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what track loader is best for clearing off over grown land with osage orange

Discussion in 'Track Loaders' started by Littlefarmgirl, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Littlefarmgirl

    Littlefarmgirl New Member

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    Looking to buy track loader just cant seem to find to many reviews from actual people and what they like best. Talked to a rep from local tractor supplier and he offered a 2019 New Holland C227 with a Hydra Snip tree shearer for 51000.00 Sounds like a great deal just wondering if anyone has used either of these two products and pros and cons of each
     
  2. dozr

    dozr Well-Known Member

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    I LIKETHE 951 CAT , but getting a little old like me but was a work horse in its day, can still pick one up for around 10 to 15 grand depending on under carriage. got more to spend newer 953 or 943 would work,but i like 3304 engine better than 3204, can not go wrong with 3304 can fix and keep fixed. MHO
     
  3. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the forums Littlefarmgirl!

    Give us a little more info on what you are needing the machine to do, the amount or size of what you need to do and your time frame - are you earning a living with the machine or using it around the farm?

    I for one am not familiar with osage orange, what exactly is that and how hard is it to clear?
     
  4. dozr

    dozr Well-Known Member

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    Good reply, would like to know to, and if land is wet or dry.
     
  5. Littlefarmgirl

    Littlefarmgirl New Member

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    Sorry guys for lack of info. So we will be using for personal use on our farm. The ground is very rocky and dry and the land which my husband inherited earlier this year is 116 acres of overgrown untamed Hedge trees aka Osage Orange. For those of you unfamiliar with these trees, Hedge is very invasive with large gnarly thorns that will pop a tractor tire. It is a very hard wood and a pain to try and get under control. Once cut you must spray immediately with Tordon because if you don't the tree with grow back in multiples. Need a track loader that will do good on hard, rocky, and hilly terrain. Any suggestions
     
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  6. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    The new holland c227 is a rubber tracked loader, no tool for going after osage orange, also known as hedge trees. It will eat up a rubber tracked loader. Think big heavy, dumb and older, if you or your husband are at all mechanically inclined.

    Find a older cat track loader, with a decent undercarriage, have someone that knows what they are looking at go look at it before you buy.

    Are you planning on trying to clear all of the ground, or just make some decent pasture? How soon do you want it done, and how much $ do you have or want to spend doing it?
     
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  7. hvy 1ton

    hvy 1ton Senior Member

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    My experience with tearing out hedge trees with a track loader or dozer is that a significant amount of the root mass left will manage to sprout hedge bushes. We had 7 acres of hedge treees cleared by a track loader. The operator got all the stumps, but we were still spraying fresh growth hedge bushes 3 years later. Cutting and killing them is the way to go.

    I prefer shears that hold on to the trees instead of the pushbar/freefall models. It doesn't take long to make a mess in thick trees if you can't control where the trees go. Even with rubber tracks you don't really want to be driving over cut hedge trees. A bonus to the grapple style shears, it's easy to build a burn pile or bunch trees without having to switch attachment constantly.

    As far as what loader will do well in rocks and steep ground, anything that doesn't have an ASV undercarriage would be a good start.
     
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  8. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    An excavator with a vertical tree grab can pluck the trees out including the roots with minimal soil disturbance. It maybe a little slower than a loader but a better job can be obtained plus a excavator is alot cheaper to run.
     
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  9. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Learned something new today, I had no idea what an Osage Orange tree was.:D

    I agree with CraneOp not a task for a CTL unless you have a lot of time and a lot of money for tracks.

    If you have $50K to spend I would be looking at a 953/963 Cat track loader. There are many older B and C models that can be bought in that range. Track loaders are a very handy machine especially when it's your only machine.

    Quick search on Machinery Trader turned up many 963's below $50K -

    https://www.machinerytrader.com/lis...p=963&PF=25000&PT=50000&SortOrder=2&scf=False

    A nice B model would probably be a better choice as they have less electronic crap to deal with than the C's.
     
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  10. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    A Small CTL is not going to do much good, low weight to break out force, hydraulics will do OK for a small tree shear(5" or less) but not going to manage larger Osage Orange. Using a CTL with a grapple to pile limbs off the trees as cut them back with would be a great help but will need to consider the pruning back to where can get to the stump with a tree harvester or a serious Chisel Tooth Chain Saw as the tree itself is a saw chain smoker. Older large growth in the eight inch or larger diameter buy or rent a D6 or larger and push all into large piles for heavy snow fall winter burning, Hedge burns too hot for most stoves and AVOID burning in a open fireplace.
     
  11. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Older Deere 655 or 755 loader will also be a better choice with Deere being fairly prominent around Springfield.
     
  12. hvy 1ton

    hvy 1ton Senior Member

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    I cut up to 14" hedge trees with my 14" dymax shear and Deere 260. My shear was designed to cut hedge though. The support arms don't go all the way to the blade tips on many shears and they can only do max capacity cuts in softwood.
     
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  13. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Do you think that you could get close enough, and that a shear would have a prayer of getting hedge trees? I've never run a shear taking out trees, but I have a hard time seeing one being able to take out a hedge that is any bigger than 6" diameter.

    The old fence posts we had from hedge were so hard that you couldn't hardly drive fence nails in them, and lasted forever. I'm not sure I would want to drive into a row of hedge with a short shear on the front of a skid steer or small rubber tracked loader, I don't know how you would keep it out of the cab unless you had some serious guards.

    At least a track loader or dozer you could have it out away from you, hedge is tough stuff, and with all the thorns, you don't want it in the cab with you. That stinks about the regrowth, but I don't know that the shear would be any better.

    Whatever you end up with, you are going to have to have cab protection for going after hedge.

    You haven't lived until you've had a snowball fight with hedge apples, you can knock someone out with a head shot. My uncle's farm had a bunch of them along the creek. You sure don't want to stumble into one not paying attention.
     
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  14. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Well you posted while I was typing, evidently you can get a hedge sheared off. That must be quite a shear.
     
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  15. hvy 1ton

    hvy 1ton Senior Member

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    Hedge gets harder the more it dries. Even year old fence posts will throw sparks from a chainsaw. You can sawmill hedge, but not the heartwood as it's normally dead.
    I have a poly door.
    Yeah, it's a bit of a beast. The blades are 3/4" AR500. If I every drop one, I'm loosing a foot.
     
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  16. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    We cut old hedge at Gladden MO at Brother in Law's place, did not matter as to Diameter much, sparks flying from 5" up as soon as got past a inch in a cut, LOTS of file time to get a 20" down, almost as bad as Honey Locust as to limb thorns not so much on trunk kind of like Black Locust, had them as well. Fastest way to kill ALL the roots, two chainsaw rings around the trunk just off grade, load EACH with a load of Tordon, tree dies all roots die HOWEVER any other tree in contact with those roots will Also succumb to the Tordon.
     
  17. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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  18. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Now THAT would be a Stump Mauling Monster!! Just hard or costly to transport. At least a Grand to get it Home to Clever.
     
  19. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Yeah it's a beast but a lot of ass for the $$. I was impressed how nice that old 963 is - sheet metal included. Someone took care of that machine.

    I'd guess at least $1,500 to get it from AR to MO. Pricey but I pay $300 minimum one way to move our D5, 953 or 533 roller around our metro area. The track hoes are more as they go on a RGN instead of a Landoll.
     
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  20. JD8875

    JD8875 Senior Member

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    We started out about 20 years ago to clear some overgrown hedge and locust brush. We started clear cutting it. That was slow, labor intensive and left the stumps. As it rains on the stump and cows stomp around them they get taller. They will also sprout back with a vengeance. Dad bought a 941 Cat with a 4 in 1 bucket, which was good for about 16" stuff. Clearing trees is the only time I want a 4 in 1 bucket. You could bite about an 8" tree in that 4 in 1, lift up a little and pull forward and it would pull them roots and all. The 941 got sick and tired and we sold it. I bought a JD 8875 skid steer and it was great for dressing up areas and pushing limbs but was useless for pushing trees. 10 years later I bought a 953 with a GP bucket. I can turn over about a 30" hedge tree with a little work.

    Whatever you buy should have limb risers and cages windows or you might as well kick them out the day you bring it home.

    There are some tricks to pushing hedge trees. A hedge tree doesn't root real deep like most hardwoods, but the roots will spread out a long ways. One is pick a day that the ground is right. Dry enough to run on but wet enough to make a ball out of. The roots slide out of the ground much easier. A good set of teeth make a pretty good root rake. Always keep the limbs in front of you. If the limbs are longer than my loader arms reach I start breaking them off. Hedge will sustain a lot of stress before a limb breaks and when they do they are violent. We had a guy about 4 miles from here killed pushing hedge brush with an open cabbed 955. A bucket full of dirt will help add weight to the machine for traction and turning them over. Start pushing about cab height and work your way down. Lots of people start low but it's very possible to shatter a hedge log if your teeth and cutting edge bite low in the log first. Then when you move up it breaks off and you have to grab the stump out. Weight and horsepower are your friend when it comes to pushing trees.

    John
     
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