Hello Land Clearers (brush cutters, mulchers)

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by rutwad, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. rutwad

    rutwad LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 179

    Guys I would really like any advice you can offer me. I have considered purchasing an ASV RC-100 and Magnum mulcher attachment. I have my concerns about this. I understand the hourly rates pay good, but is there a high demand for the service these machines can provide.

    Do you find yourselves staying busy doing this type of work?
    Owner/operator or someone operate for you?
    Positive/negative things you have discovered?
    Anything you can offer me I would really appreciate it. Newbie here and I am concerned about taking the risk. I am in Alabama.
    Trying to think it through, I thought I may buy some other attachments incase the mulching business got slow. I could even resort to equipment hauling from local auction sites on bad weather days.

    Anything?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    check these threads out (also do some searching)
    http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=153279&highlight=business

    http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=149099

    http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=132144


    local guys are charging $130 to $150/hr, but I can't stay busy at 1/2 that rate. Tho I don't have one of those $100,000+ shredding machines. They can do a very nice job, but too much capital $$ for me (+ 285 days of rain, = limited season) this type of clearing can be 'discretionary' spending for the normal landowner, (they don't part with $500 for 4 hrs real easy) but the realtors / speculators will keep you pretty busy (in a high growth area)

    I have turned down a lot of small (2 hr) tractor / brush-dumptruck jobs lately
     
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    That is quite a gamble, but everything is in this business. A couple suggestions on reducing your risk. Find a used machine and I wouldn't be overly picky on the brand. Most anything that moves a lot of fluid (high flow) and has a cab and A/C. CASE 90XT or 95XT have either a 3000 psi or 5000 psi systems and flow just over 40 gpm. The Gehl machines 7800 and 7600 also flow a lot of oil. The new CAT XPS system flows 4400 psi and just under 40 gpm. I would buy a used wheeled machine and put steel tracks on it and I would do a one year lease on the attachment. If it works out buy the attachment and in a couple of years order a new ASV if that is what you want. It would be crazy (at least to me) to buy a 25-30K attachment and a 60K tracked machine without having a customer base. If it doesn't work out turn back the cutter and keep the skid steer or sell it, but at least you wont take such a depreciation hit if this goes South.
     
  4. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 734

    I run a 35c deere mini-x with a 40" brush mower head on it.Have had it 1 1/2 years and about 1500 hrs, mowing is about 60-85% of my work(less mowing in winter)machine still has buckets and thumb and cab.Have been booked out as much as 12 weeks.I don't know what type of brush you have where you live.Negatives wire,phone wire posts,rebar,etc.I found out that rubber tracks don't hold up in a brush mowing, the cut ends of the brush eat the tracks,fitted the prob.with steel tracks with bolt on rubber pads.One guy around here has ASV with mower and he gets about 200-300 a set a tracks
    I like the mini-x over a ASV because of the long reach for working around stuff(stumps,rocks,down trees,slopes,ditches,limbing,trimming hedge,ponds,etc try that with ASV.I'm a Owner/operator.
    DSC_0663.JPG

    DSC_0663.JPG
     
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    I have suspected that the rubber tracks would not hold up while brush cutting. Considering what a set of rubber tracks cost, steel over the tire tracks with foam filled tires might be a much better route to take anyway when using a skid steer. At 3.5K for a set of tracks if you get 300 hours out of a set thats just under 12 dollars an hour. Depending on your situation that may be acceptable or it may not. If a rubber tracked machine got you places that a steel tracked skid steer would not, it might be worth it. However, I don't know what that situation would be. I have a set of Loegren Trail Blazer tracks with the wide pad it keeps my 10K 95Xt from sinking.
     
  6. rutwad

    rutwad LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 179

    Thanks for the info. I'm stil looking, researching, etc.
     
  7. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,840

    Rutwad,

    I live up here in WI, and I don't brushcut, I own an RC50. However, brushcutting is very popular up here with tracked units. In the past I have spoken with an RC100 owner who primarily uses his machine for brushcutting. I think he uses a Fecon. I know that he did extensive research before he bought his machine a little over a year and half ago. I have seen his machine go by on the trailer quite a bit and it always has the cutter head attached. He had stated that the people he talked to were experiencing about 1,000 hours on their ASV track in brushcutting, with the biggest hazard being stumps, and the "stubble" from cutting 1-2" slashings. He did also say that he chose the ASV because it had better cooling than the competitors, faster ground speeds, and more engine hp for driving the auxillary pumps, drive motors, etc. It also didn't beat him up too bad during a 10 hour day brushcutting. There are many choices out there today and it looks like you're doing your homework. Best of luck in your search. My dealer did recently say that ASV now offers a purpose built "brushcutting package" that includes brush guards, thick belly pans, and a cab sealing kit that is pressurized.
     
  8. NEUSWEDE

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,147

    How are you guys finding the work? Doesn't seem like advertising in a paper would pay off. It is working with contractors or utility companies or getting in with the state, where do you get the majority of your work from and how did you get off the ground and running it is a very expensive start.
    Thanks
     
  9. justfor$

    justfor$ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Hello, I just signed up here because I saw some discussion about brush cutting. I can see that a cutter on a mini would be awsome. I see that one on the John Deere there. Where did you get it and are there any reccommendations? I see a decent variety out there but im on a budget. Some of them are like 5k or more. Thanks and hopefully I didn't miss this info somewhere else.
     
  10. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 734

    Hello Justfor$,Where are you in washington.You won't find a mower head for less that $6-$7k and what kind of mini will you be putting it on most 8000 lbs mini's wont run a mower head well because they don't the hyd. flow,takes 17-18 gallons a min. and up.

    minimax
     

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