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Author Topic: Building a homemade road maintainer.  (Read 6558 times)
Larry Ashcraft
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« on: August 26, 2006, 07:27:15 AM »

Recent heavy rains left my driveway and roads a mess.  Well, even more than they were to begin with.  I need to build a road maintainer to pull behind my tractor.

Art Eatman gave me the original idea for this by suggesting three pieces of railroad rail arranged in a "Z" pattern.  I don't have any rail, but I have some grader blades about six or so feet long.  My thought is to join them with pieces of pipe or angle (I have a welder) so that the first one cuts one way, the second the opposite way, and the third cuts back the original way.  I'll stagger them so I guess the dirt won't be moved much, just leveled.

If it's not heavy enough, I have some tractor wheel weights I can wire on top.  If this thing works, I may get a more skilled neighbor to make it a three point, which would make it a lot handier.

Am I on the right track?  Art, I could use some input from a real honest to goodness engineer. Smiley  I am hoping I can pull this up one side of the driveway and then down the other, creating a crown in the middle.  Any idea what the angles and offset should be?
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280plus
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2006, 07:38:22 AM »

I'mn not an honest to goodness engineer but I HAVE seen a leveler on a farm made out of several layers of chain link fence folded over in ~ an 8' square and weighted down evenly with whatever. They just dragged it around behind their tractor. I thought that was a nifty idea.
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Headless Thompson Gunner
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2006, 09:26:23 AM »

I've seen the chain link fence idea too.  It seemed to work well enough, and sounds a bit simpler.
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ilbob
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2006, 09:29:29 AM »

Quote from: Headless Thompson Gunner
I've seen the chain link fence idea too.  It seemed to work well enough, and sounds a bit simpler.
Me too. Can't beat something that is cheap, simple, and works.
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bob

Disclaimers: I am not a lawyer, cop, soldier, gunsmith, politician, plumber, electrician, or a professional practitioner of many of the other things I comment on in this forum.
280plus
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2006, 09:49:59 AM »

Quote
Can't beat something that is cheap, simple, and works.
I think that's why the wife keeps me... Tongue
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BozemanMT
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2006, 10:40:18 AM »

ok
you have like 14 or 15 tractors  ;-)
why can't you just use a rear blade?

or a chain harrow?

or a box scraper??

I be confused.
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Brian
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Larry Ashcraft
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2006, 11:46:04 AM »

Not quite 14 or 15 Brian. Wink

I normally just make a mess with a blade, and don't have a box scraper (trying to do this on the cheap).

The chain link thing works, for smoothing dirt.  Were talking ROCKS, and moving material.  I need to move material from high spots to low spots, fill in ditches, that kind of stuff.

I need some kind of grader, and asking Art to bring his up from Terlingua is probably asking too much.
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2006, 03:03:49 PM »

Larry,

I am not an engineer. You ever need someone to find a bar ditch in a reseviour, call me. I got a PhD in that. Smiley

RE: Art-
 Larry, Everyone has a price, how much salsa ya got ?

Art needs to chime in.

Folks here use the "Z" made from  RR track as well.  

Logging chains and chain link fence smooth out, you need  rocks moved and a crown.  

I'd just take Sadie to some RR track getting place and have Sadie just say to the nice man " I want those" and with her charm, the folks will load the things up or deliver them to you.
"kink you" get us, them me , we...everytime. Tongue  Then all you have to do is get Art's take on the thing.

Umm, maybe invite the right folks along with LEO and Firefighters out to your place to play with the blackpowder cannon would work.

Smoke got any ideas or sources on materials?  


Later-

Steve
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BozemanMT
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2006, 10:57:04 PM »

I still think a blade is teh way to go, esp if you want to create a crown.
the box scraper is awesome for leveling, but not so good for creating a crown.

Check the local farm auctions, i've seen smaller 3point stuff go for under $200 and they still work fine.
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Brian
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280plus
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2006, 11:33:10 PM »

Can't you find something to rent?

I get the feeling that unless you reinforce the bottoms of those blades really well up to the frame they're going to get twisted back from hanging up on the bigger / tougher to break loose rocks. By the time you're done it should be plenty heavy. Cheesy

I'd go tube myself for the most part. Square might be easier. I think I'd run a good sized piece of angle across the bottom on the back of those blades maybe 2" up off the edge and use that as an anchor for tube up to the frame in at least three points, the middle and both ends.

Wish I was there, I'd love to tackle e project like that. I haven't welded anything good together in a while now. Wink
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Tallpine
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2006, 04:57:24 AM »

the trick is usually to have the cutting blade fixed between two axles that are as far apart as practicable, to avoid digging in/leaving high spots (the principle behind a road grader / maintainer )

they make outfits (or you could fabricate one) to pull behind your tractor that have long frame and an axle somewhere behind the blade.  you could have hydraulics to lift, angle, and tilt the blade

it helps to have lots of weight and power so that when you dig into a rock or high spot then you can just keep going instead of lifting the blade or having it bounce over.  also, start out the pass on as flat a spot as possible just barely cutting any dirt at all.

there was an old model of A/C ("Alice") tractor that had an extended frame with a little grader blade under the oil pan Smiley


best results that i've gotten were to drag a big ole pine tree with all the branches still attached down the driveway to the slash pile - that did a way better job than i ever managed to do with my 1950 Case VA and makeshift blade Wink
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2006, 06:18:49 AM »

Tallpine -

Dragging a tree.

I'd forgotten about that  - but yes this works!  We have some timber country, seen these folks literally "blaze a fire road" dragging some timber.

Also seen folks take logs, and have log chains attached to two, three "logs" staggered and clear snow off farm roads on the property.


Trail making: Old boy had a house built on this big hill or small mountain. kept some of the big tree trunks out back from when property cleared  and one day I found out why. I literally got roped into this deal. About 50 yds out his back door his property dropped off, and way down below was this small river in this small town. River had smallmouth bass, and other species. I'm talking 50* at first  about 15 yds of "level area" then more like 60* .

You get tractor to push these down and over, and they make a trail. Then you get roped up and clear it a bit more. Eventually had a rope walkway to assist getting up and getting down. Private, only way to access this spot was from the river - or from up top out back of this house.  Tree trunks and enough folks get righted and make a table and such down on the sandbar.

One of the more dumb things I also got roped into to doing was getting a 12 ft canoe down that thing. I kept telling him going up river and letting me paddle down would have been easier.
"Nope, got a $100 bet from a guy says we can't do it from here, so we are going to do it and collect the money".

Later on he sold that house when he retired and moved away, told the buyers house come with a canoe "down there a bit"

That family that bought it- had a ball with kids using that access.  Excercise?  Oh yeah...you knew you had been down and back up that access trail.
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Art Eatman
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2006, 09:23:09 AM »

The "plus" about RR rails or the grader blades is the sharp edge.

Sorta elaborate, maybe, but two pieces of 6', welded at the ends to make one 12' length.  Brace across the joint with a piece of pipe, to make sure the piece doesn't fold in the middle.

To rig for pulling with the blade held vertically, I'd weld a couple of pieces of 1/2" re-bar end-on at the 3' and 9' points.  (Or heat and bend a 2" ell in the end of the rebar, and weld the ell to the blade.)  The outer end of the re-bar, I'd heat and bend into an eye and weld it closed.

You gotta scrounge/steal/beg all the 3/8" chain you can find. Smiley  Longer length of chain toward the middle of the road, shorter length out at the edge.  That kicks material toward the center, helping create a crown or "hogback".

Even if you only make up one or two such blades, all it means is more passes.  

that oughta keep a fella busy enough to stay out of the beer joints. Cheesy

Art
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