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

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Digging a 5'x5'x8' tower footing
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 17:25:44 EDT
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In a message dated 5/12/2008 12:41:12 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

>  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.

    Yes, some of the UST concrete bases -  particularly the smaller ones - 
are a PITA to dig. 
>  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.
    Maybe. Then you've got additional labor to make  the form along with the 
additional labor to get the earth back to  where it should be.
    Option 1: dig the hole to whatever size you can  get and then fill it 
with concrete. More $$ for the additional concrete but  it'll be against 
undisturbed earth so you avoid the additional labor required  for farting 
around with 
a form and backfilling. 

>  this be an  easy task for a skilled person to dig on a mini-excavator? 
    Yep. Option 2: dig it yourself. I used to hire  backhoes with operators 
until the day came when I couldn't get one when I  needed it so I decided to 
try it myself. Guess what? It's not that bad. Call  your local rental yard and 
they'll deliver one and show you how to operate it.  Get it with a 12" bucket 
(as opposed to a bigger one) and it'll dig into hard  earth relatively easily. 
I mean - how badly can you screw up a hole? In  reality, not much. It won't 
take you very long to learn how to operate it and  then the rest is 
>  I was told that if the hole is deeper than 4', that no person  can enter 
it unless walls are built up.
    Yes. OSHA rules state that anything deeper  than that needs to be shored. 
Since you're not subject to OSHA rules, you  could dig it by hand yourself or 
go into the hole. Potentially dangerous but  possible. 
    Try doing it yourself. It's actually kind of fun.  You'll need the piece 
of equipment to pick up the rebar cage and drop it in  the hole anyway. 
Steve    K7LXC
Professional tower services for hams
Cell: 206-890-4188

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