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  1. #1
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    Default Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    So I have a question that I'm not sure where it fits into but this was my best guess.

    Backstory: Anyways, I have a shallow layer of topsoil then clay then increasingly harder shale the deeper you go. I have a building on a level pad that was cut into the hillside. I can put water lines and a drainage line in deep enough until about the middle of the pad where I run into the shale at depth. This has not been a big problem and I usually just worked around it. SO the problem comes into play with the possibility of putting a "lean-to" on the upslope side for convenient hay storage. (Yes the out slope would be easier but there are other plans for it. The contractor who installed the building had a heck of a time drilling the holes for the posts.

    I was interested in tackling a project and gaining some more space for the addition. I know I basically have three options. My granddad owns a 480C back hoe which I pretty much have unlimited use of as long as I fix it when it breaks (which happens somewhat regularly due to age.) I can rent a small bobcat (about a 331) that will dig circles around the older case but I have to pay to rent it. Or I can contract it out( hopefully this is a last resort but remains a viable option) but the least desirable at this time.

    My first thought was to build/buy a ripper (frost tooth) to replace the bucket on either machine and have at it. There are some cheaper used buckets on the classifieds and eBay that I could use the mounting flange and add on from there. The rental place has no problem with changing attachments as long as it was made for that machine.

    My next thought was why bother with all that fabrication when they already make rock teeth for both machine's buckets and relatively cheaply compared to fabricating/buying a specialty tool.

    I guess my question would be, is it worth buying the rock teeth for the case or the bobcat, or should I just get down to fabricating something for my needs?


    Note: I have tried the narrowest buckets on both machines already and itīs almost a fruitless process to make any advances. Itīs also not feasible to run anything up and down the slope due to the proximity of the building to the toe of the slope. SO I basically have access to three sides of it. The other thing is that the building is 100' long and I would like to blend the current slope into the proposed one.

    Anybody have any good ideas? Searching hasn't provided much help either.
    '11 John Deere 5083E, 563NSL Loader, MX10 Mower, 78" Bucket, Forks/Bale spear (interchangeable)
    L3400 Kubota HST Loader, finish mower, rake, scraper blade, Gin pole, Kustom Fab front hydraulic snow plow (Inspired by ASGAR),

    '01 International 4700 LP, DT530, Allison MD3060, Air Ride, Crew Cab
    '11 Moritz 20+5 14.5K GN with adj. Tail
    '95 CR 500
    FIL-JD 4020; Ford 9600,5000

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    Best check out a Cat with a proper ripper and a u blade. It'll work.
    Egon
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Best check out a Cat with a proper ripper and a u blade. It'll work.
    Do you have one I can borrow?
    '11 John Deere 5083E, 563NSL Loader, MX10 Mower, 78" Bucket, Forks/Bale spear (interchangeable)
    L3400 Kubota HST Loader, finish mower, rake, scraper blade, Gin pole, Kustom Fab front hydraulic snow plow (Inspired by ASGAR),

    '01 International 4700 LP, DT530, Allison MD3060, Air Ride, Crew Cab
    '11 Moritz 20+5 14.5K GN with adj. Tail
    '95 CR 500
    FIL-JD 4020; Ford 9600,5000

  4. #4
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    How about a machine equipped with an air or hydraulic chisel/hammer? No, I don't have one but they seem to be useful in rocky construction sites. It might break up the shale enough to make it dig-able with the 480C backhoe bucket.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedNeckRacin View Post
    Do you have one I can borrow?
    No I haven't but I could send you pictures of a brand new D9H with a three riper bar hard at work!
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  6. #6
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    A bobcat with a pavement breaker,(hydraulic hammer) would be what I would get. Make the ditch line with your backhoe to the rock base then run the pavement breaker breaking the rock about every foot and then scoop it out with your back hoe. Repeat as necessary for the necessary depth. The pavement breaker is going to only have about 12" of penetration, so it may take a couple passes.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  7. #7
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    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    Is the backhoe is reasonably sound with good beakout force use a single tyne ripper on the backhoe, then scoop out with the FEL.
    The viability all depends on the size of your excavation & how many cubic yards you'll be moving, the "challenges" of old backhoe might just be outweighed by the ease & speed of renting/operating a c.7-12T Excavator with ripper/buckets.
    And what are your intentions for the excavated material ? If you need to move a large volume any distance you may be better off using a contractor complete with excavator & truck - consider also compacted shale makes for a pretty good road ( in which case a contractor with a traxcavator is the better machine choice.....)

  8. #8
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    massey GC 2400 JD LA 145

    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    I worked a job in York Pa that had a rock that was not real hard and not real soft. The breaker did not work well because the rock was to soft and an excavator that was big enough that 3 buckets over loaded a quad dump could not pull a frost tooth through it because it was to hard. We did the plumbing and many days we put in 20 to 40 ft of pipe because the hoes were so slow. Try the backhoe and move up if needed. That way you get done what you can for as cheep as you can, before you spend extra cash on something else, if you need to.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBTRAC View Post
    Is the backhoe is reasonably sound with good beakout force use a single tyne ripper on the backhoe, then scoop out with the FEL.
    The viability all depends on the size of your excavation & how many cubic yards you'll be moving, the "challenges" of old backhoe might just be outweighed by the ease & speed of renting/operating a c.7-12T Excavator with ripper/buckets.
    And what are your intentions for the excavated material ? If you need to move a large volume any distance you may be better off using a contractor complete with excavator & truck - consider also compacted shale makes for a pretty good road ( in which case a contractor with a traxcavator is the better machine choice.....)
    The backhoe runs pretty good actually, just has some bad hoses that leak some fluid. Very good on fuel too. I'm actually pretty handy with the old 3 stick controls (4 with the extend-a-hoe) and I am actually competent enough to be able to drive with one hand and row myself along with the hoe in the other hand when the 2wd isn't enough.

    Gary-There are alot of shale pits in the area that farmers and contractors use for road building material in the area so I think the hammer might be a bit extreme/not practical? Thats why I was thinking of changing out the spade teeth for the tiger teeth that narrow down to a single point increasing the psi and hopefully the penetration of the bucket to maybe avoid a frost tooth. I was cosidering the ripper idea because I enjoy fabricating items for my own use. (cheapest option first) I'm also not putting in a simple ditch (atleast not at first) I need to excavate about 100' long by about 25' wide and approximately 6' deep and gradually increasing. Might also feather in the ends per say.


    The mini hoe was the next closest/cheapest machine that I have had success with in the past until I got into the tighter shale. There is a equipment dealer not to far away that has some bigger equipment but bigger equipment means more money and I'd rather not try and kill myself getting my money's worth over a weekend.


    MBTRAC
    -I didn't really have any plans for the material other than maybe filling in a gully that has a spring in the bottom of it. I could actually stockpile it off to the side or dump it out over the side of the parking lot and expand that some. Its going to be a large pile of material thats for sure! somewhere around 600 yards? I'm not in a really big hurry so I do have some time to ponder things. I'm pretty sure that a contractor is going to be the most cost effective option, BUT I'm letting my mind run a little bit to see what I would be in for.
    '11 John Deere 5083E, 563NSL Loader, MX10 Mower, 78" Bucket, Forks/Bale spear (interchangeable)
    L3400 Kubota HST Loader, finish mower, rake, scraper blade, Gin pole, Kustom Fab front hydraulic snow plow (Inspired by ASGAR),

    '01 International 4700 LP, DT530, Allison MD3060, Air Ride, Crew Cab
    '11 Moritz 20+5 14.5K GN with adj. Tail
    '95 CR 500
    FIL-JD 4020; Ford 9600,5000

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Digging Shale: Ripper (frost tooth) or rock teeth?

    What about a kamatsu dozer with one of those big a ss rock hooks on the back?

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