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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    85
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    Southern Maine

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    Could you put in a pond with a compact tractor sure you could! You could put in a pond with a shovel if you have enough time...I would use a dozer and have it done in a weekend..........

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    1,003
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( While everyone here seems to say it is not feasible, one of my friends dug a pond 12' deep with a John Deere 590 tractor and the small FEL that comes with it.)</font>

    You didn't say how big the pond was. An "Uncle-In-Law" of mine dug what he called a pond with his Ford 1710 w/FEL and backhoe. I call it more of an oversized puddle (though it was probably 8 or 10 ft deep when first dug... I'm sure it has slumped somewhat by now and is not near as deep as when it was dug a few years ago).

    If you are looking for a decorative/landscaping type of thing, that is definitely do-able with a compact tractor. If you're looking for a decent swimming hole, or something to attract waterfowl, you really need to be looking at a dozer.

    John Mc

  3. #13

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    There are quite a few web sites with info on ponds, including construction. A Google search is worthwhile, if you haven't already done it.

    SnowRidge

  4. #14
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    21,014
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    Ron, I'd say you could use a spoon to dig a grave. When you finished, both you and the spoon would be "dead." There is now way I'd even consider digging a pond with any Ag or CUT type tractor. Take a drive around the area where you live and look for ponds about the size you'd like to have. Stop and ask these folks how their pond was put in and what equipment was used. I'll bet you not a single one was put in by using only a tractor.

    Okay, here's my story.... I have a friend who rented a large construction backhoe and built a dam across a large gully on his property. He was careful to put down 6" of soil and then compress it by driving back and forth over it with the backhoe. Everything was fine until the first big rain. He said he almost cried when every square yard of dirt in the dam washed out. It was a complete loss. He called in someone with a dozer to redo the dam and it's still holding today. In my case, I had a dam which had failed and I tried to repair it with a tractor. 1st rain...dam washed out again. Hired a dozer to fix it and it's still solid today.

    Ron, it looks easy, but it's so important to have the right equipment and a professional who knows what he is doing when he builds your pond and dam. I think your $10k quote was high, but you could easily spend twice that much on a tractor and put in hundreds of hours only to end up with both a broken tractor and a broken dam. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    148
    Location
    Central California Foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota 3410

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    Well, I just came in and caught up with all of your sound advice. I will contact Fish and Game as I understand they have resources to assist with this and make other referals, and I will get a few dozer quotes. That way, I can do other work with my tractor (assuming I have one by then) while the pond is being built - may even be able to make it bigger now - If I am not going to attempt it with a tractor. By the way, what is a "keyway"? Anyway, thanks for all of the help.

  6. #16
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    21,014
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    Pond Dam Info

    Ron, here is a link to a site that has some really good basic info on pond dams. I'm sure there are more if you search the internet. I believe the "keyway" referred to in another post is called a "core trench" at this website. Anyway, its a trench dug deeper than the lower pond depth and backfilled with clay and compacted to stop or slow seepage. It's the first thing you do in building a dam and probably the most important to get it to hold water over the long term.

    I'm glad you are thinking of a dozer. You'll be much happier with the result. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #17
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    15,357
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    I would strongly urge you not to contact any government authority in California. Once you open that door the $10,000 will seem cheap.

    I managed a ranch near Pleasonton CA for a dozen years and we had more problems with the various government and do gooders than you'd believe.

    If you start to modify a water source you will have to prove that you're not affecting the environment or ecosystem in any way. We had to prove that an endangered salamander didn't exist to grade the roads we already had.

    You will also have to prove that everything down stream of your new pond will not be affected by building the pond. Is there livestock around? This is becomeing a huge issue with water runnoff and the affect they have on the fish down stream. Are you willing to conduct and environmental impact study on the effects your pond will creat on the fish spawning down stream form your pond?

    Never let them in the door! It's not their money they are spending and it is their job to create more work for themselves.

    One solution to the pond issue is it already exists. It might be deteriorating and in need of repair (hint). Maybe it has been covered by brush and you just cleared the brush from it and now that it's visible and exposed to the arieal photos they take of your land, you can explain how it's always been there (hint).

    I left California last year and discovered Texas. It's a different world. Be very careful and good luck.

  8. #18
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    I think you meant to reply to Ron44, but he'll probably get your message. I'm a native texan, and as such, would like to say, "Welcome to Texas!" [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #19
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    675
    Location
    South Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    My friend dug his catfish pond with his 70 hp Zetor. He bought a good heavy box blade (1200 lb) and could pick up a loader bucket and a box blade load each pass. He lined his pond with poly.

    I calculated it would take 4400 yards to dig 100 x 150 x 8 feet. If it took you all of 10 minutes to move a yard, 4400 yards would take 74 hours. I have 60 hp and my Gannon box blade is rated to move 25 cu ft or just under one yard. The dirt is about 10" above the box when the box is full and I'm dragging. If you mounded the walls up 4' tall you will be digging down much less than 8'. Perhaps half the depth. (If you have a bunch of big rocks then all bets are off.) The compacting thing is something I know nothing about. For the difference between a $2000 box blade and a $10000 pond you might be able to have a roller built. I have pulled an 18,000 pound roller with my tractor and it (tractor) is a bit light. I'll probably load the tires soon.

    Keep in mind that many of the posters on this site have compact tractors that are like riding mowers on super steroids. Of coures this is a compact tractor site. When you get to a 70 - 90 hp tractor you can get much more work done. Read the review on the kubota M9000. Something like twice the weight and three times the horsepower for 25% more $. If you want a tractor to mow the front yard with a belly mower and lift the fire wood up to the back door the yes, your tractor will be too small.

    If you buy a tractor, remember that the tractor and attachment are a system and will work only as well as the poorer part. A $20K new tractor with a $400 400# box blade will perform very poor compared to a $8,000 used tractor and a good $2000 1200# Gannon box blade. Same true for most other attachments. Buy quality.

    We started building a crossing over a river slew. My thoughts are that if it does not work, then I'll pay for a bulldozer. In the mean time I used the project to rationalize a good box blade that should serve me the rest of my life. It has taken longer than a contracted crossing, but I work on it only one or two hours at a time and am having a blast. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I can drive across it now with my truck and it is 3' above the water.

    Also, some used backhoes sell in the $6,000 to $8,000 range.

    Best of luck.

    Jim


  10. #20
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    3,388
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: Making a pond with a tractor ?

    <font color="blue"> some used backhoes sell in the $6,000 to $8,000 range </font>

    I see the big Case 580's and the Deere equivalents all the time at auction and they seem to bring $10,500 up to $13,000 consistently with most of them in the $11,200 to $12,500 range. I'd think you could buy one, use if for what you need and turn around and sell it without losing much if anything. I bet if you didn't incur any repair expenses while you had it then cleaned it up and put some fresh paint on it you could probably make money on it.

    Of course, to be fair, I do that kind of thing on a regular enough basis I tend to think anyone can do it. Even if you buy at the high end, sell at the low end and spend a couple grand on it while you have it you're still thousands ahead of the $10,000 to have it done. Besides that, you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself and can probably find some other uses for a machine like that while you have it besides the pond.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I hope this helps. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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