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  1. #1
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    Default Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    What are your thoughts on choosing between a Brown tree cutter and a skidsteer with a mulching head. It would be used on the weekends on a farm.

  2. #2
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
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    Case 885, Ford 4000

    Default Re: Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    Would depend a lot on whether you owned a skid steer or tractor, and how big either was, and what hydraulic flow rate the SSL had. Also, what type and size of vegetation you need to cut.
    We have too much gun control.
    What we need is more idiot control.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    And they really aren't in the same class.

    You will have more maintenance and a bigger learning curve with the mulcher. Not brain surgery but more support necessary.
    The brown tree cutters I have been around are in the 90 hp and up gearbox category. That's a big tractor. The finished look, though, leaves a lot to be desired. i have seen blades come off of one and thrown hundreds of feet. also but chunks of wood, large shreds and bigger shattered stumps but it was less maintenance other than the blade.

  4. #4
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    Rick and Yellowdog. This is exactly the input I am looking for. Thank you. If I go the tree cutter route it would be put on a 90 hp or so tractor. Likewise the mulcher would go on a highflow ssl like a bobcat t300 or t320. It would be used on brush and trees up to 5 inches in diameter but most often in the 1 to 4 inch range
    My biggest concern with the mulcher is cost. Both up front and long term. The tree cutter appears to be a less expensive option.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    you will be looking at a bigger cost for the mulcher but I don't know how much a difference there would be between a 90 hp tractor set up to run a brown tree cutter vs. a t320. Because the T320 and T300 share the same frame but not the same motor, I would go with the T320 if you opt for the CTL. I only run skids but had 3 s300's and an s330 (which shares the same motor as T320 but the fuel package is slightly tuned down).

    for what you are describing, you can find a used mulcher head that's in really good condition in the 12-15k range and probably cheaper if you are diligent. I don't know about the brown tree cutter but suspect they hold their value so they won't be cheap BUT probably a little less than a mulcher. For some reason, I'm thinking a good tractor with guards and belly pans would probably be more expensive and harder to haul for service than a CTL. The versatility you get out of the CTL versus the tractor is night and day.. maybe not important for this discussion but if you are on a farm, is there ever anything that doesn't need doing?

    Comfort, too.. the brown tree cutter is just as dusty as a mulcher (in some situations) and bees, bugs, debris, etc. can be a problem if you have an open cab tractor. More chance of broken glass, too, in a tractor. I've seen debris ricochet when running a cutter.. coming back at the machine. The brown tree cutter is a powerful tool but it scares me unless you are a long way from people, livestock, etc. i still can't get out of my mind how far that blade flew.. it was a LONG ways from the machine. Had it flown into the road it could have killed a passerby. Mulchers can lose teeth, too... but the downward trajectory "usually" keeps the teeth close by BUT depending on the brand.. you may see one become a missle. I like a mulcher with a trap door. I've used both types.. open face and trap door (magnum and fae) and tushhogg.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    Yellowdog. Exactly the comparison I was looking for. Any more insight from you or others on this top is appreciated. I'm am a dry sponge soaking up knowledge.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member DIRTROAD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    25002500, I too have seen blades thrown from a tree cutter before. However, I've also seen tooth holders thrown from mulchers before. I have lost a blade myself on a rotary cutter before, it wasn't a Brown though.

    Don't let that kind of thing influence your decision. The ones that give the most trouble and tear up the most and loose the most components are the ones that are being used 10-12 hours a day in the roughest environment possible with the least amount of maintenace possible.

    A single brown tree cutter might cut several thousand miles of right-of-way in a years time. I doubt seriously that you would do that much in a lifetime just using it on the farm.

    In addition to the Skid-Steer/Mulcher and Tractor/Tree-Cutter options, you could also go with a Skid-Steer/Davco package. Then you would have all the benefits of a skid-steer with the Davco which is more cost efficient to operate than a mulcher. A Davco is probably the closest thing that you could find to a Brown, but specifically built for the skid-steer platforms. They are also comparable in price at around $10k +/-.

    If you have the money to spend, then the sky is the limit. A big factor in your decision would have to do with the terrain on your farm. A tracked skid-steer will go a few more places than a tractor, but they are more expensive to purchase and to operate.

    My personal opinion would be to go with a Woods Boss tractor and a Brown Tree Cutter. You could purchase this package brand new in the neighborhood of $70k +/-. Not only would it be cheaper to purchase than a skid-steer with a mulcher, it would be cheaper to operate over the long term. The Woods Boss will also go 95% of the places that a tracked skid-steer will go.

    Those are my thoughts. Hope it helps.
    Last edited by DIRTROAD; 12-20-2011 at 05:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member tift104's Avatar
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    south Ga.
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    Kubota M108 w/forestry cage, Kubota M9000, Deere 490D, Deere 550, Deere 650, Massey 383 x2, Marshmaster, Kubota RTV 900 X2,

    Default Re: Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    2500 evryone is right. Your deciding factor should be the type of material and lay of the land you are working on.
    We run a couple of the Tree Axe on 108hp tractors. The operator needs to be careful when running these mowers. Old large stumps are not your friend. If they are hit at the wrong angle you will bend the shaft comming out of the gear box. Always be wary of which way your debree is blowing out the back. They will sling everything from tree branches to childrens toys out the back at a high rate of speed. I'd recomend that you have some type of protection for the operator. A lot of our mowing is done in reverse. So a lot of debree comes back toward the operator.
    If you think the Tree Ax can be used also as a rotary mower let me warn you it don't deliver a smooth cut on grasses like a rotary does. The last one I purchased was a used one that a local bought thinking he could mow his yard with it also. He returned it to dealer and I was able to purchase it for around 4500.00
    Keep an eye for some used ones at local auctions or equipment dealers. If you find a used one ask that they hook it up so you can see it run. Watch for vibration on the tractor. If the tractor tends to have a lot of vibration when the PTO is on then this usually means that the shaft is bent or the large dics is slightly warped. A little vibration means that it probably just needs needs new blades.
    Also need to keep an eye on your bolts that holds the blades on. I usually put a socket wrench on them every other day of running just for ease of mind.
    To give you an idea of what it cost me to set up one of our machines. kubota M108S 4x4 $32,000.00, cage for tractor 4500.00 to 8000.00 depending on how you want it set up, Forestry tires 8500.00 front and back, tree ax mower 7000-10000.00 depending on if you want a mulching door or not. Watch the auctions. I've seen machines already set up that come off of Quail plantations auctions for a sell great deal less.
    Last edited by tift104; 12-21-2011 at 10:37 AM. Reason: update

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Brown tree cutter vs skidsteer with mulcher head

    Davco can leave a rough cut.. short blades like the brown make it hard to "suck in" material and remulch. Great for first pass, chopping but I didn't think the Davco's housing was up to par. Whole attachment weight for the Davco SS I owned was only 1200 lbs.. about half what my mulcher weighs. It got tore up a little but it was a fairly low maintenance mower. Threw material A LONG way. The Ammbusher and other mowers have a better door unless Davco changed something. Davco customer service was top notch!

  10. #10
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    Default

    Can a mulcher head flush cut the treestumps without dulling the cutting knives/hammers?

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