It’s no secret that having a clear foundation is paramount for any construction project. Clearing the land must not be done without careful management – ideally by experts who have years of experience.
Often contractors and amateur landscapers attempt to manage as much of the job as they can by themselves. Land clearing services are often required, but it’s important to know which land clearing equipment you’ll need on the site.
This guide will help you prioritize what equipment you’ll need for a successful operation.
Big Land Clearing Equipment
Land clearing equipment includes everything from the common chainsaw to heavy-duty dump trucks used to haul away everything. You’ll also need to rely on one or more of these three big pieces of machinery.
Mower and Mulchers
These types of machines are used on a variety of landscaping and clearing jobs. Large mowers are used to tame wild overgrowth, while mulchers come in a chew up all the underbrush, small trees, and even old fencing. These machines do a great job at prepping and breaking down everything before it gets hauled away.
When you have a lot of trees to clear, you have to invest in a stump grinder. This will not only make your work look more professional, but it will also make it easier. Stumps should be extracted fully or risk future problems after construction.
If the land is ever to be used for gardening, this is a must-do.
Most jobs will require some level of bulldozing. Any rocky formations, woodlands, and uneven land will need to be bulldozed. In order to prepare any foundational work, a bulldozer will be needed to dig up the topsoil and make room for concrete.
Surveying and Preparing the Land
Before you start renting the heavy machinery, take a look at what you have. One of the first things you should have done if you have a lot of trees is get them appraised. That unprocessed timber could be more valuable than you think.
Find timber buyers and get a few bids for your lot. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a free extraction out of it. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be sitting on valuable timber that could make you a little extra cash.
Make sure you go with a reputable timber company, though. The last thing you want is to close a good deal and be left with gaping holes in your land. Restoring the topsoil could negate any profit or benefits from the deal.
Check for Permits
Land clearing will require going through the proper channels to make sure everything is legal. This will require going through local, state, or even regional offices to abide by all the laws. You’ll likely need permits for every aspect of the land clearing process.
We’re not going to candy-coat it; it can be a big pain! That’s why it’s always a safe bet to hire experts like Marks Clearing & Grading who handle the details for you. Permits should be secured as quickly as possible, because the process can often take longer than expected. The last thing you want is to receive a fine for doing what you thought was a normal aspect of landscaping.
They can get you for burning, grinding stumps, selling timber, using certain machinery after a certain hour, and so on. Each county can have its own silly ordinances and restrictions, so do your homework. Better yet, hire the pros here at Marks Clearing & Grading and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from an experienced, qualified team.
Going the DIY Route
Are you planning on doing most of the land clearing without hiring anyone? Well, we strongly recommend against it, but we know many will do it anyway. In that case, you should lower your expectations a bit.
The equipment available to the average Joe isn’t going to touch the capabilities of heavy-duty commercial grade machines. If you want the best selection, avoid Home Depot and try to rent from professional tool-rental companies.
Slow and Steady
Remember, when you’re renting a piece of machinery that you’ve never used before, you have to check your ego. These things aren’t just simple chainsaws (which are obviously deadly), these are earth-moving machines. If you get your hands on a mulcher or industrial mower, do some training.
Ask the rental company for instructions and a place to practice. The better you know how to use your tools, the more efficient you’ll be. Plus, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can lend your experience out to others.
Clearing acres of land is going to require some discipline and foresight. You can’t just go through all the trees on a property and cut them all down. You need to work through one at a time to avoid safety and logistical issues.
The last thing you want is to have to deal with tangled limbs of trees, preventing an easy extraction. Ideally, you should have a few people assisting you by clearing as you go, trimming, and providing additional eyes.
Smart land clearing includes accounting for lower soil conditions. Without the trees and underbrush, the soil becomes vulnerable for erosion. Reseeding with grass and any plants that will go in the gaps should be a priority. Even if these are just temporary placeholders, it’s important to do it for the future of land development.
If it is possible to save any of the trees on the land, do it. You can’t just replant a tree once you pull one out, it’s not feasible or environmentally sound. A good tree will give you higher soil quality, shade, and something to break winds.
Smarter Land Clearing
Lastly, we’d like to remind you that you will likely be disturbing habitats for all sorts of critters. If there is a way to minimize your impact with land clearing equipment, it’s always best to do so. Native wildlife here in Georgia and South Carolina should be protected whenever possible.
With that said, start putting a plan into place for this project. Map out the tools you need, the permits, and any partners who may be able to help. Hire someone like the team at Marks Clearing & Grading who can haul and dump everything to keep operations running smoothly.
Contact us today to find how we can help make your land clearing project a success.