Just bought land :D What machinery for a limited budget?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Just bought land :D What machinery for a limited budget?

    Lets say you have a couple grand to spend on building trails and already own the basic hand tools.

    What do you think would would help speed things up on a low budget?

    I am thinking:
    1. Plate compactor
    2. Tiller
    3. Excavator hire

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
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    Plate compactor - the only time Iíve used one building trail was when we were building a new jump trail that was in plain view of other trails with a lot of traffic. As long as we had machinery on the trail we could count on riders not coming down it, but we knew as soon as we were gone the trail would get hammered with traffic, so we ran a compactor over everything. Theyíre also handy if youíre building a pump track. Otherwise, trail doesnít benefit that much from a plate compactor, to be honest. Pass.

    Tiller - I see people use this or mention this as a short cut all the time. The problem is, Iíve never seen a professional outfit use a tiller to build trail. Ultimately, all youíll do is mix organic soil with the mineral soil you want to expose for the trail tread and compromise the quality of that soil. Pass.

    Excavator hire - yep. While you have the excavator, use the tracks and the weight of the machine to pack anything you feel like you really want packed. Use the money. Youíd have spent on the other two things I passed on to keep the excavator for a couple extra days.

  3. #3
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    I have a tractor(finish mower, scraper blade, box blade and dump cart), plate compactor(if you have one you WILL find uses for it, not just for trails) and a mini excavator(1ft tooth bucket, 3ft smooth bucket and a hydraulic thumb. Shopping for some other specialty attachments too.

    Now Im looking for a used Yanmar or Wacker tracked dumper. Things I wish I had for the property are a Harley(power) rake or a forestry mulcher if I really get crazy.

    I like buying and using tools/equipment and usually work/ride alone so the machines are a huge time saver. You can also do all this with a rogue hoe and a machete.

    Be careful it's a slippery slope

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Tiller - I see people use this or mention this as a short cut all the time. The problem is, Iíve never seen a professional outfit use a tiller to build trail. Ultimately, all youíll do is mix organic soil with the mineral soil you want to expose for the trail tread and compromise the quality of that soil. Pass.
    In some parts of the prairie up here the sod layer is very thick and our MT-55 hardly puts a dent in it, so I have used a 3pt tiller on my tractor with the skids set to just get us through the sod layer, then we can use the MT-55 to finish it off. On larger expansions we use a Sweco which still grunts a little at the sod. You do need to pay attention to depth with the tiller though as Cotharyus says, so you don't mix the organic and mineral soils together.

  5. #5
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    Spend all that money on cheap beer. Cheap beer makes granola people want to make trails for free.

  6. #6
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    If you're just doing xc you can do lot with a Pulaski type tool, then just ride it. Cordless electric hedge trimmers are awesome, I just have a pair of 20v Black&Deckers, I can get over an hour out of 2 batteries, and by then my back is done for the day, - lots of trail trimmed in that hour.
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
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    The geography and geology will dictate what you need, post some pics. Around here, a single person without an excavator is going to spend all their riding time working on a one man chain gang.

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