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Let the serious work (i.e. fun) begin...

Now it was time to get to work!  I had inherited a scrap heap "out behind the  barn" from the last owner, that may have been almost 150 years old -- the house and barn were built between 1853 and 1857.  This area was such a mess that I couldn't mow it, even with a "weed eater."  There was so much scrap metal that it constantly cut the trimmer line.  The pile had built up so much over the years, that it was actually several inches above the foundation at the corner of the barn.  Further, poison ivy was growing in it -- which I'm very allergic to.  So, my "test project" was to clean up this mess! 

After picking up the largest pieces of scrap metal and old tires from the surface, I made a few runs down from the top of the slope, pushing the limbs, scrap, etc.  I stopped at the bottom of the slope and picked out any scrap metal to take to the dump, and left the wood and limbs for disposal on the wood lot in back.  See Figure 7 for an idea of what I was dealing with, and the original slope.  Note that in this picture I had already “clipped the top” off the hump, cutting as far as the bucket’s designed 1” over center will allow.  This over-center design allows the front, cutting edge of the bucket to be 1” below ground level when in its full down position.   

I also found that with the bucket tripped and raised to its full height (about 1” ground clearance) that you can certainly push a lot of debris with it…  This “pre-calculated” ground clearance was also very nice when it comes to spreading the material that you dump out of the bucket – this clearance allows you to effectively spread the materials, while raising the bucket to it’s “full up” position is something that you can do without looking or trying to precisely control – just raise it to its “full up” stop and press on! (See Figure 8).  These types of features are obviously the result of a completely thought-out, well engineered, and thoroughly tested design. While you might fabricate something that’s close to this bucket by yourself, pretty readily, designing it for the maximum clearance when fully lifted, over center to cut below grade when fully down, and with the proper leverage for maximum lifting capability isn’t something for the average do-it-yourselfer…. 

I either picked up or dug out 1-1/2 pickup loads (Dodge Ram full-size, short bed) of scrap metal out of this refuse pile, including a swing set, numerous bicycles, two rear fenders off a ’63 Chevy, a 6-cylinder engine block, and who knows what!  The surface and top layers were also laced with broken glass.  So I scooped off as much of this top layer as I could, and immediately hauled it to the woods to go on the bottom of my fill. I quickly learned that if you “curl” the bucket, raising it as you go forward while scooping, that it lifts much easier.  See Figure 9.  The optional hydraulic lift on my B-210 proved invaluable on this project, but I found it a bit tricky to control to just skim off the top layer since I was pushing into the slope.  See Figure 10.  Quite often I would overcorrect and end up with less than a full bucket, so I’d back away (See Figure 11) and take another run at it. 

Since I was transporting the material about 40-50 yards, I tried to get a full bucket each time before heading for the woods.  (See Figure 12) The foot of the slope was quite damp (water was seeping out in one spot) and I quickly found that I’d dig in with these tractor treads when pushing very far up the slope.  So, I went back to pushing down the slope to cut the material off, then scoop the loose material up at the bottom and haul it away.  Clean material I used as fill in an area right beside the refuse heap, while the trashy material went to the woods where I filled in and built a road across a wet, swampy area. 

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grade_before.jpg (58808 bytes)
Figure 7

fill_depth.jpg (62964 bytes)
Figure 8

curling_up2.jpg (39184 bytes)
Figure 9

push_n_scoop.jpg (44768 bytes)
Figure 10

backing_away.jpg (50039 bytes)
Figure 11

hauling.jpg (58831 bytes)
Figure 12

 

 

 

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