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Paul Alciatore
03-02-2009, 03:04 AM
In Iowa, I live in a trailer court. It recently was sold to new owners and they are difficult, to say the least. Last summer they replaced the water lines in the park and installed meters for each lot. The new line was run along both sides of the street and a trench about 4-5 feet wide had to be dug. Of course, all the soil was piled up alongside the trench for another 5 feet or so. Now, with the trench filled in, the gravel that was there is all mixed up and a lot of the dirt that came out of the trench is still on top of the original soil alongside it. Nothing was done to compact the soil. So there is a 10 - 12 foot strip along side the street that is just pure mush whenever it rains or the snow melts. The contractor did nothing to help and the landlord refuses to do anything about it, claiming it is the tennants' responsibility. And the street is just too narrow to park on it.

My question is, does anyone have any suggestions for something I could use to firm up this area to allow foot and auto traffic without sinking in? I know gravel, asphalt, or pavement is the ultimate answer, but all are more expensive than I want to do. Basically I am looking for free or real cheap. After all, it is their property, not mine and I will not get a single penny back from anything I do here. I plan to be here another year or two and moving to another park would also be expensive as I have two trailers. I would probably need new tires for one of them and getting set up in a new location could cost $1000 or more.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. TIA.

dp
03-02-2009, 03:08 AM
I'd use a lawyer.

doctor demo
03-02-2009, 03:27 AM
I'd use a lawyer.
As large as the hole is it would probably take more than one lawer to fill:D .

Steve

doctor demo
03-02-2009, 03:30 AM
Seriously, If the law can't help try using lime to stiffen up the mud.

Steve

Evan
03-02-2009, 04:41 AM
Yep, rake in a couple of bags of cement. Not redi-mix but pure cement. Level it real nice. It won't look any different but it will be unusually stiff. Kind of like viagra for dirt. :D

Ian B
03-02-2009, 05:18 AM
As Evan says, mix in dry cement powder, no need to add water. I have endless problems with moles burrowing under block paths and the paths sinking. Last one I layed, I mixed about 1:15 cement powder with the sand. The mixture absorbs moisture over the next few weeks or so, and hardens. Completely mole-proof...

Ian

Circlip
03-02-2009, 06:44 AM
So if you "Damage" yourself/vehicle accessing your trailer the "Landlord" has no insurance liability?? And where were the residents representitives when the lot changed ownership or do you park for free??

Regards Ian.

Your Old Dog
03-02-2009, 07:25 AM
They must have went nuts with the gravel filler. Normally, over time, the dirt would all sink back into the hole. I recently had a hole dug for a radio tower. I leveled it off around the area and 2 months later I had nearly a 1 foot hole to fill in as the dirt had sunk more then I thought it would.

hawgwrench
03-02-2009, 08:40 AM
When I was still in the grading business we would use several tons of rock....we called it "surge" here...crusher stone about the sive of a small cantaloupe on to 3 or 4 inches...this worked good on real mushy areas....if it wasnt that bad and need road type traffic we used "4's"...which is still crusher stone,but just about the size of a large egg.....spread a this layer and "walk" it in with your vehicle....over time it'll still settle...but its a firm enough base to take weight...you can refill and smooth over and it'll stay there......portland cement works,but if its a very large area and very soft from moisture...you'll probably need half a pallet of the stuff and some way to plow it in to stabilize....(the mud down low in the trench gets no air,so it takes FOREVER to dry out,so theres no base unless you plow it in..)...good luck

Just Bob Again
03-02-2009, 09:08 AM
First contact the county building department or health department. One or the other has oversight for potable water lines. Verify they had a permit and that it passed inspection. Could be different there, but around here they'd never pass it without proper backfill and compaction. If it's intended as off-street parking, the surface has to be suitable. Even if it isn't, has to be solid ground so you don't get sinkholes in the spring.

If that doesn't help, I'd probably pay a visit to the office on crutches when I payed the rent and casually mention that I'd probably never have to pay rent again. Tell them not to fix the problem since you discovered that negligence lawsuits are a lot of fun to file and you needed a new hobby anyway.

davidh
03-02-2009, 09:19 AM
after trying what bob just said, i'd visit the "new" place your going to move to, talk to the owners and see if they can help with your move. . .

maybe help with the $$$$ for you and spread it over a year or two for a payback, and im guessing there are tires in the trailer moving system where you could rent them for the move instead of buying them.

sorry your stuck with such a a## Hole for a landlord. i can;t imagine what the heII they're thinking. ..
davidh

Willy
03-02-2009, 10:42 AM
Like hawgwrench says, rock.
I've worked for a road maintenance contractor for the last fifteen years and whenever a gravel road is installed or upgraded the first thing we do is to cap the existing road base with about 12 to 18 inches of pit run, which basically consists of everything from sand to watermelon sized nuggets. This mixture when pounded in will give a solid foundation for the applied load and will help distribute the weight of traffic.

Naturally this time of year when the soil is almost completely saturated, (especially so since it has been disturbed and not compacted) it is almost impossible to work with as it has the consistency of soup. If this is the case I would suggest what is commonly referred to around here as "corduroying" a road. Logging roads which must temporarily sustain very high loads of heavy traffic and are installed in less than ideal locations or times of the year, will have logs placed perpendicularly across the road in order to give the road some flotation. You can achieve the same results with some wood laid across the "trench". They don't have to be logs as even 2x4 material will do for light traffic, maybe you could scrounge up some dunnage from a freight company for free, as pallets have lots of good material in them.
You will want to remove this material before paving, as over time it will rot and leave a void which in turn will crack the new pavement in short order.

Hope this helps Paul, but as some of the others have said a more permanent solution would be to get a new landlord, what a dork! He's definitely pushing the envelope.

Paul Alciatore
03-02-2009, 12:25 PM
They must have went nuts with the gravel filler. Normally, over time, the dirt would all sink back into the hole. I recently had a hole dug for a radio tower. I leveled it off around the area and 2 months later I had nearly a 1 foot hole to fill in as the dirt had sunk more then I thought it would.

I have been expecting that, but it hasn't happened yet. Iowa soil?

Paul Alciatore
03-02-2009, 12:34 PM
I like the portland cement idea, but with my back I would probably have to hire someone to do it. That would cost a lot more than the cement.

I thought of wood, but as you say, it will rot over time. Perhaps I would be gone by then. I also thought of using old inner tubes: perhaps cut them into pieces/strips and just cover the area.

I like the lawyer idea, but I don't know if I could sleep with them moaning and complaining out there.

tattoomike68
03-02-2009, 05:02 PM
1st borrow the owners truck. And go buy a ton of 3/4- crushed rock . drive the truck up and down the ditch till its packed as best you can. (in front of your place anyway) then fling the rock in the ruts and drive the truck on it again.

In a pinch a truck loaded with rock makes for a good soil packer.

I used to plant big underground pipes and when we were lazy the dump truck was used just like that.

QSIMDO
03-02-2009, 05:16 PM
Dig down 6-8 inches and lay down some heavy filter fabric and then fill in the top material.
The fabric will isolate the layers so your stone won't sink out of sight and keep it from pumping.
This also works very well on driveways crossing bogs & such but you'd put in a lot more stone.

Evan
03-02-2009, 05:29 PM
Well Paul,

You have a bad back and don't want to pay somebody else to do something. That really limits your options. There is one solution that will work though. This is the beginning of dandelion season. The moment they go to seed collect a lot of them and spread the seed on the soft areas during the next rain along with a bit of nitrogen fertilizer. It will only take a month or two and you will have a very nice crop of pretty yellow flowers holding that soil together with nearly indestructible root systems.

:D

Rustybolt
03-02-2009, 07:45 PM
#17
LOL
Or strawberries.

Thing is , once everything is thawed ,its gonna settle.

Sometimes municipalities collect chrismas trees and other odds and ends from trimmings and grind it upfor mulch and offer it free to residents . Usually you just drive up and fill your trunk or pickup bed. Worth a shot as a temporary measure anyway.

John Stevenson
03-02-2009, 08:02 PM
Cannabis plants, by the time the deputies have finished wandering around it will be like tarmac :rolleyes:

.

Paul Alciatore
03-03-2009, 04:54 AM
Well Paul,

You have a bad back and don't want to pay somebody else to do something. That really limits your options. There is one solution that will work though. This is the beginning of dandelion season. The moment they go to seed collect a lot of them and spread the seed on the soft areas during the next rain along with a bit of nitrogen fertilizer. It will only take a month or two and you will have a very nice crop of pretty yellow flowers holding that soil together with nearly indestructible root systems.

:D


Are you kidding or is this serious? I like it. Perhaps I could buy seed.

Evan
03-03-2009, 09:03 AM
I'm not kidding. Crab grass works well too. Or maybe just try something traditional but not quite as hardy, a playground mix. Or all three, make it a contest.

I forgot another one but it grows a bit taller. Dryland alphalfa. It makes it's own nitrogen and requires no water. Tough as old boots and you can mow it flat without killing it. You can also buy a seven seed pasture mix that works well.

madman
03-03-2009, 09:56 AM
Good idea. Anyone have some seeds?

John Stevenson
03-03-2009, 10:00 AM
Good idea. Anyone have some seeds?

What for the alfalfa or the cannabis ?:rolleyes:

.

Richard86
03-03-2009, 10:40 AM
Come on you know that you could never get dandelions to grow where you actually wanted them! But I like the idea! If you have any left over just chuck them in the landlords yard.

Paul If you"re back can't handle the cement idea. I would give the local high school football coach a call. He will know of the strapping young lads that would be happy to help a fella out. I know alot of the youngsters these days don't like work unless it's in the weight room. But in the midwest here, I see your in Iowa, these country kids have no problem working up a sweat. Just have some donuts and gatorade for when they are done.

This happens quite often here (Ainsworth Ne). It's nice to live where people still like to help out. I'm assuming it's the same in Iowa. I don't know how big your town is but you're in the midwest so I'm sure its similar. And you know it's nice to have a football team on you're side in case trouble ever breaks out.(insert smiley face here)

Good luck, Rich

Evan
03-03-2009, 11:02 AM
Make sure to get some of that upside down spray paint to mark out the plays and scrimmage lines. Some of those boys get only a candle over their heads when they have ideas...

:D

Richard86
03-03-2009, 11:29 AM
Yes, Paul you will want to be the brains of the operation. Just use the players as human skidloaders. This is why donuts and gatorade works so well as payment. Give a football player food and a refreshing drink and you may not be able to get rid of him when your done.

Come to think of it I do a lot of work for food and drink. And I played football at one time. And when I look up there is a candle over my head. What the heck! Paul maybe it wasn't such a good idea anyway.

Hope my kid don't read this he plays football and has a 4.0 and is big enough now to hurt me. And Evan I've seen a picture of you on here, I can't imagine you did not play football.

I should get to work shouldn't I.

Have a good day . Rich

Evan
03-03-2009, 11:37 AM
I scored 495 out of 500 on the Army Physical Training Test in Basic. I lost 5 because I couldn't keep my ass down on the low crawl test. But, I don't like team sports. I used to canoe 25 miles in a day and carried a 90 lb backpack because I liked to take frozen steaks on a canoe trip.

All in fun Richard.

38_Cal
03-03-2009, 12:20 PM
Paul, just get the top three weight brackets from your wrestling team in to help. They're not only big, but they can think, too. 25w beats one candle! <VBG>

David
Montezuma, IA

Richard86
03-03-2009, 01:41 PM
I scored 495 out of 500 on the Army Physical Training Test in Basic. I lost 5 because I couldn't keep my ass down on the low crawl test. But, I don't like team sports. I used to canoe 25 miles in a day and carried a 90 lb backpack because I liked to take frozen steaks on a canoe trip.

All in fun Richard.



I knew you was kidding.