Another trail feature question

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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby Jet » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:41 pm

Frisco- where are you building? You said you are not local (Atl) My lanlord has one of those and it is retarded awesome. Works exactly like the video, just not the first time. You'll really tear some junk up.

I think what you are referring to is a 'rake and ride' trail. It is possible and works well for flat sections and short sections that you want to knock out in a day.

What you are getting rid of is called duff (not the beer) or loam. Includes everything in the path - leaves, small plants, grasses, vines (PITA); and what not. The hard part is geting rid of what I call the carpet. The system of small roots just on top of the dirt, like moss just thicker. Try not to cut a valley though, that will really hold the water. Always remember that water will take the path of least resistence. If the trail bed runs down in one direction or another, the rain ruts will dig in the middle of the bed. That will kill all of your hard work in a hurry.

I would rent one of those Stihls before buying one just to find out how it would work in your area.
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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby Frisco98 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:03 pm

Some observations of the yard boss at work . This is from Michigan trail crews .
"We looked at about a 1/2 mile benchcut in heavy clay that took roughly 3 hours to complete with 3 people and two yard bosses."

I purchased one of the Yardbosses last week for the trails being built at Swedetown. I've put only about two hours on it thus far. One session with the pick tines one with the bolo tines. I prefer to use the bolo tines. They're a little slower digging in but you get more control in my opinion.

Here's my thoughts otherwise:

1. It saves me a lot of time getting the duff loosened up and getting down to mineral soil.

2. It is light and consequently bounces when it hits obstacles like rocks and roots. It will dislodge smaller rocks but not as effective on roots.

3. Grass and smaller roots do wind up around the tines like any tiller. However, the ability to remove the tines in a few seconds to clean them up makes this not much of a chore. The time savings using this machine is worth the stopping periodically to do this.

4. Its light and folds up and fits in a BOB trailer quite nicely.

5. After a little time using you can control it to just take a little off the top or dig deep if you have to.

The yardboss or similar mini tiller was faster over my usual manual methods of creating the same type of trail. (Where I'm usually about 30' per hour I did 50' an hour with the help of the YB.) If you're doing a "rake and ride" of course this tool would be of no benefit.

On the benching one of it's drawbacks is that it can only dig in about 2-3 inches before you have to use the McLeod to broadcast the excess dirt then come back and dig some more with the YB. However, it is much easier on the back.

The other drawback is roots and rocks. Because of its lightness it does bounce when it encounters one. They did engineer it so that it's rotation will take the machine away from you should it get out of control. I did break off part of the plastic guard above the tines when a somewhat large rock got wedged between the tines and guard. Rocks smaller than my fist were not a big problem anything bigger than that . . .? The one that broke the piece off the guard was about the size of both my fists together.

The day I did the benching (and about 200' of flatter terrain, 300' total trail) there were three of us. One cleaning the corridor, one with the yardboss, and another doing finish work. The one with the yardboss also helped with the finish work. We were out there for about 2 hours.

Ideally I see a fire line like this in our soil conditions, 2 cleaning the leaves & duff out of the corridor and removing small stumps out of the tread area. 1 on the Yardboss with bolo tines, 2-3, finalizing tread shape, (this includes raking the soil to remove humus material, shaping the outslope etc, initial packing of the tread), 2 to pack the tread (I have one of those 15lb 10x10 hand compactors. . . you need 2 because 1 won't last long with this thing.)

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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby kpvsr » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:26 pm

I could see the usefulness in benching by hand and keeping the tread width down. The dethatching attachment would probably work well on the "carpet layer" mentioned earlier.
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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby seenvic » Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:48 pm

A few days after it was built with a sweco.


About a year later -same location.


And on Saturday, we will be trimming this loop's vegetation with DR mowers and Stihl hedgetrimmers.

We did HKSP by hand. It is nice, but took a long time. It has no berms, no jumps, no big hits at all.

We did FATS with machines and put 25 miles on the ground in 7 months. It is full of jumps, berms etc....

I love a great handbuilt trail. But I won't be building any soon.
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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby seenvic » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:48 am

I gave the original question some more thought and don't think I've read this in the thread.

If you have dead flat ground, the best idea is to elevate the tread and crown it. Hard work....yes. But it puts the tread higher than the surrounding ground and allows for water to shed on both sides of the crowned tread.

By hand...very hard work.

We have this problem in HKSP. Ever been there and wondered why the Beaver Run trail and Turkey Ridge trail don't meet up in the woods and a paved road ride is necessary to connect them? It is because there is a 1/4 mile flat, low lying section that gets ankle deep in water in the winter. When we were building it some 8 years ago, we didn't have the vision of an elevated causeway that we have now. Our idea is to go in w/ a mini-excavator and dig a small trench on both sides of the line. Move the dirt to the center of the trenches and pack it down and crown the top. The small trenches on both sides will hold the water in the winter and you ride high and dry in between them.
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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby chet » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:13 am

A high power leaf blower can save a lot of raking for getting the organic matter off the trail bed. Once the brush is removed this is a good way to start the process and then finish up with other tools.
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Re: Another trail feature question

Postby darbrednew » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:27 pm

Of the different trail building machines I have used a Sweco isnt one of them, maybe some day, I hope. Folks complain about what a machine cut can do, but as Bill said, withing 1 year you will have wonderful singletrack, FATS is here to prove that. I would much rather be riding trails than building them, and a machine makes riding a new trail that much sooner.

btw, is your SORBA/IMBA membership current?
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