100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest: All Terrain Vehicles  -- Utility ATV Discussion Forum and Review 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest: All Terrain Vehicles -- Utility ATV Discussion Forum

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 01-14-2007, 12:48 Post: 138804
earthwrks

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

A customer has asked me quote him on putting in ATV trails on his 100-acre plot here in southern Mississippi. Supposedly the land is considered 3rd growth which could mean trees usually Lob Lolly pines or long leaf (needle) ranging from seedlings to 24" caliper. Have not seen the plot yet. Before I do, I need input from those who have done even small-scale ATV trails. The owner suggested a dozer but that will make a mess I feel on either side of the trail and may not acceptable for safety reasons too. The existing equipment I have is a big, tracked skid steer loader with a grapple bucket, pallet forks and a regular dirt bucket, and a 20" Stihl chainsaw. Will likely have no helpers, so I'm on my own. Can rent any size excavator with a thumb, and dozer if I have to. Suggestions as what to with stumps--leave them? And trees--leave them or pile them or????? My machine is 7 feet wide. And what to charge would be helpful. Smile






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 01-14-2007, 13:39 Post: 138805
kwschumm



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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

I'm sure you wouldn't want to do it the way we do here. Slow and tedious. We fall the trees, cut what we can for firewood, use the grapple to move remaining slash to a chipper, chip into a small dump trailer, dig the stumps up with a backhoe (and pile and burn), backfill and smooth with a box scraper, then dump the chips back on the trail to minimize mud.






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 01-14-2007, 13:57 Post: 138806
hardwood

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

EW; I never built a trail in the woods, but maybe my experience of building an open front dirt floor machine shed would be of some value. In about 74 or 75 I wanted to put up a low cost dirt floor, pole shed. So happened the only logical place to put it had a row of big soft maples running right down the center of where the building would be. Anyhow we dug down a bit around the stumps and sawed them off like 2 or three inches below the soil level, then the plan was to just fill in the holes with dirt when the stumps rotted away. Right now I can only remember one time of filling in and it took surprisingly little dirt. Maybe that would work for you. We dug the holes for the poles with a borrowed 3 pt. auger, that's when I learned how well post hole augers and even 1 inch diamater treeroots get along, must have made three trips to town for another sack if shear bolts. Enjoy your day. Frank.






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 01-14-2007, 14:29 Post: 138807
earthwrks

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

My concern was stumps: These pine stumps look like huge carrots---sometimes 6-7' deep. If the stumps are dug ot there will be a void that will leave a rut even if filled. If I leave the stump them the ATV could o will get hung up on it. I'm wondering if it makes more sense to pick a trail around the trees versus through them.

Chipping makes a lot of sense only I have seen only one one and that was at a state park. These guys down here use the burn pile method even for huge tracts of land. Some of the counties are preventing it though.






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 01-14-2007, 15:03 Post: 138808
hardwood

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

EW; I think you get a gold star for tocay, just avoiding the big trees makes a lot of sense. I think the ATV folks like to zig zag around things anyhow. Frank.






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 01-15-2007, 08:58 Post: 138812
jimbrown



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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

To me totaly flat and smooth ATV trails are positively booring. I would weave between trees were possible and leave some whoops and water crossings if possible.






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 01-15-2007, 10:37 Post: 138814
Murf

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

Jeff, for more than one reason you should go around all trees less than about 4" in caliper.

The principle reason is of course ease of building, but also largely for safety. A stump is an obstacle, a removed stump is a PITA, and a trail that is as twisting abd windy as possible, encourages riders (especially younger ones) to slow down. Speed can be a serious hazard on an ATV.

For smaller trees use something to rip them out by the roots, bigger stuff go around it. Either your SSL or CUT would have no problem pulling out trees up to 4" in size, we do it all the time with similar-sized machines.

Once you have planned the path out in advance by walking the land with a GPS unit, plot it on a plot plan and see if it makes sense. Avoid straight-on hill climbs and running trails side-slope, but if you have to be sure to grade the trail so that water runs to a ditch against the hill, not out and over the edge to prevent erosion. If you have to cross water, you can use up cut trees building a corduroy bridge with them, if th crossing is at a shallow slow moving section of water, use a generous amount of gravel either side and all the way through the water, this will prevent the tires from churning up mud and sending it down-stream.

Best of luck.

Best of luck.






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 01-15-2007, 16:43 Post: 138819
earthwrks

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

Murf--good direction on the trails.

How'd it work taking down your christmas lights? Smile






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 01-15-2007, 16:53 Post: 138820
Iowafun

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

Some great points were brought up and Murf has some great points (as usual). Here's my 2 cents and that's about what it's worth.

1. What is the land owner intending for this trail? I know ATV, but why? Hunting? Getting access to certain features? Fun?
2. Does the land owner want to get to a specific location on the property?
3. Does the owner want to be able to access the trail with anything other than an ATV? Like a pickup? Does he want to pull a trailer?
4. Does the owner want any other features like a off-trail parking area or turn around?

My point in these questions are to determine routes and destinations that need to be factored in. Also, the actual width of the trail. ATV's are usually no more than 48" wide so if they want only ATV access, then your 7 foot unit will be fine.

Like mentioned already by someone, I suggest a windy trail vs straight. It's far more fun and it keeps the speed down. Don't get all worried about smoothing it out unless the land owner wants to take his pickup out on the trail. ATV trails are meant to be fun so they have turns, ups & Downs, etc. If he wants some more fun, you can even lay a small log across the trail to climb the ATV over.

Another aspect is does he want some straight sections to allow for shooting lanes for hunting purposes?






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 01-15-2007, 16:57 Post: 138821
Iowafun

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 100-acres with ATV trails--best way to do on 3rd growth forest

Forgot one item a buddy of mine did was to use the chain saw to knock down and move out bigger stuff. Then he had a friend with a bush hog run down the trail to clean out all the smaller crap (<1" dia). Works ok, but those small dia stumps can end up sharp as pungy sticks. ATV tires don't like that so much nor a fallen rider. I like the use of a blade to make sure those items aren't sticking up.






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