What good is owning land if you don’t have access?
We often get calls to help landowners gain access to their property. They need brush cleared for walking trails and can’t justify owning the equipment. They could rent a forestry mulcher but they do the math and quickly realize they’re better off hiring a land clearing contractor.
In the picture above, we’ve cut a trail around a retention pond for a retention pond maintenance company in Pensacola. We clear a lot of land in Niceville and Panama City but we often venture out past Dothan, Tallahassee and Mobile. The retention pond contractor needed access to this overgrown commercial lot so they could begin the excavation and drainage repair process.
Forestry mulchers are fantastic for making trails for access, walking, jeeps, recreation etc. Forestry mulchers were actually born from oil and gas exploration. They’re commonly used for right of way maintenance in the pipeline and electric utility industry. They can mow trees, bushes, vines and brush with higher productivity than any other piece of equipment. Bush hogs aren’t powerful enough and full excavation is wasteful.
The Back Story
The Sand Hills Region south of Chipley, Florida is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of clear, sand-bottomed lakes. Often referred to as ‘spring-fed’, the bodies of water are actually where the water table is exposed in sinkhole formations. The coarse sand endemic to the area allows for water to percolate relatively easily in and out of the ponds. During abnormally wet and dry events, the water can rise and lower significantly thus changing the depth of the lakes. A few years back they had particularly high water levels and it submerged many trees that hadn’t been underwater in 20 years. To compound the scenario, the flooding was followed by a particularly hard drought. Both events weakened the area trees and now, most lakes are encircled by a ring of dead sand pines and even oaks.
The Meat and Potatoes
After clearing by hand with chainsaw and machete, the landowner called us in to clear the unsightly mess around his pond. In two days, we had a once unmanageable mess around a five-acre pond, turned into a canvas ready for a new view of planted oaks.
The dead pines and super hard live oaks were turned from a thicket that couldn’t be walked through into a bed of mulch, ready for planting of trees or turned into a food plot. Near instant results and no broken bush hogs or blistered hands. Need brush, vines or trees cleared? Give KW Land Works a shout!
Need brush mowed in Southwest Georgia, South Alabama or Northwest Florida? We travel. Don’t hesitate to call us for a fixed price quote. You’ll be surprised how affordable forestry mulching is in contrast to a conventional land clearing.
Do It Yourself, DIY, is often a fun and rewarding process.
There’s usually money to be saved when your personal labor is plentiful. However, like trusting a surgeon to do brain surgery, you’re better off leaving mulching to an experienced land clearing contractor. Here’s why:
Mulching is a high energy process. When stuff breaks, it breaks fast and repairs are routinely in the several thousand dollar range. If you’re renting a machine, you’re paying for downtime.
The weekly rate for a mulching machine is only the start. Other items you can expect to pay for separately are transport, fuel, refueling equipment, grease, tax and, worst of all, insurance. Not to mention the liability for breaking the machine or personal property damage.
Apples and oranges. The rental machines live particularly hard lives and the Bobcat and Terex dealers know it. To combat operators with no mulching experience, they run carbide toothed heads and can derate the machine by dialing back hydraulic pressure and flow. Carbide teeth are dull from day 1 and only get worse with use. On the bright side, they aren’t able to be sharpened so the dealer doesn’t have to worry about the users skipping that part of the maintenance. So not only do the teeth cut less than half the speed of knives, the machines might not even be putting out full power.
Learn as you go. The learning curve for running a bobcat mulcher or any other brand, regardless of tooth technology, is pretty steep. It takes an easy 100 hours of operation to get efficient with a machine. In that time you learn how to minimize the trees that fall back onto you and how to break the weak parts of the track loader among other tricks.
Although it may seem cheaper at a glance, renting a machine vs hiring a professional brush clearing contractor is anything but a money saver. If you’re looking to grind up some stuff and have a good time, by all means, rent your heart out and take video. If the bottom line cost is important, do yourself a favor and get an estimate from your land clearing contractor and make an honest comparison.
Are you in South Eastern US? Give us a call for a free consultation and estimate. CONTACT US
High efficiency knife style mulching head equipped Caterpillar. An acre clearcut in a day’s time including numerous large oaks.
With wildfires burning out of control in eastern Florida, the presentation linked below is still accurate 3 years after I made it. Stay vigilant and shepperd thy home. If you need help safeguarding your home or plantation against wildfire, don’t hesitate to give the forestry department or KW Land Works a call. Insurance is nice, safety is better. JD 850-685-1110 or Jim 352-359-0398
The following link is a PDF with some informative slides. You’ll probably need Adobe Reader to open it.
It’s spring again and the backyard brush is turning green and growing again. Now’s a good time to cut back the fence rows or a major land clearing project with forestry mulching equipment. As the vegetation pulls nutrients from its roots and moves it to the growing points in the stems, they are vulnerable. Cutting brush now will stun the brush and weeds which will reduce their regrowth rate or kill them all together. If you want a total kill, following up with herbicide after resprout from mowing will usually be the 1-2 punch it takes to completely kill nuisance vegetation.
We had our Cat forestry mulcher and were clearing the underbrush and vines on a residential lot in Panama City Beach and stumbled across a jet ski on a trailer! The owner had no idea it was there. Fortunately, we saw it before the sharp mulcher teeth did.
If you’d like access to your property, want to turn woods to pasture or just need help getting rid of that dang brush in the backyard, give us a shout for a free consolation and estimate.