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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So at a RR crossing about a mile from my house (I’m in the country with little traffic) I noticed last week they had dozens of new RR ties lining both sides of the track; today coming home they were there putting them in. So I asked if could “procure” some of the old ones. They said sure they just get ground up; take as many as I want.

Score! I want to use them for backstops on a shooting range I’m going to build.

So my question is: what’s the fastest/easiest way to load up RR ties? Pallet forks or grapple? I’m betting somebody here has loaded them...I never have and want to use what works best.

I’m going to drive my 30’ flatbed to that crossing...have my wife follow; take me back to house and drive the tractor there to load up my trailer with a yet to be decided number. Min 34; may do 68 if I think I should have the back stop be 2 ties thick. 34 would give me approximately 10’ high and 16’ long. If having 2 ties thick then hence double that to 68....


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Either forks or grapple will work for that job. If I had both, I would probably use the forks, but this is one of those trial and error projects. I would suggest taking both to the site and be prepared.

Dave
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have both. My first thought was forks. RR company have them piled up in nice rows so I thought I could get a whole bunch with one scoop. I think I could keep them more organized with the forks so I can get more in less space on the trailer. I just don’t want to take forever doing it and get some “looks” from people that happen to drive by and bring attention to myself! Even though the supervisor there today said no problem; take what you want!

Then I thought well maybe the grapple would be better...lol as I think I could get a bunch in one scoop with it too....then I thought GTT! I bet somebody has OPS checked this and knows what the most efficient method is!


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If they are stacked with something under them the forks would probably be faster. If they are flat on the ground, I'd use a grapple. Either way, I'd suggest putting something on the trailer so that you can use forks to unload if you want to.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If they are stacked with something under them the forks would probably be faster. If they are flat on the ground, I'd use a grapple. Either way, I'd suggest putting something on the trailer so that you can use forks to unload if you want to.

Treefarmer
I’ll recon on my way to work in the morning. As I drove by earlier it looked like they are just on the ground. That would be sweet if they set them on something to make it easy on the company that picks them up to grind them...but the RR company probably doesn’t care if it’s easy on those workers!

Good call on setting them on something so I can fork them off. I’ll probably just throw like 4 on the trailer initially and then rotate them so they are parallel with the axles around 6’ apart; then I can set the grapple loads down so they rest on those which allows the forks to get under them super easy.

At least it sounds easy typing it!


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Get'em while they are hot.

Grapples grab anything, any shape, any time.

Unloading you can do at your leisure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
FWIW, we made a RR tie shooting backstop years ago and made it 2 ties thick. It held up great.
I’d be curious if anything can even go through one RR tie....I have a 338 Lapua. That’s the biggest round I’d be using. But mainly handgun rounds and occasional 5.56/7.62 and buckshot. Lesser amounts of 6.5 creed, 300 win mag, 500 S&W (the more expensive stuff)!

But the overkill in me was thinking two thick would be a good safety margin. I may eventually even put some dirt behind the ties but it wouldn’t be necessary immediately. This is much faster using old RR ties that are free....versus me digging and creating a 8-10’ berm!

But I think hearing you used 2 deep I will shoot for that as well. That means I need to “procure” 68 of them.....that may take me a while! Lol


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Don't forget those ties are heavy. Average weight is 200#. 10 will probably fit on your forks, but you might have a problem lifting them.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't forget those ties are heavy. Average weight is 200#. 10 will probably fit on your forks, but you might have a problem lifting them.

Dave
I honestly didn’t know they were THAT heavy. I’ll be giving the FEL a workout then on the 4066! With only 30 hours she could use a good workout! I know lift capacity from Deere is around 2300; but from what I’ve seen videos wise; it will lift more. But you’re right it may be tough to get more than 10 at a time anyway.

I’m hoping for my sake there are 70 very close together and stacked nicely so as to not take me a long time.


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Years and years ago, wife wanted a swimming pool. Living on a hill side , FIL working for a company that was removing old subway tracks in NY. One of his coworkers was working that job , he delivered to us apx 250 used RR ties with his F250 . If not mistaken he could haul 18 if they were normal length , if used for road crossing they were longer and he could only haul 15 on each load.
The first 50 or 75 RR ties I needed help placing the ties , by the 100 or so tie I could pick them up myself and place them on the wall. By the end of placing these ties I could lift the ties 3-6' high and place them on the wall.
I'm thinking your plan is much easier and faster than the way I would handle these. Oh if I would have had the even 2210 or much earlier model I would have used the tractor. ..
 

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in my opinion forks are the way go go as long as the ground your driving on is fairly smooth and level.......also depends on the type of grapple you have......i would probably fork ~4+ at a time and just dump then on the trailer bed for speed you can always unload with a grapple or even push them off....i would probably also use stakes on the trailer bed to avoid having to do a lot of strapping down ....i agree with in-n-out quick before people start asking questions etc....no need to deal with issues
 

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I noticed used RR ties are now selling for $20 at Menards. I paid $6 for them last spring. I backed up to the pile and slid them onto the back of my truck. They are heavy, but I loaded them by myself without much trouble. I didn’t lift the whole tie at once , just got one end on the truck , then pushed it on.

RR ties don’t hold up very long when used as a back stop at a rifle range. Might be fine a a home range. But a range where there’s people shooting every day the ties will break down. They switch to used tires from RR ties to help with erosion of the dirt berm that’s used as a backstop at the local gun club.
 

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Are they creosote treated?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
in my opinion forks are the way go go as long as the ground your driving on is fairly smooth and level.......also depends on the type of grapple you have......i would probably fork ~4+ at a time and just dump then on the trailer bed for speed you can always unload with a grapple or even push them off....i would probably also use stakes on the trailer bed to avoid having to do a lot of strapping down ....i agree with in-n-out quick before people start asking questions etc....no need to deal with issues
The ground is pretty level near the road crossing. I will take a look in the morning with a better eye as to layout for ease of loading them. Here’s the grapple I have. AV20E? Or something like that. It’s a bit chopped off in the pic...




I wasn’t going to secure them at all; but I could put stake pocket d rings in along the side to prevent sliding off; but if they are stacked 3-5 high if they fall it will be the top ones. It’s about 1.2 miles on a gravel road away from my house. With two turns. So I think I’d be fine if I go super slow....


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I noticed used RR ties are now selling for $20 at Menards. I paid $6 for them last spring. I backed up to the pile and slid them onto the back of my truck. They are heavy, but I loaded them by myself without much trouble. I didn’t lift the whole tie at once , just got one end on the truck , then pushed it on.

RR ties don’t hold up very long when used as a back stop at a rifle range. Might be fine a a home range. But a range where there’s people shooting every day the ties will break down. They switch to used tires from RR ties to help with erosion of the dirt berm that’s used as a backstop at the local gun club.
I could see that for sure on a public range. I imagine they will do pretty good for just me and wife...occasional buddy that comes over. To prolong them I can slowly start to build up dirt in front to where 90% of rounds go into dirt. Then RR ties would be for the “flier” and additional safety buffer. But I liked the idea of free ties like 1.2. Irks from my house that would allow me to shoot handgun round immediately and not force me into many hours of dirt/loader work! I’m a cheap ass!


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I could see that for sure on a public range. I imagine they will do pretty good for just me and wife...occasional buddy that comes over. To prolong them I can slowly start to build up dirt in front to where 90% of rounds go into dirt. Then RR ties would be for the “flier” and additional safety buffer. But I liked the idea of free ties like 1.2. Irks from my house that would allow me to shoot handgun round immediately and not force me into many hours of dirt/loader work! I’m a cheap ass!


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I’m kinda surprised they would let you take them. When they redid the tracks by me the old ties got loaded onto trucks. I figured they got sold to store like Menards for landscaping.

I just used dirt for a back stop for my rifle range at the cabin. I have berms at 25 and 50 yards. I dug into a hill at 100 yards . That’s where I got the dirt for the berms. I seeded the berms with cheap grass seed. Seems to be working ok with with just I ,my brother and dad using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Are they creosote treated?
I have no clue honestly. That’s what makes them really black and tar-like looking? From my drive by they didn’t really look black at all...more brown. But still not sure really....I can get a closer look in the morning and perhaps know for sure.


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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I’m kinda surprised they would let you take them. When they redid the tracks by me the old ties got loaded onto trucks. I figured they got sold to store like Menards for landscaping.

I just used dirt for a back stop for my rifle range at the cabin. I have berms at 25 and 50 yards. I dug into a hill at 100 yards . That’s where I got the dirt for the berms. I seeded the berms with cheap grass seed. Seems to be working ok with with just I ,my brother and dad using it.
I was too. The dude working told me they just get ground up and destroyed. I asked if I needed to hurry. He told me the work they did like 5 miles away...that they took them out almost a year ago and they are all still sitting next to the tracks. But I’m still gonna try and get them before the weekend.


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I have no clue honestly. That’s what makes them really black and tar-like looking? From my drive by they didn’t really look black at all...more brown. But still not sure really....I can get a closer look in the morning and perhaps know for sure.


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Yes. Its what makes them all black like. You can tell if theyre treated by chipping off a small piece and smelling it. It will have an old fuel smell to it. They (the RR people) should tell you if they are anyway. I dont think theyre allowed to give them away if they do have creosote in them and have to dispose of them properly. Atleast around here anything creosote treated is frowned upon and must be removed or disclosed to be on a property before sale or building anything on. If creosote treated, be careful taking them home cuz that will contaminate your soil
 
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