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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: Jim Lux <>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 13:42:05 -0700
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.
> 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.

Basically, right.  If you're more than waist deep, and it caves in, the 
person could die before you get them dug out.  There were several cases 
of this in the Los Angeles area last year.  The victims were perhaps 
chest deep. If your ribcage can't move, you can't breathe.

For example:

It's somewhat breathlessly pro-FD, but take a look at the size of the 
effort, and this was for someone who was only waist deep.
quick work with a shovel, but still the guy wound up with problems.

googling will find other instances..


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