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

Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-17-2015, 09:44 PM   #1
Registered User
AT&SF Chief's Avatar
Trade: water features & excavating
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4

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.
AT&SF Chief is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!




Old 10-17-2015, 09:53 PM   #2
Fire up the BBQ
griz's Avatar
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 20,552
Rewards Points: 3,688

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?


griz is offline  
Old 10-17-2015, 10:58 PM   #3
jhark123's Avatar
Trade: Pro Cat Herder
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Posts: 2,464
Rewards Points: 1,622

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.
jhark123 is offline  
Old 10-18-2015, 06:43 AM   #4
tgeb's Avatar
Trade: Excavation, Foundation, Concrete
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 5,936
Rewards Points: 1,600

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.

tgeb is offline  
Old 10-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #5
dayexco's Avatar
Trade: entrepreneur of excavating expertise
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,022
Rewards Points: 194

Re: Digging & Leveling Trail Sub-Grade In Soft Soil

d-3 6 way dozer
dayexco is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dayexco For This Useful Post:
jhark123 (10-18-2015)
Old 10-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #6
Registered User
AT&SF Chief's Avatar
Trade: water features & excavating
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4

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


AT&SF Chief is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Leveling wall for tile. DKnafo Tiling 32 06-04-2013 10:56 PM
Leveling with roofing felt and leveling compound DIA-jp Flooring 29 01-22-2013 09:19 PM
Question on compacting soil around a pool BCConstruction Masonry 14 09-26-2012 05:38 PM
Cedar shingles below grade - how to correct zing Windows, Siding and Doors 9 07-08-2012 07:30 AM
Is Porter Cable now producing homeowner grade tools instead of Pro grade? HighlanderNorth Tools & Equipment 58 12-22-2011 04:39 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?