Tech Update: Forestry Mulching For Fire Mitigation

by | Apr 25, 2024 | 2024, Fire Mitigation, Logging & Sawmilling Journal, March/April 2024, Tech Update

Diamond Mowers

Diamond Mowers offers a range of attachments to protect forestlands from fires. Mulching options include the Excavator Disc Mulcher Pro X which can cut through trees up to 14” in diameter and mulch trees up to 6” in diameter, and the Excavator Drum Mulcher, a depth control unit that provides exceptional reach and mobility to cut low hanging limbs to reduce fire fuel. For a finer mulch, the Drum Mulcher DC Pro effectively clears material up to 8” in diameter, says the company.

For stump removal after trees have been burnt by fire, Diamond offers two types of grinders. The Reflex is said to be an easy-to-operate, cost-effective attachment that uses one style of tooth for simple care and maintenance. The Miller offers the same power and productivity of a self-propelled commercial unit at a fraction of the cost and features swing, lift, and telescoping functions that allow operators to effectively remove stumps without repositioning the loader.

www.diamondmowers.com

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Tigercat

Tigercat has released a mulching head for swing carriers in response to fire mitigation equipment requirements in western North America.

The 4161-15 is a 59” heavy duty swing-to-tree mulching head and is optimized for use on Tigercat 800 series carriers.

The 4161-15 uses many field proven components common to other Tigercat mulching heads. There is a choice of standard drum rotor or feed control rotor with depth gauges in front of each tooth to control the cutting depth, reducing load on the machine. The rotor design is similar to 4061 series mulching heads. Tool choices include standard carbide, heavy duty rock resistant carbide, and hardened steel knife style.

The 4161-15 pivots 130-degrees (+/- 65 degrees) left or right on a hydraulically controlled wrist. Hydraulic hoses to the head are routed through the open boom tip of the carrier and connected to a manifold in the wrist. This routing minimizes exposed hoses, aiding in reducing wear and damage.

When paired with the Tigercat LX830E, this minimal tail swing, leveling machine is said to be highly effective at fuel load management and fire mitigation on steep slopes and in tight areas.

www.tigercat.com

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Denis Cimaf

The Denis Cimaf mulching head is a vital tool for fire mitigation due to its efficient clearing capabilities, says the company. Using heavy duty rotary cutting blades, it swiftly processes vegetation, reducing fuel loads that contribute to the spread of wildfires. However, through strategic deployment, the Denis Cimaf mulching head is also a valuable tool in preemptive fire management efforts, safeguarding communities and ecosystems against the devastating impacts of wildfires.

By mulching vegetation into fine particles, it creates defensible spaces, inhibiting the advance of fires and providing firebreaks. The mulch left behind acts as a natural barrier, limiting the ignition potential and slowing the progression of flames. Additionally, the process promotes healthier vegetation growth by returning nutrients to the soil. Denis Cimaf attachments come in two styles: DAH for excavators and DAF for skid steers.

www.morbark.com

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Prinoth

For vegetation management, Prinoth says that they are a one-stop shop for top tier mulching equipment. The company provides a comprehensive line of forestry mulching solutions from mulcher attachments compatible with various skid steers and excavators to dedicated carrier mulchers built for the most challenging landscapes. Their Raptor carrier mulchers, ranging from the compact, remote-controlled Raptor 100 (74 hp) to the mighty Raptor 800 (640 hp), are described as capable of dominating any terrain, adding that Prinoth mulchers are renowned for their durability, operator-friendly controls, and comfortable safe cabs.

www.prinoth-vegetationmanagement.com

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FAE

FAE says that its PT line of tracked carriers are the most efficient solution for creating fire mitigation lines because they are specifically designed for this type of work with dedicated mulching heads.

FAE tracked carriers are specially designed for the toughest and most demanding forestry work. There are three different models in terms of size, hp, and machine compatibility.

The FAE PT-175 is a tracked carrier designed for forestry work when there is little space to maneuver. Anywhere that requires superior agility and efficiency, the PT-175 helps to manage wooded areas, create firebreaks, and works near power lines and oil and gas pipelines.

The FAE PT-300 is said to be an ideal tracked carrier for the most difficult tasks whether managing forests or creating firebreaks near electrical lines or oil and gas pipelines.

The FAE PT-475 is said to be the perfect tracked carrier for major work in wooded areas or along oil and gas pipelines.

The available selection of interchangeable heads makes FAE carriers extraordinarily flexible. They are designed and built to work in extreme conditions on soft ground and on steep slopes.

www.fae-group.com

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Caterpillar

Caterpillar says that its Next-Gen wheel loaders introduce a new era in forest management, specifically tailored for mulching and fire mitigation, adding that its GC models provide a blend of reliability and cost-effectiveness, making them well-suited for extensive mulching tasks.

Their robust construction ensures enduring performance in challenging conditions, balancing efficiency with operational costs.

Cat wheel loaders excel in swiftly clearing large areas, equipped with advanced hydraulics and power systems, says the company. These attributes make them indispensable for rapid fire mitigation tasks, facilitating efficient land preparation and cleanup with minimal time and effort.

The XE models introduce next-level efficiency, featuring intelligent power management systems. This not only enhances productivity but also supports fuel economy.

Collectively, Cat wheel loaders demonstrate technological advantages for forestry applications. By incorporating these machines, forestry professionals have access to specialized equipment designed to meet the diverse demands of fire mitigation, contributing significantly to the resilience of forest landscapes.

www.cat.com

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Fecon

The Fecon FTX150-2 mulching tractor is said to be ideal for all forestry mulching applications. From large scale right-of-way maintenance to vegetation management and lot clearing jobs, Fecon says that the FTX150-2’s 150 horsepower class power and versatility allow any job to be completed with confidence and ease.

The FTX150-2 is the only dedicated machine in the class with loader arms, increasing productivity from the increased lift and range of motion. Its range of motion gives the operator more finite control over the mulching head, leading to an increase in productivity.

Large engine bay doors provide easy access to the entire engine compartment and hydraulic pumps located at the rear of the machine.

Constant monitoring of the hydraulic circuits allows for engine horsepower to be routed to where it is needed most. The system allows the FTX150-2 to mulch uphill while maintaining control over both the loader arms and track system. Fecon Power Management optimizes both the recovery and staying power of the mulching head.

www.fecon.com

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Loftness

The Loftness 50 Series Battle Ax is built for use in some of the toughest applications and it’s designed for use on some of the most powerful excavators weighing from 50,000 to 88,000 lbs. It features the popular depth gauge design and the Loftness exclusive two-stage cutting chamber. This maximizes performance and gives users the ability to create some of the smallest particle sizes in the industry. Plus, Loftness has equipped it with the ideal hydraulic motor, belt drive and other features to pair well with its power unit.

The Loftness exclusive two-stage cutting chamber provides the ability to cut material twice, which is why the company says that its machines are known to process material more thoroughly than competitive units. Material is first cut against the primary shear bar, which is adjustable, so the clearance can be narrowed or widened depending upon the desired material size and production rate. From there, the partially reduced material passes smoothly to the secondary cutting chamber behind the front bumper, where it’s processed further before being discharged toward the ground.

www.loftness.com

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Promac Equipment

With its made in B.C. equipment, Promac Equipment provides what it says is a firsthand look into what veteran forestry contractors require from their tools. In today’s world, “high-tech” is synonymous with “better”. But in reality, the company says, it can be just new tech versus old tech. For technology to truly be better, it must expand the customer experience in a meaningful way.

Promac says that when relied on to fight fires, one thing matters most: “my equipment must not fail”. Overcomplicated, disruptive, and redundant features will not improve the experience or efficiency, and instead increases the odds of mechanical failure. The work and success are most important in these extreme situations, making simple tech a forestry contractor’s best path forward.

In summary, says Promac, simple strength, simple durability, and simple versatility combine to never let you down in moments of need, and make Promac Equipment an industry favourite for wildfire-related mulching. These are the principles Promac Equipment forestry mulchers take to heart, it says.

www.promacequipment.ca

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