Is a compact tractor really capable of clearing land? Absolutely.
With the right Frontier or John Deere tractor attachments and a little know-how, clearing land with a compact tractor is not only possible but can be fun, too.
To help you with your next land-clearing project, Sawyer Meek, Papé Machinery Territory Manager, based in Walla Walla, WA, has put together some pro tips and a list of the most useful brush clearing attachments you’ll want to invest in.
Don’t take on a project bigger than your equipment can handle.
A 25-35hp tractor can easily tackle the job of clearing small trees (less than 6” diameter) and brush, but if you’re looking at multiple acres with medium-large diameter trees, you’ll want to hire professionals or rent a bulldozer.
Know what’s below.
Call 811 to find out where any underground utilities and water lines are before you start so that you can avoid them.
Work slowly and carefully.
When clearing dense brush, you won’t necessarily be able to see all obstacles before you begin. Working slowly will enable you to keep an eye out for large downed logs, big holes, or other debris that could damage your equipment if you aren’t careful.
Start with a rough cut.
Use your front-end loader for clearing small trees with your tractor by pushing them over. Depending on the type of soil you’re working in, adding a tooth bar to your FEL can help loosen tree roots. Once the trees are down, you can use your grapple attachment to pull them out.
Level it out.
Once you’ve used the grapple attachment to clear away the bulk of the trees, vines, and bushes, you’ll want to use your rear blade or box blade to level out the area you have cleared.
Clean it up.
Lastly, you’ll want to do a final pass with your rotary cutter attachment, which will cut up any remaining debris, turn over the soil, and prepare your ground for whatever you want to plant.
Top 5 Brush Clearing Attachments for Tractors
One of the most versatile implements you can purchase, John Deere, states that “you’re only getting half the productivity available from your tractor without a loader,” making it a must-have for a number of day-to-day projects.
Loaders provide the additional benefit of being able to remove the bucket and replace it with other implements, further extending the use-cases and value of the loader.
An up and coming attachment that only increases the value of your front end loader, the 4-in-1 is only growing in popularity. This attachment can be used as a grapple and is great for grading or scraping with greater precision and containment in the bucket.
A manual blade option that can be turned and angled to tackle a diverse range of debris clearing tasks. Perfect for pushing snow, dirt, or larger debris, the rear blade is the more economical option when compared to a landplane or snow blower. It sacrifices the accuracy of attachments designed for specific tasks, but makes up for it with the broad range of debris clearing capabilities you can take on.
The rugged Box Blade is an affordable solution for your grading and leveling needs. Our most popular model, the BB5060L’s A-frame is made of reinforced, heavy steel to improve durability on tough jobs and the reversible steel cutting edges and adjustable ripper shanks provide greater versatility and a longer wear life.
Check out our Toolkit review and walkthrough of the Box Blade, including potential projects you can take on with the attachment.
Fast reliable mowing and trimming along with budget friendly pricing, that’s great for small-land owners who need extra width in their mowing operations. The heavy duty features let you cut through rough grass, thick weeds and brush, knowing that you’ll always get superior reliability and performance from your implement.
An implement that is consistently compared to Grooming Mowers, it’s often hard to tell which option is best for your property and level of clearing needs. Check out our Toolkit episode to see the two implements in action, or for more detail, read our deep dive on the specs and use cases.
Looking for implements outside of land clearing options?
Check out our write-up on the Top 15 Compact Tractor Implements, curated by Sawyer Meek, for a run-down of the best attachments to try first. You can also listen to the article in podcast form on the 4th episode of Toolkit Radio, where Sawyer goes into even more detail on how his customers have used each implement.
Have any questions before you start your project?
The equipment experts at Papé Machinery Agriculture & Turf are always here to help. Contact your local dealership to learn more about clearing land with your tractor or for help finding the right attachments for your compact tractor model.