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Author Topic: Leveling a home track  (Read 1591 times)
samstar
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« on: February 01, 2010, 04:57:23 PM »

I have a 1/4 mile track at home made up of clay and limestone dust.  Everytime I try to work it with the back blade of my tractor, I create hills and valleys.  Anyone know what kind of drag or grader that I can get to maintain the track level and pot hole free?
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OldGreyMare
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 09:13:01 PM »

Every time the front end of the tractor lifts up, the blade digs down, so the situation just compounds itself.  Need to find something to drag behind it.  My father had all kinds of homemade stuff.  How about a tooth harrow with a screen behind that?  Make a triangle out of wood, drive spikes through... not too long, and get a piece of chain link fence to attach behind it.  Start down by the rail, drive slow so you don't get "waves", and tip the screen so the rocks "kick" to the outside of the track.
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Old and Slow
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 08:56:08 AM »

We fight the same battle. We use a regular plow truck to get as much of the snow off as possible, then a tractor with a bucket to dump the snow in an area where it won't run onto the track when it melts. Very time consuming. We drag it with a diamond drag to work the residual snow in with the limestone and try to get some kind of a cushion. I sometimes have to go 30 miles around the track to make it joggable. Like OGM said we also have some cobbled up pieces of harrows etc to drag.

I'll try to describe what we use as a "float". 8 foot wide by about 4 foot front to back. A series of heavy round steel bars about 2 inches in diameter, running the 8 foot dimension, are spaced about 10 inches apart. We hook a chain to the front 2 corners, pile on old tires for weight and hook that behind the diamond drag when e want to flatten out the ridges.  We use in the summer, too, to smooth the track, does a nice job of getting out the hoofprints.

The best thing is a real track conditioner. When I grow up I want to get one Cheesy

The most frustrating part about winter is doing the right thing at the right time. If the track is too soft and thawed, the diamond drag creates little balls that freeze. It really is an art to learn what to do and when. Get some sun even though it's below freezing and the track falls apart. We get little windows to get the horses out. Go out before 11 and you're jogging on concrete. After 1 it's soup. Drag it again when it just starts to firm up enough (9 or 10 at night) but don't put it off til morning or it's rock solid. Drives me crazy.

One thing we do every summer is get a regular road grader to level it off. We bring in 4 or 5 loads of limestone and the whole thing costs about 2 grand, but it's worth it to get rid of the roller coaster.

I have a buddy who is friends with his township road commissioner, and the guy runs over his track whenever he needs it, even in the winter. I'm not that fortunate, my guy is not into horses at all.
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Tidy Sister
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2010, 04:34:21 AM »

I bought a Cat 12E Motor Grader from Iron Planet online auction.

Cost 14k and $1,900 for delivery. $16k goes fast trying to treat lameness!

The machine was EXACTLY as described and is worth every darn penny.

We built a 1/2 mile track to the specs that the USTA will send you. The surface is the same spec as Saratoga. No, Saratoga didn't give the material spec. I took core samples the last time we were there.

The grader has made us money.

TS
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 04:56:46 AM by Tidy Sister » Report to moderator   Logged

IT IS BETTER NOT TO ARGUE WITH A FOOL. HE WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO HIS LEVEL AND BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.
samstar
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2010, 05:13:16 PM »

Sounds like a first class operation.  I just have a quarter mile jogging track.
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Tidy Sister
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2010, 10:48:08 PM »

Sounds like a first class operation.  I just have a quarter mile jogging track.

We relocated from upstate NY to northern Nevada.

Going to try the Olympic athlete way. Train at 5,000 ft elevation.

Bought a pretty good size place.

TS
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IT IS BETTER NOT TO ARGUE WITH A FOOL. HE WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO HIS LEVEL AND BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.
samstar
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 07:14:20 AM »

High altitude training will raise you blood counts to the sky.  Good luck.
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