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  1. #1
    Turbo Monkey demo 9's Avatar
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    How to pack loamy dirt

    So i started a new trail spot, and its in a huge field of natural grass and bushes, the dirt is INSANELY easy to dig, and its pretty lightweight. The problem with this is that it is kind of loamy, no access to water either. How would you pack this style of dirt, there is clay deep down, but i have alot of this dirt to pack in first.
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  3. #2
    Monkey
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    take a shovel. raise it above your head. with a powerful downward swing, make the dirt your bitch. the harder you hit it, the better. that is the best stuff to build with. dirt is dirt is dirt. sometimes you need water if it is super sandy. otherwise, just hit it hard.

  4. #3
    Turbo Monkey cmc's Avatar
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    hard to tell from a pic, but that dirt looks good.

    i like to pack with a heavy-wood 2X4.

    if there's no water anywhere, maybe that isn't the best place to start new trails ? (depends how much rain you normally get)

  5. #4
    Turbo Monkey demo 9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    hard to tell from a pic, but that dirt looks good.

    i like to pack with a heavy-wood 2X4.

    if there's no water anywhere, maybe that isn't the best place to start new trails ? (depends how much rain you normally get)
    rain might be ok, but the last 6 spots have been plowed, and this is the last spot(not nearly ideal) but better than nothin.
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  6. #5
    Turbo Monkey Dirtjumper999's Avatar
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    The woods where I have been building trails this spring has similar dirt for the first 2 feet or so into the ground... I put it in a wheel barrow and mix it with clay. Then I jump up and down on it once I shovel pack it...
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  7. #6
    Turbo Monkey Dirtjumper999's Avatar
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    Also.... are you sure thats not a flood zone? I only say so because from the looks of the plants on the ground and the "thicket" looking backround that usually means something like a flood plain. I also remembered something we did for these trails in ohio that were way far from any water source, we dug a giant hole and covered it with a tarp and allowed it to collect water.
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  8. #7
    Monkey
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    id use that ****ty dirt for cores of landings and cap them with several inches to a foot of the good stuff and use the good stuff for the whole lip. loam will never pack good. id try and have the flatbottoms be at clay level to be more durable if its not too deep.
    get a few of these and bring em every time if it doesnt rain enough to collect water in a hole.

  9. #8
    Turbo Monkey demo 9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer View Post
    id use that ****ty dirt for cores of landings and cap them with several inches to a foot of the good stuff and use the good stuff for the whole lip. loam will never pack good. id try and have the flatbottoms be at clay level to be more durable if its not too deep.
    get a few of these and bring em every time if it doesnt rain enough to collect water in a hole.
    That is the goal, but right now, i am just fixing up the two jumps i found, must be 10 years old, its a crappy spot, but has TONS of potential if i can pull it off. I plan to get a digging "hole" and get all the dirt from there, and have it all clay, but i will see, its down train tracks, and big trouble if i get caught on there, especially with tools, so not sure how i will get a wheelbarrow over there. Updates will come as i get them. At least its easy to dig
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  10. #9
    Rusty Trombone manhattanprjkt83's Avatar
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    man dont dig holes, dig the trail down and bring the jumps up (trust me you will thank yourself) and it looks better.

    That dirt looks good and packable, not loamy at all...

  11. #10
    Turbo Monkey demo 9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhattanprjkt83 View Post
    man dont dig holes, dig the trail down and bring the jumps up (trust me you will thank yourself) and it looks better.

    That dirt looks good and packable, not loamy at all...
    that is the plan, but i cant go too deep, its not a flood zone, but judging by the previous riders, that idea didnt go as well as they would like, dont have any more pics, but the "trail" is weeds covered in brown, i can go down, but not too much. i have an idea how to dig, just not pack this stuff, ive been too spoiled with the north jersey clay.

    right now its looking like double (slight step up) table, roller, double, double, pumper, 130-150 berm, 3 pumpers double
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  12. #11
    Monkey flatrls's Avatar
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    That dirt looks perfect for filler and grass clumps are even better(you can stack em like bricks and build a wall).
    Make the basic shape of the jump with that poop dirt and get it smooth, then "cap" it with the dank clay from the flat bottoms. Then pack the sh!t out of the clay on top. If you want to pack big volumes of loose dirt get a 8x8 tamper and beat the crap out of it.

    Stacking corners can be frustrating with loose dirt because it falls back down a lot.
    If you try to stack it in a packing action(slamming the dirt into the jump) it will stay put and stack up a layer at a time starting from the bottom where the jump meets the original ground.
    Last edited by flatrls; 04-20-2010 at 09:57 PM.
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  13. #12
    Chimp
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    flatrls has it spot on. I have the same issue with my trails. Soft top soil-ish dirt for first 1-1.5ft then its buttery clay

    Stacking corners with this sh!t dirt is frustrating because you have to do it one shovel of dirt at a time with the technique he mentioned above. Start at the ground and build up. Rough in the shape of the jump and then do the finishing work with the money dirt and profit!

    Keep us posted on your progress!!

    -matt
    Last edited by MIDigger; 04-21-2010 at 09:52 AM. Reason: i r speling fail

  14. #13
    I give a shirt brungeman's Avatar
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    there is some good info there boys!

    I agree with flatrls, and Manhattan, I also think that "borrow bits" are a sucky solution to your lack of dirt problem... If you do borrow dirt from other spots and don't dig the trail down to increase the size of the jump, make sure you disguise the pits by mellowing the edges a bit. also I think that you will most likely find some clay deeper down! Keep up the digging its starting to take shape.

    also I know that Ted aka TortugaTonta used a method of churning the dirt with a little bit of water in a tray with a rototiller to make the dirt like cement. Not that YOU want it like cement, you are just wanting to pack it, but if you can in any way get your hands on water, it would make the dirt super pack. The right amount of water ALWAYS makes digging better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Westy View Post
    A proper level of asshatery without the typical douchebaggery.

  15. #14
    Turbo Monkey demo 9's Avatar
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    I should rephrase that, i plan to dig down, but i cant go that low, unless i make pits next to the pits to drain them. The grass is so thick that for there to be a trail, the ground has to be lower, right now i got lots of fresh clay for this landing, which is looking pretty good.

    This is how the pits have to be in order to not flood (as much?) ___--------____ riding on the dash part.
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  16. #15
    I give a shirt brungeman's Avatar
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    right on! We have been trying to explain to some of the local land managers that kickers and landers can be dug lower than flat ground in order to build up as you are digging down. Sh!t goes twice as fast!

    Oh and you were talking about the grassy soil around there... just a tip, if you can get your hands on a rototiller to loosen the dirt, you would be amazed at what you can stack and pack with the aid of something that will loosen the dirt. (it is our secret weapon) We don't have the money to rent or buy skid steer equipment (nor do we have permission to run it in the area we are digging), but a nice rear tine tiller can be yours off of craigslist for about the same cost as renting a walk behind skidsteer for 4 hours, and it is a lot less conspicuous! juss sayin!

    you got into clay? good!
    Quote Originally Posted by Westy View Post
    A proper level of asshatery without the typical douchebaggery.

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