Brush clearing

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bill177, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. bill177

    bill177 Member

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    upstate New York
    I am at the point of purchasing a compact tractor and am looking for a little experience about the use of a back hoe for clearing brush. Or am I going in the wrong direction?

    I have creek bed work to do, the usual garden tiller stuff, post holes, and enough loader stuff to keep it in use some of the time. I could probably do much of the same work with smaller equipment (walk behind, shovel, rent-a-kid, hand cutters, etc.) But, I am getting up in years and all the hand work really takes its toll. Hence, the new tractor.

    I have decided on the Kubota - but not the model. Either the BX2350 or the BX24. One has a back hoe and the other does not. Question is about the back hoe. Anyone use one to dig out brush? Sounds logical to me - but, if I knew the answer, I wouldn't be asking.

    Thanks
     
  2. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Small backhoes are made to do small jobs. The backhoes on compact tractors do a good job of digging smallish holes in clear soil, as soon as you get into ground with rocks or start trying to clear a lot of brush with them they fall apart very quickly. If the backhoe is mainly to be used for clearing brush, save the money and use it to hire somebody with the right equipment to do it quickly and safely.
     

  3. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Would a brush hog work for your terrain? A lot cheaper than the backhoe if that is all you'll use it for.
     
  4. bill177

    bill177 Member

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    upstate New York
    The brush I have in mind of clearing will be selective in the woods, along trails, and at the woods edge - not for field clearing. I'd use a dozer for that. Just digging some of it up and putting it on the burn pile.

    Sorry I didn't make myself more clear.
     
  5. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    I've used all kinds of methods to clear big brush - bulldozer w/ rake, front end loader, brush hog, box scraper, string trimmer mowers (forgot the name), bobcat, etc. All of these are available for my use, but I keep coming back to the backhoe for big heavy brush clearing, especially along drainage ditches etc.

    While I can bulldoze over or through the brush, all that does is smash it down and does not remove the roots. The backhoe (good sized one) is maneuverable and has reach to rip out the brush. I can "cradle" a wad of brush near the roots, then roll the bucket back against the arm to trap it, and then swing the bucket to the side and rip a large clump of brush out roots and all. It is a little tedious as you have to move the machine and re-setup the outriggers when you have exhausted the reach limits for the area you are working, but this is the only effective long term method I have found. Every other method I have tried either tears up the ground too badly, or fails to get the roots and the stuff comes back with a vengeance.