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Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

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    Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    I have a deck/3-season room which was built on top of existing granite steps. I'd like to re-purpose these steps, so I'm considering if I can drag these granite block steps out from under the deck. The pieces look to be 6'l x 8" h x 12" d. There are 3 pieces total: one is on the ground by itself and the other two are stacked to form the 2nd step.

    Is this something which can be reasonably done? Or is this way more trouble than its worth?

    Of course it's not totally straight-forward. There is only about 14"h clearance between joists and ground (dirt) but it is possible to crawl to them. The slabs are roughly 8' from the side of the deck where I'd want to slide them out. The top step is up in the joist cavity (the contractor framed the deck around it...), so the bottom slab would probably have to be pulled out from underneath the top one....a trick in itself.

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    Last edited by keeena; 10-10-17 at 11:01 AM.

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    Designing life since 1985 RyanNicholson's Avatar
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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    I don't have anything valuable to add... but I kinda want to be the guy to drop the inevitable "Just get a couple guys" comment.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    How much does each weigh approximately? (someone else google it, I don't want to)

    Fuck it, I did the math. 168lb per cubic foot, approx 4 cubic feet per step. About 672lbs per step. Manageable to drag, especially if you can slide it on some wet plywood or 2x10's.


    And do you have something you can use as a winch point?


    Tractor may not be necessary. Strap/chain and a come-a-long could work wonders. Though even a useless homeowner toy tractor could pull that on some hard surface fairly easily.

    Also, are you sure the steps aren't drilled and re-bar'd in between them to hold them in place?

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 10-10-17 at 12:20 PM.
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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Tie a rope to your SUV bumper?

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Ok, that wasn't helpful. I all seriousness dig out enough earth to insert two 2x6 boards under the bottom step parallel like train tracks to drag the stone on. you can wet it, but don't likely need to. wrap a chain or serious strap around the bottom step and pull it out with your tractor. careful not to loop out the tractor in a wheelie.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Yeah, I believe these are about 750lbs and run $300-ish (plus delivery) each.

    I don't have a natural anchor point but probably could sneak my truck up to the spot. I thought about a come-along but not aware of any tool or method to attach to the granite. I figured some sort of clamping device like they use for logging? I don't have a tractor - I'm just figuring out if its worth finding someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Tie a rope to your SUV bumper?
    Hey guys, hold my beer...

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    I used 4-lo in my old SUV to pull some pretty big shrubs once. Did it with ease.

    I think it would be easier if you got one end and pulled it around and then pulled it out long ways, instead of cross ways. Get a two strap and a pry bar with wedges, you should be able to lift one side of the stone and get a loop around it. Do both sides if you want to pull it out that way. In no way get your fingers in there when doing it, I don't want to be reading about some jamoke who had to chew his hand off to get himself free from a couple of stone henge relics. I've done something similar with a come-along.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Long-ways is the way it would have to come out. If you think a loop will cinch up enough to hold the stone while pulling then it's something I may give a try. I'll post pics of the broken tow strap thru my truck's rear window this weekend...

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    drill a hole, install an expansion bolt, and hook onto it with a chain and pull

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    drill a hole, install an expansion bolt, and hook onto it with a chain and pull
    +1

    I worked with my step dad for a summer, as a laborer, for a masonry restoration co. When they lift stones that you can't get a strap around they drill 2 holes at opposing angles and insert pins to hook onto. A hammer drill makes very short work of it. Be sure to wear atleast a dust mask because granite dust is just as bad as asbestos to breathe in.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Get some 1-1/2 or 2” pipes, put down a plank, and do it like the Eqyptians.

    Our Kubota L3200 worthless toy/overgrown lawnmower has SSQD forklift tines and can lift 1400 lbs 8’. We move rocks around all the time, and it’s given me a lot of respect for those farmers who built all those rock walls by hand. But unless you were moving a substantial number of them a significant distance, can’t imagine it would be worth hiring a tractor.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by myzx6 View Post
    Be sure to wear atleast a dust mask because granite dust is just as bad as asbestos to breathe in.
    now ya tell me

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    I used a few wooden broom handles to roll em on and another rock as a pivot point to rotate them.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Get some 1-1/2 or 2” pipes, put down a plank, and do it like the Eqyptians.
    Build a massive canal system to float the blocks around?

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    No, I think he means you need to go conquer a smaller feeble nation and take their people as slaves to do your work. Canada is kind of close I guess...

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    No, I think he means you need to go conquer a smaller feeble nation and take their people as slaves to do your work. Canada is kind of close I guess...
    Yes but you don’t have to conquer the Canadians, just ask them nicely and they’ll be happy to help.


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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Pics would be helpful but based on your description it sounds to me like a come along and some tow straps are going to be key here. Depending on a few factors, you might consider using lengths of 2x10 to reduce friction however you might end up fighting with the stone to get up onto the board in the first place.

    Once they are clear of obstruction, they can be moved in whatever way your heart desires.



    If this is something you want done by a hired hand, my schedule is reasonably light the next few weeks. Send PM if you want to set something up.

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    Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    drill a hole, install an expansion bolt, and hook onto it with a chain and pull
    Quote Originally Posted by obsolete View Post
    I used a few wooden broom handles to roll em on and another rock as a pivot point to rotate them.
    ^^^these...pieces of pipe on top of flat boards for runners will work well...moved an 8'x8' shed this way as well as some large rock...had to build a wood sled for the rock...i used a strap and a come along to get the rock out of the hole though...and if you just want to get rid of them...drill holes in them and get a bucket of Dexpan (expansive grout)






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    Last edited by Point37; 10-12-17 at 10:42 AM.
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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    .drill holes in them and get a bucket of Dexpan (expansive grout)
    I've never used Dexpan, thought about it though, I have an iceberg in my driveway.

    I do have a coffee can full of feathers & wedges I have acquired over the years, I've tried my hand and cutting granite, but it is hard labor, even with a power hammer drill

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    I've never used Dexpan, thought about it though, I have an iceberg in my driveway.

    I do have a coffee can full of feathers & wedges I have acquired over the years, I've tried my hand and cutting granite, but it is hard labor, even with a power hammer drill
    i did 2 rocks like that...rented the drill and bit at home depot and went to town...blew out the holes with the air compressor...mixed the dexpan and poured...both took a couple days to pop after the dexpan was poured...made the pieces much more manageable to move by hand

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Drilling a hole or two in the side of the granite isn't a big deal.

    Stud/Sleeve/Drop-In anchors seem to be heaviest duty (link). No specs on strength from that site. About what size should I be looking for to avoid sending a 900mph projectile into low-earth orbit? Some quick googling shows that even a 1/2" anchor at 4"+ would be more than enough...sound about right?

    Bergs - if I'm unsuccessful I'll let ya know.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    ....

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    Last edited by Point37; 10-12-17 at 03:18 PM.
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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    you can't wrap a chain around them or a strap?...do you have to drill?...a photo would help

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    I might be able to strap them but it's tight clearance. That why i was originally thinking of those friction clamps. I meant to mention in my last post: I will be getting pictures.

    Yes, I have a rotary hammer.

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    Re: Tractor guys - have a question moving granite steps

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Build a massive canal system to float the blocks around?
    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    No, I think he means you need to go conquer a smaller feeble nation and take their people as slaves to do your work. Canada is kind of close I guess...
    I would really like to see this operation.

    Bet the Canadians will sing while they work. It would be like Bridge On The River Kwai, only with less torture.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-13-17 at 05:37 PM.
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