BRUSH CLEARING SUGGESTIONS

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hawg wild

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Joined
May 8, 2006
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16
I have been looking around here for a week or two, and after a little trouble getting registered I would like to ask some of ya'll for your opinions. I am a rookie having never owned a skidsteer. I am considering trying to purchase a used machine and start a part time brush clearing (and misc other items) business. I hope that this business could turn into a full time job. I am looking for some suggestions about the type of equipment that might be best for me to start out with. I have been looking at the brush machines like the fecon bull hog, and the loftness timber ax along with the fae brand machines. No one in this area has anything like this. I live in rural north central arkansas. The land around here is hilly, rocky, and thick. Has anyone here had any experience with these machines in this type of terrain? how are they in rocks, and is the upkeep on these machines as expensive as the purchase price? How about your opinions on the various other type of brush cutters, and their upkeep along with the safety issues that come with these types of machines. Their are a few operators arond that use the tree shears for clearing land, but I will try to focus mainly on underbrush. Although I am interested in hearing some opinions on tree shears as well. how about stump grinders, and chippers? Lastly the heart of the operation, the skidsteer. Tracks vs. tires? machine size and any other little goodies that some one that has never owned or operated one of these machines might overlook, or not think about. I know that is a pretty big mouthful, and maybe I should have broken this one post into several, but let's see what we come up with on this one. If needed i can always repost some of these things one at a time. Thanks in advance. I am very excited about the possibilty of getting into a business such as this, I just don't want to jump to far to soon. I would like to grow this business starting slowly and hopefully ending up at high speed.
 

Tazza

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Dec 7, 2004
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16,694
Welcome to the forum.
Ok, please don't take any of this the wrong way, but a few things you will need to consider before you buy a machine, i'm sure there are quite a few i didn't cover here.
What lifting capacity do you want? if your JUST clearing under-growth you could get away with a small machine, but if you plan of moving large trees and heavy growth you may need a larger unit.
Is it low-lying ground? if so, after light rain it may become boggy and you will require tracks. You mentioned hilly and rocky terrain, i don't know how tracks cope with rocks. If you get tracks they are more costly to replace than tyres. You also need to keep up with the maintenance on the idlers for the tracks.
If you are capable of basic maintanence this will also help you keep your running costs down.
You will need to watch the tipping angle also, you did mention it was hilly, if its too hilly you risk flipping your machine.
I do think its a good idea starting with a second hand machine and trading up as business picks up. But beware of excotic branded machines. If you break something it can cost you a small fortune to repair.
Like i said earlier, there will be more things you need to consider but this is all i can think of rite now. I'm sure some other users will chip in with their knowledge.
I hope some of this is of at least some help to you. Just my 2c worth
 

hawg wild

Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
16
Welcome to the forum.
Ok, please don't take any of this the wrong way, but a few things you will need to consider before you buy a machine, i'm sure there are quite a few i didn't cover here.
What lifting capacity do you want? if your JUST clearing under-growth you could get away with a small machine, but if you plan of moving large trees and heavy growth you may need a larger unit.
Is it low-lying ground? if so, after light rain it may become boggy and you will require tracks. You mentioned hilly and rocky terrain, i don't know how tracks cope with rocks. If you get tracks they are more costly to replace than tyres. You also need to keep up with the maintenance on the idlers for the tracks.
If you are capable of basic maintanence this will also help you keep your running costs down.
You will need to watch the tipping angle also, you did mention it was hilly, if its too hilly you risk flipping your machine.
I do think its a good idea starting with a second hand machine and trading up as business picks up. But beware of excotic branded machines. If you break something it can cost you a small fortune to repair.
Like i said earlier, there will be more things you need to consider but this is all i can think of rite now. I'm sure some other users will chip in with their knowledge.
I hope some of this is of at least some help to you. Just my 2c worth
Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate any and all feed back as I am a rookie here and am looking for some advice from some folks that have had experience with these machines. As far as lifting capacity goes I figured i would be better off to be over gunned as under gunned. i would probably like to find something with a lift cap of around 1500 to 2000 lbs. i think this will more than handle most trees that i might need to move as well as the heavy attachments like the loftness timber ax. I also will probably try to find a machine with a high flow hydraulics system. I figure a machine meeting these specs will handle most any attahcment i want to try, and do about anything i need it to (within resonable limits that is). We usually don't have much of a problem with it being too wet around here, but it can be very hilly and is definetly very rocky. I can handle most basic maint. and minor repairs. I have a little bit (and i do mean a "little") of hydraulics experience. So I feel pretty good about being able to maintain my machine. I definetly agree with you on the "off" brand machines. I will be looking for a bobcat or a case as first choice. my main concerns are going to be what types of attachments will be most suited to the type of work i will be doing. Once again thank you very much for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
 

Mr Jimi

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
103
Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate any and all feed back as I am a rookie here and am looking for some advice from some folks that have had experience with these machines. As far as lifting capacity goes I figured i would be better off to be over gunned as under gunned. i would probably like to find something with a lift cap of around 1500 to 2000 lbs. i think this will more than handle most trees that i might need to move as well as the heavy attachments like the loftness timber ax. I also will probably try to find a machine with a high flow hydraulics system. I figure a machine meeting these specs will handle most any attahcment i want to try, and do about anything i need it to (within resonable limits that is). We usually don't have much of a problem with it being too wet around here, but it can be very hilly and is definetly very rocky. I can handle most basic maint. and minor repairs. I have a little bit (and i do mean a "little") of hydraulics experience. So I feel pretty good about being able to maintain my machine. I definetly agree with you on the "off" brand machines. I will be looking for a bobcat or a case as first choice. my main concerns are going to be what types of attachments will be most suited to the type of work i will be doing. Once again thank you very much for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
I want to do something like that ( clearing brush ) and I was thinking? what does the 2 inch trees do to tires after they are cut? I would think nothing good? Somebody knows the answer. I am looking at a Bush Hog 286. Think about this?
Jim
 

bobbie-g

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Messages
574
I want to do something like that ( clearing brush ) and I was thinking? what does the 2 inch trees do to tires after they are cut? I would think nothing good? Somebody knows the answer. I am looking at a Bush Hog 286. Think about this?
Jim
We had a hugh articulated 4-wheeled loader with a fecon head do some oak brush clearing in CO. $200 per hour! But the rig cost $260K! -- My 751 Bobcat with normal 10x16.5 tires looses traction at about 22 or 23 degrees when backing up a hill (a nice Maclinberg Duncan digital level is about a hundred bucks on Amazon.com, that takes all the guesswork out of slopes!). This is in moist (not soaking wet) leafy mulch or damp dirt. Might do a bit better on rocks. Bucket load seems to have little effect, when it starts to slip, that's it. I can push myself backwards up the hill with an empty bucket, but if I had a brush mower on the front, I'd have no choice but to go downhill. I believe tracks would improve the performance on slopes, but I don't know that for sure. I'd sure be interested in real before-after data if someone added tracks over tires. --- I bought a used Ammbusher mower for use on oak brush, haven't tried it yet. Weighs about 1200 lbs, and should whack at least 2" stems, I hope it will handle 3" or 4". Standard flow. ---Bob
 

skidsteer.ca

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
3,853
We had a hugh articulated 4-wheeled loader with a fecon head do some oak brush clearing in CO. $200 per hour! But the rig cost $260K! -- My 751 Bobcat with normal 10x16.5 tires looses traction at about 22 or 23 degrees when backing up a hill (a nice Maclinberg Duncan digital level is about a hundred bucks on Amazon.com, that takes all the guesswork out of slopes!). This is in moist (not soaking wet) leafy mulch or damp dirt. Might do a bit better on rocks. Bucket load seems to have little effect, when it starts to slip, that's it. I can push myself backwards up the hill with an empty bucket, but if I had a brush mower on the front, I'd have no choice but to go downhill. I believe tracks would improve the performance on slopes, but I don't know that for sure. I'd sure be interested in real before-after data if someone added tracks over tires. --- I bought a used Ammbusher mower for use on oak brush, haven't tried it yet. Weighs about 1200 lbs, and should whack at least 2" stems, I hope it will handle 3" or 4". Standard flow. ---Bob
Wow I could spend a hour here. Here goes Hawg I have a 60" kingkutter.com tractor pto mower that has ben modified to drive hyd from my skid loader, have used it on both a 753 and a 773. I run over the tire steel tracks to help out on soft ground. I think this combination is more durable in rock then a dedicated track loader and repairs when they come with tires and steel tracks will be alot less. Though there is no doubt a track loader is better in real soft ground and more stable on steep hills. Bat at 5k for a new undercariage, in as little as 1000 hrs, I'll pass. I can mow 2" stuff with ease and up to 3" but the cutter really shakes when you hit something that large. From a drive perspective, hydraulic is the way to go, when you hit something nasty (notice I say when not if) everything takes much less of a beating, as the blades run more on momentum the they do on shear torque from the motor. However are definitely more under powered fo mowing heavy grass. Brush actually mows easier imho. Have had no tires problems from the stumps as they tend to be more shreded then cleanly cut. Tracks probably double your traction for hills (guessing 40 degrees) and getting through soft ground. I put mine on in the spring and run them all summer, unless I'm going to work on asphalt for more then a day. You need a mower that is heavy enough that it balances your machine so you can work hills is reverse or forward. In case you don't know, skidloaders have almost no weight on the front tires until you add an attachment. Add a hill and Neuton will bring you up to speed real fast. Regards Ken
 

hawg wild

Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
16
Wow I could spend a hour here. Here goes Hawg I have a 60" kingkutter.com tractor pto mower that has ben modified to drive hyd from my skid loader, have used it on both a 753 and a 773. I run over the tire steel tracks to help out on soft ground. I think this combination is more durable in rock then a dedicated track loader and repairs when they come with tires and steel tracks will be alot less. Though there is no doubt a track loader is better in real soft ground and more stable on steep hills. Bat at 5k for a new undercariage, in as little as 1000 hrs, I'll pass. I can mow 2" stuff with ease and up to 3" but the cutter really shakes when you hit something that large. From a drive perspective, hydraulic is the way to go, when you hit something nasty (notice I say when not if) everything takes much less of a beating, as the blades run more on momentum the they do on shear torque from the motor. However are definitely more under powered fo mowing heavy grass. Brush actually mows easier imho. Have had no tires problems from the stumps as they tend to be more shreded then cleanly cut. Tracks probably double your traction for hills (guessing 40 degrees) and getting through soft ground. I put mine on in the spring and run them all summer, unless I'm going to work on asphalt for more then a day. You need a mower that is heavy enough that it balances your machine so you can work hills is reverse or forward. In case you don't know, skidloaders have almost no weight on the front tires until you add an attachment. Add a hill and Neuton will bring you up to speed real fast. Regards Ken
thanks for the info on the tracks and brush cutter skidsteer.ca. I never really thought about the difference in cutting brush vs. heavy grass, and the difference in torque needed. after thinking about it a little it makes a lot of sense though. that is why i notice a load on the engine when bush hogging in heavy grass with my massey ferguson tractor, and not in "brush" . I have decided that tires with tracks will be the way for me to go. What about tree shears and stump grinders? Anyone here use them? What kind? How do you like them? How much do they cost? I guess no one here uses the fecon bull hog, or loftness timber ax (or similar machines) on their skidsteers. That is a shame I was really wanting to get some feedback on them. Thanks again for all the feedback.
 

sterlclan

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
528
thanks for the info on the tracks and brush cutter skidsteer.ca. I never really thought about the difference in cutting brush vs. heavy grass, and the difference in torque needed. after thinking about it a little it makes a lot of sense though. that is why i notice a load on the engine when bush hogging in heavy grass with my massey ferguson tractor, and not in "brush" . I have decided that tires with tracks will be the way for me to go. What about tree shears and stump grinders? Anyone here use them? What kind? How do you like them? How much do they cost? I guess no one here uses the fecon bull hog, or loftness timber ax (or similar machines) on their skidsteers. That is a shame I was really wanting to get some feedback on them. Thanks again for all the feedback.
Ive seen shears on a skidsteer like the hydro ax around here they use a "skidda" or slasher to do this I suppose for the right application one would be fine the guy that had the ax on a bobcat loved it and used it alot with little maint. keep us posted Jeff
 
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