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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last fall I borrowed a mini excavator from a friend, and posted about it HERE. On Wednesday, I gave Harry a call and asked to borrow the machine; he told me he would drop it off the next day. I was expecting to get home from school and see it sittingin the yard waiting for me... it was not. I knew there was a reason, and would not just blow me off, so Iwaited for him to call me. Yesterday morning he called and said a well line broke someplace and needed to be fixed ASAP, and he would bring it in the next day or two. Today he was backing into the driveway with the excavator in tow on a trailer. He said it could stay at my house until he needed it again, or until I ran out of gas; then he paused and said with a grin "or until you get bored with it." :rolling:

He left and I hopped right on so I could go dig a few drains to get rid of some flooding, and take a tree out of the stream, after a while it would have dammed it.

Here is the tree that had fallen into the water a month ago or so.

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It came out pretty easy, I just had to drag it some, cut off about 6 feet, drag it again, cut off 6 feet, and repeat untill it was out. I will go back out once the wood has dried off and cut it up for firewood.

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Digging the few drains only took a few minutes, combined the tree and drains took about an hour and a half.

Right now, my prtable garage is in a pretty bad spot; it takes up a lot of space and although it is not in the middle of my back yard, it is close. I plan to dig out a large section of a hill bordeing one side of the yard this summer. Until then, I decided to dig out one small spot to get the garage moved at least a little.

Before I could start digging, I had to cut down two trees, both maple. The first tree was about 6 inches wide and came down easily. The next was about 15 inches wide. For the second tree it was a tight spot to fall it, but I thought I could do it. I have had a Ropar RT-16 belonging to neighbor Dave's dad at my house since last summer for repairs; it was to one side of where I was going to fall the tree. I should have moved the tractor, but I had been outside since 7:30 so I was beond worn out, and I had only been eating frozen grapes throughout the day, so I was hungry. Those two things triggered an arrogance and laziness that caused me to ill think, and I left the tractor. I had put a come-a-long high in the tree and pulled it as much as I could in the direction I wanted it to go. The tree started to fall in the right direction, but since trees always grow as they fall... it rubbed branches with the anchor tree and was pushed onto the Ropar, as well as a bunch of other stuff I had there. No damage was done... except to the steering wheel, which I could have straightened out.

After the tree had fallen, I cut off the small branches, and shortened a few main ones. I then went to get the excator so I could move the tree off the tractor, and call it a day. I had not cut enough of the tree up and it was still to heavy for the excavator's grip, so it fell again... back onto the Ropar. This time is bent the steering wheel staight over, damages the hood some, and bent the seat bracket.

After damaging the tractor twice, I cut the tree up agian, and finally got it off of the tractor. Once it was off, I shut the machine down right there, grabbed my saw and went inside. I decided I had enough excitement for the day.
 

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Live long and prosper
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Sorry to hear about the damage to the Ropar. All in all, it sounds like you learned some valuable lessons with all your seat time.
 
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Tractorholic
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Ryan, I'm awfully sorry to hear about the accident with your tractor. Please take the incident to heart and remember to be more careful as you get tired. BUT...you had a FUN DAY!
 

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Tractorholic
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Sorry to here about the Roper Ryan. I am glad you had a productive day though.

I think most of us on here have had some kind of miss hap at one time or another due to the fact of being tired,hungry or in a rush. I am just glad that you didn't get hurt! Good luck tomorrow.
 

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Larrryd
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My dad and I and my neighbor cut 27 tall pine trees surrounding my yard border. I had a Dodge 4x4 with a winch on it we used to pull the trees the direction we wanted . All went well except one . I short guessed the height of one and it brushed the front of my truck . A few scratches and a dent about the size of a pencil on the hood . I'm glad I was in the cab with control.

larryd
 

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Glad you had a little fun and didn't get hurt. You can repair the GT.
 

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Sorry to hear of the damaged tractor! Trees do get a mind of their own when falling.
 
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Ryan, that's a lesson we all have to learn on our own and some times re learn again and again. Being tired and continuing to work is a big safety risk. Being in a hurry is also a big risk but is very tempting. The laws of physics will prevail no matter what we want to happen.
 

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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Today I was able to clean up the mess I had made yesterday. I got all of the brush cleared out if the way. The tree is in 5-10 foot sections, the hydraulic thumb on the excavator made it very easy to stack the logs neatly and out of the way.

Being that it is going to snow tonight, I had to put the snow plow on the four wheeler. The plow was hit by the falling tree; it was standing up on the blade and it looked like it was just nocked over with no damage. When I got the branches cleared off today I saw that was not the case. The lift lever had a pretty good size bend in it. The lift rod is a solid 1" bar and took quite a bit of heat. After several tried I got it back to where it should be. Just as I finished putting the plow on, it bargain to snow.
 

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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We got about 5 inches of wet so far, it stopped coming down so I went to plow. Then when I finished it started to snow again! Another 1-3 inches. I am not sure how much I will be able to use it with the snow on the ground, but I did play with it a little bit.

314C2E63-F419-46CC-8829-29A9E6AC7615-332
 

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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yesterday, I spent an hour and a half digging where I took the tree down; it started to become a mud put so I had to stop.

Today, I spent an hour digging there. I did not have gloves on, and that was all the time my hands could deal with.
 

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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After I posted my last comment, I looked out my window and there it was... the excavator, staring at me. I could not resist so I went back out after I could move my fingers again and started digging once more. I just came in, and the only reason I came in is because the sun was going down, and I needed time to get the mud out of the tracks.

The part I am stuck on now, is removing the stump of the tree I took down, and a stump right next to it. They both have lots of roots, to make it worse there is a LOT of shale there. I have dug about 75 % around the two stumps; it is very slow going. What I really need, is a stick of dynamite. :D

While dealing with the rocks, I remembered that my Dad had tried to dig out that area with a rental termite when I was about 8. He gave up, because of all the rocks in his way. I think the I am able to (slowly) dig away at because the excavator has a thumb, and I am a better operator. :smilewink:
 

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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I went out this morning to do some digging; I was slowly getting around the stumps. Then Harry and another friend Ed showed up. Harry said he will pick it u on Monday. I also asked what the best way to get around the stumps would be. He said to drive up the pile of dirt next to the stumps, with the blade behind me, then lower the blade to lift the other side of the machine so it was level; I told him I tried that but it was to unstable for my liking, as I was digging over the side of the tracks. He then hopped in the seat and 15 minutes later the stumps where out! He knows lots of tricks that when joined with knowledge of the controls can do much more then what I can do with just knowledge of the controls.

Here is the stump after it was pushed over the hill. It is hard to make out the outline, but it was a circle about 5 feet in diameter, and 3 feet high.

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Once the stumps where out, it was mostly clean up, I have 90% of it cleaned up. I now have a small corner to dig out, a swail to put in, then a little more clean up. I spent three more hours out there this morning, counting Harry's 15 minutes. I had to come in to get something to eat, then I will go back and do some more.
 

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PK Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another hour and a half got the last digging and clean up finished. I started to slope it so water would drain away, but it started to get muddy, and I had to stop.
 

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Procrastinators unite tomorrow
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Looking good, like anything new it takes a lot of seat time to get use to what it will do. I've had machines at angles that I through I was going to fall out of them, that's what seat belts are for :D

Just remember slow and steady wins the race!
 
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Glad you are getting more seat time on it, Ryan. That's the best way to learn it's capabilities!
 
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I agree with John, it takes time and experience to get used to a machine like that, and get a feel for what it will and will not do in safe fashion. I've had excavators out in spots that sure got the 'ole pucker factor pretty well pegged LOL. ( think of a steep 200' bluff, building a zig- zag access road down to the lakeshore :smilewink: )

I'm glad you are getting a chance to run that machine, those skills sure come in handy . :thumbs:
 
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