Clearing vacant lots

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by dtelawncare, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    I have to bid on 26 properties for the city. They are vacant properties that are grown up. They are all differnt sizes. All trees under 8" must be rmoved and the lot left ready for regualr cutting. I have the dimensions and size of each lot. I need some advice on best methods to clean up the lots. Walking over them I see many glass bottles and other junk and trash. Next week I am buying a small Bobcat. I know it will take a little time to learn it. Should I try to clear the lots using it. I f not, what works best. I have done several residential clean ups, but nothing covered in trash, bottles, and peices of cement, ect..

    The debri can not be burned and I can choose which properties I want to bid on or not.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Many, many years ago I ran a bobcat to load a wharehouse full of barley (grain) in the back of farming dump trucks. I learned the machine in about 5 or 10 minutes but the expertness takes time, do let the dealer or whoever sells it to you tell you whatever tricks you can use / show you how to use it. It's not hard, but some things...

    Now recently I cleared some land on my own lot with a dingo and took several small trees down... That's a much smaller and lighter machine than a bobcat... You just have to go slow and if the tree doesn't want to go down, use a chainsaw and then you can lift the log with the loader <- still faster as you don't have to cut the log into small pieces (but watch your rear-end, if it lifts because the log is too heavy, cut it up some more). Depending on the size of the cat, you can lift some pretty nasty logs with it (some as heavy or heavier as cars).

    You can tear off branches with the shovel, and push against the trunk to see if it goes down, remembering that 1-2 feet off the ground is about right.

    For brush-clearing, the shovel level with the ground works right decent (much easier than any other method I've tried). Just push along until it won't go no further and / or when the shovel is full, you can go dump it in the back of a truck or if you're making a pile, whatever.

    The dingo is a bit of a pita to get used to, I liked the bobcat much better.

    The bobcat works like this:

    A throttle like on your mower - once set, that's where it stays: Set it to LOW while learning, then turn it up as you get better. It still has a lot of power on even the lowest setting, everything just moves slower (which allows the learning curve to settle).

    Two handles, one each side: You drive it like a tank. Both forward, both back, one forward or back or the other, or both in opposite directions all gives you slightly different results.
    Two foot pedals: One raises / lowers the bucket, the other tilts it.

    It's really quite simple but:
    When turning, watch it! Specifically, pay attention to tire skip or hop (much more common on pavement than dirt). And, watch how fast you maneuver when the shovel is high in the air (especially if loaded), a sudden turn with a loaded shovel high up can make the machine tip over: It is best to always keep the shovel as low as you can, think looking OVER the shovel when driving / not under it.
    Those are the big things, just go slow until you get it, and you'll be fine and pay attention to lean and skip and stuff like that. For the most part, you'll likely have a blast.

    Always strap in (either straps or a safety bar like on a roller-coaster). If the machine starts to tip, NEVER try to get out - hang on as best you can. The cabin is sturdy, it will keep you from harm.
    Whenever exiting or entering the machine (especially exiting) always LOWER the shovel to the ground, NEVER walk out of the cabin by going underneath a raised shovel (if suddenly the hydraulics were to give out). For safety, I would also always turn the beast off completely before exiting for any reason (yes it can wander off much in the way some hydro mowers like to walk off, too - real slow but...)

    If you have dirt in the shovel, when you lift it go slow because one wrong move with the shovel high up and a fair load of dirt may dump out behind and down on you - Not that big of a safety issue but it is very frustrating.

    If the shovel comes OFF - Line up the forks with the shovel as best you can with the machine, then park it and get out to set the handles (you should've turned it off completely at this point). Before you get too busy with it, test it some to make sure it is 'set'

    One more thing:
    You can NOT see out back so make sure there is NEVER anything behind you that if you hit it, would get damaged (such as a house, fence, car, etc.) If you are not 100 percent sure, do NOT back up - If the bobcat touches something, it is damaged, guaranteed (whatever it touched is damaged, the bobcat usually survives just dandy). Even if the object is not a big deal (such as trees), of course you still don't want to hit it going backwards but it's not that big a deal.

    Do some more research, ask around, that's some of the things I can remember.
  3. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    Thanks for the info Topsites. I am excited about getting it. It isn't new, but I hope I really have fun with it.
  4. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    I have looked the vacant lots over and think I have each one timed out. Most of them are very similar in work and over growth. I think setting a sq ft price would be easier to apply to each lot. Any help would greatly be appreciated.
  5. shortgut

    shortgut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    FECON, INC. Introduces New Bull Hog Model For Skid Steers

    FECON, INC. introduced a new wider cutting Bull Hog for Skid Steers that will cut a path equal to or greater than the track or wheel width of most skid steers. Weighing 2,550 lbs., the BH85SS has a cutting width of 70 inches and operates with 36 tools for efficient and versatile mulching performance. Universal features enable the BH85SS to run on skid steers with 30-46gpm and 3000-5000 psi on the high flow circuit. It works on skid steers with either left or right hand outlets and has a universal mount. Optional trap door and tachometer for the rotor are available on the BH85SS or the 60 inch cut width BH74SS.


    here is what you need to go with that bobcat
  6. jsbiker

    jsbiker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I think that FAE has been making skid steer heads form 1999..

    just look at the workmenship and warrnty
  7. Hummer

    Hummer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119


    What's up with all your posts praising FAE? Do you have some kind of connection with them or what?
  8. jsbiker

    jsbiker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    i know the others so like they say if you cant say anything good dont say it

    i have been around all the companies for a long time and know most of the owners. you get right down to it, its a small group that make all the heads.
    most are just copy cats no RD on there own
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

  10. Jim@MilkyWay

    Jim@MilkyWay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Just remember with any type loader; if the bucket is loaded, think low and slow as you go. Don't lift bucket until you are near level, side-to-side.

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