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Uses for a small skid steer

Discussion in 'Farming and Gardening Forum' started by FlyingDutchman, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Bad gas is a constant problem around my place.

    Recently, I got a small skid steer ( 36" wide, 500lb lift cap, no aux hydraulics) going. Cleaned the horse stalls in a jiffy!

    I am trying to engineer more ways to use the mini skid to keep the fuel fresh and solve manual labor problems around the farm.

    One major problem seems to be fenceline mowing and trim mowing in the horse pastures. Literally, I'm dealing with of snaggle jungle that if unchecked turns a fenceline into a 30 foot no fly zone from Vietnam by July. I only have a tow behind 2 spindle brush hog and a tractor with one brake, a sticky clutch and a prayer that keeps it running. This is fine in the open field but impossible in tight areas. I also have a brush blade on my FS90R Stihl. VERY effective, but miles of fenceline.... Too much.

    I think it would be handy to have a front mounted mower I can raise and lower to get overtop of large brush like poison hemlock and parsnip and chew it up and flatten it. Ideally, I could use it at any angle to take care of small tree branches, too.

    I thought about like an 8hp engine and a single blade on a fabricated deck similar to a DR field and brush mower. The bucket and resulting mower would only be around 36" wide. But most engines cannot operate at an angle. Due to the small size, and potentially limited power and angle of such an attachment, don't know how useful it would be. Also thought about making a flail mower out of an old snow blower, but I think they turn too slow to work right.

    The next attachment would be patterned after the Westendorf Brush Crusher. Instead of a wide claw deal, it would be patterned closer to an excavator thumb with very focused grip for things like rounds too big to lift onto the splitter, small piles of brush, scrap, rocks, tree branches in the way, etc..

    Again, too small to be effective maybe.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. uniballer

    uniballer ArboristSite Member

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    Could your machine provide auxiliary hydraulics with a few extra parts (i.e. was it offered on that model)? Or is there just not enough hydraulic pump capacity?
     
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  3. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    They did offer aux hydraulics, but the machine is too old to be able to find an aux valve without great difficulty.

    With a power beyond valve in front of the existing valve, hoses, cylinder, materials etc, the cost of the project for a true grapple becomes pretty big ($600) pretty fast, and the pump is pretty small somewhere around 6gpm and won't run a motor for instance. A hydraulic switching valve is a possibility out on the boom from the bucket cylinder flow, but its still nearly $400 in hoses, cylinder etc to get that done.

    Each project I'm trying to keep under $200
     
  4. rwoods

    rwoods Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Unless you skid steer already has a door, you will likely eat up your budget constructing necessary operator protection if you go with a rotary cutter.

    Otherwise I would say get you an old Graveley with a 30” mower and mount it with some sort of remote control of the PTO. Keep the running gear and you would find lots of other uses for your “attachment”.

    Ron
     
  5. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    My Dad collects Gravely walk behind tractors. Plenty of attachments and tractors to solve this mowing problem. He doesn't want me to "tear them up in the fences". This is an ongoing but amicable tiff between us.

    Very good point on the operator protection. I do get pretty splattered when using the pull behind mower. I've seen a hydraulic brush mower work on a big skid steer and I was really impressed, but that was full cab with AC.
     
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  6. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Was able to use the skid steer to move snow with the 40 0r 50 some inch materials bucket (compared to the 36" normal bucket) grandad had off of a larger Gehl machine. Had around 2-3" of snow but enough to take too long to clear with the single stage blower I have. I was able to clear the drive in 30-40 minutes before work. It has a running issue where one cylinder is loading up with fuel which slowed me down. Worked very, very well.
     
  7. nolids

    nolids ArboristSite Member

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    I have a mini skid steer with several attachments, one of which is the bucket. I got a free weed wacker (that looks like a lawn mower) that fits inside my small bucket. It sticks out the front just right to cut weeds and can be angled to run against a fence line once strapped on.
     
  8. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Do you have any pictures of the weed whacker set up on your machine? Sounds cool!
     
  9. nolids

    nolids ArboristSite Member

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    Ariens 946154 Walk-Behind String Trimmer, 149cc Engine, 22-In. - Quantity 1



    1 rating

    $504.99
    Free Shipping


    I don't have pictures but here is what I have. It didn't run, so I installed a HF mower engine.
     
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  10. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    My dad has a mower like that, a DR Trimmer mower. My original idea for a bit wider of a cut than just that machine can provide. (36" give or take).

    How well does it work? Benefits? Drawbacks? I know that if you walk behind his machine, you get covered in green, and its pretty exhausting to push haha.
     
  11. nolids

    nolids ArboristSite Member

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    My mini has a platform to stand on so I don't get any debris. How do I like it? It works out perfectly-- I don't get winded and it makes the cuts that I need. The thick trimmer lines last pretty good, but you have to be careful on chain link fences and sharp rocks.
     
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  12. nolids

    nolids ArboristSite Member

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  13. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Yeah the DR is exactly like that! Should sit right in the bucket. Great idea!
     
  14. 62barsoom

    62barsoom New Member

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    Star tron is hands down the best gas treatment I've ever used. My 2 cycle stuff starts right up after winter in the barn. Everytime I fill the 5 gallon can it gets a dose. They have a diesel formula as well.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
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  15. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    I guess I'm not a huge fan of fuel additives. I have been intrigued by the star Tron though and will give it a look.
    Using nox-ice in the big endloader I have because it did have a water problem and I'm trying to get it cleaned out.

    The skid steer works great for moving snow. I'm able to maintain my drive after 2-3 inches of snow in about 30 minutes before work. It will get enough snow in the bucket where it will lift the back tires off the ground. The big endloader has to come out when moving much more than that.

    IMG_20200125_101429958.jpg
     

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