Backyard track builders

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6/18/2020 6:26 AM

To the guys that built it themselves what all did you use to build it? Thinking about buying a piece of equipment and am torn between a utility tractor with a loader/bucket and box blade or a skid steer. Would really just like a small dozer but cant justify 80-100k for my personal track.

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6/18/2020 6:32 AM

Rent a dozer (hire a builder, if needed) to build then use a utility tractor with a loader/bucket and tiller to maintain.

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6/18/2020 7:12 AM

Five Fifty Eight wrote:

Rent a dozer (hire a builder, if needed) to build then use a utility tractor with a loader/bucket and tiller to maintain.

I agree.

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6/18/2020 8:00 AM

I have a small tractor with bucket/box I bought after getting into my property and have since built and rebuilt a track in the back. I much prefer working the track with my builders skiddy than my bucket tractor. A skiddy will be my next one for sure. Moving the dirt with a dozer and shaping it with the skidsteer is the way to go.

That said, my track is a SX track and doesn't require the need for a disk/tiller.

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6/18/2020 8:26 AM

Rent dozer
Hire someone who rides and can operate a dozer (unless you can)

Buy a skid steer and a cheap older tractor to pull discs and brush hog with.

Tractors are hard to build/maintain jumps with. You can't see what the lip of the bucket is doing like you can on a skid steer.

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6/18/2020 10:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/18/2020 10:55 AM

$80k-$100k for a small dozer? WTF you buying brand new? A good homeowner dozer like an older Case 450, JD 450, Dresser TD8e etc runs $10k-20k. I have a Case 450 that cost $5k. It's beater but has built a ton of stuff over the years. My first one was a International TD6-62 with a clamshell blade I bought for $1500 & sold for $2k when it finally gave out.

For real building you need a dozer preferably with a 6 way blade. You can rent one for the main build.

For regular maintenance I've found a mid-size 30-45hp 4wd tractor with front loader is best all around unit. Mostly because implements are much cheaper than Skid steer ones. We mostly use ripper, tiller & a drag. Also have brush hog & landscape rake, disc etc. We use the tractor for finish work also and icing in faces & landings plus to pull water trailer.

I did buy a skiddy a month or so ago. Just a cheap one to see how I like it. A tracked one would be perfect for a maintenance unit but not enough to justify cost. For that price I could have a decent dozer & tractor....

Our jump faces are too steep for most skiddys to maintain. The FEL works way better. You can see just fine & there is much more weight on the bucket when back blading so it is more effective. ........

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6/19/2020 5:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2020 6:26 PM

Tracktor wrote:

$80k-$100k for a small dozer? WTF you buying brand new? A good homeowner dozer like an older Case 450, JD 450, Dresser TD8e etc runs $10k-20k. I have a Case 450 that cost $5k. It's beater but has built a ton of stuff over the years. My first one was a International TD6-62 with a clamshell blade I bought for $1500 & sold for $2k when it finally gave out.

For real building you need a dozer preferably with a 6 way blade. You can rent one for the main build.

For regular maintenance I've found a mid-size 30-45hp 4wd tractor with front loader is best all around unit. Mostly because implements are much cheaper than Skid steer ones. We mostly use ripper, tiller & a drag. Also have brush hog & landscape rake, disc etc. We use the tractor for finish work also and icing in faces & landings plus to pull water trailer.

I did buy a skiddy a month or so ago. Just a cheap one to see how I like it. A tracked one would be perfect for a maintenance unit but not enough to justify cost. For that price I could have a decent dozer & tractor....

Our jump faces are too steep for most skiddys to maintain. The FEL works way better. You can see just fine & there is much more weight on the bucket when back blading so it is more effective. ........

Yes, i try to not buy used stuff. Always get hosed on buying other peoples problems. Thinking the plan is hire someone with a dozer to come in then maintain with a tractor. Looking at a 56 hp Kubota utility tractor as the more we think about it we have more to do around the property than just maintain a track. A skidsteer as good as it would be for just the track isnt going to do much else for us. Going to be getting a tractor with a loader and back box scraper, and disc setup.

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6/22/2020 9:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/22/2020 9:52 PM

Rubber track skid steer! Rent a dozer to mine up all your dirt. Scrape a few inches off the surface and build piles. Take the skidsteer and shape/build everything and get a cheap used tractor with a 3 point hitch to pull a disc or tiller. A tractor with loader is terrible for building jumps. Its unstable and extremely slow. Things get sketchy even sometimes with a skidsteer and that is 10000x more stable than a tractor. I bought my skidsteer brand new LOADED and its under $700/month with an air conditioned cab with hand controls and a stereo. Its a very nice place to work. Cheaper then rentals and you will use it all the time adjusting your track and adding on to it. I'm putting about 120 hours per year on mine and its 95% track building.

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6/22/2020 10:22 PM

I would suggest renting a dozer to build the track and use a tractor to maintain it. I rented a Cat D5 to build mine and then maintain it with a 1970's 75hp international tractor with loader. It works out really well.

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6/23/2020 4:03 AM

All depends what kind of dirt you have in regards of how to maintain it. I would suggest laying your track out in a manner that minimizes the jump faces getting destroyed, espicially if its sand which I am assuming you have in the Gladwin area. I know my buddies track that I did all the dirt work on is all deep sand and we went thru a handful of layouts thru the years to get where we are now. We used a dozer to do the track, push dirt for all the jumps etc. We maintain it with a 4WD tractor/ loader with a box blade. Also use another tractor with a drag I built float out the turns etc. You can see the track on some of Jeff Walkers videos. If you can swing the dozer purchase or even a backoe or 4wd articulated loader then it can help things alot. We also started using wood chips in some high wear areas where the sand just gets destroyed fast and really blows out jump faces. Holds moisture and really helps a shit ton with the track from getting roached out fast.

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6/23/2020 9:55 AM

Here's what I use for work around the house and track work.

All 3 machines are 40hp. I bought all of them used but don't mind working on machines so I'd rather save money. I'd be into the same machines new about $130+k whereas I'm in only $30k.

I push dirt with the dozer and maintain with the tractor. I have a 7' tiller and the 9' tandem disc that I use to soften up the track or getting rid of ruts.

I don't use the mini for much on a track unless I'm loading a dump trailer to move dirt from one area to another.
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6/23/2020 11:35 AM

racerx217 wrote:

Yes, i try to not buy used stuff. Always get hosed on buying other peoples problems. Thinking the plan is hire someone with a dozer to come in then maintain with a tractor. Looking at a 56 hp Kubota utility tractor as the more we think about it we have more to do around the property than just maintain a track. A skidsteer as good as it would be for just the track isnt going to do much else for us. Going to be getting a tractor with a loader and back box scraper, and disc setup.

That's a decent plan. Unless you are really into building it's usually better to have someone who knows do it. It takes years to learn how to properly set up obstacles & layout so it is safe and flows well.


I have a disc but rarely use it. But that depends on your dirt. A good set of rippers is a must though, imo. The built in ones on a box blade don't go deep enough. I had a box blade years ago and sold it. An angle blade is more useful overall, imo. Landscape rake is another useful tool for rocks and clearing land....

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6/23/2020 2:28 PM

What are you guys using for rippers? My discs only go 3 to 5 inches deep on my tracks. Running a 100hp tractor. Trying to get the best bang for my buck to at least rip the turns deep. I have a 5 bottom plow, but it's only meant to turn the dirt over in a straight line, so no good for turns.

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6/23/2020 3:01 PM

mikec265 wrote:

What are you guys using for rippers? My discs only go 3 to 5 inches deep on my tracks. Running a 100hp tractor. Trying to get the best bang for my buck to at least rip the turns deep. I have a 5 bottom plow, but it's only meant to turn the dirt over in a straight line, so no good for turns.

Look for a spring tooth harrow. I have a couple of them. Just found one for $80 down the road so couldn't not buy it, lol.

Been using a Dearborn harrow for years
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Picked up a C tooth Cultivator for $80 the other day.

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I use this to break up hardpack then follow up with a weighted drag/disc/tiller depending on what I am going for. My drag is a chuck of railroad rail with more steel welded on. Usually just use drag because faster. Just bought tiller so haven't used it much yet.............

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6/23/2020 3:33 PM

mikec265 wrote:

What are you guys using for rippers? My discs only go 3 to 5 inches deep on my tracks. Running a 100hp tractor. Trying to get the best bang for my buck to at least rip the turns deep. I have a 5 bottom plow, but it's only meant to turn the dirt over in a straight line, so no good for turns.

Tracktor wrote:

Look for a spring tooth harrow. I have a couple of them. Just found one for $80 down the road so couldn't not buy it, lol.

Been using a Dearborn harrow for years
Photo



Picked up a C tooth Cultivator for $80 the other day.

Photo


I use this to break up hardpack then follow up with a weighted drag/disc/tiller depending on what I am going for. My drag is a chuck of railroad rail with more steel welded on. Usually just use drag because faster. Just bought tiller so haven't used it much yet.............

Can those handle tight turns without breaking? My track is pretty much a safe vet SX track.

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6/23/2020 3:56 PM

mikec265 wrote:

What are you guys using for rippers? My discs only go 3 to 5 inches deep on my tracks. Running a 100hp tractor. Trying to get the best bang for my buck to at least rip the turns deep. I have a 5 bottom plow, but it's only meant to turn the dirt over in a straight line, so no good for turns.

Tracktor wrote:

Look for a spring tooth harrow. I have a couple of them. Just found one for $80 down the road so couldn't not buy it, lol.

Been using a Dearborn harrow for years
Photo



Picked up a C tooth Cultivator for $80 the other day.

Photo


I use this to break up hardpack then follow up with a weighted drag/disc/tiller depending on what I am going for. My drag is a chuck of railroad rail with more steel welded on. Usually just use drag because faster. Just bought tiller so haven't used it much yet.............

mikec265 wrote:

Can those handle tight turns without breaking? My track is pretty much a safe vet SX track.

The Dearborn is getting pretty thrashed. Then again we have a ton of rock in places so gets hammered. But in regular dirt it will rip as tight as tractor can turn. The C -tine I just got but again it will follow tractor wherever it pulls it. Mine is outdoor SX with some decent elevation changes...

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6/23/2020 4:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2020 4:52 PM

A 100HP loader tractor with MFD is what I used when I built my track. I was having to carry bucket loads of good clay at one location to different spots to make jumps though. If your just pushing dirt up to make jumps a dozer may work better. However with a full bucket of dirt and MFD you can really pack down jumps good and they’ll hold up. I’ve never run a dozer so I don’t know how well they are for that. If your making whoops a loader tractor works well for that if you make the spacing the same as the tractors wheelbase. I tried to use a skidloader and CTL for them but I found a loader tractor to be better considering my operating skills.

I think a compact track loader (CTL) works better than a rubber tired skidloader; you can push material a heck of a lot better with them. But they’re substantially more expensive than a skidloader and weigh quite a bit more which may require a heavier trailer if you need to haul it.

If you think you need to rip the soil deep to form the track you may want a chisel plow. This can require a tractor with some decent HP depending on how deep and wide you want to go. I have an 8’ that I’d pull with these 100 HP tractors I have available. I use to rip it 12” deep or more. A lot of my track is a clay base though so takes some HP to get it done. I’d use my old ‘52 Oliver 77 to pull an old culti-mulcher around to finish out with.

You need to really plan for water drainage as that ls probably the biggest issue I had with my track. Its largely built on a hillside. It seems like the last several years when we get rain its of a 4-5” per hour intensity. That erodes the hell out of it. Its a real bummer to spend a few hours get the track shaped up and then have one of these rains hit it and reset you almost back to where you started. I believe I spent more time on the tractors than I did riding. But if you have others enjoying your work that helps you feel better about making the effort.

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6/25/2020 7:21 PM

Thanks for the recommendations guys. Since its a big purchase and a lot of money i think I am going to rent a skid steer for a week and see how well it does. I have been able to borrow the father in laws 56hp Kubota for the last week and have been starting to move things around and would like to compare to a skid steer before committing to something. I have found a couple smaller dozers that I can afford but are used. Never ran one though, i am proficient on a skid steer and tractor. Would assume it wouldn't take forever to learn. Just really dont like the idea of buying a used unit.

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6/25/2020 9:11 PM

Something you may want to consider before getting carried away and to keep in mind for a budget would be a way to water your track. I built a water truck to do mine. its about a 1/4 mile from the pond I draw from and is just under a mile long winding through 15 acres.

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6/25/2020 9:14 PM

In response to ripping a track I use a spring harrow like the one previously pictured with a c tooth spring drag chained to it. it helps spread the dirt out better and also eliminates/fills in the deep channels left by the harrow that can really grab small front tires. I've even had some sketchy moments on my 250 from it before hooking the drag behind it.

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6/26/2020 12:32 PM

A lot depends on how you can ride. If you are new and don't have a lot of experience or plan on having riders that also new.. you won't need to have much to make a track. If you are a top pro then you are going to need alot must stuff

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6/26/2020 6:28 PM

Goofball1205 wrote:

Something you may want to consider before getting carried away and to keep in mind for a budget would be a way to water your track. I built a water truck to do mine. its about a 1/4 mile from the pond I draw from and is just under a mile long winding through 15 acres.

I do believe we have that under control. track is going to be in close proximity to a pond. We are going to pump to long range sprinklers through a couple of zones. That is going to be the easy part. Track is only going to be 2500-3000 ft long. We could do more but really dont want to maintain more than that.

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6/26/2020 9:12 PM

I use a Jake Rake (https://www.jakesimplements.com/) then we till. We are clay under good topsoil and we add a LOT of sawdust (that's a mill in the shot - $80 for 10 yards fresh fir sawdust!!!) when we rip. Once tilled it's like nothing you've ever ridden - perfect chocolate cake, unlimited traction. I've ridden probably 20 public tracks and none has dirt like this place. Takes some HP, time, and water to rip deep and then till but man is it worth it.

All the major prep is with a dozer, then a 40 HPtractor with a bucket for finish work. We rent the dozer for a weekend once every other year. The clay holds up well on faces and landings so that's enough.

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6/27/2020 7:10 PM

Hammer 663s wrote:

I use a Jake Rake (https://www.jakesimplements.com/) then we till. We are clay under good topsoil and we add a LOT of sawdust (that's a mill in the shot - $80 for 10 yards fresh fir sawdust!!!) when we rip. Once tilled it's like nothing you've ever ridden - perfect chocolate cake, unlimited traction. I've ridden probably 20 public tracks and none has dirt like this place. Takes some HP, time, and water to rip deep and then till but man is it worth it.

All the major prep is with a dozer, then a 40 HPtractor with a bucket for finish work. We rent the dozer for a weekend once every other year. The clay holds up well on faces and landings so that's enough.

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wow that looks primo

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