What is the history of the safety cone?

It all started back in the early 1940’s when a L.A. County street worker who did a lot of street painting, crosswalks and red light crossing painting, got the idea of making things easier when placing traffic barriers at the site when he was painting.

He and a friend who owned a tire shop, together with this idea, made a sort of round, square type “cone”, out of used tire strips.This simple device sort of worked, they were easier to use than the old wooden barriers, but still needed improvement.

They worked on this idea and came up with ” The Safety Marker ” which was patented by Charles Scavlen. The cone shaped road marker was a hollow conical tube with a base allowing it to stand upright in heavy wind or impact. This ” Safety Marker ” was a cone shaped cylinder with a heavy base and designed to make it easy to store when not in use, one Safety Marker would slide over the other, this was also a very easy to transport to any work site.

A patent dispute [many companies wanted to make ” The Safety Marker”] was resolved with Federal Regulations in the 1950’s. The Safety Marker has evolved into the Traffic Cone we use today.

The Traffic safety cone today is generally made of a rubberized and thermoplastic material which is somewhat pliable allowing movement upon impact, this is a Federal requirement when Traffic safety cones are used on Interstate roadways.

All Traffic safety cones used on Interstate roadways generally require a reflective area or stripe around the cone, each cone has to meet the Federal standard of 28″ high, when used on Interstate roadway projects.

There are millions of Traffic safety cones in use today, you will find them in parking lots, streets, school hallways, shopping malls, airports, backyards and almost everywhere there are people and traffic you will see a safety cone.

Generally the Federal regulations require a bright orange cone with a reflective stripe, but a safety green cone is also used for non highway use.

The ” SAFETY CONE ” has become the standard when anyone is working exposed to traffic flow or other high traveled ares. This safety cone has saved countless numbers of lives since the invention of this orange “Safety Marker”.

How To Locate a Septic Tank

Septic TankHow To Locate a Septic Tank

One of the first questions is why do you need to know where your septic tank is located.

All single family household dwelling home sewage systems have a septic tank if they do not have a sanitary sewer line or city sewer at their house. Over time because of the usage the tank will need to be serviced, they slowly fill with solids and need to be pumped and cleaned, this you cannot do, you must call septic contractor that pumps out tanks.

If you are trying to locate your tank and do not have a map from when the tank was installed, sometimes the system inspector or county inspector has a map or system lay out. If this fails you should look in the yard for a low spot, high spot, a spot where there is little grass growth or a brown spot, if all this fails the next process will be go inside.

If you cannot find the tank look in the basement or crawl space for an outlet pipe generally a 4” diameter pipe going through the wall to the outside, all house waste lines should connect to this one line, and run out the wall to your septic tank.

Once you locate the line inside, go outside and mark where it goes through the wall and comes outside.
Now look around, if you see no visible evidence where the tank could be, you may want to measure, the tank is usually 10 to 20 or 25 ft. from the house, this is where the tank should be. Next you need to start poking around to find the tank cover, this could be done by using a ½” to 3/4” rod about 4 to 5 ft. long, if you do not have a rod try a pointed bar or small metal pipe.

If the soil is compacted hard you could use a hammer and tap the rod into the ground until you hit the solid tank. If no luck try every couple feet working from the out let pipe, you know where that is, work from the house side back through the tank, this should be a sure thing.

If you cannot find the tank using the probing method you will have to start digging, start hand digging finding the out let pipe as it runs out of the house to the septic tank.

If you give up and cannot locate the tank you should call your sewer contractor they can use a backhoe to locate the tank. This will cost more, but is a sure thing, they will find the tank.

For more information go to:  http://www.excavating Info.com


How to Repair Lawn Damage

How to repair lawn damage.lawn damage repair

In this article we will give some tips on how to do an easy lawn repair where grass has been damaged or ruts are in your lawn a result from a home delivery or damage from winter snow plowing.

If there are bare spots that could be caused by different reasons, do they happen every year, is the spot under a tree or in the shade, is it near a building or garage.

There is an easy way to fix the lawn, first decide what area you want to reseed, how big of an area, measure the total square footage of the total areas you want to reseed.

To get the square footage: measure how many feet long x how many feet wide—example—10 ft. long x 2 ft. wide=20 sq ft.— if there are other areas to repair add them together for a total, this information you will need when getting seed and fertilizer also if you need to order topsoil or bagged soil.

What is needed before you start:                                                                                                                                                      Work gloves—safety glasses—garden rake—round point shovel—maybe a square point shovel—maybe a wheel barrow—grass seed—fertilizer—mulch or straw—maybe topsoil or bagged soil—maybe a garden tiller if the rutted area is to hard to hand grade.

Now you are ready to start, level the area you want to seed, if there are old debris and the lawn area is not level remove them, start with a level lawn area, once the area is level do you need soil, is new lawn area low, how do you know—will water stand there after a rain—if the answer is yes you will need some soil to level it out.

Once the new lawn area is ready for seeding spread seed over the new lawn, if your area is small you could spread seed by hand, sprinkle the seed, if the seed is a little too heavy, that is better than to light, the seed will need time to germinate, remember the ground should be warm, this means do not seed in the winter because most times the seed will not grow.

Next spread fertilizer over in seeded area this also could be spread by hand, you will not need as much fertilizer as seed so spread it on lightly.

Now you will need to place mulch lightly over the seeded area, straw works best, but if not available hay could be used, do not spread to heavy, do not pull the mulch off when the grass starts growing , you will only pull the roots out, the mulch works as a cover, it holds moisture helping the seed to germinate, gives the seed shade, keeps birds from taking the seed, generally the mulch will break down and work as compost and the mulch helps keep the ground warm allowing seed growth easily.

You will not have to rake the seed and fertilizer in the soil, yes you will need to water but do not over water this may slow the seed growth, the mulch will disappear as the seed grows.

This is an easy way to repair your lawn damage, any home owner can do this repair, there may be other methods but this works very well and is easy to do.

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What is modern trench Excavation Technology ?

Generally trench excavation work is done on every construction building project, trenches are used for underground utilities—gas lines—sewer lines—water lines—telephone—storm drainage and other buried utilities.

A trench is normally defined as a long and narrow ditch, generally a deeper than wide gully.

Modern trench technology is the development of specialized techniques,a way of solving problems that require a solution, a applied science or method of applying technical knowledge and science to the field of trench excavation.

With modern trench excavation technology and the development of computer software packages, trench excavation cost can be managed and tracked, it is also important that the technical part of a project be constructed as designed and engineered.

Modern trench technology uses pipe lasers, they are used to install pipe with the use of a laser beam and target, with the unit setup in the pipe and programed to the proper pipe grade, this increases the profitable or the amount of pipe installed per day, thus increases the profit for the construction company working at the trenching project.

Modern technology is used with GPS systems and computer software systems, these systems are used on many site excavation trenching projects, some of these GPS systems can be installed on excavating equipment used to dig and install underground utilities.

Technology has improved the trench shoring systems and practice of holding the trench walls trench safety and shoringup using a trench box type shoring, this allows workers safety to install any utilities without the danger of the trench walls collapsing on the workers.

Modern trench excavation safety along with technology is an important part of any site excavation.

Modern technology has improved the tools and equipment we use in trench excavation and improve the way we move the earth on excavation construction projects, this has increased the profit and help control the cost during construction.

For other information or trench safety tips go to OSHA’S web or talk with your supplier or dealer when renting or buying trench tools and equipment about the proper use and safety.

What you should know about safety when working on any construction project.

construction safetyConstruction safety can be hard sometimes because of the hazards or risk that may be very difficult to control or sometimes identify because of the ever changing work environment.

Safety is always very important, all employees, all self employed persons and do-it-yourselfers should have training or knowledge when working around any project with power tools or where machinery is involved.

Construction Safety:

*Know when to wear safety vests or jackets—-wear the color.

*Know when to wear hard hats—-who should use them?

*Know when to wear safety gloves—-safety shoes or boots—-safety glasses.

*Know when to use as electrical lock out—-know about electrical safety.

*Know how to use an air compressor—-use safety skills when using a air hammer or breaker.

*Know proper safety use of an extenuation cord—-know the danger of power tools if not used incorrectly.

*Know the safety rules when working in trenches—-remember safety and use shoring when needed.

*Know the safety rules when working with and around scissor lifts.

*Know the dangers of a forklift when working with and around them.

*Know crane hand signals when around cranes or lifting equipment.

*Know what your tools can do—-always use the correct tool for the correct job.

*Know what a ladder can allow you to do—-if you do not have the correct skills a ladder can be come very unsafe on any job.construction safety gear

*Know what a scaffold can do or not do—-if you do not have the training or skills maybe this work should be left to the experts to complete.

***Remember most all serious injuries are caused from a fall—-from a ladder—-from scaffolding—-from roofs—-from trees—-most at risk workers or self employed persons falling from any heights, falling in holes—-tripping over on ground objects—-most accidents could be avoided if safety knowledge was used and if this safety knowledge was applied at work site projects.

There is much more that could be said about safety—safety is every ones job—-there are training courses available for all construction workers, ask your local dealer or look on the internet for other safety information.

What is a Bulldozer

What is the bulldozer?bulldozer

This tracked machine was invented using the wheeled [Holt] farm tractor, which was used mostly for plowing and fitting farm fields, also for harvesting the corps.

The first use of this new tracked machine was for plowing farm fields, tracks would allow better traction and this new machine could pull larger plows, go over soft and uneven ground.

With the new innovation of all steel tracks, a front blade was placed on the front of the machine, used for leveling and grading, also the first bulldozers were used in the logging industry; the steel tracks would allow the machine to work in muddy conditions.

The bulldozer is sometimes called other names—dozer—crawler dozer—track type tractor—caterpillar.

The innovation of the front blade allows the bulldozer many use’s—power angle tilt [pat] blades—they are found on most smaller bulldozers, angle blades and tilt, allow the machine and operator more versatility.

The bulldozer with a straight blade is used for grading and leveling. Most straight blades are designed with a flat vertical moldboard, as a full load of dirt is obtained, it pushes against the upper curve of the moldboard and floats the blade allowing the operator to place a level amount of dirt as the blade is unloaded, dirt falls out under the cutting edge, which is the lower part of the blade.

The bulldozer with a u-blade is used for pushing large amounts of material, the outside corners of the blade are curved as a u-shape, and this blade is designed to move as much material as possible with minimal spillage.  This blade is not easy to use for fine grading and leveling.

The bulldozers steel tracks allow the machines excellent ground traction and mobility on rough and muddy terrain.

A bulldozer with “wide tracks” very wide steel tracks, distribute the bulldozers weight over a larger area—decreasing the ground pressure on the surface. This helps prevent the bulldozer from sinking when working in soft muddy conditions.

A bulldozer with sweeps—-bars that go from the top of the cab roof to the front of the machine, this helps keep debris away from the machine.

Today a bulldozer has many uses and can be seen on many most construction sites.

For more information go to www.excavating info.com

What is an Excavator

What is an excavator?excavator

The modern hydraulic excavator is a machine design that started with the early steam shovel and early cable operated shovels.

The need to excavate material on early construction projects and load material into R.R. cars or onto horse drawn wagons without the use of a man and shovel is when the first steam shovel was invented around the late 1890’s .

The early revolving steam shovels were first seen and used around the early 1900’s. From those early shovels came the power shovels with gas or diesel engines and the pull type machines that were cable operated machines were also invented and used for trenching on many construction sites.

In the late 1960’s the first hydraulic excavator was seen and by the early ‘70’s they were on all major construction projects.

The excavator today is used on construction projects, by landscapers, city or village utility districts and the excavator is made in many sizes from over 100 tons to smaller sizes as 10 tons.

The excavator is sometimes called a “trackhoe” this machine has tracks that moves the machine and the tracks on the ground help keep the machine level and stable as the machine digs.

The excavator has an arm or boom and a dipper stick with a bucket and that moves with hydraulic fluid, hydraulic pumps move the fluid, makes hydraulic pressure and hydraulic flow.

Some excavators are equipped with hydraulic backfill blades and can be used for added machine stability when digging or for grading work.

Larger excavators have standard steel tracks with smooth track pads or small bars not deep cleats, one of features of the excavator is the low ground pressure allowing a minimal ground disturbance. The excavator moves with hydraulic drives and a hydraulic pump system.

Hydraulic excavators are mounted on a platform, this platform pivots 360* degrees, hydraulic pumps and controls allows the machine to rotate or swing in any direction. Some excavators have a zero tail swing option which allows the machine to fully rotate within the width of their tracks.

Excavators have an operator area or platform where all the controls are to operate the machine. This area for the operator is designed for the operator comfort with seat, legroom, visibility; joystick operated hand controls and engine decelerator are mostly standard on all excavators.

Many optional work tools can be used with the excavator—hydraulic hammers—hydraulic tampers—hydraulic thumbs—hydraulic angling bucket.


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What is a Skid Steer

What is a Skid Steer?Skid-Steer

A skid steer is a compact machine most commonly a wheeled machine, a tracked skid steer also has a useful place in the construction industry. The size can vary, average size is 5’ wide to 6’ 8”wide and the average length is about 10’ long to about 11’ 9” long. They are equipped with a standard front bucket, size can vary.

Skid steers have a hydraulic system for working the front bucket and other machine features such as hydrostatic brakes, parking brakes and optional work tools.

Most skid steers consider operator comfort and are designed with operation controls with hands and with foot controls. Skid steers on the average have a contoured seat to reduce operator fatigue, padded armrest and most have excellent visibility when operating the machine.

Many skid steers have optional work tools that can extend the versatility of the machine. Quick couplers allow work tools such as vibratory compactors—landscape rakes—hydraulic hammers—auger drills—grapple forks and many bucket sizes.


For more information and tips contact us at  www.Excavating Info.com

What is a Lowboy Trailer

What is a lowboy trailer?lowboy trailer

The lowboy trailer has a drop deck, one end –gooseneck –this end hooks to the truck, the other end at the rear wheels, drops down and is a few inches off the ground.

The first lowboy was invented in the 1920’s and had a row of rear tires made of solid rubber, as many as 8-tiers, across the rear of the trailer. The trailer was loaded from the rear; you would drive up over the rear tires and onto the trailer deck.

The first lowboy trailer with a detachable gooseneck [gooseneck is the front of the trailer that hooks to the truck] was invented in the late 1950’s. Today all detachable trailers load from the front [gooseneck end] of the trailer; this allows the equipment to drive on the trailer without the use of loading ramps. Most all new detachable lowboy trailers have a hydraulic system that operates a hydraulic ram that raises the trailer to hook the trailer unit after it is loaded.

All new type lowboy trailers are towed by a semi-truck, all have air brakes, all are two axles’ trailers with 8-tires, larger heavy trailers have three axles with 12-tires, some special heavy duty trailers have four axles, and there are even very heavy duty trailers with more than 4-axles.

Some lowboys trailers are a beam type trailer which means the large heavy equipment is carried with a center [2-beams] under the piece of equipment, this allows a taller load, the load can be only inches off the highway, this type trailer can have 3-axles and ever 4 rear axles, some unit can carry up 100 tons. This beam type lowboy has a gooseneck that hooks to the semi-truck, the beam trailer use the air brakes system, and a hydraulic system.

There are other types of lowboy trailers and sometimes the lowboy has been called a lowbed trailer, they are the same trailer. The lowboy trailers have a large range of weight capacity from 10 ton to 100 tons and over with special units. There may be other trailer units not mentioned.

For more information go to www.Excavating Info.Com

What is a Front Loader

What is a front loader?front loader

A front loader is generally a 4-wheel drive unit with a bucket at the front end of the machine and a counter weight at the rear of the machine, this allows a balance when the bucket is loaded and when the loader is dumping a bucket of material.

A loader is also known as a bucket loader—front end loader—payloader—skip loader—wheel loader—loader and front loader. A loader is a tractor type machine usually a four wheel machine with a power unit and hydraulic system.

A front loader with tracks looks like a bulldozer, a bucket is where the blade was, and they operate same as a wheeled loader.

All loaders have a hydraulic system that operates the boom [2 arms one on each side] with a hydraulic cylinder that connects to the bucket and a cylinder linkage that operates the bucket.

A wheel loader has a pivot point at the center of the machine, this is an articulated steering design, hydraulic cylinders, one on each side pulls the machine left or right allowing a tighter turning arc and turning radius making the machine a very maneuverability and steering very easy.

The front loader has its own special use on—construction sites—quarry—gravel pits—factories—ready-mix plants and many other uses.

The main purpose for the front loader is to dig or scoop material, load the front bucket with material and move it or dump into or onto stock piles—backfill trenches or work sites—load dump trucks—fill hoppers at plants or a quarry.

Front loaders are made in many sizes and are work compatible with any project or work area, smaller loaders could weigh 5 tons or less and larger loaders could weigh up to 50 tons or more depending in the job requirement.

The operator’s cab of a new loader is generally mounted on a platform above the machine; this allows the operator a clear vision of the work area. Operator comfort is important for operator productivity and without operator fatigue.

Most new loader cabs are equipped with air suspension seats—large front windshields—large cab exit doors—easy hydraulic steering—a/c and heater—am/fm radio—easy hydraulic operating controls.

The wheel loader has optional attachments—load forks—sweeper boom—side dump buckets to name a few.

Also track type front loaders have an important use in the construction field when working in special conditions and projects; they operate basically the same as a wheel loader, with many of the same operator comforts.

For more information go to:  http://www.Excavating Info.Com

What is a Utility Trailer

What is a utility trailer ?utility trailer

A utility trailer refers to many types of different trailers, a utility trailer is a unpowered vehicle. The trailer must be towed or pulled by a powered vehicle, that could be a car—pick-up—ATV—utility tractor—lawn tractor—farm tractor—SUV’s or behind almost any powered vehicle with a rear hitch.

The utility trailer can have many different types and sizes—small garden trailers for pulling behind lawn tractors or AVT’s. They are flat-bed type, beds with sides, beds that dump, deck over types and tilt top types. Other utility trailers are larger and can be pulled behind pick-up trucks, some trailers are large enough they must be pulled behind large trucks.

Many utility trailers are used by landscapers or lawn maintenance crews. These trailers have ramps at the rear that flip down or ramps that hook to the edge of the trailer frame for loading equipment and tools. Many large utility trailers have this same type design to load large heavy equipment.

Utility trailers that have one single axle are used for the smaller trailers, towed behind lawn tractors or AVT’s. The trailer with 2-axles have 4-tires, some dual axle trailers have 8-tires and can haul heavier loads. Some trailers come with 3-axles and with a enclosed box unit .

Utility trailers used on the highway should have lights, small trailers do not have a braking system, all larger trailers must have working lights and a working braking system to be used on the highway.

All trailers are towed by vehicles, some use a ball type hitch, some use a penal hitch type, other larger trailers use a 5ht wheel type hitch, farm style trailers use a pin type hitch.

There are many types and different styles of trailers depending on the use or your need for a utility trailer, what type would best work in your job project.

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What is a Diaphragm Pump

diaphram pumpWhat is a diaphragm pump?

A reciprocating diaphragm pump has a diaphragm [generally a 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 closes when the diaphragm moves down, allows the water liquid to flow into the pump chamber, the diaphragm moves up closes a flapper type valve on the suction or inlet side, 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, result, liquid is sucked or pulled into one side of the pump chamber and discharged out the other side of the chamber.

The diaphragm pumps are used on construction projects, by city utility districts, contractors, landscapers, and are available for rent at many rental companies.

Diaphragm pumps are a needed tool working in the construction field, when muddy water with sand—small grit—gravel—dirt—silt or other solids are mixed in the liquid that needs to be pumped—example: water line repair or installation—sewer line repair or installation or storm drainage repair work.

A diaphragm pump is a pump that is self-priming.

A diaphragm pump is not damaged if water liquid is not flowing though the discharge—running dry.

A diaphragm pump needs a motor to operate the diaphragm when operating at an operating speed, there is also a pulsating  motion as the liquid moves though the pump.

There are many sizes of diaphragm pumps made depending on the job requirements.

For more information go to http://www.excavating info.com

What is an Asphalt Roller

What is an asphalt roller?asphalt roller

The early roller used for asphalt was a hand roller operated by men, the horse drawn roller was also used to compact and roll the asphalt, and they were a single drum unit.

When the steam roller was introduced, many had three drums, two at the rear that drove or moved the roller and one smaller drum in the front that was used to steer the roller.

With the development of gas and diesel powered rollers, the steam rollers were used less because you would not have to take the long time it took to heat the water in the boiler to make steam to operate the roller.

Next came the hydraulic drive rollers with all hydraulic systems, today most all model asphalt rollers are self-propelled, all have steel drums, generally one of the drums is used to drive the roller.

The asphalt roller generally used for asphalt compaction is a smooth two drum or double drum vibrating roller, this compaction seals the asphalt or blacktop after the final finish layer of asphalt has been laid.

When additional compaction is needed the vibrating roller drums are used for a better compacting force.

Asphalt double drum finish rollers can be used as a static roller or vibrating roller, depends on the asphalt thickness and how warm the material at the time of compaction.

Asphalt rollers are all equipped with on-board water tanks for water lubrication of the steel drums surface, this is done with a sprinkler system and it prevents hot asphalt from sticking to the roller drums.

The asphalt roller is made in many sizes from the small self-propelled walk behind, to small ride on units to hand rollers all used to compact and finish asphalt after it is placed on the work area surface.

For more information go to http://www.Excavating Info.com

What is a Plate Tamper

plate tamperWhat is a plate tamper?

A plate tamper or compactor or vibrating tamper is made with a steel plate on the bottom, the size can vary from 20” X 14” to a larger size 30” X 18” the gas engine sets on a platform in the center of the tamper with a metal handle attached to the base, the tamper can weigh 150lb. to 300 or 500 lb. depending on the project requirements.

A plate tamper has a reciprocating vibrating action made by an offset counter weight built within the tamper frame.

A plate tamper moves generally in one forward direction and is turned around when moving in the opposite direction.

A plate tamper designed with a reversible direction can compact forward or reverse and is ideal for larger construction fills or trench backfill.

The plate tamper that is designed for smaller jobs like backfilling a utility trench or backfilling a retaining wall or backfill any area that is tight for space and will not require a lot a compaction, a lighter tamper is the right tool.

The hand held plate tamper generally has a handle that is mounted to the tamper main frame with rubber mounted shocks; this absorbs the vibration from the tamper and gives the operator less fatigue when operating the tamper.

The main frame and the plate of the tamper are often mounted with rubber; this also absorbs some of the vibration shock when operating.

Plate tampers are basically used to compact soil, sand and gravel. But they are available for compaction of asphalt and are used by most paving contractors, to work in smaller areas where the larger ride on roller cannot operate.

The hand operated dirt plate tamper is used in areas where large ride on rollers cannot work and are found on most building construction sites.

For more information go to www.excavating info.com

What is an Asphalt Paver

What is an asphalt paver?asphalt paver

Asphalt as we know it today is produced by mixing aggregates [sand and stone] and bitumen, a petroleum base product and heat forming a hot mix.

When the asphalt mixture was developed around the 1920’s, it was used mainly for road surfaces; today asphalt is used in all sorts of construction projects.

The asphalt mixture was first dumped on the roadway surface; there was no paving machine to spread the material, so all the asphalt was graded and leveled by workers with rakes, all spreading was done by hand.

The first asphalt paver was invented around 1935, they were mounted on steel rails or steel forms, the material was mixed and spread on the road as the machine was pulled forward.

Later the asphalt paver was mounted on tracks and floating screed was developed, this was a leveling arm in the back of the paver that leveled high spots as the paver was pulled forward and the asphalt surface was laid.

By the late 1940’s and early 1950’s the self-propelled asphalt paver was being used on large road paving jobs, the floating screed has remained in use with many improvements.

As improvements to the asphalt paver were developed, one was the hydraulic widening screeds, this ended the need for the operator to manually move the widener, and the operator could now change the width of the asphalt surface, with hydraulic controls as the paver moved forward.

Asphalt pavers are constructed almost all of steel, the largest part is the steel hopper, at the front of the machine, where a dump truck dumps hot mix asphalt into the hopper, augers and a conveyor system move the material to the back of the paver where it is placed on the roadway and leveled with the heated screed that also compacts the asphalt as the paver moves forward.

New asphalt pavers have their own power unit or motor and hydraulic system. Some pavers are mounted on tracks this helps the paver when increased traction is needed when placing asphalt on the prepared surface. Many pavers are mounted on rubber tires, they are used generally when paving on a hard surface and the machine will be moving at a faster pace when paving. The pull-type paver works on the same principle but needs to be pulled forward as it spreads the asphalt material.


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What is a Road Grader

What is a road grader?

road grader

Early road graders were horse drawn, sometimes with a team of 4-horses, and with a 2-men team to operate the grader, one to drive the team and the other to operate the grader. These early graders date back to the mid to late 1800’s and most were used to maintain city streets and county roads. This would allow the horse drawn wagons with freight and supplies passage with fewer pot holes or ruts.

The horse drawn road grader was improved upon and built larger as the steam traction tractors were introduced in the early 1900’s. They began to replace the horse drawn teams when pulling the road graders, some pull-type graders were pulled with crawler tractors after they were introduced into service.

The development of the self-propelled road grader began to replace the need for a pull-type grader, [from around 1920 to 1930 Gallion Iron Works Co. developed one of the first self-propelled, hydraulic operated road graders] these graders had their own power and hydraulic systems to operate the blade while others developed the gear type controls to operate the blade.

The road grader also known as grader—motor grader is most commonly referred to as a road grader.

All new graders today are hydraulic operated with a motor, they are driven with 4-rear rubber tires and two steering front tires. Most graders are rear wheel [4] drive; some are all wheel [6] drive.

The grader blade is between the front tires and the rear tires. This allows the machine a longer leveling plane; this keeps the blade level to create a flat finish grade as the machine moves forward.

The engine and operators cab generally at the rear of the grader; this allows the operator a clear vision of the work area.

Most cabs are equipped with large front windshields—large cab exit doors— a/c and heat—am/fm radio—hydraulic steering—easy operating hydraulic controls.

The road grader blade can rotate under the grader from right to left and the end of the blade can move up and down. Many graders are equipped with front mounted rippers for losing hard surface soils before the blade can grade and level the work area.

Road graders are used generally to finish grade or fine grade the surface for road base to prepare for asphalt—building sites—street base—gravel roads—dirt roads—ditching or any other surface as needed to prepare for final fine grading or finish grading.

Today many road graders are equipped with a GPS system; this allows the operator to “precision grade control” grade to a precise level on many work projects.

There are many types of road graders and there are many uses for a road grader. The pull-type grader is available and can still be used for smaller jobs around the farm or driveway grading and can be pulled behind an ATV—farm tractor—utility tractor depending on the size of the grader unit.

Or more information go to www.Excavating info.com

How to Grade a Gravel Driveway

How to grade a gravel drivewaygrade a gravel drive3

Most gravel driveways get pot holes, low spots, wash areas they happen because of use, weather, the freezing and thawing, the rains, all are factors, once a small indention or low spot starts, it gets larger as traffic drives over that area.

Here are some tips, if you have a small utility tractor, farm tractor or AVT maybe a York rake will allow you to level and grade you drive.

A York rake also known as a landscape rake, is generally a 3 pt. hitch, some tow behind rakes are available, the rake has fingers like teeth that are shaped like a mold board.

For best results use a York rake with a set of wheels on the back side of the rake [ behind the teeth ] this will allow adjustment of the rake, this keeps the teeth from digging into the ground to deep when grading.

Most York rake blades or mold boards will turn, if you are grading on the right side of the drive turn the left corner of the rake away from the tractor, maybe 45*degrees, what you need to do is wind row some top material from the drive into the center of the drive.

Keep the York rake adjustment so it just touches the surface, if too deep you will dig up all the large material, you want the finer material on top to wind row into the center.

Do the same on the other side of the drive, you may need to repeat this cycle many times for best results move the material to about the wheel track or just past on the other side of the drive, then row it back, very lightly touching the surface.

This generally places or drops the finer material into the low spots and holes in your drive.

Remember do not row material too far off the drive, it will be much harder to rake back on the drive, also you may York rake some unwanted coarse material and weeds or other debris that is not good material for the top of your drive, from this out side drive area.

This article talks about the York rake and a power unit to work the rake. If you do not have a yoke rake this will sometimes work , use your riding lawn mower and pull an old set of bed springs or plank float to level your drive, don’t laugh this is an option, it may or may not help to level the drive.


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How to Operate a Wheel Barrow

How to operate a wheel barrowwheel barrow

All wheel barrows have two handles to raise or lower a load, undercarriage legs that attach to the handles and set on the ground, a wheel and axle in front, a tub fastened to the handles.

A metal plate attaches the two handles together at the end handle past the wheel, this plate meets the ground and also stabilizes the wheel barrow when the operator dumps the load of material.

A wheel barrow is generally a 6 cubic feet size, and is a hand or manually operated unit with one wheel in front, the handles are generally 60” long, the tub or tray may have a reinforced edge for support when dumping the load of material.

To operate this barrow the load should be placed near the front wheel or over the front wheel, this will take some of the weight away from the operator, if the load is to heavy on the front it may cause an unbalance or unstable condition and the operator may not be able to operator safely, some of the load be need to be shafted back toward the rear of the wheel barrow to equal the load.

The operator should pick up the loaded wheel barrow by the handles, in an easy upward motion, keeping the arms straight down from the shoulders, using the legs to push the wheel barrow, the operator should lean forward slightly, this helps start the motion of the wheel barrow moving forward. The operator must use the forward “lean” and legs to push the load forward.

The wheel barrow undercarriage legs keep the barrow level and allow the operator to load the wheel barrow, the material should be loaded evenly this will assure no accidentally spillage.

The operator should be aware if the front tire becomes soft or low on air, the wheel barrow will not operate efficiently and become unstable or unbalanced.

The operator using the wheel barrow on a site where a plank is used, safety is most important. The plank should always be the correct size to carrier the load in the wheel barrow that is on the plank and the weight of the operator.

If the operator is working in soft conditions half loads would be easier to handle when wheeling and when dumping material.

When using the wheel barrow it is designed to dump over the end of the barrow by placing the front steel plate on the ground this will help keep the barrow stable when unloading.

The wheel barrow with two front wheels will operate in much the same way as a one wheel barrow, it will have stability, smooth rolling, accidentally spillage maybe lessened, and great when working on level conditions.

Never operate a wheel barrow without safe and proper foot ware.


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How To Use a Work Pick Axe

How to use a work pick axepick axe

A pick axe is a hand operated tool sometimes spelled pick ax, but almost always known as a pick.

It is believed this tools origin can be traced back to around 1200 to 1340 or earlier and is believed the first was made from horns of animals, more research on that should be done.

The head of a pick axe is made usually of metal, one end of the head is made to a dull point and the other end of the head is made like a chisel end about 1 ½” wide, this end helps balance the pick axe.

The handle is generally made of wood but metal and fiberglass handles are also used.

If you are a first time user and never used the heavy pick axe it may be best if you try a few practice swings. The pick axe maybe heavier after the practice swings to be sure you are comfortable swinging the pick axe try a few more swings, do it slowly at first, practice makes perfect.

When using the pick axe hold the handle tightly, don’t let the pick axe slip out of your hands when striking your targeted work area, if you don’t hold tightly it could ricochet and an injury could be the result.

When using the pick axe to loosen a hard surface or soil raise the pick axe head carefully over your shoulder always focus on the area you are trying to hit. When you focus on your work area in front of you make sure you have a safe distance, generally at about an arms length from your feet, this will prevent you from driving or dropping the pick axe on your leg or through your foot.

Make sure you extend your arms out as you bring the pick axe forward and down still focus on the work area you intend to hit.

Use the weight of the pick axe as you swing in a downward motion toward your target work area, if you swing too high and try to force the pick axe down you may lose control and not hit your target work area.

After you hit your target area, raise the end of the handle on the pick axe up, this will sometimes break and loosen the soil you are working on.

Depending on how hard the soil is, on which end of the pick axe to use, this may take a few practice swings to get the soil results you need to complete your project.


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What is a hand tool catalog ?

A hand tool is any hand tool designed for manual operation by a technician or mechanic.

A hand tool catalog has many tools used by a factory technician or mechanic to repair any type if machine or vehicle when general and special repairs may be needed to keep these machines or vehicles in operation.

A hand tool catalog would generally list no power tools, only tools used for manual operations, these tools would be used to repair many machines or vehicles with a warranty, some could be special tools needed to make these repairs.

Many large companies have catalogs listing their manufactured hand tool products, some factory catalogs have special use hand tools used for—plumbing—carpentry—mechanical and other types hand tools.

The Sears Company has a large tool catalog with hand tools listed, generally known as a ” Craftsman Tool “, they generally come with a lifetime warranty, the tools are used for almost anything a person can do with a manual operation or by hand.

Hand tool boxes come in many sizes, starting with a small handy man tool box to a large tool storage unit with rollers allowing the unit to be moved anywhere around the shop.

Many hand tools can be found on line today, if you need a warranty you must buy only hand tools that have a factory or life time warranty, one example is ” Snap-On ” tools, they generally have a warranty when bought from a factory dealer.

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 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 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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