This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jay 4 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #82603

    Mark Cowdrey
    Participant

    This winter has been pretty good for sleigh rides here, plenty of snow and I have been able to get out on the trails consistently to pack a good base. The warm weather last weekend screwed it up a bit. I did a ride at 1PM on Saturday and it must have been close to 50 Degrees F. Fortunately it was only 2 women & a kid so the sleigh was not heavy. The biggest issue was the horses post-holing down through the base. They worked. Then it froze up tight Sunday night and I did a ride Monday afternoon. You can imagine the stumbling obstacle course that those now frozen post-holes were for the horses. After the ride I took them around the course in the reverse direction to try to break things up a little but still was not happy with it.
    I scratched my head a while and came up with this rig that I clamped on the front bob of the sleigh. It is 2″ hemlock, notched to sit down on the runner & “faced” w 3/4″ plywood, (generously) drywall screwed on the front to keep it from splitting. The bottom of the hemlock is 3″ below the tops of the runners. Runners are 39″ apart inside. I started w a piece of ply 24″ wide set down an additional 1″. The rig is vertical enough so it did a good job cutting the snow. After one pass the post-holes were shallower from both cutting and filling but I thought I could do better. So I added the second piece of ply, 36″ wide and set down another 2″, +/- an inch above the runner bottoms. I was much happier w my trails when I got done. Have thought about adding a second plank under the front of the rear runners, not so steep so to get more packing action out of it. Haven’t yet dreamed up a good way to support it.
    Mark

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    #82610

    Jay
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing Mark. Nice pictures that show clearly what you did.
    I sometimes us a disc (sometimes a single and sometimes a double) to groom trails- I try to do it when I’m done with rides on a day when the snow is a bit softer and it’s going to tighten up (get colder) at night. I also sometime use the grader blade on my forecart. It works nicely to move snow into a spot where the snow is getting thin- often on the down hill side. Jay

    #82611

    Mark Cowdrey
    Participant

    Thanks Jay.
    I forgot to mention that I had first thought of my harrows (disc, spike tooth & chain drag) but they are all frozen in & under snow at the field up the road. Poor planing there.
    I remember riding on a forecart with you dragging a disc on trails in the dark on a Winter Carnival weekend years ago.
    Mark

    #82625

    Ed Thayer
    Participant

    Does the disc work well? How do you set the angle to achieve the desired affect? It sounds ingenious to me.

    Ed

    #82629

    Jay
    Participant

    My single disc is adjustable with levers. The double disc is also adjustable- if I’m trying to break up ice or very hard packed snow (when it is softer) I set it more severely -3 or 4 on 1-4 scale. If I’m just trying to level and smooth the trails, I use the setting 2 on a scale of 1-4, sometimes eve just the 1st setting. Years ago someone who did sleigh rides told me he used a disc to make “snow” out of ice when the temp warmed up a little. He said “What is ice? – Frozen water with no air in it. Snow is frozen water with lots of air in it. When there isn’t enough air in it, I put more in with the disc.” Seems to work. Jay

    #82647

    PeytonM
    Participant

    I got a old end loader tire, any large off road tire would work, cut two hols in the face of it and loop a chain around hook the evener on there and sit on the in side. works awesome! not only does it groom, it also is a great working tool.

    #82684

    Jay
    Participant

    I just used the disk to break up the cold hardened packed snow on my trails. I worked great! I used it on 1 or 2 setting for most of the trails and 3(out of 4) for places where it was frozen pretty tight. I’ll use it again the next time the temp gets above freezing to really break up the hard stuff. Jay

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