If you’re working on the lawn and come upon a large rock, things can slow down drastically. Rocks are obstructions you can sometimes incorporate in the landscape, but other times you want to remove them. The best strategies to dig out and remove large rocks or boulders require either using heavy equipment or clever tactics that can leave people wondering how you did it.
Using leverage is one of the easiest and best methods to get rid of a huge rock from the garden. Clear the dirt across the rock enough to match a usable lever under one corner of the rock. The lever itself can be a long bit of sturdy stuff, such as, for instance, a length of wood or metal, that’s strong enough to handle the weight of the rock without bending or splitting. Put the lever between the underside of the rock and the ground beneath and apply pressure on the peak of the lever. Your weight is multiplied by the lever and the rock will lift off from the soil and roll over. Continue this procedure until you’ve eliminated the rock.
Electric winches make the job of removing large stones far more manageable than manual methods. When you’ve dug from the area around the stone, and there is a clear path to the surface, strap winch ropes round the rock’s square edges and force the rock from its position. If you don’t have access to an electric winch, use a level hoist with a ratchet attachment. Strap one end to the rock and the other to a bigger, more immovable object, such as a huge tree or truck, and ratchet the stone from its resting area.
You might have to lease heavy equipment from a rental facility or home improvement center. While the giant equipment you see on construction sites and street repair projects requires specific licenses and is likely outside your budget, you can rent smaller, more user-friendly equipment. With a scaled-down backhoe or front-end loader, the process of digging up huge rocks is made fast and simple. Use the machine to dig from the soil around the rock, then lift it from the ground and off. If the rock is too large to lift, use the equipment to roll out it slowly out of the way.
Rocks that are too large to dig up by conventional means have to be split into smaller, more workable pieces. A system of splitting and drilling can reduce the largest boulders to little stones that may then be picked up and transported away. A pneumatic drill will make holes along one edge of the rock and a bulb syringe will blow from the rock dust that’s left over within each hole. Then, use a combination of 2 steel feathers and a basic squeeze, add them into each hole and then hit with a mallet until the rock splits and licks. Drill holes a few inches apart on any area along the rock surface in which you want to break off a piece. Repeat the procedure until the rock pieces are modest enough for one to deal with.