So access is important, you must measure the narrowest point the machine has to get through, you need enough room to manoeuvre around down pipes, sewer inspection points, air conditioning units, meter boxes, taps and any other protrusions or obstacles potentially in the machines’ path, and don’t forget these machines are at least 1800mm high and 2.5 metres long so getting around corners, through doors, and under structures can be a challenge too.
Often smaller machines are quicker purely because they can manoeuvre around the yard, along fence lines, garden beds whilst carting dirt to and fro or removing waste. Many people forget why they are called ‘Skid Steers’; it’s because in order to steer they have to slide or skid; this creates a lot of friction and generally the tread of the tyres cause a ripping effect on grass and dislodges any loose surface such as soil or paving, it will leave rubber marks on concrete and tiled surfaces. We recommend laying sheets of plywood or hard plastic over any areas that you need to protect this also spreads out the weight of the machine eliminating compaction of the soil and leaving wheel ruts.
Skid Steers also have two distinct styles; ‘wheeled loaders’ and ‘tracked loaders’. The wheeled loader is by far the most common and has the ability to do most work put in front of it, however, the tracked loader can work on surfaces and terrain that would see its’ wheeled counterpart get bogged or slide off the side of a hill. The tracked loader presents much less ground pressure with the weight of the machine being spread over the length and width of the tracks, whereas the wheeled bobcat has all of its’ weight concentrated on the four points that are touching the ground.
The tracked loader is invariably a much more expensive machine to buy and maintain, so you can expect to pay more to hire it. These machines travel easily over sand and soggy ground whereas the wheeled bobcat often buries itself or just sinks. The tracked machine will still have an impact on your lawn and will leave marks on concrete surfaces as it still has that ripping effect that comes with the skid steer principal of operation.
So when thinking about any earthworks it is important to have a plan, call ‘dial before you dig’ and expect that cables and services are often not where they are supposed to be. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told there is nothing in the area we are working in and we find a mains water line or cable hiding in the garden bed or stuck to the bottom of the concrete slab we’re pulling up.
This is why our operators are happy to come out, listen, look, provide advice and work out the best and most cost effective way to achieve your desired result. There is no point doing the front yard with gardens and turf then in 2 months time you want to do the backyard or dig a pool; as the machinery will damage all the new turf you have just put down.
When all the digging, pushing, filling and leveling is done it’s often left to the bobcat to tidy up and ready the area for turf or fresh landscaping; Micro Excavations tracked loaders are fitted with tilt buckets to work on hill sides and maintain even the slightest grade.
Here’s a video of our PT30 Positrack (Tracked Loader) at work.
For those that don’t know a Posi Track is basically a bobcat on tracks, like a snow mobile.
PT60 Posi Track Loader, a tracked bobcat able to work in sand, mud and snow.
Our PT60 has custom running gear to make it the narrowest it can possibly be and when fitted with pallet forks can lift up to 1 tonne
PT30 Posi Track
Posi Track Loaders are fast and maneuverable, the tracks spread the weight over a greater area, meaning less damage to lawns, paving and concrete
These are the PT60 and PT30 Posi Track we have on our fleet designed to move large amounts of material like sand, soil, mulch and bricks.
Yes that’s right! we now have red imported fire ants on the Gold Coast!
Yatala, Stapylton and Ormeau all became declared fire ant restricted zones on the 1st of July 2015.
So what does that mean for you?Any site (Commercial or Domestic) where earthworks are to be undertaken in the restricted areas must be inspected for red imported fire ants within 28 days prior to works being carried out. Inspections can only be undertaken by a person who has attended the fire ant identification course conducted by Bio-Security Queensland.
Tamborine and North Tamborine were designated as restricted fire ant zones in 2014.
Heavy fines are in place (up to $1.1m ) for non-compliance for both individuals and companies alike.
More information is available from Bio-Security Queensland’s’ website at…
For those who didn’t know; we have red imported fire ants on the Gold Coast and they’re on the move!
As of 15 February 2016: Coomera, Upper Coomera and Willowvale which were previously free of restrictions are now considered to be low risk restricted areas.
Alberton, Beenleigh, Eagleby, Ormeau, Stapylton, Tamborine, and Yatala have now been declared high risk restricted areas.
So why is this happening??
The vast majority of skid steer loaders (bobcats) have what’s known as a 4 in 1 bucket, but why do we call it a 4 in 1 and what does it do that’s so special?
At Micro Excavations we also have 4 in 1 buckets on our excavators, increasing their versatility and improving their efficiency.
In the right hands a machine with a 4 in 1 can move more material and produce a better finish saving you time and money.