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View Full Version : Strength of Bulldozer to remove stumps?


wkheathjr
02-13-2006, 10:46 PM
Hi,

My name is Ken Heath and I couldn't find any information on Yahoo about what bulldozer is strong enough to remove an average-sized stumps?

First, I sold trees to logger company 2 years ago so I could use the fund to start up new business and it is starting to make some progress right now that I want to expand my business, but it would require more land. I am currently using 13 acres out of 54 acres and I want to add 5 more acres for next 2 years with the possibility of booming into the whole 54 acres within 7 years.

First, I rented a D5 bulldozer for $3,000 a week and I did 2 acres by myself the first 3 days and then blade cracked. I got a buddy who is a welder and he said it was clearly a bad welding job using very thin rod instead of thick, which would have hold so picture was taken. After a long battle with renting company, who wanted me to pay for the damage of $7,000 (blade & track), I decided to hire an attorney and won the case in court to get full refund & security deposit. Well, you get the picture...

So with time-consuming process of court, I was forced to hire someone to clear my land because I couldn't tend to my property like I wanted due to court process and few paperwork for the business. The job of clearing 8 acres was $9,600.

But that was 2 years ago and I am now on a tight budget and I was thinking of buying old bulldozer for around $3,500 to $6,000 and clear up as much of land as I can with the strength of small bulldozer since I know it probably wouldn't be able to pull out a very large stump that is as big as my SUV. Then I could resell it and get most of my money back.

Finally, now here is the question... what size of small bulldozer will be strong enough to clear land at slow pace? I can go as slow as 20-30 stumps a week, but I don't mean to say I am willing to buy a very, very small bulldozer. Perhaps something with 4 cyl and diesel preferred. Finally, I would also need to use the bulldozer for grading/leveling and develop 300ft ATV Drag racing track.

Thank in advance for answering my question!

ksss
02-13-2006, 11:12 PM
You may be able to find an old Allis Chalmers or IH TD series dozer for what you want to spend. Usually at auction. Buyer beware of course. If you don't know what to look for when buying you can spend a lot of money fixing up a dozer (as it appears you have a taste of). Some other options. Buy or rent a large excavator. Here I can rent 200 size excavtor with a thumb for just under 2K a week. You could clear a lot of land that way. You could also rent a wheel loader or large skid steer (depending on size of stumps) to build track and handle grub material. The issue I see with your budget is buying equipment with what you have to spend could end up costing much more. It appears you have a sizeable project. You get halfway through and you run into a costly repair and you may end up much further into a machine than what you will ever recover. Renting sucks on jobs like this because it appears in this case you can't charge anything to recover your renting costs. However having 25K invested in an 8K dozer is not a great spot to be in either. I checked auction results at Ritchiebros.com and found several Allis HD dozers around 5K mid 60's vintage. IH there were many, anywhere from 5K to 20K most in the midteens. It may be a tough choice.

Gravel Rat
02-13-2006, 11:17 PM
A excavator removes stumps better than any dozer can a excavator does a cleaner job. You can dig around the stump to help loosen it up then pull it out and stack them into a pile for burning.

Ohya what I call stumps are trees that range from 20"s to 40"s some stumps weigh 2 ton or more.

If you found yourself a minimum 690 sized machine which is a John Deere or EX-200 Hitachi. I don't know what size of stumps your dealing with but a 20 ton is minimum size for stump removal you can get away with a 590 or EX-150 size machine it takes longer and you may run into the machine not beable to lift the stumps.

Welcome to the site clapping

UNISCAPER
02-13-2006, 11:20 PM
You have alot of variables hanging in the mix. WE used to use a D-8-D with a donkey motor and a cable drop blade to push over 3' diamter Oak stumps b ut we made sure we left 4-5' above ground to gain the leverage we needed to rip out the roots. That was in Duesseldorf, Germany where the soil is loam clay and there is adequate moisture. Back in Illinois we had an old D-6E with a hydraulic 6-1 blade and we could do the same thing, but once again, soil meant alot.

How hard is your soil? And how big are the trees, and how much are you leaving above ground?

For the price of 3500-5000 you are either in a very small dozer or a fyooken yunk which could easily be scap iron at any one point while you are using it.

For the 5K you could rent/short term lease a new D-8R and knock the job out in a week which is a much better option that playing Russian Roulette with and old bone.....

Gravel Rat
02-13-2006, 11:25 PM
Another option is have a local excavation contractor to come and rip out the stumps and do the heavy roughing in work and you do the rest with a good skid steer or a rubber tired backhoe.

You start getting involved with old bulldozers they cost you money expensive to repair.

janb
02-14-2006, 02:22 AM
I have to concur with the consensus (Dozers are REALLY $$$ to fix, and maintain) and tough to work on where they break, usually worst location) Anything that runs will set you back $3000, but be careful (undercarrage)

A D8 with a root stinger + Winch is handy and cheap to buy, expensive to move...

As mentioned...Excavator is much faster and cleaner for stump removal

I'd probably look for a hungry Ex owner to yank out the majority, and largest, then come back with a rented 6 way to clean up. I like the 650 Case

It is good to have the ex around to do burning

How big are your stumps? I spent over an hour on grinding a 4' fir yesterday (chased roots around in about 10' dia) :cry: and ended up with about 5 yds of chips (but no stumps to burn++) I did 5 of the 18"-2' variety in the next hour. No rocks clapping so I got them ~6" below grade

gammon landscaping
02-14-2006, 03:24 AM
a dozer is a very poor choice to remove stump. either a rubber tired backhoe of small excavator is what you need. to remove stumps you need to dig all the way around them as deep as the bulk of the stump goes then turn it on its side in the same hole and clean all the dirt off the bottom you can then get it up out of the hole. i don't know how big the stumps are but a good case backhoe will remove more that you think. if you have to have a track machine look at a front end loader, they are a better all around tool you can dig around the stumps and loosen them up. trying to just push stumps out of the ground you are going to break more machine than wood i promise no machine is made to strain agianst somthing like that. i know that we all love to see horse power at work and see machines do impressive stuff but that is cowboy bs and is just hard on you equipment plus there is no need for it, when you can just dig around and loosen it up faster. you should never see a track slip in the dirt if it is you are pushing the machine past the point it was ment for. just remember take it easy work steady and you will always get more done

janb
02-14-2006, 03:46 PM
Hi,... I want to expand my business, but it would require more land. I am currently using 13 acres out of 54 acres and I want to add 5 more acres for next 2 years with the possibility of booming into the whole 54 acres within 7 years..The job of clearing 8 acres was $9,600... the question... what size of small bulldozer will be strong enough to clear land at slow pace?

ok after :sleeping: on this one, I think I get the picture hammer

time is not an issue, low budget, low tech, (clean remaining 41 acres for cost of machine - $3000 - $5000) honorable, and possible task.

Maybe ask around and find someone (preferably a 'retired operator') with a big old dozer (dependable) that they need to 'store' it at your place for awhile, or they are retired, but want to dink around every so often :laugh: - this does happen...

or...

get an good education on old machines, and locate one of choice nearby to purchase (might have better luck 'networking' (cafes, sand and rock pits, gas stations, truckers, HD mechanics) than auction (unknown condition / history) Be advised that you might need to 'scrap it out' if it breaks, and go find another. Thus... I suggest getting something that is very popular and available in your area. (stick to IH, AC, CAT or CASE, whichever there are more of in good condition)

Just do your homework, and stick to a strategy (don't buy a 'fixer', when it breaks...If it costs to much to fix, scrap it and buy another)

I recently sold an AC HD5 (trackloader) for a 'deceased' friend. I got $2500, and it ran fine, but had significant wear on undercarriage. The buyer had 3 others just like it, and he was happy with the deal.

go find yourself and 'ole cogger' for a friend, they have some good sense for these older rigs. Don't go small, as you will have to abuse it, then it will break...

If time is critical, use a hoe. How steep is your terrain? As mentioned track loaders are pretty useful, and superior for your task, but usually have 'street pads'. My 4in1 bucket and rippers are quite helpful in stump removal and brush clearing. Sometimes you can find them (trackloaders) pretty large. They were popular in gravel pits and demo work in 70's. possibly you could get a 'combo' (4in1 dozer with rear mounted hoe). I see them occasionally on equiptrader, ($8k-$16k) and popular in FL and GA. Watch for cracking of sideframe where hoe mounts, as they are vulnerable to breaking with all that cantilevered weight bouncing (i.e. take it ez with these, don't trial your MX track at full speed:nono: )

Lawn Masters
02-14-2006, 04:28 PM
I'd look for something like a 70's Cat D6 or D8, they'll pack the punch you need, and not be crapppy machines. cant guarantee fast work, but they'll get the job done eventually.

wkheathjr
02-14-2006, 06:27 PM
Hi,

I want to thank everyone who replied to my post and appreciate very informative replies!

Last night, before I started doing some research I spoke with my dad about buying a used bulldozer that doesn't cost too much. The reason I asked him is because he used to do some grading works and really is a very good mechanic that he can fix almost anything from tractor to big rig to ferrari or lamborghini. I asked him if this bulldozer (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7590039326&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1) could do the job? He said that this one can do the job, but asked me "Son, have you thought about the maintenance part? We both know you don't know nothing about maintaining a bulldozer especially with the track!". So he suggested me to do some research before investing any kind of money into heavy equipment and I thought it is a best advice he can give to me. Don't get me wrong as I know how to operate heavy equipments, but when it come to fixing these equipments then it can be a problem.

So of course, your forum is where I ended up because I couldn't find any informative website about removing stumps and I got a lot of good respond here!

Yes, time isn't the issue and I am not going to try and clear the lot in any hurry! 8 acres is actually more than enough to utilities for motorcycle rally right now, however I am hoping to get a jump-start on ATV Drag racing & Mudbog in my area because a track nearby just shut down due to management & insurance issues. 5 acres will be enough if I can get it ready at end of this year or at least beginning of next year since need only 300ft for racing and another 300ft for cool-down.

So after reading your answer this morning and thought about it for most of the day, I feel that maybe getting a backhoe would be best thing because it is something my father and I can work on if we run into some problems since he work on my uncle's backhoe. And I think it will sell much faster because my uncle is in septic tank business and I could sell it to him or could trade it in for a good-shape tractor to operate my campground business.

And leave an enormous stumps to local contractors, which probably won't cost as much because the land will be clear of any derbies or piles making it easy to move excavator cross.

What do you think?

DUSTYCEDAR
02-14-2006, 06:36 PM
Just Burn The Stumps

Dirty Water
02-14-2006, 08:47 PM
If you can afford to rent a dozer, or even spend 6 grand on a dozer, then buy a new D8.

Do your land clearing while making payments on it, and when your done, sell it.

It will probably depreciate less than your total payments on it.

Koster Landscape
02-14-2006, 09:21 PM
A excavator removes stumps better than any dozer can a excavator does a cleaner job. You can dig around the stump to help loosen it up then pull it out and stack them into a pile for burning.

Ohya what I call stumps are trees that range from 20"s to 40"s some stumps weigh 2 ton or more.

If you found yourself a minimum 690 sized machine which is a John Deere or EX-200 Hitachi. I don't know what size of stumps your dealing with but a 20 ton is minimum size for stump removal you can get away with a 590 or EX-150 size machine it takes longer and you may run into the machine not beable to lift the stumps.

Welcome to the site clapping
Listen what Gravel Rat said, A good 200 series track hoe will really clear some land and dig some stumps, considering the trees have been down for 2 years they ought to be fairly easy.The D 5 is just to small to do this big clearing work, better for more finishing out some soil work or maybe a small root rake job.Why don't you get some local prices just to see what the cost might be? take it in stages, someone maybe looking work and give you a "deal". When land is clear cut, sometimes there's not much stump left and a ideal dozer D6 g or D7 g basically shears more stumps than actually pushes out. You get a lot of soil still around the stump and you'll never get it to burn.The track hoe will dig it out ,shake loose soil , and stack the material real high in a pile so you get a good burn going on. Let me know and I will tell you about a awesome way to burn these stuff up.Come back and / or it is still nice to work with a dozer with a root rake to push out some of these smaller trunks and roots and debris.Check out the Heavy Equipment Mag. there's all ways deals in there.us flag us flag

wkheathjr
02-14-2006, 09:55 PM
Koster Landscaping,
You are not far from where I am located in.. near Goldsboro!

You asked me why don't I get price from local contractor?? Are you freaking crazy? They want the price enough to buy or put down payment for a brand-new house! We are talking $35,000+ ballpark. About 40 acres + $1,200 per acre. I already paid $9,600 for 8 acres. Poor result that I had to get more works being done to it and that was extra $6,000. Never again!

I rented a D6 bulldozer and it was $3,300 a week but they tried to screw me over hoping that due to my deafness (Yep, I went to ENCSD) I would bend over and pay out, but I hired an attorney and the case never went to court with them settling to pay out the difference of 22.5 hours + security deposit refund back to me. Never again!

So clearly, to get the job done RIGHT, I have to do it myself! Does that saying sound familiar? us flag

As for payment, it is in my high opinion that I will NEVER make bank any richer. They are making money off your interest and not paying tax on it. So until they make a new law where bank are forced to pay taxes for making profit on interest rate (This will reduce credit card rate & interest rate signification), I am going to pay CASH for whatever I would like to buy. I don't finance for anything but real estate property since I get tax credit for it. I hope you understand my perspective on this one.

As for burning, this is a stick topic for me to go there. Very limited water resource and with the way my tract is, we are facing the highway on one end and behind us are forest that if a fire gets out of control... I am in deep s---. I would still have to create a buffer between derbies & trees, which still require a heavy equipment to do it.

Gravel Rat
02-14-2006, 10:30 PM
Like I said a excavator is the best thing to rip out old stumps and clearing land.

A good old dinosaur excavator that will do the job would be a UH series Hitachi they are old but tough like a old UH 122 which is a 29 ton excavator.

Another tough old excavator is a 235 Cat you can find them cheap they will clear the land. A bulldozer doesn't do a clean job you end up making more of a mess than anything. If you plan on having the stumps chewed up in a tub grinder you won't beable to do it if they are all covered in dirt. Guys with tub grinders want the wood clean the only way you can do that is using a excavator. You rip the stump out and start shaking the dirt out of it and breaking it up so its the right size to be ground.

You can tell you never had land cleared its not cheap for a contractor here to clear land is 100-150 dollars per hour for a 15-20 ton excavator. You bring in a bigger machine in the 30 ton range you will be paying 200 dollars per hour. Then you have to get rid of the stumps so you can look at 200 dollars a truck load to get rid of or you bring in a tub grinder at 1000 dollars per hour.

Or you burn them like we do here pile them up let them sit for a year then burn them. If you let them sit for a year they burn good you can let them sit for a month and try burn them they burn a little slow.

The stump piles that get burned here are stacked as high as a 15-20 ton excavator can pile it. The piles the loggers burn are good 20-25 feet in height and probably 30' diameter pile.

Like I said the stumps we deal with can be so heavy a 200 size excavator can't even pick up have to roll it to move it.

Anyhow if you don't want to spend any money in clearing the land don't even bother.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-14-2006, 10:46 PM
LAND CLEARING IS NOT A WEEKAND PROJECT i have done it and its not fun
how rocky is your soil
u can find a big old stump grinder and take them out and then sell it no stumps to burn just some chips
as said befor u could buy a new 1 use it and sell it and it only cost u a little bit of cash and u can wright off the intrest to the biz

wkheathjr
02-14-2006, 11:20 PM
LAND CLEARING IS NOT A WEEKAND PROJECT i have done it and its not fun
how rocky is your soil
u can find a big old stump grinder and take them out and then sell it no stumps to burn just some chips
as said befor u could buy a new 1 use it and sell it and it only cost u a little bit of cash and u can wright off the intrest to the biz

I am self-employed and can do it 7 days a week and have plenty of patience. The land I am about to clear is where I run my business-campground. And at night time, I am a programmer writing codes on the side and have a software that I expect to be released within 2 weeks from now.

Yes, I know that clearing land is not easy job because I have done my share. I have dug thousand of stumps with my dad when I was still in middle school helping him clear his 3 acres lot since he couldn't afford to pay someone to clear his lot. I have done some share clearing my land and the best I could do was about 75-85 stumps in two and half days with 1998 D6 Bulldozer that I rented.

Well, I think I found the answer I was looking for here and really appreciate many great replies here. Now it is time for me to think it out, and make a decision I feel is best. I am really in no big hurry to do anything right now.

mrusk
02-15-2006, 07:26 PM
I never seen anyone clear land with a dozer! Go with the excavator with a thumb!

janb
02-15-2006, 08:53 PM
I never seen anyone clear land with a dozer! ...
:confused:
really... we (grandpa and I) used to use horses, well before dozers sporty
I still have the ramrod doo-dad for jabbing the dynamite under the stumps;
G'pa wasn't an 'early adopter', never did have an electric start tractor (I still use a crank on mine:o )

steam / oil pull machines

then there was that super cool LeTourneau stuff (50's, dad had those) + cable dozers... (the really 'dangerous' stuff)
http://www.letu.edu/about_LU/museum/Museum_Online/the_machines/page_1.html
http://www.letourneau-inc.com/html/equipment/mining/mining.html (i'll take 2 of the 53yd bucket loaders...)

eventually '6-ways' clapping (pretty modern stuff) Hydraulics too :drinkup:

UNISCAPER
02-16-2006, 01:02 AM
Thats all we ever used 20 years ago. They will get the job done but you need to know how to work the tool.

Just like when cable drop blades were all you could get. You stick a guy who was used to running hydraulic blades out in groundf with frsot, on a cable blade. They would come back cussing and swear the machine would not push. Send a guy out who ran cable drop blades in the day and he would eat the hydraulic guys times all to heck when the hydaulic guy worked his style.

I agree excavators work best on stumps, but, dozers, if you know how to use them, are not that far behind the excavator. And, you need to leave parts of the tree above grade to use as leverage.

Squizzy246B
02-16-2006, 07:32 AM
Millions and millions of acres where cleared in Australia with nothing more than a dozer. Often two dozers with a chain and a chaser machine when the chain snagged. More often than not the "dozers" where nothing more than D2 crawler. Heck, when I was a kid we didn't even know what an excavator was?...A machine for digging a hole was a dragline.

Today, the excavator is king of stumps; but there is not much a skilled operator on a dozer can't do when required.

UNISCAPER
02-16-2006, 09:54 AM
We used to call excavators "Skrunch diggers" when I was a kid. They were these weird looking things with cables and pullies all over and this creepy arm that could grab things. The guys who ran them had T-shirts with a pack of smokes riolled up in the sleeves and tattoos from the navy WW2 battles on their forearms. How times have changed!

janb
02-16-2006, 12:27 PM
We used to call excavators "Skrunch diggers" ...
or "mike mulligan's steam shovel" dancing

gammon landscaping
02-16-2006, 11:46 PM
i have only seen a few of them but my father told me back in the 60's when they put interstate 81 through, that they came in with saws and loged the big timber then there was a crew of indians that came in with dozers that had a funny looking blade on them. on one side there was a point that was 5 or six feet long, on the out side of it it was straight with the machine and the inside was flared out so that it when you came to the stump you put the long spike in the middle of the stump and it split the stump and rolled half of it over and broke it out and the other half stayed put but was not very well rooted anymore so you can push it out easy

not sure you can still find these but dad said that these take out stumps like notheing else

start2finish
02-18-2006, 11:21 AM
bear in mind if you buy a machine and finish clearing off the property you will probably be able to sell the machine for close to what you paid for it. Granted you don't pay too much. This type of machine will have close to the same value a year later. Pay close attention to the undercarriage. If it is worn badly hen you will throw the tracks off. It cost 10-12k to replace a undercarriage. Also as mention earlier the soil type is important as well as the type of tree stumps. Gum, sycamore are very difficult to remove where as pine are easier.

RonB
02-18-2006, 11:38 AM
KenJr.

Two things come to mind from reading this thread and they have nothing to do with stumps.

One, you said the other track had insurance issues, do you know what they were and what makes you think you won't have them also, since you'll be operating a track too?

And second, didn't you say this was on your campground property? Well, when people go camping isn't part of the "lure" peace and quiet? What some consider the sweet sound of a racing engine is noise to another. They could look elsewhere on their next camping trip.

befnme
02-24-2006, 02:25 AM
yall are missing the picture here he dont want to know what all will do the job but if a baby komatsu will..i say no way unless they are the size of pie plates it aint gonna work.it dosent have the weight to do it. when you are buying any track vehicle do the following:

check maintenance records .

check the rollers and rails .( if you dont know how then hire a mechanic to check them when they wear out they are expensive to replace .a mechanic from a cat dealership can exray them and tell ya how many hours remain in their life )

next always run it5 thruough all of the gears.

wkheathjr
04-28-2006, 11:14 PM
KenJr.

Two things come to mind from reading this thread and they have nothing to do with stumps.

One, you said the other track had insurance issues, do you know what they were and what makes you think you won't have them also, since you'll be operating a track too?

And second, didn't you say this was on your campground property? Well, when people go camping isn't part of the "lure" peace and quiet? What some consider the sweet sound of a racing engine is noise to another. They could look elsewhere on their next camping trip.


The campground is not open and operated daily. It is a different type of mainly for special event or racing event such as outdoor concert, motorcycle rally, lumberjack contest, and so forth on. Not the kind that you go through the nature and tent camping.

Anyway, back to the topic. It has been couple of months and actually my father and I decided to shop around for a backhoe because it is easier to repair on since it is similar as a tractor, which is something we could repair ourselves if it broke down. But the trouble is that I couldn't buy one without my dad and his brother's satisfication that it pass uncle's test since he operate a backhoe for his septic tank business. So far 5 failed and I have to trust their word for it.

So I took the time to clean up some of the land and I think that maybe won't need to bother buying a backhoe because it is to my finding that there is roughly 80-100 stumps for 3-5 acres. Since some of you comment that 2 years of age stumps are easier to burn... anyone care to share their experience with burning a stump?? I have few methods I am ready to try.

1) I bought a stumper remover from Lowe's for $5 and it is 1lbs. I figured that if it actually work on a stump then $500 (100 stump remover) wouldn't be a bad investment compared to a backhoe.

2) Another method I thought of trying is use a 1" wood drill bit and drill down few holes then pour the mix of diesel and old car oil down the holes. Not too much of it but little enough to get the fire going. And let it smolder down to ashes.

3) use an expired rotten milk and pour it on stump. I heard that the bacteria is too powerful it could eat down the stump. I'd like to do a science experiment on this one to tell the tale if it is true or false.

xcopterdoc
04-29-2006, 12:16 AM
Hey Ken... I know I guy in fayetteville nc that has a cat 955L track loader with a clam shell (4 in 1 bucket) that he wants to sell. I worked on it and its not the best around but will do for what you want it for. PM me and I'll give you his number and location. It might be right up yur alley.

miacharger
05-15-2006, 12:41 AM
From experience I know alot about removing stumps. As a favor to a good friend I got stuck with removing 20 acres worth of logged pine and oak. Unfortunately most of the stumps were cut low, and removal was tricky. We found a deal on a cat track loader and gave it a go. I spent three weeks at his place helping him out but it really wasn't difficult, just time consuming. The loader bucket had pretty good teeth, and also had a rock plow at the rear. The rear could rip down at the roots, and the bucket gets in to remove debris. After tearing out roots most stumps loosened pretty quickly. The caterpillar did a great job and nothing broke. I stacked the stumps along the property and they were eventually split by a rather large hydraulic press and burned for heat. No stumps were over 24 inches diameter but some were pretty well rooted.

Burning stumps in place is impossible. The only way I ever got a stump to burn was to drill a hole deep in it and fill with thermite. That either burned the stump of in some cases blew it up from expansion. The milk method does not work on pine or oak, we tried it on stumps near the house. Filling a stump with fuel may work but is very smoky and usually hard to get going, not enough heat to burn in the ground. After 3-4 years most stumps have rotten roots and can be yanked out with an excavator or pushed with a dozer. From my experience the dozer did a good job. Try ripping the ground first, if you can before pushing. If you were close I would help!

greasy_gun
05-15-2006, 01:09 AM
git sum dynamite n blast em out=>u can hook up several charges to several stumps at blast em all at same time=BAM