Building a road in rocky terrain with a tractor backhoe

Working all day by myself in construction has allowed me to focus on new things. One of them is a tremendous amount of podcasts and I’d love to recommend The Dollop to you, maybe starting with the amazing story of Robert Smalls. A great book, including in audio format, is Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Having absolutely nothing to do with backhoes and roads, Team of Rivals in particular lays bare the political machinery and personal life surrounding Lincoln. Given the drama of 2020 I often take solace in American history. Our forebearers went through things worst than what we’re seeing now and for those who got through it: they got through it.

More to the point of why you’re here however, these are two videos I made about how to clear terrain with a tractor backhoe.

Of course I forgot a few details, so here’s some add-ons.

Lastly let me add these items:

I haven’t worked with road base yet, the gravel (aggregate) mix that allows for a smoother and consistent road surface. My intention right now is to make the road wide, relatively flat (not cambered) , and then put road base on which hopefully takes care of the last few inches of bumpy terrain, filling in those voids.

Lastly, I’m going to try out a dump cart (as opposed to a dump trailer). I don’t have a quad / utv, but it looks like that would be pretty terrific. One person could run the backhoe, another could haul the fill away with a quad and dump cart. A dump trailer would of course be better, but a dump trailer is ~$5,000 as where a dump cart is about $300.

If you’re doing this for a living, an F350 and a dump trailer is a way to go. But for a DIY landowner you’ll be done with your construction projects eventually and having big ticket items laying about is a waste of money. A dump cart is easier to tuck away and a UTV is cheaper and more fun than a super duty pickup.