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Author Topic: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?  (Read 2177 times)

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Offline MaineStumpGrind

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Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« on: December 01, 2019, 12:23:11 PM »
Ok I have been running a small business for 3 years with a Bobcat T770, a Bobcat (Fecon made) mulcher head and a Fecon  Stumpex. Itís time to make a move. And while I canít say I know exactly what I want, I have gained enough knowledge and experience to know what I hate and donít want. First off, while a CTL is functional and profitable, the cooling intake sits on top waiting for leaves and debris to land on it. Also  trying to keep debris out of the machine with a tight (no hand space) engine compartment is a nightmare, and trying to keep muddy debris out from the drive sprocket and also more debris piling behind the front idler! Thatís just the machine!
The mulcher set up is a nightmare. The grease fittings are on top of the machine getting caked with debris, and the worst thing ever is the recessed tooth bolts have heads which quickly get exposed and half worn requiring drill out when the sidewall gets worn down. Also stumpex has horrible performance. Itís ok for a land clearing job but is a complete nightmare and mess for most residential purposes and loses its bite 95% of the time and just sits there spinning. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. Any normal stump grinder will outperform the stumpex if not in the actual grind, then absolutely for the end result and clean up. And at $20k?????

So this brings me to my real question... if you have read this far, hopefully you have insight to offer.

Half this game is finding enough business to stay alive. And competing with the big boys is expensive. My niche business has been catering to homeowners that have too small a land to interest loggers. Usually under 3 acres. I deal with lots of moderately rocky sites and donít want to lose that option. Those prove difficult on tiny CTL tracks and any type of knife teeth. Also weight constraints has me limited to a maximum of 25,000 pounds. Anything more is a logistical small operation limitation. This put my limits at about 200hp for any machine accept Plaisance and gyro-trac. But I have heard bad things about both those companies parts, service and specifically gyros non-steel track system.
So this even further closes in on my options.
CMI c175
Lamtrac LTR140T
PrimeTech pt175
And other mulchers in that range.

Considering all I have said, I am looking for other persons out there running similar set ups for similar purposes.
I am leaning toward the Lamtrac with a cimaf head with a mix of carbides and center blades. I like the ability to use the machine for small other CTL related things but havenít really seen if the flow and capability is much less productive than the 175hp range machines.i know the rubber tracks are not as good in mud and slop, but small homeowners seem respond better to them. Also I have never used a cimaf head with carbides. I need something good at grind large stumps. That is half my operation. I could always buy a miller skid steer stump grinder (best ever tractor stump grinder by my previous experience).
Anyone running combinations, please chime in with your personal combination likes!!!
Please only respond with personal experience. NOT, my friend has, or saw a video and it looks good, type info. 
I am looking for real world experience on small machines and heads. I have owned and run FAE bobcat/Fecon Meri crushers. BUT my only experience on the machines are large agriculture tractors and CTL carriers. Iím looking for dedicated small highly productive combination that can be used in the dirt a bit as well.
Thanks in advance.
Please stay on topic, donít ask a lot of off topic questions, and please NO Dealers!!!! I am searching and hoping for non bias conbination experience.
Thanks in advance.
And thank you for allowing me to share this forum with you.


Offline Jeff

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 01:16:46 PM »
Maybe you need to readjust your presence here or find another place to post. First you don't swear  here, or post simulated profanity. Second, do not come on our forum  and tell our members who can and cant answer or what they can say. Ive not yet read your entire post so there may be other reasons as well.

I'm letting you know, if you want to participate in this vast forest  product industry forum,  formulate any response back wisely, better yet, read the rules, post responsibly and start over

. I suspect no one is going to answer you until we figure out if you are worth our time.

Oh crud, off topic already.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline MaineStumpGrind

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 03:34:30 PM »
I put a ton of information in that post, and I am not an eloquent writer by any means so I am not surprised that something I wrote in all that mess was offensive. And sorry, I wasnít aware that  the S word hidden with *** was a huge no no as I have seen it many times on many forums, still I apologize and have removed that word. Lastly my attempt to keep the post on topic has obviously now gone in an exact wrong direction I as I had hoped to request not to do. Posts get hyjacked everywhere else. I shouldnít have expected any different here. Lastly sorry Iím the new guy looking for very specific information and somehow need prove myself before I am taken seriously enough to get a on topic reply.
Thanks and hope to hear from some genuinely knowledgeable mulcher types.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 03:52:00 PM »
The topics may go to food or chickens, ;D but they always go back to the topic.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 05:11:56 PM »
I am not your expert but welcome to the forum.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 05:25:31 PM »
@MaineStumpGrind I understand your request to limit responses to what you want to learn or hear about. Many are the times I have thought about doing something similar. However, I have never done that, for 2 reasons: 

1) those side bars that seem to come from left field with a weird idea sometimes leads me in a new direction to options I had not considered. Had I only gotten answers to my exact question, I would have been deprived of the BEST solution to my problem. 

2) We are all here because we like it here, it is a warm friendly knowledgeable group. Many have developed friendships wherein we actually meet and help each other on a face to face basis across great distances. I have been the beneficiary of such treatment more times than you might guess. So to walk in set the rules for how your conversation will go before anybody even has a chance to get to know you is somewhat rude. Would you do that to your neighbors in a local diner? Then why do it with strangers? Your tone could be taken as demanding the exact information you want, in the manner you specify, as if you had paid for the service. We all share information freely because we enjoy helping others when we can. I am happy to help my neighbor when his heat goes out, but the minute he demands I come immediately that relationship will sour pretty quick.

3) Lastly, we come here to have a good time, either through learning, teaching, joking around, or poking a little fun at the folks we know. Every thread has some of that in it (the better ones anyway). If you can't tolerate some friendly digressions then I don't know what to suggest, because they will be there. If we weren't having fun, we would find other stuff to spend our time on. The reason there are so many members here is because of the quality of the conversations that take place. It's a safe and friendly place with a few simple rules.

 Welcome to the forum, grab a stump and listen around.
Tom
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline SPDM

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 06:06:45 PM »
I have nothing to add but I am interested in a technical discussion on forestry mulching as I am contemplating hiring someone to mulch 4 acres of land to make way for livestock.

Offline MaineStumpGrind

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 06:14:22 PM »
Too often have I watched people who love to fight, find forums (the place where people go for knowledge and experience) as the perfect place to blast rediculous negativity and chase off the whole Intended purpose of the initial posting. In my attempt to help quell that beforehand, somehow it has been twisted into my demanding answers and being rude, just for specifically seeking out experts in my area on which to draw on. And now I am being bombarded with messages and replies which I am not sure the aim of.
 Regardless, Thank you Doc.
Your kind tone and acceptance is appreciated.
Everyone else, Iíll be happily waiting for some useable knowledge. Keep on keepin on.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 06:25:46 PM »
SPDM: check out the topic on ďclear thirty acres of mostly pineĒ around four below this one. Just what youíre looking for. 
HM126

Offline doc henderson

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timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2019, 06:49:38 PM »
Too often have I watched people who love to fight, find forums (the place where people go for knowledge and experience) as the perfect place to blast rediculous negativity and chase off the whole Intended purpose of the initial posting.
You will not find that here. That is why I do not go to other forums. This is a VERY family friendly forum. Jeff wants kids to be able to do research on here and have no worries about finding something offensive.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline barbender

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2019, 07:46:38 PM »
I think it is safe to say you can take what you learned about people's behavior on other forums and not worry about it here. 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline chet

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2019, 07:51:06 PM »
I think it is safe to say you can take what you learned about people's behavior on other forums and not worry about it here.
smiley_thumbsup
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline LeeB

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2019, 10:42:52 PM »
Apparently it's all in jest. He's just kidding.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2019, 06:59:32 AM »
Lamtrac makes a quality product but in my view nothing beats a CMI, the 175 is a fine tool.  The 250 is a real professional tool.  

Agree completely with you on the fact that a skidsteer is inappropriate, just not setup right.  

I would not want to use a mulcher for anything other than mulching, have a skidsteer for skidsteer sort of activities.  

The only downside of a 250 is the weight and towing (and the price :D).  Easier to get away with moving a 175 down the road, looks like a big skidsteer.  

But in any case, both are fine manufacturers.  Since you mention a cimaf head I assume you dont have much rock?  A denis cimaf head makes a nice product and is easy to sharpen.  The FAE heads that come on a CMI are the best heads out there if you have rocks, not as fast as a Cimaf but the head is just tougher than a Cimaf.  

CMI has a dealer up there right?  Lamtrac too?  I would definitely arrange a few days demo on both machines.

Liking Walnut

Offline Haleiwa

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2019, 08:03:52 AM »
For the money you will spend on what you are considering,  you could buy a good MFWD ag tractor with a Bugnot grinder/mulcher  and a Vermeer three point hitch stump grinder. Faster,  more durable,  and more capable of handling any larger jobs that might come your way. 
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Offline MaineStumpGrind

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2019, 08:14:30 AM »
Thank you so much for the reply. Have you had any experience with Cimaf carbides? In my head it sounds like a great idea, depth control, quick swap outs for carbide and knife teeth depending on job site necessities. Also I had someone tell me that the CMI (even though CMI makes a superior machine) the c175 is not much more productive than a CTL. The head cuts faster obviously, but being that it is smaller and steel tracked, that its slower maneuvering cancels out any real benefit when comparing to a CTL. Have you operated one? How does it fare? The 250 is a little out of my weight range. I wish otherwise.

Offline MaineStumpGrind

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2019, 08:20:24 AM »
Haleiwa
That direction is a total nightmare.
I started there about 4 years ago. 100hp Kubota tractor, FAE FMM mulcher and a Miller pro 150 stump grinder. All worked awesome! But unless on a bi directional tractor, an 8 hour day will murder your neck. Also plastic fuel tanks are sitting ducks for punctures and they are industry standards these days. Tractors are fine for subsoil but have limited use mulching and are definitely not a direction I wish to go in again.
But thanks for the reply. 
It was a useable option if I hadnít already gone there and found it to be inferior.

Offline ProductofPoint

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2020, 10:58:32 PM »
My old outfit used an Altorfer Ecomulcher attached to a CAT 299D. Worked great in open areas and in confined spaces. Paid for itself in about 3 years time. 

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Best forestry Mulcher set up for versatile small operation?
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2020, 07:01:32 PM »
Lamtrac makes a quality product but in my view nothing beats a CMI, the 175 is a fine tool.  The 250 is a real professional tool.  

Agree completely with you on the fact that a skidsteer is inappropriate, just not setup right.  

I would not want to use a mulcher for anything other than mulching, have a skidsteer for skidsteer sort of activities.  

The only downside of a 250 is the weight and towing (and the price :D).  Easier to get away with moving a 175 down the road, looks like a big skidsteer.  

But in any case, both are fine manufacturers.  Since you mention a cimaf head I assume you dont have much rock?  A denis cimaf head makes a nice product and is easy to sharpen.  The FAE heads that come on a CMI are the best heads out there if you have rocks, not as fast as a Cimaf but the head is just tougher than a Cimaf.  

CMI has a dealer up there right?  Lamtrac too?  I would definitely arrange a few days demo on both machines.
Do you know know anybody that runs a newer Prime Tech 175 and how they like it ?


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