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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2016
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    139
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    MF 35, 135, 40B

    Default Building our new dam

    Thought I would share what I've been busy with the last few weeks, as far as spare time goes. We do like to grow some vegetables, we also have a couple dozen fruit trees as well as the gardens and grass around the house always look nicer when they're green. There is a distinct "dry" season from about April to October when everything needs regular water, as well as veges etc needing some additional water through the summer, even though there is frequent rain and some heavy storms as well. That said, we have pumped our dam dry a couple of times, and through the generosity of neighbours our gardens were lucky enough to survive a couple of hot summers. In return, we share what we can spare, help each other and it all works out well.
    I decided it would help the situation if we had a second dam, so I've begun to dig one ..... more accurately, I'm not far off finishing it. Just a bit more digging, cleaning up and tidying, then some grass seed and it should be pretty good. I haven't done this before - I'm relying on my memory of how I'd watch contractors and see how they used to build dams for my father when I was young.
    The Komatsu drott (tracked loader) belongs to a good friend. Its an early 80's model, grey import from Japan. I rebuilt the engine in it - until then it used more oil than diesel I think! Renewed rings and head gasket, another friend reconditioned the head, renewed a couple of inoperative glow plugs and now it works like a trooper! The loader and tractor are both mine - late 60's models.
    I'll attach some more pics as things progress, apologies in advance for the lack of quality.

    Edit: Just noticed the pics went up in reverse order - last pic to first is correct order.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building our new dam-seeing-some-clay-now-jpg   Building our new dam-even-more-dam-wall-jpg   Building our new dam-plenty-more-jpg   Building our new dam-lots-subsoil-jpg   Building our new dam-pushing-subsoil-off-jpg  

    Building our new dam-enginuity-jpg   Building our new dam-added-weight-ripper-jpg   Building our new dam-worked-till-dark-jpg   Building our new dam-removing-topsoil-jpg   Building our new dam-just-started-jpg  

    Last edited by PatrickS2222; 07-30-2016 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Order of pics is reversed

  2. #2
    Veteran Member RaydaKub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,890
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2230

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Interesting ballast you have there... 👍

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    1,657
    Location
    Guin, AL
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200 w/LA524 FEL, Loaded rear tires, LP RCR 1860 5' Cutter, LP RTA 1258 5' Tiller, LP PFL 2042 Pallet Forks w/60" Extensions

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    It looks like it has been keeping you busy. Do you have a creek feeding into it or just to collect runoff?
    US Air Force Retired (1966-1988) ... mike

  4. #4
    Elite Member kebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    2,714
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Tractor
    2001 John Deere 790 4x4, bar tires

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    It looks fairly shallow, and if so, I'm wondering how it will hold water for a period of time before most of it evaporates??? I guess since you have one like this you are already using, it's not an issue?
    Nothing could be finer than riding my JD790 in South Carolina!!

    2001 John Deere 790 4x4 with Model 70 FEL, 5ft International World Agritech bush hog, 5ft Wallberg BB, 5ft Frontier disc harrow, 5ft King Kutter II Rototiller, 5 1/2ft Cultipacker, 5ft Sitrex finish mower, Leinbach PHD with 9" & 12" augers, Leinbach middlebuster, Leinbach #11 Field Cultivator, custom 3pt handi-hitch, clamp on bucket forks, Pat's Easy Change.

    It's not how slow you mow... it's how well you mow slow!!

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2016
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    139
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Tractor
    MF 35, 135, 40B

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Yeah RaydaKub, my neighbour liked that idea too - genuine Mercedes Benz x2 Dead engines from work. Knocks and/or spun bearings - results of not changing oil! The clay is really dry and hard, and needed loosening before digging out, even with the Komatsu. The ripper is on our MF135 but is designed for a smaller tractor, and once it is about 6" into the ground the lower arms actually pull it upwards, reducing its tendency to pull itself downward into the ground. 500lb or so of added weight makes a real difference, and also makes the tractor hook up and pull a lot better.

    mddorange, only run-off unfortunately. The surrounding paddocks are all really poor soil - tired ex-farmland cut up into 5acre lots. My neighbour is really great and we work together a lot. He has got busy on his TEA20 and cut a channel with his rear blade angled. That catches what water runs off his paddock and directs it into our first dam. When that one overflows, the new dam will fill. When it overflows, the water goes off into another channel - and flows into his dam, in the unlikely event that it hasn't filled, otherwise they all overflow together.

    kebo, you're right, its only about 12-13ft deep, although it might not look it because measuring across the inside of the wall at the (expected) "full" level is about 26yds x 21yds (its ended up a bit oval). I gave a bit of thought to evaporation ..... our other dam is a similar size, and I felt that in order to halve surface area (and evaporation) the diameter would need to be around 17yds. But to have the same capacity I would have to dig it twice as deep More than a bit worried about tramping the wall firm already! I concluded making it one foot deeper should cater for evaporative loss, and save a lot of work! I reckon it will hold more than our other dam though, but it's a back-up supply - as much for us as it is for our good neighbour too

    Some more progress pics too ... correct order this time!
    Building our new dam-ripping-loosen-clay-jpgBuilding our new dam-pushing-clay-now-jpgBuilding our new dam-seeing-some-shape-now-jpgBuilding our new dam-getting-deeper-too-jpgBuilding our new dam-clearing-surrounds-jpgBuilding our new dam-double-duty-jpgBuilding our new dam-not-going-any-deeper-jpgBuilding our new dam-dark-again-jpgBuilding our new dam-moving-shed-jpg

  6. #6
    Veteran Member RaydaKub's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    1,890
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2230

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickS2222 View Post
    Building our new dam-moving-shed-jpg
    It's an empty tin shed, but given it is on the end of a boom pole, how does that front end stay on the ground? There's no weight there at all!

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    139
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Tractor
    MF 35, 135, 40B

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Sorry for late reply ..... no internet for several days Let down by our 1800s copper wires playing havoc with 21st century ADSL2 modems!
    Hats off to their techs - found and fixed it today.
    And no, it wasn't a local with a ripper on a tractor hooking the cable our phone still worked, but our internet didn't!

    Lifting that shed: - There may be a bit more weight in that tractor than it appears but still, it isn't by any means heavy. It does have MF bolt-on front wheel weights (inside the wheel centres) and front - as well as rear - tyres are filled with water as well. Yes, it's only a 20' x 10' garden shed - very thin, no frame, also not very high at all. While it is quite light, lifting it at that length makes it seem a bit heavier, but tractor lifted it with no worries. Lifting it initially snapped one rope, which didn't do anything good for the pop-rivets holding it together!

    We have had a few rain showers last couple days, so no more work recently. All I could do was to transplant some rather healthy cooch runners, which were invading my garden beds, into the topsoil I fortunately had already spread along the top of the dam wall. They currently look a little unhappy - apparently not as nourishing as garden soil! Should grow with some fertiliser and water although I will spread some rye and millet seed to cover it more quickly.

    More pics shortly ..... if anyone is interested

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    138
    Location
    Germantown
    Tractor
    MF Utility 35 gasser w/ MF 99FEL

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Wow, you've definitely been busy! Looks like you guys (and girl) are doing a great job! I may have missed my calling, as all this machine work intrigues me. I've been around it my whole life but never really had the interest in it before a few years ago. Keep up the good work!

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2016
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    139
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Tractor
    MF 35, 135, 40B

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Thank you mate, it's looking like something now too. That's our younger daughter ..... she's quite capable on these machines too!
    You'll find these jobs a welcome change from what you do 5 days a week. That's why we treasure our "seat time" so much!
    I'm really lucky to have the Komatsu to use - would have been a difficult job with only wheel tractors. I rebuilt the engine in it before I started - its now a nice, strong and chrisp diesel, you wouldn't think it's the same motor!
    I need to take some more pics tomorrow to post.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Location
    Germantown
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    MF Utility 35 gasser w/ MF 99FEL

    Default Re: Building our new dam

    Nice! Any progress this weekend?

    That Komatsu looks like it gets the job done just right, an invaluable asset for sure!

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