Stan: We don't know how well this is going to work. This is a complete-
Tim: Sounds to me, I was talking to the homeowner, he's been trying to tackle this hill for three years, and can't get anywhere with it. He keeps working on it. He's like, "You think you're going to get it done in a day?" I go, "Would that be depressing if we got it all done in a day for you?" He goes, "No."
Stan: We can actually see the bottom part. It's totaled out. That thing is done.
Stan: This was about as impossible as a job could get. A 2:1 slope that you could barely stand on, brush that was seven, maybe eight feet tall, but it wasn't just brush, it had stumps and logs buried and littered throughout. Then plus, on top of that, washouts that you could not see at all.
Stan: The first step is to get the Ventrac ready to clear the slope that then we can bring in a skid loader and scrape the slope down to turn this brush heap into a yard. Let's see how this goes.
Stan: We got the call that a property hasn't been mowed in three years, and it's not flat level ground, it's on a super steep hill with a swamp at the bottom, stumps and logs buried throughout, with a septic system in the middle, which keep us from using really big equipment. The first thing we do, get the Ventrac ready to go.
Tim: I'm going to raise it up to seven inches. Talking with Steve from Ventrac, says if you hit stumps, we're going to have a bad day.
Stan: Yeah? So you think the stumps are lower than seven inches?
Tim: No, but at least it's giving us a little bit of a ... And he said it's not really good for trees either, so we'll have to cut them down too. But he says-
Stan: I've cut them down with it.
Tim: ... at least if we put it up to seven inches, we might clear some rocks or something that we don't see.
Stan: Rocks, yeah. Rocks are the killer. So let's raise it up. How do you do it?
Tim: Just move these back pins to F, and now once we get the machine hooked up, we gotta just take the wheels and pull them down. So I just gotta unbolt them. I got tools here, so not that big of a deal.
Stan: So you got to unbolt the wheels to move them down?
Stan: What's it set at right now?
Tim: It's set at four inches.
Stan: Four, okay. Well, we'll see. We don't know. I mean, we don't know how well this is going to work. This is a complete-
Tim: Sounds to me, I was talking to the homeowner, he's been trying to tackle this hill for three years and can't get anywhere with it. He keeps working on it. It grows back. So let's see what this thing can do for him, and the tiller attachment.
Stan: How far down does he get it when he's trying to tackle it?
Tim: I think he clears it out. He had some bigger trees taken down last time I was here, but he says he's been working on it for a while now. He's like, "You think you're going to get it done in a day?" I go, "Would that be depressing if we got it all done in a day for you?" He goes, "No." But it's taken him a long time, so we'll see.
Stan: All right, guys. The hardest part about working in the dirt and liking animals, I mean, I don't kill any animals unless I'm going to eat them, including little teeny tiny frogs, is stopping what you're doing, walking over to where you can let them go safely, and putting them where they're going to be okay. I do this for toads, snakes, everything.
Tim: What do you think?
Stan: Well, I think while you're getting work done, I'm saving frogs.
Tim: What's that?
Stan: I said I think while you're getting work done, I'm trying to save frogs.
Tim: A lot of frogs down there, huh?
Stan: Yeah. Tree frogs, too.
Tim: How many?
Stan: I had three in my hand at one time.
Tim: I like those little tree frogs.
Stan: I do too. You don't see them that often. So what do you think?
Tim: I don't know what to base it off, judge it off of, you know? It might be faster with the skid steer, put an attachment in there, probably. Or would I get up and down? You definitely need tracks. There's so many, hitting stumps and stuff down there. You don't know what you're going over.
Stan: No. And I think clearing it once is good, and then go over it a second time just to get it knocked down. Then you can AERA-vator it and see if that actually does anything.
Tim: Yeah, I was thinking of going over next time, getting this top half, and then take the skid steer with the bucket, move some of the bigger stuff out of the way.
Stan: Oh yeah.
Tim: There's a cliff down on the other side, so I just don't want to go ...
Stan: Do we have to do below that cliff?
Tim: We can push all the brush right over the side of the cliff. Yeah, we can go down and around there. How long have I been at this? Half hour?
Stan: Something like that, yeah. But first time running it, you're not familiar with it.
Stan: And you're being careful, you don't feel like tipping and dying.
Tim: I don't feel like breaking something, hitting the blades on a big stump, you know?
Tim: Ain't no good.
Stan: Oi. Our field fix didn't last too long.
Tim: Belt's fried?
Stan: Yeah, belt's fried.
Stan: When it's had enough, it's had enough. All right, let's go see if we got another one.
Tim: Look like one portion of that belt was skinnier.
Stan: Yeah, it was. It was fried. It's fried. You can actually see the bottom part is totaled out. That thing is done! All right, well, we're just going to borrow another belt from the AERA-vator.
Tim: Which one's wore out?
Stan: I don't know.
Tim: I can't tell.
Stan: It's going to be tough. You guys tell me in the comments down below.
Tim: I hope we don't put the wrong one back on.
Stan: Golly, it's going to be sheer luck for us.
Tim: That's it, eh?
Stan: Let's put them ... Actually, put them ... Are they the exact same dimension, 'cause one came off from an AERA-vator. Well, I believe we got ...
Tim: Yeah, it could be a different belt altogether, huh?
Stan: Yup, could be. Different attachment, could be a different belt. What's the numbers say?
Tim: The wore out one says not much. You're looking at the wrong side of it anyway. There we go.
Tim: Nothing, man. Nothing.
Stan: Well, my dad used to say, "All a steer can do is try," and that's what we're going to do is try. We'll throw it on and see if it matches up. That looks like it's not going to match up. Doesn't it?
Tim: You gotta put it on this one first, huh? That how it goes, right?
Stan: Yup. That's not going to quite match up.
Tim: I think it'll be ... Think it's too big, huh?
Stan: I think it is. We'll find out.
Tim: This might work.
Stan: Okay, so we just lost the belt on our Ventrac, now I'm at Napa. So how's that work?
Napa Associate: Get it tight, a little deflection, and then right there, it'll line up what it should be.
Stan: Bring it closer, I can't see it.
Napa Associate: 4L 460.
Stan: So then you just find a universal one and-
Napa Associate: That's right.
Stan: ... we're good to go?
Napa Associate: Yup.
Stan: As fast as that.
Napa Associate: That's right.
Stan: That's slick.
Stan: How much more hill you going to mow?
Tim: All of it.
Stan: Well yeah, but all into the woods? All the way around the pond? I mean-
Tim: Just down, woods to woods, all the way down to the pond.
Stan: Well, after we got the new belt, the mowing went pretty fast. We got the entire hill done in probably four hours total time, but that just left more time for Tim to go play in his favorite piece of equipment, which is an excavator, and this is a skid loader, so he got to play in his second favorite piece of equipment, which is a skid loader. And this was a really steep site, but we pulled out the skid loader with tracks, didn't have much problem, and got the rest of the hill scrapped down to nothing and prepared for new seed and new, well yeah, grass.
Stan: So here's something I always like to try to include in my videos to help you guys out. The total for this project was around 5,000 bucks. That included clearing all of the slope of vegetation, then scrapping the scope down, setting the debris to the side, and regrading the slope, removing all of the stumps, and prepping it for a new yard. There was no materials hauled out or in, except for one load of black dirt, which was provided by the customer.