Renting is an option but I'm debating whether its worth it. The issue is that I have to excavate, wait for rain, see how the water flows, where it stagnates, where it goes into areas I don't want it to go, reanalyze the situation, and then repeat. That means I would have to rent multiple times and it might not be cost effective. Ive already put in several hundred feet of French drains and even then the house still got some water inside. I really enjoy taking care of the property so I don't mind getting a quality product, but with all the home issues my finances are stretched a little thin. I would love a subcompact but for now it looks like the most I can afford is a used X500 and a Johnny bucket. The biggest issue is that I don't know if the Johnny bucket junior will be able to dig deep enough. I don't need much, a 4" gully would probably be plenty. I had my heart set on a Husqvarna TS352D but with all the bad reviews it's gotten here regarding the frame I'm very hesitant.
Instead of waiting for Mother Nature to show you the various drainage paths you have and want to change, I’d suggest buying a laser transmitter and receiver with a grade rod. Probably pick up a rolling measuring wheel as well. Then plot out a grid, on paper, of your house. You can make the grid 10’, 20’, 50’ or what size you’d like.
Take your laser survey system out and plot the numbers down at every grid intersection. You can use Excel or another spread sheet if you’d like. After it’s done, if you use Excel, you can actually plot your elevations and see them on a grid chart. And it will show you exactly where water will pool up, low points to aim the water to, etc.
Even if you don’t make a line chart, when you look at the grid numbers it will make sense where your high and low elevation points are at.
For a side job, I had laser controlled scrapers for 30 years, as well as a setup for an old bull dozer and motorgrader. Every job I did, I’d survey with a grid system, regardless if it was a 100’ by 100’ shop pad, or 640 acres. That way we could estimate time, costs and amount of materials used.
I would do the surveying I described above, regardless if I bought or rented a machine to do the work with. As I mentioned earlier, I had an old bulldozer and motorgrader, as well as an old backhoe. If the job I was on was small, or not needed in a hurry, I’d run my equipment. But if I needed production, a tough project, etc I definitely rent equipment. Especially when you consider renting something like a new Cat or Deere backhoe. You can get more accomplished in an hour with a full size machine that you can all day with a garden tractor size hoe. I used to own a 25hp Mitsabushi with a loader/hoe setup.
Just some thoughts to consider
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