Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 wouldn’t plan to drive back and forth to level. I can’t tell where the pipe runs are to straddle, so won’t know when I’m on one. It’s quite a high mound , I will have 320 lbs of weight on the 3 point for traction. What’s the best way to attack this project. Nice neighbors, like to help them. Thanks for responding, Dan


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,697 Posts
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.

20190518_184259.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,073 Posts
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.

FYI, most reverse osmosis water filtration systems consume 40 gallons water for every one gallon of filtered water they provide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,249 Posts
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 it’s sufficient, for riding mowers, or small tractors. Of course if someone scraped it all off, then you don’t 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 wouldn’t drive my tractor on a neighbors drain field without written consent if he’s that desperate. Do as the others said, if you can’t rent a small tracked machine, dump the dirt from the side without driving on it, and have him shovel it around. If he insists it’s OK to drive on it, make sure there is at least a foot of cover on those pipes and it’s not saturated so you don’t sink in. As others said, dump it and push it onto the fill like a bulldozer. When in doubt stay out
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,129 Posts
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.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Levi

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your Great reply’s. Just the sort of vision I’m looking for. My neighbor has a pressure mound system installed about 24 years ago. It has never been worked on that I know off. I’ve 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 didn’t disrupt the soil at all, just pumped the tank. My role in my mind is a little uncertain, not knowing how much room I’ll 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 don’t 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



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,129 Posts
Thanks for your Great reply’s. Just the sort of vision I’m looking for. My neighbor has a pressure mound system installed about 24 years ago. It has never been worked on that I know off. I’ve 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 didn’t disrupt the soil at all, just pumped the tank. My role in my mind is a little uncertain, not knowing how much room I’ll 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 don’t 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
Dan,

Proceeding carefully is a good idea. I have moved as much as 18 yards of top soil in one location and it didn't take as long as I thought it would. I moved it anywhere from about 75 feet from the place the trucks dumped it to as far as about 300 feet and with the rear ballast, you can get a heaping bucket full when its right at the FEL lifting capacity. Driving into the pile and tipping the bucket and then lifting it seems the best way for me to get the maximum bucket load of soil.

I had to wait several times to move the dirt because of the rain. I would start to move the soil and with the ground wet, the traction would go away very quickly, Make sure to ALWAYS keep your tractor in 4wd as the load can cause the rear of the tractor to get lighter on bumps and hills and you want to make sure to always maintain traction and machine control. Also, keep the bucket very low when transporting any material as the center of gravity changes on these enough to really surprise you.

Nice of you to help your neighbor if you can. You could end up saving him a ton of work. Let us know if you end up doing the project and of course, we always like photos.......
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigJim55

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
You can use the Deere to bring a bucket full of dirt closer to the area, then have a couple of wheelbarrows sitting nose to nose. If your good and smooth using the controls, fill up the wheelbarrows. Or tip bucket enough to rake dirt out of bucket into wheelbarrows.

Then dirt can be moved a short distance and dumped.

Probably can rake it out too while you run back for another bucket full.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I remember when my septic system was installed, i came one day and seen a small dozer parked right on top of the drainage field and it was the septic installers equipment.

So i am not concerned about driving over it with my 1025R.

As others have said, check with someone that has installed that specific type of system to be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I did the job yesterday. I think all went well. I didn’t need to drive over the mound. I drove up the side and dumped the bucket load. My neighbor and son raked it out then. The pipe runs are on top so I mostly avoided them. We moved about 8 yards that way. He has about 8 yards left, but waiting to tend to that. He might want help again, but in no rush. Thanks to everyone who responded . So helpful to work this out in my head first. Stay safe and have fun, Dan




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top