Barrett Brown with Singletrack Tools, a specialty trail equipment company based in Oregon, invited Westside Trail Federation out to their factory proving grounds near North Plains for a closer look at their production prototype ST 240 machine. 30 LBS Skunk Productions, a Vancouver, B.C. based film crew, was also on site shooting footage for upcoming documentary about freeride trail building.
"It was impressive to see this machine specifically built for construction of singletrack trail (24 to 30 inches) doing its thing with engineer who designed it at the controls! Could immediately see benefit of using an ST 240 for bulk of 'heavy lifting' when developing a new trail (or doing rerouting/reclamation during maintenance) while teams of volunteers handle putting finishing touches on trail features. This might seem like cheating but what I saw was 50 yards of full bench cut including a grade reversal along a 75 degree sideslope in same time it'd take a dedicated 5 person crew all morning to cut... And it got done with this machine in under an hour without breaking a sweat. I agree with Barrett (see video for commentary)... that this represents a whole lot of volunteer sweat equity that can now be focused on things like sculpting perfect berms and dialing in jumps/trannys." -
Related news... Northwest Trail Alliance will be submitting an application for 2010 RTP grant funding to help with purchase of such a machine as ST 240 to be used as a "co-op" tool for regional mountain bike trail construction volunteer organizations. Keep eye on nw-trail.org site for details.