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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2006-09-27          135511


Can't figure out where this should go exactly so it goes here for now.
Im going to clear an acre of land to prepaire for a house sight. This acre is made up of pretty small soft wood trees. After further inspection the majority of the tree's will be under 5 inch dia. I was told by a guy what he would do but I dont think its a great idea for my tractor.
He said he would rent a skid steer with a grapple bucket, since this area is pretty sandy, he said I should be able to push most of the trees over? Then he said, "wait, you have a bucket on your tractor? why not use that instead of renting a skid steer?"
If this works like he thinks it should I feel I will be putting alot of undue forces on the arms, even if I am real careful on getting it in the middle I was thinking maybe I should NOT use my tractor like this?????
What do you all think? Spend the money and hire and or rent a skid steer for this job, or use my tc40?
Tank-a-u-verymuch

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2006-09-27          135513


Are they deep rooted trees? I can tell you that I wouldn't have any problem pushing a 5" douglas fir over with my JD 4310. I've done it a few times by accident and didn't even know it was happening. ....

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JasonR
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 142 Northern Indiana
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2006-09-27          135515


I've cleared small trees without much effort using my JD 4110.

As far as damaging your tractor, just be careful. (Watch out for falling trees!) If you can't push them over somewhat easily, then (in my opinion) you'll need a different machine. Example - if you're running your tractor at full speed into the trees, and they're not giving, you'll have potential damage.

As far as force on the loader arms - when you scrape the ground and eventually can't push anymore, you're exerting a similar amount of force (statically) - you just need to watch out for the moving forces.

Someone else might have a better 'formula' for how fast you want to be moving when you attempt to knock the trees down.

- Jason ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2006-09-27          135516


Never hit a tree with a running start. There's too much shock load and you're just asking to blow a seal that way. Ease into it and push and you'll probably be surprised how easy they go over. Remember, leverage is your friend so have the bucket a few feet up.

Edit: I should probably mention that my heavy duty bucket has never bent doing this but standard buckets aren't as strong. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-09-28          135524


If you look at my picture # 18 you will see the 'utility' frame I made for my machine. I couldn't begin to guess how many trees that frame has uprooted.

I start by pushing VERY slowly in low range, then once I have pushed it right over and flat onto the ground, I go around to the far side, stand it up and go right over again the opposite way. I repeat this again 90° to the direction I started with. After all 4 pushes a chain around the base of the tree about 4 or 5 passes is hitched to the frame and it lifts right out, usually with very little dirt left on the stump. A few quick shakes with the FEL usually drops most of the remaining dirt, then it can be carried to the brush pile on the forks later.

In sandy soil, like at my house, I can yank a 12" conifer stump straight up with my JCB TLB, but it is a MUCH larger machine too.

If you go slowly, take time to think it out, and don't try to apply much force 90° to a piece of steel, like the bucket bottom, you should be fine.

One point of advice though, leverage is your friend, do not cut the trees down, then try to remove the stump. Limb then as best you can, then push against the tree trunk up as high as you can get before the tree gets too small to take the weight, 6' maybe. I usually try to get the far end of the FEL nearly level with the ground. This amplifies your push against the stump considerably.

Finally if this doesn't work, use an old farmers trick, one from back when they bucked stumps by horse!! Get either as large a tractor rim (they used to use big wooden wheels) as you can, or a big strong steel pipe V-shaped frame. The rim works best. Roll the rim right up to the stump so that it is pointing straght at it, then wrap a chain around the stump 4 or 5 passes and hitch back to itself, then pass the rest of the chain up and over the rim, and out to the tractor or a big truck, then slowly start to pull, the rim ascts as a fulcrum and converts the pull on the chain into upwards force. I've pulled out some pretty large stumps this way with my truck. BTW, thei method works really well for lifting stones out of holes too.

Best of luck. ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2006-09-28          135542


Awesome reply's. I guess you all answered my question about racking the bucket. I need to stop being such a pansie and treat my tractor a bit more like a work horse that it really is? Where I have a hard time with understanding how this will work is this. All my experiances with trees has been in a heavy clay soil. When roots get under that stuff they need to be snapped or cut in order for them to let loose of a tree. I have never had the opportunity to mess with trees or brush in the "sandy" soil that my new property is in. My buddy was talking like it was no big deal to clear an acre down there. I on the other hand was/am about to hire it out just cause it will take so damm long. Sounds like it will go pretty fast though>?
At the same time that this will be fun and interesting (trying to get a full acre of heavy woods into a lawn quality open sapce) I am a bit flushed with overwhelmingness,. (If you can understand me anyways) LOL>

BTW, Sure makes you appreciate what the old farmers back in the 20's had to go thru to break more farm land with the equipment they had!!!!!! ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2006-09-28          135543


We have heavy clay. When it's real dry it's slightly more work but when it's soggy the trees almost fall over on their own (and sometimes they do but never the ones that need to be taken out). We still chainsaw most of the ones that we take out. Less of a mess and easier to feed 'em into the chipper. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-09-28          135546


I'd save the tractor and rent a skid steer on steel or rubber tracks. I have dug numerous lob lolly pines with 4-6' tap roots and two feet across, Live oaks and water oaks, red oaks, all of which have either deep or wide roots using just a skid steer with pallet forks---I can dig a Red oak stump that's 24" caliper in about 10-20 minutes that way. Other trees literally pop out with forks--you'd be amazed what they will do. Set them about 8" apart and stab-cut the roots or slide the forks fully under the stump or full tree and simultaneusly lift, drive forward and tilt the forks---traction is key. If that doesn't work the first time, back up a few feet (which will double the leverage), and repeat. The grapple bucket (which I also use) is okay but takes more effort. I have pulled up to 5" lob lollys out but the tree has to bend over too in order to use the grapple.

Another way is to use a regular dirt bucket on again the same big tracked bobcat and tilt the bucket down slightly, drive into the tree about 5-6' up and use traction and lift to push the tree over. I have pushed some very big trees over this way.

Broken, see! Here's the perfect reason you need that LS 180! ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2006-10-01          135608


I can taste it Earthwks. With out a dought I will be looking for something in the near future.
Now that the leaves are ready to fall and I can see better I will be starting to work on the land. Calling a buddy who is licensed to perk test. Need to pick out a few spots where we would like to build and see if they will perk or not. ASA I have that done I will be clearing land. About that point I will know whether I can get her done fast enough or not.
There is alot that needs or may need to be done. Not only clearing the land but since this is a valley (so to speak) I may need to re-arrange the ground down there, possibly bring in dirt if need be. Since I will hire a dozer to finish grade my trails that need to be put in, at the same time I will have him do the same to my future driveway and while he is there if the open lot needs any work he can get that done also. I just want the area clear before I hire him to come in cause I have seen what a dozer can leave for a mess if he pushes off any of the garbage trees.
Thanks for the input guys ....

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MacDaddy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 95 Western NY
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2006-10-03          135660


As much as I enjoy using my JD4310, I think that I would hire this one out. I agree that it could definitely be done, but how much time do you have? Even if you can up-root the trees, that’s a hell of a lot of back-and forth to the brush pile. And after the 5-in trees are gone, you’re still left with a pretty scabby site. A small dozer could knock it off in an afternoon, and would have your entire site rough-graded in the process. Also, the dozer will neatly stockpile the topsoil that will be stripped from the immediate area around your house. Later, you can go back through with your box-blade and/or rake and finish grade the site yourself in preparation for planting grass. JMO. Good Luck. ....

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MIFarmin
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34 Michigan
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2006-10-20          136148


I use my JD 4310 to clean up after the dozer. Like you say, the dozer will leave a tangled mess! But a chain saw and a tractor will clean it up in no time. I'm always popping out small trees that seem to be in the way after the dozer is gone. In fact, one of the reasons I got a tractor was...one man and a shovel ain't going to do a lot after the heavy equipment is gone. I think of it like this...$18,000 risking my equipment...or he can do it no problem in a day for about $800. ....

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bvinduck
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 25 Duck, NC
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2006-10-28          136390


Hi Murf,
I like the idea of this rim trick. I'm guessing the larger the rim the better? What size chain would you recommend?

Thanks! ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-10-28          136391


I won't answer for Murf, but I have done this with mixed results--much depends on the weight of the pulling machine (inertia and momentum), the compactability of the soil (the lower the compactability the more the rim tends to sink in the ground and the machine loses traction). The taller the rim the better, yes. However, the rim needs to be IMHO at least as wide as it is tall--if not wider. Otherwise, it will fall over easily.

If you have a large tree trunk (3 feet dia. or larger by about 4-6' long) that might be the ticket too. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-10-30          136411


EW has hit on the major points, sort of. LOL.

The wider rim the better, *but* a plank or two or even a scrap or sheet of plywood make s a big difference too. Anything to limit the sinking of the rim. Alignment also is important, to keep the rim from tipping over.

It's pure physics at work, the more you pull, the more you lift. However, the *bigger* the device pulling, the more *lifting* you will do. Having said that, I've personally seen some pretty big stumps pulled out this way by nothing more than two horses and lots of determination.

This can also be done, with a *much* longer chain or cable, by chaining two timbers into a large up-side down V-shape and putting the pull line up over the crotch at the top and then nearly (but not quite) straight down to the stump.

We do stuff like this often with nothing more than a 1 ton truck with a box full of whatever's handy for ballast.

Best of luck. ....

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MIFarmin
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34 Michigan
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2006-10-31          136453


Just be careful. We had a towtruck operator here pulling stumps out with his winch and the cable snapped, hit him and killed him. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-10-31          136456


Excellent point. I used to run offroad 4x4's and always seem to get them stuck (an excuse to use the 8,000lb. winch of course). I used to use two heavy floormmats folded over the line whether wire rop, tow rope, tow strap or chain. A water-filled milk jug strung through its handle onto the line makes it a no-brainer that you have to use it. For those not familar why to use such devices it's a simple, effective way to force the line to the ground absorbing some energy, and it absorbs and stops the whiplash effect if the line breaks. In and of itself a broken line usually doesn't do damage by breaking and dropping unless you are holding it in your hand or standing over it. It's typically the whipping action that splits a man in half like a cat-o-nine-tails. ....

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juneau
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 16 Juneau Alaska
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2006-11-01          136480


Ok here is my 2 cents worth. I have pulled a lot of stumpage and nothing can match an excavator with a hydralic thumb. Rent a small to medium machine around 7000 pounds and you will pop those trees out of the ground and stack them in a nice neat pile. Then you can clean up with your tractor. If you cut down the trees first then you can pile the trees and stumps in different piles. All this without moving much dirt. It is fast and clean. All the rigging and messing around with each stump is very time consuming, it would work well for a small number of stumps but it sounds like you need to pull quit a few. ....

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earthwrks
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2006-11-01          136485


juneau: I agree that an excavator with a thumb is the way to go. I don't agree about the size. A good, fullsize 4x4 backhoe is twice or thrice the machine a 7000lb. mini-ex is---and it has twice the reach so you don't have to move around so much. Smaller the machine the longer it will take and that's an important consideration if you are renting it or paying by the hour. Sometimes you can get a 28,000-40,000 lb. excavator for just a few dollars more than a mini-ex if you check around. And it depends on the soil, quantity, tree type and size. Even a 10,000lb. class really isn't up to the challenge. I feel 14,000lb. is the min. to start to be productive if there's a lot of trees. And don't forget to get a machine with backfill blade--it's like a mini-dozer for filling in root holes.

But I'm jis' sayin' ....

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juneau
Join Date: Oct 2006
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2006-11-01          136488


I'll go up a couple thousand pounds for you but the reason an excavator is so fast is that it can turn 360 degrees. That means you can do a really tidy job. A 4x4 wheeled machine has to re position each time it picks a tree that is the lost time. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2006-11-02          136498


We buck stumps with an excavator equipped with a thumb too, but it weighs 40,000+ pounds.

My 20,000+ TLB will pull a 8" or 12" stump with relative ease but not nearly as fast as the excavator does.

But a 7,000 pound mini-ex.? It could do it in the right soil, but it wouldn't be any faster than a cut would.

For these 5" stumps, a 40hp CUT with the right attachment would have no problem, with several people, I would think speed would not be an issue.

The other advantage a wheeled machine would have in this case is travel speed. A mini-ex would leave piles every 20' or so in a chackerboard pattern based on it's swing reach. A CUT could carry them quickly out of the work area altogether.

Best of luck. ....

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