To set up a pool, there is a need to balance the ground level. In a location where the landscape is smooth and almost leveled already, you might not need to undergo a lot of stress.
All you will need is your local home tools, and you will be set in an hour or two. But when the slope of your land is up to 10 – 15 degrees, and there is a need to scrape off up to 30cm of sand to another side for balance, that is more than what you can use your local tool to do.
A skid steer is a vehicle used for landscaping functionalities. Instead of wasting time on local tools and tools and DIYs, it will make the work easier, faster, and stress less.
The problem on the ground is just how you will handle its operational requirements. If you are clueless about operating it, you need training, or you might seek the help of a professional operator.
Notwithstanding, this article aims to discuss the basic stages of using a skid steer to level the ground for the pool.
Materials needed to level ground for a pool with skid steer:
- Skid steer
- Rolling tamper or lawn roller
- Fungicide and herbicides
How to Level Ground for a Pool with a Skid Steer In 5 Steps
Step 1: Choose a site
Before using a skid steer, make sure you have no option but to use it. First, check your local building codes to confirm if there are environmental restrictions on some parts of your land or not.
Then, check if there is no utility or underground wiring in your chosen areas. Avoid areas with trees, stumps, drainage, and septic tank.
Then, stay off from waterlogged areas a long time after rainfall. With these checked, you can go ahead with other procedures.
Step 2: Get the skid steer ready
Rent a skid steer in any of your local home improvement rentals. Discuss with the rental equipment manager about your level of skill.
He could give a little training and administer precautions. Ask that a bucket be attached to the skid steer instead of a fork. We will be moving soils and not lifting pallets.
Ask for the owners’ manual. Read through the instructions and adhere to them. There’s a code to input for each skid steer before it works.
Every skid steer has a separate one, so you cannot search online for some ultimate codes to use. With these in place, transport the skid steer to your pool location.
Step 3: Operate the skid steer to level the ground
Sit in the skid, steer comfortably and grab the safety bar. The safety bar wouldn’t lock like a seatbelt; it would rest downwards.
Observe the environment. You might even tie a red cloth to a long stick and drive it in the corners of your assigned area. Take a careful look at the interiors and turn the skid steer on.
Do this by turning the key to the right. At this time, the other keys’ light will turn on. Put in mind that you cannot use the skid steer until you enter its security code. After this, turn the key to the right again, and the engine will start up.
Check the idle speed to avoid crashing into things as you start moving the soil. It is common for most novice skid steer operators to make this mistake.
Set it to a moderate level. You can now hold the joystick of the skid steer.
There are two operation patterns for a skid steer – ISO control and H pattern.
The ISO control has its left joystick for controlling the vehicle’s movement and the right joystick to control the arm attached. The two joysticks work together for an H pattern and are not as simple as the ISO control.
You are needed to turn the RPM of the skid steer to the maximum. This will aid in lifting the arms effectively. For the idle speed foot pedal or check the right side of the skid steer for an RPM leveler. You can consult the user’s manual to know where they are located.
Grab the right joystick and turn it towards the southwest to lift the bucket of the skid steer up. This is to prevent the bucket from hitting the ground unnecessarily when you set the skid steer in motion. Use the left joystick to move the skid steer. The operation is simple. Pull the right joystick to the north, and the skid steer will move forward. If you want to make a turn, pull it towards the direction. To reverse, pull the joystick backward.
Pulling the joystick towards the north lifts the arm up for the arm lifting and operations. Towards the left, moves the bucket up. Towards the right, the bucket dumps its content, and towards the southwest, the arm comes down.
With these basic pieces of knowledge, you should be able to clear off the areas with high levels and pour the content into areas with slopes.
Step 4: Leveling
Run the skid steer over the area to make it smooth. Take a small board and place a level on it. Move both of them around the area to check if the ground is truly leveled. If you notice any uneven area, use the skid steer to fix it up.
Step 5: Finishing
After leveling the ground, use a rake to comb out stones, debris, and plants collected. Don’t get too hard with handling the rake.
The next thing is to tamp the area. Grab your lawn roller or your rolling tamper. Spray little water through a hose evenly and tamp through.
Spread the sand bought and use the skid steer to run over it again. At this moment, the next thing is to spray with fungicides and herbicides.
The area is prone to water splashing, so there’s a need to protect it from the growth of fungi and plants after installation. Ask for recommendations and carefully read the instructions given before application.
The finishing steps, as mentioned, are necessary to strengthen the security and longevity of your swimming pool. After application of Fungicides and herbicides, install the pool after two weeks.
This will prevent chemical contamination. You can add foam tiles after the sand layering to make the area look beautiful. Adhere to instructions and preventive measures.