Opinions on brushcutting/land clearing

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by 711SnoPro, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. 711SnoPro

    711SnoPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Hey guys,

    Trying to see if there is any money to be made with a skidsteer or CTL with a decent HD Brushcutter like a Diamond or something? Can't really afford to get into the mulching game so I feel the hd rotary head on a skid with decent hydraulic flow would work well and be relatively low maintenance.

    Was thinking of targeting developers, lot owners, hunting land owners, and possibly utility companies for ROW upkeep. Any other potential customers I could target?

    I'm not really sure on how to measure demand for these services other than advertising and if I do get calls use a rented head I guess until I could justify buying my own head.

    I would think you could get at least $125/hour for it, maybe more. Just not sure if the demand is there.

    Any thoughts on doing this or am I wasting time on it?


  2. slowleak1

    slowleak1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    Why not mulching? All the guys Ive ever seen doing ROW maintain use mulchers. Seems way more effective. If you are renting, might as well rent the propper tool for the job, unless you are looking for just small brush jobs.
  3. 711SnoPro

    711SnoPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    The biggest thing besides cost is that in order to run one efficiently you need a CTL with 90-100 hp putting out over 35 GPM. I would like to be able to use the machine for landscaping as well so I am thinking of something like a CAT 259B3 which is powerful enough to run an HD rotary head but still small and light enough to use for landscaping work.

    I know the cat dealer 35 mins from the house has an HM315 mulcher to rent but I'm not sure about a high flow rental machine to go along with it to rent. Have to check into that.

    I think that one of those Diamond rotary mowers paired up with a 259 would still be relatively efficient but obviously not as much as a dedicated mulcher setup on a high hp high flow CTL.

    Any other thoughts?
  4. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Here in Ga they still cut ROWs with Tractors and bush hogs and there is no skid steer mulcher in the world that could cut what they do per acre. A rotary cutter is design to cut the material, a mulcher is designed too mulch. Obviously the cut material will be left rough and the mulched material will be mulched much smaller.

    In my opinion a rotary cutter is an exceelent choice for doing what you asked about as long as the rough cuttings are not an issue.. I would suggest a larger ctl ( than a 259)however. Not sure why you think you need a small CTL to landscape with?

    look on Dirtmans picture thread, as he has a nice cutter on his TL150 and a bunch of pics of work with it.
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I have a Diamond High Flow mower. Works well, but its not a mulcher. It takes hp to run these high flow attachments in tough conditions. The 257-259 is not in my view enough machine. You certainly will have trouble keeping it cool. If you want a Cat I would start at a 279 and go up from there.
  6. 711SnoPro

    711SnoPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    It's nice having a smaller and lighter machine to work around houses and other obstacles where it gets to be a pain being in a big machine. The reasoning behind the 259 was that its available with 31 GPM high flow so I would have a little bit smaller and lighter machine that's still powerful enough to do everything I would need to do with it. ( I need to demo one first though)

    In the ideal situation where money wasn't an issue I'd have something like a 247 for landscaping work and a 299 for dirt work, land clearing, etc (or whatever other brand I'd choose)

    With the cooling issue I suppose a guy could make an aux roof mounted cooler or get a loftness one with a fan?

    How do you like the Diamond mower?

    Any ideas on how to try to figure demand for this other than what I mentioned?

    Thanks for the input guys!
  7. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    My CTL weighs 10k pounds. It does less damage than a wheeled 6k pound machine does. Regardless of specifications hyd hp is dependent on engine hp.
    31 GPM will require almost 60 hp. That leaves about 11 hp too move the machine. Not going to work very well. A CTL will need about half the hp to run the machine and you will have the rest for you attachment.
  8. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I will add that the 259 weighs 9k pounds so it is not a small machine.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I like the Diamond mower, well built. The 279 weighs about as much but with more power. If you must have a Cat thats were I would go. Your not going to notice any difference in size between the two.
  10. 711SnoPro

    711SnoPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Yeah I see what you are saying with the hydraulic requirements. Not really going to be going much of anywhere on 11 HP...

    The only experience I have with hydraulic mowers is a old beat up BrushCat I ran on our L180 new holland last year. Worked okay for what I used it for but left a lot to be desired as far as cutting capacity/cut quality. (the blades might as well have been square edged though)

    How is the finished cut look mowing wise? I realize it's not a mulcher but does it do a better job than a traditional rotary mower? How is it for flinging debris? Depending on HP what is the largest diameter vegetation you're comfortable cutting?

    I'm not stuck on a Cat, just felt for the 75 horse class I liked their offering the best. We have Cat, Deere, CNH, and Kubota in the Fargo area.

    I suppose I would be better off getting the most powerful machine I could find/afford and if I needed to rent a smaller one. That would be better, providing I can keep it busy.

    Thanks for the advice, keep it coming


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