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  1. #1

    Default Digging a big hole

    Ok, I'll just admit it, I've never used a tractor before. But I need to dig a BIG hole, roughly 12x12 and 10 feet deep. I'd prefer not to use a shovel, so I'm thinking about renting a backhoe. Is it hard for someone who's never used one to dig a good hole in a short amount of time? Would I even be able to dig a hole that deep with one of the really small models?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Matt_Jr's Avatar
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    BX 24

    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    Welcome Number21. Backhoes take very little time to learn to use, I learned to use mine in minutes,but you learn tricks that make them more usefull as you get more experience. Being 10' deep and 12' square I think I would be very cautious about doing it myself if I've never used one. Knowing how close you could get to the edge without the hole caving in and trapping you and a machine is something I would leave to a proffesional. Crush syndrome and suffucation can happen in holes as shallow as 4'. Sorry but safety beats expediency on this one. I have a small backhoe (only digs 6' deep) but if it were shallow on one side I'd do it with mine. I love to swim

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    2006 JD 3520 w/cab & 300CX loader. 1995 JD 870 w/440 loader & 8b backhoe.JD 455 w/54" mower deck.

    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    12x12x10 will be a job for an excavator and not a tractor w/hoe attachment. The tractor w/hoe isn't going to have enough reach to do the task you are preparing to do. If you are looking to get a good square hole with good vertical sidewalls, its not really a job for a novice.

    Sincerely, Dirt
    "Good judgement comes from experience.Experience comes from bad judgement."

  4. #4
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    I also think the 10' depth puts this into the realm of an excavator/trackhoe...
    Ron

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    I am kind of with the others on hiring it out. Does it have to be perfect? Can you dig a ramp in to drive on to dig out the hole? Then after you have dug your hole use the FEL and BB to push the dirt back over your drive out ramp?
    What kind of soil is it that you are digging? If you are going with vertical sides you might want shoring lumber. Or sloped sides. AND have you called your utility locators to look for buried gas/ electric lines?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    12x12x10. What is the hole being used for? i'm with the previous poster on type of soil, sloping etc. I use heavy equipment at my job, and my tractor at home. I wouldn't consider digging with the backhoe on a CUT to 10'. In theroy you could do it, but you'd be piling your dirt, and then moving it with the FEL to get it out of the way. Unless your working in heavy clay that will hold near vertical sides, your hole just grew to 22x22x10 to have your 1/1 safety slope. if you figure how much more dirt that is to move, your talking alot of hours.

    If the bottom needs to be near flat, (ie a building slab) then you've got another set of tools and requirements.

    In any event, unless you've got endless time and boundless energy, i'd hire someone with a large track hoe, they would have that hole dug in under 2 hours tops.

    then you can go play with the dirt piles!
    Jared - watching the full moon rise

    - 2005 3320 JD eHydro 300cx , 60" 7 iron

  7. #7

    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    Hmmm...well, I might have to go back to the shovel idea then. I want this to have as low of an impact as possible on my yard...and digging a ramp for a big tractor would ruin most of it. I'm digging it for underground storage - long story. The walls will be made of 2x6s stacked up and then backfill around it with gravel. The soil is clay...I don't think there is any risk of anything collapsing.

    I'm thinking maybe about using a tiller to loosen up a layer of soil, shovel it out, and keep going. I need the exercise anyway.

    I wonder, is there some kind of industrial vacuum I could rent to suck the loose dirt out of the hole?

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    Quote Originally Posted by Number21
    I'm thinking maybe about using a tiller to loosen up a layer of soil, shovel it out, and keep going. I need the exercise anyway.
    If you want to do it yourself, rent a mini excavator. The summer is not long enough to dig a hole that big by hand.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    2006 JD 3520 w/cab & 300CX loader. 1995 JD 870 w/440 loader & 8b backhoe.JD 455 w/54" mower deck.

    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    Please post pics of whatever you decide on doing. This will be the most watched post here on the Tractorbynet site. Good Luck!

    Sincerely, Dirt
    "Good judgement comes from experience.Experience comes from bad judgement."

  10. #10
    LarryRB
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    Default Re: Digging a big hole

    My L 48 can dig 11 ft and the new M59 can dig 12 ft. This being said, you better have someone who knows what they are doing. I would prefer to rent a mini ex and get it over with..

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