After our first clearing was reclaimed by Nature, we decided to bring in the big guns. Hiring a crew to clear the land was out of the question. The whole point of this journey was to do it ourselves, not hire someone else to do it for us. Clearing land with a Bobcat?
Having never operated any type of heavy equipment, and the largest equipment I was comfortable using was a skid steer. Unfortunately the overwhelming consensus on blogs is that a skid steer is not powerful enough to clear land of anything larger than bush.
Not having any first hand experience, many an hour was spent reading blogs and watching YouTube videos.
Clearing Land with a Bobcat
Fortunately I found a YouTube video of someone clearing land with a Bobcat. They were pushing over large trees and moving them to the side using nothing but a Bobcat skid steer.
After many days of humming and hahing we decided to bite the bullet. We found a rental place and we could have a Bobcat for the entire weekend for only $500. Great deal… but to deliver it to the property was another $500!
Having the Bobcat Delivered
Our little Ford Explorer could not pull a trailer with a skid steer on it, and we didn’t have any other options to pull this ourselves. We went ahead and got the Bobcat delivered. That weekend we showed up at the property with the Fun Finder RV and there it was, an S220 Bobcat raring to go. We found the key (where it was hidden) jumped in and turned the key and nothing…
Apparently you need to have your seat-belt on before it will start, so I fastened my seat belt, turned the key then, nothing…
OK, is it in gear? No. Is there some other switch? Time to break the sacred rule, the rule no man will ever admit to breaking, time to read the manual.
So, if you ever have the opportunity to drive a skid steer, there is a safety bar that is above your head and you have to pull it down, just like the ones on a roller coaster. The Bobcat won’t start unless you pull the safety bar down!
Now that we have it started, I slowly moved it around to get used to the controls. It takes some getting used to, after a while I was able to move in the direction I wanted and fortunately I can tell you that a skid steer IS strong enough to push over eight inch diameter trees.
Taking Down Large Trees with a Bobcat
The trick is to lift the bucket to about six feet of the ground and push the tree over. Moving forward and lowering the bucket at the same time. After the tree is down, back up then put the bucket under the roots, lift and push the tree out of the way.
The clearing was finished in a couple of hours. Then I spent a couple more hours cleaning up and leveling.
Now we had a nice clear spot among the trees. We pulled the Fun Finder RV into the new clearing and now we didn’t have to tow it back and forth every weekend!