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View Full Version : what forestry mulching equipment should I buy?


mikekane34
11-24-2008, 12:50 PM
I'm thinking about bidding on a large mulching job (>700 acres) on the side of a mountain. If successful I would need to buy mulching equipment as I already have the hand-thinning crews. I've read many previous threads on Fecon, ASV, Cat equipment but there are so many different views it's hard to interpret which equipment would be the best. I interested in hearing any opinions. Material to be removed is up to 6 inches at dbh and includes oak, pinon and juniper. Thanks

CAT powered
11-24-2008, 05:06 PM
I would use several FECON dedicated mulcher carrier machines. They aren't cheap so renting/leasing them for the duration of the job will probably be your best bet. A skid will get the job done, but the FECON built machine with carrier is more efficient. I've used a FECON mounted on a T300 and it was a good system. The FECON heads are very efficient at clearing anything you can put into them. However the larger FECON machine will take down your larger trees without any issues at all.

The FECON machines also have steel tracks. Whether that is good or bad for your application is up to you.

GWhunter
11-24-2008, 07:11 PM
For a job of that size your going to need alot more than just a skid. You need a wheeled unit like a prentice or barko. Fecon also makes large units. You may also need an excavator with a mulching head on it. You can look in Tractorbynet.com in the contruction section. PM cbturf,he's got the answers you seek.

Matt T.:)

bobcat_ron
11-24-2008, 07:20 PM
I'd go with an excavator with a separate power pack on the counter weight, a skid steer is just too small, then you'll want to drag the whole "sealed and pressurized" debate into this.
Even my brother's 52" Promac Forestry disc on his Cat 320 does a fine job on the 12" trees.

Scag48
11-24-2008, 07:34 PM
If you decide to go with a rotary disc head for an excavator, I'll suggest this company. www.advancedforest.com They build an awesome rotary head that allows you to use a hydraulic thumb as well. He sells complete Cat excavators he upfits with guarding, lights, and the head with all the plumbing, a turn key option. However, I think a wheeled unit would be idea for large areas depending on the terrain. You say you have a hand crew doing the tree thinning, I assume the mulcher would be doing just underbrush, saplings and the like or do you plan on mulching larger trees?

YellowDogSVC
11-24-2008, 07:41 PM
For a job of that size your going to need alot more than just a skid. You need a wheeled unit like a prentice or barko. Fecon also makes large units. You may also need an excavator with a mulching head on it. You can look in Tractorbynet.com in the contruction section. PM cbturf,he's got the answers you seek.

Matt T.:)

Agree 100%

Look for max hp in the 200-250 hp range and a machine that can handle slopes (tracked vs. rubber tire)

YellowDogSVC
11-24-2008, 07:42 PM
If you decide to go with a rotary disc head for an excavator, I'll suggest this company. www.advancedforest.com They build an awesome rotary head that allows you to use a hydraulic thumb as well. He sells complete Cat excavators he upfits with guarding, lights, and the head with all the plumbing, a turn key option. However, I think a wheeled unit would be idea for large areas depending on the terrain. You say you have a hand crew doing the tree thinning, I assume the mulcher would be doing just underbrush, saplings and the like or do you plan on mulching larger trees?

But the heads aren't real good in rock according to the manufacturer.

bobcat_ron
11-24-2008, 09:24 PM
That's a pretty clever setup, like a bucket rake, but it's more like a Pro-Mac, but I like it though.

GWhunter
11-24-2008, 09:38 PM
Look into fae or fecon for heads denis cimaf is another good place to start. You should look for hendrix equipment on google. You should be able to get some ideas. I'd look for a large tired machine and an 18k plus excavator. If the majority is steep terrain you may need a tracked feller buncher with a head. I'm told there come standard with high flows to run the head.

Matt T.:)

Hummer
11-24-2008, 09:47 PM
I'm thinking about bidding on a large mulching job (>700 acres) on the side of a mountain. If successful I would need to buy mulching equipment as I already have the hand-thinning crews. I've read many previous threads on Fecon, ASV, Cat equipment but there are so many different views it's hard to interpret which equipment would be the best. I interested in hearing any opinions. Material to be removed is up to 6 inches at dbh and includes oak, pinon and juniper. Thanks


You're gonna take on a 700 plus acre job for your first mulching job?

Do you have any prior experience with such work and equipment?

Mowingman
11-24-2008, 09:48 PM
I just finished a 500 acre tract today. I cleared it with a Fecon, FTX140. It took 7 1/2 weeks, working 5 days/week. This property had a heavy growth of Mesquite, and quite a few Locust and Hackberry trees. If I were to do it again, I would go with another Fecon track machine, but maybe one size larger. Forget the skidsteer-mounted units. You are wasting your time and money with those tiny machines.
A big rubber tire machine might work also. however, the track machines can work in any weather, on any terrain, and will not get flat tires.

js.lawn
11-24-2008, 09:54 PM
look into the Rayco 275 it well handle 12" trees and grind the hell out of scrub brush raycomfg.com

YellowDogSVC
11-24-2008, 10:21 PM
Don't forget the cutting head. A good design on the drum like FAE uses will help save fuel and put more power to each tooth. Fecon standard head will cut and mulch lower to the ground but takes a bit more hp.

I've seen the Rayco 275's in action. Quite powerful machines.

You may consider subbing out the big stuff and use smaller machines for the undergrowth and cleanup

t190
11-25-2008, 01:19 AM
does it have to be mulched? can it be bunched and skidded and say sold(depending on wood) or ground?
http://www.loewenequip.com/Forestry.aspx mulching buncher head

Gravel Rat
11-25-2008, 05:01 AM
What about a controlled forest fire that will level and clear it quickly :laugh:

Personally if your asking a question here how to bid a job of clearing 700 acres I think your a little out of your legue.

deniscimafinc
11-25-2008, 07:01 PM
Hello mikekane34,

A few questions for you:

In what type of terrain condition will you be working?
Being on the side of a mountain, I'd assume rocky. If so, an excavator-mount mulcher will give you longer tooth life than a front-mount, whatever the technology is.
Do you need to mix material into the ground?
If you can stay at ground level or above, mulcher with cutting knives will give you the best productivity. If you need to mix material into the ground, despite erosion problems that might result of that, look for mulcher with carbide hammers, or roto-tiler.
Up to what size of trees will you be mulching? Whole trees, or just stumps after logging?
What equipment do you already have available?
These days, it might prove wise to reuse something you already own.


Let us know more, so everyone can then come up with their own suggestions :D


Frederic Denis
DENIS CIMAF Inc.
www.deniscimaf.com