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  1. #1
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    11,989
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    PA
    Tractor
    NH TC25D

    Default Spreading Stones Technique

    My wife arranged to have 22 tons of stones (really more like stone dust) delivered that are destined for our outside riding ring. Currently, the pile is sitting next to the driveway to our barn, so I will have to pick up a load of stones with the FEL, transport them to the ring, about 30 yards, then spread them out, also using the FEL. No box blade.

    My wife was told that 22 tons "should be enough to put at least one inch of new stone on top of the existing surface". When I mentioned to her I might need her assistance in the project, her response was, "The guy who installed the ring didn't need anyone else to assist when he leveled the ring." Needless to say, this guy had years of experience running a TLB (Case 580) and he did this for a living. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img] Apparently, I have set my wife's expectations of my FEL-skills way too high. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    What is the best technique for getting a relatively consistent layer of stones on top of the existing suface, which is also stone?

    The two I could think of are;

    1. Dump the stones in one spot then back drag it with the FEL about an inch off the ground.

    2. Attempt to dump the load of stones while moving.

    Of the two, Option 2 would seem to require more skill?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. It looks like we will get a break in all the rain we've been having today and tonight, so when I get home from work this afternoon, guess what I will be doing? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    46
    Location
    Southeastern PA
    Tractor
    Kubota/BX2200

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Mike, option #1 gets my vote. I am kind of in the same boat you are. I've had better luck spreading different material using the dump it in the middle and then back drag from both sides to level it out. At least thats what works for me. It would take a very fine hand to control the rate of dump and if your ground is not level to begin with, well you get the picture.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    13,748
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    I can't think of a better excuse to buy (or at least rent) a box blade.

    But, once you get it carried to the arena and dumped at least in piles while attempting to spread it a bit (moving while tipping the bucket), spreading it by back dragging will probably surprise you as to how easy it is. AND you will get some practice which will improve your skills.

    Spreading this 22 tons to get a 1" cover over a large area is a bit humorous in itself. But our spouses think we can do anything, and maybe we have given that impression by buying the toys to do it. Now go hold out for more toys (or another load of stone at a minimum).

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    29,820
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    I spread 90 tons of granulated limestone on one softball diamond infield this spring. I found great success by filling the bucket then rapidly shaking the joystick side to side while backing up. It acted like a salt shaker and spread out very evenly. After I spread it all out, I used the rear heal of the bucket to backdrag the high spots. Then I used the front leading edge(no toothbar) to do a final backdragging skim. Worked great, but a boxblade would have been easier for final leveling. Take pictures [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    2,173
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Option 2 IMO is the best way to do this. I have done several 80' long brick walkways with stone dust and here's what I do.

    Start at one end dumping while moving backward covering about 4-5' per bucket load. Then drive over this to the beginning of the pile and feather it back with the bucket as a first pass level.

    Once the entire area is covered but still lumpy I use a full bucket of material and back drag with the bucket bottom like MossRoad describes. The full bucket in float spreads the material a little better as the weight helps. You will need to alternate between float/up/down to get the right thickness.

    Once this is done then I level the low spots with some more material and backdrag with an empty bucket. With your toothbar you could also use this as a leveler but this may get more foreign material mixed in.

    Have fun this PM and post some pics.

    Carl

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    179
    Location
    central Indiana
    Tractor
    L3010 HST

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Go option 2!! Dump while backing up and shaking joystick and then go back and backdrag to level. This would be a great time to justify a box blade purchase though!!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    206
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45D

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Option 2. Pick up some dirt somewhere else on your property and practice some. It is not too difficlult. I also recommend wiggling the joystick whild dumping.

    Another option you might consider is dumping out several small piles from each full bucket load. This will make back dragging or spreading forward a lot easier.

    JT


  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    244
    Location
    Geneseo, New York
    Tractor
    John Deere 4300

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Hi Mike,

    Yesterday I spread 42.87 tons of #1 crusher run. These loads had more fines then usual but that will just make it pack better.

    I used only the FEL and spread the stone by dumping slowly as I backed up the tractor. If your ring has a fence or not around it, start dumping the stone carefully at the outside edge. I usually drag each load back with the FEL to smooth it out. The angle of the bucket should be close to level. The more tip the more stone you will drag back.

    I don't know how large the ring is but take your time and plan ahead. I have a back blade and a box blade and this method works better for me. It is fast. The box blade is great if you are going in only straight lines. The back blade does a good job if you turn the blade around to use the curved side to pull and level the stone. I think the drop and pull FEL method will get it done for you.

    Just remember not to try and push the stone.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    11,989
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Well, the estimate my wife was given that 22 tons would be enough to put a 1 inch layer on top of our ring was way off. Here's the pile of stone I started out with this afternoon at 4:30 PM.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Spreading Stones Technique

    Here's a shot after the first 2 FEL loads were dumped. This side of the ring had some major wash out from a rain storm, so the first task was to fill this in.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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