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toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 29 Oct 2019 08:49 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Item one, clean up floor and trim branches to the 10 foot mark, clear out all small saplings, they stress surrounding trees anyway. Clear back from home 60 feet minimum, 100 feet ideal, think blowing embers, will they get into attic vents? Any trim on house, bevel top so spark roll off. Dont pile any firewood up against house or on porch, treat any porches with fire resistant stain/coating (they make it) if your gable vents can let sparks in, build a baffle. I brought in now about 1000 yards of gravel total. Gravel doesnt burn. Are you on post and pillar, skirt under it with metal. Trees around my place, I cleared branches off to the 20 foot mark. I bought a tow behind DR Chipper 16.0 to drag around with Kawasaki mule to clear smaller stuff.
I almost lost it in summer of 2015, that is when I really went to work. To give you an idea, here is a map. (removed for privacy/security reasons)

The area will burn, its just a matter of time, will yours survive? I bet your state has cost share programs depending on acreage. We have 50/50 splits all the time, I got mine under 75/25, its been 90/10 and even 100. My cost at 25% was still $13,000.

My cabin is now easy to defend, fire crews will evaluate it ahead of a fire, if its defensible, they will preserve it, if not, it will most likely burn. Oregon has loads more fires than we do.

That dot is my 40 acres, this fire was huge. I got busy following summer.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 29 Oct 2019 10:54
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Thanks Toyota! We have been following the Colorado forest service recommendations on firewise work for our property... just what you said. Our place is on piers and the main cabin is skirted in metal. We have a large deck on the back and a porch on the front that arn't skirted. My wife screened around the front porch this fall after racking all the dead leaves out. They will get skirted next year. We have gravel out front and are encouraging green grass lawn around the cabin. Firewood was stacked right by the house, now 40 feet away.... for the winter I do have wood on the front porch, wont during fire season. We still have work to do... lots of low juniper brush that must go.

My question I guess was concerning the rest of our community. Though I know clearing the forest floor is important, I can't help but think the number one thing would be if we could get all the property owners to trim branches to 10 feet.... and saplings, ladder fuels under the conifers. The Aspen aren't really going to burn, even the smaller ones don't have low branches. But, the conifers up there nearly all have branches grow right to the ground. It seems if as a community, and for the community the best thing to start with is trying to keep the fire on the ground. Of course getting the dead fall picked up or at least lop and scatter so everything is flat on the ground to decompose.

We picked up everything on our place but some scattered smaller... thumb sized, a few larger sticks..... and we are going to continue cleaning and keeping the dead fall cleared.

Though we want our place to survive and even if it did, right now most of the rest of the surrounding forest would be devastated... hard to market a cabin set in a black spot of what was a forest... now with just foundations where cabins stood.

Sorry if this is a hijack of your build thread, not meaning to do that... you just obviously have very good knowledge and experience with this work. Thanks!

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 29 Oct 2019 15:29
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nobaddays, livestock helps out a bunch, ie cattle, horses or any grazers. They will trim down all the grass, it will remain short and green, fires usually burn up to fence line on a animal pasture, then stops there.
You want to keep it out of the canopy. Many times a fire can burn in the grass, just creeping around and not get into the canopy, having enough spacing between trees will keep canopy fire from spreading. A scared or wounded tree will leak pitch and draw fire, so be careful not to scar them with equipment. About 15 feet spacing between trees. If you do lose a tree from a crown fire, still standing, its no more than 3 to 4 years is when it just falls over. At least the pines go that quick (rot)

Any timber work will bring in bark beetle, but they will hit a few smaller trees most likely. Having a nice healthy forest, resistant to fire and bugs is the key.

My tree clearing guy, Connor Craig was a top notch guy, first class work, ran a great operation, did a nice job and I got a good pal out of the deal too.

Here he is with his 2 girls, holding my cup and notice his honorary lifetime membership ID badge. I blurred the kids face out to protect their identity of course.

It sounds like you have a handle on the firewise stuff, get everyone else on board, maybe a presentation at the next HOA meeting, arm them with info anyway, what they do with that info is up to them I guess.
connor.jpeg
connor.jpeg


toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 29 Oct 2019 15:50
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nobaddays, a quick search, I found a cost share program, not sure how many acres you guys have. Thinning cost about $1,260 per acre total and with cost share, cuts it way back.

Here is just an example of what I found in Colorado.
https://bewildfireready.org/fuels-reduction-cost-share-program/

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 29 Oct 2019 15:56
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Thanks for the information! Great job on your place for sure!

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 29 Oct 2019 21:04
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I might add, the thinning sure greened up my pine grass. (before and after pix) I need to get shots of the same spot for comparison, but this will give you an idea. Forest floor after thinning was all mulched wood bits, now lush green grass.
Right after thinning
Right after thinning
Greened up after thinning
Greened up after thinning


toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 2 Nov 2019 21:40 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Good trailer progress today.
We are about 95% done. All that is left is ramp locks, ramp stops, one D ring on RR corner, stake pockets (8) trim out all wiring (its all in place) and then decking goes on. Some paint and final inspection.
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toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 3 Nov 2019 21:18 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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OK, thought it would be completed by now, just about made it. Sun went down earlier today with setting clocks back. Fender gussets in, 10 stake pockets, all wiring trimmed out and lights installed, break away battery and junction plug with trailer plug all trimmed out. Painted with 2 coats, a durable rustoleum flat back for base and same in gloss for final coat.

All that is left is a lock to hold ramps in (not slide out), front marker lamps (10 minute job) and install wooden decking. Should be done next Sat. That will be the 5th weekend. But it has turned out perfect. Never now it was home made.
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toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 10 Nov 2019 23:13 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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OK, finished my 18 foot flatbed car hauler trailer build. It was an absolute success. It still needs to be weighed at a certified scale then inspected by the state patrol.
I'm guessing scale weight at 1,650 lbs.
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darz5150
Member
# Posted: 10 Nov 2019 23:53
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Looks great TMT.
Good quality build. 👍
How much $ did it take? Excluding labor of course. Lol.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 11 Nov 2019 08:30 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Well to make a short answer long... , the guy I made it for bought a "kit" which was axles, fenders, coupler, jack etc (all the parts needed minus steel) and lots of the stuff they sent him,he didnt like, so bought again. These trailer retail for about $3000-$3200 and knowing what we know now, we could of done it for $2600, but he is close to retail purchase price now. But we did do lots of extras, ie notice all those D rings down each side, so very versatile.

He should of gotten just the full axle kits with leafs, mounts, hardware etc and fenders. Rest of small parts, ie weld on stake pockets, tail lamp boxes, lamps, D rings, interface junction box on tongue, break away battery, we all got from Amazon.

Steel was $900, was all 3/16" wall thickness 2X5 for main frame, 2X4 for tongue and 4" C channel from tongue to front of axle. This design was a copy of a factory built trailer I have, we cloned it to a "T", right down to the rear slide out ramps. No since re-engineering everything. I like the fact my scale weight came in at 1,550 lbs, most trailers like this are 2500 lbs, with a 7000lb axle, it eats into payload and makes for a harder pull with tow rig.

The way the decking is attached was also low weight and low cost. Each plank uses one #12 metal screw in the center. Front of decking slid under 1.5" angle iron welded i n place, then across 1X2 thick walled rectangle tubes every 23" which first and last being just 6" from end and once decking in, clamped down rear section and tacked in another piece of 1.5" angle iron, screws are mid way near fender center. It makes for a clean install too and you dont see the cut ends of the 2X6.

I have 4 full weekends of 6-7 hours, day and a half on 5th and final weekend, so about 9.5 days at roughly 6.5 hours a day of actual work time.

I volunteered to help my buddy, I have a garage big enough except once tongue was welded on, no longer fit inside, but we had the end we were working on inside. I do have a nice 220V MIG welder, 60AMP hypertherm plasma cutter, 14" metal chop saw, air grinders, 4" electric grinder, 7" electric grinder and large bench grinder. The workhorse was the MIG, chop saw, bench grinder, plasma cutter and 7" grinder in that order. Went through a 10lb spool of .030 wire

It was work, but very enjoyable and end product was 100% success. This was my first trailer build, but I am no stranger to metal fabbing either.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Nov 2019 09:12 - Edited by: paulz
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Wow, very nice! Love the D rings, I need that.

I had lights similar to yours. I say had because even with the steel surrounds I managed to back into trees, bend the steel and break the lights. Then I put lights on the rear panel. Broke those too. Then I just got one of those cheapo HF kits with magnetic lights. That worked for awhile but last week when I bought a pallet of plywood I hit a bump, one fell off and I drug it down the highway until the wires broke.

I have a real problem with trailer lights. My next idea is to weld foot long sections of 6" pipe on each side and put the lights in there.

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