Cutting back trees and brush along roadsides and at intersections is an ongoing job for the Brazoria County Road & Bridge Department.
While the department has made good use of a tree limb shear attachment for many years, its use of a mulching cutter has made vegetation-control efforts even more productive along the 325 miles of roadways in the county, not to mention the many additional miles of ditches and drainage canals.
Putting a Gradall XL 4100 IV excavator to work with a mulching cutter, however, let the department take a step forward in vegetation control, according to Kenny Hill, superintendent of the department.
“Putting a mulching cutter on [the excavator], we can convert large pieces of material into fine chunks that don’t have to be hauled away,” said Hill. “That saves us time, manpower and the need for a truck to haul material.”
Using the attachment with the excavator’s telescoping, tilting boom offers even more advantages, he said.
“With the boom movements, we can reach about anywhere … over fence lines, around and under bridges, up against poles,” said Hill.
“We can also tilt the mulching cutter into the right position to get the job done quickly, cutting back trees to improve visibility at intersections or clearing branches away from roadsides. That’s something our residents appreciate.”
When Brazoria County purchased the excavator, it also ordered a 36-in. excavating bucket for asphalt removal and a fixed thumb grapple for storm cleanup in streams and ditches.
“We are really happy with the way this one clears away and mulches trees and brush,” said Hill. “We’ll probably have it doing just that for about eight or nine months before we ever put a bucket on it.”