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  1. #21
    Veteran Member DAP's Avatar
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    From Orange County NY to Lincoln County ME
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Bird ... any idea what size the bags are? 40 pounders? Guess as to price per bag? And after stacking, are ya done? or do you have to hose em down?

    Very interesting ...
    Doug
    Kubota B7800, and some useful goodies for it.

  2. #22
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Doug, I really don't know anymore about it than what you see, plus the fact that I talked to a lady who works in the building there and she said she'd been there 4 years and thinks that retainer wall was built between 2 and 3 years ago, thought closer to 3 years.
    Bird

  3. #23
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    Tombstone Az
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    KIOTI LK30

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Bird I have one of those inside one of my sheds. But I did not do it on purpose.

  4. #24
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    I grew up with those types of retaining walls all over the place in California. I'm actually suprised that some of you haven't seen them before, but wonder if it has to do with climate. They might be good for warmer areas and not for areas that get snow or extreme cold.

    I've built a few small retaining walls with them and found they are quick, cheap and easy. I use 40lb sacks for what I've done, but I've never gone over 4 feet high, so that might be an important part in what to use.

    With forklifts and pallets, you only handle them once when you place them. I can't think of a faster or easier way to build a retaining wall.

    Eddie

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird
    Doug, I really don't know anymore about it than what you see, plus the fact that I talked to a lady who works in the building there and she said she'd been there 4 years and thinks that retainer wall was built between 2 and 3 years ago, thought closer to 3 years.
    Wouldn't you know it? I was at the one in Grapevine that I was thinking about on Friday and didn't have my camera. It's not along a creek, but in a runoff collection basin in front of the Target store there. Next week I'll try to remember to get a photo.
    Jim


  6. #26
    Gold Member dapper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Bird,
    the first time I saw this done was about 5 years ago. Pipeline company was laying new line in a old railroad right of way, and had to cross a large ravine. They could not get any equipment any closer to the site than about 1/4 mile. Couldn't get cement trucks across old bridge at end of road. Their solution was to truck skids of 80" bags of sackcret to the bridge, and fork lift skids off of the truck one at a time. The forklift was then able to drive the skid 1/4 mile to the site where 6-8 men placed the bags and drove in rebar approx. every 4 row. Didn't open bags, just left for water to enter naturally. Took them approx. 2 weeks to build retaining wall approx. 200' long, and 50' high. VERY impressive to stand at top and look down. Most of the paper and plastic has disappeared now, but can still see some paper in some places. Must have cost a fortune, but it worked!
    I considered taking my stack of hardened concrete bags that I have been saving down an letting them put them on the pile, but thought I better hang on to them for a while longer.

  7. #27
    Platinum Member Superduper's Avatar
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    John Deere 3120

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Hardened bags of concrete aren't as good for buiding retaining walls because their shape has already set. The beauty of using concrete bags is that they naturally conform with surrounding bags before hardening. The resulting structure is therefore very sturdy because of the natural way in which they will lock together. However, if the hardened bags are interspersed among non-hardended bags, then they can be salvaged. Just fyi, when concrete mix is properly mixed with water and allowed to cure, it becomes rock hard. However, concrete bags allowed to naturally cure through slow absorbtion of water will not be as strong as standard concrete and is normally somewhat crumbly by comparison. Just my observation. However, since stacked walls function based upon gravity and rarely hold back hydrostatic pressure, the actual concrete psi strength probably isn't as important as a poured unit which will hold back water. By the way, gravity stacked concrete block retaining walls are built all the time and their durability is unquestioned. Once the walls exceed 4' in height, it is normally required that such walls be engineered with steel re-inforcing or geotextile fabric integrated into the soil that is being "retained." Most such walls are only 8" - 12" wide. A bag of concrete mix can be much wider (depending upon the size and the orientation of the stack). From afar, such walls are not unattractive. Close up, however, the walls are not as attractive as engineered retaining blocks as the finish was not "finished" but rather remain as they were inside the bags. The pleats of the bags will show through into the finished product when the paper deteriorates. However, in a natural environment with landscaping foliage taking the focus off the wall, I personally think they are attractive. As far as cost is concerend, there is no additional cost for form materials or the labor to erect and remove the forms. The actual cost of the concrete is not more than the cost of poured concrete. Around here, a yard of ready-mix delivered is approximately $100/yd, give or take. The concrete pump is another $350. Compare that to the cost of a sack of 80# mix at approximately $2.39 or so. The 80# mix equates to 2/3 cubic feet to which you would need 41 bags to make a yard. You'll need to pay the lumberyard (or masonary supply), whatever, to deliver. But it saves you the $350 cost of the pump and of course you are saving the form materials. Since we are addressing this in the tractor forum, I think it is safe to presume that most folks here have a way to transport the bags (loader, forklift attachment, 3pt. forks) directly to the site of the wall. All the labor that is required is to load onto tractor and unload directly onto the wall being built.
    -----------------------------------------------
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  8. #28
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    Branson 3510 Ford 3000

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Bird:

    Sorry for being so slow in answering - I don't have any pics of the Elissa wall and no trips scheduled in the near future. Maybe somebody else on here is heading south soon??

    Brgds, Will.

  9. #29
    Silver Member davemhughes's Avatar
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    SAME 43hp turbo charged 4cyl diesel w/fel

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Actually plan on using this idea in a low water crossing area on the sides of the roadway next to the culvert tube we are putting in (of course with rock and dirt also).
    12k 20ft Equip Trailer
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  10. #30
    Member Chandler1's Avatar
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    West TN
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    Kubota RTV 900

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    I used this method of stacking bags of quickcrete on a creek bridge at our farm. We made the bridge using culverts and gravel but when it rained the creek would get up and that was washing it out on the upper side. Stacking the bags of concrete cured that problem for us. I drove rebar in the bags also, to hold them together till it cured and to make it stronger.
    Kubota RTV900 Camo

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