when the delivery truck with a boom shows up, so they are able to set the blocks right in place. Good base prep, whether compacted crushed rock or concrete will make the installation easier and cleaner.

    I have not seen them come from the concrete plant with the faux stone face, around here, but plain blocks are simple and inexpensive to face yourself with faux stone.

  4. P.L.

    P.L. LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 82

    I just built a wall with the stone you are talking about last week. It was around 150 ft long and 2 courses high. We dug and prepped it in one a day like we would a regular wall. The blocks were delivered and unloaded the next morning. The next day we set the wall. It was two of us and we used a John Deere 250 skid steer with a chin off the forks to set them. We were setting them from the top of the wall and space was limited but with a little thought the skid steer worked fine. We were going to use the bobcat 430 excavator we dug the wall with, but it just barley had the power to pick the blocks and we were afraid that if we set them down we could not get them up again. A 10,000 Pound machine would probably work fine, but really the skid steer was not that hard. After the first couple block it goes real quick. There is really no need to check level because the blocks are all different and close is all your going to get. You can set them back as you go if you want to. All and all the worked out OK and don't look half bad either. They also are very stable wall we had the skid steer right on top off the wall so we could reach one end with little to no movement. I would not try that with very many block walls.
  5. soopa

    soopa LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

    Anyone have pics?
  6. OP
    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    Thanks for your answers. I agree on the slight inconsistancy of the blocks, I measured the ones at our concrete supplier yard and they are off by 1/4-1/2 inch in thickness. I was considering going 3 high for the sides of a barn, about 6 feet, then using an a-frame quonset structure for the rest of the height/roof structure.

    The concrete company also confirmed the weight of these things, about 4000 pounds each. at a price of 35 bucks each it would make what appears to be an economical, very sturdy wall and also somewhat attactive if painted/stained the right color.

    also I need to do a channel for the top to accept the quonset bottom, so I could conceivably take care of any leveling issues with the blocks at the top, and allow for drainage from the roof.
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    David, they should also have flat top blocs as well as those with the tongue and groove for alignment. They may cost a bit more, but should make it easier to attach the roof frame to. Perhaps you could use a pressure treated sill plate at the top to soften any unevenness for your roof.


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