cutting in a walking trail...

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by mcclureandson, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I have a landscape install company - mostly plantings/sod/irrigation/hardscapes etc...don't have much experience with rough grading or excavation. I have two developments underway with planned walking trails cut through gently sloped, wooded terrain. Trails run about 3000 linear feet and when finished would be approx 4-5' wide. Trails run with contours of existing slopes and no large tree removal would be required. Possibly would need to create some rolling dips for erosion control on any downhill straigt runs. Also could possibly need one or two 12" culverts installed w/rip-rap. After cutting in trail I'd need to distribute and spread crushed stone base for compaction - base would need to get compacted down to 3-4". I'm thinking a small dozer might be best or perhaps a tracked loader with a 4-way bucket. It should be similar to cutting in a driveway (but narrow - 6'). Dump trucks could not access the trail to dump. Probably wouldn't have to haul gravel from dumpsite(s) any longer than 200'. Anyone have experience with this type of work willing to offer input on production rates? Tips to speed the process a bit? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,206

    Use a landscape rake on a skid steer to cut the trail.
     
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    I'd suggest using a D3. Nothing would be faster.

    Then use a small wheel loader to spread the gravel.
     
  4. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    I put in a "trail" this last year. Before you get too far into it, and bid it, find out the specifics. This little "trail" I bid on changed from the get go.....by the time it was done, it was excavated out 10" recompacted and ended up being asphalted and having a vinyl fence and chain link fence thrown in on top of the deal. There were sprinkler lines (no big deal), irrigation mains (bigger deal ), and huge amounts of trash (used to be a dump site) which was a huge deal. The more info you find out the better off you will be on this one and be sure to be VERY specific about what you are/are not including in your bid and an "extra" rate.
     
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131

    I have cut most of the walking trails that I have done with an excavator. The lay of the land will really dictate how you approach the project. If there is contour on the ground that you want to keep I would use an excavator with a ditch bucket. It is easier to finess with an excavator I think. One that had an articulating bucket would be ideal. If it is mostly flat I would use a skid or CTL. I would not use a dozer but I don't own one either. At 5 feet wide for the finished product I would try and keep the ground disturbance to a mininum. You can knock out 3000 linear feet quickly. What equipment do you own? Do you have to rent equipment for the entire project?
     
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I'm with Kaiser on this one, I think the excavator is the way to go. However, I agree a D3 or something along those lines would be quick in some applications, but I think the excavator will get the trail closer to the finished product without a lot of finish work whereas the dozer is mainly a roughing tool. I cut a 12-14' wide and about 300' long driveway into a hillside last year with our 303. I had the 24" bucket doing most of the cutting, but carried our 40" cleanup with me. The cleanup bucket is especially good for cutting swales or any drainage related cuts. The blade when in float position does a good job if you drag it behind you. I roughed the driveway in about 4 hours and spent another hour or so finishing up with the cleanup bucket.
     
  7. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Posts: 1,387

    I'll go with Dirty Water on this one,since i have a dozer !!!!!!!!!
     
  8. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    Thanks for the replies. I have a skid-steer w/tracks. I mentioned a dozer because a 'trail dozer' is used almost exclusively by companies specializing in trail construction. However, a trail dozer is very small in relation to the machines many of you might own...

    I am not proficient with an excavator. This will illustrate...can you scrape/push much dirt with the backfill blade on an excavator? I do all my trenching with a dedicated trencher...would love to learn more about such a widely used machine. The terrain is mostly flat or on a very slight slope. This is wooded terrain with rather large spaces between trees. I would need to scrape/grade down through the leaves, roots and loamy material deep enough to lay my stone dust base.

    I was planning on staging multiple sites for the gravel dumps and make trips with the skid steer along the trail...I'd have my crews spread w/a compact track loader (Boxer Brute) and rake prior to compaction.

    I'm an experienced landscape contractor...just realize you guys could do this portion more effeciently. I'll be renting whatever equipment seems appropriate.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    For this kind of work a 4x4 Tractor with loader and Box Blade would really speed things up when it comes time too cover the trail with gravel.
    Shuttle it in with the Skid Steer and spread with the tractor.
    Would basically eliminate all hand work till compaction phase.

    I would cut the trail with a tracked skid steer.
    It will go fast unless the trees are really big.
     
  10. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I agree...I use a tractor w/box blade on new construction during the final grade. I think rock screenings/dust would spread (dry) very easily. What blade would you recommend for the skid-steer. I'm thinking low profile, 4-way would work best. I've also seen dozer blades for skid-steers...wondering if something I could angle might help push the cut dirt toward the downhill side of my trail. Thanks alot for the input. I'm actually pretty excited about these two trails.
     

Share This Page