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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody ever put rig mats under their hopper bottom bins with skids? Getting sick of taking anchors out, leveling, and then re-anchoring bins. Anybody done anything else that has worked? Got a quote to get concrete poured and just about fell over.

Thanks,
Neil
 

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Which style of rig mats were you thinking in terms of as there are the all wood ones that interlock and more so then anything they are used to drive over but can see them warping/rotting and compromising your bin at some point I'd think. Then there are the thick steel encased style rig mats that are huge/heavy and if the right lumber is put into it to resist rotting, I would think one would get a number of years of life out of such a unit. That is what one neighbor had made up for himself and I'd have to look at them again but I believe he has two of them side by side and they are long enough for two hoppers to sit on. He did that so he could move them in the future but the mats are sitting on a thick layer of well drained courser gravel for a good base and less likely to rot then if plunked down onto clay/top soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Our yard is not drained very well at all, and water likes to sit everywhere. (especially this year) To top things off we have an underground spring that runs through the yard as well. We stripped the topsoil to the clay and put a bunch of gravel. It has firmed up somewhat over the last 3 years, but the bins are shifting quite a bit this year.
Lister mats makes an all steel mat that looks like it would work. There is also a rubber mat called eco-flex but not sure if that would work for this application or not. The rubber mat might still allow the bin to shift?
 

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We take old grader blades and cut them into pieces longer then what the skids are wide. Then we put them crossways under the skids every 4 or 5 feet. It really seems to help the skids from sinking in.
 

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We take old grader blades and cut them into pieces longer then what the skids are wide. Then we put them crossways under the skids every 4 or 5 feet. It really seems to help the skids from sinking in.
Hauled from a farmer in SK once that had grader blades in an "X" under each leg. (No skid.) 2,000 bu hopper bins. I don't think I'd do it without a skid, but he said they had been like that for years.

Andrew
 

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a good clay base with a 18" layer of 4-6" rock on top, it won't budge. Rig mats would only last as long as the wood they are made of.
X2. Also look at running a few strings of tile around the real wet areas, then gravel, then geo tech cloth and then more gravel. Most elevators are built on old slough areas and it's amazing what that cloth will do. Basically looks like a really thick felt. We've used some in our yard right under hoppers, but mainly for weed control.
 

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There is also a rubber mat called eco-flex but not sure if that would work for this application or not. The rubber mat might still allow the bin to shift?
Check out the Eco-Flex website and watch the video of a Cat turning around on one of the mats. No question they are strong and durable.

Also have noticed they are developing a lot of different products. Maybe they would consider making a 3 piece unit that would lock together with pins, but when apart would fit on trailer for ease of shipping.

They could come in 14' 18' 19' diamater packages and be about 30" to 40" across.

 

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I put a couple of 120t hopper bins on 2 8/40 rigs mats it works great but my manages a rental company so I can use them until I get my concrete pad ready because if you want to buy them they are $4500 a piece
 

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Put 2 rubber rig mats under a 2300 bus bin with skid 2years ago. Super happy, got th em from eco-flex called Yukon damaged ones for $850 bucks 1-866-326-3539
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After thinking about it for a while, I think we are gonna try the 4-6" rock. Thanks Jason and dwh for the idea. Rig mats would work well I believe, but the cost is not comparable between the two.
 

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We've had similar issues of settling bins.

So the last six 5000 bu hopper bins we put a 16" clay base, then laid down woven geotextile, then put 8" of 2 1/2" crush gravel. It's been two years now and skids have only sunk in about an inch. The geotextile prevents the rock from pounding into the clay and disappearing.

As we have a very flat spongy yard also, I'm planning to do the complete yard this way. I can't remember off hand the cost, but considering that we've spent thousands and thousands of dollars over the years for gravel it seemed very cheap to try it.

If you're interested we got the rolls from Keymay Industries in Sherwood Park, Ab Ph:1-780-417-1980
Cascade Geotechnical and Nilex, both in Edmonton also handle it.
 

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To permanently stabilize a soggy yard or location you need to do it right. I'm sure the rig mats would work but at considerable cost. A much more economical way is to find a suitable pit and start with pit run. What you need is something with large "bones" - rock that will pass a 12 or 18 inch screen. Big stuff in other words. And you need some clay mixed in. What you're getting will be p-poor gravel but it should come cheap. The clay is really important because it is what will bind the whole mess into one entity. You need to put down enough of that to make a base that will knit itself together and float on whatever you are laying it over. It has to be thick enough that you will never cut through it. How thick that is will depend on the base you are laying it over but likely 12 to 18 inches. So its going to take some serious quantities but it won't be really expensive if you find the right pit. Then you want to compact it really well, ideally by driving on it for a year or so but it will be a mess whenever it rains if it has enough clay in it because it will hold water and get slimy on top. So you may want to compact it more rapidly and then spread road gravel on top of it. If you do it right that will float over some truly awful substrates and make a very workable yard.

Too often people dump crushed rock or screened gravel over inadequate bases and then wonder why they have to keep dumping more and more rock into what appears to be a black hole. You need a solid base to start with before you put the top layer on. If you do it right you don't actually need much gravel on the top.
 

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The last hoppers we put up we had an oilfield company put in 20' steel piles made out of oilfield pipe. They drive them in with a hoe, weld a steel plate on top, place the bin, cut a hole and bolt them down. No skid required. These are 4,000 bu bins. Cost was very comparable to a skid & compacted gravel. Have only been up a year but they haven't moved.
 

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If your not looking to move them around and they are going in a fairly permanent location how is concrete not a better option. Build up your site a little and pour on top so you can always drain away from it. Unless you are getting really cheap rock and the skid is free concrete is very comparable.
I think my cost on a 20'x20'x24" deep pad is around 5000$ and the skid I was quoted was $3500 or close to it.
 

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I have a wet area behind my bins (near tree line) that doesn't get much sun I would like to tile.
Anyone know where you can get tile in AB/SK?

Also -- how deep would you tile -- 3'?
 
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