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Converyor belts for basement dirt removl

bluegoat's picture

Hi,

I am digging out a basement for an underpinning project. So far I've been having the dirt taken out by wheelbarrow. I need to remove ~60 cubic yards. So far I've removed ~30... although that is after excavation so figure on a fluff factor of 20% and maybe it is more like 24 cy.

The basement is more of a ground level suite only a little bit lower than grade.

Has anyone used conveyor belts for this process? What is the general strategy for conveyor belt removal?

I've been using 12cy and 7cy bins, once mostly full I have a wooden ramp built to continue loading the bins till full.

Most of the dirt is hardpan so I've been jackhammering it with a 65lbs demo hammer and a shovel blade. Seems like a tonne of work so I am wondering what other people do in this scenario.

Before you ask, I can't raise the house as the exterior is brick veneer. The slab needs to be replace (no vb, no gravel, 1/2" in most places), the main sewer line needs to be replaced - original cast iron 1925ish - really just to be lowered. There are also height bylaw restrictions.

The soil is glacial till - mainly sand, some rock and if you do a suspension test it looks like a glacial river (rock flour coloring the water).

Thanks!

(post #108886, reply #1 of 32)

No ideas on the conveyor.

When we dug out my basement, we took down 30' by 45' an average of 6'. All the hardpacked soil was removed by using a bosch demolition hammer with a clay spade (actually two, the first one wore out two thirds of the way thru).

This is the one we used
http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-11316EVS-SDS-Max-Demolition-Hammer/dp/B00004SUPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hiqid=1252905253&sr=1-1

I think IMERC was the one to recommend it to me.

I had used a makita electric jackhammer in the past for digging trenches with a clay spade and thought it worked pretty well so I bought one for the basement excavation.

The bosch would get twice as much work done with half or less the effort of the bigger makita. The bigger hammer was to heavy to lift repeatedly and it didn't offer enough control over its digging angle. As I recall it required too much weight on the tip to get it hammering effectively and you would be exhausted after an hour of using it. The bosch was easy to lift overhead and carve a tall vertical face.

We would carve a vertical face down with the clay spade and shovel the chunks into a wheelbarrow. In five minutes with the bosch you would have easily three or four big wheel barrow loads of loose chunks ready to load up.

If you haven't tried the bosch you owe it to yourself to see the difference. It actually makes digging in hardpan fun because you can do it so effortlessly. I really don't think any other electric demo hammer can compare.

Good luck
karl

(post #108886, reply #5 of 32)

Agree on the Bosch being the 'good one'.


Have the spline version, can put a 1" hole thru 8" of concrete in about 20 seconds.


Bought first one (based on recomendations here) for a company project to drill about 40 ea. 5/8" dia 14 inches deep into a concrete pad for rock bolts - at 11k ft at observatory on Haleaka.  Guy that did the drilling complained of overheating of the drill, think he was trying to force it rather than just bite - big 6'5" guy.


Found one for $10 at a garage sale for own use and did determine that drilling technique is critical to speed in concrete.   

(post #108886, reply #6 of 32)

My Bosch (11316) is the impact only model, no rotation/no drilling ability. I have a smaller older rotohammer for drilling. I was surprised bosch didn't give this one drilling capacity but it may provide to much impact for some smaller bits.

I haven't examined the specs closely but the one I linked to provides up to 18 ft lbs of impact and I think the biggest model with bit rotation (11241) as well provides only 7.5ft lbs of impact.

Even though the non rotation model puts out two and a half times the impact it weighs only 23 pounds (according to the amazon ad)

Karl

(post #108886, reply #7 of 32)

Wow, 270 cy of dirt. How did you get rid of it, by loadable container? That must have taken you a while to remove. What does the clayspade look like when you've worn it out? no more shovel just a handle?

I've been using the bosch brute 11304 and I have a smaller 21lbs dewalt D25901K.

I got these or at least the dewalt based on reviews at toolsofthetrade.net but based on the concrete demolition testing. The bosch I found used on craigslist - don't worry it isn't stolen or if it was I have a copy of the guy's id.

As you say the 65lbs hammer does get too heavy to lift even out of the soil forget above your head. I have been trying to find labours when I can but I've probably done a 1/3 of the digging myself when I needed it done to work on the structure.

I started by digging a large trench through the basement with a outer walkway that the wheelbarrow can sit on. Once the trench was dug using the 65 lbs from the top of the trench and pushing the material down into the trench works wonders. So far I've really just used the lighter hammer to shape areas that I need to level for temporary support. Even the the 21# hammer gets heavy near the end of the day.

There is a large glacial erratic in the ground but fortunately it is outside under the porch - I have only excavated a little around it but I am thinking it is the size of a loveseat so I am going to leave it in the ground.

I was hoping there was a quicker way but as others pointed out when the conveyor exists the house the dirt still has to get into the container and I'd need a 25' conveyor from the outside of the house to the bin... not sure what lengths the conveyors come in.

Conveyors probably make the most sense where there is no way to get a wheelbarrow in and out of the area being dug as the conveyor can go out a window. If I could get a 25' conveyor and set it up such that the dirt went directly into the bin I could see it increasing the speed maybe by 30%. Just not sure if that setup is possible and at this point with almost 50% done it probably isn't worth the time required to find a rental place and get it setup but since I don't have any conveyor belt experience I am really just guessing.

Thanks for all the replies !!

(post #108886, reply #8 of 32)

Basement in my parents house was dug out with a tiny short and narrow skid-loader type machine with a loader bucket. Back in early 70's so I don't know what brand etc.

Since you have a walk out as it is, such a present-day machine should make short work of you dig out.

 


Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

 

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

(post #108886, reply #9 of 32)

I had an internal concrete loadbearing wall about 4' high with two standard door cuts in it that would prevent a machine from coming more than 10' inside the basement.

I've removed that wall now so it might be possible to have a small machine come in and dig it, though the remaining dirt is really the 4' sections that I need to underpin so the excavation has to be a little more careful to make the dirt side of the concrete form correct.

The other thing I was worried about with machinery is the exhaust... though the basement is only 25*35*10' = 8750 cubic feet... so if I had two 4000 cfm fans one pushing air in and one pushing air out that should give me a full air exchange every 2 and a bit minutes... maybe that would be good enough. Not sure what kind of mask to wear against CO exhaust either...

I am thinking a track loader with a hydralic tilt might be the most effective way to improve my process. I'll still need to setup an air exchange system though and possibly wear a mask.

(post #108886, reply #10 of 32)

Breathe with SCUBA tanks! ::half kidding::

 


Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

 

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

(post #108886, reply #11 of 32)

You might want to look at a compact, walk behind loader, such as the Toro Dingo.

http://www.toro.com/professional/sws/index.html

There are other brands.

.
William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #108886, reply #14 of 32)

no mask will help with CO or lack of O.  A mask would need a pressurized air supply (Scuba joke not so far off the mark) that is available but pricey. 


With your fans idea you ought to be getting enough airflow to be safe. 

(post #108886, reply #19 of 32)

Though that would be my initial thought as well. I see security guards in underground parkades wearing some kind of mask presumably for CO. I also see BC Ferries workers who direct traffic onto the ferry wearing the masks but maybe this is only for the particles in the car emissions and like you mention will not provide protection from CO. The masks I see them wearing do not appear to be pressurized.

Though looking online at the city cyclists pollution masks they appear to protect from things other than CO.

>>Many different pollutants - when mixed together - can cause irritation to respiratory systems. Wearing a mask helps to prevent cancer as there are known carcinogenic agents such as pyrene and benzene present in petrol fumes. There are also less weighty reasons for wearing a mask.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Respro_Techno_Anti_Pollution_Mask/5360011864/#more

(post #108886, reply #21 of 32)

I was confined entry trained/qualified in a past life and that mask wouldn't pass anything industrial related.  It'll probably get particles that are drawn through the filter area but I bet there's enough leaking around the edges that there's not much increase in air quality breathed. 


There is something in pressurized supplied air systems that filters out CO but it's not found on the personal respirators you'd commonly use.  Most chem fitlers pull hydrocarobons and other chemicals but not CO. 


As for the masks you see them wearing, it's no telling unless you get the exact details of the fitlers/filter media.  in fact, if the user is not dilligent in changing their filters the masks aren't doing much for them other than making them feel good.  Same goes if the mask is fit poorly or they have no clue as to how to fit the mask. 


Stick with your fans idea and steady airflow and take breaks often enough.  Headache and dizziness are signs of CO issues. 

(post #108886, reply #22 of 32)

You cannot filter out CO² or CO. They kill you because when they are present in large quantities in an enclosed space, they displace the available O². (That, BTW, is how shipboard engine-room fire-extinguishing systems work: they flood the threatened space with CO² and it displaces all the O² that could support fire.)


To work in that kind of environment you need something like this:




Dinosaur


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....


Dinosaur

How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #108886, reply #23 of 32)

CO doesn't displace O². It mixes in equal proportions through the air mass. I'm remembering something about it binds with the blood better than O but can't remember details anymore. 


Some of the supplied/pressurized air systems ($$$) have a catalyst that binds the CO, thus filtering/removing it. 


and there are scrubbers for CO² but don't think they have them for personal filters. 


 


Edited 9/15/2009 7:18 am ET by john7g

(post #108886, reply #27 of 32)

I think you're right, now that you mention that. I've got a vague memory that feels like the one you mention. Blood-binding, yadda, yadda.


Whatever; the Scott Air Pak works even if yer in a room fulla methyl-ethyl-badshït.



Dinosaur


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....


Dinosaur

How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #108886, reply #28 of 32)

You're right. The CO binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells so that the sites normally used to bind and carry oxygen on the hemoglobin molecule are already occupied with CO. Hence the tissues don't get the oxygen they need and bingo . . . you're toast.

But what does this have to do with removing dirt.


Edited 9/15/2009 10:10 pm ET by fingers

(post #108886, reply #29 of 32)


But what does this have to do with removing dirt.

You'll have to read from the beginning of this thread.

 


Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

 

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

(post #108886, reply #30 of 32)

>But what does this have to do with removing dirt.<


The OP mentioned using a mask while using gas powered equipment in his basement to prevent CO issues.   


I think masks & respirators are the most often misused pieces of equipmet that I see (moreso than safety harnesses).  Most people I see wearing masks haven't fitted them properly and have massive gaps around the edges, especially the nose, making them nearly worthless. Using masks in the wrong application like the proposed situation here lead one to think they're breathing good air and could turn out to be dangerous to the users health and that's something I feel compelled to point out whenever I see it. 

(post #108886, reply #15 of 32)

You asked how I got rid of the dirt. I was lucky that I am on some acreage and the basement walks out onto a slope that could absorb ten times the fill I removed from the basement.

The wheelbarrow run out of the basement was all downhill. So you load up a big wheelbarrow full, roll it out of the basement and then do your best to hold on and maintain steering control as you start down the slope. At the bottom you fling the wheelbarrow handles up in the air and it endo's on to the fill pile as you try to veer your body off to the side before you end up ontop of the upside down wheelbarrow. The walk back up the hill with the empty wheelbarrow is comparatively easy.

I supported the dug out areas with old sections of 2" steel pipe cut to the right length for each pier and welded a steel plate to each end.

If you make them a bit long you can dig out dirt as needed to get the right fit and then a shingle or two on top wedges it tight.

The bosch clay spade has a square point with a chisel edge on it.
Steady use wore down the sharp edge and periodically we would grind a new edge on it. After a while it was too short to use. At one point my helper tried to weld a new face on the spade rather than grinding it back but the welded areas would shatter on impact with rocks.

Good luck,
Karl


Edited 9/14/2009 4:00 pm ET by karl

(post #108886, reply #2 of 32)

It might save you from coming up a ramp with the wheelbarrow. But it's just gonna dump all the material into a pile that will have to continually be cleared away from the top end of the conveyor.

So unless you could have it dump directly into a truck or have a skid steer to move the stuff with it probably wouldn't do a lot of good.

(post #108886, reply #12 of 32)

"or have a skid steer to move the stuff "


 


If I had a skidsteer and I was digging out a basement, I'd start by digging a ramp with the skidsteer and then cut a hole in the foundation to get that thing in there to dig out the basement.


Edited 9/14/2009 1:48 pm ET by cussnu2

(post #108886, reply #18 of 32)

Kinda like this.

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(post #108886, reply #20 of 32)

So was Mike Mulligan able to get Mary Anne out once he was done?


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #108886, reply #26 of 32)

No Dan, I'm sure you know that Mike and Mary Ann stayed in the cellar they dug in a day and the Popperville town hall was built above them.  Mary Ann made steam for the building.  And the new diesel and electric power shovels were left to carry on.  Thanks.  Jim x 3

(post #108886, reply #3 of 32)

You could see if any of this one is for sale. I think they are done with it.


http://stephensconveyor.com/


 

(post #108886, reply #4 of 32)

Have dug out 2 basements, 3 if you count when I wuz a kid.  Last one was about the size you say, 10 years ago.


Usually also make anything needed.  Did not have the time (or the stamina anymore then) to dig for 10 hours straight a day loading a rental conveyor.


Thought of making a conveyor from every thing from old carpet to a split fire hose.  However, decided that building a conveyor and finding all the parts was more work than wheelbarrow, although I could dump into a loader bucket right outside the walkout door. 


2 hours a day for about 5 weeks and it was done.


Your situation, from "I've been having the dirt taken out by wheelbarrow", sounds like you are paying day labor for the grunt work, in chich case conveyor rental probably would be goodness.  Get one with side sway capabilities to avoid the limitations Boss Hog talked about.


BTW:  the last digout I did (son's house) is at the bottom end of the glacier from you (Kent, WA).   Uncoved 2 big rocks, one only about 3 ft in diameter, just small enough to get out the door on a couple of appliance dollies.  The other was too big to fit out the doors.  Ended up digging a deep enough hole to roll it into (it was flat on the bottom side - from sliding down from NW territory?) with the aid of a couple of come alongs. 


Have a big Bosch hammer like Karl's pix, but found that a good ol' pickax did near as well when working a face. 


Edited 9/14/2009 9:21 am ET by junkhound

(post #108886, reply #13 of 32)

i've used small conveyor for job like this before.  it all depends on your set up.  the company i work for has 30' belts,  we have a gas one and an electric one.  the only problem is the feed shoot hight.  about 3 or 4 feet, this means you have to shovel the spoils to this hight to load them on the belt.  in the past we have dug a pit to lower the conveyor into, to have a lower load hight.  skidsteer outside loading trucks.

 

 

PANIC CHAOS DISORDER.........my work is done here.

(post #108886, reply #16 of 32)

Instead of the conveyor you might consider hiring a dirt-sucking outfit. They arrive with a large vacuum truck and literally suck the dirt out. Works real will with glacial till type soil, from what I can tell.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #108886, reply #17 of 32)

For what it's worth...


It was a bit like something out of the Red/Green Show but once I lowered a basement floor


by placing those crate rollers sections like a supermarket uses, on an outside cellar entrance stairway and filled tubs with the dirt.


Hooked a strong rope between the tubs and the trailerhitch of a truck.


Hate unneeded manual labor.


Wasn't pretty but it worked.


 


 


seeyou invented McGuyver


 



 


Edited 9/14/2009 4:35 pm ET by rez

 

(post #108886, reply #24 of 32)

i've done one... 24ft x 120ft of an old cotton warehouse... took it from 4ft to 9ft... to make a full basement...
I didn't even know what a hammer drill was... i got a rear tine tiller... and I tilled the basement... then loaded it all in 5 gallon buckets pulled em all up with a pulley & rope... dumped into a wheel barrow... then dumped on the sidewalk... (downtown busy street) guys doing road repair down the street would come get my dirt... so i didn't haul off much... took me about 4 months working everyday

I was 18 at the time... it was better than working out at the gym
p

(post #108886, reply #25 of 32)

Diggin ain't easy, heck, you're half way done. Why not hire some laborers to help out. Sometimes it's easier just to get down to it and forget about machines and gadgets to ease your pain. You've got to take a break from the hammer and shovel, wheelbarrowing or buckets is that break. Toughen up, Sally :-)

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match