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Old 10-24-2007, 10:58 AM   #1
Snow VP
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Default New Grading Blade

Well folks, we have been taking about it for years and finally bit the bullet. If you are following the recent news, the club had decided to rent a grader and pay a operator to grade the RR Grade from St. Ignace North to Trout Lake. North of Moran there are some fairly good size gravel moguls from the 4x4s and if we want our super highway status this winter, we need to get that leveled out before the winter. Long story short- renting a machine and operator is expensive for the anticipated 4 days of grading we need done. We have no state money for this project, (or anything for that matter) but since we know it needs to be done, we planned on funding the project ourselves. I started checking prices, and found a heavy duty rear grader blade that will mount on our groomers. For the price we are going to pay it will pay for itself in 2 years, so it was a no-brainier decision. Our groomer barn building fund is going to take a $7k hit, but it is something that needs to be done.
Here is a picture of the model blade we selected. Ours will be fully hydraulic, and with a guide wheel on the back. This blade is 10' wide and weighs 1,500 lbs so it should get the job done very well! Delivery should be in 3-4 weeks so we will be cutting it close, but should be able to get the job done.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Oooooooooo, a new toy to play with!

Too bad it wasn't already there and hooked up.....for this weekend...
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Just got the call and the blade is into the dealer. It should be delivered next Thursday. Yippee!
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Thank God it doesn't have a chainsaw blade on it! LOL
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

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Old 11-04-2007, 08:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

No wait I think Neil ordered the Homelite hydraulic extendo arm option for that blade

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Thank God it doesn't have a chainsaw blade on it! LOL
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

I have been out of town a few days on busniess and while I was gone, Skinners from Pickford delivered a new toy to play with!

I am going to try and hook it up this weekend and play around a bit. I will get pics ASAP.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Ahhhhh the new toy has arrived!!!


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Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
I have been out of town a few days on busniess and while I was gone, Skinners from Pickford delivered a new toy to play with!

I am going to try and hook it up this weekend and play around a bit. I will get pics ASAP.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Well I hooked the blade up this morning and took it out on the trail this afternoon. #6 looks almost like the farm tractor that it is supposed to be!
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File Type: jpg IMG_0095.jpg (95.5 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0096.jpg (100.2 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0097.jpg (44.1 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0098.jpg (36.1 KB, 81 views)
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Last edited by Snow VP : 11-18-2007 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Well I took the blade out this afternoon. It takes a bit to get used to how she works, but once I got used to it, it does a quite nice job.

First pic is pass #1, rolling material to the center of the trail.
Second pic is the results of that pass.
Third pic is facing forward (don't do much of that while working) looking at pass #1, doing pass #2
Fourth pic is results of pass #2.

Battery died so I could not get final results pics, but it did turn out quite nice.

Procedure is:
Pass #1 roll material from outside in center of trail, stopping to fill all the big holes along the way. This pass takes FOREVER (4.5-5.0 MPH)
Pass #2 roll material from outside to inside of trail reverse direction. Stop to do final fixes on holes that needed more material from other direction. Stop every 2000 feet or so and dump the grass clumps off the side as needed.
Pass #3 a less severe cut at a bit higher speed (8 mph)doing a final pass.
Pass #4 final grade at the higher speed just a light cut catching all the bigger rocks, and remainder of grass doing a nice final grade

It took about 1.5 hours per mile for the RR grade out of town, and this section is not all that bad. Up by Trout Lake it will likely take much longer as that section is NASTY! But then again it has to be done. Great trails start with a good foundation. Our foundation needed some work, that is why we spent the money to get this blade. I hope it will serve faithfully for years to come!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0099.jpg (57.7 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0100.jpg (67.0 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0101.jpg (40.8 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0102.jpg (42.0 KB, 79 views)
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

HEY, nice job!
Are you going to try and get most of the R/R grade this fall?
Looks like it is going to take some time to get the R/R grade smooth.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

You guys do amazing work on the trails!!!
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Lookin good, that blade does a nice job.
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Went back out today to finish the sections I started yesturday.

Spent all morning working just a couple mile stretch. The last couple of miles into Moran were easy compareitavly. Once section of trail took 9 passes to fix, portions are just that hard.

It took 13.5 hours to grade St. Ignace to Moran, about 9 miles. Now I just need to get ahold of a few guys to see if we can get the rest of the way to Trout Lake. That is the plan right now.

Some more working pics for ya.
See the smooth glossy area? That is how hard sections of this are. You can hit that 2-3 times and still only cut 1/2" each time.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0104.jpg (43.0 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0106.jpg (57.5 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0107.jpg (64.2 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0108.jpg (69.7 KB, 75 views)
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

And here are some pics of the final product. This will make for a nice base for the winter for sure. Hopefully the ATVs won't destroy all the work in the next month or so.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0103.jpg (55.2 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0105.jpg (41.7 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0109.jpg (79.2 KB, 74 views)
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Old 11-19-2007, 03:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Neil, Looking good. Keep up the good work.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:44 AM   #17
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
Went back out today to finish the sections I started yesturday.

Spent all morning working just a couple mile stretch. The last couple of miles into Moran were easy compareitavly. Once section of trail took 9 passes to fix, portions are just that hard.

It took 13.5 hours to grade St. Ignace to Moran, about 9 miles. Now I just need to get ahold of a few guys to see if we can get the rest of the way to Trout Lake. That is the plan right now.

Some more working pics for ya.
See the smooth glossy area? That is how hard sections of this are. You can hit that 2-3 times and still only cut 1/2" each time.

Maybe you could check on using a serrated (Ice) grader blade on your new rig. It would probably cut the hard sections.

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Old 11-24-2007, 10:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: New Grading Blade Ordered

Looks great Neil, nice job. Can't wait to get up and ride the straits trails again. Thanks for all the hard work!
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