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  1. #11
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,664
    Location
    Minnesota SE
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    There is lots of things you can do to get the dirt broken up. However if it was me I would just park it until spring. Once you break up the dirt you have to deal with these large chunks that you won't be able to break up. Like one other poster said, park it. You will do more damage to your equipment than it is worth, unless you got one of them big back hoes that is designed for it.

    murph

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,054
    Location
    Minnesota
    Tractor
    JD 4100 HST

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    I asked my excavating contractor about digging during thw winter because I wanted to get my garage done last winter instead of waiting until spring.

    He quoted a price that was about 4x:

    1. He would need to bring larger equipment that bills at a higher hourly rate.

    2. He ups his hourly rate by 50% to rip frost to help offset the wear and tear on the equipment.

    3. It would probably still take about twice as long.


    On top of the 4x digging charge, he said I would probably want to haul away the spoils and haul in sand to do the backfilling because there is no good way to put the big chunks of frozen dirt back in the hole without it being about 50% too much dirt to fit, and it will settle like crazy when it thaws.

    I waited until spring.

    - Rick

  3. #13
    Gold Member sherpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    457
    Location
    North Carolina Mountains
    Tractor
    NH TC33D & Ford 8N

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    This is new information for me. I learn something on this site every day. I am glad I get to dig all year round, (except when someone puts wet dirt on the ground in the middle of a big freeze).
    Sherpa

  4. #14
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    107
    Location
    Southern and Central Maine

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    I once watched a foundation hole being dug in the middle of winter. It was just for a house, but they had two excavators on site. One was a full-sized John Deere 792 (I think) with the bucket removed and a large, single ripper in its place, to tear up the frost. The other was a mid-sized Cat, actually digging the hole.
    These past few winters, its been very cold up in Maine, and I can remember hearing of water mains 10' down breaking due to the frost. Little snow and cold temps makes for deep frost

  5. #15
    Gold Member sherpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    457
    Location
    North Carolina Mountains
    Tractor
    NH TC33D & Ford 8N

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    I can remember hearing of water mains 10' down breaking due to the frost.

    Man O man, I cant believe that! We just have to go down about 12-15 inches here with a water line. How do you live in such a cold climate? I would go crazy!
    Sherpa

  6. #16
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    313
    Location
    Central Lower Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3430

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    Hello,

    In Michigan we have just two seasons, Construction and Winter!

    I would wait till it thaws, frozen ground will eat your equipment.

    I like warm weather better, but I wouldn't be able to stay inside and get my fix of tractor forums! Often have wondered how people in the south can stand to stay inside. It was 45 degrees here on 12/31 and I was out all day! It had been around 0 to 20 degrees for three weeks.

    ksmmoto

  7. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,054
    Location
    Minnesota
    Tractor
    JD 4100 HST

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    It was freezing rain / sleet here today - a nice warm day in MN for this time of year!

    Lots of people out on the lake fishing, skating, snowmobiling.

    Of course, the lake is the only place you can snowmobile - we have not had any snow yet!

    Without the snow, the frost is sure to go deep again this year just like last year when it was easily 5' deep.

    - Rick





  8. #18
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,664
    Location
    Minnesota SE
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    Yeah even the ease spouts are full of ice and looks like water damns all over the place again. Driveway has a good slope to it but is glare ice. Right now I would be afraid to take my tractor down as I don't think I would get it back up to easy. Concrete and ice don't make a good mix even with R4's. Took a drive and found out most of the plows were taken off the road as they could not keep sand/salt ahead of the rain.

    murph

  9. #19
    Silver Member Tom4310's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    103
    Location
    Joseph, Oregon
    Tractor
    John Deere 4310

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    I know this is going to sound crazy but you can thaw the ground out. A friend of mine does the burials here in NE Oregon and has to thaw the ground before he digs. He built a metal pan that is a little bigger than the size of the grave. It is just like a big drip pan but about 6" deep. He flips it over (bottom up/opening down) over the area to dig. Hooks up a propane weed burner to a hole in one end and lets it burn overnight. Thaws the ground enough to get down past the 1-2' of frozen ground. Put a couple strips of pink ceiling insulation over the top to hold in the heat. Didn't believe my self until I helped him one day.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    171
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    JD4310

    Default Re: Frozen Dirt

    Good morning Tom4310

    Sounds like a neat idea. However, the community of which I was referring, actually had more reasons than just the frost to postpone burials until the spring. Huge snowfalls made locating plots difficult and I believe they learned first hand by burying someone in the wrong location.
    Richard

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