Clearing land.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, May 24, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well as y'all may know we have just bought some land in NC that needs clearing.

    We thought it might be able to be just bush hogged but a guy came out this past Saturday and he seemed a little doubtful about how much he could accomplish in an eight hour day but he was willing to give it a try.He was going to charge $50/hour plus $150 because of the distance he would need to travel.

    We were debating if this was worthwhile when ANOTHER guy contacted us and went and said he would take a look and see what he could do.

    He just called and stated he didn't think a tractor could accomplish much but he had a bulldozer and though he could clear a lot of the stumps and debris into piles making the property at least walkable.

    He charges $80/hour but no travel fee.
    He also does driveways,ponds,basements,culverts,etc.

    Would it be a good idea to bring a dozer in and clear the land back or try the much slower(and in the long run probably more expensive) bush hogging?

    There are some smaller trees that are worth saving and the dozer operator has stated he would leave any 'good trees'.

    How do these prices sound to y'all?

    Thanks
     
  2. trtalbott

    trtalbott Well-Known Member

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    I've hired dozer crews to work for me. And a good dozer opperator can move a lot of ground in short amount of time. Just make sure you're around so the job gets done the way you like.
     

  3. Oz just how long will it be before you move on to the land if that is your quest? If it be a few years down the road you might try finding a nearby farmer to run some goats on it during the summer times. Set up an agreement with him so that he reaps a harvest for his work with the goats. After the goats have cleared the underbrush you can better tell what you would like to with the remaining trees.

    If your wanting to move on to the land as fast as you can then you may want to go with the bull dozer.
     
  4. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Thats not a bad price for a dozer,sounds pretty steep on the bush hogging
    BooBoo
     
  5. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Also that dozer can run you some roads and rough in some pads,thats the route I would go.You can do a heck of a lot in a short time with that dozer.
     
  6. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the brush hog prices seem a little steep. Around these parts a going rate of $30.00-35.00 an hour is the going rate. And if he says he can't get much accomplished with the tractor, time to step up to the plate with a dozer. Dozer rates are about $60.00 to $85.00 an hour around here, depending on the size. You will be amazed at what a good operator can accomplish in a day. When I hired one a few years ago, I considered it to be the best money I ever spent on my place. I would get rid of those stumps first, to let the brush hog have room to work in the future.
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Oz, I know you guys are anxious and I appreciate the enthusiasm. I have a trackloader and do my own work. I know how much work can be done in a day or a week and I know how expensive it is to hire and to own a good size machine. Rather than jumping into the project now I strongly suggest that you wait until fall. The leaves will drop from the scrub trees and you can see what you need to do. Additionally, this fall there will be more moisture in the ground and the dozer will be able to do more work faster giving you a better return for the fee. Buy some suveyor tape and start trying to determine where you may want to place your home and the outbuildings and whatever driveway and farm road you may desire. Planning is cheap, rework is expensive and somethings once done cannot be undone such as removing the wrong trees. To clear the property by the acre of stumps will run you more than $800 per acre. Time is on your side....now is the time to ponder and not to get too anxious.
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Yep,I agree with Agman,one branch of our family is dirt movers.What those guys can do in a day with heavy equipment is outrageous!I would never rent a machine and do it myself,its cheaper to have a pro do it.Though I reckon I will buy a few machines myself when we find our property,its really cool to be able to sculpt the land for your farm yourself if its really rough.And 80 an hour for a dozer is a very good price in Ca,the equipment mainanance and insurance costs are very high here.You will really get your moneys worth if that dozer operator knows what he is doing.Another thing,my BIL always bills by the job,not the hour.He feels folks then know the total project costs up front,instead of something going wrong and unexpected pumping up the hourly total.Keeps folks happier if no surprises.FWIW,just how he does it.Oz,you lucky son of a gun,really glad you got your place,still looking here :) And I liked the seymour book,good on veggies ideas,but a little thin on some other topics,but well worth the money,thanks for getting me on track with it! :D
    BooBoo
     
  9. I don't know your land or what you're trying to accomplish. If a dozer is what you need than the price sounds fair. Follow others advice about the time of year. Have a GOOD plan about stumps and brush as they will be piled up and will be full of dirt so you can't easily use a chainsaw. Last and most important is erosion. When the dozer is finished you will have raw, rough, loose soil that will erode quickly when it rains. Some counties require erosion protection while you work and after you finish clearing. Runoff can fill creeks and ponds and cause a lot of problems besides the huges ruts you will have to fix.
     
  10. a good dozer around here in eastern Ky is about 50$ per hour