GLDS Takes on ORV Route Grading

In 2023 GLDS has started grading ORV Routes. Specifically we’ve added the Atlanta and Indian River ORV Routes to our ORV Grant for grading during the 2023 season. Part of the reason for this is to help grow the ORV Program and get more Clubs grading more of the Routes and put ORV dollars back on the ground. Our Club also manages the Snowmobile Trails in Atlanta, which share much of these ORV Routes, so by keeping the trails/routes in good shape during summer, they will be that much better in the winter. The better kept and more fun the ORV Routes are, the more people will want to use them, keeping more of the traffic off of the county and forest roads.

We are running an older Champion 710A motor grader, which has an 12 foot wide blade. This allows us to cut under the whoops/chatter bumps and move the looser material to the side. Depending on the terrain, we may put 1 pass or need to make 2 passes. For 2 pass areas, we cut a bit deeper to one side and spread towards the middle/other side to allow for better water management on each pass.

Ideally the motor grader would be used once per year to do the heavy lifting and then a tractor with a pull-type grader/drag would be used to maintain the Routes for the other passes during the year. Our Club does not yet have a tractor and drag to perform those summer “maintenance” passes and so will be running the motor grader for all three sessions per system in this initial year.

Questions we’ve been asked:

We run 2-4MPH. The grader weighs over 34K pounds but does not have front wheel assist. The deepest/fluffiest sand is a challenge if it’s dry. It takes several days to grade a system the size of Atlanta. We currently camp and it takes three trips to haul the camper, the support trailer and the grader.

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