Fecon launched a new skid steer disc mulcher attachment, the Disc Hawk, at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023 in Las Vegas.
Senior Product Specialist Ryan Bricker said the Disc Hawk is specifically designed for high-flow skid steers and compact track loaders. The unit increased productivity with a faster rougher cut either for first-pass vegetation removal or in instances where maximizing material dispersion without fine chip size is ideal.
The unit is intended for mulching thicker vegetative material at higher speeds than traditional drum mulchers. A low-profile motor and deck configuration provides improved visibility and reduces material buildup.
"We strive to make solution-based products based on customers' needs," he said. "We like to go out into the marketplace and help validate that the customers need these products and making sure that we're designing the features and the specs and all the right equipment to meet their needs."
In this instance, Fecon found that many customers were running drum mulchers and needed a disc mulcher. He noted that it wasn't about replacing a drum mulcher but more about adding a complementary attachment.
"We really took this unit and built it from the ground up, and so we got to understand the center of gravity and weight when it comes to stability and operating capacities on the skid steer,” Bricker said. “Understanding that, we want to right the size of steel in the motor and the rotors for these units. We also had to take separate account of how far this unit sticks out, so not only you have improved stability of your skid steer but also visibility for whatever the work is that you're doing.”
Fecon works with the OEMs in the development and testing of its attachments to ensure the components are right-sized for those specific flows and pressures.
“We do think that they can be very high-performance machines with the right expectations that something that has 30 horsepower isn't going to compete with something that's got 100 horsepower,” he said.
With the Disc Hawk, Bricker said, testing has been done at the Fecon facility, and the next step is to get some out into the marketplace and ensure it meets customers’ needs. The target markets for include fire fuel prevention, as well as agriculture or farm site preparation.
"It does a great job of cutting down vegetation," Bricker said. "Now, that material is not going to be too small of a size, but it does a good job of getting it down on the ground, and it's good for material dispersion, which is preferred in lots of firefighting as well as reclamation. We're working to finish validation and we expect to start shipping units in Q4 2023.”
With a working width of 60 inches, the disc mulcher is purpose-built for 75- to 132-horsepower skid steers and compact track loaders that operate with as little as 30-50 gallons per minute of auxiliary hydraulic flow.
Configurable discharge and intake chutes allow operators to maximize productivity and dispersion needs based on application. The larger throw design of the open brush chute allows for higher material intake and faster processing of lighter vegetation-like brush. Conversely, the hardwood intake chute guides larger trees into the disc, resulting in quicker processing of thick vegetation.
For applications where material dispersion is preferred, such as in fire fuel prevention, the broadcast discharge chute is ideal for distributing material faster over large areas. Similarly, the processing discharge chute increases the mulching of finer material with dispersion back toward the ground, making it ideal for agriculture or farm site preparation.
In addition, an adjustable push bar allows operators to toggle between degrees of disc engagement, depending on the application. For example, in the forward position, the push bar guides small debris into the disc. Having the push bar in the furthest back position exposes more of the mulching disc for efficient processing of larger trees and thicker material.
The design of the disc ensures perfect balance over the lifetime of the mulching unit, and it comes backed by Fecon’s 12-month, 1,000-hour warranty. The mulcher attachment features 24 bottom tools, 12 edge knife tools, and eight top tools, along with optional carbide tools.
Bull Hog Mulcher Launched in 2022
In August 2022, Fecon launched the FMX28 Bull Hog Mulcher for compact excavators.
Optimized for 3.5- to 5-ton compact excavators with hydraulic flows from 12-40 gallons per minute, the new mulching head features 14 flippable knife tools on a bite-limiting split ring rotor to achieve a 28-inch cutting width. Aftermarket carbide tools are also available for ground-engaging applications.
“It really allows us to drive the excavator drum mulcher market down to the smallest unit than what we've been able to do in the past," Bricker said. “Now we can put drum mulchers on 3.5- to 5-ton excavators where historically we were really able to put them on 5-ton plus excavators.”
Talking with customers, he said, Fecon found that the biggest needs were in that 3.5- to the 4-ton range, and there wasn't a solution available.
"We were able to leverage some of the technology that we already had on some of our products, scale it down, and right size it for this 3.5- to 4-ton excavator ... with some great success," Bricker said.
He said the FMX28 has been doing well in the rental market.
“In today's day and age, I think everyone knows that there are labor shortages out there,” he noted. “There's very high demand for land management equipment, so having the ability to truly have a mulching and vegetation attachment, especially in the compact world is incredibly important.”
The idea was to leverage the idea that customers already had existing carriers, a compact excavator or compact track loader, and they’re trying to add versatility to be more self-sufficient. “They would much rather spend the money and investment on buying an attachment to add to their toolbox rather than trying to wait and pay someone else to do this project for them,” Bricker said. “We've seen the FMX28 really thrive in that market and really push the limits of being a true versatile attachment for us going forward.”
Bricker said Fecon is always looking to expand its product portfolio and trying to find new areas to meet customers’ needs.
“I think there's plenty of opportunities for us to continue to strive for making these personal attachments that people can put on their existing pieces of equipment, as well as making sure that we understand that they need to get the most out of their equipment; so the more features and more technology that we can put into these, the more productive they can be and more self-sufficient they can be going forward,” he said.