Old School Land Clearing

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CuttingEdge
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Old School Land Clearing

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:23 pm

I got quite a bit of land to clear of stumps and was trying to think of the best way to do it. I know weight and horsepower right? But how?

I have cleared a lot of land here, on my own farm and for other people, but have always rented the equipment. That worked well, as long as the weather worked in my favor and I could get the time on the equipment. But it was not 70 acres of land to clear. Renting wise, I am looking at a cost of around $30,000.

A friend of mine said just buy a cheap older bulldozer, like D-8 size and go to town. I know of a few that are kicking around...and have been kicking around for years and years...think Pony-Motor Era Years here, and I can buy them for scrap metal prices. My thoughts were, it would be a lot cheaper to buy one like that knowing full well I would have to entirely do the tracks. But then I would end up with a tractor that could push stumps well enough a lot cheaper than other way.

BUT...….

That is banking on the rest of the tractor holding together. What is the probability of that? Am I right that these old bulldozers are pretty bulletproof once you get new tracks on them?

Here is 30 acres of the 70 I need to clear...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6GqMUsRbPg
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

B Town
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by B Town » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:39 pm

Several local farmers have done the buy-use-resale technique. Each one I know of worked out well save one. Transmission went out, he was upside down quite a bit with that one. New tall grousers may put a lot of stress and find a weak spot further upstream. I also believe if an old dozer has made it this long and is still working, it must be tough as nails. I’m sure common sense with use would go a long way. Good luck, Bruce

townlineterry
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by townlineterry » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:22 pm

I'd think twice or three times about the buy and resale. You said yourself there are dozers been kicking around for years. does not sound like there is much of a resale market. So by the time you buy one, put tracks on it and what ever else needs done you may end up with a very expensive lawn ornament. Pretty sure that is what would happen in my part of the country. And, don't forget the time you would have in it, that is valuable too.

Anyway good luck what ever you decide.
Terry

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by Stan Disbrow » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:28 pm

Hi,

Sounds like a job for one of the old cable-lift blade D8s to me. I have seen quite a few of those in really decent shape sell for low prices. Many folks think a cable blade won't work but they do quite well clearing land.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by Lavoy » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:27 pm

If they are sitting around, there is a reason they are sitting around. Buy a good dozer, rent a good dozer, or hire it done. After you put $20,000 in undercarriage and repairsbon an old D8 it is still worth what it weighs across the scale.
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hydrogeo
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by hydrogeo » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:37 am

You can rent a good size, brand new excavator for around $3k/wk (maybe even less if you do a 3 month rental), and you can do maybe 5-ish acres in a week if you work at it full time. I'd go that route if your time is not the limiting factor. I worked for a guy that had an old Cat with a stumping blade. It was a great machine and he got lucky, but it was such a gamble. One major thing goes wrong and you are deep underwater, plus the lost time and productivity while you fix it.

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by CuttingEdge » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:44 pm

hydrogeo wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:37 am
You can rent a good size, brand new excavator for around $3k/wk (maybe even less if you do a 3 month rental), and you can do maybe 5-ish acres in a week if you work at it full time. I'd go that route if your time is not the limiting factor. I worked for a guy that had an old Cat with a stumping blade. It was a great machine and he got lucky, but it was such a gamble. One major thing goes wrong and you are deep underwater, plus the lost time and productivity while you fix it.
I rented a Hitachi 160 excavator (34,000 pound class) a few years ago for an 18 acre land clearing job on a mountainside, and it did okay. I would not want to go any smaller as it struggled with some stumps, but it was $6500 a month (160 hours/28 days). On that mountain I could get 2 acres per day on average, but put 10 hours a day on it to get it. The ground I am working on is flat, but has a lot of White Pine and Ash which have tap roots down to hades which Satan is tightly gripping ahold of.

The majority of my landclearing has always been with an 850 John Deere, but sadly I sold mine, and cannot rent anything that size anymore. I had a 700 John Deere for awhile, but that was useless on stumps.

I really do not know what is available for rental here. I have always dealt with Eagle Rental because they would rent a 90,000 pound excavator to a 10 year old as long as the check clears, but the dealerships might rent as well. Big yellow equipment does not make anyone any money if it does not move.

http://www.eagle-rental.com/
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by CuttingEdge » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:18 pm

Well I had to go make a new account on ImageBox because it has been so long since I posted photos on here I forgot what my Password was. Anyway I got a photo of that Hitachi 160 excavator...with its !@#$%^&* track off. Yep, even rental units throw tracks in the rough stuff. This was a very rocky mountainside. At times I had to hook my bucket into a rock crag and drag myself up the mountain because the tracks would not bite. It took 5 hours to get that track back on...

Then there is the 850 bulldozer clearing some land on me back when Katie and I did our "Trash the Dress" photo shoot. That is something new where the bride takes her wedding dress, and rather than give it to her daughter all yellowed and moth eaten, they destroy it in a photo shoot; at an abandoned factory, in the ocean, or set it afire. Not us, we clear land and destroy it in the mud!

It takes someone special to be married to me, not really short-bus-special, but definitely special.

Image

Image
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:37 am

Hi,

We have lots of farmland allowed to sit idle for years. Used to be tobacco fields. That crop was regulated until about 15 to 20 years ago. So people leased the land to the few farmers allowed to grow it. As the demand dropped, the regulation was ended but now it wasn't worth growing. So, the leased land was allowed to sit and grow trees.

Today, the crops are those used in biofuels. The farmers are leasing the fields again. But, they have all this crap on them. One of the big farmers picked up a cable blade D8 and it does a grand job cleaning things up. It was an ornament at a construction company.

You might think it sat there because something was no good, but that wasn't it. It was all because of the cable blade. No one wanted to use one. So, they parked it. Out front in this case because it made a good sign if nothing else. So, it was easily spotted. This one sold for $8k. Looks like it was hardly used when they did use it.

So, once one farmer got one, others went looking and found more. I know of at least a dozen around, all the same story. Amazing machines for what they are now being used for. It makes me wonder if good ones are Up North available for Cheap.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by CuttingEdge » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:24 pm

A woman at church's ex-husband has a D-8, cable blade with Pony Motor for $3,000 as it sits. This is the entire reason I started this post. I know I would have to replace the tracks; that is a given, but the other aspects I had questions about.

I was not so much concerned about the cable blade because with stumping you really only need a 4 way blade, as angling the blade just scoots the tractor off sideways anyway. The ability to tilt is really nice, but really in stumping there is no replacement for horsepower and weight.

What put me off with this particular tractor though, was the Pony Motor actually, as my experience has only been with electrical starting on locomotives, and air starters on the tugboats. (An engineer first fires up a small air compressor that is hooked to shore power, and once the air is built up, starts the two main engines).

But a friend of mine told me other then maintaining another engine, pony motors have some benefits. First they tend to start the bulldozer in the coldest weather. The key is to buy a pony motor that is liquid cooled, that way once the gasoline engine is started, after a bit the coolant in the big engine will warm itself up and then start.

The other benefit is, you cannot burn up a pony motor like you can with an electrical motor. As long as the gasoline engine is running, it can crank and crank the main engine. That seems kind of nice too.

So after hearing that, I began to wonder if maybe the D-8 might work for me?
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Old School Land Clearing

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:16 pm

Hi,

Pony motor not only heats the coolant on the diesel, the gas exhaust warms the diesel air intake. The ones I am used to, you decompress the diesel, get it engaged, rev it up and release the decompressors while disengaging the pony drive. It is actually a rather fun way to start a diesel.

Not as much fun as a Kaufmann (basically a small stick of dynamite dropped into a tube which blows into the cylinder), but pretty fun anyway. More fun than a compressed air starter or a boring old electric motor. ;)

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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