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Author Topic: Cement ramps ?  (Read 4252 times)
Eagle Andy
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« on: June 09, 2010, 08:48:24 PM »

Hey Guy's and Gal's Has anyone out there in the Bus world built concrete ramps . I was thinking about building some and wanted any thoughts. I seem to be under it always doing  somthing and I just don't like wood ones. I can never seem to get them in the same spot twice. You know what I mean . So i thought I would dig a little footer say 12 inch"s deep and the width og the drivers with a ramp. That way there always in the same spot. I would use rbar for strenth. Any thought"s Thanks Andy























 
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 11:58:51 PM »

I use 2x12's four stacked nailed together.  Mark your floor with either tape or paint and the ramps will be in the same place everytime.  The main advantage to wood ramps is that they are portable.  What happens if you're away from your concrete ramps and need to get the bus up for an emergency job?  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 06:03:38 AM »

Thanks for the reply Tom , Well I have a set for travel and my floor is  gravel so the tapes out lol  I was just wondering if anyone had done this before . Thanks Andy  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 06:22:21 AM »

I use railroad ties! Obviously they are designed for the weight. Just a bit heavy when moving them around.

Grant
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 07:00:20 AM »

I was contemplating a shallow pit. Maybe a foot deep or so, I'm not sure. It would cost a bit more in time and material but I can use a creeper in it as well. (I too am surrounded by gravel) I kinda thought it might be useful in car/truck applications as well.

Justa thought.
  Chaz
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 07:38:37 AM »

When I get the money together to slab the bus barn I intend to put a pit where the bus will back over that pit when stored.  That way I can get under the engine at all times without moving the bus.  If I need to work on the front then I can pull the bus out, turn it around and drive in over the pit.

I talked to my construction guy and he had a lot of good ideas like adding a switched sump pump in case of water got in it.  He also mentioned steps to get down there.  Electricity for power tools.  And a heavy angle iron edges welded to the re-bar to hold the heavy expanded matel grate over the top.

He is also going to lay in a septic line from the bus to the house septic.  That way I can just go home and hook the stinky slinky to the bus and let fly the black water tank.
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 08:01:59 AM »

He is also going to lay in a septic line from the bus to the house septic.  That way I can just go home and hook the stinky slinky to the bus and let fly the black water tank.

Make sure your septic tank can handle that much volume at one dumping. It it is too much at one time, you can end up with solids in the drain field. That is not a good thing.  Jack
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2010, 08:07:37 AM »

I am going thru the permit and planning process on putting in a pit right now. Could you tell me more about the expanded metal? Would it hold your bus if you drove on it or is it strickly for walking across? How are your sides going to be done (what material? I assume rebar and concrete molds)? Will the lip of the top of the pit support creeper wheels? When the pit is opened where is the expanded metal? Is it on some sort of underground roller system?
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010, 09:37:39 AM »

X-metal will definitely NOT hold the bus. It's basically a piece of sheet metal that's pierced and opened to create an "X" pattern. You "might" just "MIGHT" be able to find a bar grating to hold it but I wouldn't even try. The x-metal will be so people don't fall in.
 All the other stuff is up to you. You can get pretty creative if you want. But it usually just costs money.
  Chaz
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 09:56:15 AM »

consider how much you use it..two or three times a year doesn't justify cost of pit or concrete ramps.I built a shallow pit 3ft deep by 12 ft long 3 ft wide so you still can get a jack under axles.. and have a steel plate top for it.(drag it on and off with bus)short chain to trailer hitch..1/4 inch plate with cross angle iron every 2 ft..holds a lot...steam engine...wayward trailer.  I can sit up under bus with pit that deep...not perfect but don't use but a few times a year.nice when you need it.
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 02:38:20 PM »

Thanks for the thoughts Guy's , Robert got me thinking about a shallow pit . I don't think I need it 12 feet long and I guess a fella could line it and put in a litttle drain field for run off or a cover like he has.I really don't need a lot of room , it would be nice to beable to sir up and work . Thanks again  Andy
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 04:11:56 PM »

consider how much you use it..two or three times a year doesn't justify cost of pit or concrete ramps.I built a shallow pit 3ft deep by 12 ft long 3 ft wide so you still can get a jack under axles.  I can sit up under bus with pit that deep...not perfect but don't use but a few times a year.nice when you need it.

Before I built my new Bus barn I had the bus parked on two concrete runners that were 45' long.

They were 3' apart and the grade from ground level at the front to the rear had about a 2' drop, the concrete was level.  I dug out the center 10' in the rear and it made for wonderful access while sitting and like Robert I just spun the coach around to access it.

I am thinking about extending the floor outside of the building, on the downhill side in the rear, and building a "sitting pit" again.

Cliff


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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 06:04:52 PM »

a sitting pit instead of a standing pit does sound more comfortable.
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2010, 08:02:52 PM »

I am going thru the permit and planning process on putting in a pit right now. Could you tell me more about the expanded metal? Would it hold your bus if you drove on it or is it strickly for walking across? How are your sides going to be done (what material? I assume rebar and concrete molds)? Will the lip of the top of the pit support creeper wheels? When the pit is opened where is the expanded metal? Is it on some sort of underground roller system?

I really have no idea on design,  I am leaving that to the builder.  Someone said they would use theirs 3 times a year.  I believe I would use mine monthly.  With A bus, 4 cars, a kabota zero turn mower, a John deer mower, a tractor and a brushog I beleive I will use it often.  I want it long enough to pull 2 cars in at 1 time so I can change the oil 2 at a time.

So far as the septic.  They are going to put in the same thing as the upright tee from the house.  The black water tank on the bus will be 40 gallons.  That is half the volume as the jacuzzi tub dumps in almost daily.  The upright tee downspout will extend about 3 feet down into the septic.  It should hold the solids until they get water logged and sink.  They should be ready to sink prior to arrival at home anyway as the solids have been sitting in the black water tank water.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 05:41:27 AM by wal1809 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2010, 06:39:01 AM »

Along with a a sump for a drain in a pit, installing an air exhaust is required in many codes.

You don't want bad air down there, and a propane leak will collect in the pit.

Once you've used a pit, you don't want to go back to crawling on the ground.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2010, 07:42:44 AM »

An air supply would be a handy addition as well.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2010, 02:42:57 PM »

One of the charter bus companies here in Tulsa has the concrete ramps. They are about 7-8' long x 2'6" wide and 12" tall. I have had mine on them a couple times. It does make it nice.

Bryan
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 05:27:48 PM »

Thanks Fella's Got a bunch of Idea's from this post, let you know what I end up doing with pictures . Thanks
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2010, 06:30:34 PM »

With a sitting pit, are you able to get enough torque when working from that position? Im thinking I might have problems
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2010, 06:46:34 PM »

I park the bus on railroad ties. It takes two rows, three ties wide over gravel/dirt the length of the bus. I never have to use the ramps because the bus is always up off the ground and I never have to deal with setup and take down. Also, having my "pit" above ground means that I don't have to deal with standing water. There is enough room to easily use 5gal buckets under the engine when doing oil changes.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 05:39:39 AM »

If you're going to use the pit for other vehicles, some gas engined, you don't want a sump pit. Gas fumes are heavier than air, will collect in the sump, and likely will eventually explode when the pump comes on. Most jurisdictions in my experience require a gravity air drain. For insurance reasons, you should get a permit and inspections.
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2010, 01:11:05 PM »

I am not about to get a permit or an inspection.  I would just as soon dip water out with a bed pan than to have a state, county or federal inspector step foot on my place.  I might be government employed but I want nothing to do with government and my private life.  To be honest I would rather the sump pump explode the lid off of my barn than have them here.
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cody
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2010, 01:18:02 PM »

I'm inclined to side with barn owl on this idea, the railroad ties, 3 wide with staggered end joints held together by threaded rod the full length of the bus with a tire stopper isn't a budget killer but gives a solid 8 inch rise with very solid and stable footing, even better if you can get bridge timbers, they are 12x12 and you can sometimes get them in 12x16 inch sizes 8 ft to 20 ft long,
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2010, 01:44:38 PM »

BO,

In the absence of a picture, I want to make sure I understand your set up.  You have a row of rr ties three wide for each side of the bus.  When parking at home, you always drive the bus up on them.  Do you have tapered down to make a ramp for getting up on them?  Do you generally use someone to guide you as you drive, or do you have markers to keep the bus centered?
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2010, 02:27:58 PM »

I am not about to get a permit or an inspection.  I would just as soon dip water out with a bed pan than to have a state, county or federal inspector step foot on my place.  I might be government employed but I want nothing to do with government and my private life.  To be honest I would rather the sump pump explode the lid off of my barn than have them here.

Doesn't your area require building permits and inspections?  There are fewer and fewer areas where building code is not enforced.  Building codes don't exist because some government worker was bored one day and decided to write a building code.

I would hope that as a governement employee paid by the taxpayers that you would obey the law.
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2010, 08:08:00 PM »

Yes I do obey the law.  Where I live there are no permits if you want to build something.  I rewired a house I bought as a rent house.  I called the county to inquire about a permit.  They told me if I hired a contractor to wire it then I would need a permit, if I did it myself there was no requirement for a permit or inspection.  So I rewired the house myself.  It hasn't blown up or burned down.

I chose to be in the sticks to get away from outside intrusion.  I drive a long way early early in the morning to get to the city.  I leave early afternoon but it is not soon enough.  I like the quiet and solitude.  I can't breath in a city.  I like whizzin off my porch when I feel like it and nit worrying about a neighbor calling the home owners association.

In a few years we plan on selling everything and heading as far north in Texas as we can get.  Probably around Canadian, Texas.  You can't get more solitude than that.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 03:51:58 AM by wal1809 » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2010, 08:28:19 PM »

I envy you wal
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2010, 08:17:42 PM »

Lin,

My original intent was to keep the bus from sinking into the ground. I got the ties for free and this was my cheap way out of a pad. The benefits of using the setup as a pit were not appreciated until I found out how much more often I crawled under the bus because now it was always up off the ground. Eliminating the ramp hassle has made working on it so much more pleasant. Ramp set up, starting, airing, moving, trying not to overshoot the ramps etc. is a hassle that at times was a deterrent because of the time involved. I don't have any photos but the next time the bus is out and I clean up a bit I will take some. That might be some time before I get to it. Nevertheless, it is straightforward. I did just what Cody said except I didn't secure them by threaded rod. I think that is an excellent idea and I could have gotten my hands on a ton of it but I didn't think to do that. It would make for a very secure setup because over the past four years mine have migrated a few inches. Not enough for me to rearrange them though, but far enough to loose a socket in LOL. I did stagger them and I feel that is important.


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the railroad ties, 3 wide with staggered end joints held together by threaded rod the full length of the bus with a tire stopper isn't a budget killer but gives a solid 8 inch rise with very solid and stable footing, even better if you can get bridge timbers, they are 12x12 and you can sometimes get them in 12x16 inch sizes 8 ft to 20 ft long,


Bridge ties would be great, but I had to use what I had. Standard ties three wide will just be wide enough to span the duals without overhang. My first plan was to do four wide, but I didn't have the ties to do it. Now that I use this setup as a pit, I am glad I only have it three wide.


Quote
In the absence of a picture, I want to make sure I understand your set up.  You have a row of rr ties three wide for each side of the bus?

Yes, and staggered with stops just a Cody described.

Quote
When parking at home, you always drive the bus up on them?

Yes. Bus storage, pit, everything in one spot. Easy.

Quote
Do you have tapered down to make a ramp for getting up on them?

Yes. I just used bricks and chunks of cinderblock that is held in place with dirt. My driveway is on a decline to the flat spot I park the bus on so I don't have much of a visible ramp. The transition cannot be felt.

Quote
Do you generally use someone to guide you as you drive, or do you have markers to keep the bus centered?

At first I used a spotter. Then one day I didn't have any helpers so I tried it by myself and found that it was easy for me to do. I have learned to use my mirror for this, and if I use the edge of the body as a reference on the edge of the ties, and keep it there as I back up to the stops, I get a perfect parking job everytime. I also have a sliding aftermarket drivers window that I can stick my head out of and get a decent view of what I am doing if I need extra assurance. I take it slow, and because of the duals, even if you mess up it is very obvious before you run the risk of dropping off the rr ties. I worry more about dropping the front tires off, so I widened that area by a few inches.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 08:23:25 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2010, 03:00:06 PM »

Happycamperbratt..you ask about torque in sitting pit...I just did main bearings in my 8V92 in the sitting pitt...270 ft lbs ( I think)what ever the book said...Bob
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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2010, 06:36:33 PM »

Barn Owl,

I guess the only downside I see to your method is that the RR ties are in the way when you want to get under the bus from the sides.  I would think it was still doable, just not as nice as a clear space.
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2010, 07:22:43 PM »

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RR ties are in the way when you want to get under the bus from the sides

True, but if there was a reason to, I guess I could put ramps on the ties. There is not much to do from the sides on my bus. Even if I did it takes less time to slither from one end to the other than to set up ramps. I have laid tools and parts out the side for easy reach, I just don't enter or exit that way. HTH
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2010, 08:01:52 AM »

The RR ties used to drive into position could be pulled clear for access.

Always another way to do things when your bits and pieces are modular.

Using proper cribbing techniques, you could also go higher in layers, if more height was desired.

RR ties are lovely tools for the home hobbyist.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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