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  1. #21
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rolla, ND
    John deere 2305, X520 and LX188

    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by ilander View Post
    I'm also from the ND Turtle Mountains, and I create and maintain trails, thus far about 2 miles worth about 8 ft wide on our own property. I have a tractor modified for just that work.
    My first picture is of the tractor, it's currently rigged for snow removal, but for trail work there would be a 4' brush hog/rough cut mower behind it. For new trails, I chainsaw cut anything bigger than two inches. 2 inch and smaller I drive over with the dozer about 6" off the ground, then the brush hog chops them up. I have to go over a new trail between 2 and 6 times to pulverize all of it. Notice the brush guard on the dozer. If you do not have this guard and a cab you will forever be slapped in the face by brush and trees.

    The cab is made quite strong for small trees 6" or smaller to fall on it. Safety glass in front, plexiglass in rear. The cab is unfinished and in progress. Another picture shows the engine guard. This is so trees falling or scraping will not ruin the hood. Another picture shows the underbelly guard. This is needed to prevent the drive shafts, hoses and other items from being ripped off or bent while going over brush and small trees. This belly pan quick detatches in the same manner that the tractor's belly finish cut mower does. Another is of the mirrors, they are in a braced guard to prevent trees from ripping them off.

    This setup gives practically no trouble. The brush hog does a very good job, it's a heavy duty ag model I picked up at a place called Runnings, which is a local version of Tractor Supply.

    There is another rear attachment used for skidding logs as this tractor uses the same trails as logging trails to get firewood. In addition to skidding, the attachment has a electric cable winch for drawing logs to the trail, forks and grapple for lifting logs to cut into fireplace lengths.

    Hope this helps all.

    Attachment 290974Attachment 290975Attachment 290976Attachment 290978
    WOW!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!

    THAT setup is way cool!!!!

    Your tractor reminds me of some of the "brush breaker" type setups that is popular with the NJ Forestry division
    Mower for maintaining trails?-sta32-20040a-jpg

    I have already FUBAR'ed the little plastic fan underneath when a stick went up in there. We have a bunch of Hawthorns on the property, so I foam-filled the tires at that big tire store nearn Farner's Union in downtown Minot. The local tire guy in Rolla said he could get that done way cheper in Fargo.

    Mower for maintaining trails?-business-end-jd2305-jpg

    The last trails I made, I used a chain saw, ratchet-loppers (Home of Economy or TSC) to cut the bigger hazelnut and hawthorn, and thin finish the trail with the lawn tractor 48" deck. I found that when I choped up the hawthorn wth the rotary cutter, I was picking up the thorns in the front tires of the lawn tractor.

    You should feature your setup on that Sunday morning show from Minot called "Prairie Farm Report". You must be a professional welder or machinist as that setup really looks "factory".

    I'm impressed!!!!!


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Case IH DX25E, Case 444, JD440I, JD510

    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?


    Thanks for the compliments.

    You have a very clean and well taken care of tractor. And I must say the picture of that forestry truck does resemble some of the stuff I've come up with to protect the tractor and myself.

    You mentioned that plastic fan. That too is the first thing that went on my Case. Next was a hydraulic filter under there. What finally led to making that belly pan was a stick lodging in a oil seal for the front end drive shaft. All the fluid leaked out, which stopped the tractor. What a mess! I've also had trees fall on me, which is why there is so much protection. Through trial and error, I now have a machine I can go into a forest and make a trail with practically no problems at all.

    I mentioned earlier I get firewood logs with that tractor.Mower for maintaining trails?-01-case-wheely-jpgMower for maintaining trails?-02-case-skidding-jpgMower for maintaining trails?-03-440-w-forks-jpg

    When I first started pulling logs, they'd snag on stumps, rocks or other trees - see first picture with front of tractor off ground. That was too hard on the tractor. See the second picture with the tractor skidding a log. That shows a good view of my log handler. Notice the winch on top. I use that to pull the log close to the trail now. Then I pick one end of the log up as shown and pull it to the loading or storage area. Notice on the front brush guard is a place to hang a chain saw.

    On that log handler, look close and you should see a set of four forks in their upright storage position. They are hinged and when released will fall down for use. Those two things on top pointing forward are grapples in their storage position. They are removed from storage and placed in sockets above the forks. The forks are then backed into the center of the log laying on the ground, the grapples hold the logs tight to the log handler, then the 3pt hitch raises the log up 2 feet off the ground to make cutting up the log easier and off the dirt.

    The third picture is another old tractor loading the logs. The last two photos were taken at ND G&F's Thompson Lake WMA. I live by it.

    I appreciate your suggestion to get the tractor on Minot's Prairie Farm Report, but I'm not much for publicity. I learned making stuff from my dad, at age 9 I struck my first arc.

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