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Discussion Starter #1
At one time there was a public road that passed behind my house, down the side of the hill to the bottom of the ravine and then across the stream and up the other side. Even 20 years ago, it was more pasasable than now. As with anything along the side of a hill, things sort of slide, including the road bed. What was once a fairly level path, now tilts down hill to the point that a small lawn tractor slides sideways toward the edge. Hard to believe cars ran up and down that road 50 years ago.

I want to cut the path wider by cutting a foot or two into the hillside Any tips for laying this out?
 

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I am assuming you mean that the side of the hill is washing down over the roadbed? Using a front end loader or track hoe
against the uphill portion and cut in parallel to the road. problem is now you have a vertical wall that could collapse. You need to feather the grade uphill and plant some fast growing cover to hold the dirt back. You may wish to trim any trees and bushes that have since grown where you want road. Layout is sort of an eyeball thing. You may want to consult with an excavator first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually the path is too narrow for even a skid steer right now. The surface was about level from side to side 20 years ago. The surface from side to side now tilts about 10 to 15 degrees toward the edge/drop off. Sort of like the way fence posts on the side of a hill start tilting down hill after a few decades.
 

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treedaddy said:
good operator and a smaller dozer would probably do it.
+ 1 on the small dozer. But are you sure that it is not a public road anymore? Check this out before you spend the money. And after you fix the road all the 4 wheelers in the county will be using it.
 

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Not sure without looking. Dozer will clear pretty easy as long as you are able to push slip over the lower side. Not sure what you are getting into but might need drainage on hillside side of path to make this worth your time. A few pipes taking the water from the high side is a good plan A. Are you thinking of putting in a "road" base? You might be peeing in the wind if not.
 

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maybe a rototiller would loosed the dirt enough on the high side where it could be raked by hand ?? I have one of those small echo 2 cycle tiller ( looks like the mantis you see on tv ) it will actually move a lot of dirt if you pull it backwards towards you ,
 

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You could do it with a bulldozer, excavator, backhoe, or 4wd compact utility tractor. If soil composition and moisture patterns are a problem you might need to add appropriate remedies into the plan. If it is hard pack clay and stone probably just an outward side slope (outslope)for runoff is enough, if its wet prone then runoff cross cuts might be needed (these work nice in most cases), if really bad then an uphill side ditch with a cross culvert pipe might be best either with an inslope to it or crowned (inslope and outslope).

An excavator or backhoe can simply dig a level path (to include slope for runoff) from a lo or high starting point, either up or down. They dig and level as they go.

A dozer with 6 way tilt can VERY easily do it. I live in the Endless Mountains, steep and rocky. It's a land of logging, bluestone quarries, and recently natural gas pipelines. Dozers are the workhorse and have no issue cutting access roads across slopes. There are narrow steep skid trails put in by bulldozer all over. They work their way as they go, cut and level out in front of them.

4wd compact utility tractors are like billy goats and work fine for narrow jobs. If the operator decided it was safe enough to traverse they would drag a tilted heavy duty back blade or grader box and make an initial cut/notch and on subsequent passes make the cut deeper and wider. Once you have a notch wide enough for the uphill wheel things get a whole lot safer because you can't slide sideways with that wheel in the notch. From there a little at a time with each pass you just keep cutting it down wider.

With a 4wd tractor if it is too steep to make a straight go of it. Then you pick at it with the back blade or grader box. You pull towards yourself several feet at a time making it level continually working backwards. The engagement is several feet behind the tractor so the tractor can stay on the level and you pull 6 new feet towards you making it level. You cut in on the uphill side and deposit over the downhill side, ends up level. You can do a few hundred feet in a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I used a roto-tiller last May to widen part of the path. (about 20 feet of it.) It was only three feet wide there and is now 4.5 to 5 feet. The drop off on the down hill side is almost 20 feet in places. Even at a 60 degree slope that is alot of fill on the down hill side.

My Deere 210C back hoe is just too heavy and wide, at about 7 feet

Thanks for all the replies. Been looking for a sub compact 4wd tractor that could traverse this path and haul a small trailer load of wood back up.
 

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A dozer will be fastest, but your backhoe can do it - start by backing up to it at the downslope end, cutting with the hoe on the upper side, and placing the fill on the lower side, leveling as you go. Move up parking on the newly leveled area and repeat. By backing uphill, the machine will dig better as the weight of the machine downhill of the digging will anchor it better. Perhaps better stated, if you start at the uphill end and dig below you, the act of digging will pull you down the hill. The front bucket on a how is for anchoring you when you dig w/ the hoe, and moving loose materials, not grading per se.
 
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