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How Many Tractors Does It Take To Pour A Sidewalk


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#1 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 08:24 AM

I'm just starting this project today. It's been YEARS in the making which is pretty pathetic in itself. I was talking to Alan the other night and mentioned this project to him. He said, "of course you'll be taking pictures, right?" SIGH. I guess I will have to now. It really isn't much of a sidewalk but it is monumental to someone who has never poured a sidewalk or worked with concrete at all. I have my instructions and know how I want to approach it so I'm not looking for a big long thread of advice. This is just simply a fun thread that you can follow to see the project from beginning to end. I probably won't post the pics until it's done because it really should be a quick job. It would be quicker if I got a truck to bring it in but I am mixing this with an old electric mixer I got from my father-in-laws estate. Today, I relocate the steps (done), move the temprary blocks for the sidewalk and dig it all out. I'll build the forms later today and hopefully be ready for the pour tomorrow. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, you can think about my question. How many tractors will it take to do this job? Hmmmm....
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#2 Guest_rat88_*

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 08:33 AM

Meanwhile, you can think about my question. How many tractors will it take to do this job? Hmmmm....


All that you own plus 1 new one. Gotta get a new "tool" as a trophy for a job well done.

#3 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 08:42 AM

Well it takes one tractor for every impliment/task you will do. So your not spending all yout time changing impliments.
Cement work is not Rocket Science or Brain Surgery. You can sure do it.
Hand mixing is a good way to go on a small project. You can take your time and do it in small enough steps that it does not get ahead of you. I helped my father -in Law pour a garage floor one hot July day. Redi-mix Drivers can get impaitent and dump the load too fast if you don't have enough help. We had 4 guys working and in the heat the cement cured way too fast.
That's one job I would not brag on. We could not get it screeded out before it cured and made for a rough finish.
My dad has a small cement mixer and it is what Ill use to put the floor in my tractor shed next summer. That way I can do a small section as I have the time and money.

#4 bhts OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 08:44 AM

Good luck hope it turns out like you want. Since it is the first time dealing with concrete just make sure you ware some gloves and boots as wet concrete will burn some people pretty bad.

#5 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 08:48 AM

Well, some years ago I put in a sidewalk at work. I used just one tractor, my Gravely. First, I put the rotary plow on and followed the path of the sidewalk, throwing the dirt out. The, I put the snow blade on and pushed and leveled the dirt out of the sidewalk area. Then after the sidewalk was poured and cured, I came back with the blade and graded the dirt piles to smooth the transition between the sidewalk and the lawn countour. So, without changing implements, I'd say you need two, with a third to haul trailers and such around.

#6 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 08:51 AM

All that you own plus 1 new one. Gotta get a new "tool" as a trophy for a job well done.

I agree totally! How big is this area L x W? This is a good time of year for doing it, not so hot it sets up real fast. One thing I would look at is how many times you have to mix a load before you can level it out. Start with the first batch a bit 'wet' so it's not setting up before you get the next batch poured. Gloves and boots are good items to have. Some folks can get real serious issues with that stuff and don't know until it's too late.

#7 JD DANNELS ONLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 09:06 AM

I agree totally! How big is this area L x W? This is a good time of year for doing it, not so hot it sets up real fast. One thing I would look at is how many times you have to mix a load before you can level it out. Start with the first batch a bit 'wet' so it's not setting up before you get the next batch poured. Gloves and boots are good items to have. Some folks can get real serious issues with that stuff and don't know until it's too late.

Yeah I had not thought of that!! I've never had a problem but have seen some guys moult like a snake when they got cement on their skin. Chemical burns and allergies are the reason my brother quit doing auto body work after 33 yrs.

#8 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 10:41 AM

I'm done a little concret work , only a few that I thought was " professional " looking job. Read some " how to's " because there are tips and tricks you'll want to know about before starting . If your doing steps or other type of forms they will tips for that too . I've mix will my small eletric mixer and also ready-mix trucks but there is uaslly a "short load charge " for under a certion yardage there are some trucks that are set up with all the ingredients dry and mix what you need " On -Site ' so your only paying and use what you need . Maybe some of our members are masons and will come with their own suggestions , Al

#9 JDBrian ONLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 11:03 AM

The cement dust is pretty nasty to be breathing in as well. I try to wear a mask. I have 3 posts to pour tonight so these tips are timely for me. I have an old electric mixer but I don't know if it's going to work. If not, I'll be mixing the 8 bags or so by hand - My arms are getting sore just thinking about that.

#10 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 11:22 AM

The cement dust is pretty nasty to be breathing in as well. I try to wear a mask. I have 3 posts to pour tonight so these tips are timely for me. I have an old electric mixer but I don't know if it's going to work. If not, I'll be mixing the 8 bags or so by hand - My arms are getting sore just thinking about that.

UH yeah that is true! But no one ever told me that or even thought of it back in the summer of 1968 when I worked as a yard man in a concrete plant between my junior and senior years of highschool. When after the railroad Hopper cars had dropped their load(even with a vibrator) and I had to climb inside with a shovel and scoop out what had stuck in the corners. No way to get away from the ddust.

Edited by JD DANNELS, September 28, 2012 - 11:23 AM.


#11 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 11:24 AM

Brian, the fellow I have been working with for a # of years has always poured the dry mix (about half full) into the hole with the post, added a little water and tamped that. Then the last amount to fill the hole and more water/tamp. We were setting posts for handicap ramps and never had a failure. We have done close to 500~ posts with no problems.

#12 JD DANNELS ONLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 12:42 PM

Brian, the fellow I have been working with for a # of years has always poured the dry mix (about half full) into the hole with the post, added a little water and tamped that. Then the last amount to fill the hole and more water/tamp. We were setting posts for handicap ramps and never had a failure. We have done close to 500~ posts with no problems.


Yeah Brian do it that way!! I've set a lot of posts exactly like Kenny describes.

Now for the kicker, I did just that for 100 ft of vinyl fence on my old place about 10 yrs ago. And have been puzzling the last two years on the best way to pull them and save the fence? Other than a lot of manual labor, or explosives!

Edited by JD DANNELS, September 28, 2012 - 12:44 PM.


#13 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 12:52 PM

Oh Hey one thing I forgot to mention, when mixing cement becareful with the water. There is a fine line between perfect and a soupy mess. Best way is to keep a tub of water beside the mixer and a 1 gal coffee can. When you get close to right just add a bit of water at a time.

Edited by JD DANNELS, September 28, 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#14 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 01:08 PM

Yeah Brian do it that way!! I've set a lot of posts exactly like Kenny describes.

Now for the kicker, I did just that for 100 ft of vinyl fence on my old place about 10 yrs ago. And have been puzzling the last two years on the best way to pull them and save the fence? Other than a lot of manual labor, or explosives!

You have a tractor and 3-point. Make a picker for it, tie a strap around the post and hit the lift handle.

#15 HowardsMF155 ONLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2012 - 01:33 PM

Or you could do what I did and make a "boom" of sorts, use two boards to re-direct horizonal force to vertical force. Here is my video.

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