Clearing brush with front end loader

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Clearing overgrown brush (and other debris) from your wooded areas and around the land will discourage insects such as mosquitoes besides bringing a nice appearance.

And while there are a handful of methods you can use, a front end loader is quite effective when dealing with a huge brush pile.

This guide will educate you on how to go about clearing brush with front end loader.

I have also included some tips to help you get the job done in less time and safely.

Let’s dive right in.

Clearing brush with front end loader: general guidelines

The preliminaries     

You will start off by taking care of the basics as follows:

·         Get a permit.

The guys at the local authority may ask for a permit in certain areas so tackle this before anything else.

·         Mark the land appropriately.

To begin with, you might want to spare some trees so mark them.

In addition, it’s important to study the overall outlook of your land- some locations may be swampy/rocky or have dense overgrowth hence more difficult to work on.

You also want to mark zones with stumps, utility lines, and other potential obstacles.

A ribbon (brightly colored) is ideal for all your marking needs.

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·         Mounting the front end loader

Get your loader ready by mount to the tractor at this point.

Here is the process:

  1. Slowly drive your tractor to the position where the loader hoses can easily connect to the quick couplers/outlets.
  2. Stop its engine.
  3. Proceed to connect the loader’s hydraulic hoses to the appropriate couplers.
  4. Retract the loader’s lift cylinders (be sure that they are fully retracted before moving to step 5).
  5. Now drive the tractor forward.
  6. Use the bucket cylinders to position the height of the outer pedestal’s top pin perfectly.
  7. Next, align the outer pedestal’s top pin with the mounting bracket guide post (both sides). Ensure that the loader is centered right to left (on both brackets).
  8. Now extend the bucket cylinders in order to lower the pedestal’s top pins into the mounting bracket receivers, again on both sides.
  9. Extend the lift cylinders slowly while ensuring the loader is seating completely in the mounting bracket’s bottom and top receivers.
  10. Retract the bucket cylinder until the bucket is about 1/2” off ground.
  11. Next step involves removing the lockwasher, quick attach nut, as well as the self-storing tool from the holder and the quick pin and clamp from the storage position.
  12. Finally, place the clamp and quick pin in a working position. You then install the quick attach nut and lockwasher to the eyebolt (use the self-storing tool).

Pro-Tip: This procedure applies to popular brands like bush hog front end loaders and may be slightly different in other models.

Refer to the owners’ manual for your loader’s specific mounting instructions.

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Clearing brush with front end loader: Step-by-step procedure

Step 1: Cut down the bigger, unwanted trees

You can opt to first cut down all the unwanted trees using a chainsaw.

This is advisable especially for the bigger ones since you don’t want to overwork the tractor.

In any case, such monsters are beyond the capability of your tractor.

Pro-Tip:  Taking out larger (and even medium) sized trees can be dangerous and you should use the right equipment at all times.

Step 2: Tear through the brush using the loader

  • Drive to the starting point and stop.
  • Raise the loader’s bucket a couple of inches above the ground.
  • Approach slowly and enter the brush pile with the bucket at the right height (adjust as needed) even as you drive on (until the bucket is full).
  • Ease the levers back (or as indicated in your operators’ manual) to lift and roll back the bucket.
  • Haul the debris away to your desired collecting point (Position the bucket low below the tractor hood to enhance stability and visibility while transporting the load).
  • Make more passes to remove ‘escaping’ brush (keep your eyes on the bucket’s behavior and lift/lower accordingly for efficient clearing).
  • You will keep driving back and repeating this step until you have pushed the debris to where you want it.

Before you begin

You want to be safe so:

  • Familiarize yourself with all the loader’s controls as well as the cautions, warnings, and danger decals fixed on the machine.
  • Walk around the machine inspecting and checking for loose/damaged components.
  • Check the tractor’s hydraulic fluid level (and fill to recommended levels).
  • Add some ballast weight both at the rear and front (for better balance) and chains to the tractor tires (to improve traction).

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Clearing brush with front end loader: Bonus tips

  • The easiest way to remove boulders is by wrapping them with a heavy-duty chain. You then hook the chain to your tractor before dragging them away.
  • For easier disposal of the debris, consider renting a construction dumpster (large size) from the local sanitation company. You can compost, shred, or burn the debris too- it all depends on what you find easier.

Wrapping it up

As always, wear protective equipment such as safety goggles and shoes, and a hard hat when operating the loader.

You should also practice extra care when clearing on inclines- the tractor can roll over due to the extra load.

Additionally, you should allow for the front end loader length any time you’re making turns.

Lastly, consult a professional (or authorized dealer) if you harbor doubts about any of the above procedures.

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