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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    My hunting place is 160 acre with a lot of mesquites, cactus, etc. I use my John Deere 4720 tractor to mow, etc but I am thinking I need something a tad tougher out there.

    What and why?

    I want to start thinning the place some. The mesquites have gone crazy. I am thinking tree shear.

    I am thinking compact track.
    I am thinking cab with AC.

    A buddy of mine just bought a new Bobcat T300 and it is really impressive. He bought it new with a bunch of attachments. I can't bring myself to spend that kind of money.

    I am thinking track instead of tires just due to the number of flats I have had out there. I will be dealing with some rock. It can get nasty out there. I figured tracks would be better.

    I am not in a hurry to make the purchase or to get the project done. I am in the research mode now.

    What machines should I consider?
    What implements should I look at?

    Thanks,
    D.
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    Darin Divinia
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    Hello Darin. Welcome to the club.

    I'll start with a few points and we can build from there.

    Since this isn't a "paying" job the lower your purchasing cost and operating cost the better.

    So with that said track aren't really the best route. They will wear and are pricey to replace. If the tractor was making money then you could cover track replacement if that is the route you chose. Over the tire tracks work very well. They will walk over rocks and rough terrain well and protect the tires. Plus they will not wear as bad as tracks in the same invironment.

    Okay next. You need an inclosed cab and A/C. A pressurized cab will keep the dust out therefore cool better. The new CAT C series have a decent cab if your looking for a recommendation. Gehl's run a mulcher well also. I have installed mulcher on two Cat 272C tractors with loeggering over the tire tracks and they are extremely strong as far as manuverability. They also don't rob hyd power from the mulcher as bad while moving.

    Lastly the mulcher. Of course I will STRONGLY recommend the DENIS CIMAF 180D. Go figure. If your going to run @ $4.00 plus a gallon you want all the work you can get for that gallon. With our blades and efficent use of motors we cut pretty good. Also we can tune our heads to just about any tractor in the field in a short time. Our heads also have a decent capacity so you can deal with good size trees. Lastly the finished product is small mulch leaving a very desirable look.

    So, see what questions you have about that. And all the above info is just my .02 cents. Opinions vary greatly.
    Robbie Hegwood
    404-379-5897

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    [QUOTE=Robbie Hegwood]Hello Darin. Welcome to the club.

    I'll start with a few points and we can build from there.

    Since this isn't a "paying" job the lower your purchasing cost and operating cost the better.
    ------

    Well, I don't quite put it that way. I would end up paying somebody else. I agree I would like to do it for the right price.


    So with that said track aren't really the best route. They will wear and are pricey to replace. If the tractor was making money then you could cover track replacement if that is the route you chose. Over the tire tracks work very well. They will walk over rocks and rough terrain well and protect the tires. Plus they will not wear as bad as tracks in the same invironment.
    ------

    I have a lot of cactus and mesquite. The last thing I want to deal with is flats. How do people address that.

    Used wheel machines are a lot cheaper - for sure.

    I am not sure I will ever wear out a set of tracks. I figure the machine will get 100 hours a year or so. It totally depends on my schedule. I would rent, but I want to do the work on my schedule - not the rental yards.




    Okay next. You need an inclosed cab and A/C. A pressurized cab will keep the dust out therefore cool better.

    ---

    There are a lot of cabs. I like the pressurized on my tractor. Is CAT the only one?

    The new CAT C series have a decent cab if your looking for a recommendation. Gehl's run a mulcher well also
    ----

    Gehl is a Takeuchi - right? I drove a TL150 today. Man, the controls are smooth. I like the roll down cab door. That sure makes a lot of sense.



    . I have installed mulcher on two Cat 272C tractors with loeggering over the tire tracks and they are extremely strong as far as manuverability. They also don't rob hyd power from the mulcher as bad while moving.
    ----

    NIce, a buddy has a Cat 297 and swears by it.



    Lastly the mulcher. Of course I will STRONGLY recommend the DENIS CIMAF 180D. Go figure. If your going to run @ $4.00 plus a gallon you want all the work you can get for that gallon. With our blades and efficent use of motors we cut pretty good. Also we can tune our heads to just about any tractor in the field in a short time. Our heads also have a decent capacity so you can deal with good size trees. Lastly the finished product is small mulch leaving a very desirable look.
    -------

    Cool deal - I will check it out.

    What do you think the is the best deal in used track machines with an AC cab? Some seem to take more of a depreciation hit than others.

    I am tempted to buy new - I don't want a headache but man i hate the depreciation.

    Thanks,
    D.
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    Darin Divinia
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    Man, that video of that sucker is something else.

    I guess that requires hi flow hydraulics?

    How much does something like that cost?

    D.
    ----------------------------------
    Darin Divinia
    DDR Longhorns
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  5. #5
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    Ddivinia, sorry, man, I gotta be real as they say. You GOTTA understand that you must NEVER shear a mesquite off... it'll come back 10 times worse.. mesquite is the most pernicious tree we have in the area...

    For MESQUITE, you need to do research... about how to kill it, assuming that is your objective. You say you have rock.. this means that root plowing is not a real option. this leaves you with chemical control... Use RECLAIM or REMEDY... in appropriate mixtures and appropriate times of year. It'll take about 5 years for you to rid your place.

    You need to spray EACH tree individually. I had it so thick in some places that i could not do more than drag a 100 ft hose into the thicket for spraying, using a pump on the tractor. I'd spray a perimeter one year, stuff would die, the following year I could penetrate the thicket further... about 5 years and you are done. I have maybe 100 new sprouts this year about 1 foot tall..haven't gotten around to spraying yet. ALL larger is now gone. Sprouts will continue from old seeds for at least 15 years or longer...

    You will need a 300 gallon spray rig and vehicle that will run a sprayer (PTO or electric) and a LONG hose and spray nozzle. Trust me, back pack sprayers are not useful for the kind of acres you are discussing.


    Read about all the proper procedures here.

    Now, for the rest of the story... longhorns/160 acres... not going to be very profitable, if at all, but a lot of fun. Use FEL on tractor to drive T posts into the ground. Learn about electric fencing... use High Impedence fence chargers... TCS has them for 200 miles of fence or so... don't bother with the light weight ones... you need to be able to punch thru lots of weeds, etc.

    I love my setup, see signature. It is the right thing for me on a similar sized place. I worried about mesquite thorns, but with careful driving, you can avoid them some. Tractor tires are much less vulnerable to them than car/pickup tires.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    Quote Originally Posted by texasjohn
    Ddivinia, sorry, man, I gotta be real as they say. You GOTTA understand that you must NEVER shear a mesquite off... it'll come back 10 times worse.. mesquite is the most pernicious tree we have in the area...
    -----

    I have been reading and some of these new shear machines you shear them off and spray the stump. Tree Terminator shows a spray rig on the shear. I have been told most run diesel and remedy in it - supposed to hit it with an hour.




    For MESQUITE, you need to do research... about how to kill it, assuming that is your objective. You say you have rock.. this means that root plowing is not a real option. this leaves you with chemical control... Use RECLAIM or REMEDY... in appropriate mixtures and appropriate times of year. It'll take about 5 years for you to rid your place.

    You need to spray EACH tree individually. I had it so thick in some places that i could not do more than drag a 100 ft hose into the thicket for spraying, using a pump on the tractor. I'd spray a perimeter one year, stuff would die, the following year I could penetrate the thicket further... about 5 years and you are done. I have maybe 100 new sprouts this year about 1 foot tall..haven't gotten around to spraying yet. ALL larger is now gone. Sprouts will continue from old seeds for at least 15 years or longer...

    You will need a 300 gallon spray rig and vehicle that will run a sprayer (PTO or electric) and a LONG hose and spray nozzle. Trust me, back pack sprayers are not useful for the kind of acres you are discussing.
    -----

    I have a 100 GAL 3 point with a 8 roller pump.

    Mesquite are a tough call.

    How about the shear and spray technique - ever heard of it?

    It is coming into spraying season for mesquites I am told. July - August is best.

    D.


    Read about all the proper procedures here.

    Will do- thanks.


    Now, for the rest of the story... longhorns/160 acres... not going to be very profitable, if at all, but a lot of fun. Use FEL on tractor to drive T posts into the ground. Learn about electric fencing... use High Impedence fence chargers... TCS has them for 200 miles of fence or so... don't bother with the light weight ones... you need to be able to punch thru lots of weeds, etc.

    ----
    This 160 acres is my hunting place. More fun than anything. I run 180 acres with longhorns. Still fun - glad I have a "real" job.

    Fences are already done.

    I am going electric around my hay storage areas. I have a pile of stuff from TSC waiting on me. I need to drive some ground rods.


    I love my setup, see signature. It is the right thing for me on a similar sized place. I worried about mesquite thorns, but with careful driving, you can avoid them some. Tractor tires are much less vulnerable to them than car/pickup tires.
    Cactus got me this weekend with my tractor. More slim is needed...

    Thanks,
    D.
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    Darin Divinia
    DDR Longhorns
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  7. #7
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    Are you talking about prickley pear cactus??? I drive over it all the time with pickup/tractor/trailer and have never had a flat.... guess I lead a charmed life on that point... I need it... not so charmed on many others

    I would trust whatever your COUNTY AGENT says... he's seen all sorts of attempts to remove mesquite and can look at your situation and recommend what to do... myself, I haven't tried the cut and spray method... I DO know that the old method of soaking the ground and all the roots for about 4 to 6 inches with DIESEL does work...kills tree and below ground buds.. BUT.. terribly, terribly expensive at current prices... chemicals are not cheap, either, but better than straight diesel. don't forget to purchase dye and add it to your mix... lets you know where you have been... reduces costs since you can see where you have sprayed, avoids over spraying and double spraying.

    I recall, vividly, that I would spray 600 gallons, even 900 gallons of mix in a day of intense spraying.... filling the tank and returning to the supply depot takes much time...with only 100 gallons, I fear you will not be as efficient as you wish.

    My preferred method is foliar spray for anything that has a trunk of about .5 inch or larger. Basal application for the smaller stuff.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    "Ddivinia, sorry, man, I gotta be real as they say. You GOTTA understand that you must NEVER shear a mesquite off... it'll come back 10 times worse.. mesquite is the most pernicious tree we have in the area... "


    Absolutely..........times 100.

    If you're going to remove a mesquite mechanically you have to go below the surface and remove the root system (or as much of it as you can.) This is called "grubbing" or as mentioned with the use of a wide-set root plow. I've seen a lot of places where someone brought in a dozer, scraped the mesquite off at the ground, and 5 years later they've got a brush problem twice as bad as the one they started with.


    "this leaves you with chemical control... Use RECLAIM or REMEDY... in appropriate mixtures and appropriate times of year. It'll take about 5 years for you to rid your place...."

    Spraying mesquite is a very preferrable method of control. We've sprayed hundreds of acres of pasture and it works very well. Remedy is one chemical we use but we use it in conjunction with others such as Grazon PC/PD, etc.


    "You will need a 300 gallon spray rig and vehicle that will run a sprayer (PTO or electric) and a LONG hose and spray nozzle. Trust me, back pack sprayers are not useful for the kind of acres you are discussing..."


    That is one set-up but we use a 3-pt mounted tank (55 gal drum) running a PTO pump off a tractor.......drive through the pasture and spray mesquites. We do have a pickup mounted rig if we needed more pressure but we don't generally for what we're spraying.

    Our mix is 1 quart of Grazon (PC is the true brush killer of the two with P+D being more a true weed killer but we have used it against mesquite with success), 1 pint of Remedy, and 1-2 quarts of generic dishwashing liquid per 55 gallon drum full. The soap helps the spray adhere to the leaves (and you have to soak the leaves of the tree for it to be effective....otherwise, you're wasting your spray. It's a good general purpose mixture for anything from mesquite to jujube to prickly pear to briars.....just about anything you hit with it you are going to kill.

    In addition, it's always best to spray at the coolest possible temperature and definitely early in the morning-the pores on the leaves are at their most open in the cool and of a morning. You're good spraying up to 10-11am and even noon if the temp is good enough.


    So, not as much as some others methods of brush control, but probably the cheapest and most effective for the long run. You may want to have part of it cleared and then just control the rest with spraying after you've gotten some kind of handle on it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    [QUOTE=texasjohn]Are you talking about prickley pear cactus??? I drive over it all the time with pickup/tractor/trailer and have never had a flat.... guess I lead a charmed life on that point... I need it... not so charmed on many others
    ----
    Yeah - punched thru a Titan tire.



    I would trust whatever your COUNTY AGENT says... he's seen all sorts of attempts to remove mesquite and can look at your situation and recommend what to do... myself, I haven't tried the cut and spray method... I DO know that the old method of soaking the ground and all the roots for about 4 to 6 inches with DIESEL does work...kills tree and below ground buds.. BUT.. terribly, terribly expensive at current prices... chemicals are not cheap, either, but better than straight diesel. don't forget to purchase dye and add it to your mix... lets you know where you have been... reduces costs since you can see where you have sprayed, avoids over spraying and double spraying.
    ----

    Diesel is so expensive and soaking these trees isn't cheap. Then add Remedy. What is it - $90 a Gal? Some peopel say 15-25% Remedy and the rest diesel. Sounds expensive, but cheaper than buying a skid steer but not as much fun.





    I recall, vividly, that I would spray 600 gallons, even 900 gallons of mix in a day of intense spraying.... filling the tank and returning to the supply depot takes much time...with only 100 gallons, I fear you will not be as efficient as you wish.
    -----

    Well I was thinking of just going tree to tree and hosing it down.

    I need to start doing something or else it will really get out of hand.



    My preferred method is foliar spray for anything that has a trunk of about .5 inch or larger. Basal application for the smaller stuff
    -----

    How much chemical are you using?

    When do you spray?

    How often do you spray?

    Thanks,
    D.
    ----------------------------------
    Darin Divinia
    DDR Longhorns
    Registered Texas Longhorns
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  10. #10
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice - I think I need a compact track

    The site I gave you will give you the chemical mix required... some remedy, water, diesel, dye, surficant. That's the mix I followed... PM me if you want my specific formula.

    Reclaim is very,very specific to mesquite only... does not seem to kill grass or other plants in the immediate vicinity, even growing intertwined with the mesquite.

    I recommend going against the mesquite specifically then against the pear specifically.

    I started with foliar spray... and you MUST get EACH leaf wet, all around the tree..just to the point of amost running off...if you miss a branch, it WILL live and you get to come back again to hit it... this is UNAVOIDABLE. This approach uses spray in relation to the size of the leaf canopy.

    Basal application worked best for me (remedy mix) for the smaller stuff... under 5 feet tall.

    I spray about 45 days after bud break... and then anytime in the summer when I have the time, etc.... the idea is that in the spring the plant uses root reserves to put on leaves... then, when the leaves turn dark, waxy green they are replenishing the roots... chemicals sprayed on the leaves at that time enter the plant via the leaves and travel directly to the root supplying the leaf. the plans thinks it is repleneshing the root...but the cthe chemical kills it. This timing gave me 100% bad damage to every plant... and about 95% actuall kill.... the 5% remaining were the ones where I missed a sprangle and it stayed green but the rest of the plant died.

    Later in the season, kill rate drops to between 70 and 90%.. which is still worth doing.... particularly if it stops seeds from developing. Try to keep your cows away from the beans.... they will distribute the seeds into the next pasture when you move them...

    Initially, I sprayed as much as I had time for...took me several years to get over the whole place to get all the original trees sprayed. Then, I continued to spray the new growth from beans once a year... the amount of chemical reduces dramatically as the number of plants falls...

    I sprayed last year... used about 50 gallons of mixture. Haven't sprayed this year..may not get to it... next year, I will need no more than 50 gallons and all plants will be less than waist high.

    Pear can be sprayed anytime... crushing then spraying seems to improve the kill rate.

    I, too, have a 50gal drum on 3pt hitch spray rig that I now use having gotten stuff under control. I am under the impression that you have a very significant infestation over maybe 40 plus acres of your area.... anyway, the size of your spray tank will determine how long you can spray without refilling..... use what works best for your situation.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

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