Gentle persuasion over time

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JR.
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by JR. » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:34 am

billshurv wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:22 am
I now have images of you and your neighbour doing swamp drag racing on zero turn mowers :)
Zero turn mowers could learn a little from swamp buggies.

The fat back tires do not grip in mud so spin, the small front wheels on pivots, that help the zero turn change direction, love to dig holes in soft ground. When you try to rock yourself out of being stuck, they just dig deeper holes and get stuck even worse.

Getting winched out is the only practical way out, if stuck, and best to just avoid the soft ground. The guy who cuts grass across the street at the post office has a winch on his pickup truck to pull himself out when stuck.

I have speculated about mounting a drum on the rim of the back wheels and letting that serve as a winch, winding up a rope around that drum, secured to a nearby tree.

This constant threat of getting stuck in the mud, is why I engineered my slave lawnmower, so i can mow my ditches while staying safely away.

JR
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terkio
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by terkio » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:13 am

A two tons "come along" is a handy tool.
I have used it to pull out my boat at places with terrible boat launches if any.
Some 1200 pounds with it's trailer to drag out of sand and mud.
For long reaches, I use a steel cable with much care, because in case it breaks it is deadly. A chain is safe.
Other hard pulling I have done is vehicles stuck in soft sand.
I used nothing but a chain for safety reason. A trick I learned is to rock the stuck vehicle by assistants while gently pulling.
With two guys each side rolling hard the vehicle on its suspension, the wheels raise out from the sand like magic.
A great trick, no digging, no sand plate, no hard work and with a chain perfectly safe.

I would never use the steel cable and come along to persuade a tree to fall some way. We recently cut down a cherry tree that was close enough to may be hit a building. We took no chance. Climbing to cut high branches was the way to go.
Using a harness and a safety rope.

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terkio
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by terkio » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:24 am

To get unstuck from mud, I had success with a tarp that happened to be abandoned there.
Raising the stuck wheel to fit the tarp under, then backing in the same wheel tracks. Going gently the wheel did not dig deeper.
A messy crummy tarp can save the day.

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JR.
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by JR. » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:02 am

terkio wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:13 am
A two tons "come along" is a handy tool.
I have used it to pull out my boat at places with terrible boat launches if any.
Some 1200 pounds with it's trailer to drag out of sand and mud.
For long reaches, I use a steel cable with much care, because in case it breaks it is deadly. A chain is safe.
Chains break too... Lots of experience with towing cars using chains as a young guy, and it can get dramatic if you don't take up slack carefully. :lol:

Of course I have a story... Back in the 60s I was walking home from the food market in back bay Boston when I saw some young man in a pickup truck trying to help a pretty girl with a stalled camero (or firebird). He was probably thinking with his wrong head and did not gently take up the slack in his chain, when it suddenly pulled tight, the chain snapped and flew straight back through the girl's windshield. :o

I wasn't close enough to warn him to slow down and watched the drama play out from a safe distance. I hope he ended up marrying that girl, but if it was her husband's/boyfriend's car that probably didn't end well.
Other hard pulling I have done is vehicles stuck in soft sand.
I used nothing but a chain for safety reason. A trick I learned is to rock the stuck vehicle by assistants while gently pulling.
With two guys each side rolling hard the vehicle on its suspension, the wheels raise out from the sand like magic.
A great trick, no digging, no sand plate, no hard work and with a chain perfectly safe.

I would never use the steel cable and come along to persuade a tree to fall some way. We recently cut down a cherry tree that was close enough to may be hit a building. We took no chance. Climbing to cut high branches was the way to go.
Using a harness and a safety rope.
At my age I don't even like to climb ladders, let alone climb a tree with a chain saw. I may leave the come along in place for another week and if I see no change perhaps remove it. At some point I expect the tree to come down by itself eventually, with some luck I can nudge it in a better direction, or not.

A few months ago I cut a much smaller tree, but still tall enough to hit my neighbors house in one direction, and his garage in the other. It was a live tree and I was able to drop it safely between both buildings. Using conventional steering techniques with notches cut in the trunk to direct the fall. Much larger, dead trees are not as reliable.

====

I have been able to drive my way out of soft mud by shoveling out a clear unobstructed path behind the front wheels, and absolutely NOT rocking the mower forward and back, but only backing out in the clear path direction so the front wheels don't dig in again. This can take multiple attempts but has worked before. Since buying the come along, I haven't been stuck (knock on wood). :lol:

JR

PS: another perhaps amusing anecdote about towing cars, I was once the driver of the second car being towed. I grew up in a small town, me and my brothers had a somewhat contrary relationship with the local Barney's (mostly for speeding and driving loud cars). We had to tow this car from the other side of town through the main intersection in the middle of town and past the police station. My brother decided to make the pull during the rush hour when an officer was directing traffic at that main intersection. As I pulled up next to and past the officer directing traffic he saw that I was being towed and motioned for me to stop... I just shrugged my shoulders like what could I do, and kept going. :lol: We made it home with no additional drama.
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terkio
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by terkio » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:35 pm

Steel cables when they snap are deadly because of a devastating whip effect. A lot of stored energy sudden release. Snapping ropes, could hurt too. Straps are elastic but quite safe.
I have seen pros using some special tow strap that pulls smoothly with a built in trick to take slack back.
Towing with a chain.
Indeed taking the slack must be done accurately and it is not easy to do it right.
When a chain breaks, normally it drops dead not whipping. I think that depends of chain types and the safe ones are those with near no elasticity.

I have seen pros cutting a big tree near a house.
They firstly cut all branches leaving a bare trunk.
They tied a cable at the very top anchored far away. They put their backhoe loader against the trunck with the head extended up to push hight on the trunck. Then cut at the base.
I missed how they cut top parts of the trunck. I think this is a dangerous task because of the risk of bucking. I wonder what safety measures they took up there about bucking.
When we cut down the cherry tree.
To fall the top part of the trunck, this was finished with no one up. Once the saw cut was enough, we pulled the top with a long rope to have it break at the cut.
I was very happy to see all of the tree down and no one hurt.

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terkio
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by terkio » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:20 pm

To help persuade your tree, how about digging to weaken its roots.

Being dead, I doubt it will give under the strap pulling.
May be it will give if the ground is soft enough, weakening at the roots might help especially if they don't run deep underground.

Depends of trees. Some have a flat root system. Some have a deep pillar rooting, these are hell to extract the stump.

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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by billshurv » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:06 pm

JR. wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:34 am

The fat back tires do not grip in mud so spin, the small front wheels on pivots, that help the zero turn change direction, love to dig holes in soft ground. When you try to rock yourself out of being stuck, they just dig deeper holes and get stuck even worse.
Not mowing muddy ground might also be an option :). I assume you can't pop a quick wheelie with them to get the castors out the mud. Top fuel style!

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JR.
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by JR. » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:56 pm

terkio wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:35 pm
Steel cables when they snap are deadly because of a devastating whip effect. A lot of stored energy sudden release. Snapping ropes, could hurt too. Straps are elastic but quite safe.
Yes straps are the best tool for the job///

I have seen wire rope fail gracefully (on my weightlifting machine). Usually indivual stands break, not catastrophic or cascade failure like my nylon tow rope... first time I saw that. I recall back in the 60s lifting my brother's 392 hemi (some 750#) with puny 1/4" nylon rope... I recall hearing a tink, tink, tink, as individual nylon strands failed.
I have seen pros using some special tow strap that pulls smoothly with a built in trick to take slack back.
Towing with a chain.
Indeed taking the slack must be done accurately and it is not easy to do it right.
When a chain breaks, normally it drops dead not whipping. I think that depends of chain types and the safe ones are those with near no elasticity.
I have seen chains snap back more than once, but you don't have to do that yourself more than once to get the message that is is dangerous and something to avoid. If i was closer I would have warned that kid before he trashed the girls windshield.
I have seen pros cutting a big tree near a house.
They firstly cut all branches leaving a bare trunk.
They tied a cable at the very top anchored far away. They put their backhoe loader against the trunck with the head extended up to push hight on the trunck. Then cut at the base.
I missed how they cut top parts of the trunck. I think this is a dangerous task because of the risk of bucking. I wonder what safety measures they took up there about bucking.
When we cut down the cherry tree.
To fall the top part of the trunck, this was finished with no one up. Once the saw cut was enough, we pulled the top with a long rope to have it break at the cut.
I was very happy to see all of the tree down and no one hurt.
I've watched professional tree guys in my own yard, but they expect me to pay them to come back. :lol: Did I mention I'm cheap?

JR
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JR.
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by JR. » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:58 pm

billshurv wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:06 pm
JR. wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:34 am

The fat back tires do not grip in mud so spin, the small front wheels on pivots, that help the zero turn change direction, love to dig holes in soft ground. When you try to rock yourself out of being stuck, they just dig deeper holes and get stuck even worse.
Not mowing muddy ground might also be an option :). I assume you can't pop a quick wheelie with them to get the castors out the mud. Top fuel style!
when the ground is wet (like right now) I generally give the rain ditch a wide swath...

We went from a state wide burn ban, to flood watch in a matter of hours... 4" of rain already and still coming down.

JR
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Re: Gentle persuasion over time

Post by billshurv » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:25 pm

When I used to hang around with a few off roader I found I was exceedingly good at getting vehicles stuck. This gave me a lot of practice at hooking winch ropes around trees and being told all the horror stories of decapitation from shackles flying through the windscreen. Nylon rope for me as I don't trust ballistic blankets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4OVtkbvzmg at 2'50" you can in fact see me getting ready to attach the winch as I have got my friends car stuck yet again. The maniac hooning about in the background is the reason why you should not give corvette blocks to British people who are good at welding. They do silly things with them.

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