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Product White Black Grey Machine

Anybody else using one of these? Two years ago on a community build day someone showed up with one of these. We were a bit skeptical about it at first but once we saw it in action we were amazed. It makes quick business of loosening up a bench cut, ditch or borrow pit. Small rocks are not an issue. Remove the duff first, then you hit it with the tiller. It will move some of the loose material but you do need to follow through with a Rogue hoe to move the material that needs moving. It puts in ditches and drains fast. Its pretty easy to control, the weight of the powerhead being down low helps too.

Its light enough to be luggable. The handle folds down for carrying and transporting. You do need to clean roots out of it from time to time.

I highly suggest you try one out if you can.
 

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They are also great when reclaiming old trail - breaking up compacted soil so that vegetation can quickly take root.

I know others have used the sweeper paddle attachment to move loose soil around, clearing sand at the bottom of hills or shaping berms.
 

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Dirt Monkey
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In my experience, they are less productive than using simple hand tools (rogue hoe + flat shovel). Like you mentioned they (often) clog with small roots which usually requires removing the tines to untangle them. A lot of rogue hoes can be bought for the price of one as well...

We've also used them for reclaiming trail but our high clay content soils are so hard when compacted it takes a long time for the light weight machine to work it's way through. Rogue hoes prove to be faster in this area as well; use the corner of the blade for more penetration in hard soils.
 

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In my experience, hand tools work better. We have a self-propelled rear tine tiller that we sometimes use to do narrow bench cut work and it does a pretty good job getting through that first layer of loam/organic material. Mostly we use it on what we call narrow intermediate/advanced trails. If we are cutting beginner/intermediate trail, we break out the ditch witch. Its just more efficient and we don't have big crews showing up to build trail.
 

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Our area (IMBA Chapter with several trail systems in the region) has some. At an earlier time they worked well for some tasks and still can. I say earlier because our whole scale and ability to get volunteers and diggers has changed. One still needs to know how good bench cutting needs to be and to get stuff away from trail tread if they use the machine. In the right circumstances the paddle wheel helps finish new trail well. There have been times when these things are a little easier on my aging problematic back.

Now we seem to do more work with hand tools and something diesel powered. A mini excavator is the ultimate MTB accessory but that has limitations too so these things should still be considered.
 
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