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gehajake, RStringer, Steve_, teehjaeh57
Total Likes: 6
Original Post (Thread Starter)
Learning to run heavy equipment #529766 01/18/2021 11:51 PM
by Steve_
Hello folks, if you don't know me, I'm that guy that got ripped off for $8500 on a new pond build. He basically cleared most of the land, dug a basic bowl shape (with no dam), and left me high and dry. I'm starting to get out of the massive depression I've been in since the incident last October, and trying to make a new plan to finish my pond, which will be between .4 and .6 acres. I don't have the $6-8k that some people have been quoting me to finish the job, so I've been thinking about someone's suggestion of renting equipment and doing it myself. I have never ran any kind of earth-moving equipment before, however, my neighbor has, and he said he might be able to get me started on it.

Here are some rental prices from a business near where I live: https://ma.cookerentals.com/equipment.asp?action=category&category=16

I'm just trying to get some feedback on the prices, learning curve to these types of equipment, and which type of machine you'd rent if you were in my shoes. Seeing some of these weekly rates in the $600-700 range has got me motivated to pursue this type of project (excluding fuel costs, of course). I can burn a week of vacation and really put a lot of time into this to maybe get it done.

Any thoughts, suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Liked Replies
Re: Learning to run heavy equipment #529947 Jan 23rd a 03:54 AM
by esshup
Not having CC in the pond isn't a bad thing. They can grow VERY large, and then they will eat the larger Bluegills. Once they surpass about 3# they will compete with the bass for fish to eat. Then if you catch one and release it, I'd place money on you not catching it again on hook and line.
2 members like this
Re: Learning to run heavy equipment #529768 Jan 19th a 01:12 AM
by liquidsquid
I was told an experienced operator can get the job done faster and cost less than rental trying to get up to speed. That entirely depends on if you are a fast learner or not, and the complexity of the job.
1 member likes this
Re: Learning to run heavy equipment #529799 Jan 19th a 09:42 PM
by Bill Cody
Bill Cody
Build a good well compacted keyway under the dam or it will leak and may be wash out during a flood event. Experienced advice is very valuable. It is always best to heed it.
1 member likes this
Re: Learning to run heavy equipment #529796 Jan 19th a 06:05 PM
by gehajake
I just finished a 3/4 acre pond last week but it was on a slope, no valley or bowl to work with, which made quite a bit more dirt to move.
Having done that kind of work for the last 25 yrs, a few things you will have to take into consideration when you do undertake the equipment rental and do it yourself plan. First of all the equipment that you have on your rental brochure is all undersized for the project, but it will work with plenty of time and effort, way more time and effort for an inexperienced operator, as in an experienced operator will probably be able to move double the amount of dirt in the same amount of time with the same equipment, a good portion of that will be the ability to know where to land the dirt where it will not need moved again.
Secondly a plan will need to be worked out for dewatering a bowl when you get several inches of rain during construction, which is one of the bigger reasons why working swiftly with bigger equipment is much easier then working for an extended time with smaller equipment, way more time for rain and water to become a problem, the longer the project lasts, not counting how much more wet materials doesn't hamper bigger equipment nearly as much as smaller equipment, after a 1/2 inch rain a dozer will drop the blade and remove the soft ground in front of him in a pass or two and be back to working full throttle, where as a 1/2 inch rain will incapacitate a skid loader for a good period of time before you get all the mud off and gotten rid of and back at it.
Not meaning to completely discourage you, it can be done, just make sure you calculate all the things that can make the job more difficult and therefore more expensive, if you had access to an old timer, equipment operator, to sit under a shade tree and give you pointers could be invaluable. Good Luck and keep us posted!

Cody Note: Experienced advice is very valuable. It is always best to heed it.
1 member likes this
Re: Learning to run heavy equipment #529805 Jan 20th a 12:22 AM
by Dave Davidson1
Dave Davidson1
Steve, half-assed can also occur with. “Professional”
1 member likes this
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