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Re: [TowerTalk] Digging a 5'x5'x8' tower footing

To: Scott McClements <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Digging a 5'x5'x8' tower footing
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 15:25:26 -0400
List-post: <">>
Scott McClements wrote:
> Hi,
> I am in the process of trying to find a excavator to dig the footing
> for my HDX572 tower.  To the 5 people I've talked to so far, this
> 5x5x8 hole is difficult. I think mostly because none of them have a
> small enough backhoe. Most of them want to dig a big hole and have me
> pour into a concrete form and backfill later.
The problem might be getting one with enough reach into the small hole. 
Plus they are probably used to doing the dig and form approach instead 
of pouring into undisturbed soil.  In some areas it's almost impossible 
to pour into undisturbed soil.  On one side of my yard  it's difficult 
to dig  a hole  with steep sides. On the other you could did one and 
park a truck on the edge of the hole with no problem. shows a small backhoe 
that just barely had enough reach roughing out one of the guy anchor 
holes and he had to reposition to get it all.  He would not have been 
able to get below 5' 
> They claim they can backfill and bring the soil back into
> "undisturbed" condition around the footing by compaction - even
> claiming that this might be more reliable than just digging a hole
> just to the size I need.
> I am lining a couple people up for estimates, but I think this already
> sounds like the are trying to wring a couple days of work out of this
> - maybe I am wrong here. I have even have one person decline giving an
> estimate altogether. Should this be an easy task for a skilled person
> to dig on a mini-excavator? I was told that if the hole is deeper than
> 4', that no person can enter it unless walls are built up.
Depends on regulations.  I've forgotten what the federal regs are now. 
Small, deep holes are risky.  In some soils it's the risk of cave in  
(we had that happen when we dug up our weep tile)  and in others it's 
the risk of insufficient oxygen.  In the early days I used to work on 
instruments down in holes at "the plant". By the time I went back to 
college you couldn't even enter one of those places without a two man 
crew outside the hole while I had to wear a harness so they could pull 
me out just-in-case.

Roger  (K8RI)
> Any ideas?
> -Scott, WU2X
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