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Land Clearing for Agriculture

Discussion in 'Agricultural Operations' started by big sig, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. big sig

    big sig Member

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    Nov 24, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Claremont, NC
    Hey all this is my first post on here. I am in Central North Carolina and I have a farming operation. We are having land logged that will be stumped and put into production, as well as cleaning up around farms, taking out hedge rows, cleaning drainage ditches, cleaning up over grown fields, etc. I need some equipment to do this. I was thinking an excavator and a dozer with a pin on root rake for cleaning up. I have used a deere 200clc and a 850k last year that I rented. This year I have about 200 acres to start cleaning on. Most stumps are less than 24" but we still have some that are 36-42". I plan on burning the stumps once, what doesnt burn bury somewhere on the property. After the stumps are burnt I will need to smooth the land up with the dozer and then somehow I have to get the sticks and rocks up. I don't like having to hire labor so I'm wonder what I could use, is there a machine that does a good job at this? I also dont want to take all the top soil off because thats where we make money.

    So here is what I need help with:
    What size machines and what brand/model do you like and why?
    What hours on the machines would you feel comfortable with?
    Can i get by with one machine or do I need both?
    For getting the sticks and rocks up what should I use?

    thanks everyone!
     
  2. Andrew_D

    Andrew_D Senior Member

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    Location:
    Newdale, Manitoba, Canada
    Rock rake to get the larger stuff, then if it's just wood pieces (roots, branches bits of stump, etc.) you could heavy disc it for a few years until the stuff gets broken down or get a rock rake to windrow everything into rows. Then use a rotary rock picker to pick up the rows.

    Andrew
     
  3. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    The dozer & excavator are good combination for alot of tasks. If your on solid ground ( not swampy or soft) and want to get buy with one piece of equipment I might look at a Cat 973. Plenty of grunt for the stumps and you could use the bucket teeth as a root rake to help clean the ground. Found several on machinerytrader. This one has the 4 in 1 bucket. www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=9453253
     
  4. hd16b

    hd16b Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
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    39
    Occupation:
    Farmer by name and trade
    Location:
    Stokes, NC
    I also am a farmer in nc, with my last name being farmer.First I would like to ask you how did you get permission to clear so much land. I ask because they wont let me do hardly any clearing where iam at. Took them forever to give me the ok to dig a pond awhile back. I bought a fiat allis 16b dozer in 2008 and had a pin on rake made to it and it works very well. Also I have a heavy duty pull type root rake that will rake evevything in a row and I either push it in a pile in the woods with the dozer or load it with a loader on to one of my farm dump trucks to carry off. I am painting my 16b this week and would like to post some pictures for td25c and everyone else but don't know how. Feel free to call me at 252 916 2927
     
  5. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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  6. big sig

    big sig Member

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    Location:
    Claremont, NC
    I think I want to go the dozer excavator route. Now as far as size. I will stay in the 20 ton class for excavators but as far as a dozer. I know all the new vs used talk but I could buy a new d5 or a used d6. I like having new equipment just for fact of maintenance and repairs. But the way I imagine the operation working is I would dig the bigger stumps with the excavator, make piles as I move through the field, and then come behind it with the dozer and push the piles into bigger burn piles. I don't want a dozer too small but it doesn't seem like there is that much power and weight needed the way I am going to do it. It may take a long time but what I need to know is will it work? I would equip it with a root rake to keep dirt out of the piles and to help with my clearing. But How much actual stumping with a d5 do?

    Hd16b they haven't gave us any trouble so far but we are all uplands. If it is wetland we can restore to the condition it was in 1980-1982 is what they told me.
     
  7. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Yeah, Its hard to beat the dozer & excavator combination. For myself I like both machines about the same size but thats just me. When clearing and digging out stumps bigger is usually better . Looking at the new cat D5 to myself it dosent seem big enough for a sizable clearing job even if digging out the big stumps with the excavator. www.cat.com/en_US/products/new/equipment/dozers/small-dozers.html

    Dont know what the new D5 costs ? These guys are asking $ 150,900 for a 2012 model www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=9485815

    If I was going to spend that kind of bread I would look for a used lower hour D6R for the job www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=9647981
     
  8. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Curious question, how thick is the top soil your wanting to save, how many tree's per acre and how many acres are you doing, reason I'm asking is this, in order to grub everything, your going to pretty well mix your top soil in with the sub soil no matter how you go about it.

    Also you stated your time frame, how long do you want to take to do it, is this all going to be done by spring so you can plant, next summer, all next year so its going into production the following year, what?

    Here's a suggestion not already made, how about going and getting a new pto stump grinder that you can put on a 150-250 hp and grind them out, along with the root balls and eliminate a lot of your grief, then come back in with a loader or skid steer, clean up some of the mulch and then doze it flat enough to work down with a disk and then no till it for a few years. Your still going to have to pick up sticks and rocks but not nearly as many as other methods create and you keep your top soil where it belongs, on top making you money for the long haul. Just a suggestion
     
  9. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    How would td25c clear 200 acres?

    Oh boy.... If a customer came to me with a job that size I would shop around abit and probably come home with a couple of Dresser TD25G's . www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7886049

    One would be equiped with a Rome K/G blade & winch .The other with a rake & ripper http://www.romeplow.com/Specialty Equipment.htm

    Being I work alone most of the time I would need a good hand to run the rake tractor........Dial up Gladstone Queensland....Ring Ring..... Hey Scrub Puller .......:D
     
  10. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . . (LMAO). Gotcha td25c. I didn't stick my bib in on this one as really, what you blokes have to contend with are completely different to our conditions and most folks must be sick of what I'm repeating anyway.

    Cheers.
     
  11. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    owner/operator/estimator/mechanic/grunt/ditchdigge
    Location:
    Missouri
    We use 63's to push and 6R's to carry and stack, ends up around $800 per acre.

    If I could only have one machine I would throw a loader out there.

    Don't shear off the trees, push and lay them over then pop em the rest of the way out with the loader. I can't count how many acres we've done buts it's in the high thousands probably.

    Ain't sayin it's the only way but it's what works the best for us
     
  12. big sig

    big sig Member

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    Location:
    Claremont, NC
    Ok I went to look at some machines today. Went and looked at a d5m open cab with 5k hours and he wanted 60 for it. He had a komatsu 220 series 5 with 12k hours, 4000 hours on the engine and 2000 on the pumps and he wanted 40k for it.

    We are almost still leaning new because productivity per hour isn't as important as not repairing stuff. A new d5k is 120, d6k is 160, d6n is 190. As far as excavators I can go with a Volvo 220 for 175, 160 for 150, and a 140 for 125. Cat starts at 200 for a 320, 165 for a 316, and 130 for a 312. Would the 312 and d5 do it? or do I need to step up to a d6k and a 316? I'm not trying to be speedy but I just don't want to tear up the equipment.
     
  13. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    For the interest on the machines go hire someone to do it for you and eliminate all the grief if you have that kind of cash to play with, or else go rent some machines to figure out what you want and need before buying anything is my advice. The spectrum of machines you have listed is about as far apart as you can get as far as capabilities and size and from what you just typed it would appear to me you have no idea of any of the machines capabilities, let alone how to operate them, not to sound harsh or anything, but you need seat time to figure it out for yourself and by going and buying new or almost new machines isn't the best way to figure that out in my opinion, that's what you do once you have an idea of what size of machine best fits your needs.

    Next thing to think about is what other jobs do you have for the machines once this job is done, because if your going to sell them off, with what you have listed as options to buy, your going to take such a hit on them, you could pay someone twice what they want and still be money ahead, so if it were me, I'd make a list of all the jobs, you'd like to do in the next x number of years and factor those into the equation too, you don't need a cat 320 once this job is done if all the rest of your jobs are in tight quarters and small places, same goes for a dozer, once this job is done, what other jobs are you planning on doing with it?
     
  14. 05rammer

    05rammer Well-Known Member

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    Have you thought about mulching? No need for 2 machines and no brush piles to deal with later.
     
  15. Silveroddo

    Silveroddo Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    ^ What he said

    As for mulching, thinking thats the wrong process for what your looking for in the end result
    Just my opinion
     
  16. Plebeian

    Plebeian Well-Known Member

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    It just depends on the mulcher - 970 hp http://youtu.be/la6iLKiUc0A

    A Cat 312 in good working order should take out those stumps but the big stumps usually come out easier and quicker with a 320. You could find a 312 with a blade to do some of the levelling, hire the 850 again for the big levelling jobs, I guess you probably have a few tractors to use for the final soil finishing touches, seeders, fertiliser etc
    What type of stump grinders are available in your area?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  17. PJHill

    PJHill New Member

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    I clear land in the eastern part of the state with a 220 excavator a td15 and a mf trackloader with a stacking rake. Alot of farmers in my area are purchasing their own excavators and they buy 312, 120, 140 sized machines because they think they are easier to move around. Most of them end up moving them with a tractor dolly and lowboy anyway so why not get a larger machine? I would not want anything smaller than a 220 to stump with. I see you are talking about buying new, but the larger the used excavator the less expensive it is. The maintenance on a 15 ton machine versus a 25 ton machine isnt going to be much different, you have the same components, just a little larger, and a whole lot more productive. Same for dozers. Notwithstanding giant equipment. You dont want your dozer and excavator to be too different in size so one can unstick the other. I would be happy to answer any questions or put you on some equipment in the area.
     
  18. Grease Gun

    Grease Gun Well-Known Member

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    Might be a little late to chime in, but your best bet is to start with a large excavator (with hydraulic thumb). I've always been a track loader guy, but the excavators are more suitable for grubbing stumps. They're also faster, and not as much wear and tear. After you grub the stumps, you can use a track loader (find a good used one) to push everything into piles. When everything has dried out good, go back in with the excavator and start into the piles. Shake the dirt off of everything and make new piles. When you burn the piles, you won't have much of anything left except ashes. Then spread it all out and level it up with the track loader.

    If its just pine stumps, you can get by with a larger track loader and a 4-n-1 bucket for the whole job. But it will be a lot slower. If you have a lot of large hardwood stumps, you'll be much better off with the excavator. Also, grubbing stumps with a track loader will disturb more soil and also resulting a lot more compaction.
     
  19. rutwad

    rutwad Senior Member

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    Location:
    Alabama
    For agriculture I would definitely get the excavator to dig out the stumps. Next and against probably 90% of other opinions, I would consider a CTL with root rake/grapple. The stumps are already out of the ground, so you really don't need the power of a dozer to push them. The CTL is faster, and also allows you to carry stumps instead of pushing them which adds more dirt.
     
  20. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farmer, drainage and excavating contractor, Farm d
    Location:
    Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
    I have a customer who mulched about 15 acres of mature forest.

    The forest would have been mixed oak, maple, ash, etc. The stand was dense. The trees would have been in the 1-2' log size I expect

    After muching, the land is covered with a foot of shredded tree. It is completely unmanagable and the owner is planning on simply letting it break down for a few years.

    I am wondering if there is a way to speed that up? I have heard applying nitrogen is one method.

    Any experience with this problem?


    Ken