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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300HSD

    Default Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Hi Folks,

    I have about 10 or so acres of woods. A lot of it is pretty thick with brush, and very nasty briars. There are the usual rocks, fallen trees, etc. I would like to put some hiking trails through the woods, and to thin out some of the areas of dense brush, if possible. Can any one tell me the best way to do this? I am open to all suggestions, including those that do not involve a tractor. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    Also, If I do not own the right tractor/implement/tool, I am open to the possibility of renting it.

    Thanks,

    --Chris

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    170
    Location
    East/Central Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500HST (Kobi)

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Chris,

    I had a similar situation last spring with the five acres of woodland we purchased in east central Missouri. I rented a walk behind brush hog manufactured by Bachtold Brothers <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.bachtoldbros.com>http://www.bachtoldbros.com</A> I was amazed at what I could accomplish in one day. It would cut about a 24 inch path through anything up to and including two inch saplings [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]. A picture of what I used is on their website under the "commercial products" catagory, and the machine itself was very similar to what they call their "Champion". Believe it or not, I have also used an old 12HP riding lawn mower with the cutting deck raised up as high as it would go to maintain the trails I had cut with the Bachtold. The lawn tractor would actually cut stuff up to one inch if I took it slow. Of course now that I have my beloved Kobi, (B7500HST), I will be getting a rotary cutter before things start popping up this spring [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    I'd buy a 4' heavy duty pull behind mower and be done with it. In an hour you could make all the trails you wanted. You can go forward, back in, whatever with it. I have the push behind mower like was mentioned to use and that's too much work in my opinion. I completely rebuilt the one that I have and I haven't used it since then. Just too easy and fast to use a rotary cutter for anything that needs to be done. With the 4600 there aren't too many places I can't get to.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member GlueGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area California (CA)
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Any hills to deal with?

    A friend of mine uses a B7100 with just a back blade to cut trails. He's made some mods to the blade, and also has T&amp;T with hydraulics on both lower arms. This allows him to back into a hillside and make some pretty radical cuts. It's amazing what he can do with it. I think he's done a hundred miles of trails at the nearby open space preserves.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    0

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    I have 22 acres in south west Michigan that is very similar to your property. When we first moved here I couldn't even walk through the property, it was so full of briars and brush. I decided to buy a DR brush mower and I have never regretted it. I bought the 10.5 hp model and it literally chews up the brush and saplings up to an inch thick. I have made several trails and I can mow on extremely steep banks like those around my pond. You could never do that with a tractor mounted mower. The DR brush mower has the advantage of being able to quickly go around small trees and nursery stock that you want to keep and then destroy the stuff that you don't. You simply won't have that ability with a tractor. I own a B72oo with a 4' rotory cutter, but I don't use it for the trails. The DR simply works better in this area.

    Van

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    444
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Tractor
    Kubota /L2650/ LA450/B4690 -- John Deere 450 Dozer

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Climber, will you use the trails for anything else, and how wide? Maybe to get the truck to the back of your place.... As most have said I would go with a heavy duty cutter and backblade, these two should take care of most anything you need. Other implements may do somethings a little better or easier but these two are the basic and usually the first two any new land owner gets. If after you give these two a try, and find you need something bigger, you will know for sure what you need; and can then beg, buy or rent what you need. Or even step up and hire some heavy equipment for a day to clean up what is left that needs cleanning up... But the cutter and blade you will almost always use....

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    1,124
    Location
    Monkton, Vermont
    Tractor
    NH TC33D Modified with belly pan, limb risers & FOPS for work in the woods

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Climber -

    I started doing the same thing on my wooded lot in Vermont. The trails started with a Craftsman Garden Tractor with a 50" mowing deck, then I added ag tires to it to help on the hilly land. Worked pretty well, but I was trashing the mower on the tractor (busted a pulleys, trashed some blades, etc).

    When I bought my NH TC33D, the Craftsman got a rest. I'm using a 5 ft brush mower with good success. Not as manueverable as the Craftsman, so I've had to take some kinks out of the trails, and cut down a few trees I couldn't fit between any longer, but it goes much more quickly with this set up. The only drawback to mowing is having to go back with the box blade to tear out all the sapling stumps (I want to use the trails for cross country skiing, and the stumps would tear up the ski bottoms unless we got a LOT of snow)

    Also check out <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.tractorbynet.com/cgi-bin/compact/showflat.pl?Cat=&amp;Board=projects&amp;Number=407 07&amp;page=&amp;view=&amp;sb=&amp;o=&amp;vc=1> this thread</A> for some info on a 3 pt hitch tree puller a member built. Sounds interesting and has the advantage of pulling the saplings up by the roots, so you don't have the stumps to contend with. I haven't tried it myself, but hope to make one in the near future.

    John

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300HSD

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Nope. No hills to deal with. Your suggestion has the advantage of using an implement I already own, but I was hoping to keep the trails narrower than 5ft. (I currently don't foresee the need to get my tractor to the back of the property, but then again, that may change someday).

    I may give this approach a shot, and see how it goes.

    Thanks,

    --Chris

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300HSD

    Default Re: Cutting Trails / Clearing Brush

    Jag,

    I am currently only planning to use the trails for hiking. So a trail 2 or 3 ft wide is plenty for my needs. I don't currently need to get my truck or tractor top the back, but I may need to someday, if I want to pull trees out for firewood.

    Thanks,

    --Chris

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