What is a Caterpillar Crawler Tractor ?

Caterpillar TractorC8303In 1925 the Caterpillar Tractor Company was formed, the caterpillar was not the first crawler tractor built or used in the U.S., most all the crawler tractors evolved from the steam traction engine tractors that were used mostly for tilling or plowing and pulling large combines on large farms.

The steam powered track-type traction crawler tractor was developed and used to move freight as well as farm tilling work, generally the track-type traction crawler tractor could till ground and pull harvesters over softer soil without getting stuck.

A crawler tractor has a steel chain or steel belt like, steel band that goes around a front steel idler mounted on a track frame with steel rollers mounted on the bottom of the track frame, the steel track chain fits and rollers sit on the steel track chain, the steel track chain rolls over top return rollers and over a rear sprocket type gear that fits in between the track chain, this allows the crawler to move forward and backwards, steel track pads are fastened to the track chain with generally a grouser bar allowing traction for the machine.

Caterpillar crawler tractor improvements continued before and during WWI, the crawler tractors were built with gas engines, steam power was no longer used, the crawler tractors pulled supplies and moved artillery equipment for the troop movements.

In the years after the war, around the late 1920’s, early 1930’s the Caterpillar diesel engine was developed and installed in the new models of crawler tractors, these new crawlers were used to pull earth moving equipment for building roads—dams—levee’s and other construction projects.

During the great depression the Caterpillar Tractor Company continued to move forward with improvements to the crawler tractors.

When WWII broke out Caterpillar crawlers were being used for more than farm work, they had front mounted bulldozer blades and were used on many road construction projects. The U.S. military soon ordered Caterpillar crawlers with bulldozer blades, the D-7 size dozer was widely used overseas for many jobs, the Caterpillar crawler was a very dependable machine, there were other crawler tractors used during the war effort.

After the war Caterpillar added many improvements to their construction line of crawler tractors—-engines—-tracks—-track frame—-dozer blades—-cable blades changed to hydraulic operated systems.

The Caterpillar track-type tractor has evolved into the ” CAT DOZER ” this name is known everywhere in the construction field.

Today the Caterpillar Tractor Company is one of the largest crawler tractor manufactures in the world.

What is Trench Safety ?

trench safetyTrench excavating is one if the most dangerous types of construction work on any construction site.

OSHA defines trench excavation as any type of excavated man made cut, trench or cavity in the earth caused by the excavation or removal of soil or earth.

Trench cave-ins are the greatest risk of injury to workers when working in trench excavations.

Trench safety is also keeping equipment away from trench edges and workers must keep the work area clear of unwanted debris, is prevents falls.

OSHA has a formula that is tabulated with all required safety digging depths and defines all information needed for a safe trench excavation.

OSHA requires some type of shoring when trenching in unstable soils, there are aluminum hydraulic panel type shoring, sometimes wood timber type shoring is used and a trench box type shoring can be used and moved along as the trench is excavated.

Trench sloping is another type of trench safety used when excavating trenches, there is a tabulated formula that is defined by OSHA when digging an open trench. Open trench excavating involves sloping or cutting back the trench wall at an incline angle or benching the trench walls. This type of open trenching will not be safe on deep trenching cuts, often there is not 15ft. needed to open the trench for open type trenching.

Trench excavating deeper than 5ft. will always require shoring, if excavating deeper than 14 to 20 ft. an approved registered professional engineer design maybe required when using trench protective shoring.

OSHA trench safety requires a safe access and egress to any trench excavation, ladders or sloped trench areas or other means of a safe exit for employees working in the trench excavation.

Trench safety includes locating underground utilities before excavating.

Trench safety is available at OSHA’S web site, trench shoring is available at your local rental or equipment dealer.

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


What is a Backhoe?

BackhoeWhat is a Backhoe? A machine that is a rubber tired and self-propelled with its own power unit and hydraulic system.

A backhoe is a machine with a hinged boom attached on the back of generally a tractor type machine. This tractor generally has a front bucket loader mounted on the front end of the tractor, making it a backhoe-loader unit called a backhoe.

The backhoe is an attachment that is mounted on the back or rear of a rubber tired tractor. The backhoe is derived from the cable operated track type steam shovel.

The first backhoe was made in the mid 1940’s. They made a hinged swing frame attachment with a two piece boom and bucket which was operated with a hydraulic system. The swing frame allowed the backhoe to swing from left to right generally to a 180* pivot.

In the 1950’s manufactures made many hydraulic type backhoes generally all were mounted on a rubber tired tractor, a front bucket loader was mounted on the front of the tractor, this allowed the machine to be a very versatile tool used in the construction field.

The backhoe has a two piece boom, this digging arm has a bucket, the bucket is filled using a pull motion, and the bucket is pulled toward the machine to fill it. The hydraulic system allows the operator to cast the material to a side spoil pile.

All Backhoes have some sort of out-rigger system also operated by the hydraulic system. The first machines had a one bar [stabilizer bar went across the bottom of the machine and pushed into the ground surface this kept the machine level as well as stable when digging to fill the bucket and designed to keep the backhoe stable and not tip over when dumping the bucket at the side of the machine] later design for out-riggers was a single leg or out-rigger for each side, this allowed the operator to level the machine when digging and they were much wider when lowered, making the backhoe much more stable and this new system had a foot on the bottom of the leg this helped hold the backhoe when digging in hard soil material.

The first backhoe loaders were used for utility work in many cities and villages, the backhoe could do the work of many men in a very short time, from loading spoils onto a dump truck to locating a utility service needing a repair, and the front bucket loader was used to move materials and supplies on construction sites.
Today most all backhoe loaders are made with cabs or roof protection and come in many sizes with many models to choose from, operate on the same principle as when invented.
The backhoe is widely used in the construction field—in farm and Ag—landscaping contractors and many utility districts.

Today there are many attachments made for the backhoe, this makes the machine very versatile with all the added tools.

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

What is Asphalt ?

asphaltThe word asphalt is believed to come from the creek word ” asphalizen ” which means to make hard.

Generally today asphalt is used for all types of road construction for surfacing and resurfacing highways and streets.

The first asphalt used for paving streets was about 1875, this street was paved with asphalt, placed on the street in front of the court house in Newark, New Jersey, this is believed to be the first asphalt used in the United States, asphalt was used overseas before it was used in the U.S.

Later asphalt plants were invented around 1898 and the first plant was believed to be placed in Cambridge, Mass.

There were patents filed for the process of making asphalt from refining crude oil petroleum into an asphalt base oil, then mixing the oil with sized aggregate material.

Asphalt has been known by many names—-blacktop—-tarmac—-asphalt concrete—-bituminous concrete or just plain asphalt.

Asphalt today is generally made in a drum type plant, the aggregate materials and petroleum based oil are heated to a high temperature generally above 250 degrees F. this method is known as a hot mix type plant where the asphalt after mixing is generally a hot-laid type asphalt used for road surfaces.

The advantage to a hot-laid type asphalt, it is easy to work or lay down, installs as a smooth asphalt road constructionroad surface. Also the asphalt mixture can be transported in dump trucks many miles from the plant to the work site.

The hot mix asphalt is made of different sizes of aggregate for different types of uses on the surface of a roadway, the base type asphalt has larger aggregates for a base layer of asphalt and the top layer of asphalt uses a smaller type of aggregate for a smoother asphalt surface when completed.

Today paving is generally all hot mix asphalt, this material is easy to lay down using a modern asphalt paver, the asphalt is rolled in place and as the asphalt cools it becomes hard like concrete.

There are many types of asphalt today and there are many different uses for the asphalt produced.

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.

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


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.


For additional information go to WWW.Excavating Info.Com

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.

For more information go to WWW.EXCAVATING INFO.COM

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.

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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 Install a French Drain

How to install a French drain.french drain

First thing, determine where you are trying to remove the water from and where are you trying to redirect the water to.

This article will talk mostly about the homeowner or the do-it-yourselfer person or a small property owner who wants to dry there property from water seeping into the garage—store building—barn—basement—or running across the driveway.

Use these ideas and information to help solve your water problems, remember if you are down slope anywhere and it rains a lot, you will see water running across your property, you can control where it runs if conditions allow.

A list of things you will need to install a French drain doing the work you self: gloves—safety glasses—proper footwear—shovel or shovels—wheel barrow—3 or 4 ft level— pick axe “maybe”—4” PVC Pipe [with holes in it]—washed stone ¾” to 1 ½” size works great and maybe 4” PVC pipe fittings.

A French drain system works on a simple sloping gravity principle, installed with a slightly sloped trench redirecting the water from the wet area to another area.

A French drain system is basically a sloping trench 10” to 18” deep, collects the shallow subsurface water. The sloping trench works best with a pipe at the bottom, then washed stone, as water runs across the surface to the drain, drops into the trench, flows through the stone into the pipe and carried downward to the discharge area.

For best results always install drain pipe at the bottom of the trench, this allows water to flow away much faster.

Remember your drainage site may be different, here it is a confined space and all work will be done by hand, using the shovel load the wheel barrow, remove the soil from the work site, after the ditch is completed place the 4” pipe in the ditch with the holes up, the reason for this, water will flow on the bottom of the pipe and fill from the top of the pipe through the holes.

Place washed stone, the size should be ¾” to 1 ½” around the pipe filling the trench level with the top of the ground, the larger stone allows water to get to the pipe faster.

No dirt or topsoil covers the stone, it stays open and level with the top of the ground, you can run your lawn mower over the trench like the rest of the yard.

Remember the only water we are moving with this type of french drain is surface water, because you are digging a trench only 10” to 18” deep, if the ground slopes allows this.

Note: the reason you use 4” PVC pipe, it takes more volume of water and this pipe can be purchased at almost any supply store.

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How To Install a Rip-Rap Rock Wall

How to install a rip-rap rock wallrip-rap wall

In this article we will talk about a rip-rap rock wall installed in a smaller stream or creek to protect the bank from erosion during heavy rain and high water flow.

Rip-rap rock will vary in size from 50 lb. to 150 lb. and 200 lb. rock, the rock could be found in a gravel pit that may have a deposit of large rock mixed with gravel, sometimes a rock source could be from a farmers field or from an old barn foundation where rock was used to build the barn, rip-rap rock should be a mixture of larger rock and smaller rock, this rock will mix in better when stacking the rock for the wall.

Rip-rap rock could be found in a rock quarry, this is different from gravel pit rock, a rock quarry has all  rock no gravel mixed in with the rock, the rock is drilled and blasted to break it out from the quarry wall, there maybe other sources of rock in your area.

After you find your rock source, measure how high and how long your work area will be, get an idea how many yards of rock is needed, you may have to change yards to tons if your rock supplier sells in tons.

When you start if working in the water you may have to install a curtain or silt fence to stop the mud from flowing into the stream.

The bottom row of rock or toe of the wall, will need to be trenched in below the bottom of the stream bed about 18” this helps keep the water from getting under the rip-rap, place this row then prepare the next row, the bank should be graded if needed before this row is placed, it will depend on the size of the rock, if the row is one rock thick or more, generally the more rock the stronger the wall.

When you are installing a stacked in place rip-rap wall and when installed correctly you will be able to fill the wall with large and smaller rock, the correct mixture of rock size can create an interlocking structure,  when mixed together this makes a stronger wall structure that stops erosion.

Continue this cycle, it will go slow if you are building the wall correctly, another tip, use a trackhoe or minihoe machine with a thumb this will help when placing the rock, also to speed up the job a labor on the ground can spot the rock this will help the machine operator when each rock is selected and placed.

DSCN0724The rock rip-rap deduces erosion by resisting the water force and water pressure by dispersing the energy of flowing water, the rock shape is an important factor of the wall, the rock will absorb and deflect the hydraulic energy of the water velocities in flowing streams and reduce water flow as well as prevent erosion.

There are many types of rip-rap some may not be mentioned, there are many uses for rock rip-rap, there are other sources of rock, use this information to help answer questions about rip-rap.

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How to repair a home sewer line.

How to repair a home sewer line.sewer line repair

The first thing locate the leak, there should be a pool of waste water or sewage ponding on the surface of the lawn or yard area near the leak.

Tools and things needed:    gloves—maybe boots—shovel—short bar—maybe a pick-ax—hand saw or reciprocal saw—tape measure—screw driver—pen or marker—maybe a chop saw—rags or ripping cloth and sewer line once located, parts as needed to repair.

Now shovel and locate the pipe, you must measure to determine the size of the pipe, [the outside measurement “O.D.” will be different then the inside measure “I.D.”] once that is known, get the new pipe and two [2] flexible couplings.

When exposing the pipe to cut out the broken area, be sure to dig the hole big enough, give yourself adequate space to maneuver, you will need to cut the old pipe out.

Once the broken pipe is cut take it out and measure the new pipe, cut it, remember clean the area around the ends of the old pipe you just cut use rags if needed,  you will have to slide the new flexible couplings on over the old pipe, push it back far enough to allow the new pipe to set down between the new couplings, place the new pipe between and slide the coupling over and tighten the clamps with a screw driver or a hex socket drive until firmly tight, test with a flow of water, be sure the repair does not leak.

Once you know the repair is complete you can cover the pipe and clean-up the area.

If you have a cast iron pipe you may need professional help to repair, you will need to cut out the old pipe with a chop saw before placing the new pipe, maybe a reciprocal saw will work if you have experience with it.

Note: avoid contact with raw sewage it is harmful to human health, use gloves whenever possible.

The supplies needed to complete the repair could be found at any pipe supply company or lumber store, if tools are needed your local rental store could help or builders supply store may have the tools needed.


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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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How to build a rock landscape wall

How to build a rock landscape wallrock landscape wall

First a few tips, where is the wall going to be located, is the site able to support a rock wall, you will need to get a plan before you begin.

Plan out:   what base is needed—what rock is to be used—how high will the wall be—how wide will the wall be—how long will the wall be—how many rocks do you need—will the wall be dry stacked.

The base needs to be level, some rock wall bases have a concrete footer, generally most have a dirt sub base, the base must support the weight of the rocks as there are placed to build the wall.

Where will you get the rocks, field rocks, bought from garden supply store, bought from a quarry, this must be decided, the rocks should be thin or flat to dry stack, thin could mean 3” to 5” thick, round, and remember the rock size shape will help when you stack them, you cannot hand stack a 200 lb rock so keep in mind what rocks sizes you can hand stack.

Round rocks will be more difficult to stack unless you stack a triangle type wall, this would be 3 rocks on the bottom row, then 2 rocks on the next row then 1 rock on the top row.

If you are using flat rocks for the wall you will need to start with a level row on the bottom, depending on the size of the rock maybe 2 or 3 rock wide, maybe a total height of 18”, remember you are dry stacking, this means you are not using concrete to place the rocks in and letting them harden.

You will need to have on hand many rocks, more than you need because you will need to sort them and find the ones that stack together, some will not have the correct shape and will not fit in the wall, so order or get extra rock before you start building the wall.

We have talked about 2 types of rocks, 2 walls, round rock and flat rocks, there are other types of landscape walls, other footers, other ways to place the rock and remember in the northern states the freezing and the thawing is a concern when building a wall, in the southern states the heat is a concern, so check out the area you live in for the best rocks and way to build your wall.


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What is a Trench

What is a trench?

A trench is generally a ditch or a narrow gully or depression in the ground with vertical sides.

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

A natural trench, ditch can be found along rivers, streams where water has caused the erosion of the soils as the water flowed over and often out of the banks, than rescinded forming a trench.

Farm fields and backyards often have trenches formed during hard rains and caused by erosion of the land as the water drains off the fields and yards.

Trenches are used for underground utilities such as gas mains—sewer mains—water mains—phone and other buried utilities.

Trench irrigation has been used for many years to allow water to flow to fields for irrigation of watering crops—cattle—orchards and other crops that need watering.

Trench shoring is a practice of holding the trench walls up using a trench box type shoring, this allows workers to install piping or other in ground utilities without the walls collapsing on the workers inside the trench.

Trench equipment could be excavators or trackhoes, trenchers and other equipment and tools used to prepare trenches for many uses.

Trench work started many years ago when man would dig a trench for water to flow to irrigate his crops.

Trenches dug in the beginning was generally backbreaking and very difficult digging because everything was dug with a hand shovel or shovel like tool.

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What is a Gravel Driveway ?

What is a gravel driveway ?

Gravel is a French word meaning coarse sand.

Gravel is a natural deposited Material native not to all areas of the U.S.

Gravel is not “ topsoil—fill dirt sub soil—washed stone—crushed stone or clay soil “.

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

These deposits are commonly known bank gravel, sometimes called, bank run gravel, is found with stones, clay, sand and silt that is what is dug up from the bank.

Driveway gravel is generally a gravel of a finer material, sized finer with a sand mixture or a silt gravel mixture found naturally as bank gravel.

Another good gravel for driveways is a processed or screened gravel, this gravel is screened and sized  removing all large oversize material, making a finer product, this product is often used for D.O.T. projects and other construction projects.

If properly constructed and maintained a gravel driveway is an all weather driveway.

Gravel driveways generally are quite inexpensive to build compared to an asphalt driveway.

Gravel driveways are constructed by removing the topsoil and subsoil down to the firm layer of ground, then gravel is placed in layers and compacted to proper thickness generally 12”, this is a good driveway gravel base, generally this base can handle heavy traffic even during construction times if properly installed.

Proper grading and drainage are important for the long life of a gravel driveway.

A gravel driveway is also a very eco and green environmental friendly way to place a drive in a wooded area or other county settings.

Gravel driveways are great for the average home, gravel driveways can also be used as a heavy commercial traffic drive and have a long life with proper maintenance.


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What is Blacktop ?

What is blacktop ?

Generally today blacktop is used for all types of road construction and surfacing or resurfacing highways and streets.

Blacktop is a black bituminous material used for paving roadways—streets—parking lots and other surfaces that require a hard permanent surface.

The first blacktop was used for paving streets was about 1875, this street was paved with blacktop placed on the street in front of the court house in Newark, New Jersey, this was the first blacktop used in the United States, blacktop was used overseas long before it was used in the U.S.

There were many patents filed for the process of making blacktop from refining crude oil petroleum into an blacktop base oil, then mixing the oil with sized aggregate material.

Blacktop plants were invented around 1899, they were first installed in cities, it was believed the first was in Cambridge, Mass.

Blacktop has been known by many names—-asphalt—tarmac—asphalt concrete— bituminous concrete.

Blacktop today is generally made in a drum plant, the aggregate materials and petroleum based oil are heated to a high temperature generally above 250 degrees F. this method is known as a in place type plant, where the blacktop after mixing is generally a hot-laid type blacktop used for road surfaces.

The advantage to a hot-laid type blacktop, it is easy to work or lay down, installs as a smooth road surface. Also the blacktop mixture can be transported in dump trucks many miles from the plant to the work site.

The hot-laid blacktop is made of different sizes of aggregate for different types of uses in the building of a roadway, the base type blacktop has larger aggregate and the top type blacktop uses a smaller type aggregate for a smooth blacktop surface when completed.

Today paving is generally all hot mix blacktop, this material is easy to lay down using a modern blacktop paver, the blacktop is rolled in place and as the blacktop cools it becomes hard like concrete.

There are many types of blacktop today and there are many different uses for the blacktop produced.


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What is a construction project survey ?

Contractors use an engineer project survey plan when working on a construction project. Projects nust have a layout by a surveyor to plot the project construction begins when space is limited and a property boundary needs to be located before the start of the boulding project at the proper location.

Project survey will locate existing underground utilities services—gas lines—electric lines—sewer lines—water lines—storm drainage lines—before construction begins.

A project survey will locate existing property lines and any property right of way, this is needed when the engineer and contractor plot the new project.

Project surveys are helpful when design of a new project is being engienered as road design—utility design—land development—mall layouts—boundary survey—topographic survey—lighting design—irrigation—wet land design—traffic design and design build survey.

Landscape contractor use a project survey to layout and install drainage lines—driveways—rock walls—sidewalks—backyard waterfalls—stone design—swimming pools and landscape projects.

Modern technology is often used when preparing a new excavating construction site plan with 3D- site modeling, a computer generated software package designed for the excavating and construction field, which is an over view of any construction project.

Do-it-yourselfers can use a project survey layout design for home projects and maintenance project. the tools you will need can generally be rented from a local rental company or purchase from a local dealer.

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.

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.


For more information go to www excavating info.com

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