Author Topic: I made a little 'Crawler'.  (Read 815 times)

Wetstuff

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I made a little 'Crawler'.
« on: March 24, 2020, 10:37:12 AM »
Actually, Hank, a friend who builds roll cages and mods for race cars 'built' it.  I first ordered parts in 2017; he is a busy guy, atop running a towing company. I have a couple of acres of Pfragmities that sorta wrecks my view.  This is the second 'vehicle' we have built to mount an attack on these buggers.   

Jim

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TallDude

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 12:57:00 PM »
I guess it's a little more environmentally sensitive than Roundup, but not much. Safer for you, for sure ;D  Looks like fun! Whats the hp? 
It's not overhead to me!
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deepmud

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 03:18:28 PM »
That is really cool. Too bad you can't run it on snow :D

I had to read up on the Phragaties - looks like a tough weed. Sad it destroys ecosystems - like a pike - takes over, nothing else lives.

surfcowboy

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 07:44:17 PM »
Oh man, this is insane. I love it. What implements do you use behind it?

Dusk Patrol

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 08:59:31 PM »
What implements do you use behind it?

...or do you simply CRUSH them under those awesome tracks...
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Wetstuff

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 06:20:16 AM »
Ya, you're right TD.  Roundup is beyond nasty. The best tool for most weeds is a machete.  In the early days, the State would reimburse if you used an approved contractor. I gather the State spent millions.  (some trappers will 'accidently' start fires you can smell for miles)

We never used chems.  I hacked at them and tried another small, wheeled-trimmer - too much work. Then, I built #1. (below)  It was fun, hydro-driven, articulated, etc. but too narrow and would throw me off when it fell into a hole. (a bitch to right, but lotta fun)

This was easy because zero-turn mowers have really evolved and aged to the point of becoming surplus. I have had this 12-15hp motor sitting in a container for 15yrs..?  The original engine was 20+hp, but this is hydro+chain-driven and does not seem to lug under load when we first tested it.  We tried it on an embankment: it is spooky as C'hit coming downhill but settles on the front rise and ...keeps coming down.

Dusky got it... 'Crush the _____'ers!'   I tried a massive black cover over new shoots after hacking them once - thinking 'They need Sun.' Nope.  They simply need to be folded over (they are hollow). New ones will grow soon.  I will be able to test at which sage in their growth I can actually tell if I can deter that growth.

Cowboy, we may end up adding a 'lawn roller' to the front. (based on how well #1 worked)  I may also need to add a roller that looks like a paper towel dispenser.  I have a few rolls of 6x450', very heavy mesh that would work like WWII landing mats for the really boggy areas. I do have an electric winch I can move front or back to help extract it if needed. It's fun.  Marjie would prefer I finish the trim in the bathroom...

Jim


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PonoBill

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 07:53:45 AM »
Both projects are cool as hell. Something I might have built if there was a Pfragmitie someplace accessible.

I can't help but think that a robot or a bunch of robots would do the job better though. Easy to build with the tech available today. The concept would be a lot like robot lawnmowers, which are never heavy-duty mowers, they just need to mow all the time. I had one years ago at my home in Portland, and it worked well once the lawn was under control. I'd see it outside, mowing away on grass that looked perfectly mowed. Taking off perhaps a 16th of an inch of new growth, which means the clippings dried to dust in a single day. Mulching without clumps. Mine found it's way to the charger whenever the battery got low, which was fairly often given that my lawn was as steep as a cow's face. That was a problem since the slope dropped away from the house and keeping the cable to the charger short was necessary if I wasn't going to dig a few hundred yards of ditch. Struggling up the hill with a low battery sometimes meant it didn't reach the charger and lead to its retirement, which it's spending in the weird bunker room under my garage in Hood River. These days I'd power the charger with a few PV cells and a good-sized battery and put it at the best position instead of the shortest cable run. The lawnbot mowed randomly but was constrained by an eFence. I'd do it with GPS today. I'd shoot for something light and cheap and I'd build a few.

I think I just talked myself into a robot lawn mower project. Oh, great.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 07:58:03 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

deepmud

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 10:47:26 AM »
so - if you beat it down enough, long enough - is there a native plant that can survive the crushing and win out? Your tarp idea might sterilize for awhile....

Wetstuff

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2020, 11:23:15 AM »
Thanks, Bill...  I looked into that a few years ago.  Even as a walk-behind with a joystick that some crane operators use. We were considering a monster weedwhacker then, but... this 'zero-turn' tech begged us to use it. (when the price came down)  When folded-at-the-base the stalks makes a carpet so you don't need all that flying c'hit and clogs.

mud... I used the typical mesh you see as ground covering at nurseries.  Over the weeks it looked like time-lapse photography of the erection of a circus tent. I tried throwing stuff on it to hold it - eh-eh.  It was a mess.

Jim
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stoneaxe

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2020, 07:48:32 PM »
I have a 40" wide sickle bar mower attachment you could have......likely needs a little work. it's been sitting for years. Similar to this only 25 years old.....:)
https://sleequipment.com/bcs-tractor-heavy-duty-40-sickle-bar-mower-attachment.html?fee=34&fep=2706035&gclid=Cj0KCQjwmpb0BRCBARIsAG7y4zbV4xV25rMYx-UpH05Mqn5H6r9snbzQXNEIxXGvghQEFkfThFlr8yQaAk8-EALw_wcB
Bob

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Wetstuff

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Re: I made a little 'Crawler'.
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2020, 07:19:37 AM »
Thanks, Stoney...   But, God no.  I had a Gravley (2) walk-behind for years.  I am pretty sure the guys who are on the PBR tour started out on Gravleys before bulls. I had a bunch of attachments including the sickle mower, duallys, etc.  Those cranky, 400lb. SOBs were miserable because it took 150% my effort to get 80% of their efficiency.  I had a couple of mower decks and took one - trimmed the front of the deck and took ~a 16" saw blade to replace the mower blade. It would cut 4" suckers pretty well -'till the tree leaned and bound the blade. Then I am back f'ing wrestling again...

I gave a dwg. to the friend who did the crawler (his company runs rollbacks - ' there are few service calls these days) for something that looks like a giant nail-puller.  I want to hook a chain to my tractor and j'ank the bastards out; otherwise they grown again.   

Jim
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