When looking to manage bushfire risks on rural properties, there are many options available with the Diamond Mowers range from Colbrook Industries – whether you run a whole fleet of machinery or own just one skid steer
With a hotter-than-average summer expected and bushfires already breaking out across Australia, it’s a busy time of year for landscapers, farmers and landowners looking to manage their vegetation and reduce fire risk.
For Colbrook Industries, with its continuously expanding range of Diamond Mowers mulcher, brush cutter and stump grinder attachments, fire mitigation work is currently top of mind for customers.
“At this time of year, landowners and property managers will need to be clearing and mulching around their property to create asset protection zones,” Colbrook Industries business developer Hayley Plageman says.
“The idea is to create a firebreak by reducing the fire fuel load.
However tall the brush and undergrowth is, a fire will potentially burn at three times the height of that vegetation. If landowners have underbrush and scrub around a metre or so high, they could find themselves dealing with a fire that is burning three metres in height, that will give off an enormous amount of radiant heat, that will be very difficult to approach and control.
“If you take a mower, mulcher or brush cutter and reduce that down to an inch or two of mulch on the ground, it can still burn, but it’ll be a lot smaller and slower. And, if a spot fire starts, you can be on top of it and put it out quite quickly and safely.”
With a product range covering vegetation management from forestry applications through to grass mowing, Plageman says that Diamond Mowers is a premium brand largely aimed at the contractor market.
However, to make high quality and well-built attachments also available to landowners and those operators with smaller mid-sized skid steers/compact track loaders, Diamond Mowers has expanded its range with entry-level mowers and mulchers, like the SK Brush Cutter Pro that can be used on any brand of skid steer or compact track loader.
“The SK Brush Cutter Pro is another high-quality high-performance product for landowners that have a skid steer and just want to do some vegetation management around their properties,” Plageman says.
“It’ll mow grass, brush, saplings, blackberry and gorse, and cut down and mulch small trees up to five inches in diameter. They’re still very robust and versatile, as you would expect from a Diamond product, but are at a lower price point to make it a bit more affordable to landowners as opposed to contractors.”
A step up from the SK Brush Cutter Pro is the Pro X series of skid steer and track loader attachments, available in 60-inch, 72-inch and 84-inch cut width. Plageman says the SK Brush Cutter Pro X is a staple of most vegetation management operations.
Plageman says the SK Brush Cutter Pro X is a staple of most vegetation management operations.
“It’s the most robust and versatile attachment for skid steers there is on the market and it’ll do everything from grass up to regrowth, blackberries, gorse, coffee bush and small trees,” she says.
“Anything up to a 10-inch tree it’ll cut and foot block down and, once that tree’s on the ground, it’ll mulch it.
“The two brush cutters are very popular because they’re so versatile. They can also take a bit of punishment. If you’re cutting a firebreak and the vegetation is six-foot tall, you often can’t see what’s in there. These machines can hit posts or rocks hidden in the vegetation and they will just keep on going.
“Our customers are very busy at this time of year, and they have the reliability of these attachments as well as the backup from us and Diamond Mowers. They can put their faith in the machine and know that it’s going to do the job and nothing’s going to break and lead to down-time.”
In the field
One Colbrook Industries customer that has invested in a full suite of Diamond Mowers attachments is Dakota Contracting, based in the Macedon Ranges in Victoria.
Owner Jake Roehrich says work has ramped up recently as Australia moves into Spring, with fuel reduction top of mind for many landowners in the area.
“There’s a pretty high fire risk around the Macedon Ranges, so a lot of landowners are now thinking about how to reduce their risk,” he says.
“Most of them will be looking at the vegetation and weeds that are in close proximity to their assets and around their homes, so it’s mostly focused on asset protection and fence line clearing at the moment. It’s about keeping the vegetation down and maintaining a firebreak around the property.”
The last time Earthmovers & Excavators spoke with Roehrich, a pair of Lamtrac 6160T mulcher carriers had recently joined the fleet. Over the past couple of months, his mulcher range has continued to grow to handle the variety of vegetation management tasks Dakota Contracting undertakes.
“We handle anything from storm damage to grass and invasive weeds like blackberries and gorse,” he says.
“So, we run a combination of different heads, from drum and disc mulchers to the brush cutters. It depends on what we’re doing, how thick the vegetation is and what terrain we’re trying to cover.
“One of our favourites is the Diamond Mowers Bush Cutter Pro X for how productive and fast it is – it can take a fair beating and puts up with it.”
For more information on the Diamond Mowers range, visit: colbrookindustries.com.au