Jason and Misty West talk about their land clearing business and how the new Tigercat 760B mulcher fits into the equipment mix.
Westco Land Services, LLC, based out of Cleveland, Tennessee specializes in land clearing jobs of all sizes, as well as debris removal and selective thinning. Owners Jason and Misty West, have been in business since 2006.
Before the land clearing business, Jason worked as a logger from 1995 until 2004. When he and Misty started Westco, they had a small skid steer with a mulching head. “We started out doing residential, but now we do mostly commercial jobs,” explains Jason. As the jobs started getting bigger, Misty decided to get her contractor’s license. She is responsible for the business end of the operation. “I handle all of the day-to-day operations and behindthe-scenes stuff. That way Jason can be where he likes to be, in the woods, operating the machines,” explains Misty.
The company offers a range of services including right-of-way clearing and maintenance, post logging site cleanup, seismic exploration, wildfire fuel reduction, invasive species removal, storm cleanup, pasture restoration and wildlife habitat projects. Westco’s history with Tigercat dates back to 2008 when Jason and Misty purchased a used Tigercat M760 mulcher followed by a second unit shortly after. Designed for large scale land clearing, the M760 was a 305 kW (415 hp) wheel driven mulcher that was produced from 2000 until 2008. Westco still runs both machines and also owns a Tigercat LX830D feller buncher equipped with a 5702 saw, allowing the company to fell merchantable timber. “The 830 is probably my favourite. I enjoy running that,” says Jason. “I like logging the most, but I also like cleaning it up, so it works out.”
The high capacity 760B mulcher alongside the company’s much older M760 mulcher that is still in serivce. At 411 kW (552 hp),
the new 760B is designed for large scale projects and post-harvest silviculture applications.
In 2020, Tigercat introduced the 760B mulcher, primarily as a response to silviculture post-harvest requirements in the southern hemisphere. However, Jason ended up purchasing the very first unit to roll off the assembly line from Tigercat dealer Smith and Turner Equipment. The 760B has approximately the same footprint as the M760, but has been significantly upgraded to include the features and systems available on the current 480B and M726G mulchers. At 411 kW (552 hp), the 760B is also significantly more productive. “When Jason was looking for another mulcher, the capability of the vintage 760 and similarities to the new 480B seemed to remove any hesitation with the purchase of what was essentially the prototype 760B,” comments Josh Miller, sales and service representative at Smith and Turner Equipment.
Jason says he was looking for something with more horsepower than the M726G, Tigercat’s 275 kW (370 hp) rubber tire mulcher carrier. “Once you run one of the 760s you get used to that power. We have had many machines, and these are the most productive mulchers by far. You can’t get that big machine into some of the tight places like you can with the M726G, but it works for us.”
Jason particularly likes the updated 760B cab. It is outfitted with the rearVIEW camera system, making tighter spaces a little bit easier to manage. “The cab is more refined,” says Jason. “The seats and armrests are adjustable, the seats are heated and cooled and there is more space in the cab. The heating and air system is better and it has a bigger skylight.”
After recognizing a need in their community for brush clearing and mulching services, Pam and Stan Hegener started Cedar Eaters™ in 2001. Now co-owned by their son, Spence Hegener, Cedar Eaters offers mulching and land restoration services across Texas while occasionally breaking into bordering states.