Need 3" BearCat chipper advice

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Roger Dodger

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Interested to hear more about your experience with the wallenstein machine when you have it.

Will do ncpete. The bigger Wallensteins that I saw yesterday, were about as good as it gets within their category. Really well thought out and designed, and top-shelf materials throughout, right down to the finest details. I've checked out hundreds of reviews on the tractor forums, and I've yet to read a bad word about any of the Wallensteins. Also, the fact that my local Wallenstein dealer is so close, and offering such a good price as well as a great financing option, I really don't think I can go wrong. Heck, I may have even considered the smaller BXMT 3902, which I believe has the same 70 lb./17" rotor, but with a light-duty trailer, and a 9HP Honda engine vs the 13HP Honda engine on the BXMT 3213. That 3209 would probably be ideal for that type of work, as long as you don't need "highway" towing.

One thing that I haven't mentioned here yet,,, all of the BXMT series (except the 3209), have electric start. The 27-knife 1' shredder will come in handy too.

I'm still going to take a few pics of the brush piles. Hopefully by tomorrow.
 

Toddppm

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This job is a one-shot deal by the way. I'm retired, 66 years old, and have no intention of doing more of this kind of work.

Guess a few days makes the pain go away huh? Now thinking about starting a small business:rolleyes:
 

Roger Dodger

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Guess a few days makes the pain go away huh? Now thinking about starting a small business:rolleyes:

Ya know Toddppm, I'd kill to to just that, but I have to be realistic and factor in my age (I'll be 70 in 3 1/2 years), plus the fact that I've got virtually no disc left between my L-4- and L-5 vertebrae. I can still put in a decent days' work once I'm warmed up, but I sometime pay the price for days afterwards. That said, I really enjoyed doing this job, and didn't even notice my back. Walking in the bush is certainly a lot easier on me than walking on rigid surfaces, like concrete or pavement.

Aside from looking at chippers, I've also been looking at trucks; in fact, I just got home from my local Toyota dealership. Just kickin' tires mind you. If I was 100 % certain that I could get enough work, then maybe.,,,; winters are pretty long up here.(4 1/2 months under snow)

I had considered the possibility of getting a truck next Spring anyway, plus I already have a fair amount of equipment that would allow me to do smaller residential jobs; general grounds clean-up, etc.

As far as the math is concerned, everything I own is paid for, plus Toyota is offering 0.9% lease-financing on a new truck, and the lease is transferable. A brand new 4x4 6cyl Tacoma, or v-8 Tundra would be roughly $500.mo. If I were to commit, then discover this is not for me, or that my back finally gives up, I'd probably have a relatively easy time getting rid of the truck.

Assuming I went that far, it would be a short leap to getting a flat-bed trailer,,,, a small Kubota tractor (they're offering 0% financing/6 years), and a 6" PTO chipper. Kubota yesterday, offered me a virtually brand new 6" hydraulically-fed Wallenstein PTO chipper, for $4k.(less than 1/2 price) It's a finance-repossession, and was used for only one job according to the salesman. I looked at it yesterday, and it's clean as a whistle. The dealership can't sell it just yet, since the customer still has the possibility of getting caught up, but apparently it looks like that won't happen.

As far as on-hand equipment goes, I already have the following;

John Deere X-500/54" deck, 27 HP garden tractor with just over 10 hours on it.
John Deere 17 cu.ft. cart
John Deere 42" leaf-rake
Toro commercial walk-behind self-propelled mower
brand new Echo 60cc chainsaw
Echos' largest back-pack blower
Echo gas hedge-trimmer
Echo pole-pruner/chainsaw,,,the biggest model(PP-266???)
Silky Hayauchi 21' pole-saw
Marvin Professional 18' pole lopper with several Marvin heads
a bunch of Silky hand-saws, choppers, hatchet, machete, etc.
and a bunch of hand loppers, axes, and various other hand-tools, ladders, and safety equipment.
4'x8' one-ton utility trailer.
two weed-whackers (Honda UMK-431 and Tanaka 255)

I could be up and running in a week if I wanted to. The business would be debt-free, with only the leases on the truck and the Kubota tractor to deal with. Throw a big snow-blower on the tractor, and I could operate year round. With brand new vehicles and machines, initial maintenance costs would be negligible/nil, so there would be fuel and insurance to pay, a few adverts in the local paper, and that's about it.

Ya see how cheap it is to dream??? :D
 

Toddppm

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Inactivity is your worse enemy, just don't overdo it! And keep your feet on the ground!
 

Roger Dodger

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Inactivity is your worse enemy, just don't overdo it! And keep your feet on the ground!

So true, not only physically, but mentally as well. When you reach that "certain something " age, and the kids and the wife are gone, you need to be passionately interested and involved in something. Going 1/2 way on something, has just never been my style. That said, I'm in anguish today..... When they filed the credit application for $4k for the 3" BXMT, Wallensteins' financial services affiliate came back a few minutes later with a pre-approval for up to $50k. worth of equipment, at 2.4%. It's possible I may go up to the 4" machine,,, but that's another class all together, and more awkward to move around. It's a much bigger machine (7' tall/ 1080 lbs.) Chipper/shredder combo with 2" shred, and a 25" diameter 170 lb. rotor. I believe the chipper throat is 10" x 4". I'll think it through over the weekend. I've gotta talk to a few potential customers before taking that plunge.
 

blades

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ya ain't going to be hoofing that toy around. So when are you signing the papers on the tractor ? Course now ya gots to go and visit the trailer dealers and your going to be needing that truck to pull it around so back to those stealerships as well. Vicious circle- it is a disease called EAD ( Equipment Acquisition disease).
 

Roger Dodger

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ya ain't going to be hoofing that toy around. So when are you signing the papers on the tractor ? Course now ya gots to go and visit the trailer dealers and your going to be needing that truck to pull it around so back to those stealerships as well. Vicious circle- it is a disease called EAD ( Equipment Acquisition disease).

Yeah, I know that disease all to well,,, but in my circle(musician), it's called G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome). I have something like 24-25 stringed instruments,,, mostly steel-string acoustic guitars, but also ukeleles, banjos, mandolins, basses, dobro, acoustic-electric, electric, classical, etc. Amazing what you collect over the years. I think I'm a sicko, but I sure have fun with that stuff.
smiley-music021.gif


Regarding the equipment,,, I'm going to have to do a LOT more research before deciding whether or not I want to get into this type of work. It's one thing to know that I can get the equipment anytime I want, but, I also need to find out if there's a viable market here first. I've got a bunch of people to talk to yet, and I started that ball rolling this afternoon. I went to meet the guy who runs the marina next door, and he tells me they had a 6" chipper running 8 hours a day, for about a week, clearing an area for the marinas' expansion.(8 man crew cutting trees). Another guy I wanna talk to, is my girlfriends' daughters' ex,,,, he has a large forestry company, and I'd imagine he refuses a lot of small jobs that he could pass on to me. I'm also going to talk to a local landscaper-friend, to see if we could form some kind of business alliance. I don't believe he works with chippers, or maintains trees.. I think he's more into lawn and garden services.

As for a tractor, I've got a lead on a nearly-new Kioti tractor, but I don't know which model just yet.(friend of a friend type thing) I should know by Monday. If I were to buy that tractor, it would obviously have to be powerful enough to drive a PTO chipper, and that in turn means, a different financial structure to the business ("buy" vs lease-to-own). Lots to think about, and we're supposed to get snow-flurries tonight. (winter's just around the corner). Our local weather forecast says we'll have an overnight low temperature of -8 degrees Celsius Sunday night. (17* Fahrenheit)
 

Roger Dodger

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Get the tractor with the pto chipper. Anything less will be a waste of money.

Yeah, that's probably what I'd do if I bought the tractor. That nearly-new 6" hydraulic-feed Wallenstein that Kubota offered me yesterday, looks like a real bargain at $4k. Mind you, I don't know squat at this stage about how much PTO-power I need to drive that chipper. There's a lot of good info on the tractor forums though.
 

Roger Dodger

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Well, as promised, here are a few pics.IMG_1164.JPG This view is from the side of the house. The back-yard lawn you see is a plateau, with a steep drop-off of 8-12 feet to the lower-level where the brush has been cleared. (click image to enlarge)

The second pic, is a view of the back of the house, viewed from the newly cleared lower-level. Note that there are three levels to the land. The back yard of the house is roughly 8-10 feet lower than the driveway at the front of the house, and the newly cleared area is another 8-12 feet lower than the back yard.(IMG_1147)

The third pic shows one of the brush-piles, and the white objects you see are some of the boats at the marina. They're covered in white shrouds to keep the snow off. Note the sheer number, and the small diameter of the brush-trees in that stack. Virtually all of them are under 1"-1 1/2". (IMG_1148)

Pic #4 shows more boats, less than 100 feet away from the only possible burning area. With only a garden-hose available for fire control, it's a risk the owner is not willing to take, and I agree. The winds coming off the river can get pretty strong. (IMG_1151)

Pic #5 shows the area where I'd have to park a larger stationary chipper.(IMG_1161)

Pic # 6 is a view of part of the cleared area, and was taken from the back yard. (IMG-1168)
 

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Roger Dodger

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Are you kidding me? I would have scheduled a second job for the afternoon. This poor lady is getting ripped off.

:ices_rofl:,,,I'd be willing to bet that you're a "the glass is half empty" kinda guy. o_O

First off, you have no idea how long this job took in the first place,,, and,,,you have very little idea of scale, when looking at some of those pics. You're only seeing a tiny fraction of the job when looking down from the back yard. One pile alone, down by the river on the right-hand side, measures 70 feet long across its' base. You can't see that pile in these pics.

Funny how the other contractor who came to give me an estimate last week said; "There's over a weeks' work there, just dragging the brush to the chipper, even with a helper,,,, then another day-and-a-half just passing this stuff through his 6" hydraulic-feed chipper. He wanted no part of the job of dragging the wood-piles to the chipper,,,,,, chipping only,,,,$700.

But hey,,,, if you have another spare "half-day",,,, you're welcome to it.:D
 

Marshy

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I'd drag the brush down by the waters edge and light a fire. I'd probably take a day to burn it all over by the shore line... Its always easier to drag it down hill.
 

Roger Dodger

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I'd drag the brush down by the waters edge and light a fire. I'd probably take a day to burn it all over by the shore line... Its always easier to drag it down hill.

The lay of the land might appear sloped in the pics, but it's generally level down there; though far from "flat". There's also a 12 foot cliff that drops off from the back-end of that lot, down to the river. Can't burn there for several reasons; tall trees above,,, and 300 feet from the houses' hose-outlet.

That river is well over a mile across, and winds can come up quickly. If that fire were to get away from me, I'd be screwed. Too risky.
 

Marshy

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A small controlled brush fire is very different from lighting all of it on fire at one time. A 5 gallon pail (or multiple) with water in it from the river would be your fire protection. Get a ~25' piece of rope with a carabiner on one end to clip the handle of the buckets, tire the other end around a tree, if you need water toss the pail in the rive and hoist up... Fill 2 or 3, 5 gal pails and light a fire and slowly feed the fire with brush. Throw some on and while your waiting for it to burn down keep dragging brush down to your spot and feeding the fire. You can keep a small stock pile 10' away from the fire, just keep moving it and feeding the fire... Ash wont be hot if it has to travel more than 70' to fall on those boats. I doubt you'd make enough airborn to reach them anyways. JMO
 

Roger Dodger

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A small controlled brush fire is very different from lighting all of it on fire at one time. A 5 gallon pail (or multiple) with water in it from the river would be your fire protection. Get a ~25' piece of rope with a carabiner on one end to clip the handle of the buckets, tire the other end around a tree, if you need water toss the pail in the rive and hoist up... Fill 2 or 3, 5 gal pails and light a fire and slowly feed the fire with brush. Throw some on and while your waiting for it to burn down keep dragging brush down to your spot and feeding the fire. You can keep a small stock pile 10' away from the fire, just keep moving it and feeding the fire... Ash wont be hot if it has to travel more than 70' to fall on those boats. I doubt you'd make enough airborn to reach them anyways. JMO

I'd only wish it were that simple Marshy. First off, that 10-12 foot cliff that drops off to the river, actually drops down to a flat area, and the river is another 8-15 feet away, depending on what area you're looking at. Also, the Environment Agency does not allow any brush clearing within 5 meters (18 feet) of the water. (for natural habitat/wild-life), so it's not a clear shot to the water.

I'm not worried about air-borne embers,,,, what I'd worry about is a re-kindled fire during the night, possibly resulting in a ground-fire when there's nobody there to report it. There's nobody living there right now, and I live 20 miles away. The "ground" is covered by a thick layer of dead vegetation that's been built up over the decades. (spongy/springy under-foot.) Soak it all you want, but a fire that's been burning for a few days gets mighty deep in smoldering ash; then along comes a good stiff breeze, and poof, it's re-ignited and back in business.

That said; the owner does not want to burn the brush, so that's simply not an option.
 
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