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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All -

I have a 33 acre property, 17 of which is swampy woods. The woods are muddy year round, and flooded in the spring with 3"-12" of standing water in most spots. Last April I backed my 4X4 Dakota 10 feet into the woods and sunk her to the floorboards. Spun all 4 tires in 4 Low. Had to call my neighbor to pull me out.

I'm working on several projects in the woods, including grading and building up a trail, clearing Buckthorn, pulling out recently fallen trees for firewood (we have a wood stove), installing permanent deer stands, and planting a few small food plots.

Looking for recommendations on a tractor that is not as likely to get stuck back there as most. I was thinking that a crawler, like a JD 2010C or IH 500C or the like might be best. I'd like to have a rear PTO so that I can work in the 12 acre field that is on higher ground or use a brush mower. Most 4X4 tractors I've seen are newer/more expensive. I don't have a huge budget. $5k if I really were to stretch right now. I'm not in a huge rush.

Maybe a vintage 2wd industrial tractor with big wheels could work? Retro fit aftermarket tracks? (I saw a picture of a 2N with retro-fitted tracks, see the bottom of http://www.tractordata.com/farm-tractors/000/2/2/221-ford-2n-photos.html ).

Thanks All.
 

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have you considered a 4x4 tractor of the latter vintage and using terra tires? Or a New Holland on tracks ormaybe another up to date ag-tractor on tracks .A Deere 2010 on tracks or the 1010 on tracks are great machines .Any on track are hard to find .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The ground is mucky peat, with emphasis on the muck. Black mud. And obviously tree roots. Must of the trees back there have relatively shallow root systems.

I guess I'd rather have access back there with some higher maintenance costs vs. nothing at all for 3-6 months out of the year. I have a completely open mind. I'd look at larger tires or something else if it's an option. Although I'm fairly certain that those tripod looking row crop tractors with extremely narrow front axles are out.
 

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I am no expert by any means with wet ground, besides living it Louisiana, but it seems maybe a high clearance tractor with some R-2 "rice" style tires on it might would do you good, try to get something with a front loader to, that is the way I have saved myself when the front end sinks.....
 

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I lived in the South Carolina wet low lands for 10 years. We didn't have peet bottoms, but muddy. In water and you have peet bottoms along with mud and are on a $5000 budget to buy a piece of equipment that will get through it, unless your extremely lucky, you have a big problem. You don't mention how wide of an area there is for the trail/road. Is it clear or loaded with trees? Are there stumps? You need to know this before purchasing any equipment. Rubber track equipment isn't worth a darn if there are stumps in there. It'll tear the tracks up and even pop them off the rails. Then your dead in the water for sure! High flotation tires need plenty of width to get through an area. The tires alone can cost $3000 or more! (EACH!) Not a cheap venture. Probably the cheapest way is to purchase used metal matting to run on and go from there. Wood mats will float. JMHO PJ
 

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Hey Tzone,

I think you might be on the right track ( punny, hey ?) with a 2N outfitted like that, maybe with some flotation fronts.

If you could find one, a Fordson Snow Devil setup like this would be the ticket....




You might want to look at some more construction oriented equipment, like a Case Davis 430...


Aquatic contractors get into some very unique solutions as well....



:D I agree , 5 grand is gonna be tough to stay in though. :fing32:
 

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I've never seen a tractor, wheel or track, that I couldn't get stuck. With the kind of situation you have you better build a road into whatever you want to get too.

Watch the show "Swamp Loggers" if you get the chance, lots of work in the kind of ground you have.

Once stuck a track machine is a real bugger to pull out.

Mike
 

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My friend has an OC6 with 24" tracks for mowing swampy areas but as tenecub stated,a heavy stuck track machine takes a lot more machine to pull it out.

I sure don't think a narrow track dozer is going to be your answer.
 

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My friend has an OC6 with 24" tracks for mowing swampy areas but as tenecub stated,a heavy stuck track machine takes a lot more machine to pull it out.

I sure don't think a narrow track dozer is going to be your answer.
I agree, W I D E tracks are might be better. Less PSI on the ground, the more you float on the boggy/ swampy ground. Having run quite a few misc. smallish tracked machines , I can attest to the tracks... Reminds me of just one day ( of a few ) where I got a rubber tracked excavator stuck, buried it right up to the turntable.. No way I was getting out, had to call in another bigger machine to yank it out of that mudhole....:duh: Seems excavators don't usually need winches LOL.

Seems like the better it goes, the better you can get it stuck. :bonk:

Of course, it sounds like you might have some trees around there, so a nice winch and a good chain budget may well be in order for whatever tractor you end up with. :fing32:
 

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tzonehunter, is the area heavily wooded? Do you have lots of dead fall trees available?

If so, you can use cut up logs to build a road. Logs that that are 80-100% longer than the width of the equipment using the path will work pretty well. So, with a pickup, if the logs were 12-14 feet long, and laid across the direction you want to go, would be a serviceable road. If the ground is less stable than I'm envisioning, then the next step is steel winch cable. If you run the cable under the ends of the logs, looping around a log every so often, and had the cable anchored at each end, (but not tight) that would further stabilize it.

I've gone across, or worked in, swamps with an excavator a few times using trees as a work base. Not pretty, but pretty economical.

You could use a chainsaw to notch down logs that were larger than others, in order to be able to get over the 'hump'.
 

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That's funny Cat, we have a road here called Watertown Plank Road- Guess where it got its name ....Good call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The area is heavily wooded. It is infested with Buckthorn. If you don't have experience with this stuff - it's an invasive low growing hardwood bush with big thorns. They prevent anything from growing underneath them. They grow super thick. The buckthorn have been a major component of the woods for a few decades, so most of the stumps are rotted out by now. Most of the trees that are down are aspen (poplar). They rot pretty quickly but would do temporarily. And there's a lot down right now.

One of my winter projects is to clear out as much of the buckthorn as possible.

It sounds like I'm going to have to find something with big tires, as a wide tracked vehicle would have access issues. And I probably can't afford a wide-tracked crawler worth fixing from what others have posted.

Are these rice tires?



http://www.ricetire.com/productdetail.htm?productId=17237223
 

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Sounds as if you really need to do some excavating and draining. Is that an option?
thats what i was thinking but that gets real expensive as well,

if i had access to gravel i would build up the road by dumping gravel,

i do not know what a load of gravel sells for in wis. but here in Ky i could build a lot of road for 2 grand,

then i would pull my trees out mid summer with a old tractor,

also a half day of hired work with a small dozer , or a 4 wheel drive skidder with a blade, when the ground is frozen or in the dryest part of summer would be cheaper than buying something and finding out the hard way about the problems each will have,

and trust me you can get a tracked machine hung as well as a tractor, tracked vehicles they are not that high off the ground and can bottom out fairly easily
 

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YES, that is RICE TIRE! : ) that is what I would do, but I dont have experience in much besides Louisiana wetness. Good luck and let us know how it goes : )
 

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What you need is a HG Oliver. We had 6 of them here on the farm and they walk on top of mud. I'm not saying you cant get the stuck but they are the best in mud.
We had one that we put oak 2x4x24 on each pad. That one would almost walk on water. We could drive in places we could not walk.
 

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