Most effective way to dig with a hoe attachment

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Tazza

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As the topic says, what is the best way to dig with an excavator attachment? The dirt over here is quite hard and full of shale. The way I do it now is to curl the bucket so that the teeth are more or less horizontal so they cut the dirt and pull the bucket towards me. Is this the way it should be done? or do I use the teeth at right angles and scrape along the top? I just haven't seen details on how to operate these correctly (if there is a correct way). I don't know if you just do what ever works for you or not.
I tried using the bucket curl to dig but the ground is too hard, so I can't simply put the bucket down and curl and pick up a bucket of dirt.
Any suggestions?
 

nobull1

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On my KX91-3 Kubota this is what I do.
In really hard soil I let the teeth do the work, usually angled at maybe 45 degrees?, then scrape up to the top of the tooth, in depth and then curl. As the teeth get deeper the cutting edge starts removing soil as well. It is hard to explain because I just do it without thinking, and all soils are different. As far as what is correct I don't have a clue, but this works for me. I find the most important thing is good teeth. In hard soils tiger or twin tiger seem to work the best for me. Worn teeth work the machine twice as hard with half the production. What are you using for teeth?
Brian
 

Tazza

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On my KX91-3 Kubota this is what I do.
In really hard soil I let the teeth do the work, usually angled at maybe 45 degrees?, then scrape up to the top of the tooth, in depth and then curl. As the teeth get deeper the cutting edge starts removing soil as well. It is hard to explain because I just do it without thinking, and all soils are different. As far as what is correct I don't have a clue, but this works for me. I find the most important thing is good teeth. In hard soils tiger or twin tiger seem to work the best for me. Worn teeth work the machine twice as hard with half the production. What are you using for teeth?
Brian
I used a set of old teeth off a 4 in 1 bucket that i cut the base out of to replace it. They are about 2” long anout 1 1/4” wide at the base, its also hard to describe. The bucket is pretty well stuffed and i want to make a few to replace it of vairous sizes. I have a few teeth i bought cheap at auction but i have no shanks for them. I think they may be a little big too, but i can always attack them with a grinder!! I don't want it for commercial work, just around the yard.
The teeth that are on it now are a little worn, but they were the best of what i had. They are MUCH better than what was on there before, 1 tooth and 2 shanks
I'll try and take a few pics of the teeth tonight.
I will give that way of operating it a go on the weekend if i get a chance, i'm in the process of changing the quad rings and removing the slop from the controls.
 

nobull1

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I used a set of old teeth off a 4 in 1 bucket that i cut the base out of to replace it. They are about 2” long anout 1 1/4” wide at the base, its also hard to describe. The bucket is pretty well stuffed and i want to make a few to replace it of vairous sizes. I have a few teeth i bought cheap at auction but i have no shanks for them. I think they may be a little big too, but i can always attack them with a grinder!! I don't want it for commercial work, just around the yard.
The teeth that are on it now are a little worn, but they were the best of what i had. They are MUCH better than what was on there before, 1 tooth and 2 shanks
I'll try and take a few pics of the teeth tonight.
I will give that way of operating it a go on the weekend if i get a chance, i'm in the process of changing the quad rings and removing the slop from the controls.
Are the teeth pointed or flat?
 

Tazza

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They have a flat base and the point is more of a radius as its worn a little, i will try to take some pics
151_5141.JPG


151_5144.JPG

Shows a top and side view.
I'm sure they are far from ideal, but its what i had available one sunday morning.
 

nobull1

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Shows a top and side view.
I'm sure they are far from ideal, but its what i had available one sunday morning.
These tiger or twin tiger, also known as frost teeth work good in hard ground http://www.falconpower.com/ampadv.htm.
Just remember how easy a awl drives into your hand compared to a flat head screwdriver.
I find new teeth just make it work like a new machine. Sometimes if you have a problem keeping a straight edge in the hole you can put the twin tigers on the outside, as they will reach to or past the edge of the bucket, and then put the single tooth in the center. In out area they are about $10.00 each plus another $2.00 for a new pin. I always buy one extra tooth and pin just in case I lose one. Just think of them as fingers. Yours look like they are cut off at the second joint. Imagine trying to work with fingers like that, it works, just a little harder to do.
Brian
 

Tazza

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These tiger or twin tiger, also known as frost teeth work good in hard ground http://www.falconpower.com/ampadv.htm.
Just remember how easy a awl drives into your hand compared to a flat head screwdriver.
I find new teeth just make it work like a new machine. Sometimes if you have a problem keeping a straight edge in the hole you can put the twin tigers on the outside, as they will reach to or past the edge of the bucket, and then put the single tooth in the center. In out area they are about $10.00 each plus another $2.00 for a new pin. I always buy one extra tooth and pin just in case I lose one. Just think of them as fingers. Yours look like they are cut off at the second joint. Imagine trying to work with fingers like that, it works, just a little harder to do.
Brian
I will look into that for my new buckets.
I agree, the sharper the point the easier it will be to cut.
 

Tazza

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Those teeth look worn out.
Eric, they most certainly are. They were off an old 4 in 1 bucket. I need to build a few new buckets that i think will get the correct teeth attached to them. This bucket is in bad shape but works ok for what i'm using it for.
 

arlen

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A frost ripper would work better than a bucket you would only have one tooth contacting the hard soil at a time. It would be easier on the machine. Arlen
 

TriHonu

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I am not a operator by profession, however I have spent my fair share of time in the seat on TLB's, mini's and my current rig (Bradco 609 backhoe attachment).
Digging technique varies based on a number of factors including: weight of machine, strength of hydraulics and soil type and compaction and bucket shape/size and condition.
The smaller machines (Mini excavator, Skid Steer backhoe attachments) do require you to control the bucket angle of attack more closely to dig efficiently.
Larger machines with their heavier weight and higher breakout forces in both the stick and bucket allow a novice user to fill the bucket because you can force it through the soil even if the cutting edge is not at its most effective angle of attack.
Smaller machines force you to dig more “with the bucket” rather than with the stick. Think of your cutting edge like a knife. With the smaller machines you need to take longer shallower cuts to fill the bucket. In hard or difficult soils this may equate to a cut that is only an inch or two deep and may take the entire crowd stroke to fill the bucket. Worn teeth and dull cutting edges will also seriously work against you. In some cases you may even have to switch to a narrower bucket to concentrate the available digging force on a smaller cutting area.
Start with your bucket teeth pointing near straight down. Put some weight on the teeth and begin curling the bucket as you crowd the stick. Curl the bucket until the stick can crowd the bucket with out stalling.
Be careful as you crowd the stick. If you want to maintain a flat bottom on these long cuts, you will have to drop the boom and uncurl the bucket as the stick swings in past its vertical position.
One problem many beginners have is as they crowd the stick, the heel of the bucket comes in contact with the cut they are making. The cutting edge will actually be angled up. This adds a lot of friction and will cause the stick to stall. If the shape of your bucket has a lot of flat in the floor directly behind the cutting edge it will have a lot more friction if it is pushing on the cut soil.
In soft soil you want the teeth to approach the soil at 30-45 degrees. Harder soil requires a flatter the angle of attack at the cutting edge. Just make sure the heel of the bucket is not dragging.
Also pay attention to the geometry of the boom and the stick. On traditional straight boom/straight stick machines, you will have maximum digging force at the point where the boom and stick are at right angles to each other. Generally crowding forces vary from low to high to low as the stick and boom go from fully extended (lower force) to 90 degrees (highest force) to stick fully retracted (lower force).
To achieve maximum cutting force in the most difficult digging conditions you may have to restrict your digging to shallow cuts, nearly flat angle of cut and a short crowd near the 90 degree stick to mast angle. Smaller bucket, proper teeth and sharp cutting edges can all contribute to efficient digging.
Happy digging!
Jeff
 

Tazza

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I am not a operator by profession, however I have spent my fair share of time in the seat on TLB's, mini's and my current rig (Bradco 609 backhoe attachment).
Digging technique varies based on a number of factors including: weight of machine, strength of hydraulics and soil type and compaction and bucket shape/size and condition.
The smaller machines (Mini excavator, Skid Steer backhoe attachments) do require you to control the bucket angle of attack more closely to dig efficiently.
Larger machines with their heavier weight and higher breakout forces in both the stick and bucket allow a novice user to fill the bucket because you can force it through the soil even if the cutting edge is not at its most effective angle of attack.
Smaller machines force you to dig more “with the bucket” rather than with the stick. Think of your cutting edge like a knife. With the smaller machines you need to take longer shallower cuts to fill the bucket. In hard or difficult soils this may equate to a cut that is only an inch or two deep and may take the entire crowd stroke to fill the bucket. Worn teeth and dull cutting edges will also seriously work against you. In some cases you may even have to switch to a narrower bucket to concentrate the available digging force on a smaller cutting area.
Start with your bucket teeth pointing near straight down. Put some weight on the teeth and begin curling the bucket as you crowd the stick. Curl the bucket until the stick can crowd the bucket with out stalling.
Be careful as you crowd the stick. If you want to maintain a flat bottom on these long cuts, you will have to drop the boom and uncurl the bucket as the stick swings in past its vertical position.
One problem many beginners have is as they crowd the stick, the heel of the bucket comes in contact with the cut they are making. The cutting edge will actually be angled up. This adds a lot of friction and will cause the stick to stall. If the shape of your bucket has a lot of flat in the floor directly behind the cutting edge it will have a lot more friction if it is pushing on the cut soil.
In soft soil you want the teeth to approach the soil at 30-45 degrees. Harder soil requires a flatter the angle of attack at the cutting edge. Just make sure the heel of the bucket is not dragging.
Also pay attention to the geometry of the boom and the stick. On traditional straight boom/straight stick machines, you will have maximum digging force at the point where the boom and stick are at right angles to each other. Generally crowding forces vary from low to high to low as the stick and boom go from fully extended (lower force) to 90 degrees (highest force) to stick fully retracted (lower force).
To achieve maximum cutting force in the most difficult digging conditions you may have to restrict your digging to shallow cuts, nearly flat angle of cut and a short crowd near the 90 degree stick to mast angle. Smaller bucket, proper teeth and sharp cutting edges can all contribute to efficient digging.
Happy digging!
Jeff
Thanks for the info, i will have to have another go at this. The dirt we have around home where i use the machine is shale and clay. Its quite tough stuff but even when i used an older hoe with very worn teeth it did a reasonable job, just took AGES. Good point with regards to watching the back of the bucket doesn't touch the dug dirt as obviously it will cause your digging angle to be raised. I just need to practice more.
I must give this way a go!
 

TriHonu

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Thanks for the info, i will have to have another go at this. The dirt we have around home where i use the machine is shale and clay. Its quite tough stuff but even when i used an older hoe with very worn teeth it did a reasonable job, just took AGES. Good point with regards to watching the back of the bucket doesn't touch the dug dirt as obviously it will cause your digging angle to be raised. I just need to practice more.
I must give this way a go!
Is water an option? I am also in a high clay soil. When dry the stuff is like concrete. I have waited for a good soaking rain before beginning a project.
An associate of mine suggested trenching the top 3-4 inches and filling the trench with water. Refill each time the water evaporates/soaks in. After a few days of this you should be able to make some decent progress.
Does your machine have enough power to break the pieces of shale or do you have to dig each piece out?
Jeff
 

Tazza

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Is water an option? I am also in a high clay soil. When dry the stuff is like concrete. I have waited for a good soaking rain before beginning a project.
An associate of mine suggested trenching the top 3-4 inches and filling the trench with water. Refill each time the water evaporates/soaks in. After a few days of this you should be able to make some decent progress.
Does your machine have enough power to break the pieces of shale or do you have to dig each piece out?
Jeff
Adding water for me would do little, there is a lot of shale.
Yes, it has enough force to rip the shale up but only if i don't go at it too hard. What i have been doing to dig is angle the bucket so the teeth are like a chistle and work the crowd and adjust the height as the bucket comes towards me. Just like clawing at it not worrying about the dirt straight away that it digs up. When i have a bit i then curl the bucket to dig it up and out. If i try and take too much it just sticks and i have to have another bite. If i take my time and dig small amounts it seems to do pretty well, nothing like a bag machine does. It will still fill a bucket with 2 or 3 bites so its not that slow.
I was amazed when we had some work done, he just put his legs down and carved the hill up like it was nothing! just biting in and getting a full bucket, effortless!
 

TriHonu

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Adding water for me would do little, there is a lot of shale.
Yes, it has enough force to rip the shale up but only if i don't go at it too hard. What i have been doing to dig is angle the bucket so the teeth are like a chistle and work the crowd and adjust the height as the bucket comes towards me. Just like clawing at it not worrying about the dirt straight away that it digs up. When i have a bit i then curl the bucket to dig it up and out. If i try and take too much it just sticks and i have to have another bite. If i take my time and dig small amounts it seems to do pretty well, nothing like a bag machine does. It will still fill a bucket with 2 or 3 bites so its not that slow.
I was amazed when we had some work done, he just put his legs down and carved the hill up like it was nothing! just biting in and getting a full bucket, effortless!
How much bigger was the machine that had no problem?
I had a couple more thoughts. Could you replace the crowd cylinder with a larger diameter cylinder? It would increase force but slow down speed. Do you think your machine would handle the additional stress, and would the stabilizers be able to keep you stationary?
If you're up to another fab project you might want to scale one of these down: Shark Ripper Bucket I remembered seeing an article on these in one of the trade publications I get. Leading Edge Attachments manufactures a number of ripping solutions for machines in the 6000 to 11,000 lb class. Their catalog is downloadable from the web site.
The other thing that might help is to reinforce the back of one of your buckets and attach a ripper shank. If positioned properly it would be out of the cut in normal digging and when the bucket is fully curled would point down so you could rip it up and then go right back to digging without having to change from ripper to bucket.
Jeff
 

Tazza

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How much bigger was the machine that had no problem?
I had a couple more thoughts. Could you replace the crowd cylinder with a larger diameter cylinder? It would increase force but slow down speed. Do you think your machine would handle the additional stress, and would the stabilizers be able to keep you stationary?
If you're up to another fab project you might want to scale one of these down: Shark Ripper Bucket I remembered seeing an article on these in one of the trade publications I get. Leading Edge Attachments manufactures a number of ripping solutions for machines in the 6000 to 11,000 lb class. Their catalog is downloadable from the web site.
The other thing that might help is to reinforce the back of one of your buckets and attach a ripper shank. If positioned properly it would be out of the cut in normal digging and when the bucket is fully curled would point down so you could rip it up and then go right back to digging without having to change from ripper to bucket.
Jeff
The bigger machine was probably going on a 10 tonne machine, maybe a tad more.
For the amount of use it gets i can live with how it is without changing cylinders. I could go up a little bit but then the added stress on the frame.... It does have the power to pull be around a bit as it is now.
I will look into this bucket i think, looks interesting.
 

skidsteer.ca

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The bigger machine was probably going on a 10 tonne machine, maybe a tad more.
For the amount of use it gets i can live with how it is without changing cylinders. I could go up a little bit but then the added stress on the frame.... It does have the power to pull be around a bit as it is now.
I will look into this bucket i think, looks interesting.
Tazza
Maybe check the relief valve setting on the hoe valve.
Both my 909 and 709 will pull the loader towards the exavation with the crowd boom. Slide the outriggers and tracks with the park brake on and my machine weights 1500 lbs or so more then a 743. If the digging is tough I may have to back up a few times.
I always try to establish my depth and then do most of my digging pulling in and up on both booms and adjusting the bucket angle. I have pulled granite boulders out of the ground that the skidsteer could not lift. If I can get the bucket under it it just about always comes up and out.
My teeth are in good condition but are not anthing other then a stasndard tooth. Of course I have never had to deal with shale, but I would say if a pick axe and a shovel with alot of man power can break it a hoe should too
Ken
 

Tazza

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Tazza
Maybe check the relief valve setting on the hoe valve.
Both my 909 and 709 will pull the loader towards the exavation with the crowd boom. Slide the outriggers and tracks with the park brake on and my machine weights 1500 lbs or so more then a 743. If the digging is tough I may have to back up a few times.
I always try to establish my depth and then do most of my digging pulling in and up on both booms and adjusting the bucket angle. I have pulled granite boulders out of the ground that the skidsteer could not lift. If I can get the bucket under it it just about always comes up and out.
My teeth are in good condition but are not anthing other then a stasndard tooth. Of course I have never had to deal with shale, but I would say if a pick axe and a shovel with alot of man power can break it a hoe should too
Ken
Hood point, i will need to check the relief settings. I never gave it any thought.
 
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