Need to clear a couple acres of brush and trees for new construction

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by KCWB, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. KCWB

    KCWB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have recently purchased 2 acres of Industrial land that I need to clear so I can make room for a 6500 sq. ft. building. I have started cutting down the shrubs and small trees but I'm at a loss when it comes to the bigger stuff and at an even bigger loss when it comes to the stumps.

    My plan is to cut down the trees I can and pile them somewhere on the property to then either sell what I can for fire wood (or give it away) and shred whats left. My problem lies with what do you with the stumps and the best machine to take them out. I have been in touch with specialists in the area and they want upward of 30k so I figured Ill give it a go myself.

    Any suggestions about my stump problem and other tips on what to do to make it easier to put up a building and parking lot would be great.:confused:
  2. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    You should call someone else. 30K to clear 2 acres is crazy. Sell the mature timber with the agreement that the timber co. push all the tops in a few burn piles. You cut whats a track loader with a grapple and a brush cutter to detail it up....sub out the stumps.
  3. Canon Landscaping

    Canon Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Rent a D5-6 dozer or 160-200 class excavator with thumb or both and you can clear it off in a day or two easy pile the trees and brush and burn it if permitted or hire someone with a tub grinder to come and grind it all up for you. 30k is way too high around here I would say around 10-15k if you get it ground up.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I am assuming you have heavy equipment operating experience and that you don't own any yourself. I would do it as follows depending on the size of trees you have rent an excavator with a thumb. Topple the trees as they stand assuming this is possible. The benefit is the stumps come up when the tree is toppled. Cut the stump from the tree and do with the stump and timber as you wish. I have been clearing trees in Mt for the past month and this has proven to be the fastest method if your not concerned much about the timber. We have done the same thing. Seperated the slash, stumps and hauled them off. The timber has been hauled away for firewood. Trees we have been taking are 36" in diameter and smaller. It does not take a lot of machine to topple these trees. The trees we are taking are 40'-60' tall. Should the ground be frozen that may complicate the matter. Everything could be done with an excavator. A skid steer maybe nice to cleanup with but wouldn't be necessary. The size of excavator will depend on size of trees. A zero tail machine would be ideal especially in this type of environment and I am guessing that your not an operator by trade (less chance of scratching the machine). Everyone will offer their views of how to take the job on, you'll have to decide what fits your job site.
  5. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    he is correct push the tree over is the only way, it doesn't take a large machine to take down a tree we grub trees 24"-40" with a 312 all the time. a case backhoe will do it, all you have to do is dig around it and push. the roots hold it up. so take out the roots and the tree is just balancing itself and almost any thing can push it over
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The best way to clear it is with a excavator you do a cleaner job. The bigger trees fall them with a chainsaw the scrub trees push them over cut the stump off with a chainsaw. Anything that is 8 to 12 inches in diameter is good for firewood anything larger is mill-able wood with a woodmizer type mill.

    The scrub brush scrape it up and pile it if your allowed to burn burn it or haul it away in dumpster bins. Once you get the property cleared then start grooming it with a dozer or grader.

    A 160 sized machine will do the job or a 200 you don't need anything bigger. I don't know what kind of trees you have on the lot are they a scrub tree like maple ?

    Any of the larger diameter wood cut it in 21 foot lengths most woodmizers will take 20 foot long material the extra foot leaves the mill guy options to trim the ends. With the mill-able timber try keep it clean as possible don't drag it through the mud or the mills won't pay you anything for the wood. Its why a excavator with a thumb works good you can cleanly deck the wood

    The old stumps you will have to try burn or haul away if you do fall the trees with a saw make sure you leave enough stump to have some leverage to yank it out. You have to be very carefull pushing old maple and alder trees over with a excavator if you get the top swaying back and forth it can snap off and land on the machine.

    Have a decent access road built so you can back in a rolloff truck to drop off you some cans to throw the brush into. Also have a area to deck the good wood for the sawmill and a free fire wood pile for the wood magots that are looking for free firewood.

    Try keep the site clean as you might have to strip the organic material (topsoil) off you might beable to give that away to somebody.

    Good Luck

    Oh ya some lots I have worked on we hauled away 4 or 5 loads of logs off and its not short wood its 50' long logs with a 24 inch butt on the logs thats usually off 1 acre of land about 15-20 logs a truck.
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    A 120-160 excavator will do just fine. I don't recommend knocking the trees over, crap can fall out of the trees and land on the cab or the tree might snap entirely. Fall them with a saw, buck them into 20' lengths, then manage them with an excavator. A thumb is an absolute must for this job. 2 acres isn't that much, shouldn't take more than a day or 2. I can clear 2 acres of orchard in 3 hours very easily with a 12 ton excavator.
  8. KCWB

    KCWB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to save some money and do as much of it as possible. I have a small amount of experience using a back hoe but nothing serious.

    Most of the land I can clear myself with a chainsaw but I didn't think about leaving the stumps high enough to get some leverage when pulling them down. Except for a few the largest trees are probably about 24" in diameter and are mostly pine and maple.

    I was thinking of cutting the smaller trees and scrub down and then mulching it up and use it for some type of fill and/or spread it around where the lawn is planned to go.

    I called the local Equipment Rental store and they will rent a CAT302 for $430/Day. Would this be enough Machine to remove the stumps I checked it out on the web and it looks pretty small.

    Thanks alot for your advice as a first time land clearer I need all the info I can get. :confused:
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    A machine that size is pretty small you could dig the stumps out with it but its going to take a long time :dizzy:

    Any of the big stuff have a tree trim company come in and do the big trees they can drop them for you. If the maple is a large enough diameter and isn't rotten the guys with the small sawmills will want it. The pine trees you might get somebody that wants them.

    See if the rental place has atleast a 12,000lb excavator and keep in mind it might be cheaper to have a contractor to do the job and you do the rest.
  10. KCWB

    KCWB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I figured it was going to be too small. I'm guessing the guy I was talking to has never used this machine to clear 2 acres of stumps. As for the contractor part I'm meeting one on friday who says for his machine it would be about $125/per hour. So now we'll see how many hours he thinks it will take him to do it.

Share This Page