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  1. #1
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    International 284

    Default Crossing ditches

    I'm curious as to what procedure is for crossing ditches is with one of these little mid size tractors like I have now ( an IH 284( 2x4 but rear axle locks manually ) or if this kind of thing is considered completely verboten with something this small?
    I used to have an old John Deere A model tricycle front and I learned from the old timers around here about 30 years ago how to safely cross ditches with that thing, but the rear tires on it were WAY bigger and it would walk right through, the rear tires on this thing look like they would cup right in the ditch bottom. It seems like there are VERY limited angles to be able to ride through without getting into trouble.

    I've got some brush up against a fence that needs hogged down BAD and I'm at odds on how to get to it . If I could find a sickle bar for cheap enough , Id do it and be able to reach it from teh other side, but every one thinks their old rusted up ones with seized gearboxes are pure gold around here.

    Any words of wisdom here? Thanks
    International 284 Diesel

  2. #2
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    3,204
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    CNY
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    Kubota L3240

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    Quote Originally Posted by RLDSL View Post
    I'm curious as to what procedure is for crossing ditches is with one of these little mid size tractors like I have now ( an IH 284( 2x4 but rear axle locks manually ) or if this kind of thing is considered completely verboten with something this small?
    I used to have an old John Deere A model tricycle front and I learned from the old timers around here about 30 years ago how to safely cross ditches with that thing, but the rear tires on it were WAY bigger and it would walk right through, the rear tires on this thing look like they would cup right in the ditch bottom. It seems like there are VERY limited angles to be able to ride through without getting into trouble.

    I've got some brush up against a fence that needs hogged down BAD and I'm at odds on how to get to it . If I could find a sickle bar for cheap enough , Id do it and be able to reach it from teh other side, but every one thinks their old rusted up ones with seized gearboxes are pure gold around here.

    Any words of wisdom here? Thanks
    Without seeing the ditch it's not possible to say.

    Crossing ditches should be done as close to 90 degrees as possible. Always make sure what ever you cross with won't hang up at any point, that would include anything on the back of the tractor. Most brush mowers limit how deep and steep a ditch you can cross.

    Now for reaching across a ditch I do not recommend that ever unless the rig is set up for just that, like what they mow highways with that can reach. If the ditch is deep enough that you have 2nd thoughts about crossing yet at the same time can reach across it with a sickle bar. That to me is asking for trouble IMO. The ground can, will, and does give way. The safe angle is from the bottom most point of the ditch you should remain at least far enough away that you form a 45 degree angle to you closest point touching the ground. Otherwise depending on conditions the ground could give and the tractor tip over.

    I've seen dozers, excavators and even tractors tipped over because they were to close to a ditch or bank and it gave way.
    “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."


    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Washington NC (Inner Banks)
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    Kubota L5740, Gravely 8199G

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    If your fence wasn't an issue, I think a 45 degree angle might offer some help, assuming reasonably level ground, similar to a head sea in a boat.
    I grew up with a JD B tricycle gear and get it wrong and the steering wheel would try to rip your arms off.
    Do you have ag or turf tires? How deep and wide is the ditch? Just trying to picture your layout.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    Hard to say without knowing the width and depth. Assuming that it's too deep to simply drive through? Those smaller tractors with 4wd have pretty good traction and if you went right at 90 degrees you might be fine, though my concern would be the Brush Hog hitting. You could also put some planks (be 100% sure they'll hold your tractor) and cross it that way.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    WV
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    I'd build a set of ramps or bring a 4x4 truck to pull you out if you get stuck

    You can build cheap and sturdy ramps by bolting together two 6x6 posts. You'll want a loader to carry and place them.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    We rebuilt all our ditches so they had a flat bottom wide enough for a small tractor to drive in. Made ditch and fence work lots easier.

    Bruce

  7. #7
    Elite Member Bob77064's Avatar
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    KY @ TN line
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    2011 LS R3039

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    Keeping a 4x4 truck to pull you out, that's what I do when work on the ditches.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Washington NC (Inner Banks)
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    Kubota L5740, Gravely 8199G

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    My earlier suggestion for a 45 degree angle was based on a small ditch that one could straddle, but clearly others deal with much larger ditches and I understand the benefit of a straight on approach.
    May I assume the need for a pull out vehicle is due to water/mud in the ditch, and not some other reason? Seems I have a lot to learn here.

  9. #9
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen
    My earlier suggestion for a 45 degree angle was based on a small ditch that one could straddle, but clearly others deal with much larger ditches and I understand the benefit of a straight on approach.
    May I assume the need for a pull out vehicle is due to water/mud in the ditch, and not some other reason? Seems I have a lot to learn here.
    Soft ground will make you sink and spin. When you start to spin get the truck. Otherwise you will sink to the frame or get traction and wheelie

    With a 4x4 tractor and backhoe the situation is different.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    International 284

    Default Re: Crossing ditches

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    If your fence wasn't an issue, I think a 45 degree angle might offer some help, assuming reasonably level ground, similar to a head sea in a boat.
    I grew up with a JD B tricycle gear and get it wrong and the steering wheel would try to rip your arms off.
    Do you have ag or turf tires? How deep and wide is the ditch? Just trying to picture your layout.
    Ive got 11.2/ 10-24 ag tires on the rear with 100 lbs weights on each side ( and an extre 200 lb on the nose to keep the whole thing planted, it used to be altogether too light to grip in this soil unless it had been rain free for a very long time)
    Ditch runs about 4-6 ft wide and 2-3 ft deep on the average

    I do have a heavy pickup with solid chocks and a 12k winch if I had to retrieve the thing ( and an auxilliary tranny on it that I could hook up to it and walk it out of there if needed, I've pulled heavier out of that ditch, but I'd rather not have to )
    International 284 Diesel

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