Lifting sidewalk slab

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Old 04-23-11, 07:07 PM
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Lifting sidewalk slab

I would like to see if anyone has some input, preferably from personal experience, on this proposed project from a viability standpoint.

I have a 4' wide sidewalk where one section around a bend has fallen on one side (towards the yard) and popped up on the opposite side (towards the house); each side is about 1"-2" out of level at the extreme. The cause of this has been corrected. A couple years ago the front yard was excavated down about 11' to repair a main sewer pipe, and the cut went right up to the sidewalk. The yard has since been compacted and leveled so I suspect no further movement will occur.

At any rate, while breaking up the one tilted slab and repouring a new slab would probably be easier and cheaper, I would like to maintain the look of the sidewalk as it has nearly 20 years of aging to it and a common brush finish throughout all slabs. It is in excellent condition so lifting this one slab up on its side temporarily, then digging and levelling in some crushed rock is my preferred plan of attack.

I am thinking that a mini track loader like a Toro Dingo or similar might be the easiest way to lift and support the slab during the levelling process. In addition to the machine I would have 2X4s and a chopbox handy to make a custom prop (kick stand) to wedge against the nearby concrete foundation of the house. Once the slab is upright it shouldn't be too much trouble for one or two people to tilt it back and forth about 10 degrees to go between the wooden prop and the loader bucket.

Main question, would a typical rental mini walk behind loader be able to lift a section of concrete sidewalk? This is where personal experience would be really handy. The slab is a corner piece, but it is roughly 16 sq ft, and I am guestimating 4" thick of concrete plus some stuck stone and mud, so guessing 6" thick once it separates from the earth, it would be about 8 cu ft or roughly 1200 lbs. Naturally lifting one side of it will be nowhere near the stress of deadlifting 1200 lbs, but I'm concerned with the initial tearaway from the earth, including the force of surface tension. I have no idea what to expect in the real world. It would be nice to find out if it will likely work or if it is just a pipe dream before shelling out good money for the equipment.

Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 04-24-11, 03:20 PM
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I helped a neighbor with a slab about the same size. We lifted it with digging bars by hand. You probably don't need to rent anything.
 
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Old 04-25-11, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Pulpo View Post
I helped a neighbor with a slab about the same size. We lifted it with digging bars by hand. You probably don't need to rent anything.
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I would also be using the track loader for one or two other small patio and retaining wall repair projects if time permits, so it would be put to good use even if the slab is repairable with human power.
 
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Old 04-26-11, 07:35 AM
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If you have other jobs, rent it.
 
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