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  1. #1
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    Invention idea.. or does something like this exist?

    Good portion of flat singletrack that is freshly cut (mainly mowed, no slope, no bench) needing to get the tread established.. Now just getting enough folks out to start riding it would establish the dirt ribbon.. but that means folks need to suffer thru all that for a couple weeks.

    What I was thinking.. is what if you had a 1.5 foot wide sled or "drag", maybe 3-4 feet long. The front could be a ripper and sloped so it doesn't get caught on anything (rocks/etc). The main part have some tiny teeth (or nails / screws left a few mm out), and some buckets fixed on top to fill with rocks/dirt/people whatever to weigh down once its hauled to the trail.. so essentially, it would have a pull rope and 1-4 ppl will drag this device which would be 50-100 pounds when loaded up.. and the result is it cleans the grass/organic matter and seats the tread a bit quicker than 1000 riders would. Anyone build something like this? or does one exist? thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I can't think of a tool like this. A lot of times making a purpose built tool can take more time than doing it with ordinary tools. The exception being if you have thousands of feet of trail like this to finish.

    There are small motorized walk behind cultivating machines (eg. Stihl Kombi mini-cultivator) which can chew through the grass roots to a shallow depth. However, they get clogged with grass/roots extremely quickly and need to be disassembled to be cleaned out. This cleaning probably takes more time than scraping the top layer of grass off with a sharp flat shovel. You might also look into "wheel hoes." A tamper could then be used to compact the tread behind the tilled area. The tread may also need to be in-filled with extra soil after compacted to keep the water away.

    One problem with making trail in a super flat area is overtime the tread compacts/erodes to a level below that of nearby ground and will attract water. For many this rutting also makes the tread too narrow and uncomfortable to ride. I commonly see sections of trail like this develop multiple lines because people didn't like riding in the narrow channel that was once the original trail.

    Having a few people ride the line when the soil is a bit too wet might also help define the tread. Not sloppy muddy, just wet enough to keep the soil plastic and allow smoothing it out. Then hit the grass with some herbicide once dry.

  3. #3
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    The best tool for that situation is a powerful weed eater. Scour the grass down to dirt and then start riding. It will be a trail after 100 passes or so.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  4. #4
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    Invention idea.. or does something like this exist?

    I thought the best tool was for that was ten guys on motorcycles and a free afternoon

  5. #5
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    I've used several different drag boxes to initially chew up the vegetation and root matter, my latest drag box is this,, it goes about 170 lbs.. teeth on one side, scraper V's on the other... I am able to use an atv to set in the line.. well at least when the side slope and terrain allows for it...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Invention idea.. or does something like this exist?-imag0728.jpg  


  6. #6
    I build my own.
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    I think you may find this too hard to drag along the ground without an ATV or tractor of some sort. You could test this by having someone sit on an old car hood or a toboggan and try to drag them around your lawn. A trail out in a field would be even harder.

    I do have an idea for a powered tool that should accomplish what you want. Do a Google or Youtube search for "mine flail". Imagine one of those made out of a cultivator or snowblower.
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  7. #7
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    Meadow/prairie soils are highly prone to compaction when the grass above is removed. Grass roots aerate the soil pretty extensively. When they are removed and rot away, the soil compacts quite a bit. How much depends on the components of the soil, but when you're in flat terrain, that will result in channeling of the trail. A device like this will serve to accelerate the process, I think.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    I've used several different drag boxes to initially chew up the vegetation and root matter, my latest drag box is this,, it goes about 170 lbs.. teeth on one side, scraper V's on the other... I am able to use an atv to set in the line.. well at least when the side slope and terrain allows for it...
    Nice.

  9. #9
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    +1 on the motocross bikes making your path, they can roost like crazy!

  10. #10
    FloridaKeys Fishing Guide
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    We have started to use fresh cut trails in races to pound them down. After the race we come back and deal with the weak spots if needed and the trail is ready
    for the general public. This is very useful to find out what tweaks are needed specially if you have a large group of racers.
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  11. #11
    Zach Attack
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    We build a lot of trail. We have several techniques but the most loved is the simple chain link drag. Chain link fence (4ft tall type) around 6 ft long. 3/4 gal pipe woven through end to attach a spread chain to for dragging.
    Attached to the top are a couple 2ft x 2ft 3/4" plywood boxes sided with 2x6 to hold rock.
    We use a light drag behind a rokon 2whl drive moto for maintenance.

    We pull a heavy drag (with all our tools/beer/fuel) behind a tracked skid steer with our shape blade. The drag quickly shaves down high spots and fills low. Still needs some light rake behind.
    Learn to love it[SIZE="4"][/SIZE]
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  12. #12
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    Called a drag or harrow, usually made with angle iron and Raul road spikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachi View Post
    We build a lot of trail. We have several techniques but the most loved is the simple chain link drag. Chain link fence (4ft tall type) around 6 ft long. 3/4 gal pipe woven through end to attach a spread chain to for dragging.
    Attached to the top are a couple 2ft x 2ft 3/4" plywood boxes sided with 2x6 to hold rock.
    We use a light drag behind a rokon 2whl drive moto for maintenance.

    We pull a heavy drag (with all our tools/beer/fuel) behind a tracked skid steer with our shape blade. The drag quickly shaves down high spots and fills low. Still needs some light rake behind.
    This is exactly what I was planning to build this winter. Do you have any picture of it? I'm planning to attach bricks on mine.

    Do you tow with the Rokon or the SK650 ?
    A trailbuilder from the north

  14. #14
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    Maybe a commercial sod cutter that is 12-18" wide. They can be rented. But like others of mentioned you'll end up with a rutted channel after compaction. You could cut the trail out 3-4 times as wide as needed then till the outer edges. Then move the soil to the center tread and compact leaving drainage channels along the edges of the trail.

  15. #15
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    No slope and no bench sounds like a recipe for a mess, to me.

  16. #16
    Zach Attack
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypNoTic View Post
    This is exactly what I was planning to build this winter. Do you have any picture of it? I'm planning to attach bricks on mine.

    Do you tow with the Rokon or the SK650 ?
    I have built a number of these chain link drags. I use articulating boxes ontop to add additional weight for more aggressive needs.

    Invention idea.. or does something like this exist?-dscf2648.jpg

    I now use a narrower lighter version with ROKON for maintenance and a much heavier version behind SK650 during construction.
    Learn to love it[SIZE="4"][/SIZE]
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  17. #17
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsr29erATX View Post
    Good portion of flat singletrack that is freshly cut (mainly mowed, no slope, no bench) needing to get the tread established.. Now just getting enough folks out to start riding it would establish the dirt ribbon.. but that means folks need to suffer thru all that for a couple weeks.
    Where in the greater Austin/Kazakhstan area is this trail?

    Like aero stated, building trail in a flat area is going to lead to problems, even in drought stricken Austin.

    D

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