Mini Excavator Help - Excavation & Site Work - Contractor Talk

Mini Excavator Help

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
Pro
 
jakejorgenson's Avatar
 
Trade: GC/Carpentry
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midway, Utah
Posts: 117
Rewards Points: 107

Mini Excavator Help


Rented a mini today to do an electrical trench for a job we are doing out in the boonies. Have to dig up 800 ft of trench at 3 ft deep for the main line from the nearest location. Got about 120 ft done today. Super slow going as the ground is sort of a packed clay that once you break it up is more like sand. There is a layer about a foot thick from 6" deep to about 18 deep that is super compacted and hard until it breaks. The mini was not even making a dent in this stuff. I had to hit it with the teeth on the bucket over and over until it would finally "pop" and then go about a foot. I was getting really bounced around and the machine was just standing up instead of digging into the materials. It was a kx41-3v kubota with 18" bucket. Will a larger machine make much difference. They are telling me they have one 2 sizes up (about 10k lbs) that would make this no problem. Thoughts? Will I have issues with that much weight behind my 2500 dodge cummins up or down a highway with some pretty large elevation change?
jakejorgenson 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!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 10-02-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
Pro
 
Sar-Con's Avatar
 
Trade: Civil Construction, Excavation, Concrete + Forming
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 842
Rewards Points: 504

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Don't send a boy in to do a man's job.....Mini's are great for small, tight sites but you'll kill yourself on a production job. I assume this is a direct bury application? A trencher would've had that licked in under a day.

Advertisement

Sar-Con is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Sar-Con For This Useful Post:
griz (10-02-2012)
Old 10-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
Pro
 
jakejorgenson's Avatar
 
Trade: GC/Carpentry
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midway, Utah
Posts: 117
Rewards Points: 107

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar-Con
Don't send a boy in to do a man's job.....Mini's are great for small, tight sites but you'll kill yourself on a production job. I assume this is a direct bury application? A trencher would've had that licked in under a day.
We had a trencher set up and the rental place went out of business literally yesterday and we didn't know until we showed up at the door this morning to get it. We had to drive an added hour (30 min each way) just to get something.
jakejorgenson is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #4
Pro
 
jakejorgenson's Avatar
 
Trade: GC/Carpentry
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midway, Utah
Posts: 117
Rewards Points: 107

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar-Con
Don't send a boy in to do a man's job.....Mini's are great for small, tight sites but you'll kill yourself on a production job. I assume this is a direct bury application? A trencher would've had that licked in under a day.
Will a trencher go through that hard pan soil set at 3 ft depth on a skid steer?
jakejorgenson is offline  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #5
Pro
 
Sar-Con's Avatar
 
Trade: Civil Construction, Excavation, Concrete + Forming
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 842
Rewards Points: 504

Re: Mini Excavator Help


I was thinking of something a little bigger than a skid steer attachement. I'm sure it would work but you might find that slow going too. Hard to say for sure without seeing the soil, access, etc.
Sar-Con is offline  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
Always Learning
 
overanalyze's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder/Remodeler
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 8,390
Rewards Points: 1,522

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Second the trencher..or maybe just hire a trenching sub...they could slam that footage out quick and be gone...freeing you up to do the electrical portion. A lot of our trenchers charge by the foot...
__________________
It is what it is...now fix it.
overanalyze is online now  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
Pro
 
wyoming 1's Avatar
 
Trade: General contractor
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Carbon county Wyoming
Posts: 559
Rewards Points: 520

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Slighlty bigger machine and a smaller bucket.
wyoming 1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wyoming 1 For This Useful Post:
tgeb (10-03-2012)
Old 10-02-2012, 11:00 PM   #8
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,241
Rewards Points: 2,164

Re: Mini Excavator Help


18" bucket....

Try a 12" or a 9"...

I would sub it out to a dirt guy....
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
CanDoExcavating (10-02-2012)
Old 10-02-2012, 11:18 PM   #9
Member
 
MikeyJP1980's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Dover, TN
Posts: 63
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Your machine is too small for the task at hand. Seldom will any contractor in the excavating business have a machine that small. Shallow plumbing lines could be the only thing that machine is good for. There is an art to trenching with an excavator at a productive rate. 10k lb. machine would do the job in a reasonable time. Trenchers would not work in my area at 3’ depth. Main problem is kubota’s are for farmers.
MikeyJP1980 is offline  
Old 10-03-2012, 04:53 AM   #10
Contractor
 
tgeb's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavation, Foundation, Concrete
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,750
Rewards Points: 966

Re: Mini Excavator Help


I agree with the above, larger machine, smaller bucket will help.

A typical chain trencher is no good for any pipe greater than 3" diameter or more, unless you get one with a six inch wide chain...which is rare to see.
__________________
Tom

www.gebcon.com
tgeb is online now  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:28 PM   #11
Pro
 
wellbuilt home's Avatar
 
Trade: ,additions ,kitchens baths house reno
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NY
Posts: 172
Rewards Points: 168

Re: Mini Excavator Help


I have a bob cat 435 11500lbs with a 12" bucket and good teeth.
I can dig 800 ' in a long day. In tough hard rocky soil .
Ive been runing a lot of gas line and conduit the last few years .
wellbuilt home is offline  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:34 AM   #12
Head Grunt
 
woodchuck2's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical Contractor&Home Maintenance
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Creek, NY/Lower Adirondacks
Posts: 3,270
Rewards Points: 2,196

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Go with a bigger machine and smaller bucket as others have said. Trenchers around here never work, too much rock. I had an 8k lb mini-ex and i could do 800' in a day unless it was all riverbed conditions. But decent soil or sand was no issue for 800' in a day. Never played with clay much but certainly have hardpan, bigger is better. Hiring this out may be the better option too, just pad the bill so you make money too.

Sometimes you think you are making all this money running the equipment yourself but if you step back and let someone else do it and still make money off them you could be actually making more money by getting the job done much faster, its not like you will be standing around waiting on him, for 800' thats a lot of wire to roll out and sleeve if you are using conduit. I sleeve everything and that often takes longer than the digging so once they start digging i run out my wire, start sleeving it, once they are done i drop in as much sleeved wire as possible so they can begin backfilling, then i go back to sleeving, once finished i drop in the rest and go to work attaching the ends.
woodchuck2 is offline  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:14 PM   #13
Pro
 
jakejorgenson's Avatar
 
Trade: GC/Carpentry
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midway, Utah
Posts: 117
Rewards Points: 107

Re: Mini Excavator Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by jakejorgenson
Rented a mini today to do an electrical trench for a job we are doing out in the boonies. Have to dig up 800 ft of trench at 3 ft deep for the main line from the nearest location. Got about 120 ft done today. Super slow going as the ground is sort of a packed clay that once you break it up is more like sand. There is a layer about a foot thick from 6" deep to about 18 deep that is super compacted and hard until it breaks. The mini was not even making a dent in this stuff. I had to hit it with the teeth on the bucket over and over until it would finally "pop" and then go about a foot. I was getting really bounced around and the machine was just standing up instead of digging into the materials. It was a kx41-3v kubota with 18" bucket. Will a larger machine make much difference. They are telling me they have one 2 sizes up (about 10k lbs) that would make this no problem. Thoughts? Will I have issues with that much weight behind my 2500 dodge cummins up or down a highway with some pretty large elevation change?
Found a guy nearby to do it with a 19k lb backhoe. No issues and digging right through it. He should finish in the morning. Sounds like I just had way too small of machine.

Advertisement

jakejorgenson is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to jakejorgenson For This Useful Post:
tgeb (10-04-2012)


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
Mini Ex size rino1494 Excavation & Site Work 24 07-29-2012 05:56 PM
interested in starting up my own mini excavator/ landscaping company dieseljames Excavation & Site Work 10 01-18-2012 07:25 PM
Ditch Witch SK500 Mini Skid w/attachments arbor pro Contractor Swap 3 04-14-2011 10:52 AM
2 mini skid steers plus lots of attachments for sale arbor pro Contractor Swap 15 03-03-2011 09:37 AM
Mini Van for work?? mnjconstruction Vehicles 16 03-02-2009 01:53 AM

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

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

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?