Expensive, they are that. Plus with maintenance and fuel and having to trailer them to the job site keeps a lot of people from ever getting them.
But they do make quick work of the clean up, packing, dragging, loading... and at the end of the day you're not wore out. Heck you can even get your ol' lady to run the thing and keep all the profits in house.
+3 or 4 on the BMG. I like the heck outta my rake as well although I modified how it attaches.
I normally haul mine in the dump trailer or the flatbed, depending on how it's left. I can unload the mini without unhooking the trailer, load the debris, load the mini, and it's off to the dump.
Here's how I did it pre dump trailer days:
Load, hopefully stick the mini on the back unless there's not enough room, then load it on the truck. Go to dump, unload debris with mini and return.
I'm completely fine with having one of the two mini's within 40 miles of here. A neighbor down road has another; he just uses it around the house. And gosh they are just horrible at feeding the chipper, the suck at loading wood, they cost more than my car, don't really lift that much, they tear up the grass, they can't get in tight areas like a wheel barrow, they are noisey, the attachments cost so much.
The MT52 was my first mini to use on my jobs. I didn't have a grapple, so for carrying trunk we used a rope. I really recommend the sully/ride on platform. Walking behind it sucks and your weight increases lift capacity! Only rented it once, 06 I believe. Bought mine in Feb of 07.
Handy, but those don't look like they would be as useful for moving brush and logs around as a mini excavator with a grappler. They make quick work of clean up, ala price difference I guess.
The swing is great for compiling brush.
And a shit ton more weight, less accessability, more expense, an extra trip to haul it, tears the hell out of the grass, sucks for fowarding brush.
But yeah, I plan on getting one after the mini is paid off. I figure with a dump trailer it will be more versital than a dedicated loader. On smaller jobs where it'd only be one load anyways I can still use the mini to load the brush/wood. On bigger jobs the mini can get the stuff to the hoe that packs it into the dump trailer.
Then, when work gets slow or I have an opportunity to make some extra money, I have another non tree specific tool.
I used an IHI 3.5t unit before I had the mini to extract 7 pine trees out of a hilly back yard.
Seldom work on grass here, as you say, a mini would tear it up. You can push a good sized pile of brush with those by using the grappler to lift up some of the weight. Use the grappler to sweep it in a pile like a broom. Will pick up and move a good sized log if you hold it in tight against the side.
Right, it often means an extra trip.
Think you can find used ones pretty cheap. Our tends to overheat for some reason.