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Author Topic: Thinking about a sled trailer(Don, any ideas with all your snow toy experience?)  (Read 2635 times)

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Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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This is only partially forest related....

For the past 12 or so years, we've had some pretty good sledding parties for the "kids" (young and old ones!). After cleaning my driveway I use my tractor to make a tubing trail through our hay field. The sides get built up (4' in some places) and I plow a road for people to walk back up or to ride back up on the Ranger. Unfortunately, not everyone can fit on the Ranger and the tubes take up a lot of space themselves.
 

 

Last year I found a set of tracks that I can use on the Ranger. It was the end of the season but I was able to try them out:
 

 
My plan when I originally bought them was to be able to use the Ranger for packing the trail down. Up until now, after building the sides up on the "luge" we would snowshoe up and down the track a bunch of times to try to pack it down and then it took several runs on the tubes to get the track going good. I plan to pull a weighted roller behind the Ranger to pack it down. We'll see how that works out...

Back to my idea: I'd like to make a trailer with skis if you will to pull behind the Ranger. This would allow me to be able to bring more people up the hill at a time, plus, I could possibly use the trailer to help in sap collection in the early spring.

The question is what to use for skis and where can I find some cheap? Also, my cousin had a sled we used to tow in Maine behind the snow mobiles when we'd ice fish remote ponds. It had a sort of "shock absorbing" hitch set-up that prevented a bunch of jolting on the trailer and it allowed the sled to pivot slightly (side to side tipping). Any ideas on the skis and/or the hitch design would be greatly appreciated!

FYI - Here is a site a friend made back in 2011. Pictures and some videos at the end...
http://debandrichsleddingadventure.blogspot.com/

Offline beenthere

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I plan to pull a weighted roller behind the Ranger to pack it down. We'll see how that works out...

Be very cautious with a weighted roller, on a slope, and a slippery slope at that.

That roller could jack-knife your rig and it go down the hill faster than "fast".

I wouldn't even consider doing it as just wet grass on a slope with a roller can be a heart-stopper when it takes over.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Thanks. I'm thinking just one of those lawn rollers.

Offline isawlogs

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 The roller will have a tendancy to have snow stick to it as it rolls...  Having to keep the snow from sticking gets old real quick... You would be better off with a sled to drag behind to flatten the trail if that is what you are looking for. We used to use a snowmobile and leave it over night to harden up.....  8)   :snowball: :snowball:
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Around here on CraigsList, Snowboards show up for free.  I've often thought that they, somehow, would be the basis of a great toboggan or something similar.  Probably be an out of control ride!  I think four of those would be great skis for a trailer for you.  Just make some pivots to mount them.  You could load/weight the back of the trailer when you want to go on "packing" runs on your trail.
John Sawicky

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Offline Saga Dan

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This question seems to be in my wheelhouse since I spend a great deal of time grooming snow in the winter time.  I have 2 wide track snowmobiles and 2 different ski trail groomers.  An older model TiddTech and West Yellowstone Ginzu Groomer.  Like others have commented on the packing with a lawn roller, snow will stick to it and become difficult to use during many different conditions.  Several companies do make a snow roller but I am guessing you are not real interested in paying $1000.00 for one. From time to time resorts do sell their old equipment they use to maintain ski trails.  I would guess Vermont would be a good option.

In terms of the trailer I would suggest older alpine skis since they tend to be much more rigid and should be easily available.  People like to keep their old skis in their garage or attic for many years and then get rid of it.  I would suspect being in MA, there should be quite a few possibilities for alpine equipment in the surrounding area.  Garage sales and estate sales tend to be good options.  I have even picked up skis that have been set out on the road side.  Also go with a rigid style hitch since it will control the load and or passengers better.  If you do not, there is a very good possibility of a much jerkier ride and the likelihood of cargo or passengers getting an up close look at the underside of your ATV when you stop.  Makes for a bad situation.
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Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Do you think alpine skis will be wide enough for a sled? Would water skis be a better choice?

Thanks for all the help!

Offline loggah

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Old water skis would definitely be better,lots more floatation. you probably have to put a skeag on the bottoms to have track behind the polaris. as far as the roller idea just take an old tractor tire, backhoe tire,minus the rim and drag it behind your  ranger smooths your louge and builds the sides at the same time. ;D but throw it in the back of your polaris take it to the top of the hill then pull it downhill. My friend up in Manitoba,Joey Barnes ,better known as the "KING OF OBSOLETE" uses 3 loader tires dragged behind one of his cats to smooth his cat-train trails.he has 2 in front and one behind  to form a triangle.
Interests: Lombard Log Haulers,Tucker Sno-Cats, Circular Sawmills, Shingle Mills, Maple Syrup Making, Early Construction Equipment, Logging Memorabilia, and Antique Firearms

Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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That's a great idea Don! I have an old tractor tire or two hanging around...

Offline r.man

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We used to use an old bed spring to groom snowmobile and toboggan trails. You don't really need to pack the snow so much as disturb it so that it sets hard. I would not even consider a roller for downhill use in snow. A frame with decent weight chain between will also work but a bed spring works really well with just a V rope hitch. Not sure how that will adapt to the shape of your trail but I would try it first because of the low cost and availability.
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Offline Saga Dan

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Water skis would work but they are much more fragile and might not stand up to the abuse.  After you "groom" the areas that you plan to use alpine skis should work fine.  If you find a couple pairs of skis you could double them up if there is concern about floatation.  If you are compacting the snow it should not be a problem.  Remember the old runner sleds or santa's sleigh with the narrow runners?

The grooming is basically to get the air out of the snow and allow it to settle and compact.  If you use items that are too heavy they will plow the snow and push thing off to the side with kind of defeats the purpose.  A cheap alternative that I have used is a section of chain-link fence behind a snowmobile.  Should work with the ATV as well.  If you are tying to provide a solid surface that will stand up to the traffic the compaction needs to be done in thin layers otherwise you can create false decks with a thin compacted layer over soft loose snow.  So if you see that it is going to start piling up more that 4-6" you will need to start packing the snow during the snowfall and continue to do so until it is done snowing. 

Good luck and make sure to post some pictures as the season develops.  Whatever you do make sure it is fun and you and everyone is enjoying the winter.
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Online snowstorm

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what you need is a pipe drag. used to groom snowmobile trails. called a pipe drag because it was made out of old water pipe and whatever was laying around. most are 8' long 4to 5' wide. bend the pipe up on one end build a hitch. 2 cutter blades made from 1\4" by 4" flat bar one angled to the right one to the left a stright one in the back with a flat pan with the front edge bent up to pack the snow. frist time out after a snow fall raise the front so only the pan hits to pack let the snow set up then groom. i would build it wider than your ranger if thats what you pull it with. the longer it is the better it will fill in the bumps

Online snowstorm

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couple cheap ones on craigs list maine in the sled section just put in trail drag

Offline Don_Papenburg

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A sheet of HDPE would make a great packer smoother  .  HDPE  is used on combine heads so they slide over the soil and not push piles of soil in front . It is very slick stuff and last a long time
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Offline kensfarm

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When we were kids..  cut a hole in a piece of plywood.. we'd have the tractor pull us around in the snow.  It was fun holding on..  and if you fell off.. you're already at ground level.. run and jump back on. 

I think a 4x8 sheet of that cutting board material would work great..  the off road guys use it as light weight protection for sliding over rocks.  You can heat and form it too.  Get 2 sheets.. make a train. 

Offline North River Energy

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Alpine skis won't go the distance, and will eventually splinter apart if you leave them out in the weather 24/7/365.
Go figure on that last part?
We have a small-kid mover at the ski resort. Started out as plywood and DH skis for proof of concept pulled by a Skandic.
When that fell apart, we built several replacements, using metal runners lined with Polyethylene sheeting and/or thick HDPE strips.
The key is to build it strong enough to last, but light enough so as not to burn out the motive power.

Offline timberlinetree

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Don't know much about snow toys but that party looks fun! Great job and the memories of the party will last a lifetime!
I've met Vets who have lived but still lost their lives... Thank a Vet

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Offline thecfarm

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I wonder if you could build an old time sled. That would look nice. I think they use to put some metal on the botom of the runners.
We do that with go carts,with no motors and wagons. We tow them back up the hill with an old junk blazer. We have about 5 go carts and 3 wagons.
My road that goes down into the woods I pack down. After each storm I lower the bucket and let it hit the snow a little and I lower the winch too. But it does not really do a nice smooth job. I think anything that can be dragged would do the job.
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Online snowstorm

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you could build skis pretty easy. some 3\16 or 1\4" flat bar 6" or so wide bend the front up and the rear a little along with a piece of 3\8 round for a runner so it tracks straight

Offline dgdrls

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I would look for skis at a Snow Sled salvage yard. 
Pull an entire front assembly skis and steering for the front
and then pull 2 or 4 more matching skis for a rear assembly

A base build kind of like this,


Dan

Offline loggah

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Heres some skis i built for the last tucker sno-cat and tucker trailer i bought,oak with 1/4" steel bottom.

 

  

  

  

 
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Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Some awesome ideas on here; thanks! Unfortunately I wasn't here to see them!  :(
But the good news is we didn't get anything for snow this year so it didn't matter much!  ;D

Offline WmFritz

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Hit some snowmobile swap meets. Sled skis can be found for 5-10 bucks a pair.
I like dgdrls's idea with the front suspension. A couple weeks ago, we picked a complete Polaris Colt chassis for $50 and later, we found the motor for it, for 20 bucks.
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