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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    650
    Location
    Sumter, SC
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 5609, Kubota GS1800, eXmark LazerZ XP

    Default Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    We have about 30 acres in Sumter, SC that needs to be cleared. Most of the material is scrub oak, but there are a few trees up to 24" ~ 36" in diameter that need to be removed. The land is gently to steeply sloping sandy loam topsoil over a clay base. There are a couple small intermittent streams on the property.

    I've been slowly hacking at it over the past couple years, but that type of work can be tough on equipment even when it is specifically designed for lang clearing.

    The final use of the property will be for horse pastures with a home site located in as yet to be determined spot. I like the idea of mulching, but I don't know how long it would be before I could plant and get pastures established.

    Because I have more time than money, the idea of renting equipment and doing the work myself is appealing. However, a real pro can usually end up saving you money in the long run.


    Are any of you guys close to Sumter, SC to take on a job like this? If so, what kind of money am I looking at? What factors effect the price on a such a job and what can I do to help get the best bang for the buck?

    Any help, advice, or input would be appreciated.

    Regards,

    Tim

  2. #2
    Gold Member cbturf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    490
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Tractor
    Fecon FTX-140, Fecon FTX 148-L

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    Factors that affect price are size and density of material, steepness and rockiness of the terrain, acess to the job site, availability of fuel,... you get the picture. I sent you a PM already let me know when I can come look at it.
    I'm the ugly guy with the hot wife!
    Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    I'd suggest you call Powell Brothers Equipment in Seneca, SC. Their number is 864-882-4077, or 1-800-842-1631. These guys sell mulching equipment (not sure if they rent it or not....you can ask them when you call). I'm sure they would be glad to suggest some names and numbers of local guys in South Carolina who are in the mulching business - and maybe you can talk to some of those mulching guys and see if what they can do for you is in line with your vision of how you want your project to turn out........

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    650
    Location
    Sumter, SC
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 5609, Kubota GS1800, eXmark LazerZ XP

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    Rhino,

    Thanks for the contact info. I'll give them a ring!

    Tim

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    72
    Location
    N Alabama
    Tractor
    GC2600

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    I can vouch for the work cbturf does. Send me a PM and I can give you some more details. Quality of work has been good so far and he's someone you can trust to get the job done the way you want it. Works quick too. I had land to clear and did extensive research before coming to the conclusion on mulching. Once the mulch degrades you will have awesome soil for most types of ag.. provided you monitor the PH while it's decomposing.

  6. #6
    Gold Member cbturf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    490
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Tractor
    Fecon FTX-140, Fecon FTX 148-L

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    Thanks John!! You have no idea how much I appreciate the kind words.
    I'm the ugly guy with the hot wife!
    Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,892
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L3830HST

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    Good questions Tim. Interesting thread. I do not want to seem like I'm hijacking your thread, though. I have wondered about the mulching vs a dozer for land clearing and making fields/open areas. I plan to buy acreage in the near future and will follow a route much like Tim, eventually building a house following retirement.

    A couple questions to the group about mulching if you don't mind... I know that if a dozer or track hoe comes in and cleans up, you can burn the debris to get rid of it. Stumps and all. With the mulcher, it lays and rots. And you can bush hog it immediately. If you want to make pasture, after the land was mulched...won't the tree stumps sprout back up? How deep will a mulcher grind? Would a person be able to disk or till the land after it had been mulched, and raked out? Or do the stumps have to be dug anyway?
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  8. #8
    Gold Member cbturf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    490
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Tractor
    Fecon FTX-140, Fecon FTX 148-L

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    Dozer vs. Mulcher..as a land clearing contractor I have to address this with EVERY new client. When you are clearing for a road or a house you must grub the stumps by law. I give each of my clients several options that will all reach the same result the only difference is the cost in terms of both time and money.
    The cheapest option is to just grind the tree off to ground level and keep the regrowth cut and it will eventually die and decompose this is the cheapest option but also takes a few years.

    The next cheapest option is to grind the stump off level and paint the stump with a solution of roundup and vegetable oil to kill the root ball then add one of those enzymatic root decomposers. This takes a year or so.

    Next you can let me leave the stump about 12 inches tall and we can grub it out with a backhoe and the I can grind up the rootball after it has been popped out.

    Finally I can grind the stump in place. With this option I leave the stump about 6 inches tall and I change out by Bullhog for my Stumphog and I grind out the rootballs.

    Either way you get the same result, a couple take a few years and save a lot of money and two are instant but cost a little more.

    Why use a mulcher rather than a dozer, it is easy for me to sell for comercial work because of the stormwater issue. Phase II stormwater legislation requires that any disturbed soil be treated to prevent sediment runoff. My mulcher clears the trees removes the stumps, stabilizes the soil all in one step. After the trees are cleared then you have a free and open area to install the final sediment barrier before you start scraping topsoil.

    When clearing for my agricultural customers all of the above statements still apply but you need topsoil. Like John (Jmer) said just moniter your soil and add fertilizer as needed and you will have much better soil this time next year than you have right now. The best thing to do is add a lot of nitrogen and plant and mow some type of cover crop. KY 31 is my favorite because it is pretty tough and will help decompose the wood material left behind.

    Hope this helps!
    I'm the ugly guy with the hot wife!
    Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

  9. #9
    Gold Member cbturf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    490
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Tractor
    Fecon FTX-140, Fecon FTX 148-L

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    I forgot to mention PM me for your quote!!!
    I'm the ugly guy with the hot wife!
    Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    72
    Location
    N Alabama
    Tractor
    GC2600

    Default Re: Land Clearing ~ 30 acres

    I guess this will pretty much sum up why I went with mulching as opposed to a dozer.... It'll take some time and maybe a little money to get rid of the larger stumps, but that top soil you keep (in my case) and that gets created is priceless. Tough to put a dollar amount on the top soil that you lose with a dozer and the ground scarring you get from burning.

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