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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Assuming nothing crazy happens, in a couple weeks I take possession of this. There's about 1-1.5 acres covered with this mix of small pussy willows, blackberries, and some kind of grasses (this is western Mass. for reference). Not as many rocks as I thought there might be. I am looking to do a mix of stripping this clean to build up garden beds, tree planting, and probably just keeping some areas mowed and under control.

The sales guy I showed the pictures to said, "don't underestimate what you can do with a bucket." Usually when a salesperson tells me not to buy something, I listen. So right now, I'm looking at a 1025 TLB with a mower, tiller, and pallet forks, but wondering if there's any other major implements I should be thinking of while I'm buying. The financing isn't a decision-maker but if it helps me negotiate a better deal I'll do it.

There's some tree cleanup around the area, but I figure chains on the bucket and pallet forks are probably enough. I'd contemplated a 4-in-1 bucket but currently leaning against that as I don't want to put more dead weight on the loader.

779931
 

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A toothbar like the bxpanded piranha bar would make a good cutting edge on your bucket to cut some of those things off at the ground level.

A rotary cutter would work well there but a mower may be fine if you take your time.

I recently used my rotary cutter to take down several trees about 9 ft tall and less than 2 inch diameter

 

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A little tractor with a Brush cutter, a grapple for the loader would be really nice, and a chainsaw, possibly a pole saw would be the main tools I would want .
 

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I agree with cc1999, or, if you don't have or don't want to buy a 3pt cutter then a box blade can be used to drag the crap into piles and moved with your grapple from there to a burn pile.
 

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That field is going to look very different in 60 days as things green and grow. Now is the time to get any debris like rocks, logs, etc. gathered as soon these dangers are going to be much harder to avoid as growth and greening occurs.
 

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When I read the text I was thinking skid steer with a mulching head but the pix say that's overkill. Like the others- I'd use a heavy rear mower for 90% with a brush blade on a good string trimmer and/or chainsaw for the rest. Bucket with a tooth bar and/or grapple would be really nice but most of what's in the picture could simply be mowed.

If you go that route, think about putting sealant in your tires before you need it. Mowing brush leaves splintered stumps and they can puncture tires. It's not fatal but a PITA to fix flats. If you don't use a sealant you might want to get a tire plug kit just in case. R-4 tires are a bit tougher than R-1s or R-3s but clearing brush is always hard on tires. My rule of thump is either cut high so the tire pushes the stump over or as low as possible so there isn't enough to get past the tread. The 3-4" stumps are an issue- too short to bend but plenty long enough to cause tire problems.

A bucket with tooth bar is easier on the tires as it takes most of the stuff out of the way before the tires get there but is much slower than simply mowing it- even if you have to back the mower into thick stuff. You have to go slow with the bucket because inevitably things will go well and you will hit a root or stump that won't move at all. If you are going fast there's enough force to bend things, not to mention shake your teeth loose. In those situations I tend to go slow and usually in 2 wd because I want the tires to spin rather than metal to bend.

Congratulations on the property- it will be pretty.

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Do you have a day job, or are you retired? In other words, what is your time frame? Are you hoping to get a garden going this season?

With 1-1/2 acres, I think you would be wasting money on a rotary cutter because you will probably only need it for an initial pass. Maybe you could borrow, rent, or hire out the bush hogging initially, and save the rotary cutter money for something to help you in the planting and gardening. Use your loader to move and pile up all the cut brush for a big bonfire. It may be easier with the forks than the bucket. You can stay on top of new growth with your MMM, used frequently.

I was in a similar position six years back and I own a practically new looking Frontier rotary cutter that has been sitting unused for 5 years and 11 months.
 

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That is what the horse pasture looked like at my house after 10 years of being neglected. I agree with the sales guy. I mowed what I could get up to, down to about 6” with the loader on and down just in case there were stumps I couldn’t see. I mowed around even small trees and then cut them at ground level and used Tordon on the cuts or mowed the really small stuff over. Follow up with Trimec or similar to kill weeds and not grass, then spot spray anything I couldn’t kill before with roundup. Weed eat close to any fences and hand cut any smaller trees too close to use a chainsaw on near any fence. I used the bucket to push the debris into a big pile for burning (or whatever your area allows). I did the initial clearing of the acre in less than an hour, probably 2-3 more in the follow up cutting and gathering, and less than an hour in spraying ( I do have both pull behind and 3pt sprayers).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That field is going to look very different in 60 days as things green and grow. Now is the time to get any debris like rocks, logs, etc. gathered
Indeed - that's why I'm hoping to get in front of it!

If you go that route, think about putting sealant in your tires before you need it.
Is sealant compatible with filled tires? My dealer says they fill tires on new tractors unless people specifically request not to and I have enough slopes that I think filling makes sense.

Do you have a day job, or are you retired? In other words, what is your time frame? Are you hoping to get a garden going this season?
The time frame is to start what I can this year. The summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) don't really go in the ground until mid-late May out here anyway so I've got some time. If all else fails I'd focus my efforts on clearing a 50x100' area first and that's probably enough to keep me busy this first season in the garden. But I think it would be realistic to put 50-100 hours/month into it over the next few months.

With 1-1/2 acres, I think you would be wasting money on a rotary cutter because you will probably only need it for an initial pass.
Yeah, that's kind of how I was leaning also.
 

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I also agree with the dealer. Does'nt really look that bad. I wouldnt be scared to run in there with my 60D on a nice dry day. Trees dont look too big and can be lopped off with a battery powered chainsaw. Maybe a landscape rake or a HH tooth bar to rake it all up into piles and burn it. Clean up the grades with a box blade and keep it mowed. Have you thought about a 2 series for a tractor?
 

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I realize it may not be possible, but I would burn it off first. Uncover what might be laying around that needs to go. Then cut down and pull out anything else necessary.
 

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Indeed - that's why I'm hoping to get in front of it!



Is sealant compatible with filled tires? My dealer says they fill tires on new tractors unless people specifically request not to and I have enough slopes that I think filling makes sense.



The time frame is to start what I can this year. The summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) don't really go in the ground until mid-late May out here anyway so I've got some time. If all else fails I'd focus my efforts on clearing a 50x100' area first and that's probably enough to keep me busy this first season in the garden. But I think it would be realistic to put 50-100 hours/month into it over the next few months.



Yeah, that's kind of how I was leaning also.
You can get a sealant for liquid ballast- Liquitube makes one specifically for that but it's installed with the ballast as it's too thick to pump in by itself. I put the regular Liquitube in my front tires which aren't filled with ballast and have hoped for the best on the rear.

Good luck on the clearing. It's both a lot of fun and tedious. I would think a hundred hours would get most of the intitial work done to where you could start working on grass, garden etc.

If you are doing a garden, you will want something to work up that area so that might figure into your implement selection. For example, a box blade with scarifiers makes a poor man's chisel plow but can also be used to move debris as well as dirt. Be careful backing into debris with a box blade as you can bend things pretty easily backing up.

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Your going to clear it once and maintain it forever so focus on stuff to maintain it. Personally I would price out hiring somebody to come bush hog it down.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I also agree with the dealer. Does'nt really look that bad. I wouldnt be scared to run in there with my 60D on a nice dry day. Trees dont look too big and can be lopped off with a battery powered chainsaw. Maybe a landscape rake or a HH tooth bar to rake it all up into piles and burn it.
Yeah, that was my first thought--chop the small trees and peel the stump/roots out of the ground, then get to work on clearing. I was also thinking I'd walk through the whole area first with a rake or something to mark problem spots before I rip up a tire or the undercarriage :eek:

I realize it may not be possible, but I would burn it off first.
That would be one way to get to meet all my new neighbors and the local FD really fast LOL. This location is actually within a town area so I think I need to be careful about stretching the rules at least until I get to know people.

Good luck on the clearing. It's both a lot of fun and tedious.
Yeah, the GF and I have spent the past year cooped up in the city (Boston) so the prospect of many hours of outdoor work is something to look forward to right now.

If you are doing a garden, you will want something to work up that area so that might figure into your implement selection. For example, a box blade with scarifiers makes a poor man's chisel plow but can also be used to move debris as well as dirt.
I've been leaning towards getting a box blade off the bat too.

Have you thought about a 2 series for a tractor?
I have kicked it around and keep coming back to the 1 series. The primary reason is that there's 1/2-3/4 acre of lawn (not pictured) to mow, which will probably be the single most frequent job for the machine. Second, there are some tight quarters around the property, where it seems like the 1 could fit a little easier. With other tool/equipment purchases I've tended to size it to be comfortable for 80% of what I need it to do, and adequate for 90-95%. If I had more acres or more work that clearly needed a beefier machine then I'd see a clearer upside.
 

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If a post hole digger is in your future, that would be my main reason for going 2-series. A 1025 limits auger length, and in your area you may not be able to get below the frost line. 2025 is a more comfortable ride, and who among us doesn’t lust for a bigger tractor. :sick:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If a post hole digger is in your future, that would be my main reason for going 2-series. A 1025 limits auger length, and in your area you may not be able to get below the frost line.
Ah, that's fair. I don't know that's a thing I'd do too often--I can see a couple projects where I'd use one to dig out holes for piers, but that's maybe 12 holes in the next 2 years.

2025 is a more comfortable ride, and who among us doesn’t lust for a bigger tractor. :sick:
Ha! Honestly not me. My favorite car I've ever owned was my 2012 Miata. The only time I ever wished it was bigger was when the GF and I were taking it on an overnight trip. She packs light, but it did require one to be very picky about what you brought. The rest of the time though it was a fantastic little go-kart of a vehicle.
 

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Ok I have to say it, get a dozer and get to where the rubber hits the road,, forget all this scrap removal, and don't fool with pussy willows! You are messing around with mother nature,, just like butter cups.. Be forewarned.
 
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