Dear Santa: mini-ex with breaker for ditch work?

   #1  

Bullwinkle123

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A few months back I posted some questions about trying to solve washout problems in a ditch along my driveway (about 3/10 of a mile).

Many excellent suggestions were made, it's a work in progress. However I keep thinking the real problem is just that the ditch is too narrow and two shallow, and it isn't something my tractor can do anything about.

The ditch is lined with Vermont schist bedrock and/or some other large rocks. I'm wondering if a mini excavator with a breaker bar might be just the tool to widen and deepen the ditch, and then scoop it out. My tractor can't do any of these things, and while I can use my tractor to try to ameliorate the problem and repair the repeated washout damage after big rains, the real solution is to make that ditch deeper and/or wider. Heck, if I could make it deeper into the bedrock, it wouldn't even wash out (right now it washes out the gravel of the driveway alonside the ditch.

I'm thinking maybe there's a way I could own the mini-ex/breaker for two years and then sell it. Two years would give me ample time to do the ditch work in my spare time, and a few other side projects, most of which have to do with removing problem rocks in my field and a few small tree stumps.

Bad idea? Good idea? How much do you think it would cost, and what's the likelihood I'd be able to sell it? Used mini-ex seem go to for around $2x,xxx(?), new breaker bars for $5-6k(?), not sure that it's a good approach, that's just the only stuff I've seen so far.
 
   #2  

Diggin It

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What would it cost to lay a concrete curb type of thing to keep the runoff in the ditch and off the gravel drive?

Drive.png


Maybe some other material. RR Ties?
 
  
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Bullwinkle123

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What would it cost to lay a concrete curb type of thing to keep the runoff in the ditch and off the gravel drive?

View attachment 719866

Maybe some other material. RR Ties?
Only if I could prepare the ditch by widening or depending it. It's just a ragged thing now, highly variable depending on proximity of bedrock or other large rocks. There's also a long segment I need to dig out that filled up with gravel from past washouts, and which I can only approach from the driveway side of the ditch (so the tractor (no backhoe) can't scoop the material back into the driveway). There's also possible problems with clueless snow plows damaging such a curb. (I haven't taken up winter maintenance of the driveway yet, maybe someday, it's so hard to hire people who actually care about the quality of the job they do).

No, we had a whole long reply thread somewhere on the forums here about ways to improve the ditch without enlarging it (and cement was also discussed). Now I'm just wondering what it might cost for me to have the tools to really deepen/widen the ditch, In addition to the stone/bedrock problems, is lined with mature trees at its banks in some places, as the driveway goes through the forest. Fortuntely there aren't many trees that are both within a foot of the ditch where the ditch is also most prone to overflow or wash out the gravel.

The driveway might also benefit by having one or more more culverts at the places peak wash occurs. It has several now, but I can think of one place where installing a new pipe under the driveway would be a potential win. Once again, a digging problem likely complicated by bedrock.
 
   #4  

Agvg

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A few months back I posted some questions about trying to solve washout problems in a ditch along my driveway (about 3/10 of a mile).

Many excellent suggestions were made, it's a work in progress. However I keep thinking the real problem is just that the ditch is too narrow and two shallow, and it isn't something my tractor can do anything about.

The ditch is lined with Vermont schist bedrock and/or some other large rocks. I'm wondering if a mini excavator with a breaker bar might be just the tool to widen and deepen the ditch, and then scoop it out. My tractor can't do any of these things, and while I can use my tractor to try to ameliorate the problem and repair the repeated washout damage after big rains, the real solution is to make that ditch deeper and/or wider. Heck, if I could make it deeper into the bedrock, it wouldn't even wash out (right now it washes out the gravel of the driveway alonside the ditch.

I'm thinking maybe there's a way I could own the mini-ex/breaker for two years and then sell it. Two years would give me ample time to do the ditch work in my spare time, and a few other side projects, most of which have to do with removing problem rocks in my field and a few small tree stumps.

Bad idea? Good idea? How much do you think it would cost, and what's the likelihood I'd be able to sell it? Used mini-ex seem go to for around $2x,xxx(?), new breaker bars for $5-6k(?), not sure that it's a good approach, that's just the only stuff I've seen so far.
If you are a little picky on what you buy you can use it for a time and sell it almost for the same price, stay away from unknown brands and gray imports.
 
  
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Bullwinkle123

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If you are a little picky on what you buy you can use it for a time and sell it almost for the same price, stay away from unknown brands and gray imports.
Yeah, that was the plan behind my question. Buy something, keep it 2 years, sell it. Effectively a long term rental. So the big questions are (1) what's the viable minimum equipment to break up that schist, (assuming about any excavator can dig out the rocks/dirt once the rocks are broken), and (2) how viable is the resale and how much money am I likely tying up for 2 years.

I'm not quite serious about this, I'm just trying to get an idea on cost and viability. I'd need to think harder about the costs of not doing it, and whether it has any lasting value on the property. I'm not sure this kind of improvement has any marketing upside. It would keep me from having to buy new truckloads of crushed stone every time my driveway washed out though, which is over $400 a truckload for the good stuff, and over $300 a truckload for the cheaper stuff with poorer quality fines.

Basically my tractor let's me win the washout battles, but I'm losing the washout war. I'm thinking root cause fixes here (bigger ditches, perhaps a new pipe), but overall it may be a lame and poor-cost-effectiveness idea given that I have the tractor. Naturally having fun with a new toy wouldn't figure at all in my decision ;-)
 
   #6  

grsthegreat

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depends on how much hammering is needed to break up rock. out here alot of people use hammers on their excavators, but not on minis. there usually alot larger machines. were all granite here. hard to fracture. and those hammers pound the **** out of the machine. i know several contractors that always rent equipment if extended hammering is needed, cause they refuse to destroy their own equipment.
 
   #7  

johara1

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A hammer will tear a machine apart, plus it will tear it's self apart. without a pic it maybe better to creat a swell to turn the water away from the driveway. Something that is shallow and wide and can be mowed easy..... Jim
 
  
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Bullwinkle123

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A hammer will tear a machine apart, plus it will tear it's self apart. without a pic it maybe better to creat a swell to turn the water away from the driveway. Something that is shallow and wide and can be mowed easy..... Jim
Re: a swell

Heh, I'd need an excavator for that too. But really not feasible, the driveway us running through a forest, it's all trees and happens to be terrain that conducts a significant amount of water from uphill areas. Diverting it just means it's going to wash out some other area of the driveway and/or road.

Meanwhile, good to know about tearing a machine apart, I have no experience with excavators. Is there some minimum size excavator it wouldn't tear apart? Or would you suggest completely different tooling for enlarging my ditch?
 

johara1

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If you had spent any time on a excavator with a hammer you would hear the the welds breaking in the stick and boom, plus the hammer self destructing. Most companies use rented equipment for that ....... Depending on the rock and how deep you need to go you can get a ripper for an excavator .... Jim
 
  
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Bullwinkle123

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If you had spent any time on a excavator with a hammer you would hear the the welds breaking in the stick and boom, plus the hammer self destructing. Most companies use rented equipment for that ....... Depending on the rock and how deep you need to go you can get a ripper for an excavator .... Jim
I just saw a video of a ripper in action, I'll keep that in mind. Overall I suppose my wife and I are going to need a few more washouts before we get desperate enough to do an excavator run, rented or otherwise. It's pretty clear I'll need a big enough one that I'll be years cleaning up the mess after getting the ditch I desire.
 
 
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