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Steep slopes, what's your experience?

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
Thanks for the explanation.

Chain pulled - pulling a chain between two dozers to clear everything in between.

So what's that thing called anyway?
 
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Foster

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
19
Location
New Hampshire
No dozers did any work on second pic.
they are called Walking excavators or Spyder hoes made by Menzi Muck or Kaiser as well as a few others. Do a search on youtube for "Menzi Muck" they have some good vids as well as a search on this site for other posts on these machines.

A couple more pics later on in the project.
 

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Foster

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
19
Location
New Hampshire
Glad you chimed in Brian, for the most part its done still have trees and plants to plant in the spring and another small wall to build near the driveway. Digging a small pond for one of my neighbors out in the woods, will post some picts over on your site later on. You about ready to head for camp?
 

Coastal

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
323
Location
BC, Canada
In my opinion, being a rookie operator, wanting to cut trails in steep terrain is trouble brewing. Especially with a dozer or CTL. One wrong move and one track crumbles the shoulder of your new trail and slips off, basically your screwed. You better hope you have good friends with a machine to come pull you out.

Mini ex's are a bit more forgiving, if you do slip off the trail, you can at least wiggle your way around with the bucket and boom and get back on track. I would look for a mini ex that has the longest tracks for stability, and perhaps get proper cab protection built for it, so when you do roll it, you will survive if wearing a seatbelt.

I live in BC Canada, we have our share of steep slopes, those silly rocky mountains make work challenging. :beatsme
 

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
In my opinion, being a rookie operator, wanting to cut trails in steep terrain is trouble brewing. .... :beatsme

I'm hearing ya mate. I will not just head straight down the nearest big slope don't worry. I will be walking most of it beforehand to be sure exactly where I want to go and flagging it (I am a land surveyor). And I intend to get plenty of practice on the flat before I even attempt to take one down some of my hills.
 

therealjohnboy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
106
Location
South Australia
MTL is Multi Terrain Loader Cat and Positrack have that style of track system very capabloe low impact design with great floatation ctl style would better suit what you have described
 

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
So the CTL basically has more pushing power, more traction available for my application? I was a bit worried about the available power on the Positrack. So what does CTL stand for?
 

KSSS

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
4,385
Location
Idaho
Occupation
excavation
So the CTL basically has more pushing power, more traction available for my application? I was a bit worried about the available power on the Positrack. So what does CTL stand for?


CTL stands for Compact Track Loader.

It is not entirely true that a CTL has more push power than an MTL. The main difference is that the MTL is a suspended track system and the CTL is a nonsuspended machine. The suspension system on the MTL (CAT and ASV) makes for a quiet, soft riding machine. This machine uses rubber coated bogy wheels which are on a track that does not contain any steel imbedding. They also utilize a squirrel cage to drive the track. There are torsion bars in the system which give the system flex. Kept in their element, they provide excellent traction due to the suspensions ability to adjust to the terrain. However the downfalls to this suspension is it does not tolerate abrasive environments very well, as well as operator abuse. The suspension components are expensive-lot of moving parts compared to a CTL. Kept in their element they work well, work them outside of their element and they are a money pit. Resale is terrible here. CAT recently introduced their CTL onto the market if that is an indication of some of the drawbacks of the MTL. The CTL with its solid frame is much more simple and robust, drawbacks are they are rough riding, noisy, with a fair amount of vibration thrown in. CTL's are also susceptible to operator abuse, but they are not as costly to go through. The CTL drives by use of a sprocket similiar to a high drive dozer.

Which machine is best depends on what you want to do with it. There are some great deals to be had on used machines. All of these tracked machines take a serious hit coming of the lot. A low houred machine that was not abused can save you big money over new. New tracked machines can be expensive to buy, own and resale is not great. I have calculated some depreciation rates of $25 to $30 an hour on some of these machines. You need to be sure that you can make them pay and don't abuse them because they will hit you back in the wallet.
 

John H

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
170
Location
Mass
Occupation
Arborist, Equipment operator
Have you tried looking at a Fecon FXT 100 or a rayco cl100
 

JimInOz

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
512
Location
Victoria, Australia
Steep Country

How did you go,Pete?
In Qld,you can buy a lot of small Mitsubishi dozers for under $20K.
Richie Bros sell them a few times each year in Brisbane.
They are low stable,strong,quite modern,fuel efficient...& can be manual or direct-powershift.Your ideal set-up would have PAT Blade & scarifier.Ensure the trans,brakes & clutches are in good order.A canopy would be a good idea too.
The single grouser dozer tracks would be a help,although lots of guys have used Crawler Loaders on steep country too.Either way,you'd really want to know the feel of your machine before going up there.
Keep your work area clean...running over holes,rocks & tree trunks is a killer on slopes.

A similar Mitsubishi,Komatsu or other Crawler Loader with 4 in 1 & ripper would also be OK.

Let us know what you buy.Good luck..
 

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
OK - update.

I have hired a small (1.5 tonne) mini-ex and been into it. It works. Slowly but surely. Still want to try a small dozer, but hard to get one on hire.
 

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
OK - update.

I have hired a small (1.5 tonne) mini-ex and been into it. It works. Slowly but surely. Still want to try a small dozer, but hard to get one on hire.I am learning all the time, taking it slow, benching tracks in so they slope towards the high side. It's a bit scary in the machine at first on any small slope, but slowly getting confidence.

The are supposed to be able to handle a 30 degree slope before tipping - does that mean side-slope?

Where is "Richie Brothers"?
 

hackalot

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
30
Location
Charlotte, NC
Ritchie Bros

OK - update.

I have hired a small (1.5 tonne) mini-ex and been into it. It works. Slowly but surely. Still want to try a small dozer, but hard to get one on hire.I am learning all the time, taking it slow, benching tracks in so they slope towards the high side. It's a bit scary in the machine at first on any small slope, but slowly getting confidence.

The are supposed to be able to handle a 30 degree slope before tipping - does that mean side-slope?

Where is "Richie Brothers"?

http://www.rbauction.com/index.jsp
 

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
Thought I'd give some feedback as I got some good advice from members on this forum.

I ended up buying a CAT 305B second hand - good condition machine. I have done tracks now in steep country and am learning all the time. It takes time but you end up with a good track for sure. My only problem is I keep throwing the tracks off and I did break one. I am learning not to let anything at all get in between the drive sprocket and the track or the idler and the track as it can quite quickly spit it off (the track that is). I am pretty adept at getting the tracks back on by now but I wish I wouldn't throw them off so regularly. Anyone got any good advice in this respect?
 

pete40

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
61
Location
Australia
Also, I had a guy come in with a Drott and establish a bunch of wider tracks for me still in the steep country doing alot of side-cutting obviously. I now need to maintain these tracks. There is always some landslides and logs and branches falling on them. I would like to get a suitable machine to keep them maintained. Ideally I think a small Drott would be good. The mini-ex I have is just too slow to get around - I have about 13km of tracks now to maintain but it could do it. I am thinking if I have a Drott of my own I can probably achieve more but it may be more cost effective to just have someone come in once a year and clean up for me.

Your thoughts appreciated.
 

joispoi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
1,284
Location
Connecticut
Do you have any pictures to share?:drinkup

As far as buying a machine to maintain the trails, the really depends on how much manual labor you want to do. An atv with a toolbox and a chainsaw would be a good asset. A small 4wd tractor with ROPS and a hammer knife mower or brush hog might be useful if there's alot of undergrowth on the trails.
 

Papa John

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
14
Location
Chambersburg Pa
interesting question which I think didn't get answered. I am in a similar situation 3 yrs later I just purchased a komastu d55s-3 track loader with 4 in one blade, ripper and log grapple at auction for a good price for a good running "money pit" to do similar work on side hills in Northen Tennessee usa. Figured i could dig a trail thru the woods to get some dirt bike trails and do some logging, was wondering what you finaly did, and what would you have done different.

thanks in advance
 

treemuncher

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
787
Location
West TN
Occupation
eatin' trees, poopin' chips
I never did read how steep the slopes were on this project. I've installed foot trails on side slopes up to 30+ degrees with my ASV and tracked dumper. Now a days, I use my FTX140 to rapidly clear areas for foot trails and prep the areas for dirt work and overlay. Straight up, the FTX will clear 35 degree slopes relatively easily and side sloped to about 30 degrees with a fair amount of pucker factor.

I rough cut in about 0.6 miles of trail / property line for a customer last week in less than 4 hours. The conditions were mostly flat, especially in the swamps, and mostly hardwoods. I think the largest trees that I took out were some 10"+ poplars down in the swamp. It was not a very thick job (but it was soft & muddy) so it went fairly quickly.

You can see more of my past foot trail work at www.treemuncher.com under the other services tab.
 
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