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Making a little tree grubber tool for Excavator bucket?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by fastline, Apr 27, 2022.

  1. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    I have probably 200 trees in an ag field I need to work on. Long story short, the right way is usually to get most of the root mass. Trees are all probably 2" caliper and down, some only waist high. Tallest is probably ft. Been toying ideas today. Because this is likely to become an ongoing or annual project, I want a way to deal with it efficiently.

    Last yr I took the 322C out with the 48" bucket and gouged the ground. I was making quit a mess over small trees. So I was standing here with a used up bucket tooth thinking about making a "snaggle tooth". A single, custom tooth with more length and features for this specific task so I can quickly pop these trees with minimal ground disturbance.

    I plan to install the tooth on the edge tooth where it will have the most structural support, and I don't intend to get crazy here. Soils are all clay/loam. Digs easy. Probably make it 18" long.

    Anyone have any thoughts or ideas?
     
  2. StevenG

    StevenG Well-Known Member

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    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Can you brush hog them before they become an issue?
     
    ianjoub likes this.
  3. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Spray em. Thumb or grabber to pull them out if you want to use the excavator, or skid steer, or three point tractor.
     
  4. Camshawn

    Camshawn Well-Known Member

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    Neighbour has one of these for small trees, says it works. Uses it with his mini ex. 246D2D2F-53DB-4AC3-8584-5E99D976BF6C.jpeg
     
    aighead likes this.
  5. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Camshawn, we have one of those that we got to help with the honeysuckle before I had the backhoe, we just tied it to the mower and out they'd come. They work but you need a semi-strong helper to pry them open around the tree. If you were a one man show you'd spend lots of time getting on and off a machine. The one we have is stiff enough that the wife struggled to pry it open. A snaggle tooth sounds like a much better option.
     
    Camshawn likes this.
  6. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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  7. 673moto

    673moto Well-Known Member

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    I think vetech63 has the answer... root/rock rake bucket would do the trick.
    I’ve been meaning to make one for my miniX. Seems like an easy build and wouldn’t need to be all that stout for smaller trees
     

    Attached Files:

  8. digger doug

    digger doug Senior Member

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    What keeps them from slipping in between ?
    I would take a used blade, and cut multiple deep "VEE's" in it, make sure they go to a point in the bottom. Bolt this on top of the bucket's cutting edge.
    You put bucket down flat on the ground, slide towards you, and stop when the tree starts bending to you (don't want to knock it over)
    It will snag in the "V", and you will then pull up.

    Wipe bucket backwards (away from you) to dislodge them.

    I made similar for my bobcat skid steer, it worked well.
    When I got into the hillside, I didn't want to rip out the roots, too much erosion possibility, so I built the Thrash-A-Matic® and mow them.
     
    aighead likes this.
  9. 673moto

    673moto Well-Known Member

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    Good call... didn’t think about that part. Could weld in the “V” as some gussets along the tines to provide the grip.
     
    digger doug likes this.
  10. digger doug

    digger doug Senior Member

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    If it wasn't clear, make the "VEE's" about 3" wide, and 6" deep.
    adding gussets/ribs on top would help as the bigger trees, (that take more pull out force) are snagged further out on the "fingers".
    And that's where they are weaker.

    Put the gussets/ribs on straight out, and stay away from the "Vee" side edges. I think on top would be best, so you can keep that cutting edge as close to the ground as possible.

    The whole operation is like combing hair.
    Except that you stop "combing" as soon as the tree starts to tip forward, then pull up.
    How doo you clean out the comb ?
    (think a big mess of dog hair) you slide it back out from whence it came.

    FWIW using the Bobcat, I could feel the resistance as I drove the tree into the Vee.
    So I had feedback, as to when I should move the bucket UP to rip out the root ball.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
    aighead likes this.
  11. hvy 1ton

    hvy 1ton Senior Member

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    I'm a little lost on what you're trying to build. The 3 most used attachments to grub small diameter trees around here are:
    Mesquite/Cedar Grubber
    WBGR20-V36-ISO.png
    Dual tine stump ripper
    ex-cts1.png
    Ripper/Rake
    LEA_Straight_Rake-1.jpg
     
  12. LCA078

    LCA078 Well-Known Member

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    You have 3 choices for trees that small:
    1)Dig them out
    2)Pull them out
    3)Shear them at your preferred height

    I'd go for #3 with a homemade grubber similar to Digger Doug's idea. Have a local fab shop cut you a 1' x 3' flat plate of 3/4" or thicker AR400 or similar hard plate. Have them cut a slight v into one side of the 1' length and bevel it. This will look like the cutter section of the mesquite/cedar grubber in the above post. Lay the plate in the bottom of your bucket with the v or beveled section facing out out a foot or so and fasten it to your bucket (bolts or weld). This will be your shear to cut the trunks 6" below the ground or whatever you need. You just need to curl the bucket or retract your dipper just enough to shear the trunk but not 'dig'. And if you do dig, it's only a 1ft wide divot instead of a 4ft wide.

    If your bucket has teeth that need replacing...even better! Weld the plate to the teeth so you can 'remove' your grubber when done.

    If your keen on 2) pulling them out, then yes, your snaggle tooth or similar may work, depending on your design. Post of drawing of your design for a snaggle tooth. Folks here aren't bashful with their honest opinions. LOL!
     
  13. treemuncher

    treemuncher Senior Member

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    eatin' trees, poopin' chips
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    West TN
    For a manual solution, why not make up a series plate with twin tiger teeth to attach to the bottom of a bucket or rake? This will allow more penetration points to get the small stuff in a single pass. Most rakes and buckets have the teeth set too wide to get the small stuff easily. I love my clearing rake for slash and burn when trees are 2"-12" diameter but personally, I hate slash & burn because it is so slow compared to my mulchers.
    [​IMG]

    I've done it most every way possible to remove small trees and brush. I like my drum style mulchers the best as I can roto-till the top 1/2" or so yet leave the grass root base intact. Rocks, stumps, and clods of dirt: everything is eaten by the mulchers and leaves a pretty good finish ready for seeding as it is already lightly tilled.

    Another option, a bit beyond a mulcher, is a soil mill that will go down 2"-12" deep depending on available horsepower.
     
  14. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    Muncher, I know this is sort of your thing. I really don't mind leaving the root mass in the ground, I just want them dead, and I don't want a 2" stump sticking up. I was already thinking about mulchers but I think you would take one look and realize it isn't that bad....lol

    At the moment, I am toying the idea of just spraying them in hopes of a good root kill, and I can drag the disc through the fields later. Usually if a root system is toast and I drag a disc going in 2-3", it shears everything off.

    However, I still should probably have a little brush get'r for the hoe. I mostly run flatbills for teeth. I can bolt something to the side cutter holes but making custom teeth would probably be the cocky solution. I had an idea for serrated teeth like what is on a swather. Mostly because they seem to latch on to smaller stems pretty easy. I am not dealing with anything very big here. I just know if I don't deal with them now, I have to turn up the heat later.

    Really a good cultivator would probably make easy work of it. Wish I had one. Possible the trees could damage it though. I know some are deceivingly stuck.
     
  15. LCA078

    LCA078 Well-Known Member

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    Delmer said but I'll emphasize it. Another option, and probably the cheapest, fastest, and most effective, is to just rent a skid steer (really track loader) with the fence post/tree puller for a day. Around here, you can rent on a Friday and use it Saturday thru Sunday if you drop back off first Monday morning. Some places will add charges if go more than 8 or so hours for a day's rental but some don't.

    I think within a few hours you could pull and pile up all those little trees...as long as your field is not a mud pit. Anything to small for that puller is probably too small to worry about.
     
    Camshawn likes this.