Two Lamtrac 6160T mulcher carriers have been hard at work at Victoria’s Dakota Contracting Services – with owner Jake Roehrich saying the dedicated mulching machines make all the difference for his land clearance business
Earthmovers & Excavators caught up with Dakota Contracting Services’ Jake Roehrich recently to ask how the new Lamtrac 6160T mulcher carriers from Colbrook Industries are fitting into his fleet.
“I started off with just one machine, doing forestry mulching, gorse, blackberries and property clean-ups, and built it up into a business,” he says of how Dakota Contracting got going. “We’ve been going for around five years now and run a set of dedicated mulching machines with a team of five.”
Covering the whole of Victoria, but with a focus on the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn region, Dakota Contracting undertakes a variety of mulching, mowing and land clearance work, from handling storm damage material, to fire prevention, to maintaining council verges.
“We’ve got excavators, dozers, skid steers, dedicated forestry mulchers and remote control mulchers,” Roehrich says of his fleet. “There’s a fair range there as we use different machines for different applications. “We use excavators for a lot of our tree clearing and storm damage work, and we run mulchers on the end of those as well. This is for things like drainage lines where other machines can’t get access.
“The remote control machines we send up onto steep embankments and for roadside vegetation where it’s too dangerous to have manned machines working.”
Built for mulching
Taking Dakota Contracting’s mulching work to the next level are a pair of Lamtrac 6160Ts sporting Diamond Mowers mulchers. The third generation of Lamtrac’s compact track loader-style mulcher carriers, the 6160T have been designed specifically for mulching and offer a superior performance alternative to attaching a mulcher to a skid steer.
“They’ve been really good,” Roehrich says. “We love the machines, and the boys are in them every day. The Lamtracs have their work cut out for them – they’ve got a fair bit of work to get through and they get pushed pretty hard every day. They’re very reliable and the production power is impressive.”
With a Cummins B4.5 Stage V engine, the 6160T produces 155 horsepower (116kW) and has a maximum flow rate of 166 litres per minute at 6,000psi. Weighing in at 6.2 tonnes and fitted with a forestry ROPS/FOPS cabin, Colbrook Industries – the sole distributor of Lamtrac machinery in Australia and New Zealand – says that the 6160T offers significantly more power than other compact track loaders on the market.
Initially designed for Lamtrac’s home country of Canada, the Colbrook version sports an upgraded cooling system with a three-tier radiator capable of handling ambient temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius.
“We wanted something that had more horsepower than your average skid steer,” Roehrich says. “After we got the first one, we were like – yeah this is the tool, this is what we need.
“A big thing is the safety – for example having side-opening doors instead of front-opening doors. If you stop on a skid steer and your boom’s up, you can’t get out of your door – you’re stuck inside the machine.
“The traction is really good. We do a fair bit of work where it’s hilly and it’s going up 45-degree hills. Maintenance is also great as it’s easy to clean. When mulching you get a build-up of debris in the machine because material is flying around all over the place, so that was a game changer. We’ve halved the time spent cleaning the machines – we get it done in an afternoon, whereas a skid steer used to take all day.”
In addition to the Lamtrac mulcher carriers, Dakota Contracting has been running a set of Diamond Mowers vegetation management attachments, also supplied by Colbrook Industries. These include drum mulchers, disc mulchers and two brush cutters.
Roehrich says that he finds the Diamond brand to be highly efficient, with its capabilities particularly standing out on harder material like trees. The strong backup provided by Colbrook Industries is essential for his work, he adds, along with the parts availability.
“Having the parts and support there has been a big thing for us,” Roehrich says. “We’ve been buying from Colbrook for about two and a half years and the biggest thing is their service. What I’ve learnt is that it doesn’t matter what machine and what brand you buy, it’s the customer service you get behind it that matters.
“Colbrook will drop what they’re doing to come and help us get going again. There aren’t many people that will go out of their way and drop you off parts on a weekend to get you going again for Monday. That sort of service is priceless.”