Crawl space excavation


Sorry, also cross posted to alt.home.repair
Need to dig out crawl space. Approximately 30' by 50' area. At present it is about 4" deep. Want to dig down to 42" and lay down a moisture barrier, put in vents, level house etc. Can't go any deeper due to high water table. The digging is very easy (sandy loam), but I need clever ideas on how to drag the dirt out. I have dug down 8 feet along side the house and can access it with my small tractor/loader. I need ideas of how to pull/push/drag/roll etc. all of this dirt over to the edge of the house and drop it down to my waiting tractor. Wife can help a little so maybe roller conveyers with ropes so I can send her a load and pull my pan back to where I am digging? Maybe throw the slough on a tarp and winch it out?
Any clever ideas greatly appreciated.
Ivan Vegvary
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Shop vac
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I third the shop vac idea. If you want you can get a few sheets of plywood and build a larger dump box that the shop vac just clamps onto.

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Ivan Vegvary wrote:

That is what teenage neighborhood boys are for. These days you can also find neighborhood girls for those kind of jobs. My uncle hired the neighborhood boys to did out his craw space and make it a basement during the depression. Some years later when I bought the house, I was often stopped and told what a great guy my uncle was for helping all those kids out when they needed a few $$. Of course they were all older them me. My uncle was a good guy, but a little crazy as well.
In any case, remind them that it is good exercise for (fill in the blank with the name of the appropriate sport) off season training.
--
Joseph Meehan

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yeah kids dont want to work, I had a truckload of topsoil to move, and no one would take the job at any price. I had hurt my back, and it ended up taking a month.
of course if there are mexicans in your area you are all set, illegals work cheap and hard for cash.........
I hear there are over 300 immigrants in Mass. needing work or are they in Texas now waiting for deployment?
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Like, 30x50x42/12 = 5250 cubic feet of soil?

How about a 5-gallon bucket (about 8000 trips) hanging from a roller attached to a movable overhead rail?
A friend of mine deepened his crawlspace with dynamite.
You might try a shaped charge :-)
Nick
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around the entire perimeter and installed 24" reinforced concrete footings. Wish I could jack the house up but there is another 1200 square feet attached that is on slab. Would be very labor intensive to alter the stair cases and separate the two halves of the house. Easier to dig in situ.
Thanks
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Good to see you're a CE but what do you plan to do with the ~200 yds of dirt?
~ 3000 tons
That's ~8 "double dumps"
btw I've done the shop vac "moving sandy soil / damp sand" experiment
medium sized shop vac ~10 gallon........ soil removal rate ~ 1gpm
so you've got something on the order of 650 hours of vacuum time.....not including time to empty & dispose of the dirt.
We're taking about ~100 days of vacuuming (if you can keep at it for 6 hours per day) Even if I'm high by 2x .....still 50 days of vacuuming!
Consider contracting with a vacuum excavator.
Your new footings are 24" wide? How deep?
I hope they go below your intended excavation depth.
cheers Bob
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A yard of dirt is only about a ton damp, and he's only talking about roughly 166 yards. So it's considerably less than your mistaken math.
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Steve Barker

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cubic yard of loose dirt in about 45 minutes on a continuous basis. Because of my constraints I am assuming it will take about 2 hours per cubic yard. That includes running the Kubota to the back acreage for disposal. Maybe I can lose most of my excess weight?
Thanks, Ivan
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Ivan-
I'm not disputing that this project is doable.....it is.
But it is a non-trivial undertaking. The fact that you have a Kubota AND back acreage for disposal will really help out. If you've got even as little as a half acre you can make this dirt disappear easily but for me living in an urban / suburban area getting rid of more than a few yds is a pain.
Check my calcs but 175 yards at 2 hrs per yd ........that's about 2 man months, if you can do it 8 hrs per day.
The final answer isn't going to be 10 work days or 200 work days.
I know of a guy who dug a basement by hand.....weekends & a few hours here & there after work......took him 3 1/2 years (calender years)
let us know how it works out so we can update our "by hand" dirt removal rates.
cheers Bob
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I don't go by "pcf's" or books. I go by real life. In the landscaping business we load trucks with dirt daily. Somewhat moist pulverized topsoil is 1 ton per yard. No matter what some pencil pushing geek book writer says.
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wrote:

I guess we should just close all the libraries, publishing houses, research activities & pencil manufacturers.
I checked with my field guys (who remove TONS soil) they also think your number is low for soil to be excavated. :)
Perhaps in situ soil (the stuff the OP's got in his crawlspace) is in fact denser than the moist "pulverized topsoil".
When you dig it up it loses compaction & density but when you start with undisturbed soil, its denser.
btw OP doesn't have "moist pulverized topsoil"....he has sandy loam.
Also tell me me how you got 166 yds? I get 176. :)
cheers Bob
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wrote:

This topic is beyond me, but I do know the saying, A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Run this by a co-worker or two.

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I have used sleds made out of car hoods and trunk lids. I have also used hot water tanks cut in half. Two people. One underneath to fill. One outside to pull it out and empty. The hot water tank would empty by pulling it sideways with a tractor. Kid could run the tractor and empty. Dig deeper (basement) and you could use your tractor for digging.

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