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Skid Steer and Trees

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Redeemed, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Redeemed

    Redeemed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hey guys, I've only rented a skid steer a few times and I have a new project. I need to clear a path for a driveway thru an area that is mostly brush and some small trees. How large of a tree will I be able to push over or dig up with your typical skid steer? Most of the trees are pines, 10" diameter would be the largest. Thanks for any advice.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    What I would suggest doing is to buy/rent a chainsaw, cut the trees you need to remove with about 2 1/2 feet of stump left. Then bring in a 8-10K pound excavator and dig them up and rough grade with the blade. I wouldn't suggest trying to push them over with a skid steer, although you could, but if you must push them over with a skid anything over 7,000 pounds or so should be fine.
  3. peak

    peak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    If the trees are in soft soil. you shouldn't have a problem pushing them over. Be careful not to keep pushing, back and forth, to get the momentum of the tree going, the top is likely to break out and land on top of you.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    A excavator would work better because you can reach higher and push plus if the excavator has a thumb you can move the trunk and the stump of the tree.

    With a skid steer get the bucket as high as it will go and gently push yes you may run the risk of snapping the tree off at the edge of the bucket which will be very dangerous.

    As what Scag said get a chainsaw fall the trees and leave a good top on the stump so you have something to lever with pushing with the bucket.

    The other way to go would be using block and tackle in combination with your skid. You find the heaviest stump to use as a dead man and start pulling the other stumps out. If you use a 2 or even 3 part line using snatch blocks and 3/8s or even 1/2" cable your skid steer will have the pulling power to pull out the stumps because you have mechanical advantage from the pulleys (blocks).

    A excavatator is the quickest and cleanest way of removing stumps thou.
  5. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I routinely push over large (12" to 16") spruce and birch trees with my skidsteer. On the larger trees, I cut the roots on the side I am pushing from with either my tooth bucket or rooter bucket. Then place the bucket about 6' to 8' up an push. The tree may begin to fall over then stop, at this point lower the bucket (sometimes underneath the root ball) and push forward and lift. I've never had the tree break off where I am pushing. I have had some dead branches fall out of the tree, so be sure to check for that first.

    Once the tree is over, use the bucket to remove most of the dirt from the root ball. Then maybe shake the remainder of the dirt free. Then take the chain saw and cut the tree and leave the roots and stump. At this point I use my forks to move the tree and stump away. A power Bobtach comes in really handy when changing attachments frequently like this.
  6. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    For some reason taking out trees with a skid has never appealed to me. I have never liked being in a confined box with no place to go with something that big hanging over my head.
    Yanking trees out with an excavator is my prefered method. Dig em, yank em, spin em, and throw em onto a pile and move on. With a big enough excavator you don't even have to dig them, just push them over and rip them out.....grab them and throw them like a baseball onto the pile......
  7. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    the trick to grubing any tree is to weeken its grip on the ground by digging around it. you just need to dig around it and try to break off as many roots as you can before pushing. rocking it back and forth will help get the trees weight to work with you. i don't think that i would fall the tree first. that would make your job harder because you will not have the tres weight helping you and you will have to apply all the force with the skid which is not really big enough to do it by itself
  8. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I have seen those for sale. I don't recall exactly what they run 10K sounds familiar but I may be off. If you grub off a lot of smaller trees it might be just the ticket.
  10. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Its a feller buncher attachement its for the people that can't fall tree's. Some of the bigger tree's have fell were 44"s in diameter the average tree is 20-24"s in diameter.

    A chainsaw is cheaper or hire a contractor that knows how to fall trees. That tree in the picture is a ****** pole I could fall that with a recipricating saw :laugh:

    Here is a proper Feller Buncher


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