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Old 10-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #21
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Micro Back Hoe?

We call for locates all the time. It is funny to watch. Some of the utilities are right where they paint the stripe. Others are plus or minus three feet either side of the line. We have had several that were nowhere near the paint. Just the other day we were digging in an area we thought was clear and found a 4" sprinkler line that was not marked. When we asked about it the guy said that he was wondering why we're digging there. He knew it was there but never said anything about it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:47 PM   #22
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
We call for locates all the time. It is funny to watch. Some of the utilities are right where they paint the stripe. Others are plus or minus three feet either side of the line. We have had several that were nowhere near the paint. Just the other day we were digging in an area we thought was clear and found a 4" sprinkler line that was not marked. When we asked about it the guy said that he was wondering why we're digging there. He knew it was there but never said anything about it.
In Colorado at least, utilities mark their own- so the phone guy comes and marks the line, but nobody marks our septic tank, lines and field, and the gas company marks TO the meter but not between the meter and the house (?!). Nobody is going to mark my geothermal either. So the sprinkler not being marked doesn't surprise me... the owner watching you cut through it? Unfortunately that does not either.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:01 PM   #23
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Micro Back Hoe?

The bad part was that the guy watching and myself are both employees of the owner and it was our line. I was relying on our internal locate team to do the locates on the University owned utilities.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:44 PM   #24
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

As a last try you can always witch the spot you plan to dig. I use a couple of #6 solid copper tie wires about 2-1/2 feet long. When in doubt hand dig.

A large contract operation had come to a stop during construction of a postal office and I saw the contractor wearing a suit digging with a shovel in the trench sweating his butt off. I knew the guy and asked what he was looking for. It was a water line. I asked if he witched it and got a funny look from him. In less than a minute I detected the line and asked for the blueprint. It showed it at 4' and told him to dig in to my location...bam, he hit it. Should have seen the looks on the crews faces. Yep he asked me for those wires like they were magic Heck even coat hangers will work.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #25
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

I have a 22 hp Kubota with a small backhoe. The others are correct, unless you are digging loose sand, all that thing will do is pull itself forward. If you have hardpan, it will do nothing at all.

I have been a forum member for years on http://www.tractorbynet.com There is no better place to get information. Unless you really need both a tractor and a backhoe, and are going to use both a lot, I agree that you should rent, that is if you already have a lot of experience using a backhoe. I guarantee you that it would be cheaper to pay an experienced operator to dig for you with his own rig than for a novice to rent, because there is a learning curve. A newbie will take so long to dig the same trench or stump that your rental time will total more than just paying a pro to do it for you. Also, if you are digging in a true hardpan like ironpan, caliche, or duripan (packed soil, aka fragipan, isn't true hardpan), it takes a full sized tractor to actually dig the stuff; sub-compacts like mine, and even compact utility tractors just aren't powerful enough. It requires a full sized utility tractor or a commercial TLB.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #26
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
Also, if you are digging in a true hardpan like ironpan, caliche, or duripan (packed soil, aka frangipan, isn't true hardpan), it takes a full sized tractor to actually dig the stuff; sub-compacts like mine, and even compact utility tractors just aren't powerful enough. It requires a full sized utility tractor or a commercial TLB.
You got that right Tom! Some of the stuff here in Ca is tougher than cement.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:59 PM   #27
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Micro Back Hoe?

Just had to replace our 200' water line. The plumber went cheap on his backhoe rental, ended up paying more cuz he couldn't finish in time and had to extend the rental. Plus, he was beat to pieces by the pounding. Nothing like caliche in a drought.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #28
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

I listened to all your sage advice, then picked and chose what I wanted to hear

To wit:

...bought that today.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:20 PM   #29
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

Now that is a real toy but how much digging do you have to do?
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:51 PM   #30
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

Looks like it's offroad capable... heck, you could even move rocks etc out of your way

Now, Boss, tell us what you plan to do with that new Tonka Toy
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