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Don_Mahaffey

What's your shaping tool of choice?
« on: April 09, 2003, 08:08:24 PM »
I've been doing some dirt work where I'm building my new maint. facility and I used a cat D-5C to level the pad and build the berms used for screening. It got me thinking about using a similar machine to build some greens in the near future. Last year we built three greens using box blades and a back hoe for the bunker work. It worked out fine, but I believe a small dozer would be faster. I'm wondering what equipment some of you who have shaped quite a few greens prefer to use?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

CjM111

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2003, 10:38:38 PM »
A talented shaper can really do a great job with a D-4.  I have watched Jim Wright, who has worked for Coore & Crenshaw do wonders in just a few passes, but it takes talent and artistry.  I have tried a few times myself and it is much harder than it looks...easy dragging back but pushing sand in place is not so easy.   And, of course to get the real nuances of the green perfect, a Smithco is the perfect vehicle.

Good Luck
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tommy_Naccarato

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2003, 11:01:01 PM »
Don, A Georgia Backhoe.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Justin_Hanrahan

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2003, 11:21:36 PM »
A D3,4 or 5 seemed to be the tools of choice where I worked.

A few of the guys worked the bunkers with the dozers, but I also saw some amazing bunker work done by an Indonesian guy using a 320 excavator. The same guy was used to box out the greens on occasion and did a remarkable job. (a lot better than the ex-pats who were paid a lot more to do less.)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian Phillips

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2003, 02:03:00 AM »
On the jobs I have worked on we have used anything from D-4's to D-6M's to CAT 317 excavators.  D-6M is the biggest I have seen used on greens.

Normally a CAT 317 is used to spread the rootzone and then a bunker rake used to finish off the surface and then a number of hours hand raking to get the surface ready for seeding.

Brian
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Jeff_Mingay

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2003, 05:46:54 AM »
I recently did two greens (a practice putting green and a chipping green w/ bunker) at a new practice facility with a John Deere 450, which is a really nice machine. We're somewhat limited in terms of equipment on this particular project, and will be finish grading with a 'Viking' unit on the back of a tractor, floating the greens with a Sand Pro, and of course, touching things up with good ol' fashion shovels and rakes!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
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RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2003, 09:50:09 AM »
I certainly have no experience other than observing.  But, are you speaking of only of greens construction, grading out the sub-grade, shaping the surrounds, then filling and spreading rootzone mix, and floating the contours prep'ed for seed, all with one machine?  

I heard Sand Hills was done with a smallish backhoe, box blade, smithco, and hand work... of course, look at the ease of working in sand.

Doesn't much of this depend on soil characteristics of subgrade, and greens construction method and size?  Isn't spreading the RZ mix to large greens with USGA method construction more problematic with the heavier D6 or 5, and the lighter you go down to D4s, or the smithco, it becomes the method of choice, with hand floating at the finish before seeding?  Push up sand based greens VS USGA method seems to offer ability to use different machines, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
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Dick Kirkpatrick

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2003, 01:00:42 PM »
The shaping machine of choice, regardless of soil type, should be ANY small trim dozer with a six way blade. This is used after the bulk fill is put in place with scrapers or trucks. The manufacturer is not important, but the operator (shaper) is.
An experienced shaper can achieve all the contours of the sub grade including bunkers, spread the gravel drainage layer, and spread the rootzone material. The same machine is used to track the rootzone material, a process which involves driving the machine back and forth across the rootzone material, moving over a track width at a time. When that is finished, a viking (grademaker) as Jeff mentioned is the finish tool of choice. When a good viking operator is finished, there will be little or no handraking to be done.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2003, 08:58:10 PM »
Don -- I've seen everything used from a Sand-Pro to a D-6. It really depends on the operator. An illustrator who is adept at using a Sharpie marker can create wonderful drawings...but another artist might prefer very fine pencils. I'd suggest the following check-list to determine equipment:

-- Soil conditions (sand can be pushed and requires track-driven machinery)

-- Site consitions (hilly sites may be cust and shaped with dozers as opposed to blades

-- Operator (whatever they want to use is probably best -- if you trust in them!)

-- What is available (this cannot be overlooked; at remote sites, like our work in Mexico, we often have to live with what is available)

-- Architect's directive (still a valid criteria; for example, we often require rubber-tire equipment on remodeling/renovation as it will do less damage to the course)

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
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Bruce_Dixon

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2003, 10:32:28 AM »
On a course we started last summer we rough shaped the greens, tees and bunkers with a John Deere 750 dozer with a 6 way blade.  Our finishing shaper uses a Cat 943 track loader for fine grading/shaping the green cavities and bunkers.  Everything is cleaned up with a box blade and skid steer.  The rootzone is placed and spread with the 943 and floated with a bunker rake.  Tees are finished with box blade and skid steers also.

Bruce
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2003, 10:38:06 AM »
Don,
How about a tablesoon and a teacup? ;)

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:04 PM by -1 »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Bill_Overdorf

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2003, 07:47:37 PM »
While my experiences take me way back to the days of the old nose heavy 9-U D6 as the shaping machine of preference in that era, the D-6B that followed was a major improvement overall. This tractor, later renamed the D-5 was ideal for shaping but with time, the D-5 became appreciably larger, heavier and suited to move more material in the shaping process. The natural inclination was to then drop back to the D-4 which was a good machine of choice. The transition then to the D-4H, the high track version found great favor, but I have inherently felt this machine to be somewhat top heavy when working around slopes. Caterpillar realized this and then brought out the D-5C with the traditional track configuration. This is a sweetheart shaping machine, well balanced, yet capable of moving appropriate volumes and well suited for bunker shaping.

Another tractor that has found great favor is the John Deere 650, a product of this manufacturer's realization that the industry was woefully in need of a smaller, quick and well balanced machine for fine grading. I have spent many hours in the seat of this nimble little machine, although I am forced to admit that it always seemed underpowered. The addition of a six-way "smart aleck" blade provided optimum flexibility for intricate bunker shaping work.

I have inherently found favor with American iron, but I must admit that a shaper friend of mine talked me into a demo of a Komatsu D-37P, the result of which was incredible! I have never before or since sat in the seat of a finish grade machine that could possibly compare for strictly fine finish work, although the manufacturer had fallen victim to a series of inferior drive sprockets, one of which was completely GONE in something like 350 hours.

Another issue with finish work is the fact that anyone in this area of highly specialized landform development has found, in his opinion, THE one implement to solve all issues with final site preparation. I personally don't think this implement exists
or is soon to be introduced to the golf course development industry, but I for sure am looking with both eyes open and shall so continue.  ;) ;) :)  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

David_Grant

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2003, 06:59:23 PM »
To date the best and most versatile unit I have seen used for rough shaping is a Cat 943 hydrostatic loader.  The unit functions much like a dozer for pushing material and the bucket allows for quick and accurate material transfers without pushing it through or over areas previously shaped.  Works well on heavy soils and leaves less work for the box blade finisher.  Good for pushing out greens mix as well.  Keep in mind that each shaper will have a preference for the machine they are most comfortable with and that experience is critical in achieving the desired result.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2003, 07:09:43 AM »
Don:

On nearly all of the greens I've shaped personally, I used a D-4 or a John Deere of the same size ... but a couple of the guys who work for me now can put in the same finicky details with a D-6 or a Komatsu 37 (which is all we had in NZ).

Still, there are certain things for which we've found a medium-size trackhoe (ideally with a wrist bucket) to be invaluable.  In fact, Jim U. thinks he'd like to build an entire golf course with trackhoes someday just to prove a point.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

les_claytor

Re: What's your shaping tool of choice?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2003, 04:53:37 PM »
I originally wanted to ask what a "Viking" unit is, it must be a box scraper or float like a "Gannon"?  Just curious, never heard of the trade name before.

Tom,
Interesting concept shaping an entire course with a knuckle bucket.  The only hole I know shaped with a bucket was a very wet par 3 at Caves Valley, a LUI shaper was forced to build with a knuckle bucket.

Anyway, I think a knuckle bucket is probably the method that most closely approaches mule and scoop technology.  It would be really neat to get a very talented shaper in the seat, on a great site and let him have at it.

Would you provide the track hoe a off road truck or two, or balance the dirt in the immediate area?  I always feel the cut / fill nature of mule and scoop technology has a subliminal balencing effect on the human eye.

It's very interesting how different arch's approach track hoe detail work.  The Fazio group relies on smooth knuckle bucket work achieving almost a liquid look. The little Dye construction work I've seen utilized track hoes in a more gauging or vertical style.  Good stuff for sure.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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