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Shpigford 06-14-2009 10:28 PM

Moving 9 tons of shovel?
So I'm putting in a paver patio that is ~500 sq/ft. I'm planning on doing 4 inches of roadbase and so 4 inches of roadbase for ~500 sq/ft adds up to ~9 tons of needed roadbase.

The way my yard is situated, there's really no way for the truck to bring all of that dirt and dump it right beside the patio. The best I could do is have it dumped 40-50 feet away.

So, am I completely out of my mind (and body) to think that I might could move and lay 9 tons of dirt with just a wheelbarrow and shovel? I honestly am having a hard time imagining how much dirt that really is so I'm wondering if it's an impossible feat.

Obviously the other option is to rent a skid steer for a few days but I risk seriously tearing up my yard (though that might be worth it for the saved energy/muscle/time).

Thoughts? What would you do?

gma2rjc 06-14-2009 11:45 PM

Put an ad in your local newspaper: "Free body-building / landscaping lessons. Class size is limited, so sign up soon. Materials needed: shovel, wheelbarrow, work gloves, Ibuprophen" :wink: :laughing:

Kap 06-15-2009 12:21 AM

I moved 5 tons of sand with a wheelbarrow to do a paver patio. Skid steer was not an option. The wheelbarrow was barely able to fit where we needed to go.

That being said, my advice would be:

1. rent skid steer.
2. move materials
3. repair yard

Trust me...repairing the yard will be a walk in the park compared to shoveling all that dirt.

KHouse75 06-15-2009 01:12 AM

It's doable by hand...

I had a dump truck full of red clay moved from a house I'm building to my house. They tell me it was a 16 Ton dump truck. It was filled to the top with dirt.

I couldn't use a skid steer since the ground I was moving it to was very soft gray clay so I did it by hand and a wheelbarrow.

It was dumped in a drainage area and I was going out of town the next day so I had to get it all moved before I left.

I worked all day moving it. I took a few beer breaks, ate dinner then went back to work. The sun went down and I worked until 2:30 AM under a full moon and oil lanterns. Had to grease the wheel on the wheel barrow at one point because it started to squeak really loud and I didn't want to have the neighbors calling the sheriff.

It wasn't fun but I got it all moved. Then remnants of a hurricane came through a month later and washed 2-3 cy's away!

gma2rjc 06-15-2009 07:34 AM

Can you use sheets of plywood to make a path from the pile of roadbase to the patio? Driving the skidsteer on those will flatten the grass, but your yard won't be torn up.

evapman 06-15-2009 08:08 AM

Been there done that, funny thing is the 9 ton pile won't look very big till the last shovel full. got a rental center around , maybe a skidsteer or at least a buggy like they use to move concrete, could get a couple friends to help shovel into buggy, at least the wheel barrow won't be needed. have fun! :o)

Yoyizit 06-15-2009 11:33 AM

9 tons raised 2' in one minute takes one hp. You could probably put out 1/100 hp all day.
Wear gloves.

Scuba_Dave 06-15-2009 11:41 AM

I spread out 14,000 lbs of 3/4" in my garage by hand/shovel/wheelbarrow
But the furthest point was maybe 26' away
The 1st truckload dumped at the entrance
The next day the 2nd truck (lighter load 1/3) dumped at the back & pulled forward

That's a lot of dirt
I'd consider hiring a couple teenagers to assist

47_47 06-15-2009 12:59 PM

For 50 feet, I'd get help and move it by hand, with wheelbarrows and shovels.
If you have a 6 ft³ wheelbarrow, it would take only 30 trips, but you load them to 300 lbs, you'll need 60 trips.
Put down some planks to keep the lawn damage to a minimum.

I figure 9¼ tons, get 10. Trucking is more than the stone.

Yoyizit 06-15-2009 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by KHouse75 (Post 287610)
They tell me it was a 16 Ton dump truck.
I worked all day moving it. I took a few beer breaks, ate dinner then went back to work. The sun went down and I worked until 2:30 AM under a full moon and oil lanterns.

So 18 hours or so for 12 cubic yds at 24,000 pounds. How far did you have to carry it? Any of it uphill?

gregdonovan 06-15-2009 05:45 PM

maybe some of these guys could help you move it:

that is a video from the fargodome filmed during the flood fight this past spring. we could decimate a load of sand in about 35 minutes.

drtbk4ever 06-15-2009 06:39 PM

I would order 4 large pizza's, get 3 or 4 Twofours on ice, and call all your friends and family for a BYOWB party(bring your own wheel barrow).

If you get 5 or 6 guy/gals, it will go amazingly quick.

Leah Frances 06-15-2009 08:04 PM

I would go with the tractor/skid + lawn repair, myself. But, second to that, I would pay for some cheap labor before I undertook this project myself. Mostly, because back strain or injury is FAR more expensive that a couple of strong guys for a few hours. Seriously, how many times have you thought... I would pay $1000 not to have to: BLANK (move one more shovel of mulch, pick up one more sheet of drywall, lift one more bag of quickcrete, stack one more brick).

Last summer I saved up all my 'heavy lifting projects' for one day. I hired three movers for four hours and paid $200+ tip. And, at the end of the day, my back didn't hurt. :thumbsup:

PS - now I let Kubota do it..

Yoyizit 06-15-2009 08:50 PM

Correction: 6/100 of a hp for 10 hrs, 3/100 for 18 hrs.

KHouse75 06-16-2009 12:24 AM


Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 287842)
So 18 hours or so for 12 cubic yds at 24,000 pounds. How far did you have to carry it? Any of it uphill?

Uphill both ways 150 ft with a broken leg and one hand tied behind my back :laughing:. I work until 3 AM so my days start at noon unfortunately.

Let's see...I moved about 70 loads (stopped counting at 50 so this is an estimate) starting about 3 PM, spent about 45 minutes for dinner, another 45 minutes in beer and drink breaks. That gives me about 9 hours of dirt shoveling and hauling around 50 to 75 ft one way.

So based on these numbers, 1 load every 7.78 minutes at 171 lbs per load. 4.63 cf per load. In the dark under moonlight starting around 9:00 PM (and I'm being serious about having to do this in the dark).

Down hill to dump the load about 5 ft fall over 75 ft.

I'm building my new house on the highest lot in the development so I never have to deal with constantly wet and soggy soil again. It took 130 truck loads to move out all the dirt dug to form my 3400 sq ft inground basement. I was able to sell a good bit of it and made back enough money to cover the cost of digging the hole and hauling it out.

Anyway, it seems like a lot but alone, it can be done in a few hours. Get a few people, have some beer on ice and fresh pizza on site and get it finished in an hour or so.

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