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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    8
    Location
    Santa Maria, California
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010 & D3 $ Oliver Super 55

    Default Hydraulic Post driver

    I am considering driving used railroad track into the ground using a 3 point mounted hydraulic post driver. These tracks would be 10' long and weight about 170 pounds. I need to drive them three feet into the ground. I am planning on using them as end post in a winegrape vineyard. I think they will last longer and I can buy them cheaper than what is commercially available. What's the downside to this venture?
    Thanks
    Steve


  2. #2

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    I can't give you experienced feedback on your proposed method, but I suspect that train rail might have a rigidity problem as a column with a lot of lateral stress. Have you considered using 6" to 10" pipe filled with concrete.

    7 feet high vines? Is this to facilitate some sort of automated harvesting system?


  3. #3
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    I don't know that there is a downside other than the cost of a driver that can drive railroad ties is not going to be cheap. If you have the right soil though it's easier than a digger and the posts are nice and tight.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    271
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    JD 5210, JD 521 Loader, JD MX6 Rotary Cutter, TufLine 6' Disk, TufLine 6' Grader Blade, TufLine 6' Box Blade

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    How many posts are you putting in? If it is not too many you may be better off to use an auger or post hole digger and then cement them in. Are using railroad track or ties? If it is ties then you may be better off using cement filled iron pipe. If it is track then they will be there long after you have gone.


  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    Texas

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    Are you really talking about railroad "track" instead of ties? I have a couple of short pieces of track that I use for anvils and occasionally ballast, and if you have the same kind of track, I'd calculate the weight at more than double the 170# you mention.

    Bird

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    8
    Location
    Santa Maria, California
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010 & D3 $ Oliver Super 55

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    I have about 200 railroad track to put in the ground. The track is used and according to the guys at the railroad yard this older track weighs 50 lbs per yard. The way it was explained to me, as rail cars are getting heavier they are putting in heavier track. Most of the new track is 130 lbs per yard. Used pipe would be more expensive. Some outfits are selling used 3" oilfield pipe with a spade welded on the bottom in a 10' lenght for $18.00. I can buy a 10' lenght of track for about $8.00. The downside is I have to cut it on-site and haul it. The track I would buy is in 60' lenghts.


  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    38,209
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    Texas

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    <font color=blue>Most of the new track is 130 lbs per yard</font color=blue>

    I guess I have the "new" track because that's about the right weight for the ones I have. To anwer your original question, I agree with an earlier answer; it'll be there long after you're gone. Wish I had enough of it to fence my whole place with it.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Bird

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    FWIW, if this is your first vineyard you might want to read some of the cost and return data for establishing vineyards published by UC Davis at http://www.agecon.ucdavis.edu/outreach/crop/cost.htm


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    8
    Location
    Santa Maria, California
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010 & D3 $ Oliver Super 55

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    This is my first vineyard but also something I've been working on for a long time. Bought the property 22 years ago, put in well, built small house, removed trees and brush, ripped and cross-ripped soil, building 8' high deer and game fence, completely rebuilt 1957 Oliver Super 55 Tractor, built some of my own farming implements, fabricated a portable solar system, built roads, took classes at Cal Poly and Hancock College in Viticulture and Winemaking, been to vineyards and wineries in Australia, France, Oregon, Washington, and too many to count in California, and have read every book I can get my hands on. I have propagated 21 different varieties of winegrapes that I have sourced from UC Davis, the National Germplasm Repository, and a few of my favorite vineyards. I am growing out all of my own stock. I am also planning a small winery and a wine cave.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
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    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Hydraulic Post driver

    Sounds like you need to do some more homework!! (Just kidding - obviously you're well informed on the subject!!) Best of luck in your endeavor. Just curious about attaching the fence - do you weld a bracket or hook of some type to attach the fencing to?


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