What can you do about this sort of Track damage?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:52
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Well we roamed far and wide over the Vic high country over christmas and
as a general comment I found the whole scene pleasant and the tracks basically dry and while not always easy the tracks were more of an interesing drive rather than difficult.

Come New years eve, and while Melbourne was a wash out, we camped in the best spot at Talbotville and had a mild near perfect evening, which would have beed almost dull if not for a few imprompt fireworks.

However , while we were lazing about , massive rains and local flooding were occurring in parts of Victoria.

One area badly hit was Alexandra and our own bush block nearby.

Thats fine , we have had rain before I think , but what a shock when we rolled up a few days later.

A few weeks ago we posted about a storm which caused a huge amount of trees to be smashed and splinted all over the places closing most tracks, we thought that was bad.
However over time trees can be removed generally and tracks re-opened but the water damage and erosion this rain caused this time is the most I have ever seen, and short of getting in an expensive bulldozer I really have little idea about what can be done !

Two photo's here show how water has flooded down a gentle slope had just ripped through the centre of a major connecting track.
The erosion was caused in a single overnight downpour and has moved hundreds of tons of dirt and rocks and created ruts more than a meter deep and wide essentially destroying the track.

Its easy to view a picture and think , yep thats a big rut , but when you sit back and try to imagine what amount of water flow could have done this in a single hit its very concerning.

Some of the rocks moved and washed over 100 meters were some 50kg each and probably had the potential to seriously injure anyone caught there that evening.


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Reply By: Wherehegon - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:17

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:17
Great you have put a description as to the pics other wise the greenies would have blamed 4wd users for damaging the tracks, Amazing what nature can do. Regards Steve
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 11:57

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 11:57
Yes, perhaps I should have imbedded some text into the picture Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 19:11

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 19:11
I was up in the Corryong area when that storm came through. It was heavy stuff. While I sympathize with Robin, Wheregon, your comment shows little knowledge of either greens or the issue. It is precisely because tracks can result in the beginning of significant erosion that then becomes cumulative that greens have concerns about tracks on major slopes. A chanel through the trees can do exactly that as you dont get all those trees deflecting water around them and it gathers into one channel. As others have noted, berms etc can mitigate the effects, but it all adds significantly to the construction cost.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 22:09

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 22:09
Maybe we could embed some greenies in the tracks
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 09:23

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 09:23
Just in case a casual reader of this forum might gain the impression that all contributors are anti greenie rednecks like wherehegon, there are many who use this site who are passionate 4WDers, but who respect the environment.

Gratuitous comments like those from wherehegon and Bonz do little to advance the cause of those of us who want to responsibly use the bush. They are inflammatory, unhelpful, and don't reflect the views of all Exploroz users.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 13:14

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 13:14
BOB, firstly I'm not a ""anti greenie red necks"" as you put it. I'm all for not damaging the forest's and tread lightly as they say when we are out 4wdriving. I don't make my own tracks but follow the one's already in place. Where were all the greenies helping fighting the fires on black saturday ??? Where are the greenies when other fires start up ??? Sitting in there lounge chairs with the aircon running, a while ago there was a protest by the greenies on the news, what did I notice, one of them standing at the back waving his arms around finish his smoke and throw it on the ground ??? At least mine go in the bin, ashtray or empty can of coke if in my car. My first comment was made because as soon as there is any damage done to tracks, or any of the like they blame responsible 4wd people like myself and others for damage. I don't drive around looking for bog holes trying to make the ruts deeper then they already are, I don't go punching through the scrub knocking down what ever tree's, shrubs I see. I don't crap on the ground and just leave it there covered in toilet paper, I don't go cutting trees down for fire wood when my wife and 2 year old are out camping, we use what ever is laying on the ground and extinguish it before leaving. DONT make out I'm some red neck from the hills when you have no idea of the respect my wife and I have for the land of Australia. I have lived in numerous places including country areas which is where my mother and grandmother were from and the Blue Mountains and have stood at the back of our property fighting the fires from entering our back door along with many other neighbours, didn't have the greenie who lived 5 doors up out with his hose helping any one. To any visitors who may be reading this welcome to exploroz.......................Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 16:31

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 16:31
Fair enough Wheregon, you don't like being stereotyped as a redneck. Then why stereotype "greens" in the same way. Plenty of greens are in organizations like the CFA and SES etc. As I said in my response to your original post, your comment showed a lack of knowledge of the issues, but you didn't hesitate to take the opportunuty to use exactly the sort of stereotyping you take offence at in relation to yourself.
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Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 17:26

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 17:26
That's a fair comment, but when I refer to greenies, most I imagine would know I'm referring to the type that get on their high horse and want to shut all the tracks down and blame everyone that owns a 4wd for damaging the tracks, the type that stop all the back burning needed to reduce the fire hazard, which is what caused the fires to be at our back door when living in the mountains as rejecting our claims to reduce the amount of gums just at the fence line which also stopped the fire trucks been able access the land to fight the fires (Im talking over a period of years). These are the type of people I'm referring to NOT the ones that work their butts off when there are fires and the volunteer's who put there life on the line without been payed for it but would reduce the danger to themselves and others if back burning was allowed. If I have offended anyone by using the term "greenies" then I apologise, but to the ones that sit in their air conditioned houses fighting for better green house emission's etc then they are hypocrites. Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 17:32

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 17:32
And that's fair enough Steve.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 17:38

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 17:38
Geez BOB, hop up here on the high horse with me why don't you? Greenies are greenies, classical protesters, they don't cause about THE cause just about A cause, whatever is on the table that day, THATS what greenies are protesting about. Where do you think you get off collaring people as Red Necks for a comment about an extreme view, which incidentally is the exact same tone you used in your reply, just holding the other end of the stick.

Greenies and Greens are two different things too IMHO. Greens are, or should be, our allies in our love of the bush. SO please don't get the terms mixed up.

We are all environmentalists here, or most of us, not greenies or tree huggers or the like but people who have a balanced view and treasure the bush, the environment and should be working to preserve what we have and make it better for future generations.

Just in case a casual reader of this forum might gain the impression that all contributors are knee-jerk thread repliers like BOB, there are many who use this site who are passionate 4WDers, but who respect the environment and can see the forest for the trees.

Gratuitous comments like those from BOB do little to advance any cause. They are inflammatory, unhelpful, and don't reflect the views of all Exploroz users, including me.


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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 22:38

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 22:38
Steve,

I accept what you say, but your initial post could be misinterpreted.

Bonz,

I seem to have touched a raw nerve :-)

How dare I question something like "Maybe we could embed some greenies in the tracks".

At least you rednecks are aware that not everyone on this forum thinks like you.


Bob
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:00

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:00
Not at all Bob I am glad all forum people dont think like each other thats what makes the place so rich, red necks hahahaha the jibe of the unintelligent hahahaha
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Reply By: Dunedigger - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:33

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:33
Unless a bulldozer can win some gravel on the side of the road, you don't have much choice but to re gravel and then get a good camber in


With tracks as step as that you need to have a lot of camber so the water runs off to the sides, and then through 300mm pipes under the road.

As well as that, some roll-over banks will also help to turn the water off preventing so much damage.

It will always require maintenance to prevent erosion. However that, can be reduced it you keep as left to the track to stop wheel ruts forming.

Sorry but that is the bad news, the good news is that may not get such heavy rain for the next 5 years, but you have to keep the track prepared for that.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:37

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:37
That sounds like the right way DuneDigger , but I am trying to look for an easy way out as it will probably be just me doing the work.
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Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:34

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:34
HI Robin,

I can sympathise with you as we had a similar problem at our bush block north of Brisbane last year after very heavy rains about Easter.
I had to get a bobcat and excavator in to fix up one of our tracks - used 60c cubic metres to fill washouts. We found a section of the property that had suitable road building material - clay type soil mixed with small rocks - and "made" a small quarry to use for road material.
I've tried to minimse future damage by building swales across track at strategic intervals to take run off across track rather than continuing down track. Our property is probably steeper than yours and track erosion will be an on going issue of maintenance. Eventually I am planning to buy an old bobcat to leave up there to do my own maintenance on an on going basis.
All you can do is minimise the risk of future damage by building swales and even placing concrete pipes to take water across track.

Cheers
Here are some pics of our damage (these don't actuall show the worst section) of washouts which were about 500mm deep:

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Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:40

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:40
Sorry I posted the wrong pic (second one)
This is the right one for caption:
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Cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:39

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:39
Hi - Wamuranman

Looks like you get more water up your way as its lovely and green , but then I guess its gotta flow somewhere.
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Reply By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:38

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:38
Hi Robin.
I'd guess that this is why the NPWS puts anti-erosion berms on tracks, they slow down & deflect running water to prevent this type of damage.

Before our last bout of rain we put an anti-erosion berm in the access road to prevent it from turning into a river, it seems to work, now instead of water running down the road, it just pools.

Lots of luck with the clean up.

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Follow Up By: Wilk0 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 10:20

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 10:20
Hi Robin,

2nd what Jeff. has said.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:43

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:43
Seems to work well in the Hi country as well guys , but the clean up and stopping it getting worse is where we are at now , need to come up with some high powered low cost earth moving system.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 11:05

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 11:05
Another trick we've found successful when putting berms across the track to stop erosion is to half bury a hardwood sleeper in the top of the berm, the square edges of the sleeper create a mini dam which deflects the water better. Treated pine sleepers don't work as well as the timber is softer and they lose their sharp edge with traffic.
On seldom travelled tracks you can get away with a hardwood 3 x 2 as long as it is anchored well at the ends.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 12:57

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 12:57
Hi Robin & Ozhumvee,

Something that has been put across a track near me is half buried, on edge, a 300 mm wide strip industrial conveyor belt. It is angled across the track at about 45 degrees. When driven over it folds down and then pops back up again. The above ground standing part of the belt diverts water off the side of the track.

KK
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Reply By: tim_c - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 12:43

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 12:43
Nup, must have been carved out over thousands of years - a single rainstorm couldn't do that much damage?! ;-)
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:40

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 18:40
Gee maybe I have found a sarcred site - don't tell anyone please Tim
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Reply By: Member - A J- Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:47

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:47
Robin - I think I saw those wheel tracks in thread 74496 just before Christmas.


A J
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 15:43

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 15:43
Hi A J

No that was a mud bash - thread 74390 was much closer to home , and I'm starting to think that I might cut up some of the dead trees to fill in the ruts with as they are higher up the track than the ruts.
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Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 15:44

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 15:44
Naughty, naughty boy! :-)
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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 07:58

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 07:58
Suger coat it any way you like Robin, but AJ is on the ball.

Steve.
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Reply By: Out of here - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 17:20

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 17:20
For tracks that are not going to get annual maintenance this is what to do...

Basically the track needs to be constructed with Woo Boys at regular intervals. If done correctly you pick up the water from a small amount of road and then run it across the road in front of the Woo boy and thus prevent that type of damage. The worst that happens then is some slight damage at the hillside of the woo boy.

Cheers Tony
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:29

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:29
I'm sure thats right Tony , but I guess I'm looking for a practical solution that can be done by myself and I don't have a bulldozer etc.

I have a plan now though , and have an electric jack hammer which I have tested to-night off a 1.5kw square wave inverter running from the car.

Its a bit hairy but I will test out the practicallity of using this to help dig such a woo boys this weekend.
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Reply By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:21

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:21
Robin,
I would have thought that this would now be a place where you can hone your skills in using the lockers you have...

Cheers
Dave
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Reply By: The Boss (Formerly Kroozer) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 16:59

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 16:59
That sort of damage happens every year up here during the wet. Same spots year after year until a different method of patching it is used or until the track has been altered to allow better drainage.

Only thing you can do is patch it up, and try adding some sort of draining method or divertion. Easiest method is to do it properly the first time, talk to your local shire civil engineer.
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Reply By: Member - Axle - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 19:28

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 19:28
G/Day Robin,....MMMMMM,!!!... i do repairs to washouts like that from time to time...after years being on excavators, i can only advise this!

Looking at your pics i can see that the water is travelling down the side of the track and then getting diverted into a wheel rut which then becomes the main drain down the centre of the road. you must get the water out of the side drain and diperse it over the bank at regular intervals!,I notice on the lower side of the road you have a embankment which will make this dificult, but unfortunateley unless you use heavy gear and a roller ...well...you are just bleep in the wind,.... Forget the little jackhammer!!, Hrs of work will disappear in five mins., in the next storm......Bit blunt i know. but there is know quick cheap fix!


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 20:01

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 20:01
Hi Axle

Thanks for that assesment , its actually quite difficult to get to this area as its below a rock based wall and it takes a 4wd going slow to get near where the pictures were taken.

I will have it checked over next few weeks by someone I know who has an excavator, but I do need to persue some real action now as further rain of a moderate nature will make it worse.

I have my little setup ready to test now and on saturday I will attempt to jack hammer a channel from the drop off on one side of the road to the main centre drain.

Doing this will lower the road about a foot and I will push that dirt into the main drain hence building it up.
If this works then I will go from the main drain to the embankment side of the track and will end up with a nice run off.

This won't be easy and I estimate I will have to manually smash about 4 cubic meters of road.

I accept as you say that even if I can achieve this with an inverter powered hammer off the car that if will be useless against any significant run off unless rolled.

I have no means to compress the dirt,beyond walking it , as even the car can not be positioned to squash it. Perhaps throwing cement dust over the berm
will help locate it.

I have just gotta hope that forecasted rain will be light and that I can make a berm solid enough to take it.

I know it seems a long shot , and I would need some 10 such berms to make a difference but with the resources available I see no practical alternatives





















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Follow Up By: Member - Axle - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 20:26

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 20:26
Understand Mate, ....Hope there is a drought for a few months just for your sake...lol.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: smakibbfb - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 13:57

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 13:57
Looks like this track damage was caused by over use by bikes. I suggest some preventative maintenance was way overdue as there is no where for runoff.
Get the bike riders to clean it up with pick and spade. My twopence.
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