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Home Forums General Discussion improvised earth moving

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    one idea for digging out our earthships

    my tractor was a little underpowered at the time as it had not warmed up

    properly but the “digger” worked pretty well.


    Great idea Chowan! Sorry for being a typical engineer but my first thought was you can strenghten the relatively soft barrel tin by bolting a flat bar along the leading edge. This will stiffen it and give it better bite into the ground.Welding is preferred but even bolting it and lock tite the fasteners will work.


    Having a bad back from being shot down 1-14-70, I had to buy a $14,100 loader/8’backhoes w/9″ and 16″ buckets, 25HP diesel from a Mother Earth News ad, maxing out a credit card. It was either that or rent one for 6 months for two seasons, so it paid for itself. I strategically placed piles of subsoil, and used the 16″ bucket to fill tires, up until the last course which required 5 gal. buckets left over from drywall mud to fill the last course(they are now planters). I used a course pour method for soil-cement(same 5 gal. buckets and 3.5 cu. ft. cement mixer from Harbor Freight), and in addition to hand and sledge packing had a Bosch 22.5 lb. demolition hammer with 5″ compactor face for center and base compaction. 2x10s, ripped plywood and EML for the laser leveled forms, with scratched top. So removed in 24 hours and started next course. Used the pinched alum cans after the third, rocks in the half tire forms. Went up weatherproof and stable. I suppose I could have sold the backhoe/loader tractor, but I kept it for occasional driveway shoveling and repair. A loader is far faster than the barrel trick.


    yep reinforcing the leading edge would be a good thing and yes a loader would be quicker but it was a fun little experiment.what i thought was cool was it could be run using any form of machinery even a 4wd truck or a horse team.

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