Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Growing Oklahoma

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Growing Oklahoma

senior design team tree shearvassar logo


Redesign of a Tree Shear

Cling Cosgrove, Lance Klement, Matt Lemmons, Kevin Taylor



The Vassar Company is a manufacturer of farm and ranch equipment in Perkins, Oklahoma. The company makes an economical tree shear for use by either a skid steer loader or a tractor. Recent competitors’ machines introduced into the market have led Vassar to request a redesign of their current tree shear from Clam Lake Engineering. The redesign accommodated new options and reduced the number of fabricated parts. After extensive testing, computer-aided modeling, and consultation, Clam Lake Engineering (CLE) developed a new design that was cutting-edge in the tree shear market. The design satisfied all requests, and may lead to an economic boost for the company.



Problem Statement

A recent explosion in the number of Eastern Red Cedar trees in the region around Oklahoma has led many landowners and farmers to research different control methods against this exponential growth. Many options exist, such as controlled burning, manual removal with chainsaws, or tractor-powered tree saws. Tree shears provide an alternative to burning or sawing. Most tree shears work with basic mechanical principles. One or two hydraulic cylinders close blades in a scissor-like motion to sever trees. Various products on the market have adapted this design for different uses, such as rotational movement, tree cutting, and tree moving. Tree shear manufacturers are being forced to increase the capabilities of their products in order to remain competitive. Vassar Farm Equipment requested a redesign of their current tree shear from Clam Lake Engineering (CLE). The new design should be more efficient, competitive in cost, and more appealing to the consumer than the previous models.

Scope of Work

The Vassar Company communicated several new features they feel would make their tree shear competitive. These features include ideas that focus on the consumers’ needs, reduce the manufacturing costs, and improve the overall capabilities of the shear. After visiting with Larry Kimmel, manager, and Jack Vassar, owner, the new features of the Vassar tree shear describe three major changes: rotational capabilities, a more efficient frame design, and the capability to make flush cuts.



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