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#72516 - 07/17/06 11:09 AM Cleaning parts of a pond
heybud Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 1319
Loc: Central Texas
Since Zephyr Pond seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate, I have exposed places as never before. Question? How dry would it have to be to be able to clean some of these places out and deepen them without sticking a dozer? Is a drag line a better option? It appears there is a pretty good layer of muck. (Maybe 12 to 18 inches?)
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#72517 - 07/17/06 11:38 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
Meadowlark Offline
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Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Heybud,

It can take a very long time for that muck to dry out enough for a dozer to work it. It is very deceptive...looks dry on top but still very moist below the top layers. My opinion is that a track-hoe is your best option for removing the stuff.

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#72518 - 07/17/06 12:07 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
heybud Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 1319
Loc: Central Texas
ML- What's a ballpark figure for the cost of a track-hoe per hour? Sounds like a really good option.
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#72519 - 07/17/06 12:28 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Probably about $90 to $100 per hour...haven't checked in the last few months since things kind of went crazy around here after the hurricanes...plus fuel costs have compounded the situation.

There is also generally an "in-out" charge on top of that. Depends on where you are located, but around here that charge is around $300 to $400, cheaper if you can time it right to when the track-hoe is being moved anyway.

Those machines, when operated by a top guy, can really move that muck.

Then you have the problem of what to do with it. A dozer may be needed to spread the stuff...or even dump trucks to move it to a suitable location.

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#72520 - 07/17/06 02:00 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:
Probably about $90 to $100 per hour...haven't checked in the last few months since things kind of went crazy around here after the hurricanes...plus fuel costs have compounded the situation.

There is also generally an "in-out" charge on top of that. Depends on where you are located, but around here that charge is around $300 to $400, cheaper if you can time it right to when the track-hoe is being moved anyway.

Those machines, when operated by a top guy, can really move that muck.

Then you have the problem of what to do with it. A dozer may be needed to spread the stuff...or even dump trucks to move it to a suitable location.
heybud, $90 to $100 per hour for a trackhoe sounds pretty steep to me, but I guess it depends on availability and location.

Our pond renovation project early this year ran $70 for dozer and $75/hr for track hoe - no move in charges for local operator.


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#72521 - 07/17/06 02:09 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6886
Loc: Illinois
Dollars per hour are only a portion of the equation. The pushing or digging capacity of the equipment AND the skill of the operator are just as important.
$100 per hour for good results in all the above categories is at the high end in my area...but...it is within the range and can be worth every cent for a professional, top-shelf product.
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#72522 - 07/17/06 02:19 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
heybud Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 1319
Loc: Central Texas
George, Thanks for the info and the really cool picts. Was the area in the pictures new or was it a place you cleaned out? If cleaned out, how long did you have to wait for it to dry? Thanks to everyone else for their replies also.
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#72523 - 07/17/06 03:11 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
heybud, this is our pond in N.E. Texas.
The area being cleared and deepened was normally about 4ft deep, but dry at the time after prolonged drought.

You do have to have a place to put the dirt however - we opted for a berm/dike with a "cut" to main pond. Now a tremendous fishery about 6 ft deep that was high and dry this time last year. Pond presently about 2-3 ft low - rain needed...!

A skilled operator is a given for a tract hoe - an artist in motion.

I know that some pondmeisters like to own and operate their own equipmnent, but I don't see the ecopnomics, or the time and effort to manintain and repair equipoment - let alone devlop the skills to operate these machines.

I enjoy watching them work - amazing the amount of dirt a track hoe can move.
The dozer was used only to move and level dirt.

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#72524 - 07/17/06 10:46 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12373
Loc: Central Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by george:
A skilled operator is a given for a tract hoe - an artist in motion.

I know that some pondmeisters like to own and operate their own equipmnent, but I don't see the ecopnomics, or the time and effort to manintain and repair equipoment - let alone devlop the skills to operate these machines.
Agreed, George, a real operator is a sculptor in dirt.

Personally I can't see trying to own/operate excavating equipment either (past a pond scoop, dump trailer, and front end loader :rolleyes: ) but it isn't all about economics. I could buy good eatin' fish at premium prices for a lot less per pound than I have in my own. I REALLY don't want to figure the true cost of a pound of CC or BG out of my pond.
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#72525 - 07/17/06 11:04 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
GaryTexas Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Colleyville, TX
When I had my pond cleaned out and rebuilt last year, my contractor came in with a tract hoe and cut the dam. He let it drain and dry for a week, then came back in with the dozer and track hoe. They dug all the muck out with the track hoe and used the dozer to spread it out and mix with all the rest of the dirt. They didn't take the dozer into the main part for at least 15 days after the dam was cut, and then only after most of the muck was removed with the track hoe. Hope this helps...

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#72526 - 07/18/06 07:38 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Theo Gallus:
[/qb]
Agreed, George, a real operator is a sculptor in dirt.

Personally I can't see trying to own/operate excavating equipment either (past a pond scoop, dump trailer, and front end loader :rolleyes: ) but it isn't all about economics. I could buy good eatin' fish at premium prices for a lot less per pound than I have in my own. I REALLY don't want to figure the true cost of a pound of CC or BG out of my pond. [/QB][/QUOTE]


Theo, these guys are artists with the track hoe and never miss a lick all day long - got off the hoe one time only – didn’t even stop for a lunch break.
Dozer operator only shows up on site to level dirt, but I’ve seen him do wonders on other pond work with the dozer – dangerous work that scares the bejabbers out of me – sometimes a balancing act on the edge…!

We’re lucky to have a guy like this for a neighbor…

It’s sometimes dangerous work that I would not recommend for the novice – not to mention the maintenance and repairs.

So it’s not all about economics….
This job only cost $1200 – my wife even wrote the check, but when it comes to stocker fish she reminds me that tilapia filets cost only $2.99 at the market \:o :rolleyes:

heybud, let us know your decision on pond clean up.
Good luck to you – looks like this drought will be around awhile – good time for pond renovations.

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#72527 - 07/18/06 09:27 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
GaryTexas,

What you described is pretty much what I've done on two ponds now. On one pond I used my back-hoe to dig a trench to drain instead of a track-hoe and on the other used a track-hoe which was needed on site for another project. I did all the dozer work myself....hired the track-hoe work.

The discussion above on DIY is interesting to me as a person who prefers DIY...and that's by choice and not economics. I really enjoy operating a dozer. It is one of the most fun things I've done related to a lifetime of ranch and pond work. I'm currently clearing 70 acres of 5 year old growth clear cut and having an absolute blast doing it. More fun than a human being should be allowed to have!

I hope to add the track-hoe, as a rental piece of equipment, to my experience soon when the 70 acres is cleared and new pond construction can begin.

There is nothing more satisfying to me than taking the morning coffee out to the land and seeing the transformation from absolute use-less brush to beautiful pasture. I would be cheating myself if I hired it done and missed out on the rewards that hard work provides. Not for everyone, certainly, but I love it.

By the way, Theo, I hire out all of my hay cutting and baling...no fun in that for me...but operating a dozer, that's fun! To each his own, as they say.

Heybud, I'm not advocating you try this as a DIY.
Just responding to Theo, who has a good bit of that DIY appreciation also.

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#72528 - 07/18/06 09:29 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
bobad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
heybud,

If the area you wish to deepen is clay and on a slope, a day or 2 in the sun will do it. When it looks dry, it is dry. If the area is not sloped and contains a lot of loam or top soil, it could take a week or 2 of exposure to dry. You can easily tell with a shovel. Just walk out on the area and dig. If you can dig large shovels full, it's too wet to hold a dozer. If it makes you say "Damn that's hard!", then you're OK. \:\)
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#72529 - 07/18/06 09:56 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
ML, when you are 81 years old, DIY means getting out of bed every morning.... \:D

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#72530 - 07/18/06 10:00 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
rockytopper Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 1239
Loc: texas
heybud another option for cleaning out muck is a wheel loader. wet or dry doesn't matter. You can rent these if you desire. The ones locally are 3 yard machines. The trick is to keep the muck in front of the machine starting on the edges by scooping it out and backing out with the muck. Once you get a hard bottom in front of you it's a piece of cake. The loaders can also be used to transport the dirt to other locations, they motor along fairly well. A dozer can also be used even when wet. The trick there is the same idea. The dozer operator I hired simply started on one edge and kept his tracks on hard dry ground by pushing out only about 1/4 of his blake of muck at a time. Once he got hard ground under the full width of the dozer he increased the amount of muck he could push out with each pass. He was removing about 3 foot of silt.
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#72531 - 07/18/06 10:57 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
dave in el dorado ca Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
 Quote:
Originally posted by george:
ML, when you are 81 years old, DIY means getting out of bed every morning.... \:D
Hey George, was down at my folks for dinner the other night, my Pop is 86, we were joking around about how well preserved he is (and he is), but his definition of DIY is, well, that mom didnt need to hold it for him......yet. \:D
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#72532 - 07/18/06 11:06 AM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
dave in el dorado ca Offline
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Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
 Quote:
Originally posted by rockytopper:
heybud another option for cleaning out muck is a wheel loader. ............
i'm w/ ML on the dozer....but i rent everything. no maintenance hassles, just pick a job, get it in, get it out....problems solved.

i have never a witnessed a dozer that could keep up with a track hoe (w/ at least a 3-foot bucket)....we call them excavators out here......man they (good operators) move dirt fast. in fact my friend who operated the hoe took great pleasure in burying (sometimes literally) the dozer operators (me being one of them)......after loading us down, he'd stop, peer out of his airconditioned stereo, joystick hoe hole and give us a $#@! eating grin....this went on for two weeks.......still looking for a way to get em back.

rockytoppers idea about a wheeled loader is one i struggled with....and in retrospect, i wish i had rented one on my project. it took two dozers to keep up w/ the excavator and we barely did that.
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#72533 - 07/18/06 02:09 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
heybud Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 1319
Loc: Central Texas
It would seem to me the muck that is removed would have a lot good stuff in it to grow grass ect. or am I missing something.
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#72534 - 07/18/06 04:13 PM Re: Cleaning parts of a pond
dave in el dorado ca Offline
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Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
when i muck out my sediment basin this fall, i plan on tilling it in the garden plot.
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