Driving over septic system

Hi,
I need to take down a large tree in my backyard where the only way to do it is either through a climber (very expensive) or by bucket truck (much cheaper and I liked the owner). $2,000 vs $600
The main issue is that there is no way to avoid crossing the septic system. Mine is about 45 years old.
I once heard you can't drive over any part of the septic system. What he plans to do it to use ground protection mats to create a path to the tree. He says it is not good to drive directly over the tanks, but it would be fine to go over the pipes using these mats. In particular this would be the pipe between the house and the tank (not the leach fields). I estimate the pipe is buried only about a foot and a half. He says that because of the round shape it can take a great deal of pressure without breaking.
This is a site with mats like he is describing: http://www.alturnamats.com /
Does this sound ok and safe to do or should I go the more expensive route and get a climber?
Thanks, Steve
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Why do you ask that your post not be archived?
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Don't Feed the TROLLS!!
Lawrence wrote:

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Steve wrote:

No problem as long as he doesn't put the truck _in_ the tank--the lids are not designed to support that kind of load. I wouldn't worry too much about the drain field for a (relatively) light truck, either, for a field that has been in place that long as long as you don't do it during a period of wet weather. That's not to recommend driving around all over it, but a single track in and out during dry weather w/ a truck that won't be more than say 5-6000 lb isn't likely to be a major problem. If he were to start cutting obvious ruts in the area when he started in, that would be a bad thing (TM) :), but w/ the load distribution mats I wouldn't worry much at all...
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Steve wrote:

I used the 10" round black plastic pipe (very similar to septic pipe) as drain pipe under my drive. It's buried about 16" deep. Then I had loggers cut 20 acres of pine on the back of my property. They drove 18 wheelers loaded with logs across the drain pipe in the drive and never damaged it. So yea, that round pipe can take a lot of pressure.
Bob
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get a estimate on a new septic system then decide if the savings are worth the risk.
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My leach field is on the other side of my driveway from the house. About thirty years of all kinds of trucks, including garbage trucks driving across the pipe from the tank to the field (gravel driveway) hasn't hurt it.
Tom G.
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OPs system is 45 years old thats before PVC pipe:(
terracota pipe cracks easily under load
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If this is the single line from the house to the septic tank and it is only 18 inches deep it is worth a little investigating. In an area that the truck will NOT drive over, dig down to the pipe. Be careful because 45 years ago a lot of clay pipe was in use and it will be brittle. If the pipe is cast iron, you should take care because stress can crack it and the 5 foot lengths will add to its fragilness. If it is vitrified clay (glazed clay) it can shatter under the load, do not let him drive over it unless you are prepared to replace it. If the pipe is black fiber "No-Co-Rode" pipe, it probably will hold up as it has a little bit of play. If the pipe is black polyethylene, you will have no trouble. I cannot think of any other types of pipe in use 45 years ago. If the best intentions fail, and whatever pipe you have fails, you should be able to easily replace it with modern 4" PVC sewer and drain pipe.

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In typed:

How do you figure a foot and a half? Is your tank sticking up out of the ground or something?
IME, it's OK to do. Did you ask him what he'll do if he does crush it? You might like the answer. If not, ask a couple other contractors and compare answers. Many know what they're doing, a few don't of course, but that's part of what they're being paid for. It shouldn't be a problem, really.

If you're the grudge type, get the climber out there.
Pop

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