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Manual Sand Bagging
Old 06-11-2008, 02:31 PM   #1
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Manual Sand Bagging

Whenever there's a flood, the news shows volunteers shoveling sand into bags, which are then passed hand to hand and placed on a dam.

It's 2008, is there really no portable sand-bagging machine?

I also suspect that the hand-to-hand technique is not the most efficient method of moving the bags.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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Yea, crude but effective. Kind of hard to drag a truckload of sand and some kind of filling machine over partially flooded yards and fields.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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Well, they got the sand there. They just need the machine on a trailer.

They exist, but apparently aren't used much.

Des Plaines adds The Sandbagger to help stem floods.(Neighbor) | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) | Find Articles at BNET.com
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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In 1997 we had a "100 yr" flood which led to my sandbagging around a 120 yr old log cabin. At that time I made a device to hold the bags while I shoveled in the sand. This greatly sped up my time and kept from getting a sore back from being bent over while shoveling. Still crude but a great improvement.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Our local HS is built at the confluence of 2 rivers, and before they built a huge dike, it used to flood once or twice a year. We would go down there and fill sandbags to build a 4 to 5 foot dam around the buildings. The local sand company would send semi loads of sand and dump them in the nearest parking lot (about 200' away), and we'd take turns filling the bags, then we'd switch to moving them 'bucket brigade' style, to the proper location, and then we'd take turns stacking them in place. We'd do about 15-20 minutes in each position, until the job was done. Usually several hours to bag, pass, and stack a truck load of bulk sand this way.

After we finished sand bagging the school, we'd load up and head upstream to a small community up there to help them sandbag. The difference there, was that the sand company would send flatbed semis loaded with palletized 100# bags sand. Because of the road layout, they could back the semi to within a few feet of where it would be stacked. We had 2 people on the flatbed putting the bags on our shoulders, and we'd just walk over and drop the bags in position. It only took about 20 minutes to unload the semi trailer.

The sand companies had automatic baggers, but they were stationary units mounted at the factory.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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Al, Slate's "Explainer" was asking the same question:

Why we still use sandbags to stop floods. - By Jacob Leibenluft - Slate Magazine
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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Al, Slate's "Explainer" was asking the same question:

Why we still use sandbags to stop floods. - By Jacob Leibenluft - Slate Magazine
Like Goonie, I lived in a diked town below sea level at the mouth of a river. Our main sandbagging job was to shore up the dikes when heavy rain and snowmelt coincided with unusually high tides in the bay. Overall, it worked, and I can't think of a better morale and team building exercise. At the end of a long night of carrying sand you felt deep bonds with your fellow townsmen. (And women, of course.)

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Old 06-21-2008, 03:01 PM   #8
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.... At that time I made a device to hold the bags while I shoveled in the sand. This greatly sped up my time and kept from getting a sore back from being bent over while shoveling. Still crude but a great improvement.
Seems like what is needed has to be widely available and easily put together - i'm thinking clip the tops off of 2-3 traffic cones to give 6-7" openings, invert cones in a 2x4 frame with backstop, and get to shoveling and bagging. What did you build? This is available, but too spendy and not in common supply: The GOBAGGER Sandbag Filler - Filling Sandbags - The one man sandbag filler - sandbag filling FAST!
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
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What, you had sand? In Desert Shield my company with 140 soldiers filled 260,000 sand bags with gravel and rocks and the very little bit of sand we could scrape out of the rock desert. I hate entranching tools and sand bags almost as much as I hate taxes.
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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What, you had sand? In Desert Shield my company with 140 soldiers filled 260,000 sand bags with gravel and rocks and the very little bit of sand we could scrape out of the rock desert. I hate entranching tools and sand bags almost as much as I hate taxes.
Jeff
This reminds me of that "poverty" comedy routine with John Cleese & Marty Feldman...

For those of you skeptically eyeing the numbers, the six-month buildup gave people plenty of time to shovel stuff into small sacks.
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