Trailbuilding Tool Checklist- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trailbuilding Tool Checklist

    Our club is building out a network of trails adjacent to town. Some of the work is contractor-built, other parts are volunteer-built, or volunteer-finished. We currently have a handful of Mcleods, but are about to start fundraising for more. Below is a list of what we aim to own at the end of the fundraising:

    • 30-40 hardhats
    • 10 Mcleods
    • 20 Rogue hoes
    • 5 pick-mattocks
    • A couple shovels
    • A couple steel rakes
    • A few rock bars
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Rock sling
    • Extra work gloves
    • 5-gal buckets


    ***UPDATED AFTER READING SUGGESTIONS***
    • Canvas/reusable shopping bags for hauling dirt
    • Pick Mattocks
    • Tamper
    • Flags/tape
    • Come along
    • Safety glasses
    • Rock hammers
    • Cooler
    • Water jugs



    Is there anything else your club has used that you've found invaluable? This section of land is very exposed (little to no trees), rocky, and dry.

    We had a volunteer day earlier this spring and had 65 people show up. We borrowed the State Trails Program's tool trailer, but we can't always count on that. We also certainly won't get that many people every time.
    Last edited by evan, yo!; 08-08-2018 at 11:06 AM.
    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -Ernest Hemingway

  2. #2
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    I'd suggest some pick mattocks if you are side-hilling where the rocks are grapefruit size or bigger. A sledge hammer can be helpful if you are making crush or filling in holes.

    Find a sheetrock/spackler and get the pails for free.

  3. #3
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    Forgot to mention we have three pick-mattocks and a pulaski (which I think someone just left at a work day.) Good idea on the buckets.
    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -Ernest Hemingway

  4. #4
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    pick mattocks work great anywhere the ground is hard. just don't go too deep!

    tamper!

    why hard hats? do you have a lot of overhead hazards?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmtb View Post
    why hard hats? do you have a lot of overhead hazards?
    We don't have many overhead hazards. At least not in this one area. In the future we will likely be working on USFS land with a lot of beetle kill. I assumed hard hats were standard protection for trailwork due to people swinging tools.

    Yes, I know people are not SUPPOSED to swing tools, but you know how volunteers are...
    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -Ernest Hemingway

  6. #6
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    5 wheelbarrows? Doing mostly benching and rockwork? Steel rakes? We really like the forest service ones. I got mine from Ben Meadows. Flagging tape and pins. What about a come a long? Need to do any tree work or make boardwalks?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    5 wheelbarrows? Doing mostly benching and rockwork? Steel rakes? We really like the forest service ones. I got mine from Ben Meadows. Flagging tape and pins. What about a come a long? Need to do any tree work or make boardwalks?
    We're shooting to raise about double the amount that we'll initially need in order to continue to purchase equipment over the next few years. Flags and tape will be on the list, and I'll add a comealong. Is that used for moving and fine-tuning the position of large boulders?

    We don't have any plans to do any sort of wooden features.
    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -Ernest Hemingway

  8. #8
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    Hand pruners or small folding saws (Stihl makes an awesome one). Just big enough to clear small branches to improve line of sight and eliminate any that could come in contact with a face!
    Jason
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan, yo! View Post
    We're shooting to raise about double the amount that we'll initially need in order to continue to purchase equipment over the next few years. Flags and tape will be on the list, and I'll add a comealong. Is that used for moving and fine-tuning the position of large boulders?

    We don't have any plans to do any sort of wooden features.
    Yes, comealong for large rock work. Safety glasses? Or they will bring their own?

  10. #10
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    Dirt bags work as well or better than buckets and are much easier to transport. For the conditions you describe, pick mattocks may be nearly ideal. Of all the Rogue hoe models, the Travis is by far my favorite.

  11. #11
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    Small rock hammers are way better than sledges for crushing rock, shaping them to fit tight, and chinking. Sledges are almost never needed, way to heavy to transport, and almost no one can man a sledge for more than a few minutes.
    Army surplus duffles are great dirt bags and for tool transport.

  12. #12
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    Trailbuilding

  13. #13
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    On the wet side of the PNW, Pulaski's are very useful, mostly for when we have lots of roots and little rock, so they can effective chop roots out. I only see hard hat and safety glasses used when some rule nazi is aroud, other wise it's 'use common sense and be careful'.

    If you have to do a lot of rock placement, a come along and pullys are useful. The most fun tool you could get is a mini rock blaster and gas powered drill.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's motorized.

    Worshiping at the Church of Singletrack since 1993.

  14. #14
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    Regarding pick mattocks: I've found the 2.5 lb ones to be way more useful than the usual 5 lb ones. I can swing the small one all day, but the bigger one exhausts me in an hour or so.

    In rocky ground, I use a small pick mattock more than a Rogue hoe. It works great for removing small to medium size rocks, and for uprooting saplings. The rocks blunt the Rogue hoe too quickly, and a blunt Rogue is more work to use than a sharp one. Another important point I almost forgot to add is that you can buy a small pick mattock at local home improvement stores for less than half the price of a Rogue hoe.

    I'll go back to the Rogue hoe once I have my trail roughed in. While the Rogue continues to be my favorite single tool, like every other tool, it has a specific task that it handles best: shaping the surface of the trail by shaving off dirt. It also has the extremely useful characteristic of being the second best at most every other task. (Rogue hoes are not very good axes though!)

    I've gone back to using a McLeod for removing duff, weeds and small woody plants.

    Agree that hard hats are not needed for most trail building. We emphasize to volunteers to stay clear of each other, and to stop and check the vicinity before taking an overhead swing at anything.
    Last edited by Walt Dizzy; 08-05-2018 at 06:19 AM. Reason: Added cost comparison

  15. #15
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    Most peoples overlook the need for management and safety around large trail workshop. Make sure that you have a solid first aid kit (and a designated first responder). As you said, peoples are swinging sharp tools all around... We have some Epipen and few extra goodies in our kits.

    For crew leaders, I strongly suggest communication tools such as radio or CB. Damn useful! Also plan for identification for crew leaders, such as hi-viz vest or custom tshirt.

    Don't underestimate the need for clear layout and a TON of pinflags on the ground. Planning ahead ensure efficient workday.

    Add a few water jug, cooler for juice (or beer) and maybe even a BBQ.
    I build trails for moose & beaver
    PTBA member

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