Author Topic: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments  (Read 30115 times)

John McNamara

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2010, 09:10:59 PM »
Looking at the DR website I notice that they have both self-propelled and tow-behind models.  I wonder if we could modify a tow-behind model to be a "tow-beside" model that could be operated from a long arm attached to 51 or 52. Doing this would prevent the operator from having to wrestle the self-propelled model, which sounds like a dangerous and tiring proposition. Further, since the propulsion system provided by 51 or 52 would be already rail-mounted rather than on tires, we would not have to worry about chewing up the ballast. Admittedly, a tow-beside device would be more limited than a "free range" self-propelled model, but I think a fair percentage of our right-of-way would be mow-able using such a device, and the ease of operation would be considerable.

in addition to thinking about the design of such a device, we might survey the right-of-way to figure out how much of it is amenable to mechanized mowing.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2010, 02:23:01 PM »
I see that DR offers a 6-month test period, which in Maine equates to most of the growing season. Perhaps some folks on the brush crew could arrange to try out the walk-behind unit next year.

As for the tow-behind unit, perhaps our sterling engineering group could figure out a way to mount some sort of arm to the coupler pocket on no. 52 so the unit could be swung out to the side. By pivoting through a 90-degree arc on the coupling pin, the unit could cut several swaths on either side of the track. A means to operate the unit at an angle from horizontal would also be required.

Mike Fox

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2010, 07:53:42 PM »
Yes, we would need an arm that would hold the angle required, and also be able to swivel up and down to allow for uneven ground. Easily done. You couldn't keep Fred from mowing if something like this was rigged up.

But this would only be good close to the tracks. Getting 2 passes in. The farther the stretch on the arm, the weaker it becomes. I believe we could make a working arm long enough to handle 2 passes fairly rugged.

This will still fall short of the 33', but if we had some self propelled ones to get stuck, I mean to do where this won't reach, it would go much faster next year.

And just an observation. If those who are against a mechanized bushwhacker would pick up a weedwhacker and help, we would be that much further ahead. And we may not need to mechanize. But our trusty weedwhackers are both over 70, and the rest of us that try to help are not getting any younger. But our line continues to grow. Both in height and length. We need to dream, and eventually we will come up with something that works for what we need.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 08:11:15 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Eric Larsen

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2010, 08:49:18 PM »
How many of the people on this post have spent much time on the ROW cutting brush?  I for one have spent a lot of time and I do not see how anything but a human running a weed wacker (or a mower in a few select areas) would work for most of the the area that needs to be done.  All though I know we don't have the $$$$ in the buget, Gordon's idea was more practicle than any of the others so far.
Not trying to be a jerk, just realing this in to reality.

Glenn Byron

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2010, 09:03:22 PM »
Haven't been involved with this activity, but have been a president of a snowmobile club.  I was talking with another snowmobiler at coffee this morning and discussed this problem.  Many snowmobile clubs, including Jackman, Maine own machinery to clear trails of brush.  Would it work to ask a snowmobile club to provide this service as a fund raiser?  All clubs I know of have this "Gray Hair" problem.

Eric Larsen

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2010, 09:55:32 PM »
Glenn.
I could see how some of the more level upper sections may be able to be done with an automated machine like a mower, but most of the ROW is very uneven and rough.  The snowmobilers would be welcome if they could be talked into it but they would want to spent their time doing sections they can ride on like up north in Whitefield - Alboin.
I think that our sections will need to be done the old fashioned way.  (Volunteers)  I have thought of the "prisoner/ work release" idea in the past but it was shot down.  I could see it working quite well but there are possible issues that could come from it.  The problem is that we are not getting more people to do the work as the ROW gets longer.  I have always done the parts to the north mostly by myself as I know it is hard to get others to get interested in that work. I think that keeping the ROWas  clear as possible to the north of the current track is one of the things that keeps the enthusiasm  going.   It is a physical reminder of what the possibilities can be for the future.  I let others do the part in use by the railroad.  In my opinion, it all needs to get done.
 If there was an easy automated answer, it would be in use already. ( I use my mower in areas others would not.  It makes the job easier as long as thing go well…..  except when they don’t.)

Ken Fleming

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2010, 02:45:45 PM »
Currently on eBay is a "do it ourselves kit" for a ROW mower. BOMFORD 48" HYDRAULIC BOOM FLAIL MOWER FOR TRACTORS Item number: 370438126046  Item location: Seven Valleys PA 17360. It has 25 foot reach.  Would require an engine to run it.  I spoke with the seller this afternoon and there might be a chance of this item being donated to us, if we want it.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 02:48:17 PM by Ken Fleming »

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2010, 07:48:07 PM »
Donated?  Yes- absolutely, no matter the down-sides of flail mowers, at least in my opinion.  I wouldn't be opposed to buying it- but that'll take board consent which is difficult when working with eBay.  Perhaps we can work up and get approved a spending limit on this at the next meeting.

Thanks for always looking for us, Ken.

Jason

Mike Fox

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2010, 09:52:29 PM »
Donated. Now we are talking. Would make a great project. Another one to add to the list. I'll put my little sickle bar mower project on hold again....
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Bruce Mowbray

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2010, 06:58:33 AM »
25 foot reach?  I am having visions of an even "BIGGER" Joe.

 I brought my DR mower up this past weekend and ran out of time to give a demonstration. The big lathe is all lined up and I put some time in helping with the rail car. Dana took a quick look at my DR mower and may now have some ideas for a ROW mower. This flail mower seems like a good piece as well. A good sized counterweight may be necessary.

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Mike Fox

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2010, 07:38:10 PM »
How is the 52 for a counterweight? I haven't seen this arm with a 25 foot reach but I already have visions of bolting it on to the 52, with a separate motor to drive the hydraulics. Ugly, possibly. But I think it would work.
Mike
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2010, 08:41:17 PM »
The above mentioned brush attachment apparently sold for $1,575.00 on eBay. However, I'm sure there will be others.
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Mike Fox

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2010, 08:47:09 PM »
My winter project has begun. I now have a 14 HP Wisconsin engine (not yet running) with electric start and centrifical clutch. Needs a coil (here we go again). I am hoping to hook this together with a 4 ft sickle bar mower I have acquired. This will allow us to rapidly mow the first 4 feet from the tracks, and keep the weeds from hitting the equipment.

My plan is to hang the mower from a car or frame of some kind, that can be turned to mow the opposite side of the tracks. I'm sure it will be crude, but no worse that what is behind the engine house down at the Valley Railroad. I took pictures of that one for reference so if this works out, I can modify it to mow more.

Another trial and error. Hopefully more trial than error.
Mike
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Dave Buczkowski

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2010, 09:39:26 PM »
Mike;
While at the Museum today I had a chance to see the new WW&F Experimental ROW Clearing System. The three part system was mowing at Sheepscot Mills. When a train approaches it is sensitive enough to back away from the train. Unfortunately I had left my camera in my car. However, the three goats should be there next time you're at the Museum... two ewes and a ram.
On another note. I recently saw some old ads with a set up similar to what you are proposing except that the sickle bar was attached to a hand car. I'll take a brush hog over that any day.
Dave
PS Can you send me your phone number by PM or email so I can call you to discuss Albion Day?

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Automated Bush Wacking Attachments
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2010, 12:31:51 AM »
Dave,  They don't always back away ... we chased them down the track on the 2 o'clock going North.  John had 52 crawling with the automatic bell ringer dinging away.  They just walked in front of us for about 4 car lengths then went up the driveway.   Grass looks good though.