Land clearing is an intensive process requiring lots of technical skill, diligence, and sophisticated land clearing equipment. A clear foundation is imperative for construction and literally lays the groundwork for the project.
As a contractor, it’s up to you to make sure you have the right equipment for land clearing and any job for that matter. The right equipment makes work faster and also gives you an edge over the competition. However, with so many manufacturers and types of equipment available, it can be hard to pin down the right small land clearing equipment for the job.
In today’s post, we’ll give you a list of land clearing equipment for civil and building contractors.
Mowers and Mulchers
A forestry mower is unlike your conventional mower. Instead of mowing lawns, a forestry mower clears entire trees. Mowers are great for managing wild overgrowth in regions with dense forests. Mulchers handle small trees, underbrushes, and even old fences.
Mulchers cut and grind vegetation into easily disposable waste. You can then haul the debris for disposal using trucks or any other means. Certain forestry mulchers can tackle up to a dozen acres per day. You can either purchase a stand-alone mulcher or one that comes as an attachment.
No land clearing job is complete without a bulldozer. Bulldozers can move different rock formations, soil masses, and vegetation. You can also use bulldozers to level uneven landscapes for easier construction or aesthetic reasons.
Most people associate bulldozers with the curved metal blade at its front that does the bulldozing. However, you can fit various attachments on the front of the bulldozer for different functions. For instance, you can attach a root plow, a sharp horizontal blade that pushes into the ground to remove shrubs from the ground.
There are several types of bulldozers, but the three main types are crawler, wheel, and mini bulldozers. All the said bulldozers achieve the same function but differ in size and their locomotion mechanism. Bulldozers are a staple for contractors dealing with civil works, but not so much for building contractors.
After you’ve mowed down all the trees, you still have to deal with the tree stumps. With roots extending more than 20 feet below the ground, removing tree stumps is easier said than done. However, you don’t have to remove the tree stump from the roots.
Stump grinders are used to clear away the tree stumps after cutting down trees. As the name connotes, stump grinders level tree stumps by grinding them up. They consist of strong, powerful blades that rotate and chew up the wood as they turn.
Stump grinders help make our clearance work look professional and meticulous. They are a way better alternative than removing tree stumps manually by the roots. There are plenty of stump grinders available today, but for quality stump grinders, you can check out these stump hogs.
Large land clearance jobs require excavators to carry various objects, including rocks, small trees, and shrubs. Excavators have a boom and an arm with a large digging bucket attached at its end. The cabin can rotate up to 360 degrees to make navigation and excavation easier.
Other than digging and carrying objects, you can use excavators for other purposes. You can also use excavators for demolition, lifting, cutting down trees, and even river dredging.
You can either get wheel excavators or track excavators, depending on your site. Tracks help distribute the excavator’s weight evenly to the ground surface. This makes the excavator lighter hence suitable for soft ground.
Wheel excavators are much heavier than track excavators but are a lot faster. Wheel excavators may, however, sink in soft ground. Depending on the ground’s condition, you can opt for a track or wheel excavator.
A loader is a behemoth of a machine with an enormous digging bucket at its front. The main function of loaders is to load materials onto dumper trucks. In our case, the materials could be soil, tree debris, or demolition waste.
Just like excavators, loaders contain a digging bucket but with a shorter arm. Unlike excavators, loaders don’t rotate, so the digging bucket can only dig straight. You can either get a wheeled or tracked loader, depending on the ground conditions.
Feller bunchers come in handy when you have to clear dense forests for whatever reasons. These land clearing machines are specifically used to cut large trees without actually cutting them. Feller bunchers consist of the cab, boom, and the feller buncher head.
The feller buncher head can hold multiple stems at once. The cutting head cuts down the tree and holds it so that it doesn’t fall to the ground. This makes it easier to load the trees on trucks for transportation.
Dump trucks carry large quantities of loose materials from one place to another. Some of these materials include gravel, sand, demolition waste, and the likes. The standard dump truck is suitable for small residential projects, but for larger ones or projects in rural areas, you’ll need an off-road dump truck.
Off-road dump trucks are larger than ordinary dump trucks. They also have large wheels to traverse through rugged terrain. There are several types of dump trucks, but all of them achieve the same purpose.
For urban development projects, you should consider a tri-axle dump truck. These trucks are smaller than standard dump trucks and carry lesser loads. However, they can easily navigate urban streets and maneuver through tight spaces because of their small size.
Another advantage of triaxle dump trucks is that they are lighter than other dump trucks. This means they don’t consume as much fuel as others, and you can save a bundle on fuel costs. The downside to these trucks is that they can only carry small loads.
You can spot graders or motor graders from a mile away because of the large horizontal metal blade between the front and rears tires. Graders level the soil surface and are a staple for road construction projects. The huge blade between the wheels lowers into the ground and removes the soil layer to level the surface.
Motor graders are different from bulldozers because graders have a flat blade, and bulldozers have a slightly curved blade. Graders move small quantities of material like soil and snow. Bulldozers can also move the same but in larger quantities.
If you need precise and accurate leveling, then you should get a motor grader. If you need to shove away large quantities of loose material, you’re better off with a bulldozer.
Wheel Tractor Scrapers
Just like graders, wheel tractor scrapers also level the ground surface. The machine consists of a front part that is the tractor vehicle where the operator sits. The rear part contains the scrapping mechanism, which consists of a horizontal blade, conveyor belt, and a hopper that collects soil.
The operator first lowers the horizontal blade into the ground, then moves the vehicle. As the wheel tractor scraper moves, so does it scrape the ground to level it. The hopper collects all the soil that the blade excavates and until it gets full.
When the hopper is full, the operator lifts the rear part to dump the excavated soil. A wheeled tractor is more effective than a grader because it collects and dumps the excavated soil. As such, you don’t have to use a loader to collect the excavated soil and load it onto a dumping truck for disposal.
Considerations Before Purchasing Land Clearing Equipment
Every land clearing contractor knows that purchasing land clearing equipment is a huge investment. That’s why you need to get everything right before making a purchase. Here’s what you should consider before purchasing land clearing equipment.
Quality of the Equipment
Remember, sometimes your equipment must work in not-so-friendly conditions. This means they must be durable and strong enough to withstand harsh conditions like hail, snow, and heavy rain. Equipment of questionable quality will degrade.
That’s why it’s important to invest in high-quality equipment. Although they’re pricey, they’ll last longer and do a better job than inferior quality equipment.
Land clearing equipment are gas guzzlers. You need to consider how fuel-efficient a machine is before purchasing it. Explore all your options and go for the most fuel-efficient ones.
Fuel-efficient machines will save you a bundle in fuel costs every year. What’s more, most of the fuel-efficient equipment is cheaper than their gas-guzzling counterparts.
Make sure you get all your construction equipment from a reputable dealer. Explore all your options and go for the dealer with the best reputation. Go online and check out reviews and testimonials to know who you’re working with.
Pick the Right Equipment for the Best Job
Only the right land clearing equipment can deliver the intended results. As such, take your time when picking land clearing equipment for your various contracts. We hope the above list of land clearing equipment will help you make a more informed decision.
For more informative content, check out our other posts on the site.