Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3
    Location
    Canada
    Tractor
    john deer 1020

    Default Midi Excavator for Land Clearing

    Hi folks,

    I have been exploring the purchase of an inexpensive (of course) versatile excavator for clearing some land and cleaning up the fence lines of my 100 acre farm. A lot of people appear to recommend using at least a 12 tonne machine for doing this (to push trees over and move them around). I want to get the smallest machine that will do the job, due to the long term expense and convenience. So I was hoping to use a midi (8 tonne) machine for this purpose. Does anyone have any experience with a smaller machine and / or advice for me?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Gold Member soulasphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    498
    Location
    France
    Tractor
    JD 3520 powerreverser

    Default Re: Midi Excavator for Land Clearing

    Hi,
    a few months ago I was in your situation, looking for a mini digger to remove the many stumps left by Atlantic storms every year here. I had read everywhere that I needed at least a 3 ton machine for stumps. This was good news as European regulations have changed recently and 3.5 ton machines can no longer be towed behind pickups or trucks as used to be the case and everyone is getting rid of them, so they are cheap and there are many to choose from. Unfortunately, there's no way a 3 ton machine will fit in my barn. So I ended up bying a smaller more expensive machine, a 1.5 ton kubota 2009 KX 36-3 (I don't know if my fellow John Deere enthusiats will speak to me again). I'm amazed at the work this small machine can cope with. I found it hard to believe the dealer when he said it would be enough for planting trees , digging out stumps, clearing land etc. But it proved to be true. Of course it takes longer than with a big heavy machine, but it's just perfect for me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -dscf3500-copie-copie-copier-jpg   -dscf3511-copie-copie-copier-jpg   -dscf3517-copier-jpg   -dscf3527-copier-jpg   -dscf3547-copier-jpg  

    3520 PR

  3. #3
    Platinum Member JD 4520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    834
    Location
    Brinnon, WA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520

    Default

    I'm looking for the same size but good used price. Great machine and simple to learn and use.
    Gary

    JD 4520, 400X FEL, Frontier Front Blade, Box Blade, Rotary Cutter, Landscape Rake, 48" Wildkat Grapple and PHD

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3
    Location
    Canada
    Tractor
    john deer 1020

    Default Re: Midi Excavator for Land Clearing

    Quote Originally Posted by soulasphil View Post
    Hi,
    a few months ago I was in your situation, looking for a mini digger to remove the many stumps left by Atlantic storms every year here. I had read everywhere that I needed at least a 3 ton machine for stumps. This was good news as European regulations have changed recently and 3.5 ton machines can no longer be towed behind pickups or trucks as used to be the case and everyone is getting rid of them, so they are cheap and there are many to choose from. Unfortunately, there's no way a 3 ton machine will fit in my barn. So I ended up bying a smaller more expensive machine, a 1.5 ton kubota 2009 KX 36-3 (I don't know if my fellow John Deere enthusiats will speak to me again). I'm amazed at the work this small machine can cope with. I found it hard to believe the dealer when he said it would be enough for planting trees , digging out stumps, clearing land etc. But it proved to be true. Of course it takes longer than with a big heavy machine, but it's just perfect for me.
    Thanks for you thoughts. Given your experience, I am almost thinking that a midi might be overkill. Unfortunately, the environment that my farm is located in, is a little harsher that the south of France. I lived in France (Paris) for 3 years before returning to the Ottawa area, and while I was there I marveled at the rich soil, manicured farms, and temperate conditions - a blessed environment. The conditions here are quite different, as you can appreciate. I am trying to rehabilitate an old farm that has heavy clay soil and has not been maintained for decades. The fields have shrunk due to the lack of maintenance and the rampent growth of large Manitoba Maples (box elder) trees. I spent every weekend this summer and a couple of weeks in the fall taking my chainsaw to the trees, only to conclude that I would not live to see the place cleaned up unless I dramatically increased my productivity - hence the excavator idea. I have an opportunity to purchase a used Terex TC75 at a decent price. I thought that I would need to at least add a mechanical thumb to it in order to be able to move the logs around once they are down.

    Given this additional information, would you have anything else to add.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    378
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Tractor
    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Midi Excavator for Land Clearing

    I'd suggest as a minimum a c. 7.5- 8 Ton machine which should be versatile enough for clearing, leveling, trail & dam/pond work - depending on your budget, transport & environment, bigger in excavators is usually better up to say 20T.

    Sure you may be able to do it with a smaller machine, but it's going to take a whole lot longer, use more fuel & put considerably more hours on the machine - the other consideration in excavators is that the smaller the machine the more the operators usually ask of it, mini's are more likely to sustain damage/abuse (mostly on the boom/dipper) from unsympathetic operators than midi's which are constructed more robustly.

    If you've never owned/purchased an s/h excavator before make certain the hydraulics are sound, at operating/working temperatures smoothly/consistently in speed/power/responsiveness - including the swing & travel motors.
    The track gear must also have reasonable life as like a dozer it is expensive to replace, & if the machine is plumbed or has a history of hammer or demolition work it's probably best avoided due to the "impact" on chain/sprockets/idlers & stress on the boom/dipper.
    Also ask the current owner if he would use the machine swing to push a tree over sideways, if he says yes it's an indication he hasn't a clue about operating & the machine has most likely been abused through ignorance.....

    Apart from buckets, a thumb or grapple is extremely useful in clearing work - & unless there's a specific requirement avoid telescopic or folding zero swing arms for clearing (weaker & invokes too much wear/tear) & backfill blades quite often means a history of abuse being used as dozer blades (which they are not on an excavator) with consequential damage/stress/cracking on the X frame.

    As for brands, I generally stay with Komatsu, Hitachi & Kobelco which IMO are as good as any & better than most others.

  6. #6
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    8,423
    Location
    Silver Creek, NY
    Tractor
    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Midi Excavator for Land Clearing

    A larger machine will give you more flexibility in what you can do and how easy/hard it is to do it but you can make due with a smaller unit. It will just take you longer. I have a 3.5 ton machine to do exactly what your thinking over 400 acres though. A larger machine would be great but I needed this size to be able to use on jobsites as well. What I do is start on one particular area and work my way down the line till I am done with it. My 400 acres are spread out over a lot of different parcels so clearing brush and trees back to the boundry line is one task as is digging and maintaining ditches and putting in tiles as needed. You can actually cover quite a bit of area in a day but I find I spend more time moving the brush and trees multiple times to where I want to pile them then I do actually digging/pulling them out.

    I would like to buy a larger unit just for ditch maintenance as it would allow me to reach all the way across the ditches/channels while centered on the driveway and swing the material out to the other side of the driveways to be spread. The downside is hauling the machine between farms would require hiring someone or getting a big truck and trailer and wasting a lot of money. So the mini will work fine for my situation.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  7. #7
    Gold Member soulasphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    498
    Location
    France
    Tractor
    JD 3520 powerreverser

    Default Re: Midi Excavator for Land Clearing

    Quote Originally Posted by Telemorph View Post
    Thanks for you thoughts. Given your experience, I am almost thinking that a midi might be overkill. Unfortunately, the environment that my farm is located in, is a little harsher that the south of France. I lived in France (Paris) for 3 years before returning to the Ottawa area, and while I was there I marveled at the rich soil, manicured farms, and temperate conditions - a blessed environment. The conditions here are quite different, as you can appreciate. I am trying to rehabilitate an old farm that has heavy clay soil and has not been maintained for decades. The fields have shrunk due to the lack of maintenance and the rampent growth of large Manitoba Maples (box elder) trees. I spent every weekend this summer and a couple of weeks in the fall taking my chainsaw to the trees, only to conclude that I would not live to see the place cleaned up unless I dramatically increased my productivity - hence the excavator idea. I have an opportunity to purchase a used Terex TC75 at a decent price. I thought that I would need to at least add a mechanical thumb to it in order to be able to move the logs around once they are down.

    Given this additional information, would you have anything else to add.

    Thanks
    If productivity is your prime motivation, get a bigger machine, like the Terex you have in mind, it will save you some time.
    The last mini digger I hired before I bought the kubota was a 5 ton Neuson and although it's difficult to compare stumps, the result wasn't all that different, you would need a really big machine to pull the stump out without digging around it first. I usually carry logs and stumps to the burning site with the tractor rather than the digger so I don't need a thumb, but I have been told that Santa Klaus is bringing me a a superb ripper to deal with the bigger roots.
    I have very little experience with midi diggers, but tend to stay with people who produce the whole machine, including the engine, like kubota or Yanmar.
    By the way, the photos were not taken in the south of France but on the Atlantic coast of Brittany, a different climate again ...
    I'm sure the digger will make a great difference in your rehabilitation project. Best of luck.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -dscf3110-copier-jpg   -dscf1284-r-solution-de-l   -dscf3036-copier-jpg  
    3520 PR

Similar Threads

  1. Land Clearing
    By Billy Spell in forum Projects
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 11-21-2012, 09:47 AM
  2. Drum vs disc midi excavator
    By fishinfool in forum Land Clearing Equipment
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-05-2010, 10:46 PM
  3. Clearing land
    By RWolf in forum Projects
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 03-19-2009, 12:14 PM
  4. Serious Land Clearing
    By thcri in forum Photos
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-24-2003, 04:29 PM
  5. clearing land
    By lblair in forum Projects
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-17-2001, 05:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.