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  1. #1
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    Using old car tires in a wet area

    Has anyone ever tried using old tires as a means to elevate a ladder section of a board walk thru a mudding area? This is obviously not the preferred technique but there is an old dump site of used tires close by and having a board walk that undulates a bit may add a fun factor.

    Just wondering if anyone has tried this before.

  2. #2
    cowbell
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    There are probably better reasons not to use old tires, but what came to mind first was all the mosquitos that will breed in the water that gets trapped in the tires. Then you'll get a string of riders going across it, and the first one will stir the mossys up, the second one will slip through, and the last 8 riders will come out on the other end as prunes, sucked completely dry.

  3. #3
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    interesting thought.. pros and cons?

    1. is Land Manager willing to allow it to happen? (maybe on test basis)
    2. is it just a muddy area or does the trail cross a bog, marsh, always wet area?,, if just muddy, reroute a better option?
    3. you planning to fill the tires with gravel/dirt to prevent pooling of water.. (if its in a marshy area, I guess Mosquitoes will be prevalent anyway)
    4. you planning on placing pt wood on top. or dirt and gravel ?

    I could see it as a potential positive remedy, and with skinnies "connecting the dots" it could be an interesting feature.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    There are probably better reasons not to use old tires, but what came to mind first was all the mosquitos that will breed in the water that gets trapped in the tires. Then you'll get a string of riders going across it, and the first one will stir the mossys up, the second one will slip through, and the last 8 riders will come out on the other end as prunes, sucked completely dry.
    This was my thought, also.

    Not to mention, I'm not a fan of building trail out of trash and I doubt the land manager will be, either.

    Do it right - use a land-manager-approved method to cross the wetland area...which will likely involve pylons to support the bridge.

  5. #5
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    Filling with dirt or rocks would be best. Would they nasty chemicals leach out? I see them on docks so this shouldn't be a problem?
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the great input. I would have not thought about the skeeter factor. Maybe that can be a new tech feature/challenge.

    On a serious note tires would be a durable way to separate the wood from the wetness. And I did find some specs on how tires are used for docks. My concern is the tires will not be a rigid support for the ladder/boardwalk and they will want to flex even when fill with material.

    1.I wonder how far apart would you space the tires?

    2.How do you construct the stringer system so it allows for flex?

  7. #7
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    Using them might even be illegal . . . .

    Waste Tires

  8. #8
    humber river advocate
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    tires can leach into the ground water. the work i've done with the sport fields industry has shown a movement away from tires (in crumb form).
    Tire Crumbs | Featured News | Exposure Research | US EPA

    some chemicals found in tires:

    acetone
    aniline
    arsenic
    barium
    benzene
    benzothiazole
    cadmium
    chloroethane
    chromium
    cobalt
    copper
    halogenated flame retardants
    isoprene
    latex
    lead
    manganese
    mercury
    methyl ethyl ketone
    methyl isobutyl ketone
    naphthalene
    nickel
    nylon
    phenol
    pigments
    polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
    polyester
    rayon
    styrene - butadiene
    toluene
    tric

    i would try to find an alternative.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    tires can leach into the ground water. the work i've done with the sport fields industry has shown a movement away from tires (in crumb form).
    Tire Crumbs | Featured News | Exposure Research | US EPA

    some chemicals found in tires:

    acetone
    aniline
    arsenic
    barium
    benzene
    benzothiazole
    cadmium
    chloroethane
    chromium
    cobalt
    copper
    halogenated flame retardants
    isoprene
    latex
    lead
    manganese
    mercury
    methyl ethyl ketone
    methyl isobutyl ketone
    naphthalene
    nickel
    nylon
    phenol
    pigments
    polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
    polyester
    rayon
    styrene - butadiene
    toluene
    tric

    i would try to find an alternative.
    So I am curious, there are over a billion tires running over pavement each day and wearing out. Were do all the little particles of rubber go? Does a tire being run on the road create way more pollution potential than a tire laying in a boggy area?

    Isn't the degree of pollution contribution important in deciding whether this method of elevating the boardwalk is potentially a good idea? Why would mosquito's grow faster in a tire if it is dissipating arsenic and all those other toxic chemicals listed above?

  10. #10
    Squeaky Wheel
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    We use concrete pier blocks that you can buy at Home Depot. Land Manager likes them and except for moving them onto the trail, they are easy to work with and pretty cheap.






  11. #11
    humber river advocate
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    the mosquito reproductive cycle is fairly fast. where higher life forms might have tougher time about things...
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  12. #12
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    i see it as a mess if the trail needs to be relocated for whatever reason. half submerged tires are not fun to dig up and carry out after they have outlived their purpose.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    the mosquito reproductive cycle is fairly fast. where higher life forms might have tougher time about things...
    Not to mention that mosquito larvae are highly tolerant of poor conditions. They reproduce in stagnant water...on purpose. They are one of the LAST organisms to die off due to poor conditions. Some are becoming resistant to repellents and pesticides, for that matter. If mosquitoes are anything, they are resilient.

  14. #14
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenegadeMtnBiker View Post
    So I am curious, there are over a billion tires running over pavement each day and wearing out. Were do all the little particles of rubber go? Does a tire being run on the road create way more pollution potential than a tire laying in a boggy area?

    Isn't the degree of pollution contribution important in deciding whether this method of elevating the boardwalk is potentially a good idea? Why would mosquito's grow faster in a tire if it is dissipating arsenic and all those other toxic chemicals listed above?
    it goes into our surrounding environment, continued degradation rates depends on ph levels of the soil/groundwater. since a swamp is on the acidic side of the spectrum the tires will degrade and leach faster.
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  15. #15
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    my best guess is that several of the geotex materials being used are petroleum based
    Geotextile Systems

    ...certainly with tires something to be concerned about.. but county's are binding tires together and using them as a substrate to help give roads a solid foundation through swampy areas..

    http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot...tire_bales.pdf

    i'd say your land manager will have the final say on whether to try this as a solution or not. even pressure treated wood leaches unfun things into the surrounding area.

  16. #16
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    Do these "wet areas" meet the criteria for wetlands? I.E. vegetation, hydrology and soils.

    Here in PA, on public land, you need a permit to place any permanent structure or fill in a wetland feature. Tires are definitely out. Many of the trails I've worked on use natural untreated cedar to build elevated boardwalks or large flat rocks to ride over.
    The cake is a lie.

  17. #17
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    I think the concern about tires remaining rigid enough for the job is the clincher even without the environmental issues, which are pretty bad anyway. No vehicle tire will remain solid as long as alternative building materials. Your elevated boardwalk may turn into a fun-park ride with the outcome being a dive into the sludge.

  18. #18
    beer thief
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    Lakes Environmental Association in Bridgton, Maine used tires to support an extensive bog bridge system at their Holt Pond Preserve. I haven't been there in a few years but there are hundreds of feet of boardwalk supported on stacked tires, including a piece on a 'quaking bog'. It would be very difficult to support some of this on traditional posts or blocks.

    I agree with the mosquito issue but this could be alleviated pretty easily with a few holes in each tire.

    My gut feeling tells me tires must be relatively inert, despite the list of ingredients singlesprocket listed. SS, do you have any idea on the leaching rate of these various compounds?

  19. #19
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Lakes Environmental Association in Bridgton, Maine used tires to support an extensive bog bridge system at their Holt Pond Preserve. I haven't been there in a few years but there are hundreds of feet of boardwalk supported on stacked tires, including a piece on a 'quaking bog'. It would be very difficult to support some of this on traditional posts or blocks.

    I agree with the mosquito issue but this could be alleviated pretty easily with a few holes in each tire.

    My gut feeling tells me tires must be relatively inert, despite the list of ingredients singlesprocket listed. SS, do you have any idea on the leaching rate of these various compounds?
    found this nz study. might be helpful in answering the questions you have.

    End-of-Life Tyre Management: Storage Options - 5. Potential Environmental Impacts of Tyre Leachate | Ministry for the Environment

    and best practices

    End-of-Life Tyre Management: Storage Options - 8. Review of Best Practice on Tyre Storage | Ministry for the Environment
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  20. #20
    humber river advocate
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    the use of tire bales is actually contrary to what is considered a best practice for used tire storage (even though structurally it works). but in the end it depend on what regulations are in place for this type of use as you said.

    geotextiles are mainly polyester and polypropylene based and are more stable then tires in wet buried conditions.





    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    my best guess is that several of the geotex materials being used are petroleum based
    Geotextile Systems

    ...certainly with tires something to be concerned about.. but county's are binding tires together and using them as a substrate to help give roads a solid foundation through swampy areas..

    http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot...tire_bales.pdf

    i'd say your land manager will have the final say on whether to try this as a solution or not. even pressure treated wood leaches unfun things into the surrounding area.
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  21. #21
    zrm
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    I've helped build a couple earth ship type buildings where old tires are rammed full of earth stuccoed over and used for foundations and walls. Given, this is a very different and wetter application, but at if the tires were rammed full of earth, in the least you'd take care of the mosquito issue and I can speak from experience that they are very sturdy.

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