Skid Steers Do Get Stuck

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jpanhalt, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    My day did not work out quite as I had hoped. Ohio has been suffering from the Emerald Ash Borer plague. All of our ash trees are dead or dying. Usually, I just cut the tree down and have the large ones milled into lumber. I don't do anything about the stumps. My front yard had several large trees, and for that location, I dig out the stumps and plant new grass.

    Earlier in the week, I filled in and planted one hole. Today, I had planned to work on a second hole -- about 15' of work. We had some rain Tuesday. I had done a rough fill with my mini-excavator over the weekend, and the ground felt reasonably hard (It has been a dry Summer in NE Ohio.) Well, I pushed some dirt from the South, no problem. Then I pushed from the other side, the ground just collapsed, and I got stuck. I was over the axles in mud. It took me three plus hours by myself, using heavy boards and my mini-excavator to get the machine out. Then an additional three hours to clean up the mess (e.g, wash down the boards and get the heaviest mud off the skid steer).

    I was so mad at myself, I didn't take time to get pictures of the stuck machine. Besides, I don't like to document my failures, but more than once, I was one the verge of calling real help ($$). Here are pictures after washing some of the worst mud off, and the mud pit I got stuck in. The standing water is mostly from the clean up. Basically, I am exhausted and have no net gain for the day. It's like -1^2 is still -1. :D

    John
     
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  2. Brownout

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    Jan 10, 2012
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    Some years ago, I was trying to pull a stump with a 10-ton wench. The wench just didn't have quite enough pull to get the stump up, even after I had dug up most of the roots. Then I remembered the block and tackle lectures from high school physics. After running to Tractor Supply to get a $40 pulley, I ran the wench cable around the pulley wheel and attached the hook back to the truck's bumper. Zip! the stump came right out.
     
  3. gerty

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    Aug 30, 2007
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    Last year my neighbor retired from active military service, he bought a stump grinder and went into the stump business.
    We had cut down 4 silver maples in the front yard and he stopped by on his way home with his new toy. He looked at the stumps and quoted us $50 each to cut them flush to the ground and grind them 6-8" below grade, then cover with top soil..
    We jumped on that like a duck on a June bug. Warned him that his price seemed pretty low for the amount of work.
    It took him and his wife 2 full days to do it, he said he realized he had bought a toy, not a real machine.
    To his credit, he did everything he said he would, and more really. We tried to pay him more, but he said he needed a little price quoting experience and this job stung just enough for him to learn by it.
    Today he has a thriving business, and a larger stump grinding machine. And because of his business ethics, a loyal customer list that just keeps on recommending him.
    Best $200 I ever spent.:D
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Ain't math wonderful?!

    I use the Law of Tangents to pull branches out of trees. A horizontal rope will exert force approaching infinity when I hang from the middle of the line. One guy runs the chain saw and I jerk the severed limbs out of the tree. :p
     
  5. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    And because of his business ethics, a loyal customer list that just keeps on recommending him.

    World desperately needs more of these ethics !!!
     
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  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I suggest you avoid that activity with your current predicament! :p
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    LOL!

    In this case, I'm making a list of jobs I will never do again!
     
  8. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    That confused me for a while, we call them winches over here, a wench means something else.
     
  9. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    The guy who helped me by grinding the stumps got rid of his wench and had to sell his stump grinder in the divorce settlement. ;) It was definitely not a toy and was about the size of a large, pull-behind air compressor. He still comes to help me fell the larger and more difficult trees.

    Some of the smaller trees he ground have worked out fine with no additional maintenance on my part. The largest of any of the trees near the house and was also near power, so digging was not a good option. It worked out OK. That was 4 years ago. After cleaning up the chips, I put down topsoil and grass. The dead wood continues to sink and is a pain to mow over. If I were more conscientious about putting down fresh soil as needed, I am sure it would be just fine.

    Some of these ash trees are quite large and have correspondingly big roots. There are usually 4 or 5 major root branches. The biggest root I did last week was about 20"(wide) X 10"(deep) near the stump. In that case, I carefully cleaned off most of the dirt and any stones I could see. I then used a chain saw to split it, using a plunge cut to "feel" when I hit soil on the other side . Then I worked the saw or used and ax to both sides of the root to sever it. Once there is a free end, I can lift that up and cut it off well below the surface. My mini is only 3 ton, so it can't rip anything much bigger than a 4" dead root easily. Getting a single stump out for a big tree (tree >16") out takes me about half a day to a day depending on problems, like being close to the driveway or buried cables. The three stumps I did also cost me a resharpening for my chain saw ($8).

    When I need to pull something, I always use a chain (3/8" or 5/16") instead of cable for safety reasons. I am particularly conscious of that when working alone. One reason getting the skid steer out yesterday took so long was that I had to hop back and forth between the skid steer and the mini-excavator that was applying tension to the chain. Each trip only moved it a tiny amount.

    John
     
  10. shortbus

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    Sep 30, 2009
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    Wow, your not that far from me, (I live in Youngstown) but this has been anything but a dry summer here. The ground here is so saturated after even the smallest amount of rain, walking in the backyard it sounds like your walking on a saturated sponge (squish, squish).

    There's a small creek through my property that has been out and over its banks more times than I can recall in the 25 years I've lived here. Can't even get into the woods to cut firewood yet.
     
  11. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    I am in the far SW corner of Lorain county -- pretty close to the Huron and Ashland border. Maybe the lake or Pennsylvania foothills are having an effect.

    This has been an absolutely gorgeous Summer. I only used the A/C for one week in June.

    John
     
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  12. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    From Youngstown to Pittsburgh we've been way over normal rainfall.

    I mowed tonight and my beautiful emerald green lawn was full of mud stripes from the wet ground. Luckily, an hour later, it rained and the mud is washed back down - nice emerald green lawn again.
     
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  13. shortbus

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    I'm kind of in a bad place.:) Right where the lake effect ends and the Ohio river valley weather ends. So I get rain and snow from both, kind of a weather pincher effect.
     
  14. Brownout

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    Jan 10, 2012
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    Kelly Pavlik territory. Big boxing fan here. That's about all I know about Youngstown.
     
  15. shortbus

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    Boom Boom Mancini is from here too.
     
  16. Brownout

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    I didn't know that.
     
  17. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    Oh h

    .........
     
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