Would you drive your 1025 with 56 inch bucket loaded with dirt over a septic mound sy
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    Would you drive your 1025 with 56 inch bucket loaded with dirt over a septic mound sy

    My neighbor had major septic system failure here in Minnesota last winter. A specialized septic company was unable to help them last winter so they had to depend on pumping the tanks to get thru the winter at considerable cost. This company determined that about 6 inches of soil needs to be added for the drain field to function properly. My neighbor has ordered 16 yards of dirt to be delivered, but with trees and outbuildings, the truck is unable to get to the mound area. So, I offered to move the dirt for him to that area. My question is can I safely drive on the mound to dump the dirt in piles that they can work with. I wouldnít plan to drive back and forth to level. I canít tell where the pipe runs are to straddle, so wonít know when Iím on one. Itís quite a high mound , I will have 320 lbs of weight on the 3 point for traction. Whatís the best way to attack this project. Nice neighbors, like to help them. Thanks for responding, Dan


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    sennister's Avatar
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    I don't think you are my neighbor.... We had our septic freeze up on us this winter as well. It was like camping from Jan until March when the ground thawed enough to get things moving. We were lucky and only had to get pumped out once. We have 3 x 1000 gallon tanks (two septic and one lift pump). We did watch how much water we sent down the septic as much as possible. Showers at the gym. Run laundry into the tub and then transfer that to buckets and hauled that out to the front yard. We were also shocked at how much water was going down the laundry tub between the furnace, water softener and reverse osmosis system. We have one of those standard size laundry tubs, what 15 gallon or so. We would fill it twice a day.


    Anyhow back to your question. I would let things dry out. We have gotten a lot of rain the last couple days. There is no risk of it freezing up anytime soon. Although we had sleet yesterday and Duluth had snow on the ground. But I would wait until we get into the dry part of the season and you should be fine. A 1025R is a bit under 150#. It isn't that heavy to cause an issue. It is actually a bigger problem to drive over it in the winter as driving on it will push the frost deeper.

    If you are really concerned about the weight. Dump the dirt and use the bucket to push it around. With me on my Z950R and a full hopper, I am running around 2000# and I mow over my drain field without any issues.
    Last edited by sennister; 05-20-2019 at 10:33 PM.
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    Stay off of the lines.

    Put the dirt on top of them from the side.

    Later, feather in some dirt from the sides to blend it into the yard.

    It is a slow process.

    I know because I am doing it myself.

    Previous owner graded off too much dirt and the lines were leaking.

    I put the dirt on top of them last summer.

    Just started to blend the mounds.

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    I'm assuming if it is a high mound, it is a pressure mound and fed by a pump. So there is not a concern about shifting the grade of the buried pipes (and if there was, your neighbor has bigger problems.)

    Once things are dry (if it ever quits raining for more than a day or two), you should be fine. If you avoid driving in the same track, which compacts things, you should be OK. When they install them, the installers are driving a skid steer, with tracks, back and forth over them. So you'll be less weight.

    We have a pressure bed at one home and a pressure mound at the other, we mow over both with 1025Rs.

    An extra 6" of top soil will likely not prevent it from freezing up, however. I blow the driveway snow on top of mine, which usually does the trick. However, in the 20 years at this home, when we've had little snow and sustained sub-zero temps, the drainfield has frozen up twice. It was just me then, so I got by on as single tank pump. If I had more volume than that, I'd probably cover my drainfiled with those insulated ground cover blankets that are used over freshly poured concrete. We have a number of neighbors that do so and that number grows each winter. It is just one more thing to deal with in the spring/fall and one more thing to find a place to store in the summer.

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    They say, your not supposed to drive any vehicles or equipment on drainfields, but once established, the grass root system, and soil cover provides a decent barrier if itís sufficient, for riding mowers, or small tractors. Of course if someone scraped it all off, then you donít have the bridging effect of say a foot of settled soil with sod woven into the top Small skidsteers with rubber tracks, mini excavators with rubber tracks, they weigh in the 8-10K range are ideal on sensitive area like this because they spread the weight along the tracks. I personally wouldnít drive my tractor on a neighbors drain field without written consent if heís that desperate. Do as the others said, if you canít rent a small tracked machine, dump the dirt from the side without driving on it, and have him shovel it around. If he insists itís OK to drive on it, make sure there is at least a foot of cover on those pipes and itís not saturated so you donít sink in. As others said, dump it and push it onto the fill like a bulldozer. When in doubt stay out
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    Just so I understand the situation, is the repair which the specialized septic company performing to just add the 6" of soil to the area, or did they already disrupt the area and dig up the system to perform repairs?

    I would suggest the homeowner ask the septic repair company what their opinion would be on driving on the area, as that way, it's the industry "professionals" sharing their insight with the homeowner. If the company green lights your plan to help the neighbor by driving on the system, then its not your call should something go wrong. No one understands the unique issues of the their septic system and its problems better than those repairing it.

    Personally, I would feel better knowing those responsible for solving the neighbors issues with their septic system approved of your plan to help with your tractor. It would be a shame to try and help and have something go wrong which costs thousands of dollars to repair and possibly have hard feelings from your neighbors when you meant well and were just trying to help.

    Granted, the tractor isn't much different in weight than many mowers. But you don't want to cause any issues when the goal is to work towards resolving the problems they already have experienced. I would tell the neighbor the tractor would be weighing in the 3,000lb range when loaded with a bucket of soil and your rear ballast, so he can give the septic repair people an idea of the size and scope of the tractor to be used.

    (1,400# for the tractor, 475# for the 120R FEL, _____# for the operator, 500# for the soil, 75# for Imatch, _____# plus rear ballast.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post
    Just so I understand the situation, is the repair which the specialized septic company performing to just add the 6" of soil to the area, or did they already disrupt the area and dig up the system to perform repairs?
    Good point on if work was recently done. In my case we were frozen up but we just had to wait until things thawed. They didn't dig up anything (yet). If the ground has been disturbed, then that changes things.

    People have pointed out that septic companies will do this backfilling and mound building with a bobcat but a tracked bobcat, while heavier overall, I would bet it has a lower PSI of pressure on the ground because it is distributed over the entire contact patch of the track compared to the 1025R.

    When we backfilled the foundation on my garage build, the bobcat barely sunk in or compacted the ground. I went back over it with my X585 with my lard butt on it, fluid filled tires, 3Pt with suitcase weights and a bucket full of fill in the FEL. I was well over 2K# combined and was sinking down in the soft dirt a lot more than he was. I was trying to compact the soil so it wasn't a big deal. If the drainfield has been sitting for 5 years or more, most of it has compacted enough from rain where driving on it won't hurt. However if it is new, that may not be the case. Though they normally do those dog houses where that protects things pretty well in the newer builds. Mine has been undisturbed for 20 some years. So I don't think much of it driving over it with the tractor or ZTrak in the summer months. I won't do it in the winter though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    Good point on if work was recently done. In my case we were frozen up but we just had to wait until things thawed. They didn't dig up anything (yet). If the ground has been disturbed, then that changes things.

    People have pointed out that septic companies will do this backfilling and mound building with a bobcat but a tracked bobcat, while heavier overall, I would bet it has a lower PSI of pressure on the ground because it is distributed over the entire contact patch of the track compared to the 1025R.

    When we backfilled the foundation on my garage build, the bobcat barely sunk in or compacted the ground. I went back over it with my X585 with my lard butt on it, fluid filled tires, 3Pt with suitcase weights and a bucket full of fill in the FEL. I was well over 2K# combined and was sinking down in the soft dirt a lot more than he was. I was trying to compact the soil so it wasn't a big deal. If the drainfield has been sitting for 5 years or more, most of it has compacted enough from rain where driving on it won't hurt. However if it is new, that may not be the case. Though they normally do those dog houses where that protects things pretty well in the newer builds. Mine has been undisturbed for 20 some years. So I don't think much of it driving over it with the tractor or ZTrak in the summer months. I won't do it in the winter though.




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    Thanks for your Great replyís. Just the sort of vision Iím looking for. My neighbor has a pressure mound system installed about 24 years ago. It has never been worked on that I know off. Iíve lived here 25 years now. Last winter the septic company was going to come back this summer and do a process where they blast pellets into the soil to vent it. For some reason upon re-evaluation they determined more soil should be added, instead. They didnít disrupt the soil at all, just pumped the tank. My role in my mind is a little uncertain, not knowing how much room Iíll have to maneuver, traction on the grade, attacking the slope straight on.

    From what I read the field should be well compacted by now. My main concern is I donít damage any pipe. Looks like they added a lot of rock to the trench.

    Thanks for your replies, any other thoughts, please share them. Dan



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