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Author Topic: Best tool to maintain trails  (Read 2843 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2019, 11:51:31 AM »
I have been trying to sell a pair of 108's with plows mower decks and snow blowers. You want to go for a road trip?

Offline livemusic

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2019, 12:20:42 PM »
For me, I started years ago with a pick and shovel and blind ambition.
Then I got a pretty fancy long handled snip
A few years later got a forestry trailer with a grapple (which digs rocks fairly well)
A few years later rented a mini excavator
Then a few later a rented bigger ex with a thumb for a week
Now we have a box blade scraper behind the tractor

Point is, trails are an evolving project.  It all begins with the first shovel-full.
What is that long handled snip mentioned above? Unsure what you mean.

This morning, I put in two hours doing it as I began... machete and a chainsaw.

Yesterday, I ordered a saw blade for my clearing saw / brushcutter Husky 345FR... a two blade shredder blade... kinda like a lawnmower blade that turns down on each end. Am very eager to try it. Mind you, I bought it mainly for clearing but am wondering if it will also suffice to swing back and forth like a scythe for maintenance.
~~~
Bill

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2019, 11:05:48 AM »
Ed-K had to write and remind me of another contraption...



 

 

This is made out of an old MS180, an aluminum walker and some other scraps. You push it with your knee/leg and defend yourself from falling stuff with your left arm. The bar at the bottom makes it fairly safe  :)

In the second version, I made a plate out of 1/2" plastic that bolts to the bottom of the saw and made attaching the framework easier and more sturdy.
MS193, MS192 and an 026  Weeding and Thinning. Gilbert Champion sawmill

Offline Orange

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2019, 07:47:59 AM »
I have some shredder blades for my brush saw. Work petty well shredding woody stuff up to maybe half inch or so depending on hardness but will be slow going if trying to shred everything. Work fine side to side on small stuff also but really no better than a standard wood blade. If you maintain every year a trimmer head and string would work and likely faster. Mine cuts 20" swath and can take up to 0.105" string, no problem on new growth. Once you miss a year though you'll probably need metal blade. I've seen trimmer heads that accept 0.130" string. Never used myself so don't know if that would allow you to go two years. Also have seen 0.150" string but don't know if any trimmer heads accept it or if it's just for walk-behind trimmers.

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2019, 08:04:29 AM »
Also, since you seem to be focusing on manual options, you could look into a large weed wrench to pull out woody stems with the roots so they don't sprout back. I would think that once cleared a few dozen aggressive passes with the ATV would go along way in keeping it open?

As with all things property maintenance, money saves time and more money saves more time. Those like myself without much of either don't have well-maintained properties!

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2019, 09:15:00 AM »
That's why I like nature to inhibit that sprouting by having bigger trees with limbs over. But a real pain when snow shoeing because with 4 feet of snow your up into them lower limbs. :D
Move'n on.

Online lxskllr

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2019, 09:38:54 AM »
Also, since you seem to be focusing on manual options, you could look into a large weed wrench
 

Never heard of a weed wrench before. A quick image search lead me to this competitor page...

Pullerbear Tree Puller

I like the low budget feel of the site. It looks like a small shop that (may or may not)have created a better mousetrap. Gonna contemplate the options, and see if there's a place for that kind of tool in my life. Looks like it could be useful. Anyone have hands on experience with this kind of thing?

Offline livemusic

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2019, 11:09:19 AM »
I have some shredder blades for my brush saw. Work petty well shredding woody stuff up to maybe half inch or so depending on hardness but will be slow going if trying to shred everything. Work fine side to side on small stuff also but really no better than a standard wood blade. If you maintain every year a trimmer head and string would work and likely faster. Mine cuts 20" swath and can take up to 0.105" string, no problem on new growth. Once you miss a year though you'll probably need metal blade. I've seen trimmer heads that accept 0.130" string. Never used myself so don't know if that would allow you to go two years. Also have seen 0.150" string but don't know if any trimmer heads accept it or if it's just for walk-behind trimmers.
Just yesterday, had a revelation when I thought of a walk-behind trimmer... like... hmmm... that might work if I could use a stiff enough line or blade. DR makes one, push only and also one that is self-propelled. I know for sure a DR walk-behind brush mower would work but it costs twice as much. I have found some threads where guys in Australia are talking about some badboy line and also blades that are not even available in the USA. I might could get somebody to ship me some.
Of course, as I said in the original post, I have a Husqvarna 345FR clearing saw that has a trimmer head that does 17 inch swath. If a stout line or blade will work with a trimmer, that is an option. The value of this below is a walk-behind trimmer might be less tiring. Especially self-propelled.
Here is a walk behind trimmer.
DR PRO XLSP Trimmer Mower (string trimmer) | DR Power Equipment
~~~
Bill

Online mike_belben

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2019, 07:18:35 PM »
Started as a lawn tractor snow blade.  

The side boxes grub roots and eat banks. 



The heel spurs also grab and grub stuff



And the comb backdrags leaf litter and the duff without taking the topsoil. The angle irons are sharpened and angled down to cut small roots.  The comb fingers are just punch press slot knockouts. 





Front mount flail and 8 way root rake have their place also. 






Revelation 3:20

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2019, 08:57:21 AM »
Mike, you don't do anything halfway? Do you?

Online mike_belben

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2019, 10:49:52 AM »
Im good at things normal people arent and suck at all the rest.  Idiot savant-ish.  It has its down sides.
Revelation 3:20

Offline Cruiser_79

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2019, 08:19:52 AM »
My brother was looking for a front mounted flail mower for maintaining the trails around his fields on the farm. Powered by a B&S or honda petrol engine. Cause it's atv mounted it is faster and better suspension than a small tractor. And doesn't take much time travelling between farms/fields. 
 Something like this;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=qUI4TZR2dls

Don't know or it is tough enough for brushes etc. but when you take it regular it could work. 

Offline livemusic

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2019, 09:17:55 AM »
My brother was looking for a front mounted flail mower for maintaining the trails around his fields on the farm. Powered by a B&S or honda petrol engine. Cause it's atv mounted it is faster and better suspension than a small tractor. And doesn't take much time travelling between farms/fields.
 Something like this;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=qUI4TZR2dls

Don't know or it is tough enough for brushes etc. but when you take it regular it could work.
That is very appealing. An ATV is faster than a mower. In a description I found, it included "small trees" in the description of what it could cut. I don't about the hassle of... it's European... getting parts and service.

Hmmm... description also says, "Y-blades for rough use included in the standard flail mower delivery. Available accessories (pictured): hammer blades for a fine cutting result."

BTW, I was thinking just yesterday about this and it seems that any lawnmower might cut more brushy stuff than a string trimmer. The Bush Hog brand lawnmower with heavier than normal blade is intriguing.  I just wonder if it could work to buy an old junky riding lawnmower and find some heavier than normal blades.
~~~
Bill

Online mike_belben

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2019, 10:45:15 AM »
The only big design difference between a finish mower and bush hog is that the ends of the bush hog blade fold in so tgat it doesnt stall the engine when it hits something immovable.  There is no reason why you cant make a bush hog blade to go ontocyour conventional push mower and then mount it on an atv with plow control to raise and lower. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Cruiser_79

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2019, 12:55:55 PM »
If you van purchase a small pto driven flail mower it shouldnt be difficult to place a petrol powered engine on top. Than you arent depending on part delivery from Europe. Another idea that came up to me is a petrol powered hedge trimmer. Like the old tractor mounted trimmers for cutting hay. Same as on the header of a combine harvester. That should cut brushes to two inch without any problems. It doesn’t mulch it but it will die anyway 

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2019, 03:42:23 AM »
Found the english word for the type of mower I mean; sickle bar mower.


Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2019, 06:18:47 AM »
My brother was looking for a front mounted flail mower for maintaining the trails around his fields on the farm. Powered by a B&S or honda petrol engine. Cause it's atv mounted it is faster and better suspension than a small tractor. And doesn't take much time travelling between farms/fields.
 Something like this;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=qUI4TZR2dls

Don't know or it is tough enough for brushes etc. but when you take it regular it could work.
This would be my top pick. The side shift is very desirable.
I have about 10 miles of trails in various states of brushyness from just tall weeds to small trees and my 25 HP tractor with a bush hog type rear rotary mower works but isn't as agile as this or as fast and smooth riding to get the mower to where I need it. And the tractor/mower is just too long quite often and gets hung up in water bars.
Many of my trails are only intended for winter use or walking and the tractor is just awkward. This unit is much easier to transport and probably doesn't cost all that much more than a 5' wide rotary mower.
MS193, MS192 and an 026  Weeding and Thinning. Gilbert Champion sawmill

Offline Cruiser_79

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2019, 07:40:24 AM »
And it looks fun to me  :D Better than bouncing around on a compact tractor. 
Prices aren't that bad either, and with some maintenance they should last long I guess. Only a B&S engine and some V-belts. 

Offline livemusic

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2019, 11:44:28 AM »
Cruiser, that is a cool home made sickle bar mower. My first thought about a sickle bar mower was some occasional tall root knobs/stumps might pose a risk of hitting but you could just saw them off with a chainsaw ahead of time. Plus, the sickle bar mower you posted has upturned end rails as guides. This and the ATV flail mower would certainly work. I wonder what is more reliable... rotary blade, sickle bar or flail. I first couldn't recall what drives a sickle bar but I think I see a belt on what you posted. I guess a regular sickle bar behind a tractor runs off PTO. Anyway, wondering what is reliable... what is more likely to keep on going when running through the occasional (or pretty regular in some spots) saplings.

I don't know if I mentioned in this thread, maybe I did, but I ordered a Milwaukee cordless combi set. I got an articulated hedge trimmer attachment (like a sickle bar mower blade) for free when I bought the pole saw kit. Both tools and the entire battery kit were $400. The downside here is limited run time from a battery but I figure I might tire after a half hour or so anyway and in a half hour or so, I could get quite a bit of trail maintained. Also, will get a spare battery if I like it. It hasn't arrived yet. I need these tools around my house, as well.
~~~
Bill

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Best tool to maintain trails
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2019, 11:50:54 AM »
The old school sickle bars were horse drawn and driven off the wheels. Most of them now exist as lawn ornaments. I have toyed with the idea of modifying one for my 3 pt hitch on the tractor for a very long time. now I wonder if just making it walk behind would be smarter?


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