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Getting ready to have a 1/4 acre pond dug on my property and excavator states he will be piling the material (mostly clay w/ a little loam) along 3 of the banks. He says will have to wait 2 months or so for the clay to dry out to be spread properly and would be a separate charge (of course). My question is: with my 1023E, how reasonable is it to attempt to spread the material myself with my bucket and box blade? Any other implement better for spreading clay? My thought is to scoop and spread/dump piles all over the yard to promote faster drying, then go back and grade it out... But not having spread clay before, I'm wondering if it's worth the fee to have the dozer back for a day? What are your experiences (good & bad) with spreading clay? Thanks for the help!
 

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Pay the man! :laugh:

A 1/4 acre pond = 400+ cubic yards of material for each foot of pond depth (i.e. 1 ft deep = 400 cubic yards, 2 ft deep = 800 cubic yards, 3 ft deep = 1200 cubic yards, etc...).

Will your tractor move it? Sure. But how many years do you have to work on it to get that done? If you have a standard 54" bucket, it holds 1/6th of a cubic yard.
 

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Pay the man! :laugh:

A 1/4 acre pond = 400+ cubic yards of material for each foot of pond depth (i.e. 1 ft deep = 400 cubic yards, 2 ft deep = 800 cubic yards, 3 ft deep = 1200 cubic yards, etc...).

Will your tractor move it? Sure. But how many years do you have to work on it to get that done? If you have a standard 54" bucket, it holds 1/6th of a cubic yard.
X2.

You'll have plenty to do with your tractor after it is spread.

Sound advice on both counts.:good2:
 

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Hmmm... I'm sensing that I should just pay the guy... :)

I still may try to spread some of it myself to aid in drying faster. I am not wild about giant piles of dirt sitting there waiting to air out (especially with the wet weather we've had so far!). I also am somewhat concerned about erosion back into the pond from the piles - I reckon some silt fence may solve that though.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Turn it into a landscape feature

You might think a little about what else you can do with all that material, instead of just spreading it out. Do you want an elevated area in the yard or some other feature? What about a privacy berm between you and the road or an elevated walking path?

If you do spread it, you might want to time it for fall grass seeding.

Treefarmer
 

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I was spreading clay this weekend and have been off and on for the past two years. I am slowly taking care of the debris pile left by the guy who cleared 2 acres for so we could build our house. I started this project with a 2210 SCUT but I traded it in on a 3025E. My debris pile also has trees in it to complicate things so I have used my grapple much more than my bucket earlier in the project but am using the bucket more and more now.

Clay, at least the stuff I have, dries out pretty fast if you spread it out. If you trying to dig into the pile to spread it, the outside part of it will probably dry up pretty quick and be hard. I would recommend a tooth bar to make life a little easier. I need one and I have a 3E series tractor which has more weight to it than your 1 series.

As others have said, it will take a long time to reduce the pile based on the estimated amount of dirt removed for the pond. If there isn't any woody debris in it then it should spread out on the yard pretty easy. You can grade it out by back dragging your bucket and then come back with a box blade or land plane once it dries out to really make it smooth.

If you don't need the dirt consider having it hauled off of course there is a cost unless you happen to find someone who needs fill dirt.....and has a truck or dump trailer.
 

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If you don't need the dirt consider having it hauled off of course there is a cost unless you happen to find someone who needs fill dirt.....and has a truck or dump trailer.
Good clean fill dirt is worth some $. No need to pay someone to haul it off. Sell it.

I have seen a few places where a company will dig a pond for free. Catch is, they keep the dirt.


Nothing wrong getting in some seat time playing with the dirt. But when your ready and it is dry(er) a dozer will make short work of it.
 

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Good clean fill dirt is worth some $. No need to pay someone to haul it off. Sell it.

I have seen a few places where a company will dig a pond for free. Catch is, they keep the dirt.


Nothing wrong getting in some seat time playing with the dirt. But when your ready and it is dry(er) a dozer will make short work of it.


very common around here to dig a pond for free.....for the topsoil ....and the fill dirt.....
 

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As others have said most ponds around here get dug for the fill. Cost for the pond should be minimal as whomever needs the fill pays for the trucking even if the fill is “free”. Now, if you need the fill yourself your going to need to pay for all the work.
 

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I would have to see the area first. But I wouldn't want it spread around my pond either. I'd find a dump truck and haul it to a stock pile, either on my place or sell the dirt to somebody. Yes it would be slower digging unless you had a couple of truck with a short turn around time. but it would be clean.

Clay here in my location is impervious so it's going to be dry coming out.

I worked on the levees around NOLA , and dug some really nasty muck, loaded it on an off road truck and he dumped it in a field and a dozer spread it as best he could 4 feet thick, once the field was full, the dozer angled his blade and kept the stuff turned over every day, drying it out. 7-10 days (no rain, summer time) later the dozer pushed top layer into a pile and the stuff was loaded and put on the levees. Then the dozer worked on the rest drying it out.

I'd get another contractor to see what he says about you're pond.
No I don't think a small tractor will be much use with wet dirt. If it's really that wet.
 

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Good clean fill dirt is worth some $. No need to pay someone to haul it off. Sell it.
I have seen a few places where a company will dig a pond for free. Catch is, they keep the dirt.

Nothing wrong getting in some seat time playing with the dirt. But when your ready and it is dry(er) a dozer will make short work of it.
very common around here to dig a pond for free.....for the topsoil ....and the fill dirt.....
:thumbup1gif:
I'd sell it. It will make someone a good dam.
 

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Getting ready to have a 1/4 acre pond dug on my property and excavator states he will be piling the material (mostly clay w/ a little loam) along 3 of the banks. He says will have to wait 2 months or so for the clay to dry out to be spread properly and would be a separate charge (of course). My question is: with my 1023E, how reasonable is it to attempt to spread the material myself with my bucket and box blade? Any other implement better for spreading clay? My thought is to scoop and spread/dump piles all over the yard to promote faster drying, then go back and grade it out... But not having spread clay before, I'm wondering if it's worth the fee to have the dozer back for a day? What are your experiences (good & bad) with spreading clay? Thanks for the help!
Hello OTFD122, 2 months is a long time to be looking at piles. During those 2 months is the guy digging the pond going to flip the piles so the insides dry out?

When digging the pond I am assuming he is making a berm like pile where it would be easier for you to help them dry. The key is to get the air into the clay, so u would knock the piles down with the fel and let that dry. But you want to leave it open. Don't make the top smooth. Than you will have a drier surface to drive on. You have to picture you are a dozer and you are building the berm or spreading it out. If you have teeth on your fel thats even better but if not the rippers on the bb will do the same thing. Once dry you can use the fel or the bb to pull the dry clay off and turn the next layer into the same drying process. Put your rippers down and go like hell.

You can do it and yes its a lot of dirt but if you have the time i would do it myself. Warm sunny days with any kind of breeze will dry it out quick. To dry and they will be adding water to it to make it compact.

Are you keeping the clay there at the pond or are you doing something else with it? Pictures would help immensely. Well anyway, I have the time so I would save my money and do it myself. I have moved 100s of yards with Betsy my 1025, 1 bucket at a time. Yes it took a long time but since I was making payments on Betsy I wasnt going to rent a loader or backhoe to move the dirt faster. So I would just fill her up with diesel and get drugged up with pain pills n go. I wouldnt go over my prescription limits.

So I know what i would do and having worked with clay at home and still do, and many years of construction dealing with it, it all boils down to what you want to do? Plus the ex operator could be helping you with spreading it out while he is digging the pond.

Good luck!
WB
 

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Yep, unless you have a need for fill, sell it.
 
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