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moving a (small) concrete slab and shed

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Apprentice_GM, Aug 12, 2008.

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  1. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    I have a small 3m x 3m (10' x 10') metal shed atop a concrete slab in my backyard. I don't like it's current position. I want to expand my backyard for my kids to play in and would like to move the shed to a corner approx 30m away. I have an old Fergie tractor (Tea20, 50+ years old and still going strong!) and access to a small excavator (Kobota with a SWL of ~600kgs) and can hire a bobcat easily if needed.

    My idea was to move the shed off the slab by gently lifting it up, inserting carry bars or 4 x 2" timber rails under it and getting a couple of mates to help me move it. Then to lift one side of the concrete slab and put some rollers underneath it, eg treated timber logs I have lying around, then lower the slab back on top (gently). Then to kind of nudge the slab along using the excavator or tractor or bobcat and keep moving rollers to the front, like old times (altho they didn't have machines lol). If the slab is 100mm / 4" thick the slab weight will be just over 2 metric tons (2160kgs). If it's 50mm thick, a good possibility for a humble garden shed, half that weight obviously.

    The alternative is to pour a new slab, move the shed, then break up and remove the old slab. It would cost about $250 for concrete, $50 for reo, $150 for a disposal bin, and a few hours of labour. Hard labour :)

    Any comments or suggestions to save me time and effort? :)

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    All ya need is the excavator or even the tractor, a bunch of fairly round logs a good chain or strap or two. Drill a couple good size holes in two corners of slab, hook strap or chains through and to tractor or excavator, lift slab enough to get some logs under, pull along with chain on top of lags acting as rollers, keep feeding logs in front to continue the roll along, and pull it over the rollers to new spot. ;)
    Or get lots of Egyptians, and lots of block & tackles. ;)
  3. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    Hogwildz,

    Thanks for your reply, but I don't understand the difference?

    Am I missing something? Cheers mate!
  4. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    I think the language barrier is a problem here! I think you both have the same idea, just a different method of execution.

    I think you are going to have a problem with the slab breaking while moving it, or after it is moved. You aren't going to be able to evenly support it in its new location, unless you sink it in new concrete. I would hate to go to all that trouble and wind up with a cracked slab. I vote for pouring a new slab.

    Now, pack me up one of those 'utes and send it over here! The Maloo would be good, but I probably can't afford it with the exchange rate right now! :coolsmile:

    Chris
  5. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    Chris,

    They're giving those utes away these days. Petrol ("gas") hit $1.80 for regular unleaded / litre in my area a few weeks ago (~$6/gal in US dollars) and no-one can afford to run thirsty V8 or even V6 high performance cars any more. Large 4WD's have plummeted in price too.

    So, it would actually work well for you - get a cheap car here and run it on cheap gas there :)

    Like all utes the performance suffers a bit when you throw a few hundred kgs over the rear wheels to make it handle half decently . . .

    As for the slab, well it's just a garden shed, I don't mind a crack or two. I hope there's reo (steel) in it. How do I check without drilling 14 holes hoping to hit steel?
  6. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Good question! Metal detector?

    Chris
  7. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    Great answer :)
  8. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    I've done quite a bit of work with concrete over the years, and I don't think you are going to have much luck moving it. If it is only 2" thick as you predict, it will likely break when you try to move it, unless it has a lot of steel in it. I would be surprised if a 2" thick slab has much steel in it. If you are successful in moving it, make sure the new site is level and well compacted, or you will have issues there as well.

    If the equipment you are using to try to move it are free - I would give it a try. But my guess is you will end up pouring a new slab in the new location. Good luck!
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have moved a slab, similar to what you are doing. I used a slightly different approach. Instead of trying to use the logs as "rollers" I simply used 2 of them as a skid (bracing the front and back) and then chained to the poles and pull. To help the slab settle when you have it in its new place, put a couple of inches of sand down first. This reduces "stress" points and will have a tendency to naturally "settle" with time.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    Thanks Jags, good idea, not sure if a 3m x 3m slab will span well, might need 4 or 6 logs under it for skids, but I see the idea. Sand down is a good idea, was going to do something like that, probably rotary hoe the soil then screed level so it's easy to compact for slab.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The slab I moved was smaller L x W than you are dealing with and was also MUCH thicker, so putting multiple skids underneath may be the answer if you are concerned with the strength.
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