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Tech Update - Brush cutters & mulchers

Advanced Forest EquipmentAdvanced 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-and-greater 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" in diameter.

No auxiliary power unit is required. The carrier is already built to handle the requirements of the attachment and the RDM attachment will spend its energy tearing up vegetation, not tearing up the base machine, says AFE.

Users of the attachment experience significant increases in productivity, without increasing costs, according to the company. Because no power boosters are needed, the machines can be lighter, use less fuel, and are more economical to transport--without sacrificing performance.


With 35 years in business behind it, the BRON mulcher is one of the industry's mulching pioneers. Today, BRON offers a full range of mulching tractors, from 275 to 700 hp, designed for strength with a light footprint. They are used in forestry, firefighting and site prep.

BRON recently introduced their smallest model, the 275. Built on a D3 undercarriage, the 275's low ground pressure rating is 3.5 psi. A D4 undercarriage is also available. The 275 includes BRON's oscillating tracks, which improve stability while maintaining constant ground pressure. Also standard is the heavy-duty cooling package.

Safety is a top priority in mulcher design, with all models ROPS, FOPS and OPS certified. The cab is engineered to protect the operator from rollovers and falling material. It also offers a comfortable environment for the operator, reducing fatigue with climate controls. A tilted cab makes it easier for full access to components.

BRON mulchers are powered by Cat diesel engines. The engine and hydraulics are strategically positioned for balanced weight and are easily serviced through vented panels along the sides and rear of the mulcher.

Crawler Mulching Industries IncCrawler Mulching Industries Inc.

Crawler Mulching Industries (CMI) offers a wide range of tracked mulching machines that are specifically designed to meet the most rigorous standards of the industry and give optimum mulching productivity using FAE mulching attachments. CMI's machines are currently used in a variety of applications including: power line maintenance, land clearing, municipal maintenance contracts, fire lands, and B.C. pine beetle maintenance and annihilation.

CMI offers a full product line ranging from 125 to 600 hp. The 125 hp and 175 hp models are powered exclusively by John Deere engines. The 275, 450 and 600 hp models are offered with the choice between a John Deere and Caterpillar Tier III engine. The rubber-mounted cab (certified OPS, ROPS & FOPS) provides the operator with comfort and great visibility. With its steel track undercarriage, CMI says its equipment offers durability, reliability and the lowest ground pressure in the industry. And the unique frame design results in great ground clearance according to CMI.

CMI crawlers also offer easy access to engine and cooling components through large engine compartment doors and an innovative tilting cab, which is paramount to the uptime of the machinery and the ease of maintenance to all components.


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 that can be treated 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. Slash-Buster 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.


Choosing a brush cutter for compact equipment is an important business decision. For efficiency and money making productivity, it's important to make that selection based on what's being cut, the terrain, desired end results, and ultimately, the cost per acre cleared.

Davco's Barda brush cutters are hard to beat when clearing vegetation, says the company. This heavy-duty brush cutter is fast cutting, easily mounted and is low maintenance. It uses tremendous flywheel inertia generating torque and does not require a high rpm to give the unit its optimum cutting speed. This makes it competitive with larger horsepower machines because it stores the energy built up from its tremendous flywheel inertia. This design spreads out the weight for better flotation. Satisfied customers with a Davco with drum-style heads have said they chose to use the Davco because it's faster and more economical to run.

The equipment cuts brush, shrubs, and trees up to 6", and offers lower operating and maintenance costs.


DAH mulchers from DENIS CIMAF are an industrial hydraulic attachment designed for excavators. Now available in six different sizes, they will transform any 8- to-35-tonne excavator into the ideal mulching platform. They feature:

  • the capability to go into areas where a dedicated tracked machine can't
  • low ground impact owing to the carrier's reach
  • better control and better visibility

The installation allows switching back to other attachments, making the excavator available for a wide range of tasks.

All DAH models use what the company says has become the standard for productive mulching: DENIS CIMAF's patented rotor technology. This technology has numerous advantages:

  • a high efficiency unit that works well even without additional power pack
  • two chevron-like rows of knives that direct the brushes towards the centre of the rotor
  • blades that can be sharpened on the unit
  • thermally-treated forged steel blades that deliver maximum resistance to impact and abrasion
  • and protective discs that prevent breakage of blade holders


FAE offers a prime mover for forestry, construction, and agricultural applications that allows operators to work on any type of terrain in any weather, in comfort--and features a more dynamic and productive way of working.

FAE introduces the PT-200, a smaller and lighter version of the PT-400, combining power and functionality for today's right-of-way, 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 III compatible with low fuel consumption relative to similar units in its class.


Fecon has introduced the BH200 bull hog mulching attachment for 180 to 600 hp tractors. The BH200, equipped with the patented HDT step rotor system, has two cutting diameters and a staggered tool pattern.

The BH200 can be hydraulically powered with 65 to 200 gpm and up to 6000 psi for tractors ranging from 180 to 600 hp with fixed and variable displacement motor options. A PTO version of the BH200 is available for tractors from 180 to 440 hp. This model includes dual over-running clutches in the drive line and a patented pivoting gear box for improved range of motion.

Fecon's BH200 can be equipped with four tool options including three carbide options, a knife tool, or a combination of tools. Standard dual-carbide tools provide the greatest all-around reliability and performance. Narrow single carbides deliver a faster cut with carbide durability and a more coarse finish. The stone tools provide the greatest durability and wear against rock and abrasion. The knife tool provides the greatest production capability for jobs with low risk of highly abrasive conditions.


Hakmet introduces superior grinding power with the Meri crusher. The Meri crusher is fit for versatile ground preparation such as clearing old trees and stumps, reclaiming old pasture land, maintaining utility lines and firebreaks, and reconditioning old roads.

The product line includes several models with working widths from 3'3" to 9'2". Meri features a built-in safety clutch to protect transmission components. Mechanical and hydraulic mounting with a variety of base machines is available both rear and front. Meri equipment will also grind whether driven forward or backward. Horsepower requirement is dependent on the application, and ranges from 100 hp to 300 hp.

Free rotating, carbide tipped cutters set into holders on the cutting drum deliver superior results, says the company. In addition to a standard cutting drum, a multi-purpose drum is also available for many models.

The Meri crusher has received excellent reviews from a wide group of operators for its strength and capability in chipping trees, branches, stumps and breaking/pulverizing the hardest soils, says the company.


The new Geo-Boy brush cutter from Jarraff Industries features a unique design that allows it to operate in all types of conditions, including remote access sites and challenging terrain. With the ability to lift the cutter head approximately 11' high, the Geo-Boy can quickly and effectively clear brush and trees up to 12" in diameter.

With two Tier III engine options, 220 hp and 260 hp, the Geo-Boy is said to be powerful, maneuverable and fuel efficient. The low centre of gravity provides a smoother ride and keeps the cutter head properly positioned in uneven territory. It also offers a number of safety features including full Lexan, No Mar windows and a rearview camera.

The ergonomically designed cab is pressurized to keep dust and debris from entering, and heating and air conditioning are standard. The Geo-Boy is thoughtfully designed to allow for easy access and maintenance. It also includes onboard compressed air for removing dirt and debris as well as powering pneumatic tools.


Kootenay Manufacturing Co. (KMC) and Kootenay Tractor (KOOTRAC), based in Nelson, B.C., manufacture and market KMC High Speed Steel Track (HSST) vehicles.

KMC/KOOTRAC has been involved with the FMC/KMC track vehicles since 1974 and is recognized as the KMC track vehicle specialists worldwide.

The KMC's individual torsion bar suspension, "live" rubber bushed steel track, and balanced weight distribution enables the machine to traverse steep slopes, wet boggy ground or environmentally sensitive soils with minimum environmental damage.

KMC-KOOTRAC now custom build 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.


Lamtrac International is a manufacturer of world class mulcher carriers and tracked utility vehicles.

Mulcher models range from 125 hp to 500 hp in either twin track or Lamtrac's unique quad track, double-articulated design. Common to all Lamtrac models are the Cummins diesel engine and Bosch Rexroth hydraulic systems ensuring reliability and exceptional product support. The ergonomically designed cabs are ROPS/FOPS/OPS certified to provide the utmost safety, comfort and productivity.

Build to last and to outperform, the company says Lamtrac carriers are must-have tools in the land clearing business.

For those work sites that have difficult access, Lamtrac proposes the new LTR5200Q tracked utility vehicle. Featuring a large, roomy cab and a versatile rear deck capable of a wide variety of uses, this vehicle can transport personnel, tools, and parts and is a perfect support vehicle for the work site.


Nokamic's wheeled design offers greater speeds and lower downtime than other true tracked vehicle mulchers, says the company. Net results are lower operating costs with higher returns.

Here are this versatile mulcher's features.

  • It has an articulated frame and 8-drive wheels mounted on two sets of bogie axles, allowing operators to climb and navigate steep slopes. When equipped with steel tracks over the tandem wheels, floatation increases allowing the machine to travel on deep snow.
  • It has power ranging from 350 hp to 700 hp, and mulcher width ranging from 6'3'' to 10'10''.
  • It has a hydrostatic-mechanical transmission, capable of driving up to 10 mph.
  • It has a large mulching head that derives its power from a unique hybrid rotor (steel teeth or carbide hammers or a mix). Tools, rpm and torque can be selected based upon the application.
  • It has lower ground pressure in its category, ranging from 2.7 to 3.8 psi.
  • It is the first off road machine with a three door king cab.


The PT-200 and the new PT-300 are said to be high performers, and are powered by a 6.8 L John Deere 6068HF485 turbocharged and after cooled Euro3/Tier III engine producing 180 hp at 2000 rpm (PT-200) and 275 hp at 2400 rpm (PT-300) respectively. Sauer Danfoss transmission pumps and motors deliver high tractive force for ease of maneuverability and produce high torque for the range of attachments available--mulching head, sub-soiler head, and rock crusher head.

Both the PT-200 and the PT-300, with a specifically designed oscillating undercarriage, are ideal when working on uneven, steep slopes, says the company. The tracks are available in two widths and offer exceptionally low ground pressure (3.10 psi with 32" pads).

The PT-400 provides a highly efficient combination of high power and performance with the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and low emissions. It features a 12.5 L Cat C13 engine producing 415 hp at 2100 rpm coupled together with Sauer Danfoss hydraulics and an oscillating undercarriage.

Operators will experience a spacious, ergonomically designed cab offering excellent visibility and features such as a heated pneumatic suspension seat, air conditioning, back-up camera, and radio/CD/MP3 player.

Pro MacPro Mac

Pro Mac Manufacturing offers a full line of rotary and horizontal brushcutters in a variety of sizes for land clearing such as forestry thinning and power line right of ways, roadside and railway brush clearing, as well as site preparation. They have now added a new mulching disc for its rotary cutters to make the job easier.

Pro Mac Manufacturing's new Super Mulching Disc BT with bolt-type teeth is adaptable to its previous rotary disc brushcutter models. The improved disc:

  • produces finer mulch
  • is operator friendly (no welding equipment necessary to replace the teeth)
  • is adaptable to the company's previous mulching disc models
  • has reversible upper and lower teeth

Quadco Equipment Inc.Quadco Equipment Inc.

Quadco has combined its efficient saw tooth technology with its 56" drum mower, making this attachment very productive.

The drum mower is designed to fit a wide range of applications--from light brushing to heavy full tree mulching. The robust mower mulches vegetation into fine material, discharging directly to 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 ½-inch plate used on the main frame makes it one of the strongest mower attachments on the market today. The head is 71" long, 34" wide, 49" tall, and weighs 3,630 lbs., with an optional 90-degree rotate (330 lbs.). The Rexroth variable-displacement 160cc motor provides superior performance.


Rayco's customers asked for a horizontal grinder that makes processing materials such as wood chips, lumber scraps, pallets, logging slash and green waste easier and faster, without breaking the bank. The company listened, and the RH1754-240 was developed.

It boasts a powerful 240 hp Cummins 6.7 L diesel engine, a longer discharge conveyor, and other enhancements to maximize throughput while keeping operating costs at a minimum. Pile chips higher, or fill open-top trailers, with a discharge conveyor that reaches over 12' high. Screens can be changed in minutes allowing the operator to size product to the required exact specifications. Variable speed control on both infeed and discharge conveyors can be tailored to virtually any grinding application.

Other features include: radio remote controls, magnetic head pulley to separate nails and light metals, swing-away fuel tank allowing for easy screen changes in less than 10 minutes, and a large radiator with removable debris screen and reversing fan. It is also available on tracks.


Risley Equipment Inc. offers the E-Clips EX300 multi-purpose brushcutter, mulcher and stump grinder.

Designed from the ground up to be the next generation of multi-purpose track machine, the E-Clips offers high speed mobility with integrated "DTS" suspension and a revolutionary full motion "Flex-Trac" pad, which the company says eclipses traditional rail based track undercarriages.

It features superior performance, serviceability and versatility with its ability to transform effective hydraulic horsepower to Risley's own line of "CutLine" cutter, mulcher and grinder attachments.

Equipped with the latest technologies in engine, hydraulics and man-machine interfaces, the E-Clips sets a high standard in efficiency with leading brand name components such as Cummins, Sauer-Danfoss, Rexroth and Flexxaire.

The E-Clips can be configured as a loader or tractor configuration. Its unique design offers the flexibility to change its configuration to meet industry resource needs, making the most of a valuable equipment investment, says the company.


SUPERTRAK has introduced its new line of custom built mulching and high performance tool carriers in the 140 hp range.

The SK140TR-C, SK140CTL-C, SK140STR-C, SK140CTLS-C, and SK140RTL offer a variety of undercarriage arrangements to suit any mulching application on any terrain or topography. These units are built to durable specifications for the mulching and forest industries and boast 140 hp with 40 gpm at 5500-psi hydraulic flow. All units in the 140 series are equipped standard with LEXAN windshields, all auto-reversing fan systems, superior noise abatement, superior debris control, increased fuel tank capacity, and electronic monitoring systems for all machine functions. They are also capable of utilizing numerous other attachments, as they are versatile high performance tool carriers. Service and parts support are handled through local Cat dealers.


Tigercat's Off Road Industrial Products Division has developed three mulcher carriers for clearing applications: the M726E rubber tire mulcher, the M822C track-based swing machine and the 480 track mulcher.

The M726E is a 300 hp carrier for right-of-way maintenance, vegetation management, land improvement and small-scale commercial clearing applications.

An optional multi-function hydraulic system and quick attach boom adapter allow the machine to be easily converted to a feller buncher. This provides the contractor with the flexibility to fell merchantable trees when required.

Based on the field-proven 822C feller buncher, the 300 hp M822C is ideal for clearing applications on slopes, gullies, embankments and extremely soft or wet terrain.

The 480 is a 500 hp-class track driven mulcher carrier suitable for tough terrain, sensitive site applications and large scale land clearing, pipeline, exploration and right-of-way projects.

High production and extremely low ground pressure combine to offer exceptional performance in the most demanding mulching jobs. With a Cummins QSX15 Tier III engine, the 480 is a powerful machine with 440 hp available to the mulching attachment. The machine is compact and maneuverable with a narrow overall width and a light footprint for soft soil conditions.

The machine incorporates high-lift boom geometry for improved performance on uneven terrain. The Counter-Rotate Function (CRF) allows the 480 to pivot about its centre axis at the touch of a button for quick, effortless "on a dime" turns at the end of a row. All functions including the joystick steering are electronically controlled allowing for operator customization.


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August/September 2010

On the Cover:

Though there are very mixed signals in the lumber market, the industry is slowly on the upswing. B.C.'s Western Forest Products recently reported net income for the second quarter of 2010 of $9.5 million, and the company re-opened its Ladysmith sawmill on Vancouver Island--which has been shut for two years--in September. (Photo of Port Alberni, B.C. operation of Western Forest Products by Paul MacDonald)


Cross laminated timber (CLT), a wood building system pioneered in Europe, has the potential to boost wood use in Canada and across North America.

A sweet spot machine

Waratah's new 623 C processing head has proven to be a "sweet-spot machine" for contractor James Godsoe, offering the versatility he needs for harvesting a varied wood profile in the B.C. Interior.

Weathering the downturn--with wood pellets

Following the closure of a nearby paper mill that was taking most of its wood chips, the family that owns Newfoundland's Cottles Island Lumber Co. took a deep breath, and made the choice to weather the downturn--and invest in a new wood pellet plant.

Resourceful B.C. contractor

For Henderson Contracting, making its operations more efficient includes doing its own machining and fabricating, a capability that has paid off for them and their customers.

Building a future on the past

Nova Scotia's Delaney and Son Pulpwood has plenty of forestry heritage and knowledge, and they are using that know-how to plan for the future--a future that is likely to include biomass harvesting.

Tech Update

Logging and Sawmilling Journal has the latest equipment information on brush cutters and mulching equipment in this issue's Tech Update.

Supplier Newsline

The Last Word

Tony Kryzanowski on the recently signed Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, which will see traditional adversaries from the forest industry and the environmental movement work together to preserve the integrity of ecosystems in the boreal forest.