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How to Dig a Pond With an Excavator

By Contributor ; Updated September 21, 2017

An excavator is a piece of heavy machinery used for digging and is most often seen in use at construction sites. Many excavators can be fitted with attachments that allow the machine to perform functions other than digging. An excavator can be the perfect tool to allow you to quickly and efficiently dig a pond without enduring backbreaking labor. Bob Gilmore of J. Gilmore Design in Courtland, Ohio, calls excavators the "ideal" tool for digging ponds due to the added ease in shaping ponds with an excavator bucket and digging planting shelves.

Design the pond you want to dig on paper. Identify the size, shape and where the planting shelves (if any) will be located.

Map out the exact shape of the pond you intend to dig using marker flags. This will ensure that you dig the correct size pond and do not make mistakes.

Choose the correct excavator for the job. Excavators vary in size and strength depending on what they will be used for. If you intend to dig a small personal pond, a compact excavator is the best variety for the job. If your project requires a depth of more than 14 feet, however, you may want to opt for a standard excavator.

Rent an excavator through a local construction machinery rental company. Be prepared to pay a hefty price each day you keep the machine. Also check the size of the excavator's bucket. A bucket that is too small will force you to spend more time than necessary clearing out the area for your pond.

Educate yourself on proper usage of the machine by reading the accompanying manual thoroughly. Test the excavator before you begin to dig by moving forward and backward and making sure you know exactly how to control the bucket claw's digging and dumping functions.

Choose a dump site for your dirt. The excavator claw can be maneuvered a considerable distance from the dig site to dump the excavated dirt without your having to move the excavator itself. Choosing a dump site is vital to prevent dirt from inadvertently being dumped in a place where you will need to dig it up again.

Dig the pond by layers, beginning at the edge of the pond area and working your way toward the middle. Always leave yourself plenty of room to maneuver the excavator out of the deeper areas.


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