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rodltg2
10-14-2006, 12:32 AM
just out of curiosity, how hard would it be to dig your own lake without much heavy equipment experience? what would be needed is a scraper, dozer and a compactor.

6ballsisall
10-14-2006, 12:37 AM
Selling the benz.......asking about using heavy equipment........hmmmmm.........I smell something and it aint TMC#1's farts/:rolleyes:

LakePirate
10-14-2006, 01:29 AM
you could probably get away with a bobcat and a mini excavator. Just have to have some way to get rid of the dirt, so maybe a dumptruck.

Bobcats and excavators are easy to drive if you have ever driven a tractor before. Well anything for that matter. Practice is the key.

JohnE
10-14-2006, 09:21 AM
just out of curiosity, how hard would it be to dig your own lake without much heavy equipment experience? what would be needed is a scraper, dozer and a compactor.

About the same as cutting and polishing granite.;)

Just kidding.

I don't operate machines, but have many friends who do. The consensus is that it's not hard to operate the machines, but to be really good at fine grading and such takes a lot of practice.

What you describe sounds like the perfect opportunity to learn and practice.

TMCNo1
10-14-2006, 09:54 AM
Selling the benz.......asking about using heavy equipment........hmmmmm.........I smell something and it aint TMC#1's farts/:rolleyes:


That's because it took a lot of dirt to cover up the stinch. Just don't build a house on top of the dirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

André
10-14-2006, 10:16 AM
It's all depends on the choosen site.You can't use scrapers on every site and off road trucks ,6 wheels drive Volvo are a must.
Track hoe are faster to work with.Went to look at a gravel pit up for sale last Sunday,100 acres lot,2600 x 300 feet lake already there...only for a million $.It will probably sells for less as one end of the lake is against the highway and there's power lines on one side of the lake.

TMCNo1
10-14-2006, 10:55 AM
It's all depends on the choosen site.You can't use scrapers on every site and off road trucks ,6 wheels drive Volvo are a must.
Track hoe are faster to work with.Went to look at a gravel pit up for sale last Sunday,100 acres lot,2600 x 300 feet lake already there...only for a million $.It will probably sells for less as one end of the lake is against the highway and there's power lines on one side of the lake.

At least there is power available for lights for night skiing already close by.

Workin' 4 Toys
10-14-2006, 05:35 PM
The hard part would be figuring out how to keep the lake full....The army corp of engineers could help with that I'd think.
The equipment...
Let's see, there should be: start, forward, reverse, left, right, bucket up, bucket down, bucket back, bucket dump..Oh and the beer holders...
Oh, and the semi loads of dirt, depending on the size, you might be better off buying the end loader and the dump if you were going to do everything yourself. And make sure you have enough surface area to spread the dirt around.
Don't forget to drive everything out of the "hole" when it rains.....:rolleyes:



Disclaimer- I do not operate heavy equipment, nor do I have any idea what I am talking about.8p

ctkiteboarding
10-14-2006, 07:04 PM
a track hoe , larger dozer,and a site dump truck would be a minimum to excavate a good size lake,,, these thing are costly to buy, rent ,fuel ,,

as for operating,, im sure u could figure it out but your time is money and a good operator will do circle's around a new one so maybe its cost effective to hire one,,

, if you were able to ck #'s after you were done, im guessing it would be cheaper and faster to hire a small contractor to dig it out,,
, i seems easy till your in the mud and u spit a track off the excavator and cant move it,, try 125 per hr for a heavy equipment repair service,, 20 yrs in this kind of business ,,

its alot more difficult then it seems,, good luck and when your done can i come and ride :) R

Tryin-again
10-16-2006, 09:08 AM
just out of curiosity, how hard would it be to dig your own lake without much heavy equipment experience? what would be needed is a scraper, dozer and a compactor.


Most can Operate the equipment, although - A skilled operator on the right equipment generally does a faster - better job - On large jobs they can actually cost less than people renting and do it themselves...

But if you don't try it - you can't get experience..... So jump in - With both feet.. :D

Robert Averyt
10-16-2006, 11:08 AM
I did some research before I had my lake dug.
I think in the long run it is cheaper to have a pro do the excavation.

I think if you plan on digging a lake yourself you better be more than an operator. You better be one heck of a mechanic, carpenter, concrete man, surveyor, grease monkey, tire man, soil engineer, civil engineer, structural engineer,electrical engineer,welder,lawyer, truck driver, politician, (while dealing with the city or county) and so on and so on.

RobertT
10-16-2006, 11:51 AM
I have operated heavy machinery all of my life....still own over a dozen pieces that operate every day.

Getting the basics is fairly straightforward. However, the best analogy that comes to mind is taping drywall. Anyone can get the hang of slapping drywall mud on a joint, but to watch a pro do it makes you realize you had no business attempting it in the first place. They do it faster, better, and more efficiently than you can fathom compared to a new taper.

In Missouri, the Army Corps of Engineers will be involved, and actually the Missouri Dept of Natural Resources will design and stock your lack for free if you agree to open it to the public for fishing. Of course, you only need to open it up to the public one hour per year...so take that as you may. Perhaps in your state there is a similar situation that is worth looking into.

Regarding the equipment, it all depends on the type of lake, size, depth, and the type of soil you are working with. Nothing is worse than digging a lake that leaks.

If its a reasonable sized lake, you will need at the very least a scraper or challenger that can pull a sheepsfoot roller at the same time. A highlift or dozer may be useful to depending on the conditions. You want to get it done as fast as possible, because of rain and mud, so you don't want to screw around with any small equipment. I firmly believe in putting the largest rig on any project that can fit. They exponentially move more dirt as they get larger.

I suggest that you look around for an owner operator. Many farmers have equipment like you need, and there are lots of private owners that simply own one or two pieces of equipment and operate them themselves. They can be negotiated with, exspecially if you can be flexible on the schedule. You can typically get a 40% discount if you allow somebody do do it as a fill in between other time sensitive work.

As another option, you can have a surveyor come in and take elevation shots in a 10' grid, then calculate exactly how many yards of material must be moved to complete the job. You can also have a owner operator bid it "per yard" based on your calculations. It should go for about $4.00 per yard, but can be bought as low as $2.00 if you present the right package for your contractor. Make it easy on them, pay them quickly, and be fair and its amazing how pa kettle will bend over backwards to help you out.

PendO
10-16-2006, 12:43 PM
Rod, there is a guy in Caldwell, ID ... (Name is Tim ... I think it is Tim Garland) ... he owns the SN dealership there ... he dug his own lake with a dozer if I remember correctly, nice guy, I bet he would give you some pointers and/or some of the pitfalls.

jimmer2880
10-17-2006, 07:14 AM
Sounds like you've been around it quite a while. We get all types on this board :). Anything from playing in the dirt, to playing with C-4.

I have operated heavy machinery all of my life....still own over
a dozen pieces that operate every day.

Getting the basics is fairly straightforward. However, the best analogy that comes to mind is taping drywall. Anyone can get the hang of slapping drywall mud on a joint, but to watch a pro do it makes you realize you had no business attempting it in the first place. They do it faster, better, and more efficiently than you can fathom compared to a new taper.

In Missouri, the Army Corps of Engineers will be involved, and actually the Missouri Dept of Natural Resources will design and stock your lack for free if you agree to open it to the public for fishing. Of course, you only need to open it up to the public one hour per year...so take that as you may. Perhaps in your state there is a similar situation that is worth looking into.

Regarding the equipment, it all depends on the type of lake, size, depth, and the type of soil you are working with. Nothing is worse than digging a lake that leaks.

If its a reasonable sized lake, you will need at the very least a scraper or challenger that can pull a sheepsfoot roller at the same time. A highlift or dozer may be useful to depending on the conditions. You want to get it done as fast as possible, because of rain and mud, so you don't want to screw around with any small equipment. I firmly believe in putting the largest rig on any project that can fit. They exponentially move more dirt as they get larger.

I suggest that you look around for an owner operator. Many farmers have equipment like you need, and there are lots of private owners that simply own one or two pieces of equipment and operate them themselves. They can be negotiated with, exspecially if you can be flexible on the schedule. You can typically get a 40% discount if you allow somebody do do it as a fill in between other time sensitive work.

As another option, you can have a surveyor come in and take elevation shots in a 10' grid, then calculate exactly how many yards of material must be moved to complete the job. You can also have a owner operator bid it "per yard" based on your calculations. It should go for about $4.00 per yard, but can be bought as low as $2.00 if you present the right package for your contractor. Make it easy on them, pay them quickly, and be fair and its amazing how pa kettle will bend over backwards to help you out.

RobertT
10-17-2006, 12:41 PM
I like to play with C4 too:)

twieder
10-18-2006, 01:18 AM
I agree with RobertT 100% I work for a contractor in N.W. Ohio that digs between 30 and 50 farm ponds per year. Those usually range from 1/4 acre to 1 1/2 acre holes 16 to 24 feet deep and with 2 D8 dozers pushing out meterial takes a week for a 1/4 ac. and op to 3 weeks for an acre. Anything over an acre we use scrapers to excavate.
Weather will be your biggest enemy ....immagine a 10' hole with 2' of water that you have to pump out after that thunderstorm to start digging again!
Wish ya luck with whatever ya decide.

jimmer2880
10-18-2006, 07:06 AM
I agree with RobertT 100% I work for a contractor in N.W. Ohio that digs between 30 and 50 farm ponds per year. Those usually range from 1/4 acre to 1 1/2 acre holes 16 to 24 feet deep and with 2 D8 dozers pushing out meterial takes a week for a 1/4 ac. and op to 3 weeks for an acre. Anything over an acre we use scrapers to excavate.
Weather will be your biggest enemy ....immagine a 10' hole with 2' of water that you have to pump out after that thunderstorm to start digging again!
Wish ya luck with whatever ya decide.

I dont' know if I could handle your job... I'd be constantly getting in trouble for elongating the ponds just enough to ski on.... :)

"I know you wanted a 1/2 acre round lake sir... But - doesn't this hot-dog shaped 1/3 mile lake look much better?" :D

twieder
10-18-2006, 10:30 AM
We actually (the company I work for) dig a 15 acre ski lake for a familt just outside Bowling Green Oh. It is the typical "dog bone" design with islands in the middle of the turnarounds. The owner read the spec sheet for a compitition ski lake and thats what he got. Now not being in the office, I am unsure of the cost, but have heard rumors of 250k including stone, a boat ramp,and all finish grade work on site.

6ballsisall
10-18-2006, 10:54 AM
We actually (the company I work for) dig a 15 acre ski lake for a familt just outside Bowling Green Oh. It is the typical "dog bone" design with islands in the middle of the turnarounds. The owner read the spec sheet for a compitition ski lake and thats what he got. Now not being in the office, I am unsure of the cost, but have heard rumors of 250k including stone, a boat ramp,and all finish grade work on site.


^^^^^ I have recently priced out a comp lake. Depending on your soil quality and the terrain you start w/ that's about right on for a lot of pieces of land. You can save some money if you berm the lake and actually only dig down about 4-5' and in effect pile the dirt around the edge which would give you a 8-10' deep lake. Again.....major differences in cost depending on the type of soil you are working with and the terrain you start out with.

LakePirate
10-18-2006, 11:02 AM
Just want to clarify my earlier statement.

I recommended a bobcat and mini-excavator, not because they would be the best equipment for the job, but the easiest to operate and learn on. Working in a small area if you mess up you only have to fix a small area. Plus you can rent them, or lease them (depending on the time you plan on working on it). If you are looking at doing this a quickly as possible contract it out.

RobertT
10-18-2006, 01:08 PM
Just want to clarify my earlier statement.

I recommended a bobcat and mini-excavator, not because they would be the best equipment for the job, but the easiest to operate and learn on. Working in a small area if you mess up you only have to fix a small area. Plus you can rent them, or lease them (depending on the time you plan on working on it). If you are looking at doing this a quickly as possible contract it out.

With all due respect, I have to disagree. After having operated just about every type of equipment, i can say with authority that the larger the piece of equipment the easier it is to operate. A mini trackhoe can be a bear, a 120,000lbs trackhoe is smother and easier to control. A bobcat is finicky to cut dirt with, it takes a lot of skill to keep it from bogging down. Bring a D10 in there and you can pretty much rip.

I am assuming this is a 1 acre or larger lake though.

Everything depends on the site and what you are trying to accomplish, any advice given without the specifics of the job is general at best.

Since I live on a lake I have never looked at the actual costs, but my friend has made three lakes that are about 3 acres each on his farm property. They cost him about 40k each to have done. He chose the sites carefully though, using ravines to his advantage so that minimal dirt was moved on 80% of the lake, the majority of work being to make a simple dam.

M-Funf
10-18-2006, 02:25 PM
Although I'm sure this guy wants you to hire him, he does give some good reasoning behind hiring a qualified ski lake excavator as opposed to somebody who digs farm ponds...

Feasby Lakes (www.feasbylakes.com)

6ballsisall
10-18-2006, 02:35 PM
Although I'm sure this guy wants you to hire him, he does give some good reasoning behind hiring a qualified ski lake excavator as opposed to somebody who digs farm ponds...

Feasby Lakes (www.feasbylakes.com)

This is one of the guys that gave me a quote and alot of help. SUPER Smart guy and very honest. I'd do business with him

M-Funf
10-18-2006, 02:36 PM
This is one of the guys that gave me a quote and alot of help. SUPER Smart guy and very honest. I'd do business with him

I talked to him on the phone for about an hour last week. Although it's geographically difficult for him to do any work for me in CA, he did give me some good information, and was going to look into a few contacts for me as well...

6ballsisall
10-18-2006, 02:39 PM
I talked to him on the phone for about an hour last week. Although it's geographically difficult for him to do any work for me in CA, he did give me some good information, and was going to look into a few contacts for me as well...

Yeah, he is helpful. I was about as far away as he wanted to work anymore. He said he was doing jobs all over the US but wife and family wanted him around so he has scaled back to a few state territory. I liked everything I heard from him and he's a straight shooter. WHEN I build a lake, he'll probably be my contractor