We've been using a Caterpillar 252 skid steer tractor with a backhoe attachment to help dig the
footings, but the loose soil and abundant rocks and boulders makes for a pretty ragged trench.
We then have to load the rocks into the Caterpillar bucket and haul them off to our rock pile ---
which we hope to use later for facing and landscaping material.
Here is that same trench later in the day after we removed the rocks and manually cleaned out
the trench with a shovel. Soil conditions vary around the lot, but it has typically taken us three
hours by hand with the shovel for every hour spent with the backhoe. The trenches aren't very
pretty, but they will hold concrete.