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Land Clearing with Loaders

Posted on 31st Aug 2016 @ 10:53 AM

Using a compact track loader with different land-clearing attachments can revolutionize a construction professional’s business, enabling them to bid on larger projects and work in all weather and ground conditions.  Attachments can turn one machine into a mulitpurpose tool to help contractors maximize profits.

A loader and a land-clearing attachment, such as a mulching head, are an ideal combination for site-preparation and clearing applications, as well as utility and right-of-way work, brush clearing for fire breaks, and fire prevention.  Land clearing attachments paired with a compact track loader can offer contractors the ability to grapple, shear, hammer, break, crush, cut, compact, and scoop up debris on a variety of jobsites. And these attachments also play a large role in handling the debris during the clean-up process, loading the material into trucks to haul away.

What to Consider

When choosing attachments for a compact loader, it is important to pay particular attention to the attachment’s flow requirements. Attachments that require continuous hydraulic flow, such as augers, brooms, or mulchers, do not work as efficiently if the compact loader’s hydraulic specifications do not meet the attachment’s needs. In this case, the demands of the rest of the compact loader’s systems can result in sluggish attachment operation or may cut hydraulic flow to the attachment altogether. This can be very frustrating to owners and operators who are tryin got increase the usage of the equipment.

Flow and pressure work together to increase the productivity of the unit and determine how efficient the unit will be when carrying high-demand attachments. Unfortunately, the auxiliary hydraulic pressure PSI is often overlooked in the selection process.  Most contractors are only concerned with the flow capabilities of the unit and they seldom consider the pressure and how this affects the overall performance of the attachment. That said, contractors need to be sure that the pressure of the unit matched the specification of the attaachment—too much flow can damage the hydraulic drive motors and solenoids inside the attachment. If the attachment does not have enough pressure, it will not perform correctly.

Once the amount of pressure needed is established, contractors then must consider the flow and pressure as a combined force and how this will affect their productivity. By being able to calculate the hydraulic horsepower of the unit, contractors can then pick the best unit for maximum productivity. Calculating hydraulic horsepower is simple: take the GPM, or flow of the unit and multiply it by the PSI, or pressure, and then divide that toal by the constant, which is, 1,714. Here’s an example to better illustrate: A unit with 45 GPM and a pressure of 3,800 psi would have a hydraulic HP of99.7 [(45X3,800)/1,714=99.7].

Other factors or conditions that contractors need to consider when selecting a loader and attachments include the size of the project, how many acres need to be cleared, and the type of material that is being cleared. Underfoot conditions (rocky, muddy, frozen, swampy) and slope also will dictate which type of machine to use.

Inventory Management

Dedicated equipment is great to have in an equipment fleet if the contractor’s main business require the use of that equipment the majority of the time. But what if a contractor needs equipment with more versatility? One way savvy business owners can better manage their fleet inventories versus cost of equipment acquisition is to think differently when it comes to equipment offerings and utilization. Equipment utilization is the key to a profitable bottom line.

What if contractors could instead invest in a multipurpose tool, such as a compact track loader with a mulching head attachment, to handle site-preparation applications and other tasks as well? How much more utilization could be achieved per unit? How would that increase profitability?

Another benefit a compact track loader with a land-clearing attachment offers is job site manueverability because they are smaller than dedicated mulchers and offer more flexibility because they can run a variety of attachments.

Adding attachments to perform profitable tasks is always a good financial decision simply because attachments cost little compared to the revenue stream they can see as a rsult of performing more tasks on the jobsite. To get more done on every jobsite performance-matched attachments for compact track loaders—including augers, backhoes, mulchers, rotary brooms, buckets, dozer blades, pallet forks, power box rakes, stump grinders, trenchers, vibratory rollers, and rakes—are ideal tools for contractors to use with their compact track loaders when working in land-clearing and site-prep applications.