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dredgerRe: Excavator Ripper
I would suggest new guys please note, my rule of thumb is a ripper length is relative to the weight of the excavator, and length of the dipper, and the ground or rock or hard pack to be ripped,
So, starting with say,
20ton excavator, short to medium dipper, short to med boom, ripper length = 24”
30ton excavator, short to medium dipper, short to med boom, ripper length = 36”
40ton excavator, short to med dipper, short to med boom ripper length = 48”
On the other hand, and in a specific method ,( dredging with a excavator ) my line of thought is in river gravels that are full of larger rocks, I suggest that a longer ripper may be advantageous if the focus of the operation is to drop the gold “ through “ the gravels and bring the larger rocks to the surface for removal, ( pre classification of bigger rocks ) before using a suction dredge type concept to clean the bedrock,
I (20 ton) would like to try a 48” ripper length in wet river rocky gravels, new guys please note, even though these river gravels are wet, there is still allot of mud, / clay sucking and holding on big rocks, so digging with a wide bucket is not easy,
back asap, :smile:
dickbRe: Excavator Ripper
"reminder that it is always worth taking the time to make good ramps and roads".

I absolutely agree. No way would I allow the machines near the face of that cut. Start at the rear of the bench and cut a road that slopes back toward the high side if the cut so there is no way that the machine can slide toward the face and drop over the edge. That would be a real killer.

dredgerRe: Excavator Ripper

Ok , out of the many hours spent on u-tube I suggest these few vids are most relative to ripping, sorry no 20ton, 30ton, 40ton machines ripping below ground level, I could not find any,
ripping vertical face, machine is jumping around, very slow ripping, or actually moving dirt,

Ripping and moving forward on higher ground , machine jumps around a little, lifting tracks,, dropping, but can and is ripping some hard ground effectively .
Reverse ripping. Small machine in soft dirt shows “ my best method “ were the machine rips and moves back, rips again, moves back over “ a large area “, , then he quickly scoops out the ripped loose materials with a bucket,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oWlOVW83go this is a 67ton machine powerful and heavy, ripping and digging very hard rock, quick “ at and below machine / ground level” , easy on the machine, very little rocking the machine, good dipper speed during rip, and maximum mechanical advantage , please note he only uses short rips, ??. new guys please note
225 loading light stuff quickly, similar to ripped materials.
loading truck quickly,
in the mud, and a reminder that it is always worth taking the time to make good ramps and roads,
dredgerRe: Excavator Ripper

No worries, I like drills too, and speaking of " pucker " I hope you never have to climb straight up and straight down a 18 mtr deep drill hole ladder, ( just thinking about it makes me dizzy, you climb down the ladder, then I thought about climbing back up the whole time i was down there, )what a double pucker that was,
Suggestion for you,

1, is high bench, side on view,
2, frozen vegetation,
3, frozen black muck,
4, frozen gravels,
5, bedrock high bench, on right current river bedrock level,
6, is excavator moving in and out on a pad of processed river gavels,
7, 3’ orga
8, is first bore hole.
9, is bore hole under first bore hole. Pink line is gavels between bore holes, to be removed by bogger, 6’ x 3’ tunnel.
10, is gravel bored out , just falls down slope, as the orga is pulled out,
11, is work face area at the end of the tunnel,
Then you dig with this,
Hyd Tunnelling excavator ripper, extensively used in opal mining, Australia, ( fast as a one claw cockroach on steroids, ) cheap , compact, so strong, actually at this point, I should mention there is a ram that runs vertical to lock the unit in place in the tunnel, ( can be seen in pic, )although a horizontal ram configuration would also lock it into place, working one of these was a interesting experience, no machine / engine noise, no movement in the digger controls and you are standing, a video game, or you can have a seat, and the only hyd digging machine that do not move or jump around while operating, it locks in place, and defiantly over powered to rip 100 million years old layers of hard packed gravels 18 metres deep, great fun, a little giant monster, hyd give off heat for the operator, but do not think it would be enough to cause a problem in a frozen tunnel, leave / stack all the big rocks in the tunnel,???. Dig tunnels on angles,

Remote control, walk behind hyd loader dump truck, bogga,

The digger and loader run on hyd lines plugged into a excavator, or small hyd /diesel= outside,
Good one man operation, the digger rips enough materials then moves out of the way, and the loader moves the material, two man operation, is faster but the loader double handles, makes it really quick, please note there are no big rocks in opal mining, but I would have a go, better then pick and shovel. And you can make them yourself,
These cleats and slipping on ice are a worry, the only suggestion I can think of is that when you try ripping a face above and in front you, and you are ripping " up " ( the ripper reversed) you build or rip a angled pad on small river gravels that leans into the face,
If you are ripping down the front of the face the machine wants to lift the tracks, so perhaps tilting the pad backwoods might give you more perch and less lift // skid and more rip,, ??.
Last idea is if you have a elect generator, sealed unit, 18hp or above you could mount that behind the cab, just for testing, and use the compartment behind the cab to hide side in a compact heater unit, powered by the generator, hot air , and I mean really hot air, could be ducted or blown on to the under carriage frame and tracks, perhaps a light rubber skirt around the slew ring area, I think the undercarriage and tracks would transfer the heat to under the machine area well. Slow and hot air, ??.
Bacon and eggs only one hour after start up, on the track plate would be great, My line of thought is just to melt a few inches of frozen gravel would improve traction, even just softening the surface of the frozen gravels, ????, heated track muffins, ha,
dredgerRe: Excavator Ripper
Jim_AlaskaRe: Excavator Ripper
Dick is right. The ice cleats mainly help in keeping from sliding sideways. They don't do a whole lot for traction when ripping or pushing on ice and snow.
chickenminerRe: Excavator Ripper
Welding ice cleats on the grousers is no remedy. You still slide around, but it is better than flat grousers! There is a happy medium you have to acheive because the ice cleats in the summer cause a RUFF riding machine on rocks/bedrock !

Thanks for posing the drill videos. I was surprised how slow he could turn that auger. That is a key element in drilling frozen ground.
dredgerRe: Excavator Ripper
Thanks Jim,
I am just curious because any slipping while ripping would make it really hard to rip quickly.
I wonder is rebar a remedy or just helps a little, ??? ,
I should imagine if slipping on frozen muck or frozen gravels can be stopped all together, that would result in maybe a month or two longer mining either end of the season for Dick, and the guys in the mining video,
If I remember correctly, in the gold rush video series, the young guy had to end the season cause of frozen ground, he would have got good gold for the season if he could have keep digging for a week longer,, or next season he could start earlier if he could rip frozen ground,
Same with the miners with the big blue trommel, ??. Frozen ground stopped them too,
I also think there would be great advantage in being able to get a big excavator on top of the frozen muck, high up the bench, frozen or not, no slipping, to drill test holes, what are we talking here, 10 or 20 test holes, maybe 30 tests ,a day all drilled with a excavator,
hhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etVnewXZQvMoles a day,
In Australia, in the opal fields, miners drill holes in dry hard ground, 3' dia, 18 metres deep, ( testing for the opal layers ) and I was thinking dry hard or frozen hard, ok, in placer, when you hit big rock the drill would certainly tell you, and you would have to dig by hand, or just move over,
I would also suggest using say 3 home made steel frame platforms, with long spikes that will spike in any muck or gravel frozen surface, even on a slope, even for using in ripping, used like this, ,
Just trying to help “ extend “ the mining season,
Jim_AlaskaRe: Excavator Ripper
Phil, the normal remedy for ice conditions if to weld short pieces of rebar on top of the cleats of the track pads. This lets the track get a "bite" in the ice and prevents side slipping.
Jim_AlaskaRe: Excavator Ripper
If you wait to see the close-up of those tracks you will see that there are no cleats on the pads. That would be slick under most circumstances.

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