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About Me


Found 9 results

  1. Over the years I have hired a few mini/midi diggers for various home based projects and become quite proficient at using them. I am pretty practical and have pretty much self-taught myself. I am about to embark on my first self build and I am going to need to clear a lot of land and dig a lot of stumps as well as start doing quite a lot of excavating. I could hire another midi-digger but I am thinking a JCB 3cx or similar backhoe loader maybe more useful and just as capable for the majority of excavation that I am doing. I have never driven or operated anything like it. I am looking for a couple of days of introduction and basic operation training, just to get me upto speed on the use and operation of one. I not looking for any formal qualification, but just to spend some time with a knowledgeable person and get some time on a machine before I decide to either rent or buy an older 2nd hand one. I am based in Oxford, but don't mind traveling. Can anyone point me to somewhere that can provide to sort of training I am after? Many thanks for any tips or pointers... (and any pointers to any decent 2nd hand buys )
  2. Is it possible to claim back the VAT on a digger if bought from a commercial supplier
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-45450278 Television wildlife presenter Johnny Kingdom has been killed in an accident on his land. The film-maker, photographer and author, who specialised in his local area of Exmoor and north Devon, died on Thursday night. Police confirmed emergency services were called to a field near Wadham Cross in Knowstone, Devon, to reports that a digger had rolled over.
  4. Thank God for small diggers is all I can say. If only I'd managed to do what I said i'd do - when I said I'd do it. But then I have got form on that - nowhere near as bad as Clive ( @Onoff ) This was the intention . And this was (until yesterday the outcome. The delay wasn't all my fault Yer Honour. Bright eyed, bushy tailed, chuggle down the garden this morning, digger all revved up to yank the tank vertical. Nay borra, Jimmie. easy. Done this before. Hook up, sling up, go. Hold on, why isn't the bleedin tank moving ? On lifting, the cab rocks a bit more than normal. Finger-tips begin to smoke. Nother little nudge, nothing. Oh fer *+&% 's sake boys and girls. Whass-that-about? Click! Take the tank lid off. Oh dear, never mind what shame. Pillock, should have thought of that before. During the winter months it's filled with water. The dry spell lowered the surrounding water table. And so now it's semi-filled with water. Pump arriving this afternoon. Had a five tonne digger, I'd have ripped the strong-points out of the tank. Thank god for small diggers.
  5. Here it is: as accurate as I can get it. No pretense of getting it done cheaper than anyone else. Just the raw numbers and a few words to explain context if necessary (why did I buy a chain-hoist for example). Yes, you'll probably get it cheaper. That's excellent. The point is openness and telling it like it is. March 2014 Home Building and Renovation Show NEC: £100, including fuel and tickets Phone calls about £15:00 extra, and about £70:00 fuel. July 2014 Land: already owned Planner: £1050, plus £70 initial consultation fee, (in cash). LPA Outline Planning Application fee £770 Phone calls: about £15:00 extra, and about £50:00 fuel. August 2014 Ecologist: £1390.15 (works out at about £1 per Great Crested Newt – a further £2000 budgeted for. But see below June 2016) November 2014 Topographical Survey: £540 January 2015 Trips to Timber frame companies and various local suppliers : £50 fuel Subscriptions to various magazines: £70(ish) February 2015 Architect: £4000 (design plus all other matters up to and including submission for Full PP application) QS: £630 – feasibility study Legal: £360; altering title LPA fees: £385 Structural Engineer: £1782; foundations calculations Land registry Fee: £40 Contamination Desk Study and Geophysics : £1260 (plus possible indeterminate decontamination costs) Phone calls: about £20:00 extra, and very little fuel. March 2015 Discharge of Conditions Fee £97.00 Health and Safety Services are being handled for free by a colleague: I’m coding his website in exchange. Notice: no site insurance yet……. :huh: I’m just too mean. Projected cost £568.65 (May 2015) August 2015 Architects fees £2000; from award of Outline PP to Full PP (6th of August) and £40 for bottle of champagne to thank our him: his judgement in relation to what would pass was exactly right. Read paragraph 9 of the Delegated Report (here) Trip to Swindon to visit the NSBRC Fuel £36, overnight stay £85 Strimmer: Polycut head, and set of knives for strimmer £46.60. (No lawn for Salamander Cottage: at last, no mowing…… bliss) September 2015 Legal Fees; alteration to title status £232 October Purchase a four wheel trailer (new) £2500 Purchase a Mutts Nuts (Nick’s term, not mine) Bosch Laser Level £250 First Aid Course (ref. H+S policy) £80 Chainsaw Course £130 December Off mains drainage legal agreement Legal fees and £1000 for access to the land to discharge to stream (wayleave?): £1862 (£300 over budget) Cladding Preparation for processing the wood; Serious Stihl saw (660) and ancillary equipment £2000 (resale value £1000) Trips to open passivhauses £50 + Off – road parking (ground matz) £2800 (resale value £2500) January 2016 SPONS Architects and Builders’ Price Guide 2016. Can’t do without it. And there’s an App that goes with it. £150 Small shipping container (for tools) £300 (resale value £400) Base for container: 4 tons of 20 mm to dust from my mate: £35, yep £35 New wheelbarrow £97 (French made Hammerlin: two flat tyres (in 2 weeks) and a stupidly forward C of G so the damn thing tips forward ON ITS OWN... sodding thing) Local Oak trees (for the shakes and cladding) £1200 (1 square meter of oak shakes retails for £100!) T.K Knipe Allithwaite. £100s of pounds worth of free advice. 1 Sweet Chestnut tree (high tannin content) £140 5 local oak trees £100 (they were going to be cut up for fire wood - I kid you not) Another container (you can't have too many): £1000 (resale value £1000) February 2016 Small hand tools and boys toys £1500 May 2016 2.5 tonne Mini Digger = £14,000 (PV Dobsons, Levens) EPS Licence £1200 (I still haven't paid the bill - because of some really unprofessional behaviour.) Red Diesel £15 120 meters of Temporary Amphibian Fencing (TAF), 80 stakes (37 by 37 by 700) £267.37 Lifting gear: a 2 tonne chain block and tackle 2 shackles, and two beam clamps £181.03 (to run on the RSJs below) 2 RSJs, (6 meters long to span between the two containers) £230 +VAT Filing frame to assist sharpening my chainsaw chains £97 Site signage (ebay) £10 for several (more needed) Plastic Barrier Fencing Safety Mesh Fence Netting Net With Metal Pins £50.95 (for the edge of the car park and pedestrian walkway) Three stillage cages to store material on the site (one cage fitted inside the container) £50 Another two stillage cages today. £25 And £80 worth of 2 inch wire mesh so I can weld it to the stillage cages: slows light fingers down Two (full-on-big-boys) deck brooms £24 A grease gun for my digger and two cartridges of grease £22 Another High Security Digital padlock and hardened, sheathed, hardened chain to secure the buckets (that aren't hooked up) for my digger £55 A 2 Tonne x 1.5 meter Leverhoist £79.95 2 off 2 tonne Beam Clamps £25.98 4 off 2 Ton Alloy Bow Shackles, with Safety Pins £11.96 The above is initially for lifting trees and heavy objects safely off the trailer (on my own) Later the hoist and clamps will do the same job, but in a small purpose-built workshop. 100 meters of 16 amp electricity cable. £71.89 Building Control Fees £600 Red Diesel £18.21 June 2016 Two more stillage cages £25 A Douglas Fir tree and a Larch tree. £40 (Fir tree £10) Will produce stock worth about double that (conservative estimate) 20 8" coach screws £4. 4 sheets of reinforcing mesh £20 (16 by 8 foot for welding to the stillage cages to slow down thieves ) Structural Engineer £1774. And worth every penny (so far) First Aid Kit (10 person HSE Approved) £7.57 (tried getting one locally, couldn't get one for love nor money) Security marker pens £1.99 (a requirement of the Site Insurance: all scaffolding poles must be security marked - not the digger or the saws!) "Curiouser and curiouser" Wood for lining my container £81 HERAS panels, feet, clips, struts, pins for the struts £200 Some steel stock to practise welding £12 (making a small tool table for my SuperJaws clamp: cost on the open market £30) Four Point Lifting Chains ('shorten-able') £139. Fed up of worrying about the webbing strops - they are quite worn already Site H+S sign. £24 ( and I begrudge every penny: it's expensive wallpaper... why do I say that - read on - last but one point) 2 tins of Hammerite for the rust spots on the container. £28 The ecologist had the good grace to halve his bill given the less than prompt approach to fulfilling his contract. £900 July Builder's Merchant bill: £704 - bits and bobs, sand 25mm water pipe and stuff like that August Builder's Merchant bill: < £100 all sorts of tiny things September Builder's Merchants bill £1379.24, Ply wood for the stillage and to make some internal storage in the container, a DeWalt nailer (luxury beyond compare) It starts to get serious now........... Piling will be about £6000, Groundwork price yet to come in, site clearance - I've hired a lumberjack who's coming from Canada - muscles coming out of his ears - off mains drainage and site drainage.... Off to Harrogate next week. (4th of November)
  6. Digging my TAF (Temporary Amphibian Fencing) trench wi' 't digger... all's well, when I notice the bucket is full, and won't empty. Shake it, rattle it and roll it; nothing. Bucket full of earth. Stuck. Fast. And neither did the full bucket stop the digging process. I carried on digging fine, got the TAF trench dug. But I suspect I'm doing something wrong. Yes, there's a good deal of clay around, but it's mostly loam, and there's a little bit of concrete stuck to the inside of the bucket. Overthinking again I suspect, but I thought I'd ask (Declan....).
  7. The chant "Yer wanna get a digger mate!" started in 2014, and I finally got one two years later. The chanters were right. But what I didn't hear was what they were chanting (sniggering) under their breath. "You're gonna get covered in grease". Let's start at the beginning. How much does a digger cost to hire? £70 per day. How much does it cost to transport it to and from your house / plot? £25. All plus VAT. Bang goes £300 / £350 per week. And it rains, or there's a delay, and it sits there leering at you like some hideous demented mechanical giraffe whispering softly in your ear Use Me Use Me If You dare. But you can't because it's hissing down. And suddenly it's Friday, a couple of hundred pounds has flown out of the window, and two of the jobs you had planned haven't been done. And soon you're driving around noting every single digger sitting there idle in a field or on the roadside and NOBODY'S USING IT. It shouldn't be allowed. Diggers are expensive; they should not be left idle. Or rather those ones that are idle should be loaned to you the second the owner decides to have a day off. It's OK, you'll come and fetch it and bring it back when the owner needs it. Anything but let a digger be idle when you haven't got one. And then you do a bit of maths: how many jobs around the site do we need a digger for? And the list gets longer by the week. The children start muttering about dad being on about a digger for Christmas and birthday present all wrapped into one. And then you start noticing things like zero-swing diggers, and that's a 22 tonner, and is that a 2.6 tonne or 2.5 tonne digger? Soon, you know how to tell. The next thing is: JCB or Kubota? Or maybe Volvo? Hmmm. Well Kubota have reliable engines (other companies fit Kubota engines) JCB - well, a bit sloppy round the edges. Looking on Tinternet for prices and maybe the odd trip out -just to look, no more you understand. A budget number bubbles up in your spreadsheet against the Heading Plant and Equipment. Suddenly there's 10K more than planned. But, you can re-sell it at the end of the build. So nett off the cost against the hire cost (minus VAT) and you're in profit (Ha!). The digger duly arrives. And suddenly a whole world opens up. Move that Cherry tree, no problem (that wasn't on the list), shove those steels through your son's windows (after he takes them out) no problem; move two tonnes of stone quickly from one place to then other - well not quite no problem, but you aren't sweating. See a problem, turn the key. Dig your SuDS drainage in less time than you thought. Move that newt hibernacular three meters to the right: done. The dozer blade is awesome (I hate that word: but here it's the right word). And then there's the maintenance schedule. A Kubota has more nipples than a prize sow. And God can they suck grease. And I'm not the best at changing grease cartridges - when I'd finished I knew what the phrase Grease Monkey meant. I will not want to sell it. How on earth am I going to get that past Debbie?
  8. Is there a rule of thumb as to the weight of a digger itself, related to the "1 ton", "1.5 ton", "3 ton" etc class it is in? If I am planning a digger, and want to be able to tow it, how much of my towing weight will it account for? eg a Kubota KLX41-3V is a "1.5 ton" digger which quotes approx 1600kg as an "operating weight" excluding operator, which is presumably how much it will add to my trailer. https://www.kubota.com/product/kx41/pdf/kx41_spec.pdf Clearly extra buckets, muddy tracks etc add weight (or are they included), but I'm after a little more clarity and a little less fog. Thanks Ferdinand
  9. This checklist is copied from a post we made on ebuild. It is a summary of the authors' collective wisdom. Unfortunately the links are dead - but the author's name is always listed. And since most of the usernames have been preserved, they are still relevant. This (and every) checklist will benefit greatly from your comment and experience. Bring a tame fitter with you / or ask for a recommendation from him or her. (Triassic#10) A digger from a hire yard will be better looked after and will have always been serviced. (Declan #5) Stolen? Paper work, service history: check serial numbers (Declan#8) Cab? (Ed#9) If so then : window covers (GRP / metal) Hydraulics Pipes will burst; local hose supplier - easy to swap, you just need big spanners. Have a 25 litre drum of hydraulic fluid as a second hand digger will leak Check track depth : new tracks cost about £200: (proDave #3) Check teeth on the Drive Pinions (proDave #3) Track Motors: Hydraulics Leaks? (proDave #3) Engine service history ? None? Immediate service (proDave #3) Pins: play? If an old machine re-bush. (prodave#2) Joints: play? Slew: play? If it's going you will hear grinding, popping or clicking noises. Check the grease on the bearings. If it's got metal filings in it then it's been grinding. (Declan#8) Check for clean grease around nipples, all the pins should look like they have clean grease on them. Over-greasing is good! Check it will hold the arm extended/bucket raised for a length of time, if hydraulics are on the way out then the arm gradually lowers. (proDave #3) If you have a choice, get one with the main boom ram mounted on top of the arm - the older ones that have it below the arm are prone to damage and bending when something gets caught between the bucket and the ram. (PeterW#3) Fully extend Spool valves and Rams - you may need an assistant to push the levers as far out/back as possible and look for weeps on the joints and also on the ram end seals. (PeterW#3) Equipment: What does it come with? Quick hitch? Right buckets for your needs (Ed #9) Need to buy a bucket? Where from? Check before purchase (proDave #3) Check engine start FROM COLD; easy, hesitant, non-starter? Get the seller to show you how to drive it. (proDave #2) Can machine easily lift itself off the ground with the dozer blade lifting one end and the bucket lifting the other? (proDave #4) Water in fuel? Check fuel filter Water in the oil? Look for mayonnaise-type emulsion on oil filler cap Use red diesel - and don't be tempted to use it in your car. Leaks of oil and hydraulic fluid : get a drip tray Keep it (and spare buckets) secure
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