Can anyone give me idea how long it would take a healthy man to dig a
trench foundation 5m long by 450mm wide, 1000m m deep?
I'm trrying to decide if it's worth hiring a digger for the job.
I have just finished digging a trench of the same section, for drainage,
using a 0.75 tonne micro digger. The digger cost less than £3k to buy. The
quote from a contractor for the work was £6k. Hiring a digger should
certainly be worth it, but buying one made sense for me, because I have
about 12 months more digging to do.
The length of the drain is 60 metres and the job took one (long) day. The
subsoil is boulder clay, so about as heavy going as one can get.
The little 850kg Yanmar "scoppy" machines can do a fair amount of work.
IIRC they were about £60 for the day plus delivery (at £15) round here.
Good if you have restricted access - they fold up small enough to drive
through a door.
So much depends on the state of the ground and local soil conditions. If
its a relatively easy dig then its doable in a day to a day and a half.
If on the other hand its hard going, then significantly longer. It also
depends on what you are going to do with the spoil. Assuming you just
log it beside the trench while you dig, you are going to have anything
up to three and a half cubic metres (allowing for some "bulking up") to
A mini digger ought to do it in a day without any difficulty.
I have, in the past, done the work in clay soil, in a rainstorm, using a
long-handled shovel. I had an incentive, a barn was flooding and needed an
emergency drain. The long handled shovel really helps. British spades are
useless in comparison. But it was a long hard day and I don't want to do it
Its not that dificult, but its bloody hard work!
The sort of work almost no one understands, these days.
(having spent 4 hours yesterday trying and eventually succeeding, in
making 3 400mm deep holes in sun baked clay for some posts to go into,
teaspoon by teaspoon, literally. Took 5 hours).
I used one to dig a soakaway (appx 1m square 2m deep) into ground that
was probably 65% clay soil and 35% flints. I did it in stages, over the
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