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  1. #1
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    walk-behind dozer productivity question

    I'm filling out a grant that might cover the cost of training some folks to use a walk behind dozer. I'd like to be able to tell the grantor how much the dozer could potentially increase our productivity.

    So, could somebody please give me an educated answer to this question?

    On loam to clay-loam soil with very few rocks in a deciduous forest, sidehill grades between 5 and 20%, a skillfully operated mini-dozer (DitchWitch SK-500 or Toro Dingo 420) can bench cut as much trail as _____ people using hand tools (rogue hoes, pulaskis).

    Or if someone knows feet per hour for humans vs machines that would be lovely as well.

    Thank you once again for your time. Hopefully I'll have something to contribute one of these days!

    Matt

  2. #2
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    You're not that much faster with a machine, but you can keep going day, after day, after day... This way, your volunteers can keep working on the rest of the stuff, like design/flagging, clearing the corridor, building rock armored sections, new bridges or TTF, etc. Volunteer have a tendency to work pretty hard, but just a few times a year.

    I'd say you're in the easiest conditions so a handcrew should be able to benchcut 10-30ft/man-hour. A SK500 should be able to benchcut about 100-300ft/hour, so about 10x.

    That being said, you'll still need a handcrew in front and behind the machine to finish the job

    Hope this help!
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  3. #3
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    Thank you very much! I can't wait to get behind the controls of one of these, whether we get the grant or not

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton View Post
    I'm filling out a grant that might cover the cost of training some folks to use a walk behind dozer. I'd like to be able to tell the grantor how much the dozer could potentially increase our productivity.

    So, could somebody please give me an educated answer to this question?

    On loam to clay-loam soil with very few rocks in a deciduous forest, sidehill grades between 5 and 20%, a skillfully operated mini-dozer (DitchWitch SK-500 or Toro Dingo 420) can bench cut as much trail as _____ people using hand tools (rogue hoes, pulaskis).

    Or if someone knows feet per hour for humans vs machines that would be lovely as well.

    Thank you once again for your time. Hopefully I'll have something to contribute one of these days!

    Matt
    Matt I'm not an expert on how much faster the machine is but I would recommend adding how in some areas and trail designs the machine allows you to move large amounts of dirt around to shape the terrain which would be almost impossible by hand.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypNoTic View Post
    You're not that much faster with a machine, but you can keep going day, after day, after day... This way, your volunteers can keep working on the rest of the stuff, like design/flagging, clearing the corridor, building rock armored sections, new bridges or TTF, etc. Volunteer have a tendency to work pretty hard, but just a few times a year.

    I'd say you're in the easiest conditions so a handcrew should be able to benchcut 10-30ft/man-hour. A SK500 should be able to benchcut about 100-300ft/hour, so about 10x.

    That being said, you'll still need a handcrew in front and behind the machine to finish the job

    Hope this help!
    I feel like an SK 650 at the finger tips = 20-30 skilled volunteers that don't get tired.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Davis View Post
    Matt I'm not an expert on how much faster the machine is but I would recommend adding how in some areas and trail designs the machine allows you to move large amounts of dirt around to shape the terrain which would be almost impossible by hand.
    That might be viewed as more disturbing or destructive.

    Instead say that the machine allows you to keep more of your excavated dirt available for use on the tread in features like grade reversals and switchbacks, adding to the sustainability of the project. Volunteers will simply disperse the dirt down hill rather than taking that extra steep of wheelbarrowing it 20 feet to enhance the grade reversal. With the machine, pushing the extra dirt around is no added effort. You're also creating a smaller impact on the area below the tread where the volunteers would otherwise be tossing the dirt.
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  7. #7
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    I don't have a lot of experience with walk behind skid steers. I have run a few as well as a few ride on models. Of those I have tried the RSV model RC 30 is my favorite. It has the best traction in the industry. It is also small enough to bench cut single track on steep slopes.

    As far as comparing man power with machine power a conservative estimate is 15 to 20 man hours to 1 machine hour. As stated previously in this thread a machine does not get tired. I have a Takeuchi 007 and to look at it you would think I can do more with a shovel and wheelbarrow. But, I can easily do the work of 20 people for 8 hours straight. Up here in on the west side of the Cascades we have a tremendous amount of underbrush. Salal, Sword Fern, Black Berry, Oregon Grape, and that kind of stuff. In the Capitol Forest there is 3 to 12 inches of mostly organic Duff (not Homers beer) on top of a decomposed basalt clay. The root system of the underbrush intertwines and make a very tough layer to get through to the in-organic material. If you don't get down to the in-organic material the tread will not last. It will always be spongy and will constantly be growing more brush. In some places this root mass is hard to cut even with machines. The first cut on a bench just removes the organic material. After that I can cut the bench into the side slope. The advantage of such a small excavator is being able to cut a narrow bench and being able to stand on that bench to advance the tread forward. The excavator is also able to cast material off the new tread or load into a trailer or wheelbarrow directly behind the machine.

    Machines are capable of performing a tremendous amount of work in a short time. However, as with any machine, much of the efficiencies are lost with an unskilled operator. You can move a lot of dirt in a hurry and still not get much done. I am always impressed with how much a group of dedicated volunteers can accomplish. I think the best scenario is to rough the tread in with a machine and finish with hand tools.

    That's just my opinion and worth exactly what you paid for it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramjax View Post
    I don't have a lot of experience with walk behind skid steers. I have run a few as well as a few ride on models. Of those I have tried the RSV model RC 30 is my favorite. It has the best traction in the industry. It is also small enough to bench cut single track on steep slopes.
    We are in the process of bring in a machine (contracted) to work on some new trails, first time for us. Our 70 miles of trail are hand built or legacy.

    Trying to Google for "RSV model RC30" only gets me medical stuff, like Pathogenesis of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in the Murine Model.

    More info on this, or a link to a website would be helpful. Thanks!
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  9. #9
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    It's an ASV RC30. I'd like to hear more about where and how others have used that machine. What blade? It seems like it's only a little bigger than the SK650, but uses full size attachments.

    I rented a Terex 70 for a week this fall to load crushed stone and bench a 5' wide trail through a field. We removed the sod with an excavator and I cut the bench and gradual climbing turns with the Terex in one or two passes.

    The controls were nice, but the traction was not always what I was hoping for and the blade visibility (Bradco 6 way) was very minimal. The Erskine 6 way blade should have better visibility and is 49.5" wide.
    In the summer I build trails: www.sinuosity.net
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  10. #10
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    Just to clarify, ASV was bought by Terex a couples years ago. The ASV RC30 became the Terex PT30 with few minor upgrades.

    I really like my SK650 but being rocked on it for 10h+ is pretty exhausting. The ASV/Terex xx30 is a little bit wider but having a seat is a big bonus.
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  11. #11
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    I was not aware of the Terex purchase until today. I did know that Cat owned around 25% and are using the ASV undercarriage on their tracked skid steer loaders.

    The 6 way blades are pretty good at detailing the trail tread. As for visibility the blade is much harder to see exactly what's happening as it's happening. If you have ever run any large dozer it's the same story. With practice you learn to feel what you're doing with the blade and this allows you to keep your head up to see where you are going. The exception to the visibility limits might be the Sweco trail dozer. With the Sweco you sit right out front just behind the blade. What I would worry about with the Sweco is exposer to sticks and other nasties. The ROPS looks good with plenty of screening, but it is something to keep an eye on. The other drawback with the forward operator position is when backing up the visibility is really poor. You would need to keep a close eye on your ground crew and they for you.

    The Sweco is 80 hp and has steel tracks. That's a lot of power for a 4' wide machine. A guy could get a lot done in a hurry. If I had am extra $70,000 that's what I would buy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramjax View Post
    I was not aware of the Terex purchase until today. I did know that Cat owned around 25% and are using the ASV undercarriage on their tracked skid steer loaders.

    The 6 way blades are pretty good at detailing the trail tread. As for visibility the blade is much harder to see exactly what's happening as it's happening. If you have ever run any large dozer it's the same story. With practice you learn to feel what you're doing with the blade and this allows you to keep your head up to see where you are going. The exception to the visibility limits might be the Sweco trail dozer. With the Sweco you sit right out front just behind the blade. What I would worry about with the Sweco is exposer to sticks and other nasties. The ROPS looks good with plenty of screening, but it is something to keep an eye on. The other drawback with the forward operator position is when backing up the visibility is really poor. You would need to keep a close eye on your ground crew and they for you.

    The Sweco is 80 hp and has steel tracks. That's a lot of power for a 4' wide machine. A guy could get a lot done in a hurry. If I had am extra $70,000 that's what I would buy.
    My local sorba chapter has a sweco that we purchased and it will run circles around a walk-behind. We do the rough cut with the sweco and bring a mini-x behind to do the backslope and the outslope final which pretty much eliminates hand work with good operators. To me, the mini-x is the most versatile machine out there. Slower than the sweco but you can finish the trail with one machine and are much cheaper and readily available to rent. We rent the a kubota kx 61 to do the finish work. We raise money and apply for grants and pay ourselves to build trail because trying to get volunteer help is like pulling teeth. Relying on volunteers around the south to build trail takes for EVER to complete a project. Word of advice, raise money and buy or rent what u need and pay yourselves to build the trail. Much faster and the quality of trail you have at the end is undeniable.
    Too wet to ride!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooperator View Post
    My local sorba chapter has a sweco that we purchased and it will run circles around a walk-behind. We do the rough cut with the sweco and bring a mini-x behind to do the backslope and the outslope final which pretty much eliminates hand work with good operators. To me, the mini-x is the most versatile machine out there. Slower than the sweco but you can finish the trail with one machine and are much cheaper and readily available to rent. We rent the a kubota kx 61 to do the finish work. We raise money and apply for grants and pay ourselves to build trail because trying to get volunteer help is like pulling teeth. Relying on volunteers around the south to build trail takes for EVER to complete a project. Word of advice, raise money and buy or rent what u need and pay yourselves to build the trail. Much faster and the quality of trail you have at the end is undeniable.
    I can understand that and I definitely like the idea of getting paid. I have been thinking about putting a 6-way blade on my 007. It would make it easier to out-slope the tread. I agree the mini-ex is hard to beat. I would like to try the Sweco on some of the moto trails that are wider than the equestrian but develop huge ruts and mud holes. The ability to cover a lot of ground in a hurry would be a big help in the Forest.

    We have had very good turnouts to our volunteer work parties. We get together on the 1st Saturday of each month and get 15 to 25 people every month. We are currently building a 4.5 mile DH trail and it has had 4 to 10 people every Thursday evening during the long days and about the same on every other Sunday during the short days.

    The Washington State Capitol Forest has over 200 miles of single track split evenly between moto an equestrian. Mountain bikers can ride them all The DH trail will be the first human powered only trail on state lands. If you are in the area and looking for a ride or just want to see what's going on, check out the FOCF web site at friendsofcapitolforest.org or another friend of mine has the site capitolforest.com

  14. #14
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    I'll check it out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramjax View Post
    I can understand that and I definitely like the idea of getting paid. I have been thinking about putting a 6-way blade on my 007. It would make it easier to out-slope the tread. I agree the mini-ex is hard to beat. I would like to try the Sweco on some of the moto trails that are wider than the equestrian but develop huge ruts and mud holes. The ability to cover a lot of ground in a hurry would be a big help in the Forest.

    We have had very good turnouts to our volunteer work parties. We get together on the 1st Saturday of each month and get 15 to 25 people every month. We are currently building a 4.5 mile DH trail and it has had 4 to 10 people every Thursday evening during the long days and about the same on every other Sunday during the short days.

    The Washington State Capitol Forest has over 200 miles of single track split evenly between moto an equestrian. Mountain bikers can ride them all The DH trail will be the first human powered only trail on state lands. If you are in the area and looking for a ride or just want to see what's going on, check out the FOCF web site at friendsofcapitolforest.org or another friend of mine has the site capitolforest.com
    Good luck will the trailbuilding endeavors. Sounds like you have alot of support. I think we have spoiled all the volunteers with the amount of trail we have built with machines. There is something about turning over a new trail system in a few months that appeals to everybody.
    Too wet to ride!

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