When disaster strikes: Essential equipment for cleanup and prevention

Diamond mulching blade
Diamond Mowers

Natural disasters can leave a trail of destruction and debris in their wake that litters the landscape and creates significant issues for landowners. When it comes to clearing vegetation and trees left behind by storms, floods, and forest fires, the right equipment is essential for helping return land to its natural state.

If you’re in the disaster recovery business or handle storm and fire cleanup, you need equipment that can cut, shred, mulch, and process downed trees, broken branches, and burnt brush. Below are some must-have tools for landowners, farmers, ranchers, and contractors tackling disaster and fire prevention and recovery.

Disc mulcher

After severe weather or fire, the land can be layered with hazardous trees and brush. Removing these hazards calls for the powerful processing and rotation speed of a disc mulcher. Engineered to act like a flywheel, the distinctive disc design combines stored energy with hydraulic power to enable operators to cut and mulch trees and brush in their path effectively and efficiently.  By mulching the vegetation, you can return the materials and nutrients back to the ground, preparing the land for replanting and new growth.

Diamond offers disc mulchers compatible with standard- and high-flow hydraulic skid-steers or compact track loaders. Available in 48” and 60” cutting widths, these mulchers can slice through trees and brush up to 14” in diameter, and shred material up to 6” in diameter. For heavy-duty forestry management and land reclamation, the Excavator Forestry Disc Mulcher is available in 36” or 48” cutting widths and can process material up to 12” in diameter.

Unlike other land-clearing techniques, mulching typically doesn’t cause disturbance to the soil, which is vital for reducing erosion and aiding in water conservation by preventing moisture loss. By employing a disc mulcher, you can improve soil fertility and deliver essential nutrients that will serve future vegetation.

Stump grinder

Another must-have piece of equipment for anyone involved in disaster cleanup and prevention is a stump grinder. Essential for removing stumps after trees have been broken, burnt, or carried away by strong winds, fire, or flooding, this tool uses a rotating cutting disc that mulches the stump into small pieces.

  • Reflex Stump Grinder: A great choice for rural grinding applications, tree farms, and land clearing operations, the Reflex Stump Grinder uses the skid-steer’s lift arm to position its heavy-duty wheel in the stump before driving it through the wood with the machine’s wheels or tracks. This easy-to-operate grinder is equipped with a patented cushioning device that protects the wheel from too much pressure, alleviating overload by flexing and keeping the wheel out of harm’s way. Grinding wheels are available in 24” or 26” cutting widths and are paired with an appropriately sized motor to match the hydraulic flow of the machine.
  • Miller Stump Grinder: this stump grinder allows the operator to cut stumps up to 36” in diameter without ever moving the carrier. The 26”, 6-way grinding wheel features swing, lift, and telescoping functions that allow operators to process a stump while the loader is parked in one position, reducing the risk of soil or turf damage, and making it an ideal solution for arborists or where aesthetics are a major consideration. This option also features a chain guard that helps to protect the grinder – and operator – from flying debris, along with a convenient push blade that effortlessly fills in holes created while clearing stumps below ground level.

Removing stumps after storm or fire damage is important for aesthetics as well as safety and sustainability.  Stump removal minimizes maintenance obstacles and prevents insects or wild animals from settling in and causing further damage.

Supplemental equipment options

In addition to the previously mentioned tools, most reclamation jobs will also require one more of the following depending on the nature, size, and scope of the disaster event:

  • Backhoe: good for light-duty shoveling and material handling in storm-damaged areas cluttered with debris.
  • Brush Cutter: tackles land and vegetation management challenges from cutting through tall, thick grass to clearing large-scale brush and small trees.
  • Bulldozer: can push large quantities of scattered debris into piles for disposal. Plus, its tracks provide enhanced stability and traction on treacherous terrain.
  • Front Loader/Wheel Loader: acts like a mobile shovel that can lift, transport, and load debris onto vehicles for removal.

Whether you’re cleaning up after a hurricane, flood, or fire, it’s important to have the correct tools at your disposal. Clearing the land of harmful debris quickly and efficiently reduces hazard potential, gets the landowner back to work, and keeps the area looking beautiful.

Matt Nelson Bio

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