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Got my first bulldozing job today:

1693TA

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Feb 27, 2010
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1,839
Location
Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
Several months ago I delivered a new New Holland tractor to a couple of guys to help maintain their recreational property. I spent a great deal of time teaching them the controls, what to watch out for, what to optimize for, etc. Really appreciative for the time taken. They are both engineers at Caterpillar in E. Peoria, and Mossville. We exchanged ideas, hobbies, families, etc. The one gent knew my wife quite well as she was the main accountant for the truck engine group when ACERT was first coming into play. First cabbed tractor they'd ever had and when mowing, the suction line for the air conditioner come apart at a crimp fitting, so I hauled it back in for warranty repair. At the front of their property and bordering a state highway was an old dilapidated house with a bunch of junk all around. Upon returning their tractor with new hoses and recharged A/C system, I noticed a new 84" rotary cutter setting outside their building. I showed them how to connect it to the tractor 3 point, level and center the mower, engage the pto, and match cutting speed/rpm to the job at hand. Again, real attentive and nice guys appreciative of the direct instruction.

Now to the core of the story:

That dilapidated house out front was to be burned as a training exercise for the volunteer fire departments of the area. It was a rental property for several years but had really been let go. When it became available the tractor gents made purchase ending their easement to ingress their property. The junk in the yard was the initial start of the property cleanup.

I delivered them a new grapple bucket this afternoon and the house is burned down. There is an excavator there pulling out the foundation block that was the basement walls and they are going to backfill the hole with dirt from further back on the property. Since they knew I had the dozer from prior conversation, I'm told when I'm ready, "to come clean the property up" removing about 35 trees and unkept undergrowth in the process. Don't want a price, just want it done. I explained I'm an apprentice at best to which the reply was "We all got to start somewhere", (my kind of guys) so looks like I need to get off the cheeks and make the machine start earning it's keep.
 

1693TA

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Messages
1,839
Location
Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
Congrats!

Now you have to be polite and post pics of your work so we can pick it apart. Just kidding. :)
That is exactly what I plan to do. My son and I have been working on that tractor for some time getting it ready for work with our limited availability. In hindsight; kinda wished I'd had it hauled home rather than to the property but it is what it is. Son and grand daughters have really enjoyed it down there too. End of this month plates and insurance go back onto my Mack tractor, so I'll bring it home then myself.

In the meantime got to "bone up" on the new laser system purchased and fabricate a blade mount to attach it to.
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
Here is where I leave you all at the edge of your seat in suspense:

Flush with excitement from paying my real estate taxes down at the county seat, and on my return trip home, I decided to stop by this jobsite and snap a few photos to share. I get parked and just then notice I'd left the eff'n phone on the charger at home. No problem I thinks as I carry a digital camera in the console of the truck. Finding the camera, and hitting the power button it begins it's "boot" routine, then goes dead as a door nail!! Dead batteries!!

Swear I can't win for losing sometimes..... I'll get back by sometime but they were making good progress on the basement tearout and had dug a depression ditch to burn in.
 

1693TA

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Location
Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
Might as well put this up as it came from this job. 150 gallon fuel barrel and stand dragged out of the weeds behind the existing garage:

1686265965142.jpeg

1686265991295.jpeg

Barrel still has at least 25 gallons of gasoline in it which smells good still. They wrapped it with a choker and swung it around to the driveway with the excavator not knowing if empty or not. I had to load by hand, (and lonesome) so wrapped a 2" strap around the barrel and frame, and leaned it over into the bed of my pickup. Same thing getting it out and stood up in the drive at the shop.

I'll put a fresh filter on it and see how it burns in the lawnmower. If no good there, got a couple dozen tires it will help ignite with used engine oil.
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
This is getting better and better. The gents have also purchased the derelict home that was just to the south of this existing property. While this house was lived in up to two years ago, it was lost in foreclosure and these guys picked it up to take down. So the same scenario is going to play out there also with the volunteer fire departments using it for training, and I'll knock down all the scrub after the house debris is removed. Looks like the tilt blade is going to lend good use cutting roots. I didn't realize it but the recreational property I've referred to is 660 acres before these two parcels are added. There is a nice skeet and shooting range, three stocked lakes, and limited recreational boating available. It is going to become an RV park in the long term with some permanent spots offered. The building I have dropped the tractor off at is to become the clubhouse with meeting rooms, kitchen, showers etc. to support the grounds once fully operational.

I can do all the bulldozing to my hearts content if I like they tell me so I must have hit off right with them. This ground is strip mine reclamation and they've been working with it almost 20 years to get it where it is today.

Going to pick up a dump trailer as the amount of block and broken cement generated with these tearouts will be too much for my old 51 Mack dump truck to handle expeditiously. I'll install the wet kit onto my R model Mack and put it back to work more than originally anticipated which was to haul grain during harvest, and my dozer around. What the hell, as much as it costs to operate a truck these days, may as well maximize the return if able.

Have located a nice 28' Dorsey end dump that is composite and I think 1/2 frame. Aluminum shell with steel floor. Single line hydraulics and in decent shape from the photos. Neway spring suspension and probably 50% brakes with usable tires in the short term. Owner purchased it to work, but found full time employment more lucrative for him so never did. Wish it had a barn door but it does not so will see how much effort required to convert, or build one. Trailer was a dirt hauler in former life so photos don't show it all beat up.
 

1693TA

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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
You asked for some photos so I'm going to oblige; enough to bore you with multiple posts of them.

Please don't beat and hurt me too bad as I'm emotionally sensitive and my wife gets really pissed when I soak her brassier straps crying on her shoulders.

Here we go as I drove by this morning:

20230610_110236.jpg20230610_110238.jpg20230610_110248.jpg20230610_110257.jpg

This is the second house that will be burned after the cars are removed, and the area cleared for a fire break.
 

1693TA

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Continuing on the trek:

20230610_110306.jpg

This shows some of the scrub to be removed:

20230610_110313.jpg

More scrub:

20230610_110319.jpg

Remnants of the first house. The excavator blew a hose or some other problem so had to cease work temporarily:

20230610_110320.jpg
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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This is some of the foundation of the burned house:

20230610_110333.jpg

Some of the gatherings:

20230610_110340.jpg20230610_110343.jpg

More to be taken down and leveled flat:

20230610_110353.jpg
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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More to take out:

20230610_110403.jpg

Easement road for ingress to the rear of property:

20230610_110417.jpg

Excavator doing the tearout and now out of service:

20230610_110724.jpg

Another View:

20230610_111007.jpg
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
Another buddy has a large ditch to dump all the concrete and clean fill into. It's only about nine miles distant and it will take however much is generated. No trash, just clean fill to be placed and it will be covered over with about four foot of topsoil to be converted to productive ground.
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
You're going to need a bigger dozer............... ;)
Grandpa, (RIP) said "small bites thoroughly digested, don't let you get fat". Always have followed the man's advice and done alright so far.....

I'm new at this game so small bites are in order. It may take me six months to accomplish what a skilled operator can do in a week, but that will be alright on this task I'm thinking.

Thanks for the encouragement!! It sure seems like the little engine that could.
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
I have a Fiat-Allis 11-B series tractor in quite nice condition. When I clean it up this winter it will be properly rebranded back to: Allis-Chalmers HD-11 Series B which it actually is under the decals:
 

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1693TA

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FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
It is small for sure for any kind of production. I don't get the impression it is maintained well either looking at it up close. Owner is primarily a residential plumber and friend of the property owners. Really don't know any more than that but I think it's a gratis job for them. I've never ran one to actually dig with; only to load, and unload from a trailer.

He is only staging the materials for me to load with my backhoe tractor. After thinking, I don't think my 1845C Case will lift high enough to load the prospective dump trailer I'm looking at. The trailer has side boards which can be removed of course, but the skid steer does not have near the lift height, or capacity of a newer one. Initially I was thinking of using my old Mack for the hauling task but the scope has changed dramatically so need to upsize. I can get a brand new New Holland 337, or 345 from the implement dealer I help out but won't do that unless no alternative with my own equipment.
 
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