Road of Mud

Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:53 pm

Memorial day weekend's project--------------- Making a road up to our property in the woods Michigan's UP. Going across 1/4 mile of my uncles property up into dads 120 acer parsel. Make some trails on the property and a flat spot for a pole barn.

Wow what a project that turned out to be. We had planed on making a 14 foot wide trail :?: :arrow: ended up forty foot wide with diches on both sides :!: Wet Muddy mess. Water coming up throught the middle of the road. Should dry up now I have ditches in it. But I may have to go back in with the backhoe and cut the ditch in deeper to cut off the water from going under the road. I had so much mud I could barly get the dozer through it. Hard to belive as it is a steep grade coming off the hill. We rented a dozer to make the road way I could not belive I could push over trees I could barly put my arms around with that little thing spruce and pines 80 to 100 feet tall. And Clumps of cedar trees you could not walk through.

This is where we started the road by putting a culvert in


My Dad , brothers Tim, Tom and Uncle's son Adam. Cleaning up trees off the side of the road. It was just a trail big enough to get a four wheeler up.


At times I had all 18,000 pounds of dozer up in the air held up by the trees I as pushing over :!: :roll: Getting close to our property the trail started to widen out some. Spent two days getting to our property. Got some trails in found some gravel and stripped off the trees but did not level off anything for a building yet.


This is what the road looks like now :D


Last edited by cowboy on Fri May 30, 2008 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:58 pm

Looks like a lot of fun Cowboy!

Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:49 pm

Cowboy, I assume you are familiar with the idea, but be sure to crown the road so water runs off the side and into the ditch, not down the middle stripping the gravel and washing it.

Also if you haven't already done so, get a right of way from your Uncle. He probably will never give you a problem about access, but if something happens to him, someone else may. Also if you need to finance in order to build, you can't get a loan without one. I learned the hard way.

Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:05 am

:P Thanks Bigdog. It was quite a experence. We had a bunch of relitives showing to see what we were doing. Friends we haven't seen in ages kept showing up and waching amazing how up there in the middle of nowhere everyone knows what is going on in the middle of the woods at the end of a dead end road :!: :?:

:D Hi John great points. I didn't know bout the loan thing. It was too muddy to get a crown on it. Now that its oppened up it can get the sun and wind on it it should dry up. I wish I could take the cub with the grader blade up there :!: We have a big mess up there got to go back cut the trees off the stumps drag them out of the woods. Probally set dads wood mizer up on the road and saw our lumber up right there. We are planing on putting up a 24'x24' pole barn gamberal roof there. Ten foot lower level with a garage door at each end so we can drive in one side and out the other. Up stairs we will have a kitchen living room and some bunk beds. And 12'x24' decks on the second level off each end. We found a gravel bank 5' deep 80' wide and we cleared off about 200' of it to dig up for the road. haven't figured out how to move it yet.


Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:38 pm

Looks like somthing I would have made :lol: the muddy mess that is :lol:

looks great, those dozers are really really strong, so i have seen anyways...


Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:06 am

Hi Johnny

Like most dirt work it looks bad untill done :!: And you just can't do anything with mud every time I went over it I left trenches 8" deep from the tracks. Next time we go up in july we should be able to get it cleaned up.

A little dozer like that you can't make much of a cut 3" to 4" at a time. Usually you use one corner of the blade to loosen it up and it pulls you around in a circle. Onec you get it loosened up you can do some work. And with all the roots and branches it ghts bound up on the blade won't let you get the blade down for a cut. Then the dirt won't fall off the blade except in clumps.

I was suprised how much work I was able to get done with it and it only burned 52 gallons of diesel in four days :!:


Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:42 pm

I know what you mean bout that, just from the cub and tractors, it's a bit smaller scale than a dozer :wink:

You did get ALOT done tho, looks great, i just meant the mud from the wheelers etc...


Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:58 am

cowboy that looks like alot of fun!!! john has some great advice about the easement, also put provisions for utlilties in the document as well. have you gone back there to cut the ditches in? oh yeah how were the bugs? lol

Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:25 am

Hi Johnny

I knew you weren't critizing me I know you are learning to run equ so I try to explane how and why I am doing somthing so you can learn from it of corse even with 10 years experence I am still learning too and expect to lean the rest of my life sometimes its just relearning somthing I used to know :!:

Hi John

The easement thing is important to know. We are going to use a generator setup up there no way are we paying for 3/8 of a mile of powerlines :!: Their are natral springs in the area so we will have plenty of water. We were going to drop a pickup screen down one but will probally blow a well into the rock. Those well houses make a great fridge too :!: What I do not like is the DNR let wolves loose in the UP and we found where they killed two deer on the property and ate everthing except the fur: bones and all. My uncle and others have seen them collered with tracers and $5,000 if you should shoot one.



Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:50 pm

Billy did you have a scarafier? Sort of like a subsoiler. It takes roots out quite well as long as you are not too rocky.
Alaska and Canada are one big gravel and sand bank. The glacers did a good job of that.

Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:08 pm

yes i agree about the price of electric cable, i just mentioned the utilities just in case your state or county government tries to restrict your use of your land in the future or a bank may have more requirements. i have been a civil engineer for a while now, and i have seen alot of legal mongering with easements. how long did it take you guys to complete your work? way to git er done!

Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:55 pm

Cowboy, great work! I bet you guys had a lot of fun. Would you be able to use the road in the winter? I love your pics. It's like being right there. Larry

Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:12 am

Thanks Bill 8)

Nope didn't have ripper. Put the blade on the tree trunk pushed backed up put the corner of the blade where the roots were coming up pushed and lifted untill it came out. Some of the bigger trees I cut a V infront of it to break off the roots so I could push it over. It was so wet sometimes the whole root ball would just push out and had wach that it didn't fall over the dozer. I think we are going to get a good loader for dad's 265 massy ferguson and build a weight box with a pair of rippers that will hook into it. So we can loosen up the gravel bank load it out and hual it onto the road. The kubota is to small to do much heavy work with its bucket will only lift 950 lbs. Although the the backhoe has a lot more power than I would have thought and does a good job for us.

John :D

We are not planing on a permant residence there. Just somthing to stay in for hunting or doing a little loging or just playing. Definitly do not want to get into a residintal tax bracket. Me and my brother were argueing on wether to put the barn on his and dad's place or mine and dad's place. It took me two days to get the 1/4 mile road in and another day making trails and a 1/8 mile of road to where the barn will be.

Larry :wink:

Its great only my sister went to collage. And so did the rest of my cousins. They were amazed with what we got done. Two of them a chryopractors. One with a very nice house is a engineer at Fords. He bought a 80 that my dad and uncle had jointly owned. But he didn't think to split off the acre his house is on and lost the agicutral tax bace for the whole 80.