Winter can be one of the better times for land clearing because frozen temperatures make the ground solid and provide better support for heavy equipment. Additionally, precipitation and runoff occur less frequently, and many plant species are dormant, reducing environmental damage caused by erosion and aggressively cutting back invasive vegetation. Cold weather also helps keep engine, and hydraulic temperatures cool during the all-day jobs that are common in land clearing.
“The sooner you begin this process, the more time you will have to fully prepare a property for spring projects,” said Matt Nelson, director of development at Diamond Mowers. “This way, you can commit more time surveying the land and devising a plan for landscaping, planting, and building.”
Utilize a brush cutter to slice through grass, brush, branches, and trees effectively. This “one-size-fits-all” utility tool offers unmatched flexibility, power, and performance for keeping land neat and manicured, warding off tall brush and invasive plant species, trimming branches, and removing brush. A disc mulcher’s speed and productivity are particularly well-suited for clearing large expanses of land due to its distinctive disc design that stores energy and combines it with hydraulic power to enable operators to slice and process trees and brush in their path. Diamond’s new Excavator Drum Mulcher tackles brush clearing with power and precision for midi-excavator users. It is equipped with an adjustable displacement hydraulic motor that provides impressive torque to power through material up to 8” in diameter.
There are many advantages to removing trees during the winter. Most trees shed their leaves, so the lack of foliage makes it easier to spot signs of mold, decay, and other diseases. Fewer leaves also mean minimal cleanup, and because most disease-carrying insects and fungi are dormant, there is less risk of spreading maladies around a property.
It is also easier to remove dead or decaying trees from a property during winter since frozen ground does not get torn up by equipment, and hardened sap in trees provides perfect conditions for cutting and mulching. A depth control drum mulcher excels at taking down larger material and creates a fine mulch, while a disc mulcher is ideal for pulling whole trees into its deck for quick clearing and high productivity. For those requiring power and flexibility for harsh mulching needs, Diamond’s new Drum Mulcher OD Pro X boasts an optimized infeed system that produces a smaller end product than conventional open drum models and allows ground contact for maximum productivity.
Once trees have been cut down and mulched, use a stump grinder to remove the remaining stump and roots. Diamond offers two types of wheel-based stump grinders, both available as skid-steer attachments. Which one a contractor uses depends on the size of the tree stumps and the different functions they prefer. Both options feature high-torque radial piston motors, 1” thick grinding wheels, and carbide teeth for dual-direction cutting. The Reflex unit is simple and easy to operate, with premium components for optimal performance. At the same time, the Miller attachment offers the same power and productivity as a commercial grinder at a fraction of the cost and with a diverse range of functions for greater versatility.
Roadside maintenance is a year-round activity vital for keeping roadways in safe driving condition by removing debris and brush that can block visibility and preventing damage due to poor erosion. Roadside maintenance is critical in rural areas where terrain can be uneven and infrastructure is not as closely monitored as in urban areas. Roadside vegetation also acts as a snow fence, causing snow to accumulate on the road, which causes safety problems and increases snow removal expenses.
According to TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, 13% of U.S. rural roads are rated in poor condition, while another 21% are in mediocre condition. The need for roadside maintenance is real, and opportunities are abound. Contractors with rotary mowers, boom ditchers, or attachments for gravel reclamationcan optimize the “off-season” by offering their services to local municipalities and landowners to help clear culverts, promote proper drainage, reduce erosion, and keep roadways manicured and maintained.
“Winter is a great time to be proactive in preparing for spring projects and anticipating future needs,” Nelson emphasized.