Anybody here ever run a dozer, backhoe, or a trackhoe on a job?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by glocknut, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    If so, here's my question.....

    I have a Backhoe at my disposal. I've gotten pretty good with it for pulling blocks, sorting stock, cleanup..ect ect ect...all quarry stuff.....but i've never built a new road into the woods.....

    Before i can build my strawbale house, i need a road to that corner of the property......

    The soil in that area is pretty soft, but only 1 to 2 feet deep before i reach solid rock.....the whole NW corner of Arkansas is like fact in most places there is 4" of soil at most.....

    Anyway, i think what i need to do is remove this soft fluffy non clay soil down to the rock, and then put stone rubble up to the height i want the road to be, then apply some of the good sticky red clay to the top of that.....6 to 8 inches thick, and then a topcoat of gravel......

    I think this sounds right, but anyone with experience in these matters, please tell me otherwise....

    I asked 2 former independent heavy equiptment operators that my dads company spent alot of money with prior to us getting our own backhoe, and they are tight lipped about anything to do with so called trade secrets......
    I even told them it was for my house...nodda.
    One operator collected somewhere in the area of about 60k from us over a few years working for us.......not one piece of advice from that sucker....I think they're worried that I'll compete with them even though thats not the case....

    So like i say, has anyone here ever worked in this line of work, or know anything about such things...?

  2. gpostal

    gpostal Former Guest

    Feb 20, 2003
    how long will the road need to be?

    i would use 2" limestone ,{size of the rock ,not depth}get a price from a local quarry ,it comes by the tandem load ,and they should spread it for free , price range should be from 120.00 to 165.00 a load ,and should cover 100 to 125 feet

    I wouldn’t go digging up soil ,you might find deeper spots than expected ,I would grate it with the top loader ,if you don’t know how ,you raise the back hoe with bucket tilted down with the wheels barely touching ,dragging the blade backwards ,go over and over ,make drainage where needed ,with the dragging you will bring up some rock

    of course there are different ways ,i would prefer a dozer for a road


    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    The bigger question is, what types of vehicles are going to be using this road, once completed?

  4. tuckerd1

    tuckerd1 Moderator Supporting Member

    Use a dozier. Remove the soft muck from area down to a hard or packed base. Build up, if necessary, with clay and pack, pack and pack. Cover with limestone rock size 57 or larger then cover with crush and run limestone. Then pack, pack and pack. Then pave.

    LTS is right though first determine vehicle size and weight and start from there.

    Some other things to consider
  5. I work for a construction company that builds roads and we have several asphalt plants, we are just about he largest in my part of the state. Depending on the soil type we usually make some sort of undercut, removing the topsoil and softer subsoil beneath it. After the undercut we usually backfill with sand and then a sand clay mix, usually a 3 to one ratio of sand and the red clay that is found in this part of the country. Then depending on the application or the quantity of traffic that the road is to be used for, sometimes we then put doen what we call B Base, it is a rocky soil that is shipped in from Mexico that is dug straight from the ground. After this material is put down and rolled for compaction it makes a very stable surface to be paved. Seems to me that for your application, a strawbale house, I assume you may run a tractor or farming equipment on it. If so you may want to do some undercutting, removing the softer soil ( keep the topsoil, it is very expensive to replace and you can use it on other areas of your property ) and put a clay mix that can be rolled to a hard compaction that won't "pump" or spread out where the most weight is distributed. Than as Tuckerd said a 57 limestone would make a good choice to cover the road. I know 57 stone is used pretty widely down here in southern Alabama for county roads and driveways. Most of the 57 stone comes from northern Alabama, up around Tuckerds way, I know because I have hauled it from up there wayyyy down here. If you can run the equipment you described, you can save a whole lotta money in doing it yourself. Look around for some independant owner / operators that own their own dump trucks to do any hauling rather than going to a contractor. A load of sand or clay ( 20 yards ) goes for around $50 or so around here. Hope this helps.
  6. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    I guess i did'nt give Y'all a good enough background of where I'm coming from.....

    My dad owns a dimentional limestone company here in NW Arkansas. We have 2 business sites 1 mile apart...the production facility that cuts, shapes, and polishes the items made from the rectangular blocks we blast out in the quarry...
    The second site is the quarry itself which is only 12 acres...its a small operation compared to the much larger sand an gravel operations. The quarry, which I operate, is responsable for suppyling the production plant, but we also have a stone splitter for making uniform veneer, and retaining wall blocks, rough split steps ect ect ect...

    For 12 years we only had an all terrain forklift "Sellick SD60" which got 90% of the work done itself, the remaining tasks that need be done, we contracted out to independent backhoe and trackhoe operators...Until recently.
    We have had our own backhoe for less than a year now, and i have gotten good with it doing things in the quarry, but i have never built a road from scratch. The road will be 200 feet long.

    The place where i want to put my house is out on a far corner of the quarry that had been previously mined "30's or 40's" and that had been reclaimed. The road would only be used for car traffic, and the power company trucks and whatever other lumberyard trucks that will haul in building supplys initially....

    This road will have to be built with our backhoe....because it is the only thing i can afford. The stone rubble will be 2 sizes...big and 4-5 in and 12" aprox...
    I am hoping to make drainage culverts by stacking dimentional blocks on top of rectangular stone strips...
    I was also thinking that the larger stone at the base of the road where i don't put the culverts would still have a drainage capability to a degree, then the smaller limestone, after that smaller stone mixed with clay? Smooth that out, and then a layer of gravel.."the gravel I will have to buy"........

    What makes me wonder is the part about not mixing clay into the bottom rubble.....
    I wonder if its done that way, will driving over it keep packing the clay further and further into this stone mix, needing to have more clay and gravel applied ever so often.....or would the smaller stone mix on top of the larger stuff slow that down or stop it?

    I dunno......


    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    On a heavy use road, never use clay. Under rock or as a layer (binding compound) the smaller rock/gravel will press through it when wet, then you will simply have slick clay on top, requiring you to re-rock or gravel. In the bottoms when we are, base rock is continually layed over clay until it forms a deep base, the fill dirt (sugar sand) is layed over it. Once wetted (several good rains)it stabilizes.....some dust in the summer, but make for a great wet weather road. Best road bar none-----FLY ASH, cheap and once wetted....hard as concrete. Cheap too!!

  8. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    Fly ash?

    I've heard that somewhere before.....

    Is'nt that a by product of something or another?


    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Byproduct of coal fired power plants.

  10. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    I've kinda gotta build this out of what i have on hand except for the final coat of what they call 1 1/2" comercial base.....
    Most everybody i know call it pack gravel.....a mix of gravel and lime dust....It packs down really nice...

    About not using clay....
    In the quarry i've got a clay/small rubble ramp that has lasted for years of very very heavy duty usage of everything from backhoe to drack hoe and even the track drill......NOthing tears up roads like a track drill....
    It does eventually develope tire track ruts, but it takes a while.......Only thing is that its so darned hard packed that grading it is a chore......

    This clay we have here is the stickiest, thickest crap i have ever almost makes me think of that stuff they make pottery with.....

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2004

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Well we have black gumbo here, considered the worst of any. Just remember, those quarry ramps have been packed for years by heavy equipment and were probably made by the same. Big difference from doing it with a backhoe. Good luck anyway, done to many ta want yours (lol)

  12. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    The only thing they were packed with was the all terrain forklift with 4 ton loads........

    If i ran that up and down the roads enough it would pack it good?

    I think my biggest problem with it would be spots that don't drain water properly?
    NOw that will undo the clay/rubble mix, but if i slope it?......
    I dunno....

    I have found that watching an experienced operator do something, and then trying to do it myself are two different things.......

    I might ought to make an "all rubble" road and invest in the extra ammount of gravel to save my car tires....?

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