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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire
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At some point most, gardeners will wish to remove soil from their garden. The most effective way to do this is with skip.
However skips do have high sides and physically lifting soil into them is very challenging. In order to fill a skip with soil you will need to provide a stable ramp and barrow system.
There is a knack to filling a skip with soil correctly this way and it does take some experience. However, in this article we will explain how to fill a skip with soil safely as a beginner.
What do you need to fill a skip with soil?
Low set or small wheelbarrow
Particularly if you are new to filling skips it is best to obtain a strong builder's wheelbarrow with a low profile. Consequently, the Haemmerlin Chillington 85Litre Wheelbarrow with a puncture proof wheel is the best choice for filling skips.
Scaffold board or professional loading ramp
To ride your wheelbarrow up to the top of the skip you will need a loading ramp. This should be a minimum of 200mm wide and 3metres long.
This will provide a safe and easier gradient to push the load up the ramp. Normally builders will use scaffold boards which are fine but can be slippery when wet.
The best option is to use a professional loading ramp with built in metal and rubber grips.
Spades are great for cutting and scrapping up wet and stick soil which get spilt while loading.
Long handled shovel
Long handled shovels are effective tools for loading up wheelbarrows with soft and loose soil.
Landscaping rakes are effective at raking soil inside the skip for level and consistent loading.
You will require a stiff broom to clear up any soil spillages during loading. If soil is left it can become compacted into surfaces and make your loading ramp slippery and unsafe.
How to fill a skip with soil
Set up your ramp and make sure it is as secure as possible. Try to ensure you have an easy and direct route to the loading ramp. This is so you can build up suitable momentum to push the load up the slope.
With an imaginary load, wheel the empty barrow up the slope at least five times to get used to the movement. Imagine you have a heavy load in the barrow! Tense your stomach muscles, lower your body and tense your arms.
When you are confident to try your first load fill the barrow one third full. Build up some momentum with the load and tense your whole body to drive the load up the ramp.
The most difficult part of loading skips with soil is the ‘wrist flick ‘at the top. With your lighter load practice this transitional handle grip from 'under fingers' to 'upward palm thrust' at the top.
This is best undertaken when the barrows wheel guard is just over the ramp, so it locks with the top of the ramp.
When you have mastered the knack of emptying light loads you can gradually fill the barrow more. Fill up one side of the skip and keep levelling the soil until you create a compact and level platform.
When you have created a platform run your barrow straight up into the skip and fill the horizontal plane. As you walk over the top of the soil you will create a well consolidated path.
You can now start to pile up soil at the other end and work your way backwards until the skip is completely full.
Step 7 :
Make sure you secure any heaped soil around the edges by compacting it. This can be done with the back of a rake or shovel.
How much soil can you put in a skip?
Normally the limit for adding soil is a full 8 yard skip. Any larger skip filled with soil may be too heavy for the skip lorry to lift.
If you are worried about the weight of the soil in your skip, ask the skip company for advice. Covering your skip with a tented poncho will prevent rainwater saturating your soil and making it much heavier.
How high can you fill a skip with soil?
All skip companies prefer you to only fill a level load with soil. However competition between skip suppliers has meant some slight heaping is tolerated.
As long as soil is only heaped up very gently and well compacted and stable. Remember, skip drivers are personally responsible for the loads they carry so be respectful to them.
If you are in any doubt about how high, you can fill your skip contact the skip company.
Will a skip full of soil damage my driveway?
Skips full of soil and concrete are much heavier than other materials. However if a driveway has been built with an inadequate base it could crack under such a load.
Normally it’s not the skip which is the problem but the combined load with the lorry. I personally don’t like putting skips on client’s drives any larger than a 4-yard filled with soil.
It is much safer to position skips where they can be picked up without the lorry entering the driveway.
Block paving, old tarmac and cracked crazy paving are the most vulnerable to skip lorry damage. If you are worried lay out thick boards for heavy loads to spread out the weight.
Generally, skip drivers know about the limitations and liabilities of their profession and can foresee potential issues.
If you have specific concerns about your driveway consult the skip company for advice.
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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire