Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I currently burn 5 or 6 trees a year on average as they die and fall (or threaten to fall) around the property. Anywhere from 40' - 100'ers. I currently dump them into the fire pit with the FEL and that works fine, but I'm considering a grapple. With the cylinder mounted so far forward to operate the grabble, am I just asking for trouble exposing it to extreme heat repeatedly? It may be pretty close to the flames for 5 or 6 seconds at a time. Enough to distort or ruin seals?

Anyone else do this?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PJR832

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
I have a burn pile that gets burned about once a year. I start it burning then has it burns down I constantly push the pile smaller till its about gone. I always used a box blade behind my 1020. last spring I used the fel on my 1020 with my forks, It worked well. I got my grapple after it I plan on using it this year. I think for the small amount of time you are over the fire it should be fine. Good luck and be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,004 Posts
Ive seen a mini excavator mix many burn piles without issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
I use my loader/grapple to drop items into fire and also use it to push the fire around to burn everything down as much as possible. I don't leave it in the flame/heat very long and other than additional smoke/soot on top of what's already there from the exhaust, no problems. I would assume your results may vary depending upon the size of fire you have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rtgt and Marlin

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Tagged for interest as I have a big honkin' pile too.

My thoughts are forks or bucket?

Maybe use the hoe to push stuff back in? I think I'll have my 3 pt. sprayer on the back though so I don't have to embarrass myself calling out the fire dept.

Plus I might till a firebreak around the pile. Maybe I should start a "How do I burn a brush pile thread?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
A lot of it's going to depend on the amount of heat produce, how long it's in that heat, and how long you allow it to cool.

I've used mine to push in several burn piles while they burn without issue. I typically pile it up good, let it burn down, and then push more on top or push the pile into the middle a bit. While the bucket shields a lot of the heat from the hydraulics, you should be OK so long as you're not keeping it over the heat for more than a few seconds at a time.

If nothing else, keep a sprayer or hose nearby to cool it off if you get concerned.

Tagged for interest as I have a big honkin' pile too.

My thoughts are forks or bucket?

Maybe use the hoe to push stuff back in? I think I'll have my 3 pt. sprayer on the back though so I don't have to embarrass myself calling out the fire dept.

Plus I might till a firebreak around the pile. Maybe I should start a "How do I burn a brush pile thread?"
IMHO, I'd go with the bucket. You can push a bit better when you're pushing things in.

That being said, if you're wanting to throw more brush on top, the forks would be better for that. You can get by with rolling it on top with the bucket, though, so long as you have it fairly close.

If you're going to burn a pile, make sure you've cleared out anything dead that's going to burn. If you burn in the spring when everything's green, you should be good. If it's during the time of year when grass is dead or dead leaves are abound, then you need to drag or clean out around the pile to prevent it from spreading.

Also be aware of what's around the pile, as embers are going to fly off the fire and land somewhere. Stay nearby and keep that sprayer handy so you can handle any flare ups while they're small.

The biggest thing is to find the right day to burn. If the relative humidity (not humidity. Relative humidity is related to the amount of moisture in ground fuels) is high and winds are low. If there's snow on the ground or a recent rain has everything wet, that's a good time. Check the NWS or another good, reliable weather source to get that info.

Keep in mind, too, if you burn anything big your likely going to burn/smolder overnight or maybe even a few days.

Some quick tips from a 20-year firefighter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,004 Posts
The thing with front attachments is you will end up with tires in the heat/coals.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigJim55

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,887 Posts
Pushing into the fire

It's not bad pushing tag ends of stuff into a burn pile with a bucket but you do have be be aware of where your tires are and what's on the sides. A long time ago, we did a prescribed burn and it blew into an area that wasn't intended to burn. To make a long story short, the Dept. of Forestry had a dozer on site and a burning stick got stuck in the engine shroud and they almost lost the dozer. That's a different scenario than a nice clean brush pile but it illustrates that you don't want to push too deep at anyone one point, maybe just not quite to the front tires and then move over.

My hydraulic hoses to the grapple are on the lower part of the boom assembly. If I was doing something with fire they would be lifted and/or shielded but would probably use the bucket to push stuff in. The grapple is great for a lot of things but the bucket can be used to smash fire flat, push stuff etc.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
So I currently burn 5 or 6 trees a year on average as they die and fall (or threaten to fall) around the property. Anywhere from 40' - 100'ers. I currently dump them into the fire pit with the FEL and that works fine, but I'm considering a grapple. With the cylinder mounted so far forward to operate the grabble, am I just asking for trouble exposing it to extreme heat repeatedly? It may be pretty close to the flames for 5 or 6 seconds at a time. Enough to distort or ruin seals?

Anyone else do this?
I do it a lot. Built my grapple in 2014 and it's been used like that ever since. No problems so far. I worry more about the hoses but so far I've managed to dump and back away in plenty of time to prevent any heat damage.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,147 Posts
I have kept a burn pile going all day, feeding it with my grapple.

I let it burn down and then add some more.

Quick in, quick out.

I drop it as close as I can, then use the box blade to push it in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,650 Posts
Tagged for interest as I have a big honkin' pile too.

My thoughts are forks or bucket?

Maybe use the hoe to push stuff back in? I think I'll have my 3 pt. sprayer on the back though so I don't have to embarrass myself calling out the fire dept.

Plus I might till a firebreak around the pile. Maybe I should start a "How do I burn a brush pile thread?"

i use forks to load brushpile before burning, than use the bucket to push outside edge in from the outside towards center of burn. my piles take me mostly all night to burn down. i burn here at night-so that the sparks when they land are somewhat on the dew of anything. next day let it simmer, and then push it around to burn up left over stumps for the night again.

so far i haven't managed to set my neighbors woods on fire or fields either. good luck---cause once a fire gets out, its rough to get under control:flag_of_truce:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
So I currently burn 5 or 6 trees a year on average as they die and fall (or threaten to fall) around the property. Anywhere from 40' - 100'ers. I currently dump them into the fire pit with the FEL and that works fine, but I'm considering a grapple. With the cylinder mounted so far forward to operate the grabble, am I just asking for trouble exposing it to extreme heat repeatedly? It may be pretty close to the flames for 5 or 6 seconds at a time. Enough to distort or ruin seals?

Anyone else do this?
I use my grapple to feed my burn pile while it is on fire all the time without issue. You just do not want to hang out in the fire for very long, just long enough to dump the load and move back. It has never proven to be an issue with me. My biggest concern when I do this is having a branch or something hang on the grapple and having it catch on fire while dumping. Luckily I have always been able to "shake it off" by moving the controls up/down or curl/dump as required.

Not sure what the flash point of tractor hydraulic fluid is but I know with the hydraulic fluid for an aircraft it's between 120-140 degrees Celsius. Your grapple isn't going to get that hot that fast unless you have a leak and then that's a different story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
The thing with front attachments is you will end up with tires in the heat/coals.
No not really, most of the time I can get in close enough to dump my load from the grapple without getting in the coals. Even when I do run over some coals, it has never been that big of a deal. :bigthumb:
 
  • Like
Reactions: OldmanX

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I use the bases of trees cut to 36" lengths and place them into a circle around the fire pit to form a 12' or 14' diameter ring. Then I dump all the brush, limbs and logs in with the loader. The "log ring" deflects a lot of heat and keep my tires clear of the coals. But I think using forks would be easier that a bucket so I'm going to try it once the snow is gone. I burn several times a year. Lord only knows how many cords of wood.... But around here you can't give hardwood away. Every windstorm generates another 5 year supply for everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
My brother cleared over 100 acres of trees into farm land back in the 1950's,,
he used an Allis Chalmers HD10,,, the brush piles were VERY long,,,

Many times he would drive the HD10 O V E R the burning brush pile to get to the other side,,,
rather than drive all the way around the end of the pile.

That HD10 was never bothered by the heat,,, there were a LOT of seals on the machine.
My brother said that was the only time he used the higher gear speeds,,,:dunno:

He said if he kept the speed up..
there was less chance the flames coming up would singe his pant legs,,:laugh:

No, the heat will not bother the hydraulic components,,
Like others have said,, any plastic is subject to possible distortion,,

I am amazed how little heat is needed to soften a 4" rigid plastic pipe,,
I use a torch, and easily bend the pipe to strange angles,,,

That pipe is probably thicker than the hood of your tractor,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
727 Posts
I've helped on a couple of prescribed burns on a friend's ranch and beforehand he tilled with a disc around the perimeter of the field to be burned. With a light fuel load, fire won't jump a 6 or 7 foot border. If it does, there were three of us ready to squirt water on a rogue flame. I was on an old Deere tractor with a 3 point PTO driven sprayer, two others on ATVs with sprayers.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top