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Hi, I am planning to buy a midi excavator ( mid size) next summer. I'm trying to use that as an advantage for a few building I need on my property. I'm wondering if I could use the excavator to make rammed tire walls.

Is there another building technique that would use the fact that I have an excavator for use as much as I want?

I need a barn, a garage and a few small livestock building.
thanks


alexis
 
kent smith
Posts: 211
Location: Pennsylvania
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Here is a product that my son has seen used in military Field shelters. their products are a bit expensive in my opinion, but the idea could be easily modified. I would think that a similar idea could be made with field fencing or cattle panels and landscape fabric. You might want to explore this web site: http://www.hesco.com/rhouse/gallery.html
kent
 
Ardilla Esch
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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I recently bought a compact tractor with loader/backhoe to build my house and do other chores. 

The house will be a combination of clay-straw and adobe construction with earthen floors.  All those techniques involve a fair amount of material handling.  Not to mention trenching for utilities, foundation, greywater lines, landscaping...

Being able to change the loader bucket for pallet forks is also important to me.  There are trucks to unload, lumber to move etc.
 
Wyatt Smith
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Location: Midwest zone 6
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machinemaker wrote:
Here is a product that my son has seen used in military Field shelters. their products are a bit expensive in my opinion, but the idea could be easily modified. I would think that a similar idea could be made with field fencing or cattle panels and landscape fabric. You might want to explore this web site: http://www.hesco.com/rhouse/gallery.html
kent


Good ideas.  This style also works well with rip rap or cobblestones. 
 
                              
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could the excavator be used to tamp the tire?

or could a rac be made that would hold earthbag open then I can use the bucket to fill a lot of them in a short time?

Alexis
 
Tyler Ludens
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machinemaker wrote:
Here is a product that my son has seen used in military Field shelters. their products are a bit expensive in my opinion, but the idea could be easily modified. I would think that a similar idea could be made with field fencing or cattle panels and landscape fabric.


I'd be worried about the fencing or panels rusting out and the shelter collapsing.  Military field shelters generally aren't expected to last very long.... 
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Alexis wrote:
could the excavator be used to tamp the tire?

or could a rac be made that would hold earthbag open then I can use the bucket to fill a lot of them in a short time?

Alexis


When we had to fill lots and lots of sandbags during the flooding two years ago, there was a system set up where you put a straight ladder between two uprights (like folding ladders or chairs), then put orange safety cones in the spaces in the ladder.  The cones acted as funnels.  You'd hold the bag under the cone and your partner would shovel sand into the cone.  Made the work go a lot faster.

 
Warren David
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Alexis wrote:
could the excavator be used to tamp the tire?

or could a rac be made that would hold earthbag open then I can use the bucket to fill a lot of them in a short time?

Alexis
Excavators do not reach very high so not a lot of use for trying to tamp anything after a few courses of tyres have been put on. People tend to imagine that the bucket will go a lot higher than the elbow but I have never used one that did. The only thing that I can think of that will give you more height is to put the excavator on a pile of earth or rubble or something. From what I've seen the earth needs to be rammed well inside the tyre, not just down though.
The back hoe would more likely knock everything about rather than help to solidify the wall.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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kent smith wrote:Here is a product that my son has seen used in military Field shelters. their products are a bit expensive in my opinion, but the idea could be easily modified. I would think that a similar idea could be made with field fencing or cattle panels and landscape fabric. You might want to explore this web site: http://www.hesco.com/rhouse/gallery.html
kent


I am doing this right now, just dug the hole. It will be a wofati walapini greenhouse with rammed walls. It is two feet to bedrock so a true under ground greenhouse is not possible.

Cattle panels, wire, tyvek. Wide enough to drive a plate compactor in the wall.
 
R Scott
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Back to OP--excavators don't pack nearly as well as you would hope. Even with a compactor attachment, most will only compact DOWN. You can't get it to go sideways to pack the tires. Maybe if you had an articulating bucket mount.

The big reason I am going with rammed earth over earthship tires is the ability to mechanize. Maybe if I was 20 years younger.....
 
Saybian Morgan
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Consider a Ho-pac plate vibratory compactor, my neighbor does excavation for large scale housing projects and he swear's by it over the sheep's foot roller for compaction. The benefit also to you would be it's small footprint in regards to rammed earth walls, mind you it takes a skilled hand to not smash up your framing walls, but it would pay for itself in dam building. Let's be frank what can't you do with an excavator in permaculture is the harder question to answer, I'm a tough green with envy I thought I was going to be buying a mini excavator last summer till my tax bill came in and I owed an excavators worth of money to the government. I don't even have a tiller for ground breaking, my wife thinks i'm having an affair with a shovel but really it's just a lack of implements. I got to borrow one from the neighbor for 2 days and I put in 2 ponds and a swale before dinner, the other 4 ponds and raise beds took me 2 years do dig out of the waterlogged clay.

The only other thing I would mention is if I had the option between a midsized excavator with no tilt bucket and a mini with a tilt bucket I would take the bucket hands down for the artistic earth surgery that it makes possible.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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check out our Rapidobe system, it is the low-cost alternative to the hesco system: http://velacreations.blogspot.com/2011/12/rapidobe.html

you could easily use an excavator with Rapidobe. It would greatly increase the speed.
 
R Scott
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Abe Connally wrote:check out our Rapidobe system, it is the low-cost alternative to the hesco system: http://velacreations.blogspot.com/2011/12/rapidobe.html

you could easily use an excavator with Rapidobe. It would greatly increase the speed.


That was my inspiration that big, heavy forms are not needed for rammed earth.
 
marty reed
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I'd be worried about the fencing or panels rusting out and the shelter collapsing.  Military field shelters generally aren't expected to last very long.... 


when i was over seas in afganstan thay where all over the place thay do not rust i think thay are made of galvalume thay will last for ever or in till guy driving a 10 ton maxpro runs into them lol
 
Lloyd George
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escavators are great, but a good industrial back hoe is ten times more versatile...even then, I would likely go for a mid sized tractor, say fifty or sixty HP with a quick tatch loader and backhoe...

and yeah..rammed earth...pretty easy to build a hydraulic press out of an old wood splitter..several tapered slipforms for hte blocks and rock on.

Watched a cat making rammed earth once...they were mixing just a bit of asphalt binder into the soil...they had a block soaking in water that had beed submerged for like six months with no degredation...
 
R Scott
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I know how long cattle panels will last sitting in wet hog slop. I am not worried about them packed in dry dirt. Plus I will be stabilizing the dirt (either asphalt binder or portland--haven't decided yet) so the panels only need to last a few months until the wall cures.

The plan will change if I happen across a stupid cheap set of forms. But as I have priced it, I can build and leave the panels in place cheaper than buying/building/renting forms and it is already a mesh for stucco to grab onto.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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A couple dedicated machines for filling and tamping tires I found looking for rammed earth stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4htn3PIDF8w&feature=related

 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23442/digital-market/digital-market/Underground-House-Book-Mike-Oehler
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