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Best Mulching Carrier: Exc or CTL?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by JimEd, Feb 1, 2019.

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  1. JimEd

    JimEd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
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    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    I've got 100+ acres of semi-rocky, woodland, marsh, hayfields and pasture that need thinning out. I want to be very selective as to what is eliminated and what is allowed to remain, so dozing or clear-cutting is not an option. This is my private property and I am not a commercial operation with no need to consider distant transport of the equipment to job sites. We're looking to buy the machines and either keep or downgrade to smaller machines for land maintenance after the job is done. Trees are a mixture of hardwoods (oak, ash, birch) and dense brush and saplings. Trees are generally 12"-18" or smaller and less than 50'.

    The equipment would be operated both by myself (with little experience to speak of), but mostly by an experienced operator hired for the job. Renting isn't an option due to the quality of equipment available in my area and hiring out the job (although faster and easily less expensive... unless we sold the equipment after the job), wouldn't be anywhere near as fun or offer the ability to be selective/careful with what gets taken down/out.

    So, we're looking at a mulching head on either a high-flow CTL such as the CAT 299XHP or the 120HP ASV OR an 8-ton excavator like the Kubota 80 or 25-ton CAT 320. Either machine would also be useful beyond mulching, especially the 320 as it would be good for clearing large rocks and working around ponds. All brands have local dealers with good support rep (Kubota, ASV/Terex within 10 miles and CAT within 30 miles). It'd be nice to have one of each machine, but if only one, for versatility and speed, what say the experts?
     
  2. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    For 100 acres I’d much rather have a 320/325 than a 299.
     
  3. 245dlc

    245dlc Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Canada
    An excavator will be a better fit as you can mulch around and above rocks and you will vastly better visibility of what your mulching we have a lot of glacial till in our area that's comprised of mostly granite and its pretty nasty to be running in to with a mulcher. We've got a Hitachi ZX160LC and a Kobelco SK210LC Mark 9. The smaller machine has a Promac 36" brush cutter with a mulching disc and the Kobelco has a Promac 52" flail type mulcher they both have their strong points but they are far better if your dealing with a lot of rock. I think a skid-steer will mulch more in a day to a point but will struggle and suffer more damage with lots of rock around. 20161115_120637.jpg 20161115_151620.jpg 20161117_155045.jpg
     
  4. JimEd

    JimEd Member

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    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    Thanks for the replies (and pix). Kind of confirms to me the larger excavator is the bet. Your comment re mulching head in rock I appreciate. I will check out the Promacs.
     
  5. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    fort macleod alberta
    Yep excavator....plus you can use it to rake....pile ....stack and take out stubborn rocks...
     
  6. 245dlc

    245dlc Senior Member

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    We've had really good luck with them, they make a conventional drum style mulcher with the fixed teeth like you see with many other manufacturers. I would also recommend instead of getting bars to protect your front windshield get 1/2" thick polycarbonate that's what we use because we've seen many other outfits with similar equipment with broken windshields because they got a stick or shrapnel between the bars or screen. I've taken chunks of logs to the lexan or polycarbonate and never got so much as a mark on it. The horizontal drum style mulchers and flails however don't throw as much material around as the disc style brush cutters or mulchers.

    https://www.promacgroup.ca/equipment/
     
  7. ianjoub

    ianjoub Senior Member

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    I did 1" thick polycarbonate on my skid steer door.
     
  8. JimEd

    JimEd Member

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    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    It would seem the polycarbonate "glass" would give you vastly better visibility than bars, however how about scratching or clouding over time? I had a an issue with small airplane windshields crazing and yellowing.
     
  9. 245dlc

    245dlc Senior Member

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    We've been running that Hitachi for over ten years with that windshield and there is no 'yellowing' scratches are also minimal and its taken a beating over all those years. I think its plexiglass that yellows with sunlight and scratches far easier.
     
  10. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Ex land clearing contractor, part-time retired
    Location:
    Ubique
    There is a heap of stuff on the market to clean and keep Lexen/ polycarbonate clear.
     
  11. InsleyGuy

    InsleyGuy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
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    Location:
    Howell, Mi
    The key is to not wipe off the sawdust and dirt with a dry rag.