Remote-Control Mulching Machine: FAE’s RCU-55 Tracked Carrier (Video)

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FAE RCU-55 cutting through brush on slope worker in orange hardhat and vest operates by remote control
The FAE RCU-55 remote-controlled tracked carrier can operate on slopes up to 55 degrees to keep workers out of harm's way.

Alongside its RCU-75 remote-controlled tracked carrier it launched last year, FAE displayed its new smaller version of the unmanned mulching machine, the RCU-55, at ConExpo.

The RCU-55 can mulch through vegetation that is up to 5 inches in diameter with FAE’s BL1/RCU mulching head, or up to 2 inches in diameter with its PML/RCU mulcher. The carrier is equipped with a quick coupler for changing attachments.

(You can watch it in action in the video at the end of this article.)

The operator can control the carrier from as far away as 500 feet with its remote control.

It specializes in getting into areas that are hard to access, hilly terrain and grades up to 55 degrees. With its rubber tracks, it can also perform in sensitive ground conditions, the company says. The undercarriage’s triple-flange style oscillating rollers and the dual hydrostatic transmission also boost traction. The tracks are self-tensioning.

Uses for the RCU-55 include right-of-way and roadside maintenance, overgrowth cleanup around canals, rivers and ponds, as well as utility lines and forestry maintenance.

side view FAE RCU55 remote-control tracked-carrier displayed at Conexpo 2023The FAE RCU-55 features rubber tracks that are self-tensioning.Equipment WorldThe new model has cutting widths of 49 or 59 inches, depending on the attachment, and runs on a 56-horsepower Kohler diesel engine that’s turbocharged, aftercooled and designed for low noise and vibration.

The BL1/RCU mulching head features FAE’s bite-limiting technology, which has wear-resistant steel that limits teeth reach. The technology is designed to deliver consistent speed, conserve fuel and prevent the rotor from stalling, FAE says.

FAE RCU-55 remote control tracked carrier mulching head attachmentThe RCU-55 can be operated with a choice of two FAE mulching attachments.Equipment WorldThe remote control is designed to be simple to use and has a 3.5-inch display screen. The carrier has a 7-inch onboard LCD color screen.

remote control FAE RCU55 tracked carrierEquipment WorldThe remote control has dual batteries that can be recharged with an onboard charger. It controls speed, raising and lowering of the mulching head, drive functions, as well as the independently extendable tracks for working on the side of a hill. If the carrier gets caught in barbed wire or other such materials, a function is designed to help untangle it. The carrier also has a floating function and a tilting head that will follow the contours of the ground.

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A reversible fan automatically comes on by timer for cleanout, but it can also be manually activated via remote control when needed.  

Check out FAE's video of the RCU-55 in action below: