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  1. #601
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
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    5,539
    Well, we're starting a new trail and we're about to use heavy equipment for the first time in building some berms. I'm nervous! The trail is going to have typical hand build stuff, but we have sections that the owner wants full machine made berms...because he has the machines!

    Anybody have a good links to design? I don't want to f this all up. Thankfully we have a good small group of riders to help and one is a lift service ripper, but the line between disaster and awesome is kinda thin I think. So any info I can pass along so we're not on an island when pushing our thoughts would be helpful.

  2. #602
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Snowttingham
    Posts
    871
    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    Well, we're starting a new trail and we're about to use heavy equipment for the first time in building some berms. I'm nervous! The trail is going to have typical hand build stuff, but we have sections that the owner wants full machine made berms...because he has the machines!

    Anybody have a good links to design? I don't want to f this all up. Thankfully we have a good small group of riders to help and one is a lift service ripper, but the line between disaster and awesome is kinda thin I think. So any info I can pass along so we're not on an island when pushing our thoughts would be helpful.
    how much elevation and length you got to play with?
    I'd love a machine to dig with. Imagine how much you'll be getting done with a big bucket on the digger

    Sent from my SM-G973F using TGR Forums mobile app
    i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum

  3. #603
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,246
    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    the line between disaster and awesome is kinda thin I think.
    I dont think so. The heavy equipment is just there to move dirt quickly and do some really rough shaping. And if you totally blow a line and have to redo it, remember that you are doing this in the fall and that come springtime NO ONE will be able to tell where you screwed up the line- the forest is real quick to take things back fall-spring because of the leaves and then rapid growth in the spring. You can also stockpile good dirt, or rocks with the machine for handbuilding later on.

    Also remember that everything settles and shrinks, especially over winter so build those berms big! it easy to shave them down later on, but a real PITA to have to throw more dirt on them by hand and slap compact with shovels. And only assholes have said "gosh, that berm was just too big. I prefer smaller, less supportive berms".

    Lastly, I think that an underutilized trail feature on slower, tech trails with berms is little side hips into berms, and then the ability to kind of pump the berm and jump out of them onto a roller. Slower speed pumping, popping kind of lines. YMMV.

    Good Luck! Sounds like its gonna be sick!

  4. #604
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    9,839
    Quote Originally Posted by californiagrown View Post
    I dont think so. The heavy equipment is just there to move dirt quickly and do some really rough shaping. And if you totally blow a line and have to redo it, remember that you are doing this in the fall and that come springtime NO ONE will be able to tell where you screwed up the line- the forest is real quick to take things back fall-spring.

    Also remember that everything settles and shrinks, especially over winter so build those berms big! it easy to shave them down later on, but a real PITA to have to throw more dirt on them by hand and slap compact with shovels.
    This.

    Also, if possible, get it roughly shaped and ride it before the machine leaves. If it's the wrong shape or in the wrong place, it's nice to know that while you still have the ability to move a lot of dirt quickly and easily.

  5. #605
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
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    5,539
    Quote Originally Posted by Rossymcg View Post
    how much elevation and length you got to play with?
    I'd love a machine to dig with. Imagine how much you'll be getting done with a big bucket on the digger

    Sent from my SM-G973F using TGR Forums mobile app
    I haven't even scouted the lines yet. Not a hell of a lot of vert, but enough to put a few in.

    My biggest concern is drainage. With our lack of vert, we tend to use as much as possible and flip it back uphill to go back down again. Back a while ago I saw a nice article on slope geometry when building berms. I cannot find it now.

  6. #606
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
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    5,539
    And yeah, I always ride the lines as we build. I run them first, rake, ride, then make more changes. I build with a guy who does not do that and it kinda drives me nuts, but he's so chill and works so damn hard that I don't really care. Plus he always says just go back and make it better. Zero ego.

  7. #607
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,246
    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    he always says just go back and make it better.
    No shame in that at all, thats a good builder. Lots of shame in leaving shit that doesnt work on "your trail" because you cant be bothered to fix it.

  8. #608
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    9,839
    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    My biggest concern is drainage. With our lack of vert, we tend to use as much as possible and flip it back uphill to go back down again. Back a while ago I saw a nice article on slope geometry when building berms. I cannot find it now.
    Obviously depends on the specific location, but sometimes it's easiest to just run a drain pipe under/through the berm.

    Depending on your soil and climate, sometimes using the machine to dig a big dry well on the uphill/inside of the berm can work too.

  9. #609
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
    Posts
    5,539
    Yeah, was thinking like a french drain at the low point.

  10. #610
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    763
    Being able to import or easily move rock, and bring in drain pipe should go a long way into addressing drainage issues. Dealing with that shit when you're hauling stuff in by hand is a lot harder.

  11. #611
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Missoula
    Posts
    1,505
    We went back in and removed some drainage from a trail to make the berms work better and it seems to be fine. But we don't get much rain and the ground in that specific spot drains quickly. Plus it's not a huge deal if there's a little water or mud down in the inside. We did put in one actual drain pipe but I wonder if that's just going to wind up getting clogged up after a few years.

  12. #612
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamal View Post
    We did put in one actual drain pipe but I wonder if that's just going to wind up getting clogged up after a few years.
    Yeah, I find the entrance to the pipes needs to get cleaned out every few years. A big diameter (6 or 8"), non corrugated pipe helps. And stacking rock and gravel around the entrance to try to keep the sludge at bay helps too. And shaping the area so the water runs quickly and doesn't just build into a mucky puddle that slowly trickles through the pipe. But they still need occasional clean outs, regardless.

  13. #613
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    T.ride
    Posts
    1,764
    Assorted Kinda random machine tips.

    Get out and look. Things look way different from the machine than ground level. You can get tricked into thinking the machine is sitting level and build off of that, when actually it's sitting at a slight angle. Hop out, visually 'ride' the line, get downhill and get your head level with the trail.

    Build it first, drain it later. If you have pipes, dig a sump hole at the mouth and dig down so there is a collection basin to collect silt. If you are not using pipes, the crux move is tapering the berm so it drains out the bottom but still provides support. It's easy to build up the berm too much at the top of the turn, think about providing support against the natural fall line of the trail. If you can drive the machine around the corner smoothly you prob got it right. It's good to put in a grade reversal before and after corners to keep water out of your corner.

    Use the angle of repose. Everyone want to build super sick, super steep, instagram berms, but those fall apart and get that overhanging wave feature after a while. Get the radius right, you can literally take a section of rope and mark a radius, and let the berm choose its own steepness based on angle of repose of the materials available. It's may look kinda flat but it's gonna be durable.

    Roll a fatty.. a fatbike is a huge help for getting a feel for a section while it's still off soft and rough from the machine. Also great for compaction after some moisture to a finished trail.

    Don't be afraid to say that sucks and go back up and redo it. trail sucks!

  14. #614
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Snowttingham
    Posts
    871
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Depending on your soil and climate, sometimes using the machine to dig a big dry well on the uphill/inside of the berm can work too.
    the dirt in my local woods is perfect and 12" below is pure sand. we can have a monsoon and it ready to ride straight away how we've designed the drainage.
    I dig a sump in side some of the berms to collect water for sculpting the lips and berms


    Sent from my SM-G973F using TGR Forums mobile app
    i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum

  15. #615
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
    Posts
    5,539
    Quote Originally Posted by rip View Post
    Assorted Kinda random machine tips.

    Get out and look. Things look way different from the machine than ground level. You can get tricked into thinking the machine is sitting level and build off of that, when actually it's sitting at a slight angle. Hop out, visually 'ride' the line, get downhill and get your head level with the trail.

    Build it first, drain it later. If you have pipes, dig a sump hole at the mouth and dig down so there is a collection basin to collect silt. If you are not using pipes, the crux move is tapering the berm so it drains out the bottom but still provides support. It's easy to build up the berm too much at the top of the turn, think about providing support against the natural fall line of the trail. If you can drive the machine around the corner smoothly you prob got it right. It's good to put in a grade reversal before and after corners to keep water out of your corner.

    Use the angle of repose. Everyone want to build super sick, super steep, instagram berms, but those fall apart and get that overhanging wave feature after a while. Get the radius right, you can literally take a section of rope and mark a radius, and let the berm choose its own steepness based on angle of repose of the materials available. It's may look kinda flat but it's gonna be durable.

    Roll a fatty.. a fatbike is a huge help for getting a feel for a section while it's still off soft and rough from the machine. Also great for compaction after some moisture to a finished trail.

    Don't be afraid to say that sucks and go back up and redo it. trail sucks!
    Right on! And yeah, I often say my trail sucks and go back and reroute! It really sucks when the reroute sucks

  16. #616
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Puget Oceania
    Posts
    504
    Not quite wet enough to dig yet, but it's leaf raking time.

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  17. #617
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Paradise
    Posts
    3,849
    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    Well, we're starting a new trail and we're about to use heavy equipment for the first time in building some berms. I'm nervous! The trail is going to have typical hand build stuff, but we have sections that the owner wants full machine made berms...because he has the machines!

    Anybody have a good links to design? I don't want to f this all up. Thankfully we have a good small group of riders to help and one is a lift service ripper, but the line between disaster and awesome is kinda thin I think. So any info I can pass along so we're not on an island when pushing our thoughts would be helpful.
    Don't fear the magical mini x. You can think it and then make it happen. It's so much fun.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

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