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Author Topic: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?  (Read 2287 times)

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Offline anthonyz

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I'm planning to hire a mulching crew to clear some trees and underbrush out of my property. Most underbrush is 2-4 inch hardwoods (and smaller stuff). Trees are loblolly pine 6 - 12 inch diameter. This is a 12 acre pine stand that's never been thinned, so I'm going to have them start with the underbrush and then come back and mulch pines to create access corridors and "thin" the forest so that the remaining pines can grow.

I'm looking at two different companies. Both charge the same amount and are reputable and experienced (from what I can see). The main difference appears to be equipment.

Company 1 has 120hp track loaders, fecon mulching head with DCR rotor and carbide teeth.

Company 2 has 74hp track loader, fecon mulching head with DCR rotor and samurai knife teeth.

Any opinions on which setup might be able to do the most work in 2 days?

Also, just FYI, the reason I'm hiring a mulching crew to thin my forest is because none of the timber companies here in East TX will come thin only 12 acres because it's not worth the cost of bringing out their equipment.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 11:11:24 AM »
I'd go with the higher HP.  74 is kinda light.  

I was very happy with the results of mulching the last time I used it.  Cleared undergrowth, downed trees, small trees up to 6".  Some of the best money I ever spent.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 08:57:00 PM »
If they have a 120 hp track loader than they likely have a purpose built fecon mulcher...I forget the model number.  Definitely option A will be mulching much faster, they should have different rates though.  I'm not going to say option a will have double the production of option b but it would not surprise me.  Any rocks on your site?  That's the bane of production.  Do you pay for damaged teeth?  Will they give a fixed bid?  
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Offline anthonyz

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 09:12:13 PM »
Both charge about $1800 per day (8 hours)

Option A is for 1 mulcher and 1 "Chainsaw guy" to chainsaw pines that are too close together for the mulcher to get

Option B is for 1 mulcher and 1 "Spotter/Project Manager"

Option A is starting to sound pretty good.

Offline SFires

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 08:30:18 AM »
Find out how much experience the to mower op's have.  That'll tell you more about production rate and quality of work you'll get more then just looking at machine.    Mulcher heads run off of hydraulic's so honestly the machine with the highest flow rate runs the head better but that isn't saying horsepower doesn't count either. But seriously I'd take experience over machine size any day.   There's a big difference in just running it good enough to knock everything down and running it right where everything is mulched up like it's supposed to be.   
A man can always use more tools, more space,more wood, and a whole lot more time.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 12:01:25 PM »
Does anyone there do pre commercial thinning? That sounds more like what this stand needs then a mulching Id be willing to bet itd be faster as well as cheaper.

Offline anthonyz

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2019, 12:08:04 PM »
From what I've read, my trees are too big for pre-commercial thinning now. 

Pre-Commercial Thinning Article

It appears that you mostly do precommercial thinning using a brushhog or by spraying herbicides on pines that are only 3-4 yrs old. 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2019, 12:28:37 PM »
If a stand needs it, it needs it with how much understory youre talking about what would it hurt if the stand is a little tighter but with a bit of support for each other during high wind events. 

Offline thedoublejranch

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 11:19:50 PM »
Anthony, I just did this to 40 acres, my guy was huge on his ASV tracked skid steer, it was (ASV 120) 120HP, he said the lower HP, mulcher would struggle. It was the Fecon unit with the hammers on the drum. It made short work. It took about a few weeks to do 20 acres, cost was $1200 per acre. He hired one guy to cut lower branches to 10 foot mark and pile them. Then took the mulcher over them to grind up. This was only for trees under 8", over is considered marketable timber. I gave other stipulations ie no douglas fir and no tamarack. Well, I have only 1 Tamarack on my 40 acres, just one. He made a video for his work and used my place for 95% of his photos/video, you can see it at work in some places.  

 

 

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Offline thedoublejranch

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 11:32:08 PM »
Double post, mod, can you delete this?
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Offline anthonyz

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Re: Forestry Mulcher: HP of track loader vs Type of Mulcher head teeth?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 09:50:11 PM »
I went with the 120 HP mulcher. It did a good job. Here is a partial "after" picture. You can see in the background on the right how thick the understory was. He cleared all he could in two days. I am pleased with the result. He did a good job navigating between the rows of pines. He nicked several with the mulcher, but that was to be expected with how tight my rows are.



 


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