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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be helping a neighbor remove 3-4 inches of dirt from an area behind his house so he can lay rock and pour concrete.

Just wondering if there are any tips when using the bucket for this. I've tried a little around the yard but it seems when you go in at an angle it goes in a couple inches then you can't budge it as it just keeps digging in.

So, I'm thinking maybe go in an inch or two, level the FEL out, then go forward to scrape?

I don't have a box blade yet which I know would work to, so for now it's gonna be just the bucket on my 1860 (no teeth).
 

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What I have done in the past is I tilt the bucket to the dump position and lower it to the ground while backing up. You can go in at an angle with the bucket but it takes a while. Heck even when using my cousin's track loader (30,000lb machine) going in with the bucket at an angle you can only dig a few inches at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would the "float position" (which I just learned about as my FEL manual isn't here yet) work at all for this? Dig it in, then put in float position?

I guess I'll have to play around to find what works best. But, I was very surprised at how much this little scut could dig, and how quickly the bucket filled with dirt!
 

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The float is good for scraping loose material. You could try digging then use the float but I haven't had the chance to experiment with my cousins TC45D New Holland in a few years.
 

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You don't say how big an area is going to be excavated for the concrete but it sounds like a boxblade - or even a grader blade - may be a big help. You'd use the boxblade to move the dirt into berms, and then use the FEL to move the berms. For me, that's been much easier than trying to use the FEL to make a smooth and uniform cut over a large area.
 

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Dabbler in rust
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I doubt you will have much luck using the float possition for digging, it's works good for backblading your area when your done digging of for pushing snow, but not for serious digging.

If you tilt the bucket at a good angle, and drive forward with enough pressure to lift your front tires, untill the blade is in 3" or so, then level the bucket, my bucket has a welded cutting edge, that wraps up the side of the bucket approx 3-4", I use this as a guide that I can see from the seat to judge my depth, I also find stopping and raising the loader slightly before rolling the bucket back leaves an edge in the soil that is a good point to start from once I empty the bucket and return for more dirt.

You need to get your loader manual, the one that came with mine had very helpful tips on how to efficently use your loader. I have been hauling manure and bales with our farm tractor for years, and not until I read my compact loader manual did I realize the errors of my ways.

Happy Digging
 

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PS, beware of buried utilities, telephone lines can be at unexpectely shallow depths, always best to call before you dig. Remember, even if it's your buddies property and project, you will be responsible if you are the one doing the digging!
 

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the one that came with mine had very helpful tips on how to efficently use your loader.
Lonn77,

What is that manual? I have no manual and I don't think one is available for my FEL. Everything I've learned about using the loader is self-taught and I'm sure there is more that I don't know. Perhaps the manual you are referring to is available somewhere on the Internet.

What are some of the tips that you found most helpful?

Thanks!

JN
 

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Dabbler in rust
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I have an L352 loader from Kubota, it came with a manual, seperate from my tractor owner manual.

There was a fair bit in there on pushing dirt or snow, and how it is more efficient to return to a pile with your bucket full, as the volume pushed is far greater than the volume carrried by the bucket, and the time taken to empty the volume of the bucket is too long to be efficent, and tips on how and when to roll your bucket to acheive a full bucket every time, been awhile since I read it, but I could probably use a refresher.
 

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Just Have a Little Faith!
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No, float won't work pushing heavy dirt. It will just allow the tractor to rise up with the front wheels off the ground. If the bucket won't push the dirt, your taking too big of a bite. Nice and easy wins the race. It's tempting to beleive machinery will do more than it can. Just remember that as slow as you go, is still faster than using a shovel!
 

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Buy a box blade! (or better yet have the neighbor help you buy it:) for moving dirt and grading its way better, faster, and prob easier on the machine and its something that you can use in the future. Well worth the investment.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I do have a box blade coming... another week or so and TSC should have it in. HAd to special order the 4' one since they only had larger ones in stock.

We'll give it a try. BUt I have a feeling that people seem to think you'll be able to move it all in 10 minutes and make it nice and flat. :) I will do my best and learn though.. haha..
 

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One city boy to another,

I have a 250' driveway I am building on a currently empty lot. I am using a boxscrapper with the tines fully extended and lower the scrapper to the depth I want, essentually using the tines mainly to rip up the clay/weeds/grass so I can lay down granular A.

I found that after 3-4 passes over the same area I can then scrape up the loose material with the FEL. There is no way I could do that with the FEL alone.

________________
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One city boy to another,

I have a 250' driveway I am building on a currently empty lot. I am using a boxscrapper with the tines fully extended and lower the scrapper to the depth I want, essentually using the tines mainly to rip up the clay/weeds/grass so I can lay down granular A.

I found that after 3-4 passes over the same area I can then scrape up the loose material with the FEL. There is no way I could do that with the FEL alone.

________________
Brian
So, once it's loose do you use the float position on the FEL? Or just dig down, level out, and fill the FEL?
 

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Jack of All Trades
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I wouldn't worry too much about cutting level and to finish subgrade, in fact I would over cut by a couple inches then bring in sand to place and grade out with. Believe me, sand and a 2x4 grading and leveling is MUCH cheaper than grading out with extra concrete!!. Weather you use the sand or just cut the dirt straight to the grade you need, be sure to remove ALL the loose dirt before placing your sand or concrete. Nothing like having a well finished slab crack because of poor compaction underneath. Start with a proper base, use proper concrete and techniques and you will have a slab you will be proud of every time you see it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh ya, this guy knows how to do it, I just have the tractor to help. And it may add more invites to his pool to swim.. lol
 
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