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Dirt floor forklift, is it possible?

Illinoyance

Stainless
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
I am put off by the repeated use of the term gravel. Gravel is rounded particles produced by natural forces. It is worthless for paving. For a stable floor the material needs to be angular particles graded from top size to dust. Ideally it would be crushed stone, commonly known as dense graded aggregate. Recycled concrete of the proper gradation is probably equivalent to crushed stone.
 

Peter.

Titanium
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Location
England UK
What about mesh grid and stone or crushed concrete fill? The grid is plastic with cast-in square or hex shapes. Level and compact your ground, lay the grid, fill with material and rattle it flat with a vibro plate.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
unfortunately ,the days you could go round to the quarry and get a load of crusher dust,mixed crushed waste, for a carton of beer are gone...........now a delivery by quarry truck will cost around $500........but the stuff is ideal for yards and drives ,and will even last on considerable slopes ,provided water flow cant undercut it....I had lots of trouble with the track down my yard,was always washed into deep wheel ruts..........filled the ruts with crusher waste,and 20 years later ,its still dead level ,no more erosion,and no more slippery track in wet weather
 

DJ2

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Location
Ontario, Canada
I used to go to a Mennonite fab shop around here, the whole place had a dirt floor but it was as hard as concrete. I asked how they did it, a guy said they compacted the dirt mixed with oil, using fork trucks (no aggregate that I could see). Like someone suggested in this post previously, it was "low cost, but high labour". All their machines were directly on the floor including a large brake press, milling machines, etc. with lots of fork truck traffic.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Problem with dirt floors is if the soil gets saturated,as when there is weeks of heavy rain,and the water table rises......then even hard packed dirt become plastic ,and even boggy........on a hilltop,it would be OK.
 

DaveKamp

Titanium
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Location
LeClaire, Ia
Betwixt all my buildings, I started with everything from marginal concrete to dirt. Marginal, meaning 4" thick if LUCKY, and NO reinforcement. Over time, I've fought this same battle, and there's really only one machine that I can count on to get in and out of all the buildings and carry a pallet... that's my farm tractor with a light 3-point fork attachment.

My pole barn has a foot of crushed rock, starting with a base of 4", then 3-and-down, topped with fines. I put it down in 3" lifts, using front end loader to spread, and a plate compactor to hammer it in tight. I did this because the bozo caretaker of the property chose to dig out a foot of dirt from the floor to provide enough overhead clearance to rent the space for RV storage... effectively, it became a swimming pool, and in middle of winter, that water would freeze, crushing RV wheels and tires where they sat...

Suffice to say, that no matter how hard one packs the floor, there's only ONE time of year that I can rexpect my Hyster H50H to be able to get in and out of the building with any servitude, is during the middle of damned-cold December through February... and the reason why, is because Mother Nature provides pavement... ice... to hold it all together. Without it being frozen, the rock simply cannot compact tight enough to maintain cohesion under concentrated loads of the Hyster's small tires... it peels up just a little rock, immediately causing the forklift to lean and rock back and forth, digging divots that it cannot climb out of. Yes, small steer tires, with no load on the mast, is the worst combination.

My Clark IT-60 has Super Singles all around, it does better, but it's too big and tall to maneuver well inside the building.

On-grade, Four inch concrete... even reinforced... lasts about one winter, before it starts cracking up under the weight of machines. There's simply not enough cross section to allow the concrete to support concentrated weight over soil that has moisture under it... frost heaving causes the edges to lift the center, leaving it unsupported... so until the soil beneath can be isolated from moisture ingress, and prevented from freezing, it will NOT support machinery weight worth a hoot. I wish I could do my floors for $5/sqft... but no chance- they'll be twice that... plus a border foundation and drainage, foam insulation for stopping frost.
 

Scruffy887

Titanium
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Location
Se Ma USA
Concrete and be done with it. Doing concrete will allow you to put a vapor barrier under the slab and help keep moisture out of the building. Critters have a hard time getting through concrete to eat the wires on your stored items.
 

StunGun

Plastic
Joined
Dec 10, 2021
Making a floor out of gravel isn't the best idea. Why not just pure concrete?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

StunGun

Plastic
Joined
Dec 10, 2021
I think he did it his own way...I wonder what he did but it's been several years since he posted. Anyway, I think that making a floor out of concrete is the best idea now. Advantages: cheap, there's no need to spend much time on it, pretty strong in the end. Some people also recommend using Afton stone, but I don't know if it works well. When I asked my friends which provide paving services about the best material out there, they said that concrete is the best available material for every household now. Well, at least the concrete floor won't break under the pressure.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
A guy in the street where my yard was decided to make hardstanding from most of his 5 acres.....was going OK (IMHO) until he got loads of head sized rocks from an excavation...tech name schist....anyhoo ,seemed a bad idea to me ,but across the road was a yard had a couple of D11s....He walked a D11 onto his place ,first few passes looked like it was going to bog,but the ground firmed up under the tracks ,and all the big rocks were crushed into pebbles by the sharp new grousers....dozer back bladed a couple of times ,and the yard has had semis driven there after heavy rain,and two forklifts work there all the time .......before the fill ,the forks were stuck half the time,and the 15 tonner wasnt easy to get out.
 

seiner

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Location
Valdez, Alaska
Stuck often is what fork lift do in dirt/gravel

I use a skid steer with forks because it really is hard to get into trouble. get the capacity you need though and they are limited in hight. I have 12 foot ceilings so not really a problem.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Part of forklift problems is operator.....at the sandblasters ,the Hyster H80 s with dual fronts would work quite OK in loose sand (actually fine illmenite...black sand)....but as soon as a kid got on one ,it would be bogged .....I would explain to the retards that full lock would bog them every time .....but they would be lock to lock a dozen times to pick a pallet...and stuck when all they had to do was straighten up and put some weight on the drive.
 

crickets

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
From experience, warehouse-style forklifts work fine on well compacted level gravel. It has to be pretty solid though - the moment the wheels start digging into it, lift truck more likely to bury itself than go anywhere.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Titanium
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Location
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
A guy in the street where my yard was decided to make hardstanding from most of his 5 acres.....was going OK (IMHO) until he got loads of head sized rocks from an excavation...tech name schist....anyhoo ,seemed a bad idea to me ,but across the road was a yard had a couple of D11s....He walked a D11 onto his place ,first few passes looked like it was going to bog,but the ground firmed up under the tracks ,and all the big rocks were crushed into pebbles by the sharp new grousers....dozer back bladed a couple of times ,and the yard has had semis driven there after heavy rain,and two forklifts work there all the time .......before the fill ,the forks were stuck half the time,and the 15 tonner wasnt easy to get out.

I filled in the lower half of my front parking area with concrete rubble from a demolition site, used the biggest pieces to build a retaining wall, spread out and compacted what I could, then topped it off with crushed limestone. Nothing sinks in that area now!
 

Hobby Shop

Hot Rolled
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Location
Michigan
I would say you don't stand a snow balls chance in hell of driving a solid tire fork lift on a built up gravel floor.

Stuart

Must be cold in hell because unless there’s snow on the ground, I can do it any day I want. Hard tire Clark C500 moving anything it will pick up anywhere in my parking lot and up/down the driveway to the barn.
 








 
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