As some of you may know I purchased an older (1980) Case 224 a few years ago to ease the work load on a piece of property we own. Up till now the work has consisted of hauling fairly light loads of leaves and brush with a little mowing thrown in.
Over the last couple weeks it got a real workout and came through with flying colors. We had to take down some oak trees a while ago and the intent was to use the wood in the fireplace. Long story short it didn't work out as well as planned.
It was time to get rid of the wood rather than have it rot in place. I originally tried hauling it up a steep slope 1 piece at a time (the biggest tree was 42" in diameter at the base). The entire area is covered in hardwood mulch about 6" - 8" deep and is quite soft. After about 3 loads I knew this wasn't the answer so I hooked the trailer to the 224 and gave it a try.
I loaded about 1,000 lbs. into the trailer and started up the hill. The first trip was a huge learning curve. Even though I started out slow and steady the wheels started to spin at the softest and steepest points. I had to stop and unload about half the wood just to make it up the hill. The second trip was a little easier, and as time went on it became almost second nature.
I quickly learned to keep the engine at about 1/2 throttle and use the hydraulic flow lever to control the wheel speed to as close to zero as possible. With the wheels barely turning they never lost traction and were able to pull the 1,000+ lb. loads up the steep hill with no trouble. All in all there were 22 trips up the hill with loads of wood, and another dozen or so with the associated brush. It took 7 loads with the truck and the 10,000 lb. capacity dual axle trailer to dispose of all the wood.
I don't think this task could have been accomplished with anything other than the hydraulic drive system on the Case machines. I also have a JD with a locking rear drive axle, and a 4 wheel drive loader. The loader was too big to fit between the remaining trees, and the JD wouldn't go slow enough to maintain traction.
Score a huge victory for the Case 224.