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More Grading

October 8 & 9, 2003

The backhoe worked well, but I wanted to try an excavator, so I rented a Kubota KX91 compact excavator:

(The one I rented has a fully enclosed cab)

After about 4 hours of digging, one of the rubber tracks fell off, and that was the end the day's work.
The next morning the repair guy came out and put the track back on. Just to the left of his elbow you can
see how the track has slid inside it's central guidewheel:
Click to enlarge

To realign the track, he retracted the guidewheel then used the digging arm's brute force to
yank the tread back into position with a chain!
Click to enlarge

Once the track was repaired, I was back at work, extending the cut.
Click here to view this location highlighted on the trackplan
Because I'm digging about 7 feet deep here, I've decided to excavate it in 2 passes.
First I'll dig it about 4 feet deep, then run thru the cut a second time, excavating the remaining 3 feet.
I think this will be easier to manage within the range of the excavator's arm.
Click to enlarge
(The boulder in the 1st slide is where the previous excavation ended)
The cut has moved into an area that is very wet (I think there's a small spring), so I'll
need to pay close attention to drainage when I do the final grading.

Guess who wanted a ride in the excavator! She actually got pretty good at driving, turning, and rotating,
but couldn't quite figure out the arm and bucket (which takes a lot of practice even for an adult).
Click to enlarge

What a difference a few weeks make! When I first dug this cut, which is visible from the house, I was
kinda concerned that I had created an ugly scar which would require a bunch of landscaping.
Then the leaves started to fall...
Click to enlarge

On to the 3rd round of grading...
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