Mcleods – Good? Other good tools for trail building?

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  • Mcleods – Good? Other good tools for trail building?
  • lyons
    Member

    Has anyone used one of THESE?

    I seem to remember that they are popular over the pond. I'm not sure if i think they look good or not though…

    I'm getting something similar to THIS this made for me… but with a metal handle and heavier duty so we can use it to whack down jumps etc. Any other good ideas?

    Cheers, Andy

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    We use them at Glentress, although I'm not a fan they are ok in a multi purpose way. I'm a gardener by trade so it may just be that I like to use my own tools, spade, rake etc. Mattock are very handy , depends on the kind of soil you have. McLeod will be more useful on lighter soils. Also we use a whacker plate for firming stuff up.

    lyons
    Member

    ok, well, we're building dirt jumps, rather than glentress type of stuff. We allready have mattacks, picks, shovels etc. A friend brought a plastic snow shovel up, and it was excellent whilst it lasted… But it broke really quickly… the soil near me is topsoil, then about 1.5 foot down, it turns to clay, then a few feet more and it starts to get very flinty…

    What do you use the mcleods for?

    I use a mattock a lot when building stuff here … we've a lot of gravel in the soil and I find it much easier/quicker than a spade. Good on roots too if you need to clear any. Whackers are worth their weight in gold too if you're building a lot but I recall mine was over £300 and that was a cheap one.

    Stuart

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    I know the man who makes the Stanes ones.

    If you know or have a welder all you need is a good quality spade, a grinde and hey presto 1 McLeod.
    Cut the shaft fron the spade, shape spade to same as picture and weld shaft to re-shaped spade, buy long shaft, seeemples as the meerkat says.

    When you get the hang of it it is good for shaping the ground. Once you have loosened the ground up with the matock use the spiky end for raking things up and the sqaure end for grading. Then use as a tamper to level stuff.

    It is all that was used early days before whacker plates becam ethe tool of choice.

    Personally I prefer a rake and macleod / tamper for working rollers and berms on pump tracks in very sandy, gravelly sub-soil.

    Azasdas or Chillington hoes can be very effective in more soily material. Moreso imo than a grubbing mattock.

    Long handled, swan neck shovels are also good. Long handles can save a load of effort and back-ache. They're probably the most similar thing to that snow shovel. You can get swan-necks in round point and square.

    juan
    Member

    i use a sledge hammer and a crow bar to build trail call it cultural differences 😉

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I don't like 'em myself, at least not for earthmoving, they really make it obvious how feeble I am. I can work a shovel or a mattock but macleods need a bit more core strength to work well I think. We don't use them for tamping down much so I guess that reduces their usefulness. I'd sooner use a shovel myself.

    lyons
    Member

    hmmm, I think i'll leave them to be honest, They dont look that good to me…. I'll definitely get an azada though at some point. I was watching some bmx vids where the use a 'flamethrower' to hard bake the take offs… 😯

    st
    Member

    Mcleods are a good do it all tool in a compromise kind of way (which is what they were designed for) but I prefer to have a selection of more regular tools to hand.

    Our group had 20 made about 7 years ago and they're all still going strong.

    They are good for cutting a trail but you can use a spade
    They cut through roots but a mattock will cut thicker
    They rake leaves, soil etc but a rake is better and lighter
    They compact trail, best hand tool I've used for this.

    So if you have a range of other tools you're not missing much.

    jedi
    Member

    rake, pick, spade hammer and saw for me

    lyons
    Member

    yeah, maybe I'm getting too 'scientific'/ I bought a swan neck shovel a few weeks back and it's great. Jedi, form your picks though, most of your stuff is made of wood? I mean, we're shifting really quite large ammounts of dirt, so anyway to make it easier and most importantly, faster is good really.

    langy
    Member

    Use them a fair bit down here in Adelaide.

    Saw and lopers to clear bushes/branches, Mattock to loosen everything up, one of these to fine tune – you can rake looser stuff down, scoop/scrape stuff off, rake grass/brambles leaves out of the way, use it to compress too. Pretty versatile, but def don't try to do too much with it – you still need the other tools to do the heavy work

    But it does depend on the ground type; they'd be fairly useless in clay stuff I'd think.

    jedi
    Member

    i build dirt too!

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