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I have a fair amount of brush I plan to clear off my property this year. Initially, I'll probably just pile it in an appropriate corner of the lot and let the critters use it as habitat. But if, as I expect, the pile gets too big I have the good fortune of a mulch producer not too far away that'll take all this type waste you can give them. I have a grapple on order so loading mass quantities of this into the bed of the pickup for hauling is the easy part. Once I get to the dump site getting the debris out of the bed of the truck is where the problem arises.

I have some ideas ranging from going at it with a mulch fork by hand to putting a tarp down in the bed of the truck and rigging it so I can pull on the end behind the cab and pull the brush out with it. Sounds good in theory but I have a feeling in practice it won't be quite that simple. Anyone have any suggestions for an easy way to get a load of brush (honeysuckle, wild roses, raspberries, etc) out of the bed of a pickup?

Thanks.
 

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I have a fair amount of brush I plan to clear off my property this year. Initially, I'll probably just pile it in an appropriate corner of the lot and let the critters use it as habitat. But if, as I expect, the pile gets too big I have the good fortune of a mulch producer not too far away that'll take all this type waste you can give them. I have a grapple on order so loading mass quantities of this into the bed of the pickup for hauling is the easy part. Once I get to the dump site getting the debris out of the bed of the truck is where the problem arises.

I have some ideas ranging from going at it with a mulch fork by hand to putting a tarp down in the bed of the truck and rigging it so I can pull on the end behind the cab and pull the brush out with it. Sounds good in theory but I have a feeling in practice it won't be quite that simple. Anyone have any suggestions for an easy way to get a load of brush (honeysuckle, wild roses, raspberries, etc) out of the bed of a pickup?

Thanks.
Problem is... there is no easy way. You'll probably find the pile too heavy to pull out with a tarp. Forking it out is likely the only way. My brother used to have a little gizmo that he would put in the back of his pickup. It was like a big nylon tarp attached to a roller with a crank handle. He could load in light material and then when he was ready to unload he would drop the tailgate, crank the handle and all the debris would just roll out the back. It was very inexpensive and worked quite well if you didn't overload it.

I have a similar situation when I take brush to the mulch producer with my small landscape trailer. When I get there I have to unload it the same way I loaded it... by hand. I tried the tarp trick once and it didn't work.

Once while I was there a guy pulled in beside me with a dump trailer. He was in and out in less than 10 mins. I yelled over to him "Show off!!" He just laughed. :)
 

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Problem is... there is no easy way. You'll probably find the pile too heavy to pull out with a tarp. Forking it out is likely the only way. My brother used to have a little gizmo that he would put in the back of his pickup. It was like a big nylon tarp attached to a roller with a crank handle. He could load in light material and then when he was ready to unload he would drop the tailgate, crank the handle and all the debris would just roll out the back. It was very inexpensive and worked quite well if you didn't overload it.

I have a similar situation when I take brush to the mulch producer with my small landscape trailer. When I get there I have to unload it the same way I loaded it... by hand. I tried the tarp trick once and it didn't work.

Once while I was there a guy pulled in beside me with a dump trailer. He was in and out in less than 10 mins. I yelled over to him "Show off!!" He just laughed. :)
For $32 after coupon it would certainly be worth a try!

1/2 Ton Truck Bed Cargo Unloader

EDDF2B3E-547E-4787-A7B9-615CB2ACED79.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
For $32 after coupon it would certainly be worth a try!

1/2 Ton Truck Bed Cargo Unloader
My only concern with this is the same I suspect will happen with my earlier tarp idea. The tailgate opening is smaller than the bed and as branches get caught on that lip the material will stop flowing.

Just to clarify on my original tarp idea. Picture a tarp long enough (or 2 attached together) that will go from the tailgate to the front of the bed, then up and over the brush and back to the tailgate. I can then anchor the top tarp to the bed rails to keep debris from blowing out on the way to the mulch producer. Then when I get there, just grab the top section at the tailgate and walk away from the truck, basically rolling the brush out. Even if I can pull the weight, again my concern is between the narrower tailgate opening and the lip around the top of the bed I'll get about 1/4 of the way out before it's trapped and it's back to unloading by hand.

Still hoping to hear from someone that's been here and came up with something clever that worked. Then again, the solution may just be make more/smaller trips so the brush doesn't get wedged in the bed...
 

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I have some ideas ranging from going at it with a mulch fork by hand to putting a tarp down in the bed of the truck and rigging it so I can pull on the end behind the cab and pull the brush out with it. Sounds good in theory but I have a feeling in practice it won't be quite that simple. Anyone have any suggestions for an easy way to get a load of brush (honeysuckle, wild roses, raspberries, etc) out of the bed of a pickup?
"In theory, theory is a lot like practice. But in practice it isn't."

I see you specified easy, but nowhere did I see cheap. So, here ya go.... DumperDogg® Polymer Dump Insert | Buyers Products
 

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What has worked for me in the past. Whether trailer or truck box, I lay a couple good sized branches or small tree's that go from front to back as a base that give you something to pull on at the bottom of the pile. It's very important, as you stack your load that the bottoms all face towards the back. This allows the branch's to flow out and not snag everything as you pull. It's still pain to pull it out but it does work. How you stack your load in, has a lot to do with how well it comes out.
 

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I have the HF version of the crank cargo unloader & it worked surprisingly well for decomposed granite, mulch & dirt. Added a sheet of 2x8 plywood on edge to each side of the bed to keep material from getting into the cavities created by the wheel wells. That mini-barrier may work for you too.

Don't use the unloader for brush here. Am careful to load it much like goat says, but hand unload it mostly 'cause I toss it on top of an existing "habitat".
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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I don't suppose you could just burn it? They still let us do that here in MN, a blue state no less. They do frown upon a placing a couple of old tires beneath the pile, however. They sure get the pile nice and hot so even green and wet stuff burns downs thoroughly. Dumping all your used drain oil on top of the pile works almost as well. :crazy:
 

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Suggestions

These might be helpful:
  1. Stack for easier removal: I used to be frustrated trying to pull brush from my trailer at the local recycling center. One day, I noticed a tree company carefully stacking limbs with all the butts facing the chipper. Even if they are stacked on top of each other, they can easily be pulled apart. I tried it the next time I was hauling brush after a big clean up job. I started filling from the front to the rear. When unloading, I stand at the back and start pulling off the top. They easily slide out. Sometimes, I can pull the entire last ⅓ out in a big pile. It works, even if I pack the trailer by pushing down on the loader and stacking more on top. Start from the front again when loading the 2nd layer. It takes a little longer but it makes it much easier to unload.
  2. Cut into smaller pieces: Sometimes, the brush pile at my house is too tangled to easily load. (Yes, I was being frustrated at home by a tangled pile and at the recycling center by a tangled load.) I just start cutting into the pile with a chainsaw about every 3'. shorter pieces can be easily moved to the trailer. Rinse and repeat. Again, load from the front in a way that allows pulling from the rear.
As I've gotten older, I just leave the piles in the woods behind my house. Eventually, they rot down.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't suppose you could just burn it? They still let us do that here in MN, a blue state no less. They do frown upon a placing a couple of old tires beneath the pile, however. They sure get the pile nice and hot so even green and wet stuff burns downs thoroughly. Dumping all your used drain oil on top of the pile works almost as well. :crazy:
I don't really have a large enough clear area on my lot where I'd be comfortable burning a brush pile. At least not one large enough to make it worthwhile. I think I'll just go with heaping it on an obscure corner of the lot unless it does get too big. After a few seasons it'll compact down if I don't have to keep adding to it.
 

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If it's not big stuff and you have a bush hog that would chew it up. I have used a mower for stuff up to about 1", chewing it up.
My chipper chips up to about 3"-4".

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I don't really have a large enough clear area on my lot where I'd be comfortable burning a brush pile. At least not one large enough to make it worthwhile. I think I'll just go with heaping it on an obscure corner of the lot unless it does get too big. After a few seasons it'll compact down if I don't have to keep adding to it.
And lots of little critters will thank you for it.
 

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We've tried several things to get rid of branches from our firewood trees. We've tied them in several bundles so that they can be off-loaded fairly easily. We've piled them in the truck or trailer with the butts facing rearward, then tying the butts together with a slip knot, and tying the other end to a tree or some other immovable object and driving the truck/trailer forward slowly and carefullyso the bundle comes off the back. I stress slowly and carefully as I have known people who have tried this method and damaged their vehicles. Best to have someone to watch the load and advise the driver of any problems. We invested in a 5hp chipper/shredder too but I found that the vibration was a little hard on my hands when feeding the branches into it. The mulch was kind of handy though. Our property is on a lake that freezes over in the winter and in the past we have dragged the branches onto the lake and burned them on the ice. The fire marshall thought that was a good idea but asked us not to use gas or oil to start the fire, so we used cedar branches and a tea light canle to get it started. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And lots of little critters will thank you for it.
I'm actually a fan of sharing my land with nature. If a tree comes down but stays in the woods I'm inclined to just let nature take care of it. It's all part of the food chain. Of course, until now I didn't have the equipment to clear a path into the woods to get to most trees that fall so there's as much lazy there as naturalist.

I'm just trying to line up a plan in case the brush pile turns into a really big pile.

If it's not big stuff and you have a bush hog that would chew it up. I have used a mower for stuff up to about 1", chewing it up.
My chipper chips up to about 3"-4".
No bush hog but I'm pretty sure the 7-iron will handle a lot more than the 48" deck on the old LX186, so there are some areas where I'll just chew through it with the mower. Other areas the honeysuckle has developed a pretty significant trunk so those I'll probably attack with the tooth bar equipped bucket (no fork, yet). Then there's the areas where when trees did drop in the yard I'd lob the smaller limbs back into the woods and let nature have them while converting the rest into firewood. Obviously I can't lob far and I've been feeding the piles faster than nature has been reclaiming lately.

Thanks all for the suggestions. Especially loading with the base pointing toward the tailgate. Makes sense and I probably would have thought of it around the 3rd or 4th load. :)
 

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I’ve been piling brush in 2 different piles in the woods for over 20 years now - a lot of downed trees worth. You’d be surprised on how much the pile naturally compresses itself each year. I try to mix a couple heavier logs in here and there which helps.
 

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As far as unloading, I'd lay down a long tow strap in the bed, then like others have said pile larger branches on the bottom. Hook on to the tow strap and pull it out of the truck/trailer.

Personally I would pile it in the woods or get a chipper. I too am a firm believer that the woods need to be replenished.
 

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I've been hauling brush out of my yard for years. About 6 years ago I tried burning it...I really didn't like the risks, so I went with hauling it. I've been hauling 2 - 5x8 trailers stacked with brush from trimming trees almost every spring.. My brother and I take it to the dump site and unload it the same way it went in. piece by piece. It really don't take long. About a month ago I didn't have access to the trailer so I had a guy come pick it up for $40. So the new plan is.. get a young guy to haul it for me. :laugh:

Next year I may even call someone to do the trimming as well.....:bigthumb:
 

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I torch everything. I had a used commercial size chipper but that thing sounded like a C-130 at flight idle and would suck up anything near its mouth so I sold it because I never felt safe around it.

I usually burn after a rain when things have dried but the ground isn't too dry. I also try for low wind conditions. If you are worried about the size of the pile just burn more frequently. You can also make a fire pit, Lowes or HD sell kits, you need to get some gravel to put down and then place the brick around it. If you have the woods to dump it in then that works too. My woods are loaded with dead fall and turned over trees from the hurricanes of the past couple of years. I don't mind branches being on the ground but I hate seeing turned over trees.

If you take it to a mulcher hand unloading is about the best it gets. I have one of the load helpers but it's only good for heavy materials like dirt or gravel. A load like brush will get hung up on the sides etc.

I would look at a small dump trailer. I realize the cost is significant but the time savings could be enormous.
 
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