What is silt fence ?

Generally silt fence is made with per attached stakes stabled to the fabric.

The silt fence material is made of synthetic fabric such as nylon or polyethylene type weave yarn.

Silt fence is a type of fence that consists of a mesh type of geotextile fabric.

Silt fence is used as a temporary control of storm water runoff around or at any construction site or any excavated site where the soil has been dug up or disturbed.

When silt fence is installed the bottom of the fence should be about 6″ below the top of the ground level and the bottom should be covered with soil, place the soil over the fence bottom to hold it in place when water runoff rushes against the fence.

Remember if the silt fence is not properly installed the storm water runoff could run under the silt fence or the runoff water could push the silt fence over.

There are different types of silt fence heights used on different jobs to control storm water runoff, heavy water flow areas may need extra support stakes to avoid silt fence failure during heavy storm water flow times.

If silt fences are installed in a high wind area extra maintenance maybe needed, also you may need to install extra stakes to support the fence during the heavy winds, this may prevent the silt fence from being blown over.

Generally the expected life of a silt fence is about 6 to 7 months, remember it is only a temporary water runoff erosion control fence.


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What is a box culvert ?

A box culvert is a precast concrete reinforced structure generally this rectangular shaped structure allows water to flow though the structure.

Definition for a box culvert is a reinforced rectrangular concrete generally a precast section making a concrete box culvert.

A box culvert can be installed in most small streams to allow water flow, many box culverts are used in the place of a bridge, they can be manufactured and transported to the job site easy, also many can handle any traffic weight if designed and manufactured correctly.

A box culvert can be designed and engineered for many types of stream crossing, they are used widely by many State D.O.T.—County—Village—Town Highway Dept., when installed correctly the concrete box culverts have a life span that is many times longer than any bridge or metal culvert.

Concrete box culverts are generally construction in a concrete manufacturing plant before being installed on a project and they will need cure time or time for the concrete to harden properly before being installed on a project.

Precast generally means the concrete sections are made off site or poured at a plant before they are transported to a project.

A concrete box culvert is generally made in sections, this allows transportation to a job site, example, a 75′ long by 5′ high by 8′ wide culvert is designed with the correct legal weight and size to fit on a tractor trailer, then trucked to the job site.

A crane would generally be used to set the concrete sections in place, each section would slide into the other making a water tight seal, the sections are fastened together to assure they will not slide apart.

Generally a box culvert would not be seen by motorist traveling along a highway, a box culvert is often constructed and used as a bridge like structure where a bridge was used years ago.



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What is a water line tapping ?

Water line tapping is generally done in —cities—towns—villages where a water district, a municipal water utility district, supplies the portable water to business and homes.

Generally water line taps are tapped on live or hot main water lines, the line is not ” hot “, it has water flowing through the line at all times, shutting the line down to tap is not an option in many areas, so it remains live or hot.

Water line tapping is done with a tapping tool specifically used for tapping different types of water line pipes—plastic—ductile—steel and other types of materials.

Almost all taps are done on live water lines, live or hot taps use a sleeve or saddle when tapping, a direct tap is used with some special design valves.

A valve is used to connect the main water line to the new lateral water line.

Water line taps for most homes are generally a 3/4” size with k-copper pipe used generally when connecting the new service lateral to the water main line, other materials maybe approved and used.

The tapping machine is a tool designed with a cutter that cuts into an existing water main line when tapping a new lateral line, generally a tapping type valve or saddle is used for different  size valves and pipes when tapping.

Water taps are different size taps, generally an engineer or design architect would design the size of water tap needed when designing the new project.

Live or hot water tapping is the method of connecting an existing water main line under pressure to any new lateral water line without the interruption of supplying water service to customers or factories.


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How to estimate cubic yards.

First what is a cubic yard ? **** Think of a solid box 3 ft. wide by 3 ft. high and 3 ft. long, that is one [ 1 ] cubic yard. ****

When would you need to know this ?  **** If you wanted to order mulch for your garden area, how much would you need, the nursery where you get the mulch is not at your garden, they can only guess how much you need by what you tell them when ordering the mulch, but if you know how to find cubic yards you could estimate the amount you need , then order the correct amount, not ordering more material than you need. ****

Things needed to find cubic yards :

Note pad & pen—-ruler or tape measure—-calculator—-maybe a laser if available.

** Tip 1 —-example

Measure the LENGTH of the area to be covered by the mulch, 32′ ft. long.

Measure the WIDTH of the area to be covered with mulch, 12′ ft. wide.

Measure the DEPTH or how deep the mulch will be when the area is covered, 1ft. deep.

Now multiply the LENGHT  32′ X the WIDTH 12′ X the DEPTH 1ft. == 384 sq. ft.

Note: There are 27 sq. ft. in one [1] cubic yard.  ****Now divide 27 sq. ft. into 384 sq. ft.==answer: 14.3 cubic yards, this is the amount of mulch needed to cover the measured area. ****

** TIP # 2 —-example

[ IF Measuring a larger Area ]

Measure the LENGHT of the area to be covered by the mulch, 68’ft. .

Measure the WIDTH of the area to be covered by mulch, 53’ft. .

Measure how DEEP the mulch will be when the area is covered, 6″ inches deep .

Now multiply the LENGHT 68’ft. x the WIDTH 53ft. X the DEPTH 6″ inches .

**REMEMBER all measures must be in the same units,  feet or inches, above example 68 ft. X53 ft. X [ 6″ ] the 6″ inches must be in feet to get the correct answer, here is one way to get the correct answer.

Multiply 68’ft. x 53′ ft. X [ 1′ ft.] converted 6 ” inches deep to [feet]***Now 133.5 sq. ft. is divided by 27==answer: 133.5 cubic yards is the answer  for mulch 1 foot deep, divide this number by 2 [two] that will give you the 6″ deep amount of mulch needed to cover the area above, answer is 66.7 cubic yards needed to cover the area.

** Note: Remember 27 sq. ft. ==[ 1 ] one cubic yard, and all measures must be in the same units, feet or inches.


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Will a septic tank freeze ?

Generally with proper cover and if installed properly a septic tank will not freeze in cold weather or winter.

If a septic tank is exposed or a large part of the tank is out of the ground, this is not likely but what if, then there is concern for a septic tank to freeze if in a very cold part of the county.

Generally snow serves as a great natural insulating blanket over any septic tank, in the winter when there is snow cover for any length of time the snow will melt around the top of the septic tank, it is a good way to find the septic tank if you do not know the location of the tank.

Remember any lawn with grass or any field with grass cover and almost any vegetation acts as a insulator that holds the warmth in the ground and keeps the frost from freezing the underground tank.

Septic tanks never freeze generally because the water flowing into the tank is always warm, there is usually enough biological activity happening in the septic tank to keep the water warm.

If your septic system has a lift tank and pump, generally they will never freeze if installed properly, the tank is below the ground surface and the is warm that is flowing into the tank, if is pump tank freezes then the design is not correct.

If you have a freezing problem with the septic tank or sewage system you should call a sewage contractor to help repair your system, generally they are designed to work all year around without any freezing, no matter where you live your home sewage system should operate when installed properly.


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What is dirt ?

Dirt is what we walk on ever day, run on, drive our car on to go to the store—dirt is under all streets and roads— under sidewalks— under the foundation of your house or office—if there was no dirt you could not exist—dirt is in the air we breath.

Dirt is everywhere—everywhere you look there is dirt—dust is dirt—dust in your house is dirt—when the wind blows it blows dirt around—dirt is blown into the air.

Dirt is on your hands—you wash dirt from your clothing—wash dirt from your house windows—wash dirt from the floor.

Dirt is earth or soil and everything from dust to mud—dirt is often dirty and unclean—dirt is often hard packed earth.

Dirt cheap—as cheap as dirt or very inexpensive—cheaper than dirt is something not very expensive.

Types of dirt—sand—topsoil—gravel—clay—filldirt—topdirt—silt—mud—rocky soil—dust.

Dirt road—a compacted surface of dirt or gravel type cover—sometimes stone covered dirt roads.

Dirt farmer—a farmer who works the land [ dirt ] plants and harvest the crops from the land.

Dirt poor—one term that means a person who has very little or nothing.

The average weight of ( 1 ) cubic yard of loose dirt weights about 3000 lb. this could vary depending on the moisture content of the soil.

Fill dirt has little nutrient value and is often a mistaken term for soil with organic matter or topsoil, the natural layer of topsoil is generally found below the grass layer of any field or lawn area.

Dirt is usually found any and every place on earth, dirt is earth, earth is dirt, everything from topsoil to the deep soils there generally are all dirt all the way down as far as you can dig generally you will find dirt.

Top dirt has a high concentration of organic matter, plant roots generally obtain there nutrients from this layer of soil, the average depth could vary actually from one location to another.


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What is gravel ?

Gravel is a French word meaning coarse sand.

The United States is one of the largest produces of gravel in the world.

The United States uses all the gravel products that are produced here in the U.S.

Large gravel deposits where formed as a result of weathering and erosion and the great ice age glacier where natural gravel deposits were formed.

There are many types of gravel :

* Bank gravel or bank run gravel, they are the same, this is most commonly known when you ask what is gravel, this gravel is found with stones—clay—sand—silt mixed in the gravel when you dig it from a bank or gravel pit deposit.

* Creek gravel is found along creek beds or areas where a large creek has deposited large amounts of gravel after the stream has flowed there for many years and the land along the stream is a natural gravely soil.

* River gravel is found in or near large rivers, the natural deposits are formed the same as creek gravel, the stones are generally smoothed and rounded because of the water moving the material as the water flows along in the stream, also the land along the river must have some natural gravely soils.

* Fine gravel deposits are found—in gravel pits—stream beds—river beds, a layer of material which has no large stones or rock mixed in, mostly all fine material.

* Crushed gravel is a gravel with mechanically broken [ crushed ] rock mixed into the natural gravel material, generally a crushed and screened type product.

* Pea gravel is a gravel [ generally a washed stone known as pea stone ] with rounded stones generally the size of a pea, this is not a natural deposit type gravel, it is a man made product.

* Washed gravel is generally a mixture of sized washed stone, not a natural deposit, a man made product.

* Piedmont gravel is a coarse gravel mixed with fines and rock that is washed down from mountain streams and deposited naturally on the flat run off ground where the stream waters slow, allowing the material to drop off as the water slows.

* Driveway gravel is a gravel generally of a finer mixed type material, sized smaller with a natural mix of sand and finer silt type gravel, sometimes it is a processed or screen type gravel tis is a man made type material.

* Processed or screened gravel that has been sized taking all large material out, sometimes the fines are removed, not a natural deposited material.


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What is a Gabion Basket ?

Gabion baskets are rectangular are baskets made from a galvanized wire mesh with a triple twist hexagonal weave with a opening of about 3″ to 4″inches.

Each gabion basket is subdivided into separate compartments all of equal size.

Gabion baskets are shipped unassembled, flat, at the construction site they are assembled by simply lacing the ends and compartments together with lacing wire, leaving the lid or top open, to allow filling.

Gabion baskets can be installed individually, placing one basket next to another, end to end, once in place they are laced together, before filling with rock.

The gabion baskets also can be ordered with a PVC coated wire, this extends the life of the gabion basket and adds protection to the wire when used in a high water flow area.

Gabion baskets once in place they are generally filled with 6″to 9″ rock, some baskets could weight as much as 6 to 7 ton when filled with rock and when laced together they make a solid gabion wall that helps stop erosion and protects against soil loss.

The gabion basket must be filled in place, they cannot be filled then installed, different basket sizes are available depending on the construction project and site needs.

The gabion basket can be used for erosion protection of:  sea walls—boat ramps—retaining walls—channel lining—bridge abutments—culvert protection—and soil protection, all uses are generally to control erosion.

Gabion baskets reduce water velocities in streams and other water flow areas as well as prevent erosion.

There are different types of gabion baskets—square—rectangular—round—flat and barrack type.

Gabion baskets are manufactured by many companies and can be used in many different types of erosion control projects.



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What is a construction GPS system ?

GPS systems [ Global Positioning System ]  uses satellites to locate positions on earth’s surface.

Construction contractors type GPS systems work to give the contractor the best technology solutions and knowledge when working at construction sites and finding surface grades. The GPS systems are used in the—construction—mining—agriculture—survey—site layout—fields along with other uses not mentioned.

The GPS satellites transmit a signal to earth, the contractor has a computer software package with a base station, moving station, generally mounted on excavating machines, to receive the signals transmitted.

The GPS machine controlled system are generally accurate and used widely in the construction field.

Generally most excavating machines are trying to cut or fill a site to a curtain grade, on most projects this work is done in accordance with engineered plans for the project, the GPS systems increase accurate work and the work can be done at a faster pace, this increases profit on the project.

An overview of how the GPS system works—satellites transmit radio signals to earth— these signals are received at a construction site base station and a moving station—generally mounted on a machine—the GPS on the moving station or machine tells the operator to move the blade up or down while cutting the proper grade.

With this fast growing GPS field of technology new and better GPS systems improve with technical solutions and most accurate signal tolerance for todays construction projects.


What is excavating technology ?

First you must understand what excavating is before you can understand, what is excavating technology .

Generally excavating happens on every construction project, removal of earth from it’s natural place by digging—bulldozing—hauling—grading or other methods of moving the earth.

Excavating Technology: An applied science or method of applying technical knowledge and technical science to the field of excavating.

Development of technology is a way of solving problems requiring a solution—this is how things get invented, as the world changes so do the needs and demands, in the field of excavating.

Early excavating was done by man with a hand shovel and pick ax or shovel like tools, horses and mules with wagons or carts were used to move the earth, as cities and towns grow the need for excavating grow, problems were many, things got invented and excavating technology was applying methods and knowledge in a way of solving these problems requiring a solution to the needs of the times.

Today many tools are available in the field of excavating because of the technology from the past and as we move into the future the excavating technology will continue to grow and improve the way we work in the field of excavating. With improved technology our excavating equipment has become very efficient along with other tools in the excavating field, this will improve the way we move the earth on construction projects.


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What is a snow blower ?

A snow blower is a machine for removing snow from sidewalks, driveways and other smaller places, the snow blower works by picking up the snow from the surface and throwing it or blowing it out a chute generally in the front center of the machine, the chute moves in a 180* turn allowing the snow to be placed on one side or the another.

Snow blowers for home driveways are smaller units , some are single stage units and they work well in smaller areas with lesser amounts of snow fall. The two stage snow blowers are a heavier unit with larger augers and a bigger blower fan that throws the snow sometimes up to a 100′ with great accuracy.

Many farms have snow blowers that mount on large farm tractors, some mount on the back using  a 3-pt. hatch type mounting system, others have a front type mounting, either type can be used when cutting though deep snow.

Some snow blowers are made to fit on a front end loaders, they mount on the bucket or some remove the bucket and the snow blower is a direct fit and mounted where the bucket was, they are used mostly by used by Highway Crews to clear roadways of deep snow.

There are very large truck mounted snow blowers, these snow blowers are mounted on large 4-wheel drive trucks, the snow blower unit has a large diesel engine that powers the snow blower, they have 3 and 4 augers to cut the snow as it falls into the large fan type blower that throws the snow 100′ plus as it cuts through deep snow drifts, some units are 8′ ft. wide and 8′ ft. high.

Airports use very large snow blowers to remove snow from runways, they generally have 4-wheel drive trucks with large front mounted snow blowers and a large diesel engine on the back that run the snow blower unit, these large machines can throw snow 150′ to 200′ ft. as they clear snow from airport runways.

Most smaller snow blowers are 20″ to 28″ wide and most have a gas engine, there are some snow blowers that have electric motors that run them.

Two stage snow blowers are used mostly for heavier snow fall amounts from 10″ to 24″inches deep, a single stage snow blower is good for snow amounts to 10″ to 12″ inches deep snow.

The snow blower is sometimes called a ” snow thrower ” they are both the same thing no matter what you call them. There are many makers and types of snow blower  machines some may not be not mentioned, they all move snow by thrower the snow with a snow blower from one side or another.


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What is a Portable John ?

You will find a portable John ” often known as a Porta John ” on almost every excavating—construction project across the U.S., because many of these jobs have a long duration where workers will need a portable toilet during the work day.

The Porta John is a simple enclosure often constructed of a molded plastic material, a compact size generally about 35″ to 42″ inches square. The Porta John has a tank that is a chemical toilet, some customized Porta Johns have a sink and a hand wash with a clean up soap unit attachment available inside the Porta John.

The Porta John looks somewhat like an old outhouse by its outside basic design and looks. But the Porta John with its holding tank, is cleaned by a sanitary pump truck designed to clean and desanitize the inside of the Porta John each time the tank is cleaned.

Generally a Porta John is mounted on skids for stability and can be moved to any location with very little effort. Some Porta Johns are trailer mounted for easy transport and easy set up, these large units are used for large gatherings such as music festivals, state and county fairs, farm festivals and other large events.

Generally all excavating and construction projects such as highway jobs, school jobs, college jobs, malls, utility site work and other excavating work projects, have a Porta Johns on there site for workers use during there work day.


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How to Clean Mud From an Excavator Tracks.

When working in muddy conditions during the cold weather season, excavator [ trackhoe ] tracks will build up with mud when working in these muddy conditions.

Generally when the temperatures drop below freezing and with the wind chill factor a big concern, mud will freeze on the track frame, sometimes freeze solid if not cleaned off at the end of any work shift.

Cleaning the mud from the track frame when the machine is warm or after your work shaft maybe easier because the machine is warm and the mud sometimes could be cleaned off if not frozen solid. This generally is most effective, cleaning the mud at the end from that shaft, in very cold conditions the tracks could freeze while the machine is working.

The most effective tool for cleaning the tracks is a ” track spade “, it is a narrow shovel that is designed to fit easily between the track and frame when cleaning the mud from the excavator tracks.

After you have shoveled all the mud from the tracks, you should park the excavator on wooden timbers or park on old tires, sometimes parking on snow will keep the tracks from freezing down to the ground.

Do not park the excavator in a muddy place after you have cleaned the mud from the tracks, the tracks will freeze to the ground if left there over night when the temperature is at freezing or below.

If the excavator tracks are not cleaned and the mud freezes solid, generally the machine will not move, the mud when froze solid will not allow the machine to move, do not force or keep trying to move the excavator when the mud is frozen. If the excavator is forced you could take out or break the final drive unit or break the transmission.

Do not pour diesel fuel on the ground around the tracks and set a fire to thaw the tracks, if there is a fuel leak from the tank, if there is a oil leak or hydraulic leak, the fire could start the oil or fuel on fire, this could start the excavator on fire, then you could loose your machine, this has happened.

The proper way to thaw the mud on the tracks is to use a propane torch, control the heat, this will thaw the mud easier. If you need a torch, this is a large torch, contact your local equipment dealer or parts store to purchase  a torch.


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What is a Man Hole ?

A man hole is generally a precast concrete chamber with an opening and detachable cover that allows access to an enclosed area. Some older man holes were made of brick laid up by hand, they were used for the same as concrete man holes.

A man hole or maintenance hole is a chamber with an area inside, this area generally made of concrete or older one of brick, which connects underground utilities.

Many larger  man holes have a ladder for steps made along the inside of the chamber, this allows workers access into the vault area.

A man hole is used for making connections and allowing workmen access to a chamber when doing maintenance work on underground public utilities such as telephone—cable service—electric service—gas lines—storm drainage connections—sewer line connections and other services.

Most man holes are found in cities and towns, under streets—sidewalks—parking lots—lawn areas—under bridges—under driveways and under factor floors just to name a few places.

All man hole covers that are round will not fall though the top of the chamber hole no matter how you place the lid, put it on edge or turn it in any direction. The circular man hole cover works and is used on many man hole chambers across America, because inside the man hole frame there is a lip made into the frame, the cover rests on that lip, this makes the man hole cover fool proof no mater how you drop it, it fits into place every time.


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What is a Dump Truck ?

In the beginning excavating contractors used teams of horses or mules that pulled a 2 wheel type cart to haul material on a job site and often teams hauled material at mining sites, these carts were loaded with labors shoveling by hand. The carts were hinged and the center of gravity was used to dump the carts after they were loaded.

The 4 wheel wagon with a box type bed was also used by excavating contractors to move material, these wagons had a flat bed and were unloaded when the hinged bed was raised with a front mounted hand hoist, this wagon unit was loaded by men working by hand as labors.

The early truck mounted dump box was designed after the hinged type horse drawn wagon. The dump beds were locked down in front and after they were loaded and ready to dump, unlock the bed and the center of gravity principle would allow the box to raise and dump the load. Some early dump truck beds used a hand type hoist to raise the front of the bed to unload the material.

Hydraulic type dump beds were designed and first used in the early 1900’s, generally the hydraulic system was powered by the engine of the truck, a hydraulic hoist was used to raise the hinged bed when off loading the material it was hauling.

As dump truck technology and design grew so did the size of the truck chassis and dump beds. The early dump box was mounted on a truck chassis that rested on the truck frame with a hydraulic ram mounted at the front of the bed, dump controls were mounted near the driver for easy off loading of material. The early dump trucks had a front axle and a rear axle with single rear tires, then dual tires on the rear was used allowing larger dump beds, today known these trucks are as a single axle truck. Next the truck chassis added another rear axle with dual tires, this allowed the dump beds to be larger, the dump beds also had front mounted hydraulic hoist used for unloading, today these trucks are known as ten wheeler dump trucks.

Today there are many sizes of dump trucks starting with a 3/4 ton dump all the way to 40 or more tons, dump trucks with two axles, up to six axles to carry larger dump beds. On ever construction site you will find trucks hauling all types of materials, generally anything that can be hauled and dumped will be moved with a dump truck.


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What is Snow Removal ?

Snow removal is the job of removing snow after any snow fall or snow storm, removal of snow from roadways—streets—parking lots and driveways to allow vehicle travel.

Generally snow removal is moving snow from some place not wanted and pushing it or piling it somewhere out of the way, this means scraping or removing it from unwanted surfaces and locating the snow somewhere else, generally a place until it melts.

Snow removal is necessary in many cities and small towns because many have a law asking all property owners to remove snow from there sidewalks—store fronts—some office building areas—some apartment buildings—snow removal in some places must be done by hand shoveling the snow.

Snow removal in some places is done with front end loaders, using the front bucket to push and scrape the snow or pile the snow when necessary, skid steers can also be used with a front mounted v-blade or front bucket to push and pile snow, other equipment is used to remove snow from unwanted areas by State and County Townships.

Snow removal in many small cities and towns require removing the snow from downtown streets and sidewalks, the use of front loaders are needed to load the snow onto dumps trucks, the dump trucks haul the snow to a dump area, this snow removal process may have to be done many times during the winter months.

In the beginning snow removal was done with the use of horse drawn wood type snow plows, some horse drawn equipment was later designed with a steel cutting edge on the bottom of the wooden v-plow this would allow the snow to be pushed near the curb side.

Also in the real early days, hand shoveling was done to remove snow from city and town streets, they would load snow into horse drawn carts or wagons and they would clear many streets this way before modern snow plows were invented and used.

There were many ways of snow removal done in other parts of the county.


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What is a Diaphragm Pump ?

A reciprocating diaphragm pump has a diaphragm [ generally a round circle ] sealed on all edges, inside a chamber, the diaphragm could be made of rubber or other material that moves up and down with a piston type action. There is a valve on the outlet side of the discharge, this is a flapper type valve that opens and closes when the diaphragm moves up and down, this allows the water liquid to flow into the pump chamber and out of the pump chamber, as the diaphragm moves up and down this allows the flapper type valve to open on the discharge side and the water liquid flows out, this motion is repeated at a faster rate, the result is liquid is sucked or pulled into one side of the pump chamber and discharged out the other side of the chamber.

The diaphragm pump is used on many construction jobs—city utility districts—contractors and landscapers, they can be rented or bought at many rental companies or dealers.

Diaphragm pumps are a needed tool working in the construction field, when muddy water conditions have with sand—small grit—small gravel—dirt—silt or other small solids are mixed in the liquid that needs to be pumped—example: water line repair or installation—sewer line repair or installation and storm drainage repair or other types of underground repair where the conditions are muddy or have sandy type soils, this work generally has this type pump on hand to move to water when needed.

A diaphragm pump is a pump that is self-priming, generally they do not need to be primed, but if they do it takes very little water to start the pumping.

A diaphragm is not damaged if the water liquid is not flowing though the discharge line or sucking no water or running dry.

Diaphragm pumps need a motor to operate the diaphragm generally they are a gas engine type motor and can be used when operating at any operating speed, there is also a pulsating motion as the liquid moves though the pump.

There are many sizes of diaphragm pumps and manufactures making these pumps, ask your local rental or equipment company for more details.


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What is Grading of Land ?

Grading of land means to cut dirt from a high spot and fill in a low spot, when grading and leveling, dirt is removed from high points and placed in low places making a level area, this type of grading is known by excavating contractors as a ” cut and fill” type grading.

Grading of land is also known as land leveling in some areas, leveling and grading large fields for farm use will allow water to flow for irrigation use in large fields and planted crop land.

Grading of land for open drainage ditching, with proper grading and slope an open ditch type drainage could be placed in some areas to allow open ditch type drainage of wet areas or allow water to flow into a field for irrigation of crops.

Grading is used by construction contractors to level soil or material for the base use of buildings, roadways, parking lots base, sub grade base and landscape contractors along with other uses not mentioned.

Grading of land is used for leveling areas before planting cover crops as seen along highways slopes, ditch areas and shoulders of roadways, this grading and leveling is important to prepare the base before seeding a cover crop planting to control erosion.

Grading when done correctly can be ” eco or green” friendly for landscape grading to control erosion and grading is important when installing silt fence on construction projects also a erosion control.

Grading and land leveling contractors have special equipment designed for this type of grading, a laser system is placed on the grading equipment such as a dozer or grader and grade boxes for land leveling are pulled by large four wheel drive tractors.

Grading work is used by excavating contractors when specified grades are needed, tools are designed to help get this work done, GPS systems are important when leveling large projects such as fields or construction sites.


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What is a traffic cone ?

Traffic cones are also known as: road cones—safety cones—construction cones—highway cones as well as traffic cones.

Traffic cones are generally a fluorescent safety orange in color, the Traffic cone may have a reflective striping [ this reflective tape is called flash tape ] around the safety orange cone, this increases visibility for night drivers.

Traffic cones are designed commonly with very bright orange color for better vision, when construction or any repair crews need to work on or near any roadway and need traffic flow to change from the normal flow they will use traffic safety cones.

Traffic cones are made sometimes of a thermoplastic, others are made from rubber, other cones are made from recycled plastic bottles, many types and shapes of cones are made generally the most common this the cone shape.

The traffic cone most commonly used is the cone shaped cone, they are made for easy moving, easy to stack, easy to remove from work sites, easy for handling and easy for storage.

Traffic cones are generally made in different sizes from 12″ high to 40″ inches high or higher, some safety cones are made with a bright ” Lime Green ” color while other cones are made in colors such as bright red—bright yellow—bright orange and other bright colors.

Generally traffic cones used on Interstate Highway construction projects have to comply with the Federal Highway Administration Uniform Traffic Code with the sizes, color and placement of the cones on these projects.

There are many types of traffic cones some with flashing lights mounted on the cones, other safety cones have reflective tape, other types have a safety plastic chain or belt like ribbon connecting the cones. Some safety cones have a plastic bar or like pipe connecting the cones, cones also have signs that attach to them, some cones look like a pipe standing up, they have a opening at the top allowing a caution tape to be connected from one cone to another, these cones are used to seal or mark off an unsafe or dangerous  area.

The first traffic safety cone was invented around 1940 in California, a street painter had an idea, got a patent on it and the rest is history.

Today traffic safety cones are used generally for traffic control when work crews are working on or repairing anything near a highway or roadway.

There are many types of traffic safety control devises, many manufactured products can be used for traffic safety, check with your local supply center or rental company for other options.


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What is a Drain Probe ?

A drain probe is used by plumbers—septic contractors—sewer + water districts—utility districts—property owners or anyone needing to locate anything underground.

A drain probe is a rod with a pointed tip, a tee handle, generally the rod is made of tool steel—spring steel—stainless steel—heat treated high strength steel, some lighter duty probes are made of fiberglass.

The rod generally is 3/8″ dia. to 1/2″ dia. and could be 36″ to 60″ Long, some have replaceable tips that are treaded on the rod for easy changing when the tips become worn.

Probes are available with a slide hammer action at the tee handle end of the probe, the slide distance when raised up is about 6″ and then the slide hammer drops down, this is a manual operation and helps drive the probe into the ground.

The ” Insulated Probe” is a safe way to use a probe if you have concern that an unknown power source may run below the ground in the same area that you need to use the probe, they tested the ” Insulated Probe ” for 50,000 volts, the ” Insulated Probe ” has an insulated tee handle about 10″ wide, when using the probe always keep your hands on the insulated tee handle.

Safety Rule:  (A) If you think or do not know for sure, that a power source runs near or under the area you need to probe, you may need to turn off the power before probing.

Safety Rule: (B) When using the probe ” never allow your body to contract any portion of the probe tool that is not ” Insulated “, if  you hit a power line by mistake you could get an electrical shock.

Heavy duty probes are available with slide hammer action handles, larger diameter rods are much heavier and can penetrate into the ground easier, remember the larger probe may not be insulated against electric shock.

The water probe is designed to attach to a water hose, the water flows through the center of the rod and out the tip, these probes are generally used to unplug clogged lines, push the water probe up inside the pipe as the water runs with water pressure helps unplugs the clogged pipe.

The water probe can penetrate frozen sewer lines or storm lines, by using hot water and flushing and cleaning utilities and other sanitary type of lines.

For better results call an experienced sewer contractor or plumber when results are needed.


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