A terrific crowd from several states turned out for the event.
Traditionally, a manufacturer will work with a contractor for sourcing a location to hold a product demo and does the lion share of the work to coordinate all aspects and to bring in attendees. Such was not the case for a recent contractor mulching demo event in Sterling, Ga., just outside the city limits of Brunswick.
Event host George Ussery of Ussery Services Forestry Mulching has been so impressed with his mulching products purchased from FAE, his carrier machines from his local John Deere dealer, and pretty much the industry as a whole, he decided to hold a demo event. Attendees were those people that he has been in close contact via Facebook and other contractors that share his passion for the mulching industry. Ussery pulled together a tremendously successful demo event on April 17 with Facebook friends from around the country turning out and product manufacturer FAE coming out to support the event by hosting a catered lunch and lots of FAE "swag" items.
When asked why, Ussery said, "There's some in the mulching industry that just won't talk to you about their business, much less get together, hang out, share tips and let you try their equipment. I don't feel competition from others, and I just wanted something for all of us to get together. Some in this business are kind of like a family or a fraternity. I just asked people to come join us. For my Facebook group of friends in the industry, this is our first time meeting face-to-face. Some flew in from various parts of the country — it wasn't just a local event."
The John Deere tractors and the FAE mulching heads for the demo were owned by Ussery Services. The company, which branched out into the mulching industry just two short years ago with an old tractor, now has a half-million dollars in machines and mulching equipment, and still growing every day.
Ussery said that "everyone is here because I asked them, even FAE and the entertainment. It's just some good ole Southern hospitality."
The first contractor to demo the FAE BL1/EX excavator mulcher mounted on a Deere 60G was Eugene Stephens of E. Stephens Excavating, Macon, Ga, who said he loved it.
"I do this kind of work on a regular basis. With this machine and this head, which runs off standard hydraulic flow, it is the sized machine that would easily allow me to get into residential areas without slinging material. It's real smooth and the power continues without bogging down in heavy brush. I'm impressed."
Making the trek from New York to demo the machines was George Odbert of MAC Services, Lawrence, N.Y.
"I've been running other heads and I'm here to see and test the FAE products. No one has these where I'm from because mulching in general isn't as popular in upstate New York, so we had to come south to check it out."
Odbert has been in the mulching business for two years and sees that upgrading his process could be useful in becoming more productive in land clearing and reclaiming farmland and land for home sites.
"With COVID, there are a lot of people coming from New York City out to the country to relocate and work remotely. These overgrown farmlands need to be cleaned up to be appealing for relocation. I'm looking for quicker speed and finer finish. Right now, the finished mulched product we leave behind is not the best it can be and doesn't come out smooth like it does with these mulcher heads I'm testing today," added Odbert.
Another attendee that came from quite a distance was Jeff Karshner of All-Star Bobcat. Karshner is a land clearing contractor who utilizes a Bobcat T870 compact track loader with a newly purchased FAE UML/SSL 150 sonic mulcher at his Colorado Springs, Colo.-based land clearing business.
Karshner said, "I've had other mulching heads before I went with the FAE. I tried FAE side-by-side with what I had, and the finished product and speed of the mulching head told me that I needed to change something. The FAE Sonic drum spins up a lot faster than previous heads and results in a much finer finished material."
Karshner has only had his new mulching head for a few weeks and noticed a difference right away. He had done some research on the FAE head, at the exact same time Facebook friend Ussery was reaching out about the demo and get together in Georgia. He said that the decision to buy seemed to be a no brainer and maybe kind of fate that he needed a new mulching head at the same time he was being invited to a mulching demo.
Jay Jackson of Specialize Land Solutions rolled into the demo from St. Cloud, Fla. After his demo time with a Deere 333G compact track loader equipped with an FAE UML/SSL Bite Limiter mulching head, Jackson said, "this machine definitely produces a fine product in a very efficient manner. I think this is an upgrade to the current model I use. Recovery time and spin up time is fast. I see a lot of high production from this mulcher. It's high on my list of purchases. The ability to chew up material faster and leave a much better finished product is the best part of these mulchers."
Even the day's entertainment, country music singer-songwriter, Lance Stinson, got in on the fun. Stinson, who also is a hobby farmer in Lumber City, Ga., demoed the Deere 333G with FAE mulching head, his first ever run of a mulching combo. Stinson said, "I could spend an entire day clearing a plot of land on the farm. But with these mulchers I could do it in five minutes. It could be a total game changer. I'd love to have one, if I could talk my wife into it." CEG
This story also appears on Forestry Equipment Guide.
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