While many areas of our lives have slowed down over the past few months, we at Gravel Grading and Excavating have continued to stay busy and work hard for our valued customers in many different areas and services.
One of the services we offer is laser grading for both farmers and commercial buildings. This service aids in leveling land and foundations for livestock facilities, feed bunkers, and other buildings requiring a concrete foundation.
When prepping for concrete, it’s essential that the ground is as level as possible before pouring to prevent heaving, cracking, inconsistencies, and proper drainage in the finished product.
What is laser grading?
Laser grading is when we use specialized laser attachments on our equipment to ensure accurate slope and leveling on our projects.
Our team uses a laser grader attachment for our Bobcat Company skid loader so we can precisely level out the base of the building to prep for foundation pouring. These attachments help us work smarter, faster, and more profitably with highly productive equipment.
Operators increase their efficiency and reduce fatigue since they can focus on operating the machine’s travel, rather than the blade position. Fewer people are also needed because, with near-perfect accuracy, there is no need for a crew to continually check grade on the jobsite. It’s as simple as clicking a button on the loader controls to activate the automatic system.
How does it work?
Our laser grader attachments deliver more accurate grading results with less time and less labor. A laser transmitter is used to emit a plane of laser light across the job site. The plane mirrors the completed job site and is used as a reference point to ensure the blade is on-grade at all times. The blade moves up and down automatically to keep the base materials on-grade. Laser transmitters and rod-mounted laser receivers can also quickly determine the amount of material that needs to be added or removed from the site.
A few years back we were contacted by George Knepper, a local beef farmer, to help prep for a new cattle building at the family’s farm just north of Cascade, Iowa. By using our laser grader attachment for our skid loader, we were able to level out the base of the building to prep for foundation pouring.
Thank you to the Knepper family for choosing Gravel Grading & Excavating, JP Scherrman, Inc., John Deere Dubuque Works, and Martin Small Equipment for supplying our equipment needs, and for our hard-working crew who always move the earth for our customers!
Want to get on our 2020 schedule?
Get in touch with Gravel Grading and Excavating here on Facebook or call us at 563-451-9330 to get on the schedule in 2020.
We would love to move the earth for you!
In 2018, our local medical clinic in Cascade contacted us with a problem. Their current parking lot couldn't handle the volume of clients and vehicles it was constructed for when they opened their doors in the late 90s, and their location atop a hill overlooking town lead to water runoff problems for neighboring properties. They knew it was time to make a change, and they knew our crew at Gravel Grading and Excavating was just the team to move the earth for them.
Our first step was to tear out the existing lot and regrade it at an appropriate slope so water would drain into storm sewers rather than neighboring properties.
Some of our favorite equipment to use in jobs like this is our laser grading equipment. Laser grading is a process by which a level or specified slope is attained by using laser attachments and tools. These attachments can easily be installed on a variety of our equipment from skid loaders to bulldozers to help us electronically check the grade as we work, making us more efficient and accurate in our job.
While we had the ground exposed, we also worked to curb the new lot and tie in existing sewer lines to the city's storm sewers. Once the initial ground work was completed, our friends at Kluesner Construction came in to pour the concrete and asphalt to give the lot a smooth, even finish.
At Medical Associates Cascade, the finished project is even better than expected. Patients no longer have to park in "no parking" zones for their appointments, and water drains to its designated location.
Sherry Kelchen, ARNP at the Cascade clinic said, "The crew at Gravel's was very quick and clean. They did their best to accommodate our staff and patients while they were working" and she was quite pleased with the outcome of the job.
Our thanks go out to the Medical Associates Clinic staff and their patients for choosing us to move the earth for them in this project and our friends at Kluesner for hopping on board to help us complete the project.
If we can help you on your next parking lot build or improvement, get in touch with our crew! Contact Terry at email@example.com or call 563-542-6610 to discuss your job at get on the remaining 2019 schedule.
Is there anything more exciting or nerve-wracking than purchasing a new home? For all the opportunities buying a new home provides (from space to entertain family and friends to the opportunity to make years of memories), a buyer also has to be critical about the condition of the structure and the cost of improvements and upkeep that are sure to come along the way.
Such was the case for the Johnson family of Dubuque, Iowa. Long-time friends of Terry and the Gravel Grading & Excavating family, the Johnsons knew just who to turn to when they purchased their "new" older home in the heart of the city. While the house itself was sound and able to be updated with a few DIY projects, the crumbling asphalt driveway was a job they knew needed to be hired out. So Terry stepped in and determined that complete removal of the existing asphalt drive would be required, and pouring a new concrete lane would be the Johnsons best option. The Gravel workers would need to be very careful with their equipment and precise with their measurements, as they wouldn't want to sacrifice the soundness of the home or detached garage during the demolition phase, nor would they want to harm the root systems of the countless mature trees on the property.
Armed with their decades of experience and equipment, Terry and the guys got to work. Phase one of the project was to remove the existing structure. So with mini excavators and Bobcat skid loaders in tow, the crew was able to quickly break up and excavate the existing asphalt, load it into the waiting trucks, and haul away for disposal.
Phase two was where the job got especially tricky. It was in this phase that the dirt below the former driveway needed to be cored-out and leveled with a laser. This required precise, experienced, and patient dozer and excavator operators. Working carefully as possible along the side of the house, the men of Gravel Grading and Excavating took great precautions to ensure the heavy equipment didn't butt up against or remove too much dirt that would compromise the structural integrity of the decades-old home. Thanks to some extreme caution and technological tools, the bed of the new driveway was established and prepped for the new surface.
With the help of local concrete specialists Curt Curoe of Bernard, Iowa, and his crew from Horsfield Construction in Epworth, the driveway was poured and leveled. Once dry, it was time for Gravel Grading & Excavating to bring their equipment back for final grading and dirt work around the new lane, and prepping of the ground for new grass seeding.
Thanks to the patience of our crew and the expertise of HCI, the Johnson family's driveway went from unappealing and mangled to smooth and safe for years to come. We appreciate their confidence in Gravel Grading & Excavating, and we wish them a very merry first Christmas in their "new" old home.
For many local farmers, having a creek run through their property is an advantage. Creeks can provide access to water for pasture livestock, a boundary between fields, or recreation for the family. Sometimes, creeks can be a source of headache for farmers, as was the case with this project at the Takes farm located east of Cascade, Iowa, on Bellevue-Cascade Road.
Each day when it was time for chores, local farmer John Takes would fill his feed wagon and cross the county highway into his cattle pasture. Once inside the fence, John would have to maneuver his tractor and wagon down and then back up the steep sides of the small creek to access his herd. On its best days this caused his equipment to bottom-out, creating a dirty mess that was hard on his machinery, and on the worst days in times of high water, the pasture was nearly inaccessible.
To remedy this problem, John called Terry and Gravel Grading and Excavating to help him devise a solution. Terry recommended installing a new creek crossing, complete with prefabricated slatted concrete slabs to aid in traction for equipment and three ag-tile culverts that would allow the creek to maintain its flow below the new structure without compromising its stability.
To begin, the crew of Gravel Grading & Excavating waited for a dry spell, so the creek would be low enough to work around. Then drawing on their extensive experience and laser grading equipment, they determined the optimal location of the path across the creek, as well as the appropriate height for the new crossing so as high water events would not breach the new lane.
The guys then moved in with graders, skid steers, and excavators, to begin the process of moving dirt to prepare for the installation of the culverts. A bed was prepared for the pipes to lay upon, and once again the laser levels were used to determine the proper degree of slope for maximum water drainage. Once this was prepared, the plastic piping could be installed and backfilled with dirt and rock for stabilization. An extra measure was taken for erosion control by pouring concrete walls on each side of the new road to prevent washouts in heavy rain events.
The crew then went about pouring a final layer of concrete to top off the new crossing, placing concrete slats on both sides, and regrading and dumping new gravel along the newly-established path for the finishing touches.
Shortly after the conclusion of the creek crossing, a storm passed through, testing the effectiveness of Gravel Grading & Excavating's work. As expected the crew was able to move the earth for our customer John, and the culverts worked just as planned, allowing the creek to maintain its flow through the pasture while allowing John to access and feed his cattle.
Thank you to the Takes family for choosing Gravel Grading and Excavating for this project, and be sure to give us a call for any of your dirt work needs.
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