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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
During the big storm a couple of weeks ago, I cleared a lot of snow. I heard that it was the 3rd largest storm in Colorado history. I ran my snowblower for a full 7 hours on the first day after the storm and 3 hours the next day. There are a few close neighbors that I help after every storm, but I don't often help 11 of them plus clear major parts of the public road. People who usually just grab a shovel and get after it were overwhelmed by the depth and wetness of the snow. Along with the extra work came some lessons.

Using sunscreen is one lesson. Early in the work, I didn't have anything exposed. As the day warmed up, I started removing some of my head gear. The direct sun plus what was reflected back off the snow was pretty brutal.

The other acquired knowledge was to be more careful with the hidden hazards. I can't even stay on my own driveway after a major storm, so it's not hard to see how I could get off the edges on other people's lots. In one case, I thought I had plenty of clearance from a sheer drop off on the edge of a concrete bridge over a culvert. Suddenly the tractor tilted a bit to the left. I looked back and about half the rear wheel on the left side was over the edge. I also drove into some big rocks and lost a shear bolt.

So I bought some snow markers and I'll have them along with me when I clear snow. I'll mark the critical edges before I start operations at each property. To carry the snow markers, I made 2 quivers out of PVC pipe and caps.

782001


Each quiver will hold a dozen markers. The quivers will reside in the quick fist clamps on the sides of my chain boxes. I've already converted the tractor from snow removal to landscaping mode, so the photo below shows the I-match in storage and not on the tractor.

782002


I sized the quivers to just fit in the quick fist clamps. A couple dozen markers should be enough. If I made them bigger, I'd have to figure out how to mount them. Using the chain box clamps was easy. Not shown in the photos: There are 4 small holes in the bottom of each quiver so that any moisture that gets inside has an escape route.

782003


Keane
 

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Nice. (y)
What's with the cable ties and 2x4 on the iMatch release levers?
 

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When you push down on the I Match handles when they are in the "locked position", it can release the locking latch, just as lifting the handle does, based upon how the latch operates with the pivot pin in the linkage.

By blocking the handles from being able to pushed down and using the zip tie to prevent the handle from lifting up, it assures the implement stays on the I match until the zip tie is removed.

Push down on your I match handles and watch the locking tab on the pins, as I have seen them retract to the open position, which could release the bushing in the I match under some circumstances. I found this by leaning on the handles when trying to reach something, and I noticed the latch retract when the handle was pushed down just as it does when the handle is lifted. I would imagine that's why he has the blocks and zip ties, to make sure it stays locked no matter what.

Nice job on the marker quivers, Keane. You never miss a detail.......(y)
 

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A good marker post driver can be made from some black iron pipe and a threaded cap, like a miniature T-post driver. If you cut it to correct length to where it touches the ground when your post is in the ground far enough all of your marker posts will be uniform. That makes quick work of driving those little posts in hard or rocky ground.
 

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Driving the fiberglass markers directly into the ground only works if the ground cooperates. I have a lot of gravel where I need to drive mine and broke a few before I learned. Now I have a metal rod just a smidge bigger around than the markers. I use the mini sledge to drive that in pushing aside small gravel, or moving it over a couple inches with larger gravel down there, and sliding the marker into its new home by hand. I try for at least 8" down. The markers survive installation that way. After a day or so the ground adjusts and holds them tight. I also put them up at the beginning of snow season and take them down at the end. Just the way it is done around here.

Nice quivers. I use different sizes of pvc to hold all sorts of things for storage or controlled transport. None are mounted to tractor George though.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Nice. (y)
What's with the cable ties and 2x4 on the iMatch release levers?
The cable ties and 2X4's are half of the safety system I use when storing the I-match on the HeavyHItch cart and weight rack. When the I-match is stored this way, if someone unknowingly operated the levers on the I-match it would be dumped on the floor, possibly causing injury. You can read about this approach to storing the I-match (which I do whenever the backhoe is installed or I'm mowing) at this post. If you read down a few more posts in that thread, you'll see I added a more permanent 2nd half of the safety protocol by drilling a new hole in the HeavyHitch weight rack. By putting a pin in this hole, the I-match can't separate from the top hook, either.

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Discussion Starter #8
I really have 2 use modes for these snow markers. For my own property, I can go out in advance of a big storm and secure them in the ground. They sell a special drill bit for drilling in frozen earth. A photo is attached below. The tip on this bit looks a lot like a masonry bit (also shown for comparison), but the fluting is much wider and more open.

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When I help someone else clear their property, it will have already snowed. I can stick the markers in the snow and then remove them as soon as I'm done. I carry a small entrenching shovel on my tractor in case I need to dig down to figure out where to put the markers.

Keane
 
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good ideas!
 

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You guys don't just install then in the fall and remove them in the spring? I would think northern CO would have a pretty constant layer of snow for the winter, maybe not. Never would consider using a drill to install the markers, I just use a small hammer but again never tried to do it when the ground was frozen.

I do like the quiver could be useful for other items as well.
 

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I use the same "quiver" on my ATV and XUV to carry survey flags to mark holes in the ground and areas of fence that need to be repaired. Ever try to relocate an armadillo hole in a pasture? The flags help! Like your idea.
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
You guys don't just install then in the fall and remove them in the spring? I would think northern CO would have a pretty constant layer of snow for the winter, maybe not. Never would consider using a drill to install the markers, I just use a small hammer but again never tried to do it when the ground was frozen.

I do like the quiver could be useful for other items as well.
Colorado weather is interesting and unpredictable in the short term and in the long term. We live in a pocket south of Fort Collins and north of Denver. Both of those areas get more snow than we do, but we get a lot more wind along the foothills. The snow may try to come down in our area, but the wind blows it all north or south. This winter, we have had only one snow where the snowblower was needed. Usually, there are about 4 uses per year. For the rest of the snows, the blade is more than adequate. I've lived in this area for over 40 years. I remember one January where I didn't wear a coat for 3 weeks straight. I also remember the year I moved here we had 14 inches of snow on June 2. I couldn't get out of my driveway, so I had to walk to work. They next day, it was all gone. All of it.

I probably don't want to put markers up in the fall for several reasons. We have herds of elk and deer come thorough our property in the winter months. It gets too cold for them up in the mountains and they winter in the foothills. The elk can be very destructive, especially to something fairly fragile like a snow marker or small trees or even larger trees and bushes. It's nothing intentional, they're just huge (adults weigh 450 to 1000 lbs.) and wouldn't even notice a snow marker that they knocked over. The deer are less destructive, but still can be a problem. The deer herds are small, but we've seen elk herds in the hundreds.

An elk herd behind our home:
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Keane
 

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Besides, nibbling on the fiberglass rods could be fatal to them.

Sounds like you might have been able to wait a day or so and it would have been gone anyway, either melt or wind.
 
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