Are Mini Excavators Good For Forestry Work?

Are Mini Excavators Good For Forestry Work?

With The Right Attachment, A Mini Excavator Can Mulch, Grade, Dig And More! Let’s Look At How A Compact Excavator Can Make Your Company Money!

From landscaping to demolition to lifting and placing oversized objects, excavators are perhaps best associated with use in the construction industry. They’re mobile and powerful and can help streamline site and task efficiency with their buckets, arms and tracks.

But, contrary to what many may realize, there’s more than one type of excavator – and said excavators can serve more purposes than just construction. In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about mini excavators and one industry – forestry – that they’re poised to play a large role in. Here’s a closer look:

Mini Excavators: The Basics

Before we get into mini excavators and the role they’re able to play in the forestry industry, it’s worth discussing some of the main features of this equipment and some of the benefits they can help various professionals realize in their respective fields of work. Simply put, and as their name implies, mini excavators are similar to standard excavators in how they operate, except they have a smaller overall footprint and are thereby able to work in more confined spaces.

This more compact overall footprint is one of the biggest reasons they’ve become such an asset to the forestry industry, as they’re able to navigate trees and brush much easier than a standard sized excavator, not to mention other types of heavy equipment. By definition, mini excavators must weigh less than 20,000 pounds to be considered “compact,” however many models come in at 10,000 pounds or less.

Tree harvesting, mulching, stump grinding and other general forestry activities are another growing use

Mini excavators either run on a track or on wheels, and they come in all different sizes. In fact, some mini excavators are so compact that they’re able to fit through a standard doorway. Bucket sizes are available in options ranging from 12 inches to 2 feet.

Another nice thing about mini excavators is that they’re able to support a variety of attachments, making them applicable for various tasks. While they’re perhaps best associated with light demolition work, digging and site prep, material handling and general landscaping, the likes of tree harvesting, stump grinding and other general forestry activities are another growing use.

Benefits of Mini Excavators

Mini excavators offer a variety of benefits for those who operate them and the industries that deploy them. Some of these benefits include:

  • Versatility: With the range of attachments that this equipment can support in addition to the standard bucket that they’re outfitted with, they become applicable for a wide range of industries and tasks. Attachments include the likes of cutting heads, rakes, augers, different types of buckets, rippers, grapples, dozer blades and more.
  • More compact: Mini excavators are smaller and more lightweight. This doesn’t just help them fit into more confined spaces, but it also helps minimize track marks and other potential site issues their operation could cause. Because of their size, they’re ideal for high traffic work sites or more compact areas.
  • Longer lifespan: Mini excavators still represent pieces of heavy-duty industrial equipment. However, being that they’re more commonly used for less intense projects and tasks, they often last longer than standard excavators and other types of tools.
  • Improve efficiency: Due to their versatility and more compact nature, mini excavators help improve efficiency on job sites by operating and performing tasks that no other piece of equipment is able to perform.
  • Continuous improvement: Like developments of any kind, mini excavators continue to improve in how they operate. The strides that this equipment continues to make are amazing. In fact, newer generation models of mini excavators are up to 20 percent more productive and fuel efficient compared to their predecessors. Some even incorporate electric mobility. In addition to improvements on how these excavators operate, they’re also designed to be more ergonomic and user-friendly.

An Asset for Land Clearing

As we mentioned earlier in this piece, one of the trending uses for mini excavators is in forestry work and in land clearing, as their compact size enables them to more easily navigate trees and brush, and the range of attachments they can support permits them to help tackle a variety of tasks out in the field. In forestry, some of the most commonly performed tasks are cutting, mulching, stump grinding and planting.

The mini excavator can help support all of these practices. The conventional bucket arm can be used as a means of tree removal and it can also be used to dig holes to plant new trees, while certain attachments can easily cut and mulch removed trees, and grind stumps rapidly into fine mulch pieces.

Mini Excavator Attachments: Cutting/Mulching Accessories

One of the most important mini excavator attachments for use in the forestry industry is a boom-mounted cutting head. These heads are able to easily attach to most mini excavators and completely mulch trees and other brush into fine wood chips in a fast manner.

These attachments can also be used to grind down stumps as well. A good cutting and mulching attachment is ideal for tasks such as clearing acres of trees, clearing brush, grinding down stumps, mulching in ditches and along roadsides, and cutting fence lines.

What’s more is the after product is thin, fine mulch that can potentially even be collected and sold for use in landscaping projects. A good cutting and mulching attachment should weigh less than 1,000 pounds. When used correctly out in the field, it can significantly enhance your productivity, performance and, ultimately, your profitability as well.

For more information on the role that mini excavators play in the forestry industry and why the right cutting and mulching attachment can be your ace-in-the-hole accessory, contact us today. When it comes to any industry – let alone forestry – time is money.

Being able to work more productively doesn’t just save time, but it can increase profitability as well. Contact us to learn more about the Gyro-Trac boom mounted cutter head and how it can take your forestry operations to the next level when used with your mini excavator.


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