1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

What would you use for ROW maintenance

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by all ferris, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    I was wondering what would be your tool of choice? Its about 120 miles of ROW maintenance. There are about 250 fence rows and creek crossings and about 25 miles, all to be mowed once every 2 years. Most of this ROW is farm ground where the farmers put crops in right over the ROW. There are only a few steep hills but they aren't long. The only things that needs to be maintained are the spots where the ROW crosses a ditch/creek, where ever there is a property line that is not maintained by the land owner, and where ever the ROW goes through the woods(about 25 miles). So basically I have to maintain what ever the property owners don't maintain. Maximum width of the ROW is 150' and there is nothing growing more than 2" in diameter. All work is to be completed in the winter (snow is not an issue but if the ground is not frozen it will be soft to muddy). I do know from looking at some of the ROW that there will be some hand work (i.e. handheld brush cutters).

    If you could buy one piece of equipment and an attachment/implement what would it be? I know that previous maintenance has been done with both a skid/CTL and others have used a 75hp or less tractor, both with brushcutters.

    BTW - I already have a bid price in mind and have penciled in about $70,000 for equipment costs on this 4 year bid.
  2. Around here a ROW company uses a modified tractor with belly pans, side shields heavy brush guard bumpers almost looks like a armored tractor.
  3. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    same...looks kind of like this..only they are New Hollands around here

    i would go the tractor route personally

  4. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    Those tractors are an idea. I see they have a winch. However, I would want a cab.
  5. I will say I have never seen one around here with a cab. Unless your talking about a hydro ax.
  6. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,757

    You are looking at approximately 454.5 acres to mow if I did my math right based on the 25 miles out of the 120 you think you will have to maintain. I would think that the faster you can mow, the better.
    Personally, I haven't seen anything that is easy to mow with in the mud. The tractors will get bogged down in a wet ditch (I've seen it happen numerous times on ROW) and a skid or CTL mower will awfully small for the long distances you may need to mow but very handy in tight areas. I would imagine a CTL or MTL would be useful in the ditch areas especially if you can use a mower that you can lift up and not have it shut off (ie bobcat brushcat) or modify a mower. Also, a Bobcat mower has a steel roller. No good in wet conditions..

    I would think a tractor with flotation tires would be the most economical machine to operate. Any CTL will need radiator maintenance but again they would be handy around those ditches.

    I have a Stihl FS550 brush cutter. I would recommend it to anyone taking on a ROW project. Very comfortable harness and plenty of power. There is one size smaller available that would probably hold up fine.

    So, if you could have 2 machines, that would be ideal. If not, I'd go with the tractor first if you have long, uninterrupted areas to mow. If you have a lot of tight areas by guard rails, trees, etc., a CTL would be very maneuverable but you will only get about 6 feet of mowing per pass unless you can find a larger mower. Bobcat had one but discontinued, I think.
  7. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    Any CTL with a brush mower and a winch that can be swapped to the rear or the front would work for me.
  8. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,549

    What about a tractor for the open areas, a ctl for the hills, and a mini ex with a mower like minimax has for the creek edges.. I know that will be more than 70k, but it is going to be hard to get one machine that will do it all..
  9. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,019

  10. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,757

    from experience, open cab mulching is no fun. Bees, bugs, dust, dirt, rocks, limbs, etc. Never do that again!

Share This Page