Techniques, On The Rocks by Jacob Karas

Many things in life are best served on the rocks, these techniques are no different. For the beginner, rock removal can look like a daunting task but with the help of a few tips and tricks it can become an achievable and even enjoyable task. Now before we get into the actual techniques there are a few very important points that a rock remover shall not forget. First off you must remember not all rocks are created equal. No one technique will be suitable for every rock but luckily I am here to fill your tool box so you can tackle anywhere from the smallest to the largest of rock removal jobs.

Technique #1: The Greco-Roman Rock Wrestle (GRRR)


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One of the oldest rock moving techniques in the book, in fact it is quite likely that this was the technique used in antiquity to place that rock you are now removing. The glory in this techniques is the simplicity; man versus rock, no tools necessary.  To perform the greco-roman rock wrestle you must first locate a target, preferably a medium sized stone. I recommend a bare handed approach for a better grip, and maybe a quick stretch to warm up. Find yourself two suitable gripping points and give that rock a good jolt towards yourself to pop it loose from the soil surrounding it. Once your stone of choice has been popped loose drop your hips down and bend those knees, find yourself to comfortable lifting points and muscle that rock out of there. Now this technique may sound rather simple and it is so do not over think it.

Technique #2: The Pick and Pop


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If you find yourself a stone that just wont pop with the greco-roman rock wrestle? Worry not, grab yourself a big pick and go show that rock who’s boss. Find yourself a nice gap around the rock you want removed and jam that pick in there. Once you have solid traction on your rock pry with the pick and watch the magic happen. Now this is a much more aggressive technique than the GRRR but it works none the less. Once the rock has been popped out, use the same lifting style described above and just like that the rock is gone.

Technique #3: The Tarp Team

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Some rocks are just a bit much to tackle on your own, but thats okay there is a technique for that. Just holler over to the trench next door and get a quick tarp team to assemble. Rule of thumb is a tarp team consists of four members, and generally I like to have the rock loose and ready to roll on the tarp before assembling the squad. The pick and pop will generally get any rock ready for a tarp removal. Once the rock is loose, fold a tarp carefully into a small rectangle and roll that rock on top. Once the rock is centred in the tarp get ready to grab a corner of the tarp and hoist that sucker out of the trench. Communication is key to this technique and ensuring it can be performed safely. General etiquette calls for a round of high fives after moving that sized of rock.

If you ever come across a rock that doesn’t seem physically possible to move with man power alone there is one last specialized technique for that. Use with caution as the power of Technique #4 can be easily abused when it isn’t absolutely necessary.

Technique #4: Man, Machine, Half and Half

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This technique is almost cheating but as everyone knows, “If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying” so I’ll give it a pass. First step is to find a local with a backhoe, once that is complete generally you just stand near the rock with a pick in your hand and look busy while the hoe operator does the work. Sometimes a slight rearrangement of the rock is required but for the most part this one takes care of itself. Use with caution as the ease of this technique can be addicting.

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