Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil

 
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:44 PM   #1
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Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil


We just worked the last two days on construction of a horse-bike-hiker trail out across the prairie. Trench specs: 5 ft. wide, 4 to 6 inches deep, and pretty much smooth and level final surface. Length about 3/4 of a mile. Soil variable, from pretty good with heavy field grass, to very soft and sand-like with dense weeds. We were using a Bobcat skidsteer, tracks over tires, with a 5 ft. bucket. Also a 4-Wheel Toro Dingo, with a combination bucket, and a set of tines. We did OK in the good soil and grass; but the very soft soil was a problem. The biggest problem was when we would turn the skidsteer to dump the bucket, and then turn back on to the path, the tracks would scout out a pretty good divit. This would result in trying to dig and grade a now-rolling terrain. Our final surface profile was more like a 4 inch to 10 inch rolling grade. Dragging the bucket in float didnít help much, especially as it just filled the lows with a now almost talcum powder like loose soil. There is concern about this powdered soil having sufficient stability to top with road-base, followed by crusher fines, this year.

Would there have been a better attachment for this soil condition?

Would I have been better to try long runs of a half an inch deep rather than multiple short runs at a greater depth and with more frequent turning and dumping? Thanks.
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil


Sounds like a question for the Geo Tech.

Soil conditions not properly identified prior to construction?

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Old 10-17-2015, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil


It sounds like a small articulating wheel loader and a small dozer might have been a better combination.
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:43 AM   #4
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Re: Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil


I would run the loader out of the cut before turning to dump, that way you are not turning directly on the soft materials.

It also looks like you will need undercut and fill over the soft material with something more suitable.
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil


d-3 6 way dozer
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil


Thanks guys for all of your thoughts. You've given me some good ideas to consider, before I take on the 2nd half of this project next spring.

I like the idea OK of trying the D3 with the 6-way. The problem is that they are necessarily so heavy for transport. I should think about renting, and having it delivered. The problem with that solution of this job is that the customer wants the spoils piled along the way for later removal. They want no spoils to remain on the finished job-site.

When the bucket is full, trying to run out of the trench by running ahead until you could turn on undisturbed soil is a good idea. I'll try that. An articulating loader would help there also. Their trails manager is now considering how to compact/consolidate the talcum-like soil now in the "lows" following the back-dragging.

You may be right griz, "Some jobs are just not worth taking".

Note: I ran into a good blog on trail and road building at a place called "DeerSite" or something like that.

Thanks again for the great input. Tom

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