Clearing land to remove trees, shrubbery, rocks and debris is sometimes necessary, whether it be by a homeowner or a commercial developer. The reasons for doing so can range from making room for a vegetable garden to building an apartment complex. Regardless of what the scope of the job is, a variety of equipment is available to accomplish the task.
For the do-it-yourselfer who wants to clear a patch of land on his property, many of the tools required are those typically used for lawn work or gardening. Shrubs, bushes and small trees can be cleared by using pruners, loppers and hand saws to reduce size prior to using shovels to dig out the roots to completely remove them. Rakes, pickaxes, and hoes can be used for removing rocks and roots.
According to the Rockland Manufacturing Co., which has designed and specialized in all types of land clearing equipment for over 60 years, bulldozers are one of the most valuable and widely used pieces of equipment for large land-clearing needs. Most people visualize bulldozers with large, slightly curved blades that push dirt around. While this may be the most common means of clearing land, there are many attachments that fit on the front of the dozer in place of the blade that are designed to assist with even the most difficult land-clearing operations. Attachments include an implement called a root plow that utilizes a sharp horizontal blade that is pushed into the ground to remove all types of bushes and shrubs at the root level. Another commonly used attachment is a heavy-duty rake which is used to remove rocks, shrubs, small trees and stumps.
Common in larger land clearing applications, these machines use a hinged boom on a rotating platform that operates much like a human arm. Attachments such as grapples, which function similarly to a human hand, enable the excavator to reach out, grab onto, and remove brush, small trees and logs to stack and load into trucks for disposal. Excavators also use other attachments such as stump pullers to cut lateral roots for easy removal of stumps, and heavy-duty rakes to gather large rocks into piles for loading into trucks.