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Bulldozer for deer habitat work?
Tractors, ATVs, & Attachments
Messages posted to thread:
Pat Lefemine 03-Jan-14
boothill 03-Jan-14
GRIZZ08 03-Jan-14
bb 03-Jan-14
bb 03-Jan-14
Pat Lefemine 03-Jan-14
killinstuff 03-Jan-14
R. Hale 03-Jan-14
boothill 03-Jan-14
Three Fingers 03-Jan-14
TurkeyBowMaster 03-Jan-14
TurkeyBowMaster 03-Jan-14
sureshot 03-Jan-14
sureshot 03-Jan-14
Don K 03-Jan-14
TurkeyBowMaster 03-Jan-14
drycreek 03-Jan-14
gobbler 03-Jan-14
TurkeyBowMaster 03-Jan-14
Thornton 04-Jan-14
bb 04-Jan-14
sureshot 04-Jan-14
thatdoggJake 04-Jan-14
smokey 05-Jan-14
Thornton 05-Jan-14
Fulldraw1972 05-Jan-14
300 Win Mag 05-Jan-14
TurkeyBowMaster 05-Jan-14
smokey 05-Jan-14
Nyswitchback 18-Jan-14
vmcfadden 19-Jan-14
Nyswitchback 19-Jan-14
overbo 19-Jan-14
WV Mountaineer 19-Jan-14
vmcfadden 19-Jan-14
WV Mountaineer 19-Jan-14
Nyswitchback 19-Jan-14
Nyswitchback 19-Jan-14
vmcfadden 19-Jan-14
bb 19-Jan-14
WV Mountaineer 20-Jan-14
huntmaster 20-Jan-14
George D. Stout 20-Jan-14
WV Mountaineer 20-Jan-14
grayhorse 20-Jan-14
R. Hale 20-Jan-14
grayhorse 20-Jan-14
drycreek 20-Jan-14
huntmaster 20-Jan-14
Pat Lefemine 21-Jan-14
R. Hale 21-Jan-14
CAS_HNTR 21-Jan-14
Fuzzy 21-Jan-14
DVMan 22-Jan-14
kellyharris 23-Jan-14
vmcfadden 24-Jan-14
Pat Lefemine 24-Jan-14
vmcfadden 24-Jan-14
tadpole 24-Jan-14
Pat Lefemine 26-Apr-14
Nyswitchback 26-Apr-14
leo17 26-Apr-14
Fuzzy 28-Apr-14
Woodswise work 28-Apr-14
Clutch 28-Apr-14
kellyharris 29-Apr-14
sawtooth 29-Apr-14
Pat Lefemine 16-May-14
Nyswitchback 16-May-14
drycreek 16-May-14
Clutch 16-May-14
Clutch 16-May-14
WV Mountaineer 17-May-14
Pat Lefemine 17-May-14
Pat Lefemine 17-May-14
Pat Lefemine 17-May-14
Pat Lefemine 17-May-14
drycreek 17-May-14
R. Hale 17-May-14
Nyswitchback 18-May-14
bb 18-May-14
Kdog 20-May-17
Pat Lefemine 20-May-17
drycreek 20-May-17
flyingbrass 20-May-17
flyingbrass 20-May-17
flyingbrass 20-May-17
flyingbrass 20-May-17
flyingbrass 20-May-17
t-roy 20-May-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17
Habitat for Wildlife 14-Jun-17
drycreek 14-Jun-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17
Kdog 14-Jun-17


Date:03-Jan-14

With 5 miles of trails to maintain, new plots to install, and more land to clear I'm thinking about purchasing a small, used bulldozer.

I know there's guys on here that have experience with dozers and was looking for suggestions on what to buy.

What we need to do is mainly grade the roads, pull up stumps, clear young, successional growth areas for new plots, and push over small trees (less than 10" in diameter).

How small can I go and be able to do these things?

For the big trees and stumps I will be hiring my neighbor with his excavator.

Thanks

Date:03-Jan-14

What about a skid steer type of unit? Case Uniloader or Bobcat. Lots of attachments on those machines anymore. Might be a bit more versatile than a dozer.

Date:03-Jan-14

i would think a skid steer with the right attachments would be better. i could be wrong tho it would be alot easier to haul around also and with the attachments they make these days for them things that you could purchase or rent thats the way i would go.

By: bb
Date:03-Jan-14

Pat, not sure about the Bulldozer, it doesn't sound like you will be doing very heavy duty type work that you couldn't foo with a Track loader like a bobcat T190 or similar. For what you are doing I would stay away from the wheeled skid steer loaders, the tracks will give you much more pushing power and they go through mud much better than a wheeled machine. They make an incredible amount of attachments for them making them more versatile and they can be more easily trailerable than a dozer. I purchased one and the work you can do with them is incredible with the array of attachments. If I need an attachment that I don't want to buy, you can generally rent from a bobcat dealer, I pay between 100 and 150 per day to rent. Just something else to consider. There are many videos on U tube showing The various machines and attachments working.

By: bb
Date:03-Jan-14
bb's Supporting Link

Date:03-Jan-14

Thanks. I like the Skidsteers, but they are too much like my Tractor. I have a loader, stump grinder, backhoe, etc. now.

I need the weight and power of a dozer. Just not sure how much dozer I need for the type of work I need to do.

Date:03-Jan-14

Yeah the rental store might be your best bet to try out a big boy toy and play for the day to see what you like best. The place I rent skid steer's from also has dozers and frontend loaders but I haven't had the need for one of those yet. Yet!. Have fun.

Date:03-Jan-14

PM inbound

Date:03-Jan-14

bb....you are absolutely correct. The trac units are way better than the wheeled and can load them on a trailer for tranportation.

Date:03-Jan-14

Pat, Sounds like a John Deere 450 or 550 would work out fine for what you want to do. I cleared better then 30 acres over a couple years using one. They are affordable, relatively simple to work on and readily found in the used market. They are very popular with local farmers for those reasons as well.

Date:03-Jan-14

You don't need much of a dozer for all that. Need a tilt blade for road work. We have a skid steer and trust me, they aint no toy. The T300 has a 90 horse engine. A rotary cutter attachment will take care of 4 inch and smaller stuff faster than tractor with a bushhog. A tree shear will cut up to 20 inch trees...cut level with the ground. Tough call.

Date:03-Jan-14

Used T300...$25000. Rotary cutter used$5000. You will need a root rake fir the dozer.

Date:03-Jan-14

Pat, The farmer I hunt on has a small John Deere for clearing fence lines and field edges. You are correct that they will do a lot more then the skid loaders will. I would recommend a 6 way blade for what you are wanting to do. I have ran his srvetal times and the 6 way blade makes a tremendous tool for leveling terrain or cutting drainage ditches. With the equipment you already have a skidsteer would probably not be much help. I think the size he has is the 4500.

Date:03-Jan-14

Pat, The farmer I hunt on has a small John Deere for clearing fence lines and field edges. You are correct that they will do a lot more then the skid loaders will. I would recommend a 6 way blade for what you are wanting to do. I have ran his srvetal times and the 6 way blade makes a tremendous tool for leveling terrain or cutting drainage ditches. With the equipment you already have a skidsteer would probably not be much help. I think the size he has is the 4500.

By: Don K
Date:03-Jan-14

I would look at renting a machine. Take a week vacation, rent the thing and get done what you want. Problem with owning a dozer is if you have to fix it or maintain it they get expensive in a hurry. Renting one gets you a new (or newer) machine that you can do what you want and return the thing when your done.

Date:03-Jan-14

Renting is probably the best way. You get a bigger, better machine...but you are under a time restraint and that imputes work. Owning a machine, going out for a couple hours after a stress filled day is therapeutic. You get the work done without really working. Plus it's a tax rightoff.

Date:03-Jan-14

Lots of good info here Pat, and I don't disagree with any of it, as far as it goes. I have a 310 JD backhoe and a Cat D5 dozer and I won't get rid of either. The backhoe is more versatile, but when you need the power or need to " pull up " a road, nothing beats a 6 way blade on a dozer. You could go as small as a D3 in a Cat or a 450 in a JD. If you don't have a lot of work, renting makes more sense. You will have a lot newer machine and when you are through, take it back. If I hadn't had mine left over from when I was a dirt contractor, I coundn't justify owning the dozer. I'll not be without the backhoe though, for they are just too handy. You might also think about hiring it done , if you know someone who has experienced operators. It might be cheaper than you think if you can get your work lined up so as to avoid a lot of moving costs. I know there is a lot of satisfaction in doing it yourself, so you have to factor that in.

Date:03-Jan-14

Doing the work on trees is easier in the spring when the soil is loose. In the fall especially if it's been a dry summer it's like trying to loosen the tree or stump from concrete. In other words a smaller dozer can usually do stuff in the spring that it might not be able to do in the fall

Date:03-Jan-14

A bobcat is a lot like a backhoe when it comes to taking down big trees because the lift goes so high and you get 10 times the leverage than with a dozer. I bet now that it's wet I could uproot a we inch oak with ease. It's just not as good as a dozer on roads add such.

Date:04-Jan-14

Thornton's embedded Photo

I would not recommend buying a dozer this size or smaller. It took me all week to build a 40 yard by 60 yard pond that still is not deep enough. I had a hard time removing locust trees that were only a foot across at the stump. As for a skidsteer, they are terrible at digging up trees of any size and a waste of money for that particular use. I have rented one multiple times for my farm.

By: bb
Date:04-Jan-14
bb's Supporting Link

I ran across this, I haven't seen one of these attachments in actual use but I thought it was pretty cool.

Date:04-Jan-14

Thornton, Dozers are not the best tool for digging a pond.

Date:04-Jan-14

Sounds like a case 450 on tracks with a bucket on front is the ticket for you. Google it. If you can find a later model one in good shape I'd say jump on it. You will never sell it.

By: smokey
Date:05-Jan-14

Be careful not to remove much topsoil with a dozer.

I worked for the USFS and back in the day they used dozer in creating wildlife openings. After a timber sale would clearcut a small area they hired a contractor to doze off the stumps and big rock. There was not much top soil left after that so plant growth is no very good. Usually a bunch of weeds that deer won't touch.

When the elk were brought in the RMEF paid to have some of these openings tilled seeded and fertilized. Growth was great for about 5 years then back to junk now.

Date:05-Jan-14

Sureshot- No kidding? I knew that when I rented it. All the big Corp. had the wheel loaders leased up for months and I needed to do a ton of work on my farm and had only spring break to do it. A bigger dozer would have moved more dirt and done a better job. I'm from Ks and we have hundreds of huge watersheds and ponds all built with dozers and earthmovers.

Date:05-Jan-14

A D4 will do anything you want. Renting it for a week should be under $1500. I would also get a 6 way blade. You can do a lot with it for final grade as well. No need for a high track either. LGP helps in traction but takes away from weight to push heavy objects.

Date:05-Jan-14

Pat, I have a John Deer 350 with a 6 way tilting blade. it will get the job done. You need to have a tilting blade for road work. It is also good for removing OLD Stumps. If you have the coin, get a bigger bulldozer. My best recommendation to you would be to rent or lease one this year and maybe rent a bigger or smaller one next year and this way you get to try them out. But I would definetly rent one first. that also gives you time to look for a good deal and still get your stuff done.

Date:05-Jan-14

Be careful not to remove much topsoil with a dozer."

That's where the root rake comes in handy. My dad has one on his big tractor. We can use a log loading ground for a month sweeping it 3 times a day and I bet we dont remove a 55 gallon drum of soil. You would push the trees down from one direction and sweep them up perpendicular to pushing them down.

By: smokey
Date:05-Jan-14

Root rakes can be good and better than a straight blade but still be careful.

Date:18-Jan-14

Nyswitchback's embedded Photo

Pat, after doing many habitat/road improvements for many yrs, a skidsteer is not what you are looking for. They are great pieces of equipment but like said earlier are not the choice need to do road work. Also a skidsteer without tracks can easily get buried in wet/soft conditions. Since you are looking for something to do road maintenance and or build roads a dozer with a six way blade is what you would look for. The only problem with that is that size dozer is at a premium to purchase anything that is somewhat new. I would look for an 80's machine. Try to find something with lower hours and go over the under carriage thoroughly. Another words don't go looking for one that the tracks are full of mud and clay. The sizes mentioned above will do most of what you would like to do but I would stay away from a JD 350 as they are on the light side. Look for Jd 450/550, Cat D3 or D4 and even a Case 450. All good machines if not beat to death. I also like pedal steer which is only my preferance but is easy to learn on. I tend to stay away from one that has had a winch, especially if it was used in logging. I have seen many poor operators tear a machine up. Look one over good and even take an operator/machanic with you. Someone that knows what a good under carriage looks like. It cost quite alot to put a new under carriage in. Hope this helps Dave

Date:19-Jan-14

NYSB has it right. I'd go with a cat D-3 though you won't have to baby it and much more user friendly than the case or JD. It will last you forever with minimal maintenance if that's all your doing with it.

Date:19-Jan-14

Nyswitchback's embedded Photo

Very True vmcfadden, D3 is a good machine and if you take care of it and are just leaving it on the farm like I do, it won't cost you alot to maintain. One thing more that I can add would be stay away from the wider pads if you are going to use it for making roads etc. in the woods, The wide "swamp" pads tend to roll the chains going over rocks and such and make it hard on pins and bushings. I have run a 350 JD and they lack power. Although you can get the job done, it will take much longer and have to work the machine harder

By: overbo
Date:19-Jan-14

Dozers are great but very job specific and by your list of needs a rubber track skidloader would be my choice. I don't feel it's fair if you think a skidloader is like your tractor. The Hydraulic system on a skidloader is far more powerful. I have a 65hp track machine and have built ATV trails all thru the Va. mountains and have cleared 30+ years of growth from areas. They are more user friendly if you aren't knowledge w/ a Dozer. The list of implements make the machine very versatile. It can be trailered easily and uses less fuel. IMO, unless you are in the excavating business or really have your heart set on a Dozer. I would seriously look into a large rubber track skidloader.

Date:19-Jan-14

For what you want Pat, a 450 or 550 John Deere will be 10 times the machine you need. I've only run or supervised the running of a dozer for 20 years now. No dozer is going to grub stumps or build ponds well. But for cleaning trails, grading roads, clearing for plots, etc... a 450 is hard to beat if you can find one. God Bless

Date:19-Jan-14

Pat you may want to consider a small track loader also. A cat 953 would do anything you want and you would have the loader if you need it for wood or digging. Just go cat no matter what you do.

Date:19-Jan-14

I just went back and read. I too would prefer a cat or the case over the deer's but they are much more expensive. NYswitchback has some good advice. If it was logged with, check it out. I would however get one with a winch. You'll find lots of uses for it from dragging trees/brush to dragging you if you get fouled on a tree trunk. You'll drag trees a lot better than push them out of the plot. Unless you put in a lot of saw work. Wide tracks are good and no more than you'll be using it, no worries about extra wear. Good luck and God Bless

Date:19-Jan-14

All good advice Pat. Couple of other things to think about. Try to find one with wet clutches and limb risers. I know I have been swatted in the face more than once building wood roads. 953 cat is a great track loader but building a road with a bucket, even if it was a 4 in 1 would not be to your advantage. The secret to building a good road is GET THE WATER OFF THE ROAD, and that is much easier with a blade that can tilt such as a six way blade. Although a good operator can get a crown with a bucket it takes much more time. I have a 550 JD over to the farm now and it is a nice machine but I do favor the Cat.

Date:19-Jan-14

I sit here in between football games and going back to the original post from Pat it got me thinking. I have done habitat work for other people and myself for many yrs. The main objective to any property wanting to improve wildlife habitat is to gain access. Good roads are key to any property. Not only for making new food plots, getting to the back forty to plant trees or even to patrol your property for trespassers, and even sneaking in quietly to hunt. All the equipment above has it's place but building good roads through our hunting grounds is better done with a bulldozer

Date:19-Jan-14

Bulldozer is the best if your only building roads. If you want something that will do more the 953. It may take some practice but you can make that thing do what a dozer can do and more if you have any operating experience .

By: bb
Date:19-Jan-14

They make 6 way blades for the track loaders

Date:20-Jan-14

What can you practically do with a loader you can't do with a dozer? Nothing. Period. Not a thing except load something, like dirt you need an excavator to dig out. You can do lots with the dozer you can't with the loader. Let's compare.

Road building: You can build a mile of GOOD road with the dozer by the time you build a inferior 200' section with a loader. (good luck keeping it straight or in any kind of line). Those cutting edges are on a dozer for a reason. No loader has them for the same reason. Dozer 1, loader 0

Clearing: I'd also like to see you grump around on a rock with that loader. It would be like watching monkeys with football bats. You can use the cutting edges on a dozer to get it out of the ground real quick. Dozer 2, loader 0

Digging: You can't dig with a loader in unbroken ground. You can with a dozer. Works great removing rocks or small stumps. Even building small ponds or water holes. Can't do that with a loader. Dozer 3, loader 0

Grading: If you think a loader will grade woods roads quicker than a dozer, refer to the road building section of why they won't even come close. Dozer 4, loader 0

Clearing a food plot: Gheeez, I will not even get into here as all examples were already explained. Dozer 5, loader 0

Loading loose dirt in a truck: Loader wins due to the bucket. Dozer 5, Loader 1

Now, I was being a wise guy on the last one just to give the loader one win in this comparison. But, reality will tell you if you have dirt to load, you have a excavator to produce it. And it will smoke a loader doing that so in reality, the loader would be a HUGE waste of money for his intended task's.

For what Pat wants to do, it is almost criminal to suggest he gets a front end loader. I'm not trying to be mean but to suggest otherwise is being careless, not to mention showing your lack of knowledge in this situation. It isn't pocket change here. Buying the best suited piece of equipment is paramount. For his tasks that is hands down the dozer, not a front end, bucket loader.

Date:20-Jan-14

huntmaster's embedded Photo

I own and have access to over 60 pieces of heavy equipment ranging from excavators, to dozers to tracked skid steers. With access to all of that equipment, I have a CAT 939 track loader sitting on my property for all of the activities that Pat mentioned he needed.

The only thing a dozer can do better is apply a finish grade because of the six way blade. However, in the hands of an experienced operator, the loader can accomplish the same goal for ATV/Off road trails in only slightly more time.

Add a grapple bucket to the loader and it becomes an animal that no tractor or dozer can compete with. It is just so versitile.

The 939 is what I chose because it doesn't make too big of trails in a single pass, but you could bump up to a 953 is you wanted bigger.

Here's a pic of my loader that I took while making ATV trails thru my woods following a logging operation.

Date:20-Jan-14

George D. Stout's embedded Photo

This is my neighbor's Cat. We reclaimed part of an old grown over field on our 111 acres. Don't know whether you can garner a model from this photo, but it worked pretty well on some pretty large trees.

Date:20-Jan-14

I don't think Pat's ground is flat. Float ground doesn't even require equipment to make roads. Just a saw. Bite that bucket into a hillside trying to build a road with no cutting edges and you see real quick which will do better.

We aren't talking table top flat parking lots here. We are talking terrain. I've run them both extensively as well. It isn't rocket science. If they worked better for that type stuff in the ridges, side slopes, and hollows of the woods the loggers, coal miners, and habitat enhancement people who move a lot of dirt building roads and such would be using them. They aren't. They are using DOZERS. God Bless

Date:20-Jan-14

Gentlemen, my 2 cents. Pound for pound, the dozer will push more than the loader, and do it more safely. Look at it this way: what was the dozer made to do? DOZE! What was the loader made to do? LOAD! What do you give up with the dozer? mobility, speed, convenience to a degree. What do you gain with it? Much safer on the side-hills and a whole lot better for dis-lodging rocks and stumps. Learning curve is a bit steeper on the dozer,although the 6-way blade helps a lot. If the country is steep or rocky of swampy, the dozer is a slam dunk choice. If it's level and easy going, the loader catches up pretty fast. I've been running iron for 49 years, starting with a TD-9 International dozer. Loaders up to 992G, Dozers up to D10N, Blade up to 16H. Excavator up to 1800 Hitachi (400,000 pound machine). A little hoe with front blade and a thumb wouldn't be a bad choice either! Pat, use whatever blows your hair back! Above all, be safe. Pete

Date:20-Jan-14

Best tool for the average small tract owner to build roads, ponds and plots with is a check book. You can screw up more than the job cost with a bad purchase, misuse, accident or simple mistake.

Date:20-Jan-14

"Best tool for the average small tract owner to build roads, ponds and plots with is a check book. You can screw up more than the job cost with a bad purchase, misuse, accident or simple mistake." R. Hale - excellent point!

Date:20-Jan-14

Yes , it is an excellent point. One that I made before the pissing match !

Date:20-Jan-14

That is a great point. If Pat is looking to put in another 5 miles of trails that are cut on the side of a mountain, then hiring a seasoned dozer operator will probably produce better, quicker and cheaper results than an inexperienced operator trying to fell trees and level out the road on the side of a mountain.

However, here is what Pat said he needed a machine to do;

"mainly grade the roads"

Since the established roads are presumably level side to side, a loader will work just fine to maintain the ruts and potholes.

"pull up stumps"

A loader can dig stumps better than a dozer and with a grapple bucket, it can grab the root ball to shake all of the valuable topsoil off so it doesn't just get left on and shoved up in a pile. You can also pick up several stumps with the grapple bucket and haul them as far away from the food plot as you want without needing a trailer or truck.

"clear young, successional growth areas for new plots"

Both machines are probably equal for this easy task. However, if you want the trash away from the plot, the loader wins again.

"push over small trees (less than 10" in diameter)"

Both machines are probably equal to the task for an experienced operator, but for a beginner, a loader has the advantage of reaching high on the tree to gain leverage thus you also don't need as big of a machine to fell a similar size tree. If it's bigger than 10", just use the bucket to dig out the roots around the back side of the tree and then use the bucket to push the tree over. Also once again after the tree is down, a grapple bucket can grab the tree and root ball to shake all of the valuable topsoil off.

Pat, I'll also reiterate what a previous poster mentioned about comparing a track loader to your current tractor. They are in totally different leagues as far as lifting power and ground traction are concerned. A small steel tracked loader like a Cat 939 or a Case 450 can accomplish everything on your list and more.

Bet you didn't know that you'd be starting a mechanical vs fixed debate did you?? Good luck on your decision.

Date:21-Jan-14

Thanks for all the input guys. I am still undecided about the best way to go. I have enough land and projects to keep a dozer busy for years and I like the freedom of doing stuff on my own timetable.

I need to weight that freedom with the maintenance, hassle of breakdowns, etc.

I don't think I can make a legitimate cost case for buy vs. rent vs. hire. Buying a crawler then paying for break fix and maintenance is definitely more costly. But this isn't about saving money. I get incredible satisfaction over doing my own projects and some things can't be planned - like when I buried the lime cart and needed someone to pull me out - or I needed to plow three feet of snow off a half mile of road. Having a dozer around is a plus. My only concern is finding one in good enough condition that I can afford.

Date:21-Jan-14

Good luck with your decision. I and I suspect many others well understand the satisfaction of "doing it yourself, on your own time schedule." Hope you let us know of your decision and results.

Date:21-Jan-14

Dozers are AWESOME....we rented one and put paths though alot of thick/rough terrain on 400 ac that I hunt....workth every penny for the rental/deisel cost!

My 2 cents though.....renting makes more sense financially, but if I had the coin I would purchase one and just expect to have costs/delays due to issues that may come up with the machine.

By: Fuzzy
Date:21-Jan-14

"ditto" the skid-steer. in fact you might even want to rent a "mini-vator" and see how it works for you. Theres a lot yiou can do with those, especially if you get the hydraulic "thumb" on the bucket

By: DVMan
Date:22-Jan-14

So long as you buy smart, it should be relatively maintenance free. Don't get a fixer upper. My brother owns a D3 and its indespensible for that much land.

Date:23-Jan-14

Pat - I hunt some very rugged steep terrain in SE Ohio. I hired a guy to fix our hill climbs. he has his own excavating company and he does all the excavating here at the Ohio Brewery.

When he and I drove out for him to see the property he told me that he has the largest skid steer you can buy and it would be much better and a lot quicker than a dozer would be?

I am sure with your food plot website the purchase would be 100% writeoff?

I was truly amazed at how much work and how fast he got dirt moved around! I thought for sure he would need a dozer but that large skid steer did some amazing work. We are hiring him again to clear out all of our logging roads this spring!

What I would reccomend is hire a excavator for a day of consulting! He will be able to help you in several ways;

1. What equipment would be best for your project.

2. proper excavation with minimal environental damage.

3. local laws and regulations within your county and state! "Just because it's your land does NOT always give you the right to do what you want! especially when it comes to potential soil erosion"

4. time it will take to start to finish depending on weather.

Date:24-Jan-14

Pat just for some understanding I wasn't trying to throw you off course with bringing up the track loader. Just trying to get some ideas out there for you. For the guys that say I don't know what I'm talking about. I do excavation for a living, about $600 million a year on the east coast. If I have a small job to do with assorted little projects on it. I send a track loader to do it all and its used from grading to carrying supplies to excavating foundations. Track loaders are very versatile.

Date:24-Jan-14

Vernon, are you any relation to McFadden & Son's equipment dealer in New York? I have done business with them before.

Thanks for the tip on the skidsteer. I am looking at all options and appreciate the help.

Date:24-Jan-14

I don't think so but could be. My grandfathers family of 8 brothers and sisters were all split up young. My great grand parents died when they were all young. Of his siblings I only ever knew where 2 of them ended up.

Date:24-Jan-14

tadpole's embedded Photo

Pat, I'm no expert , but have really enjoyed the use of my own track loader over the years. Used it for everything from pickling peaches, to fixing the roof, to cutting in paths to hunting areas, to digging out springs for the deer.

Last year I upgraded to a 455E John Deer track loader with the 4 way bucket and winch on the back. The four way allows me to grab logs or stumps and ltterally pick them up and drop them some place else. the machine is not real wide, but does have a lot of counter weights on it, weighs in about 10,000 pounds with the winch (I think).

The only short coming so far is not having the 6 way blades that some dozers have so cutting a road takes a lot longer (keeping in mind I am an amateur opperator.). I've been brainstorming tho and think I can use the 4 way bucket to grab the cutting edge of my 6 foot scraper blade and use it at angle to cut into the high side of a bank for road/path building...we'll see.

Date:26-Apr-14

Been three months since this thread faded out and I wanted to give everyone an update.

I talked with a lot of seasoned heavy equipment operators and have also been shopping and trying stuff - a lot.

My number one resource has been my neighbor who borders me to the West and knows my land well. He owns 2 dozers (an '06 D3 XL and an older D8 which is beat up) along with 3 excavators and at least a dozen other pieces of heavy equipment. He gave me a crash course on undercarriages and spent time going over the pros and cons of each piece of equipment.

Here's what I've decided. A D3 is the right piece of equipment for what I want to do - realistically.

For pulling big stumps and giant rocks, and clearing all but my smallest brushy field he's coming over with his Excavator. For maintaining roads, pulling suitcase sized rocks and small 10" or less diameter stumps, my own D3 is the ticket. He agreed that with all the habitat work and snow removal we do at a moment's notice- it makes sense for me to own. Plus, I just want one around even if it's more economical to rent.

He absolutely loves his Skidsteer, but he felt there was too much duplication with my tractor. I have a loader and a backhoe attachment. He didn't think it's the best machine for clearing. I really need a dozer.

Now, on to my shopping experience...

Holy Crap. There are lots of machines out there. Prices are all over the place and so are the condition. My neighbor gave me a crash course in undercarriages including inspecting and measuring the grousers, pins, bushings, and sprockets. He has me terrified about throwing a track a mile back in the mud so everything I'm looking at starts with the UC. I also learned that everyone lies about there UC %. If they say 50% undercarriage, that means it needs to be replaced now! Most guys say 75% UC and after showing my buddy the photos those are like 50%.

I have narrowed it down to a CAT D3 XL or LGP, or a Deere 450. I really wanted one with a ripper but they are very hard to find. My budget is 15k, but I'm willing to push that to 18k with the right deal. I've become an IronPlanet addict.

It's been fun. I just hope when I finally do buy something I don't totally blow it.

Date:26-Apr-14

You should do fine Pat and should be able to get an older machine in that price range... Happy Shopping

Dave

By: leo17
Date:26-Apr-14
leo17's Supporting Link

Here you go pat check this out

By: Fuzzy
Date:28-Apr-14

yeah lotsa guys will lie about their undeercarriage for sure..

Date:28-Apr-14

How about that comment on that video? I hope "faxvon" isn't Pat's handle on YouTube. If it is he's taken this whole dozer thing WAY too far.

By: Clutch
Date:28-Apr-14

If you are interested in a dozer a JD 550 would work but a 650JD would be better-- you know me bigger is better-- I have had several in the recent years and the 650JD would be sweet for the property-- that's what I use for my htg property--a good late model used would still last you many years-- six way blade with a brush guard on top the blade would be needed to prevent cab n hood damage during clearing -- would also add capacity pushing dirt--it comes with a 8' wide blade--100 hp-- if you would decide too rent one on a monthly based it would run about $3,800 -- you would be responsible for damages which the dealer can add insurance cost to that mo. rate-- this dozer with 6 way blade would be great for grading roads, shaping ditches, land clearing, digging water holes, ponds, 4 wheeler trails, repairing washouts, can break up soil by heal plowing deeper before plowing with tractor where necessary, shape food plots for proper drainage etc. etc. etc.-- if you need a qualified operator , I believe I know where you can find one :^)

Date:29-Apr-14

LOL I posted a big ole thread without reading Pat's last post!!!

Forget the Pm Pat LMAO

Date:29-Apr-14

I have thousands of hours on my JD 450 doing exactly as you described. Something in that range is what you want.

Date:16-May-14

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

My search is over. Bought this machine yesterday (2001 JD 450H with 2075 hrs) and my neighbor and I just trucked it to my land.

As part of my checkout, we dropped two trees. A 13" tree and a 17" tree. No effort at all. Amazing machine. Can't wait to start clearing areas on our DeerBuilder property.

Date:16-May-14

Very nice machine Pat... enjoy! Looks like a nice low hr machine.

Date:16-May-14

Pat, be very careful when clearing. I have seen a lot of seasoned operators get hurt ! When a large limb or small tree jumps over the blade, it can be on you before you can react. Also , look at where you are backing, small saplings can rise up after you go over them and it puts them at the right angle to get you from behind. Got the scars to prove it ! Have fun with it !

By: Clutch
Date:16-May-14

Good choice-- all my smaller dozers are JD-- good equipment-- u are going to have fun-- be careful

By: Clutch
Date:16-May-14

Oh -- make sure you grease all points but especially center area of frame where center of blade attaches--n don't run the tracks to loose or to tight-- learn your machine and it will give you many more hours--

Date:17-May-14

You did real well. A cat is a better, stronger machine but, the H model dozer was the best John Deere ever made. And being a 450 will make it comparable to the D3. Your under carriage looks real good. Perfect tension on the tracks. Just keep it greased. It is a real nice looking machine and you'll get used to the pedal steering real quick. Don't run it with the throttle wide open for long periods of time either. Does it have a winch?

Two weekends ago I run one just like that for several hours that only had 450 hours on it. Can you say SWEET? Anybody that tells you a loader or skid steer will clear out, grade, or build roads better is wrong, not experienced enough to know better, or trying to sell you something you don't need. You'll be very pleased with it and you made the right choice. I'm not trying to be a wise guy either. It is just the way it is. God Bless

Date:17-May-14

Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo

Cleared this area in the last 2 hours. Pulled 20 stumps and 15 boulders.

Date:17-May-14

Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo

Pretty serious boulders here

Date:17-May-14

Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo

Date:17-May-14

Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo

Maple root wads took a little time. Probably 10 mins to pull up and roll away. I am liking this a lot.

Date:17-May-14

Be carefull Pat, it's more addictive than crack !

Date:17-May-14

Nice machine. Congratulations! Be careful and enjoy it.

Date:18-May-14

Looks Great!

By: bb
Date:18-May-14

Now the question is....what do you do with the stumps and rocks?

By: Kdog
Date:20-May-17

Hey Pat - been looking at some different options for equipment for my land. Ran into this thread just on some random internet searching. Wondering if you could update on how your dozer is working out for you?

Date:20-May-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

I love it. I use it a few times every year for odds and ends but mainly for clearing. I did this big project two years ago and look how it came out. I don't regret the purchase, but it will be a while before I break even on it. It's more about convenience than cost justification.

Date:20-May-17

Just re-read the whole thread. I have one more project to complete with mine and it's gonna be sold. I still use my backhoe a lot, but my dozer stays parked more than not. Got the itch for a new farm tractor with four wheel drive and a front loader, and got to sell the dozer to make it happen. It has been invaluable in the last few years building roads and cleaning up lanes and plots on my place, and as said above, it was always there when I had a day or three to use it. I cleaned up (and burned all the trash) a 14 acre clearcut with it in 2012 before planting back in pine trees. The guy who works on it (and my backhoe, one ton, and farm tractor) has been wanting to buy it for the last year, so as soon as I clean up behind the timber cutters on my deer lease, she's gone !

Date:20-May-17
flyingbrass's Supporting Link

Yes! You won't loose any money on a dozer if you do it right. I got one for my place and me and my kids have had a lot of fun on it.

Date:20-May-17

[URL=http://smg.photobucket.com/user/flyingbrass/media/A045D596-6AF8-4EF6-9070-05C9F786BAD0_zpshkvwjeya.jpg.html][IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v690/flyingbrass/A045D596-6AF8-4EF6-9070-05C9F786BAD0_zpshkvwjeya.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Date:20-May-17

flyingbrass's MOBILE embedded Photo

here it is

Date:20-May-17

flyingbrass's MOBILE embedded Photo

Date:20-May-17

flyingbrass's MOBILE embedded Photo

mine is a 1989 and I've had it completely gone through. track was was too loose but I got it fixed now. Every man should own a dozer at one time!

By: t-roy
Date:20-May-17

I would love to have a dozer, but would probably be much better off hiring it done. I have a Bobcat 863 skid that is worth its weight in gold to me, and gets a ton of use. The only that would be better is if it was on tracks.

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo

Well I hired out a dozer and an operator and it was a great decision. In March I marked everything and we were able to put in 2.5 miles of road in less than 30 hours operator time. He made the roads bigger and better than I would have asked him to. Put in a couple small food plots too. While I still want to get one, seeing what can happened dampened my enthusiasm a little bit. Had a pin break on one of the tracks and it came apart. The guy brought in another dozer so he could clear the road good enough to get the broken one fixed. By the time that was done a hose had broke on the 2nd dozer. Now some of this was to be expected because they already knew the undercarriage needed to be replaced on the 1st dozer. Anyway, I was impressed with what was accomplished. I planted the 2.5 miles of road with Grandpa Rays Mass Builder, Logging Trail Mix and some Whitetail Institute Clover and Fusion. Can't wait for bow season!

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo

A few more pictures.

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo

Date:14-Jun-17

Fantastic!

Date:14-Jun-17

Looks good Kdog ! I put a few hours on mine yesterday and today. Had a wash in the edge of a food plot from the timber cutter's skidder tracks, some road work to be done, and a creek crossing to be cleaned out. Also had to move slash and tops from a trail that my son uses to access his ladder stand. I'm about caught up with mine, and probably gonna sell it soon. If I need one in the future, I'll just rent one a size smaller than mine. Mine is a tad heavy to move with a one ton and a gooseneck. I moved it about twenty miles ONCE, but I was puckered all the way !:-)

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo

By: Kdog
Date:14-Jun-17

Kdog's MOBILE embedded Photo


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