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Strength of Bulldozer to remove stumps?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by wkheathjr, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. wkheathjr

    wkheathjr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18


    My name is Ken Heath and I couldn't find any information on Yahoo about what bulldozer is strong enough to remove an average-sized stumps?

    First, I sold trees to logger company 2 years ago so I could use the fund to start up new business and it is starting to make some progress right now that I want to expand my business, but it would require more land. I am currently using 13 acres out of 54 acres and I want to add 5 more acres for next 2 years with the possibility of booming into the whole 54 acres within 7 years.

    First, I rented a D5 bulldozer for $3,000 a week and I did 2 acres by myself the first 3 days and then blade cracked. I got a buddy who is a welder and he said it was clearly a bad welding job using very thin rod instead of thick, which would have hold so picture was taken. After a long battle with renting company, who wanted me to pay for the damage of $7,000 (blade & track), I decided to hire an attorney and won the case in court to get full refund & security deposit. Well, you get the picture...

    So with time-consuming process of court, I was forced to hire someone to clear my land because I couldn't tend to my property like I wanted due to court process and few paperwork for the business. The job of clearing 8 acres was $9,600.

    But that was 2 years ago and I am now on a tight budget and I was thinking of buying old bulldozer for around $3,500 to $6,000 and clear up as much of land as I can with the strength of small bulldozer since I know it probably wouldn't be able to pull out a very large stump that is as big as my SUV. Then I could resell it and get most of my money back.

    Finally, now here is the question... what size of small bulldozer will be strong enough to clear land at slow pace? I can go as slow as 20-30 stumps a week, but I don't mean to say I am willing to buy a very, very small bulldozer. Perhaps something with 4 cyl and diesel preferred. Finally, I would also need to use the bulldozer for grading/leveling and develop 300ft ATV Drag racing track.

    Thank in advance for answering my question!
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    You may be able to find an old Allis Chalmers or IH TD series dozer for what you want to spend. Usually at auction. Buyer beware of course. If you don't know what to look for when buying you can spend a lot of money fixing up a dozer (as it appears you have a taste of). Some other options. Buy or rent a large excavator. Here I can rent 200 size excavtor with a thumb for just under 2K a week. You could clear a lot of land that way. You could also rent a wheel loader or large skid steer (depending on size of stumps) to build track and handle grub material. The issue I see with your budget is buying equipment with what you have to spend could end up costing much more. It appears you have a sizeable project. You get halfway through and you run into a costly repair and you may end up much further into a machine than what you will ever recover. Renting sucks on jobs like this because it appears in this case you can't charge anything to recover your renting costs. However having 25K invested in an 8K dozer is not a great spot to be in either. I checked auction results at Ritchiebros.com and found several Allis HD dozers around 5K mid 60's vintage. IH there were many, anywhere from 5K to 20K most in the midteens. It may be a tough choice.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    A excavator removes stumps better than any dozer can a excavator does a cleaner job. You can dig around the stump to help loosen it up then pull it out and stack them into a pile for burning.

    Ohya what I call stumps are trees that range from 20"s to 40"s some stumps weigh 2 ton or more.

    If you found yourself a minimum 690 sized machine which is a John Deere or EX-200 Hitachi. I don't know what size of stumps your dealing with but a 20 ton is minimum size for stump removal you can get away with a 590 or EX-150 size machine it takes longer and you may run into the machine not beable to lift the stumps.

    Welcome to the site clapping

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    You have alot of variables hanging in the mix. WE used to use a D-8-D with a donkey motor and a cable drop blade to push over 3' diamter Oak stumps b ut we made sure we left 4-5' above ground to gain the leverage we needed to rip out the roots. That was in Duesseldorf, Germany where the soil is loam clay and there is adequate moisture. Back in Illinois we had an old D-6E with a hydraulic 6-1 blade and we could do the same thing, but once again, soil meant alot.

    How hard is your soil? And how big are the trees, and how much are you leaving above ground?

    For the price of 3500-5000 you are either in a very small dozer or a fyooken yunk which could easily be scap iron at any one point while you are using it.

    For the 5K you could rent/short term lease a new D-8R and knock the job out in a week which is a much better option that playing Russian Roulette with and old bone.....
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Another option is have a local excavation contractor to come and rip out the stumps and do the heavy roughing in work and you do the rest with a good skid steer or a rubber tired backhoe.

    You start getting involved with old bulldozers they cost you money expensive to repair.
  6. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I have to concur with the consensus (Dozers are REALLY $$$ to fix, and maintain) and tough to work on where they break, usually worst location) Anything that runs will set you back $3000, but be careful (undercarrage)

    A D8 with a root stinger + Winch is handy and cheap to buy, expensive to move...

    As mentioned...Excavator is much faster and cleaner for stump removal

    I'd probably look for a hungry Ex owner to yank out the majority, and largest, then come back with a rented 6 way to clean up. I like the 650 Case

    It is good to have the ex around to do burning

    How big are your stumps? I spent over an hour on grinding a 4' fir yesterday (chased roots around in about 10' dia) :cry: and ended up with about 5 yds of chips (but no stumps to burn++) I did 5 of the 18"-2' variety in the next hour. No rocks clapping so I got them ~6" below grade
  7. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    a dozer is a very poor choice to remove stump. either a rubber tired backhoe of small excavator is what you need. to remove stumps you need to dig all the way around them as deep as the bulk of the stump goes then turn it on its side in the same hole and clean all the dirt off the bottom you can then get it up out of the hole. i don't know how big the stumps are but a good case backhoe will remove more that you think. if you have to have a track machine look at a front end loader, they are a better all around tool you can dig around the stumps and loosen them up. trying to just push stumps out of the ground you are going to break more machine than wood i promise no machine is made to strain agianst somthing like that. i know that we all love to see horse power at work and see machines do impressive stuff but that is cowboy bs and is just hard on you equipment plus there is no need for it, when you can just dig around and loosen it up faster. you should never see a track slip in the dirt if it is you are pushing the machine past the point it was ment for. just remember take it easy work steady and you will always get more done
  8. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    ok after :sleeping: on this one, I think I get the picture hammer

    time is not an issue, low budget, low tech, (clean remaining 41 acres for cost of machine - $3000 - $5000) honorable, and possible task.

    Maybe ask around and find someone (preferably a 'retired operator') with a big old dozer (dependable) that they need to 'store' it at your place for awhile, or they are retired, but want to dink around every so often :laugh: - this does happen...


    get an good education on old machines, and locate one of choice nearby to purchase (might have better luck 'networking' (cafes, sand and rock pits, gas stations, truckers, HD mechanics) than auction (unknown condition / history) Be advised that you might need to 'scrap it out' if it breaks, and go find another. Thus... I suggest getting something that is very popular and available in your area. (stick to IH, AC, CAT or CASE, whichever there are more of in good condition)

    Just do your homework, and stick to a strategy (don't buy a 'fixer', when it breaks...If it costs to much to fix, scrap it and buy another)

    I recently sold an AC HD5 (trackloader) for a 'deceased' friend. I got $2500, and it ran fine, but had significant wear on undercarriage. The buyer had 3 others just like it, and he was happy with the deal.

    go find yourself and 'ole cogger' for a friend, they have some good sense for these older rigs. Don't go small, as you will have to abuse it, then it will break...

    If time is critical, use a hoe. How steep is your terrain? As mentioned track loaders are pretty useful, and superior for your task, but usually have 'street pads'. My 4in1 bucket and rippers are quite helpful in stump removal and brush clearing. Sometimes you can find them (trackloaders) pretty large. They were popular in gravel pits and demo work in 70's. possibly you could get a 'combo' (4in1 dozer with rear mounted hoe). I see them occasionally on equiptrader, ($8k-$16k) and popular in FL and GA. Watch for cracking of sideframe where hoe mounts, as they are vulnerable to breaking with all that cantilevered weight bouncing (i.e. take it ez with these, don't trial your MX track at full speed:nono: )
  9. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    I'd look for something like a 70's Cat D6 or D8, they'll pack the punch you need, and not be crapppy machines. cant guarantee fast work, but they'll get the job done eventually.
  10. wkheathjr

    wkheathjr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18


    I want to thank everyone who replied to my post and appreciate very informative replies!

    Last night, before I started doing some research I spoke with my dad about buying a used bulldozer that doesn't cost too much. The reason I asked him is because he used to do some grading works and really is a very good mechanic that he can fix almost anything from tractor to big rig to ferrari or lamborghini. I asked him if this bulldozer could do the job? He said that this one can do the job, but asked me "Son, have you thought about the maintenance part? We both know you don't know nothing about maintaining a bulldozer especially with the track!". So he suggested me to do some research before investing any kind of money into heavy equipment and I thought it is a best advice he can give to me. Don't get me wrong as I know how to operate heavy equipments, but when it come to fixing these equipments then it can be a problem.

    So of course, your forum is where I ended up because I couldn't find any informative website about removing stumps and I got a lot of good respond here!

    Yes, time isn't the issue and I am not going to try and clear the lot in any hurry! 8 acres is actually more than enough to utilities for motorcycle rally right now, however I am hoping to get a jump-start on ATV Drag racing & Mudbog in my area because a track nearby just shut down due to management & insurance issues. 5 acres will be enough if I can get it ready at end of this year or at least beginning of next year since need only 300ft for racing and another 300ft for cool-down.

    So after reading your answer this morning and thought about it for most of the day, I feel that maybe getting a backhoe would be best thing because it is something my father and I can work on if we run into some problems since he work on my uncle's backhoe. And I think it will sell much faster because my uncle is in septic tank business and I could sell it to him or could trade it in for a good-shape tractor to operate my campground business.

    And leave an enormous stumps to local contractors, which probably won't cost as much because the land will be clear of any derbies or piles making it easy to move excavator cross.

    What do you think?

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