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  1. #1
    Veteran Member scesnick's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Garrett County Md. ( Western Md.)
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    Kubota MX5100

    Default Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    I have a 76 acre property and it is about 30 acres field, 15+- acres of hardwoods and the last 30 acres is what we call a thicket. It used to be big timber but my grandfather clear cut it in 1978 with the intention of stripping the coal. Well, That didn't happen and now the once clear cut is now small trees with the largest being about the size of a coffee can.

    I think this is wasted acreage and the wife wants to make it a VERY large horse pasture. Here is my problem. I would REALLY like to reclaim this property but don't really have the funds to pay a pro but since my driveway is 2.5 miles long and is ALWAYS covered in snow drifts anyway, I am not against buying a dozer. What size would I need in order to make short work of these trees?
    On the plus side there are quite a few cherry trees that could be sold to offset the cost of the dozer and possibly other trees as pulp wood.
    Father, GNCC racer, KTM rider, Bow hunter, Farm owner.
    Kubota MX5100
    Dodge 2500 CTD
    Yamaha YZ 250

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Apr 2004
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    5,855
    Location
    SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
    Tractor
    Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23, Craftsman Mower

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    I've been able to do a lot with my Cat D3... it close to 15,000 lbs with the canopy, ripper and 6-way blade.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member scesnick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    1,429
    Location
    Garrett County Md. ( Western Md.)
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner
    I've been able to do a lot with my Cat D3... it close to 15,000 lbs with the canopy, ripper and 6-way blade.
    Do you think the D3 could handle trees as big around as oh, say a soccer ball? that is the maximum size of the trees i have to clear.
    Father, GNCC racer, KTM rider, Bow hunter, Farm owner.
    Kubota MX5100
    Dodge 2500 CTD
    Yamaha YZ 250

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    5,855
    Location
    SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
    Tractor
    Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23, Craftsman Mower

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    My experience is limited to Oak and I've never had any issues with trees much much larger. It doesn't take much with the right soil conditions... about a week after a good rain works best for me.

    Having a ripper helps a lot too. Bigger is always better when it comes to Dozer Power.

    Have you looked into mulchers... It's amazing what they can do in a short period of time. The pressurized dedicated units are awesome.

  5. #5
    Gold Member keving's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    368
    Location
    Virginia/WV
    Tractor
    Kubota 7040HDC

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    I hired a guy to clear about 8 acres of 15-20 years of growth. He put it into burnable piles, back-dragged the cleared portion and left select hardwoods. He accomplished this in about 9 hours. Total cost $900.
    keving
    M9540HDC

  6. #6
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    2,711
    Location
    Catt county New York
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    Most timber under 12" in diameter isn't saleable as anything but firewood, even cherry. I'd bushhog the small stuff, cut down the cherry since you don't want the horses eating the leaves, and let the rest of the larger trees stand for shade for the animals. I'd buck up what I could and sell it for firewood.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    1,178
    Location
    Eastern OK
    Tractor
    MF 596 , MF 4243, MF 1433V, D4H, D3C

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    Be careful buying a dozer for this small a project. Dozers parts and labor are very expensive. One breakdown could cost you more than having a pro clear it. I currently own a D3 hydrostat and a D4H reclearing our ranch. We bought commercial grade equipment, most of the machines listed as "farm dozers" are money pits. We originally cleared most of it with a D6C on the early 80's. Too much work and not enough time and now we are doing it again. The steering clutches on the D6 burned out a month after we bought it. With trucking to the shop and a couple of other small repairs the tab came to near 5 grand. A 3 or 4 would do most of what you need most likely and if you start looking get one with a new or near new undercarriage.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member scesnick's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    1,429
    Location
    Garrett County Md. ( Western Md.)
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    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by keving
    I hired a guy to clear about 8 acres of 15-20 years of growth. He put it into burnable piles, back-dragged the cleared portion and left select hardwoods. He accomplished this in about 9 hours. Total cost $900.
    $900 !!! I thought it would be about 20 times that much. I might check that option out. If i could track down the records from when my grandfather drilled that area for coal, I could determine the amount of coal that is under that piece of land and possibly make some serious money off of it AND have my field when they are done. the problem is actually finding out who drilled the property. My grandfather passed in 1980 and no one really knows who drilled it.
    Father, GNCC racer, KTM rider, Bow hunter, Farm owner.
    Kubota MX5100
    Dodge 2500 CTD
    Yamaha YZ 250

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    787
    Location
    hoyt, Ks
    Tractor
    century 2535

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    in my neck of the woods dozer, track hoe, and back hoe work runs $80-120 an hour.
    call a couple of folks and get some estimates - good operators will give suggestions for maintaining grade so you don't get bad runoff erosion, suggest trees to keep, etc...

    then invest in a good chainsaw and plan on cutting up the piles he leaves afterwards. (again around here) hardwood firewood sells for anything from $75 a pickup load to $150 a cord.
    If you don't already have one, I recommend Stihl or Husquevaerna, because they're common enough parts and repairs are relatively inexpensive. Jonsered may be a better saw, but repairs will eat you alive.
    Poulan makes a good saw for occasional use, but unless you're spending a lot on them, you'll save money in the long run paying twice as much for an orange saw to begin with. (by the same token, Poulan makes the small Huskys and I think Craftsman, so if you're looking to spend less than $200 go to Sears and pay for the maintenance agreement/extended warranty. I also don't recommend anything under 42cc unless you plan on having more than 1 saw.

    good luck!
    Erik
    Mahindra 3510, box blade, pallet forks, 6' KK mower...

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    2,572
    Location
    Bedford, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 2320

    Default Re: Suggestions for clearing 30 acres of small trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by scesnick
    $900 !!! I thought it would be about 20 times that much. I might check that option out. If i could track down the records from when my grandfather drilled that area for coal, I could determine the amount of coal that is under that piece of land and possibly make some serious money off of it AND have my field when they are done. the problem is actually finding out who drilled the property. My grandfather passed in 1980 and no one really knows who drilled it.
    I talked to a guy about clearing out a fence row for me and he gave me quote of $500, and it would only take him an hour or two.. He said he wished he could charge less, but that is the minimum 'day' charge to cover his costs.. I was expecting it to be a couple thousand, I was CLUELESS of how inexpensive it could be..

    Brian
    Bedford, VA
    2320 w/ 62D MMM, 200CX FEL, Pats EZ Change, LX4 Cutter
    Co-owner (with my father) of John Deere 790, 30 HP, 4x4, 513 cutter, 70 FEL
    2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4x

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