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TECH UPDATE: Brushcutters & Mulchers

By Joan Cronk

Advanced Forest Equipment
Advanced Forest Equipment’s (AFE) high performance mulching attachment for excavators delivers superior mulching capabilities without expensive, heavy power boosters. Developed and marketed by AFE, the attachment is available for excavators from 7 to 20+ metric tons.

The secret is Rotary Disc Mulching (RDM) technology. This proprietary technology boasts an innovative design that transfers maximum power to the attachment using only the existing hydraulics of the carrier, resulting in a mulcher that easily handles thick undergrowth and trees up to 20 inches in diameter.

No auxiliary power unit is required. Your carrier is already built to handle the requirements of the attachment and your RDM attachment will spend its energy tearing up vegetation, not tearing up your base machine. “Our customers are experiencing significant increases in productivity, without increasing costs,” explained Jonathan Moffet, company president. “Because no power boosters are needed, machines can be lighter, use less fuel, and are more economical to transport—without sacrificing performance.”

Barko Hydraulics
Barko land clearing equipment delivers more power and productivity while using the least amount of fuel. The company’s land clearing and site prep equipment is designed for efficiency and built for destruction. When the job site calls for quick and efficient land clearing and site prep, Barko industrial tractors and crawlers have the power, precision, and performance to get things done.

Barko offers three models ranging from 305HP to 400HP. Two models, the 930 and 937 are rubber-tired. The 930 is equipped with a 6-cylinder Cummins QSC 8.3 L engine, and the larger 937 features 6-cylinder John Deere 6090H 9.0L engine. The model 640 is a crawler with a 35’5” boom reach.

D&M manufactures Slash-buster® extreme service forestry mulchers. Utilizing low-RPM mulching disks for safer operation, their excavator-mounted attachments can shred 18” diameter trees with ease — and all without an auxiliary engine. Operators can also vary the chip size, for quick results or a fine park-like effect. And an available third boom doubles the area you can treat from a stationary position. For maximum productivity, the teeth are designed to be field sharpened with an angle grinder and are economical with a total cost of less than one dollar per hour of operation. Slashbuster® extreme service attachments are capable of higher production rates than a comparable drum shredder, says the company, and are designed to withstand the daily abuse of mulching trees with some units operating in excess of 10,000 hours.

Davco Equipment
The BC705HS Brushcutter is designed for 31 to 40 GPM skid steers, with a debris jamb guard which helps prevent the debris from slowing down production.

The Davco industrial strength brushcutters are engineered, designed, and built with efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, the cost per cleared acre in mind. They are used for clearing right-of-way, seismic, sight lines, providing fire control, and removing other vegetation.

Davco builds several models of industrial strength brushcutters for skid steers. Most models cut up to 6-inch trees and shrubs. These heavy-duty brushcutters are fast cutting, easily mounted, and inexpensive to maintain. Customers who are satisfied with Davco industrial strength brushcutters and drumstyle heads have said they choose to use the Davco because it’s faster and more economical to run.

Denis Cimaf, Inc.
Now available from Denis Cimaf, Inc. is the DAH-080C brushcutter-chipper for mini excavators, designed for 7-ton and heavier mini-excavators. It allows contractors to put more working hours on their small equipment by offering fast and clean vegetation control services.

The small, yet industrial, brushcutter-chipper weighs 1,580 lbs. It’s equipped with 11 fixed-knives and offers a cutting width of 32 inches. Like other models of the DAH product group, the DAH-080C features Denis-Cimaf patented rotor technology with fixed-tooth and bolt-on, blades that can be be resharpened.

Owing to the efficiency of this technology, where the angle of attack stays constant, the DAH-080C does not require a power unit to be productive. With the standard hydraulics of the excavator, it will cut and chip, in one operation, trees with diameters of up to 5 inches.

From grasses to brush to small trees, the Dymax Vortex Brushcutter draws into its center all that surrounds it. Ideal for larger skid steer loaders and multi-terrain loaders, the Dymax Vortex uses a 750-lb flywheel that spins in excess of 900 rpms and features a 5-inch cutting capacity. www. or

Imagine having a prime mover for forestry, construction, and agricultural applications that allows you to work on any type of terrain in any weather; imagine driving it in total comfort; imagine at last a more dynamic and productive way of working.

FAE USA introduces the PT-200, a smaller and lighter version of the PT-400, combining power and functionality for today’s ROW, site-prep, and land maintenance contractors and organizations. Its 180 HP engine and track options allow the PT-200 to traverse the most difficult terrain, from steep slopes to swampy areas, that demand excellent traction and low ground pressure. The PT-200 is EPA Tier 3 compatible with low fuel consumption relative to similar units in its class.

Fecon, Inc. introduces the next generation of Bull Hog® mulchers for skid steers. The all-new Bull Hog® Skid Steer Mulchers offer the same durability and reliability as the original Bull Hog® Mulchers, with a new patented HDT (Heavy Duty Tooling) rotor system.

The all new Bull Hog® offers 20 percent more production, lower fuel consumption, reduced maintenance, and better sizing. Rounded skid shoes help reduce material build up on the ground, and two new push bar options give versatility for handling material. There is additional flexibility from four tool options — single carbide, double carbide, chipper knives, and stone teeth.

The all new mulcher is available in three models. The BH62SS has 24 tools and offers a 50-inch cut; the BH74SS has 30 tools and offers a 60” cut; and the BH85SS has 36 tools and offers a 70-inch cut. All Bull Hog® Skid Steer models are compatible with carriers that provide 27-45 GPM and are perfect for land clearing, R.O.W, forest and prairie restoration, fuel load reduction, removal of invasive species, and more.

The Franklin C4550 T3 Environmental Brush Cutter is a safe, environmentally friendly vegetation management tool. Perfect for land clearing, fuel reduction, or right-of-way operations, the C4550 T3 features a large, comfortable cab with excellent visibility, operator friendly controls, and standard A/C and heater. Easy access is provided for routine maintenance. 215-260 HP is available. Lock-in/lock-out axles allow easy steering without the ground disturbance caused by track vehicles.

The C4550 T3, matched with a contained debris attachment, provides the solution to most land clearing jobs.

Take the brush cutter to the material, leave the biomass where it grows, and eliminate secondary handling. The Franklin C4550 T3 Environmental Brush Cutter means one thing — production — and lots of it!

Hakmet USA, Inc.
Hakmet USA, Inc.’s Meri Crusher is ideal for versatile brushcutting, mulching, and site preparation in forestry and agriculture. It includes several different models with a working width from 3’ 3” to 9’ 2”, featuring built-in safety clutches to protect transmission components from too much torque. Mechanical or hydraulic mounting to many types of base machines is available both in rear and front. It can be operated forwards or backwards. Prior to delivery, the implement will be converted to down-cut counter grinding as per the owners instructions. H.P. requirement is dependent on the application. Models up to 100, 200, or 300 HP are available.

Units grind up to a maximum depth of 12 inches. Rotating, carbide tipped cutters (the same as for asphalt grinders) set into holders on the cutting drum deliver “amazing” results.

KOOTENAY Manufacturing Co. (KMC) and KOOTENAY Tractor (KOOTRAC) based in Nelson, B.C., Canada, manufacture and market the KMC high-speed steel track (HSST) vehicles. KMC/KOOTRAC has been involved with the FMC/ KMC track vehicles since 1974, and they are recognized as the KMC track vehicle specialists worldwide. The KMC’s individual torsion bar suspension, “live” rubber-bushed steel track, and balanced weight distribution enable the machine to traverse steep slopes, wet boggy ground, or environmentally sensitive soils while creating minimum environmental damage.

KMC-KOOTRAC now custom builds this unique prime mover to carry varied attachments for many different applications such as vegetation management.

The KMC 1000 and 2000 Series hydrostatic drive tracked vehicle has recently been designed to carry a front or rear mounted mulcher/grinder attachment.

Marden Industries, Inc.
Marden Industries was established in 1933 and has remained dedicated to being the world leader in land clearing, site preparation, and field and pasture maintenance equipment. The Marden heavy-duty fire plow and tree pruner are new lines in its forestry products.

Marden drum choppers and pasture renovators are offered in ranges from 25-250 HP and 4-12 ft. cut. Marden fire plows range from 80-300 HP. Marden maxi-split vshears and v-rakes are also available in various sizes and HP.

Quadco Equipment, Inc.
Quadco has combined its efficient saw tooth technology with its 56-inch Drum Mower making this attachment the most productive in its class.

Quadco’s 56-inch Drum Mower is designed to fit a wide range of applications — from light brushing to heavy fulltree mulching. The robust mower mulches vegetation into fine material, discharging directly to the ground. Operating costs are minimal with the low-maintenance, belt-driven, 26 staggered-tooth drum, which comes with a choice of rotatable teeth to fit the application — reversible, beaver, concave, or carbide. An anvil system is designed to hold the material for high productivity. A high strength 1/2 inch plate used on the main frame makes it one of the strongest mower attachments on the market today. The head is 71inches long, 34 inches wide, 49 inches tall, and weighs 3,630 lbs., with an optional 90-degree rotate (330 lbs.). The Rexroth variable-displacement 160cc motor provides superior performance.

The new and innovative PT-200 is specifically designed for forestry land clearing and mulching applications such as site prep, forest maintenance, debris management, right-ofway and fire breaks. This machine is equipped with a Tier III John Deere 6.8 L engine that develops 180 HP. The hydraulic system utilizes Sauer Danfoss pumps and motors for track drive and mulching attachment. The front FAE attachment provides high quality operation and durability in the toughest conditions. The Berco oscillating undercarriage, which follows the contours of uneven surfaces, allows the PT-200 to work in difficult terrain. The tracks can be fitted with either 20-inch or 28-inch shoes. Both offer low ground pressure ranging from 4.90 psi for the narrower track to 3.60 psi. The larger PT-400 provides power and performance, as well as reduced fuel consumption and low emissions. It’s powered by a 12.5lt CAT C13 engine with power options of 385 HP or 415 HP coupled together with Sauer Danfoss hydraulics. Like the PT-200, it features the Berco oscillating undercarriage. Attachments include: FAE forestry mulching head, sub soiling attachment or even a rock crusher.

With the muscle to power mulchers, stump grinders and rotary mowers, Prentice site prep tractors give you the flexibility to perform many land clearing jobs with one machine.

The line includes the 260 HP Prentice 2864, 220 HP Prentice 2764, and the 190 HP Prentice 2664. The center-articulating tractor has a tight turning radius for maneuvering around buildings and landscaping. The Prentice tractors are durable and reliable, a big benefit when working in remote areas. The Cummins QSB 6.7L Tier III-compliant engine and load-sensing hydraulic system maximize machine performance. The Quik-Flow selection/diagnostic system and the optional Quik-Tach system simplify and cut the time needed to switch attachments from half a day to less than half an hour.

The newest model to join Pro-Mac’s Brushcutter lineup is being released this fall. The 48-HFT is a 48-inch horizontal shaft, fixed tooth mulching cutter. What makes this cutter different is that the tooth holders are bolted to the main arbor instead of being welded on which makes field repairs easier in the event of hitting a major obstacle. The 48-HFT has been designed to accept a variety of cutter bits and will be available in 60” and 80” models in the spring of 2009.

This cutter has undergone vigorous field testing by local contractors. It has proven itself in performance and durability and is a real hit with the operators using it.

Risley’s line of Eclips tracked carriers offer a flexible solution to contractors looking for a purpose built mulcher that can also double as a dozer or other money-making machine in the off-season. Eclips carriers boast a fully hydrostatic drive powered by 300 or 400 hp Cummins Tier III engines, and Risley’s exclusive 22- to 28-inch high speed steel FlexTrac for speeds up to 12 mph. Rounding this package out is an independent, floating Dynamic Oscillating Suspension (DOS) and a large ROPS, FOPS bi-directional cab for either conventional tractor-style operation or forwarder –style operation with engine behind the cab. As a forestry machine, it includes easy access points for simple maintenance, including tiltable cab, Flexxaire fan system and greaseless tracks. Eclips carriers come with flexible, mult-purpose attachment points designed for custom (Risley’s own, including in-ground mulcher) or registered OEM attachment solutions.

RWF Bron
RWF Industries out of Woodstock, Ontario manufactures a full line of mulcher tractors — the BRON 300, 400, 500 and 550. The units boast low ground pressure (3.7 PSI) and 32” steel tracks, making for long life and durability in rugged conditions. They feature a large cab that sits high for greater visibility and the contractor-inspired design for ease of service. All the models are fully hydrostatic, creating a user-friendly environment for all operators. And BRON offers a choice of cutting heads giving operators greater options for specific needs.,

St. George Company
The new Seppi STARFORST mulcher is a 300 series mulcher that can handle trees up to 16 inches in diameter and can be used on forestry tractors from 150-400 HP. It features fixed tungsten carbide hammers for above grade, and 2-inch below grade mulching. A dual hydraulic motor drive with a variety of hydraulic motors is available to fit most popular makes of forestry tractors.

 The STARFORST features Seppi’s Rotor Forward design with the rotor at a forward 45-degree angle for superior cutting. The STARFORST also features three rows of forged steel internal “beater bars” and hydraulically adjustable hood for superior mulching.

SUPERTRAK, Inc. boasts a complete product line of custom mulching carriers ranging from 97-450 HP utilizing rubber/ steel track loaders and dozers, rubber-tired loaders, and excavators, all built for maximum efficiency and production in the mulching industry. As a 22-year OEM with Caterpillar®, SUPERTRAK, Inc. utilizes the use of CAT® components in its manufacturing and the support of the CAT® dealer network for parts and service support worldwide. SUPERTRAK’s units are versatile and are used with various attachments for other forestry and vegetation management applications.

Tigercat will soon be releasing its first dedicated track drive mulcher carrier. The Tigercat 480 will be ideally suited to land clearing applications for seismic lines, utility right-ofway maintenance, commercial and residential development, trail maintenance, and forestry and firebreak operations. At 500 HP, the 480 will come standard equipped with variable/ reversing pitch cooling fan, rearward and upward visibility cameras, HID lighting and electronic joystick control. The 480 will be propelled by a durable, low ground pressure D5 undercarriage. Top speed is slated for 7.25 km/h in forward or reverse.

Tigercat also manufactures two rubber tire mulcher carriers, the 726E and M760, as well as a track mulcher based on the 822C feller buncher.