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  1. #1
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    2009 John Deere 4720

    Default Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    Well, as usual, I put the cart before the proverbial horse. I went out and purchased a 30x40x12' steel pole barn kit from Sutherland's, and arranged for them to erect the building (with a 3rd party contractor). Problem is, I neglected to first level the site.

    The Sutherland's sales rep told me that the contractor would minimally level the site, and I incorrectly assumed that the site was just about level. I therefore thought it would be OK to install a gravel floor after the building was erected, and hopefully at a later date, when I recovered from the the expense of the building.

    As it turns out, and as can be seen in the picture, the site falls off 22" from one side of the building to the other. From my calculations, I approximate that I will need about 100 cu. yds. of material to back fill the barn. I plan to put in a retaining wall on the low side, using some telephone poles, placed about 2' off the low side. Then I plan to backfill the barn floor with road rock (a mixture of small gravel and fines).

    The material will cost me about $1,200 delivered. I am interested in hearing opinions on whether this is a good approach to solve my problem. I could use dirt on site - but I'm concerned that what I have does not have the consistency needed to form a firm floor. It will also take considerable time and effort to dig and move that much dirt. I welcome any input.
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    John Deere 4720
    400 CX Loader
    Polaris Ranger 800XP

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    I'd use your own dirt (and some tractor seat time) and pack it well. It will be dry so shouldn't be bad for fill. Top it off with gravel after a winter of freeze/thaw and more settling.

    But I would put a water run around the upper side so that drains all the roof and water run-off away and around your nice looking barn. That will also help keep your fill dirt dry. No need to fill it all with expensive gravel as it just sets on the dirt that is already there.

    Maybe plan some culverts or tubes under your driveway entrances.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2008
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    near Williamsburg ,Virginia
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    TC 35 New Holland and 52 Case VAC,LT25 Woodmizer logmill

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    Fine opportunity for tractor time. You will be able to level your floor with the existing dirt and and boxblade. You can always go back and top your final grade with some gravel. Do not support using gravel to level your floor. Expensive. Nice shed.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member rimshot's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    Kioti CK20 (S) HST

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    What ever you put there it has to have the ability to pack firmly and you no longer have Mother Nature and her rain to aid you. You don't say but do you plan on pouring a concrete floor eventually? It makes a difference because sand would pack well and if it is readily available in your area would work well for a concrete grade base.

    If it were mine, I think I would have to forget about the retaining wall and get some more fill to dump outside tapering away from the building. Of course if you expect to drive on this fill you are going to need something with a granular base containing sized or crushed gravel. Don't just dump in 22 " of fill & running off. Pack the base in layers if you plan on future concrete.

    rim
    CK20(s) HST , snow blower, hoe, FEL

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
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    2009 John Deere 4720

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    Thanks for all of the input. I plan to start moving some dirt in the morning. I'll see how it goes, and post again if I think I need further advice. I'll also try to provide pictures of the finished project. The barn/shed was completed yesterday, so it's time to get out there and make it usable.
    John Deere 4720
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  6. #6
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    Quote Originally Posted by mburke121 View Post
    Thanks for all of the input. I plan to start moving some dirt in the morning. I'll see how it goes, and post again if I think I need further advice. I'll also try to provide pictures of the finished project. The barn/shed was completed yesterday, so it's time to get out there and make it usable.
    If you have a rototiller, it can make your dirt collection job a breeze. Just till the area where the dirt is coming from to a level of 6" deep. You'll be able to easily scoop up the soil and save yourself considerable time.
    Jim


  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Ohio
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    GC2310,

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    I would not use dirt.

    It needs to be all clay, and is difficult to properly compact in tight places.

    You want to use a stone/sand mix like 304.

    Put it in 2" at a time, moisten, and compact with a plate compactor.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Wichita, Ks. metro area
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    Kubota B1750HST

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    Mike, how about tilling up the upper half of the barn floor and dragging it over to the lower half? Lower one side while you raise the other. After packing, then fill to grade with AB3, a mix of clay and rock which packs very solid. A skid steer would also work well to dig & scoop out the dirt and compress the AB3.
    What are you planning for using the barn for, just tractor / vehicle storage? Where did you find ground that has a slope in Kansas?

  9. #9
    Elite Member RobertBrown's Avatar
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    Florida
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    Bolens G192/TS1910 Ford/New Holland 1920

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    I guess it depends on what you ultimately want to use the building for....

    It doesn't look to me like your tractor is going to be very effective grading in the new barn. I think that model you have is too large. I would consider how much floor space you need using a hard floor and think about a stem wall or walls inside the barn making the interior a split level.
    Using the lower area for a dirt floor. This area I would use for storing macahines such as the tractor or other equipment. The higher area would be where the hard floor or slab would be making good use of the extra overhead space.
    Either that or skirt the lower end with a suitable metal and live with what you have.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Kansas
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    2009 John Deere 4720

    Default Re: Pole Barn Floor Leveling

    I appreciate all of the responses. I will be using the barn exclusively to store my tractor, implements and Ranger. I don't plan to ever pour a concrete floor. By the way, in answer to previous posts, I do not own a tiller (it's on my list), and yes, there are hills here in SE KS. That was the flattest piece of ground I could find for the barn. As I mentioned in my OP, I under-estimated the slope (a natural tendency, I believe).

    I thought over all of the advice. I agree that my tractor is a little large for this work. But, I decided to give it a go. Yesterday I started moving some dirt, albeit very carefully. I will work in short increments, so as not to get fatigued and make a mistake I'll regret. I'm in no real hurry, as long as I finish ahead of the fall rains.

    I plan to fill about halfway with dirt from on site. The soil is very dry, and the content here seems to be very high in clay. Once that step is complete, I'll plate compact, and then finish with AB3. I think I will be able to level the entire space.

    As a side note, the builder offered to level it for me with a skid steer, but wanted $3500, and that was to use dirt on site. That was just too steep.
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    John Deere 4720
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