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  1. #1
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    Carrying tools on foot.

    I searched for a long time, here and other places on this and found nothing. I know they make BOB trailers for behind bikes, but what are the options for carrying tools on foot. Working on a DH trail carrying a shovel, a rake, a pick mattock, and an axe, with a back pack full of nails, a hammer, a bow saw, and a bunch of other crap damn near killed me today.
    I was thinking of strapping all the handles together and putting a shoulder strap on to carry all of the handled tools in one bunch a bit easier, but is there a better way? I have heard of Dakine's builder's pack, but cant find much on it anymore, and I think it only held 2 long handled tools. What does everyone else do?
    Thanks in advance,
    Scott

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottvt View Post
    I searched for a long time, here and other places on this and found nothing. I know they make BOB trailers for behind bikes, but what are the options for carrying tools on foot. Working on a DH trail carrying a shovel, a rake, a pick mattock, and an axe, with a back pack full of nails, a hammer, a bow saw, and a bunch of other crap damn near killed me today.
    I was thinking of strapping all the handles together and putting a shoulder strap on to carry all of the handled tools in one bunch a bit easier, but is there a better way? I have heard of Dakine's builder's pack, but cant find much on it anymore, and I think it only held 2 long handled tools. What does everyone else do?
    Thanks in advance,
    Scott
    I haven't used these but it was an interesting idea for compact packable tools.
    Inteletools Wildland Firefighting tool set.


    Forestry Suppliers carries the line. A Pulaski, McLeod, Spade and Hard Rake would be a nice set, don't think there would be much use for the fire swatter tool.

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  3. #3
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    I dont really want to buy all new tools at this time. So for now I took the nylon tube like case from a folding chair and cut the bottom so the handles slide through. It has a strap but it doesnt look too comfortable. Im heading out right now, so Ill see how well it works.

  4. #4
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    The Dakine pack won't carry long handled tools. A golf bag will. You have to mess around with it a little because it will want to be top heavy. If you can fit an axe in one of the side pockets, head down, that will help balance the bag.

    I never got around to trying one of those light weight golf bag carts but I'll guess it would work most of the time and not be too heavy to carry over the places you can't pull it.

    I've used several golf bags and always found them in the garbage. You can't beat the price.
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    you should try carrying a rockbar too i generally strap as much as I can to my pack.

    and I would NEVER buy a pulaski that I couldn't slide my hand down the entire length of the tool
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  6. #6
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    We just leave tools stached in the bush. Some here, some there. It's kind of fun finding them sometimes. However, we do not bring in trail materials or machines, source all rock and dirt from where we build and we don't need many tools. It's more labour intensive.

  7. #7
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    I remember seeing a "hikers cart" in a backpacking book ages ago. It was pushed like a wheelbarrow, with the two handles sticking out the back. The wheel was a bike wheel though, and it had a bare-bones frame that was either above the wheel or just a bit below the top (poor memory strikes) that gear was strapped onto. Might be something worth trying.

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  8. #8
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    I can put three tools (shovel, rogue hoe 70h, and iron rake) in one of these bags and still carry it comfortably (MUCH better than holding the tools). 2 bags should cover anything you want to carry and you can use them to haul dirt and rocks once you get to the worksite.

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  9. #9
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    For a short hike, I've managed to carry a McLeod, Pulaski, and a Rogue Hoe over one shoulder, then carry a rock bar in the other hand. I put the handles of the Pulaski and Rogue Hoe through the tines of the McLeod, then lash the handles together with a bit of rope. I have my Camel Back to carry water and food.

    Wouldn't want to carry this more than a quarter mile or so.

    Walt

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    The Dakine pack won't carry long handled tools.
    Certainly not a shovel, rake, or a pick.

    The two sleeves under the bottle pockets work pretty well for a Pulaski, axe, or thin-handled Rogue Hoe. It's mainly for carrying a chain saw though.

    Walt

  11. #11
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    I carry I pick with my Dakine. I've also carried a McLeod. I am just careful about overhead branches.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher View Post
    I carry I pick with my Dakine. I've also carried a McLeod. I am just careful about overhead branches.
    +1, handles up not down for longer tools but branches can be an issue. With the pack I can carry Pulaski, McLeod, folding saw, chainsaw, wedge, misc hand tools, screws, clino, survey tape, water, first aid, and chainsaw. Could probably get loppers in there too but it seems repetitive with the handsaw. Instead of the chainsaw, I've also strapped a short handled shovel into the chainsaw pouch.
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  13. #13
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    Why not leave them at the trail? Or at least some of them? Stash them somewhere where no one will find them. Thats what I do. Each time you do a new segment of trail, move them to were you will be working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 62kona View Post
    Why not leave them at the trail? Or at least some of them? Stash them somewhere where no one will find them. Thats what I do. Each time you do a new segment of trail, move them to were you will be working.
    I understand that there are some people who use their shovels and rakes for yard work at home.

    One drawback with leaving tools out is when you go out and find the handle has rotted from the weather. No big deal to replace a handle but a real pain to get all the way out there and not be able to do the work you wanted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
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  15. #15
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    I think a good pack for hauling tools is a GI duffel bag, one with the straps for carry on the back. They are cheap, durable and plentiful.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62 View Post
    I remember seeing a "hikers cart" in a backpacking book ages ago. It was pushed like a wheelbarrow, with the two handles sticking out the back. The wheel was a bike wheel though, and it had a bare-bones frame that was either above the wheel or just a bit below the top (poor memory strikes) that gear was strapped onto. Might be something worth trying.

    Steve Z
    Something like this, but the one I remember had handles on one end only.

    http://www.patsnap.com/patents/view/US4444405.html

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  17. #17
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    GI duffel bag... tried it. It worked well with a 5 gallon plastic pain inside to give it some strength and shape and then you have your pail for hauling dirt too.

    Swampboy62's cart looks like a lightweight version of the cart SAR uses to do rough terrain rescues. I've never tried one but I've seen video of SAR hauling those things with 250lbs of body over some really rough stuff. I'd bet the light one would work well for 50lbs of tools.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
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  18. #18
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    I like the golf bag idea TN, I haven't used my clubs in over two years, and can't see an instance where I would either.

    hmmmm...
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the ideas guys. I think I'm going to look into the GI duffel bag, or see I can't find a cheap golf bag.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    I understand that there are some people who use their shovels and rakes for yard work at home.

    One drawback with leaving tools out is when you go out and find the handle has rotted from the weather. No big deal to replace a handle but a real pain to get all the way out there and not be able to do the work you wanted.
    Our empire is not as vast as thoust, oh TN. We move em around regularly. Look, face it, we're lazy.

  21. #21
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    If a golf bag isn't big enough, or the itsy wheels don't cut it, you might try out a jogging stroller.

  22. #22
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    Stevob, a wedge will clear light brush. Don't throw out the clubs yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Our empire is not as vast as thoust, oh TN. We move em around regularly. Look, face it, we're lazy.
    Yeah, lazy! That's why you're out there digging trails.

    My problem is that I forget where I put them (I'm claiming old age) and when I find them 2 or 3 years later, they're toast. I've learned they will last longer if you hang them in trees.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  24. #24
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    Was leaving my tools on Walker Mountain last fall. Black Bear thought they were fun to play with. Even tried putting a 100 lbs of rock on top. If I just could have taught him how to build trail.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottvt View Post
    I searched for a long time, here and other places on this and found nothing. I know they make BOB trailers for behind bikes, but what are the options for carrying tools on foot. Working on a DH trail carrying a shovel, a rake, a pick mattock, and an axe, with a back pack full of nails, a hammer, a bow saw, and a bunch of other crap damn near killed me today.
    I was thinking of strapping all the handles together and putting a shoulder strap on to carry all of the handled tools in one bunch a bit easier, but is there a better way? I have heard of Dakine's builder's pack, but cant find much on it anymore, and I think it only held 2 long handled tools. What does everyone else do?
    Thanks in advance,
    Scott
    people tend to carry to many tools in and out... it is much easier to purchase a cheaper shovel and hd rake, hammer, axe, etc... stain/paint them a camo color and hide them near to where you are working. that way you only carry it in once. the chances of anyone finding the tools are slim. i've even done this with a wheelbarrow and just lock it to a tree. if someone swipes it you didn't invest alot of money.

    the dakine pack is good for a chainsaw, but for just smaller hand tools any pack will do. you just might need to add some foam padding to keep it from poking you in the back.
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  26. #26
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    find a good pack

    Professional Trail Builder and Guvmint Employee

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    I have heard in porcupine country that porcupines will chew wooden handles that have dried sweat on them for the salt.
    Golf bags, check a pawn shop. Two wheel folding golf carts would probably work good. You could possibly bungee tools directly on the cart and not even need the bag. PVC pipe might make good tool holders. With my golf skills, I've had to pull my cart over some pretty rough territory. As Tim Wilson said, "I' found two holes the course didn't know they had, as well as a skeleton on a bulldozer".

  28. #28
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    Bumping this thread because I work some trails here on my own that demand some quite extensive movement to keep up. I am not happy at wasting so much time getting from one place to the next, and leaving tools stashed out there still requires long hikes to retrieve and move around. I really want some key tools I can break down and carry fairly easily on my bike.
    I have looked at the Trail Boss packable tools, and these look great but are eye-wateringly expensive. The Inteletools pictured above seem like a possibility, and I have found some good deals out there, but has anyone had any experience with these? Not sure how well the locking system will hold up... maybe that's why there's some good deals out there!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottvt View Post
    .... carrying a shovel, a rake, a pick mattock, and an axe, with a back pack full of nails, a hammer, a bow saw, and a bunch of other crap damn near killed me today.

    What does everyone else do?
    I was working in Sedona years ago and was asked by the FS to bring some stashed tools back to them that had been left in the field. We spread those tools around and began our 3 mile hike out. Nobody was willing to carry the jumbo size rock bars that were 8 foot long and over 2" thick. They must have weighed 35 pounds each and I got stuck with two of them.

    I've never liked Pulaski's. The handles are brittle and will snap the first time you use the mattock to pry rocks with. I have never used rakes, even though a lot of others do. I can see why a downhill trail builder will need a shovel, maybe even a bucket.

    Over 90% of all the trail work I have done can be accomplished with 3 tools; a folding limb saw, a pick mattock, and the most valuable and most often used tool there is, the boot-mattock. I've moved truckloads of soil and rocks with my boots. The key is to buy a pair that have well stitched soles and the highest quality rubber. You can blow out a cheap pair of boots in three days.

    If you keep your mattock sharpened, you can use it to cut brush. If you can find a pick mattock with a solid hickory handle, you can pry rocks out of the ground as well as a rock bar can. I've moved 400 pound boulders with a pick mattock. Years ago, you could buy a pick mattock with a head made of polish steel and a full hickory handle. They were indestructible. Now the Chinese and Mexican pick mattocks are poor quality and if you buy one with a fiberglass handle, it will flex and then snap if you are big and strong and pry big rocks with it.

    I was out for 4 hours on Friday with a shovel, a bucket, limb saw, and a pick mattock. I just hook the bucket handle over the head of the shovel and balance the shovel handle on my shoulder, while carrying the pick.

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    My trail building tool, a folding saw, is just brutal to carry in my jersey pocket 

  31. #31
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    Long distance with a chainsaw: Strapped to rear rack on a hardtail
    Long distance, low angle, need multiple tools for maintenance: BOB trailer
    Short distance: 2 tools over the shoulder, one is a rogue 55a, the other depends on what I'm doing. Ideally bring/recruit friends.

  32. #32
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    Check out hunter deer/elk carts for a pull/push device that can carry a bunch of weight/bulk. Dual and single wheel versions.
    You'll need to wrap the tools and strap them to the cart frame. Great for moderate and established terrain, but requires muscle for steep/rocky/new stuff.

    Check out rock climber haul bags for a backpackable carry of tons of weight/bulk. Will fit a bunch of tools/water etc, but all the load is on your back. Can carry all that you need and more, but it is 100% on you to hump it.

    You can also rig load carrier frame packs for tool carry-check out Kelty cache hauler or similar. Lash the tools together and strap them to the external frame. Again, carry whatever you want, but it is all on your back.

    My trail kit is a Mcleod, Rogue Hoe, collapsible rake, generic silky type saw, 22" blade lithium battery powered hedge trimmers and 2 hrs of batteries per build day, and a bunch of water. All the above carry options work well. I prefer a large backpack/haulbag that I carry on my back. Put in 30+ miles of new in the past two years- almost daily work, but hand/back carry was no problem-lash the big tool together-chuck them in the carry bag and get after it.

    Cheapo rigid fatbikes are great trail tools. The bikes/tires are top notch for tread compression. You can strap a bunch of tools to the top tube and carry smaller items on your back.

    Lots of ways to get it done.

  33. #33
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    I know I want to pack as much as possible on my back, since trailers are not great in the terrain I need to reach sometimes. In places very steep and rocky. My thing is to be mobile and able to move fairly quickly, as most of the work I do is maintenance and can be spread far and wide around the trails. Riding is my best option. As I said, Trail Boss are well reviewed, but very expensive, and that's why I am looking for info on the Inteletools. Reviews online are thin.
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  34. #34
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    Wheelbarrow works pretty good for us most of the time. Sometimes needs a 2 person lift to get over stuff. Lots of times our work party will number 10-20, so if everyone carries one or two tools, works just fine.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    I was working in Sedona years ago and was asked by the FS to bring some stashed tools back to them that had been left in the field. We spread those tools around and began our 3 mile hike out. Nobody was willing to carry the jumbo size rock bars that were 8 foot long and over 2" thick. They must have weighed 35 pounds each and I got stuck with two of them.

    I've never liked Pulaski's. The handles are brittle and will snap the first time you use the mattock to pry rocks with. I have never used rakes, even though a lot of others do. I can see why a downhill trail builder will need a shovel, maybe even a bucket.

    Over 90% of all the trail work I have done can be accomplished with 3 tools; a folding limb saw, a pick mattock, and the most valuable and most often used tool there is, the boot-mattock. I've moved truckloads of soil and rocks with my boots. The key is to buy a pair that have well stitched soles and the highest quality rubber. You can blow out a cheap pair of boots in three days.

    If you keep your mattock sharpened, you can use it to cut brush. If you can find a pick mattock with a solid hickory handle, you can pry rocks out of the ground as well as a rock bar can. I've moved 400 pound boulders with a pick mattock. Years ago, you could buy a pick mattock with a head made of polish steel and a full hickory handle. They were indestructible. Now the Chinese and Mexican pick mattocks are poor quality and if you buy one with a fiberglass handle, it will flex and then snap if you are big and strong and pry big rocks with it.

    I was out for 4 hours on Friday with a shovel, a bucket, limb saw, and a pick mattock. I just hook the bucket handle over the head of the shovel and balance the shovel handle on my shoulder, while carrying the pick.

    Agee with a lot of that.


    Trail building is something I enjoy almost as much as riding and some months send more time on that than riding.

    An old cutter mattock with the heaviest, widest head I've come across is my favorite hand tool. It's hickory handle has been worked over with a small plane and sand paper for a better fit for my hand. It's versatility for NE woods trail building is what gives it the edge over any other tool, including the several Rogue tools I own.

    That tool is carried in one hand.

    A Corona folding saw goes in a back or side pocket, hand nippers in the other. Water flask in the back pocket. The higher end folding saws are often thinner, cut no better, and are more fragile.

    The free hand carries a final tool. Usually a fire rake, or a leaf rake, a McCleod.

    All that is pretty light weight and I can even jog to a work site.

    Boots. Maybe the most important tool. Especially if you want to cover a lot of ground. Most days of the year, working or not, I live in LL Bean Maine Hunting boots. They are light weight so you can jog in them, wear well, are re-soleable, and offer just the right combination of breathability and water resistance for our damp climate.


    Trail work for me is enjoyable work. If I need to carry 75# of specialized tools to a work site miles out, just to construct the perfect trail, it's not fun. So unless there is a work crew, and there rarely is, I keep it light and practical, otherwise the work would not get done. I'm not a fan of overly-constructed trails these days anyway.

    For the rare time I need to pack in more tools I bungee them together and carry them on my shoulder.

    Everyone's style and environment are different.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Miker J; 01-22-2018 at 03:14 PM.

  36. #36
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    The tool I use most often is my mind, which I use to avoid obstacles that require tools to overcome, and which is completely possible in open Ponderosa forest. The rest of the time it's a sharp pulaski axe to overcome scrub oak roots, maybe a heavy Zak rake for mini baby-heady sections.
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  37. #37
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    I'm a small scale miner and I pack everything on my back. I haven't used a pulaski in years.... I think I am now working smarter. When I rehab the trails I am hiking in on, I use a small rototiller to level the 18" wide trail. You can get them with the tines which are vertical and not bent, so they don't really dig down in forest loam. The rototiller weighs probably less than 10 lbs and you can run it in to where you are digging, by just running the tiller on the ground. I can usually do about a quarter or so a mile a day using this (rocky soil is a fly in that ointment with myself and someone behind me raking out the path. The rototiller, a hard tined rake and a Sierra Blaster is all I need to make trails better and best of all, I can carry all that stuff without anything fancy. If it is brushy, I will hike in with the small chainsaw first then come back with the rototiller later.

  38. #38
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    Lost me with the rototiller? Do tell. Sierra blaster?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Lost me with the rototiller? Do tell. Sierra blaster?
    What don't you understand about the rototiller? It makes great single track in loamy soil. The Sierra Blaster is a rock and boulder breaking system that has an electrically fired charge (a little bigger than a firecracker in size) that very efficiently breaks rocks into nice, movable pieces. You don't need an ATF License, but you do need to take an online test to ensure you are not going to be an idiot when using it. I've used it for over 500 times and I think it works great. There are other systems out there, one costs over $4500 (Boulder Buster- too much for my budget) and I used the other one- the Microblaster, and found I like the SB better. Both work well on smaller rocks, but the SB works (in my opinion) better on the bigger ones.

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    I use one of these new fangled things called a wheelbarrow.

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    Rototiller? Good for the garden. Here in MA, when it's not rocks, we rogue hoe off the duff, 2-3 inches sometimes, scrape down to mineral soil. Move on. Why would you want a churned up trail? Still not following. Soil and terrain types you work with?

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    I don't use a rototiller that has the tines where they churn up the soil, they are just straight. All my trails are on steep hillsides in forest loamy soil. The straight tines cut into the hillside and leave a nice flat tread. Now mind you, I don't want anything wider than 18" ideally, so any wider then you have to do something else.

  43. #43
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    Rototiller in our rocky soil is no option. We use hands and shoulders, Bob trailers, wheelbarrows with extra pulling power.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Carrying tools on foot.-cimg0705.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Rototiller in our rocky soil is no option. We use hands and shoulders, Bob trailers, wheelbarrows with extra pulling power.
    You guys really know how to have fun. Is that a 2 man-power wheelbarrow?

  45. #45
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    Tool use is always going to be dictated by the soil. I get great results with a Yard Boss in suitable dirt, but it's worthless if there are too many rocks or roots. Brush has to be cleared out of the way too.

    Minerrick, I asked the manager at the local park about using a Sierra Blaster. He was polite enough not to laugh in my face, but it's not going to get approved. I'm back to my original plan of splitting big rocks by drilling holes for feather and wedges. Obviously, any rock that is small enough to be moved by hand gets moved that way, and really big rocks are routed around or incorporated into a riding feature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    Minerrick, I asked the manager at the local park about using a Sierra Blaster. He was polite enough not to laugh in my face, but it's not going to get approved. I'm back to my original plan of splitting big rocks by drilling holes for feather and wedges. Obviously, any rock that is small enough to be moved by hand gets moved that way, and really big rocks are routed around or incorporated into a riding feature.
    I'm curious what his beef was? If the sound of a .22 rifle is an issue, throw a painter's tarp over it and it sounds like (pfft). The noise of using a SDS drill is more than the noise of this thing going off. Go figure. Maybe they like watching men and women beat their bodies up. Back to the chain gang.......

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    My understanding is there is no provision for using any kind of explosives by volunteers. For instance, I can't run most heavy equipment without special training. There's no way to get certified for using an excavator because the state doesn't offer a certification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    My understanding is there is no provision for using any kind of explosives by volunteers. For instance, I can't run most heavy equipment without special training. There's no way to get certified for using an excavator because the state doesn't offer a certification.
    It's not REALLY and explosive.... I have a video of the inventor holding a charge in his gloved hand and setting it off. It makes a crackling noise and squirts sparks out the bottom. Oh well.... maybe as the product gets more use and accepted people will understand the benefits of it. I use the hell out of it on my mining claim and it has made my life dealing with rocks.... a dream... fun stuff.

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    What about using Dexpan or the like? You still have to drill the holes but once that is done, mix the compound and pour it into the holes. It expands to 4 times its volume and splits the rock. No explosives and a lot less hammering of wedges.

    Cost is a bit high but if you build it into the grant, it is possible.
    The world does not revolve around you but your actions impact us all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minerrick View Post
    It's not REALLY and explosive.... I have a video of the inventor holding a charge in his gloved hand and setting it off. It makes a crackling noise and squirts sparks out the bottom. Oh well.... maybe as the product gets more use and accepted people will understand the benefits of it. I use the hell out of it on my mining claim and it has made my life dealing with rocks.... a dream... fun stuff.
    I understand your point that the device is difficult to hurt yourself with, and people are getting hung up on a definition that causes people to associate it with high-velocity shrapnel flying about.

    Point taken.

    What I'm dealing with in the land management team at my state park, is an organization that was extremely conservative (in a work-rules sense) and risk adverse going back many years. Then we had a change to a politically conservative state government which has dealt with this (and other) state agencies by cutting budgets to zero, chasing most of the older employees into early retirement, firing or reassigning scientists who held views contrary to cutting environmental regulations, fighting with long-time allies who were opposed to bringing motor sports into parks with silent sport communities. And much, much more besides.

    What's left are the people who never take risks of any kind. The default answer to any question about doing anything that hasn't been done before is "No". If it can be imagined there is any possibility for things to go wrong, it isn't going to happen. Getting my work done efficiently is very nearly the last possible consideration. Sucks to be me!

    Still love to build trail and I'm looking forward to shaping/breaking rocks in my own inefficient way!

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    Walt..... leave it to bureaucrats to quell all creativity. They need a few days working outside to expand their horizons.

    A comment about Dexpan.... I've used it on my mining claim, it works, but I have several issues with it:

    1. Expensive
    2. You need to use a Cobra Combi or other Jackhammer to make the hole
    3. You mix it up and fill the hole and.......... wait and wait
    4. The next day, it may (or may not) crack your rock
    5. It is temperature sensitive and if it is too cool out.....

    I packed a bunch of it in on my back thinking it would be an awesome way to break rocks. I have to be honest with you, the waiting for something to happen really got to me. I am a "results oriented" guy who is very impatient. Drilling a bunch of holes and waiting 24 hours for "something" to happen is not my idea of efficiency. It may work out ok, if you are working in an area where you can drill the holes and do something else SOMEWHERE else for 24 hours, but it didn't work for me as I was working in a boulder bound area and taking a 24 hour pause every time I wanted to break a rock (which ended up being 25 times a day) was a deal breaker for me.

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