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Big Farm Project Coming - Completed!


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#1 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 11:16 AM

Getting set to take on a big job soon. Our silage pit walls are plain dirt & eroding badly, to the point the plastic will barely reach, plus the dirt falls into the silage in winter time when freezing & thawing. At this point there is only one viable option, and that's to build stacked walls out of surplus concrete the local concrete companies make from waste concrete. They are 2'x2'x6' and weigh around 3,400lbs each. Each side will take 110 blocks, so this one pit will be 220 blocks. The concrete company will deliver 8 at a time per truck. We believe our payloader will unload them off the truck, but it won't set them, due to height & turn ability. Looks like we'll take them off the truck ourselves with our loader, then stockpile them until ready to put up the walls. Then we'll be renting a "Telehandler" to assemble the walls. The blocks are made to interlock on top & bottom, & we'll stagger the layers to make a strong locked wall. Once the walls are up, then we'll need to pour a new floor, as it is buckling also. The acids in the silage eat at the concrete over time, but with the blocks being 2' thick, we'll be good for my lifetime & many more years after.
I sure dread this, as it's going to take a lot of time and we already have enough to do, but it HAS to be done. We have to have it finished by silage time late August.
Next year means doing the other pit that is still half full at this time.
I'll post some pics once we get started.

Edited by olcowhand, August 11, 2011 - 03:49 PM.


#2 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 12:15 PM

That will be a major task! But once it's done it will be one of those things, you will wonder why you did not do sooner.
Look forward to seeing the pictures.

#3 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 12:46 PM

Yep, sounds like you've got a project ahead.

We've built several retaining walls with, what sounds like same sorta blocks.
Ours are 2x2x4ft. We made up this grapple. Worked good. Hanging on a chain
off the bucket of our Case 580E. Turning radius not an issue then, as you just swing
the block around. Just a thought, but you might save yourself a bundle on that telecrane, if you fab something like this up. Plus you can start working away at
it at your own pace. If you want, I can easily pull it out of the weeds, and give
you some measurements. Or, you can borrow it if you want.
It has a trip feature, which was nice, as operator
could go and get the next block alone.
It's kinda hard to see, but in the 3rd pic is a heavy angle(on the ground). That has
sarated(sp) teeth, that grip the block.

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#4 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 01:57 PM

Daniel,
The plan sounds great, but the work sounds hard.
thanks in advance for the pics, looking forward to them.
Above all else, tho... please be careful.

#5 dstaggs OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 02:06 PM

Farmers work never done. Look forward to the pics. Slow and Easy be careful.

#6 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 02:25 PM

Got some dirt moved today. Have to scrape the lower dirt walls till room for the blocks. This should give me enough dirt to backfill after every layer or 2 of blocks where the wall has receded. The Telehandler is actually a good enough bargain. A whole week, machine delivered for just $830. Renting this machine will be so much safer, especially since the top line will be at 10'. Mistakes at that height with 3400+lbs would be catastrophic! Being we'll likely be able to offload the truck with our loader, we'll likely only need the telehandler for 3 days or so, BUT, it would be mighty handy while it's here to finish my siding on the upper level of my home! :D

#7 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 02:29 PM

I miscalculated also....the 2x2x6 blocks weigh around 3600lbs each. A 2x2x4' block is only 2400+. Concrete with heavy aggreagate weighs about 150/cu'.

Edited by olcowhand, July 06, 2011 - 04:14 PM.


#8 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 05:15 PM

I wish you the best of luck with the project Daniel! Hope that all goes well! I wish you were closer so I could pop in and give you a hand!

#9 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 05:51 PM

I wish you were closer so I could pop in and give you a hand!


You & me both! :D But we'll get her finished, one way or another. Not any other option!

#10 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 06:13 PM

I hope all goes well with this king sized project for you Daniel! Above all be safe around all that weight you will be moving around.

#11 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 06:25 PM

We'll be stacking 792,000 lbs of concrete! Once the walls are up, then we'll be pouring 45 yards of new concrete floor. But, once done, it will be better than even when we first dug them. The walls will make things so much better. Cleaner silage, and higher quality. Not looking forward to the work, but I am to the improvements.

#12 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 07:27 PM

Went down & took some pics for ya's. You can see the edge of the original concrete floor. The slabs will be placed all in the dirt, except just onto the edge of the concrete like maybe 2". This will be to ensure any settling will be outwards against the dirt walls. As the walls go up, we will backfill with dirt. We expect & want some settling outwards to ensure a safe stable wall. The floor is in bad shape. This floor pic is from the other pit, as this one I'm working on looks decent because the dirt has filled all the cracks. The entire floors aren't this bad, but they would be soon enough without a new over-pour. The acids in the silage erode the concrete about 1/4" per year. You can imagine the dirt as it's angled, how much wider the top of the pit has become than originally dug, straight up from the concrete's edge. Makes it difficult getting the silage to fall. Using the loader to bring it off the angled wall just gets more dirt falling. Tomorrow I need to move this pile of dirt outside the pit.

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#13 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 07:30 PM

At work the trucks we have unload material (landscaping blocks, and paver bricks) with a fork when mat. on a skid or a clamp for bricks and blocks the are bundled and strapped. There are blocks made for walls that are about the same size as what your using and the clamp can pick them up 1 at a time.
I can tell you the clamp is the easiest way and safe, the heavier the mat. the tighter it grips, as long as your machine is strong enough to handle the weight the clamp is no problem.

#14 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 07:32 PM

I totally forgot to post of a prior project this Spring/early Summer. We put up another machinery shed ourselves. It's 24x48. Needed just a little more storage for equipment. We wanted it as open as possible so we can take stuff our either end, plus it makes the building more resistant to wind damage. Man is it getting hard on the bod crawling in & over rafters & the like!

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#15 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2011 - 07:45 PM

Very nice Dan! I need a couple of those myself LOL!




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