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How I Saved Serious Cash By Moving Rocks On My Own

In my quest to become a true DIYer, I collected many power- and hand tools over the years, not to mention my outdoor power equipment, which outgrew my “workshop” in the garage. 

I really wanted to either buy or build a shed but I really did not have a suitable location to place it near the driveway. 

In addition, because my backyard was nothing more than triangle shaped, approx. 50 square feet of grass patch, on a severely sloping lot that is covered with rocks, placing a shed would simply not have worked.

Fig 5.1 – uncleared area
Fig 5.2 – semi-cleared area View A
Fig 5.3 – semi-cleared area View A

So I staked out a location near the driveway which would require cutting down 2 small dead trees and also relocating about 15 ft x 25 ft of rocks (2 feet in height) to the adjoining slope, I was astounded by the prices I was getting. 

One landscaper wanted $14,000 and my tree service/landscaping company wanted $8,000 for the job. 

Obviously, I didn’t have that kind of money, nor did I want to invest that kind of money to get a tool shed.

After much researching, I decided to rent a small excavator/earth mover from a local company called Bobcat of Green Brook, NJ.  Cost?  $670 including tax and delivery (diesel not included) for 3 days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Fig 6.1 – Yanmar CBL40 Digging
Fig 6.2 – Yanmar CBL40 Pushing

By the way, I highly recommend this company if you live nearby;  I had the unfortunate luck of striking a bees nest on my first excavation and literally had to jump out to get away from a swarm of angry bees. 

Then I had to make an emergency trip to a local hardware store and buy bunch of bee killer sprays and other stuff which ate up most of my day. 

When I called my salesman Steve, he empathized with me and allowed additional 3 days of rental for free!

If you are Steve’s boss, don’t get angry! I ended up being your loyal customer by renting Bobcat 190 and 320 from Steve multiple times.

This was the VERY first time I operated a heavy equipment (well, heavy to me anyway 🙂 ), I was bit concerned the controls would be too difficult.

On the contrary, after tooling around for 10 minutes, everything felt normal.

The seat swiveled so that I could effortlessly change from loading (buckets) to using a backhoe to dig out a large boulder.

I hope you found this article to be useful for your DIY project and sign up for my newsletter. The signup form is found on the upper right hand corner of your screen.

Thanks and good luck!