What Is The Best Skid Steer Mulcher Attachment?
Cost-effective mulching of thick vegetation requires top-tier equipment.
In agriculture, construction, land development, disaster cleanup, nature recreation maintenance, and many other applications, mulcher attachments are the must-have tool for land clearing.
There is a range of skid steer mulcher attachments with the power you'll need to grind and remove vegetation and natural debris of many kinds.
In this article, I'll take you through some of the best land-clearing attachments available to select the best equipment for your job.
Key Take Aways
- Promac's HSL Series Mulcher is the best drum mulcher for standard flow skid steers and operators who use mini excavators.
- Promac's HSM Series Mulcher is the best Drum Mulcher for Large High Power Skid Steers.
- Promac's TDM Series Disc Mulcher is the best Skid Steer Disc Mulcher.
Best Low Flow Skid Steer Mulcher
HSL60 Standard Flow Skid Steer Drum Mulcher By Promac Equipment
Best High Flow Skid Steer Mulcher
Heavy Duty Skid Steer Mulcher HSM by Promac Equipment
Best Skid Steer Disc Mulcher
TDM Twin Disc Skid Steer Mulcher by Promac Equipment
What is a Skid Steer Mulcher?
A Skid Steer Mulcher is a skid steer attachment that quickly grinds trees, brushes into small wood chips, and deposits them on the land. They make short work of vegetation when clearing the ground, cutting a bush or tree, or even stumps into fine particles in seconds.
We'll be comparing two categories of mulcher today; drum mulcher and disc mulcher. As with most high-performance skid steer attachments, the difference between them is less about the quality of each model but with the demands of your job site and the nature of your work.
Disc Mulcher vs Drum Mulcher, what's the difference?
The main difference between a skid steer drum mulcher and a skid steer disc mulcher is the orientation of the cutters. A drum mulcher is an open-faced cutter attachment with a wide vertical spinning drum covered in teeth, dropping mulch material below.
A disc mulcher is a covered attachment sporting one or two spinning discs that draw material between them where it's cut into smaller mulch and spit out in front and around the attachment. Which of the two machines is best depends on what kind of environment you're working in and the density and makeup of material you need to grind.
A disc mulcher is an excellent skid steer forestry mulcher attachment. The disc mulcher is best suited for mulching thicker trees and heavy vegetation.
Its wide cut width can draw in up to 14 inches of trees, shredding them in seconds. However, the disc mulcher output will produce thicker chips and wood chunks vs the finer grain of material a drum mulcher will make.
Be warned that a disc mulcher's heavier and larger debris output will be sprayed and launched unpredictably out the side and front. For this reason, this mulcher should only be used in rural or isolated job settings.
Drum mulchers provide some capabilities you won't get from disc mulchers. They produce a finer grain mulch output, ideal for when your final product is going to be used as is on the land, such as when constructing a walking trail in a park or forest.
The drum mulcher can grind stumps directly into the ground, below grade; however, be wary of rocks or other hard debris that can accelerate wear and tear. This capability adds range to the machine's functionality. Still, if you need to grind or remove every stump in an area, a more specialized stump grinder or attachment might be more appropriate.
Some of the best drum mulchers, like the Promac HSL & HSM series, feature a "brow" which covers over the front of the drum, creating a downward trajectory for mulch ejection.
With these features, a skid steer drum mulcher attachment is your ideal choice for suburban or urban settings. Unlike its disc counterpart and more open drums, a more controlled mulch deposit ensures the safety of nearby workers, bystanders, or property.
Drum mulchers are typically larger and heavier than disc mulchers, requiring more hydraulic flow and horsepower. For this reason, some skid steer owners may be restricted to disc mulchers only.
Top Skid Steer Mulching Attachment Models
There are several top-tier skid steer mulchers on the market. North American designer and manufacturer Promac consistently produce some of the best quality and innovative attachments. Below, we'll go through the features and performance of several models of the disc and drum mulching attachments, including the HSL Series, HSM series (both drums), and TDM (disc) Series.
HSL Series Drum Mulcher
Standard Flow Drum Mulcher
Promac's HSL series skid steer mulchers are designed for a 75-95 horsepower skid steer running at low hydraulic flow, anywhere from 20 to 30 gallons a minute, at around 3500 psi. This is a very competitive machine incorporating all the latest innovations from a company with a reputation for just that.
The HSL series is one of the market's only skid steer drum mulchers that can be used with a standard flow skid steer. This makes it an appealing attachment for almost every skid steer owner working in forestry.
The HSL Series Drum Mulchers Couplers To Your Mini Excavator & Skid Steer
Another unique feature of the HSL Series Mulcher is that it can be mounted to a skid steer or a mini excavator. This is a genius design that is unique to Promac.
Many businesses that operate forestry equipment own both skid steers and mini excavators. Therefore, using attachments on both machines becomes quite a value proposition.
The HSL series drum mulcher accomplishes this by mounting an excavator coupler on the top of the drum mulcher while having the skid steer mount in its usual location. Any mini excavator mount can be used with HSL Series Mulcher.
Promac's industry-leading engineering
The HSL Series sports a bite-limited or "CPR chip production" rotor. Reversible knives are an option in the tool holders (common in the industry); however, beaver teeth are also available, an effective and economical alternative.
Pressure protection support is designed into the motor case to prevent it from being split due to being overly strained. Problems will indicate themselves with the weeping of oil out of a port on the side where the operator can see it and deal with it before experiencing a failure.
The HSL Series makes extensive use of high-strength steel throughout the frame. All the surfaces you see and the structural components are all QT 100 (3x strength of ordinary steel), allowing them to keep strength and rigidity up while minimizing the weight. Clocking in at about 2100 pounds, a low-flow skid steer should be more than capable of handling it.
Additional Class leading HSL 60 features
- AR 400 welded in replaceable liner ¼ inch in thickness
- Welded on AR400 skid shoes
- AR400 anvil, segmented for easy replacement
- 55 variable torque motor allows Promac machines to get low-end torque plus speed to take advantage of the inertia of the drum
- Very accessible maintenance, such as removable end cover to the hydraulic drive motor, shivs, bearing housings, etc.
- Low distance between the centre of mass and the pin-up for the skid steer, so as a result, very little weight hangs out beyond the skid steer, which makes it feel much lighter
- Dust seals keep debris and dust out from between the drum and the drive shaft
- Cable cutters protect the shaft by cutting accidentally ingested wire spooled around the drum
HSM Series Skid Steer Mulcher
Perfect For Large Skid Steers
The HSM Series drum mulcher is a large mulcher for big skid steers. Designed for use with host machines between 95-120 Horsepower and 35-45GPM, this attachment will rip through trees and brush.
The HSM Series Mulcher uses a variable torque bent axis piston 107cc motor and can handle up to 5,000 PSI of hydraulic pressure. The 60" and 72" models weigh just over 2,500 pounds.
Built to last
The HSM Series mulcher has fully replaceable segments. Parts can be swapped throughout, even before replacement becomes necessary.
Wear will be held at bay for a considerable period of use thanks to high-strength steel plates strategically placed on the chip production rotor. This will reduce the amount of damage to chipper teeth.
Promac does all of its own in-house manufacturing, including all frame construction, machining of the frames, and the sub-components. Evidence of this close attention to detail can be seen, for example, in frame faces which are always perfectly square, enhancing the performance and service life of bearing assemblies.
Safety is always top of mind
The HSM series sports an excellent new safety feature; as soon as you shut off pressure, the drum slows after a delay of 5-6 seconds, coming to a complete stop after 10 seconds.
other great features
- 60" cut width and 72″ wide, 17" diameter drum
- The drum is constructed with a chip production rotor featuring swappable teeth that can rotate to get two rounds of wear from each before replacement is necessary
- A Double carbide version is available for rocky conditions
- Dependable and long-lasting with replaceable wear parts
- Replaceable bolt-on AR400 skid shoe on both sides
- Bolt in anvil at the back of machine machined at AR400
- Fully sealed, or dust strings on each side with cable cutters, so if you come upon a fence and pull in some wire, the wire cutters will hopefully prevent the wire from getting between the drum and frame and taking out your bearings
- Relief block that protects the motor from damage and over cavitation
TDM Series Twin Disc Mulcher
High Power Disc Mulcher
The TDM Series is the first of Promac's disc mulchers available to consumers. With 35 gallon/m flow at 4000 psi, the TDM is most effective when used on larger skid steers.
TDM mulchers use two high-power radial piston motors, one for each disc. Each disc has an oil bath gearbox, meaning no greasing is required.
Counter Rotating Discs and anvil
The TDM mulcher's discs counter-rotate, converging at the centre point. A sharpened anvil is used at the convergence point to split larger material, ensuring a fine mulch.
It's vital to keep anvils sharp. Secured with six bolts each, they can be removed to be sharpened and replaced relatively easily.
The discs are equipped with clod style teeth, top and bottom, they are very economical to replace, and as with other models, rotatable to get two wears out of each before that is necessary.
Having two counter-rotating discs has several advantages. Two discs spool up faster, eject mulch out the centre of the attachment, and can pull material in on both sides of the attachment rather than just one.
Other Design Features
The TDM mulcher features a large boxed in frame, with motors under single housings, creating lots of room underneath. The frame also mounts a heavy-duty push bar. The push bar is adjustable, allowing you to adjust it to your liking.
Other features and specs;
- The HSL series has a cutting width of 60″ and a 17″ diameter drum
- Dual radial piston motor, integral with oil bath gearboxes, meaning no grease
- Very clean, lots of room, not cluttered, easy to work on
- Well-researched optimal tooth pattern to deliver good feeding, little jamming, yielding continuous performance time and productivity
Hydraulic Requirements Of Each Promac Model
- The HSM 60 and HSM 72 are high-flow attachment, set up at a minimum of 35 gallons a minute at 4000 psi.
- The HSL 60 operates on a low flow of 20 to 35 gallons a minute.
- The TDM operates on a high flow of 36 – 50 gallons per minute, providing 95-165 horsepower
Conclusion - What is best for me?
Knowing what you know now, what is the best skid steer mulcher of these above options for you? With three outstanding models to choose from between the HSM, HSL, and TDM series, consumers needing a forestry mulcher or land-clearing equipment have several high-performance, durable, reasonably priced, and maintainable mulching machines at their disposal.
Those in rural settings and removing dense trees should go with the TDM disc mulcher. In smaller urban and suburban work sites, or when your mulching work requires flexibility and a great consideration of your surroundings, the drum mulcher is the way to go.
What is the price range for each? Our sales representatives can answer that and any other questions you may have.