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Author Topic: Portable milling support equipment  (Read 3024 times)

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Offline mad murdock

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Portable milling support equipment
« on: January 11, 2018, 08:14:12 AM »
I am looking at different strategies to improve efficiency. Once one maximizes the output per hour of any given mill platform, material flow into and out of the mill need to be maximized in order to really unleash the potential of any mill. I most likely, will be looking to sustain an output level of 800-1000 bd/ft per hour(that is the goal), and it is reachable. Just seeking input on best method to maintain through put with regards to material flow. Important info is mill: will most likely be a turbowsawmill automatic M10 or M12, so no need to move log once milling I s started on each log. Material flow enhancements will be things like roller table(s), skid steer or small wheel loader, or possibly 4wd tractor with easily swappable attachments.  Leaning towards tracked skid steer at the moment, as they are compact, and lots of different quick Change attachments for task such as moving units of lumber, moving logs, or moving slabs. Work site organization will be key, site is semi- stationary, but mill will be easy to move from spot to spot as required. What has or hasnít worked for those of you whom have stepped up to consistent higher production?
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 09:17:35 AM »
Mad,

   How big are the portable jobs you are thinking about? In my part of the world I'd think 800-1,000 bf/hr to be an unreachable goal since most of my portable jobs are in the 1500-4000 bf range. You'd spend more time setting up than sawing. I guess what you seem to be describing would be more of what I'd think of as a Temporary mill site where you come in and set up a complete milling operation in an area, saw for a few months till the wood is gone, break it down and move to the next site.

   Please describe more about the kind of sites/jobs you are thinking about servicing.
Howard Green
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 09:59:39 AM »
WVSawmiller- that is kind of what I will be dealing with. I am workin in an old high production mill site, that has since been vacated. We will be getting logs delivered to the site, and will be producing 5-8mbf per week. That is the initial plan. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 12:16:46 PM »
Mad,

   Yeah, I'd call that temporary/short term mill sites vs portable. When most of talk about portable milling we mean moving the mill to the logs instead of moving the logs to a permanent or semi-permanent site. Not right or wrong just the way we tend to think.

   Those of us doing portable milling usually just take the mill and a few hand tools such as cant hooks and such. MHE (Tractor with forks, Skid steers, etc) support, if any, provided is provided by the client We have the client stage the logs at a landing, pull the mill up next to the pile and start rolling them on to the loading arms with a cant hook and start sawing. Most of the time the edging is done on the mill.

   I hope others who have set up such temporary/semi-permanent milling operations can chime in to help answer your questions or offer suggestions.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Percy

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 12:32:48 PM »
I am looking at different strategies to improve efficiency. Once one maximizes the output per hour of any given mill platform, material flow into and out of the mill need to be maximized in order to really unleash the potential of any mill. I most likely, will be looking to sustain an output level of 800-1000 bd/ft per hour(that is the goal), and it is reachable. Just seeking input on best method to maintain through put with regards to material flow. Important info is mill: will most likely be a turbowsawmill automatic M10 or M12, so no need to move log once milling I s started on each log. Material flow enhancements will be things like roller table(s), skid steer or small wheel loader, or possibly 4wd tractor with easily swappable attachments.  Leaning towards tracked skid steer at the moment, as they are compact, and lots of different quick Change attachments for task such as moving units of lumber, moving logs, or moving slabs. Work site organization will be key, site is semi- stationary, but mill will be easy to move from spot to spot as required. What has or hasnít worked for those of you whom have stepped up to consistent higher production?
A few things Ive learned doing the same thing you intend to do.

Speed to the next cut is as or possibly more important than feed rate. Get those two things tuned up and you will be on the right track. Setworks/board drag back, and rollers/conveyors to deal with 1000 bdft per hour will help you achive those goals.

With those production rates comes usually heavy lumber packages. Have a way to efficiently move them and the heavy logs that that will be cut for these packages. Every situation is different so flexibility is important. We have two A300 bobcats. They can pack 5000 lbs with a skilled operator(3000 is the "rating"). The allwheel steers do not tear up the ground. When I had a skid steer there was a deep hole at the end of my log deck from where the employees would always turn and the lumberyard was rough from all the skid turning. Slowed up the machine considerably.


Have a waste/sawdust plan. Working on an elevated deck/platform is a good plan if the option exsists as gravity is your friend.

When cutting the numbers you are hoping for, you will end up with alot of lumber we call "falldown". Stuff that is a byproduct of your target sizes. Them boards can end up in what we call "Deal with it later piles". Soon, one can be overwhelmed with those piles. Have a plan for that stuff as it can make you some extra profit if you can dump it for  bottom line improvement.

Consider large purchases carefully. Rent a particular loader you are interested in if possible  for a week just to learn if it suits your plan.

Pack a big lunch........ ;D ;D

GOLDEN RULE : The guy with the gold, makes the rules.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 01:56:27 PM »
I operate with a different mindset in that I have no daily production goals or expectations.  It's just me, the sawmill, and whatever is in the back of my truck.  Anything more would increase my expense base which may or may not increase my net income.  I depend upon the customer to provide help as well as whatever support, such as tractor with FEL, that may be needed.  These are always discussed with the customer on the phone when we are discussing the job so there are very seldom any surprises.  I also very seldom make a site visit.  I am quite often overwhelmed with the excess but welcomed help that shows up.  It is often a neighborhood event which may result in more jobs.

Of course my income goal may also be different from other sawyers.  I consider mine a part time job producing supplemental income which is all that it was ever intended to be.  I just completed my 15th sawing year.   :)
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Offline slider

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 02:20:44 PM »
Good advice from all. I don't go portable much unless it is a large job .If it is local i offer to go pickup the logs with my knuckle boom truck for a fee . Most customers jump on that because they don't have the equipment to handle the logs.

My most useful piece is my 325 john deere skid steer . I have a bucket,grapple attachment and forks but like Percy said it will tear up the yard.

I work by myself most of the time so 1000 bd ft per hr is not a goal that is going to happen here.
al glenn

Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 02:53:27 PM »
Well outside my class or experience but I do have a question as I am hoping to learn from this conversation.  If you are shooting for 800-1000 bf per hour, and a production run of 5-8000 bf per week; isn't that one day's milling?  For a normal work week, 8000 bf production would only be an average of 200 bf per hour.
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 04:15:00 PM »
Well outside my class or experience but I do have a question as I am hoping to learn from this conversation.  If you are shooting for 800-1000 bf per hour, and a production run of 5-8000 bf per week; isn't that one day's milling?  For a normal work week, 8000 bf production would only be an average of 200 bf per hour.
Great question Tom! I am at 150 200 bd ft/hr with my turbosawmill M6 Ultralightweight powered with my Husqvarna 395XP.  I can and will probably get the roller tables first to see how much I can tweak that, though I don't think by much, but it will be necessary to take advantage of the automatic feed M10 or M12 that is in the planning stages.  standing order initially is 8mbf/week, but based on conversations with the market guy recently, that could easily double, just depends on availability of species of wood desired.  Also, milling is not my day job, only doing it part time for now, so have to maximize my time when I am doing it, and will have help also, as I can only dedicate 10-12 hrs a week to it at this point. 
with additional family help, that will change. Great suggestions thus far, and it is what I was hoping to elicit.  The yard site has a real good base, so I don't think a skid steer would be tearing much up. Would like to know if anyone has used a compact wheel loader and wonder how that stacks up to a skid steer, or a good sturdy FWD tractor for that matter, compared to the previously mentioned 2 machines?
Thanks one and all for tuning it to this thread!  I hope all have a good and safe 2018 season!
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline starmac

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 05:37:20 PM »
Need more info.
Are you going to have electricity on site?
It sounds as if you will be set up on a good foundation in a semi permanent location, and board foot per hour is the goal.
What is the reason for staying with a turbo saw type mill, nothing against them, just trying to comprehend the thinking.
For instance if the reason it is needed happens to be oversize logs, that would affect the support equipment choices, pretty much leaving out compact.
Also what is the end product, which would also make a difference in production support equipment needed.
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 06:07:25 PM »
I was thinking the same thing.The turbo saw is a neat machine but how are roller tables going to help you much without a drag back .

I used a fwd farm loader for a while but it will not go where a skid steer will in a tight spot. I do like the idea of a wheel loader and the size logs will determine what size machine you invest in.

The ability to change attachments on the skid steer has made my small operation much more efficient.

When I saw the big stuff , which is a pain , I use my knuckle boom loader to load the log on the mill.
al glenn

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 06:21:26 PM »
Starmac/slider-no electricity close by, will be unplugged operation.  Turbosaw offers the most efficiency for the money, and least amount of work for the sawyer.  Logs are sometimes smaller but often larger than 48" dia.  My friend (who's site it is), has slabbing operation at the same location, and has a band mill slabber, and a custom slabber that can do 144" wide slabs.  I will be cutting 4/4 6/4 and 4x4 some smaller stickers.  The turbosawmill is a lot faster than a band mill, and can quickly change from one product to another on the fly, with little effort, It offers me the most flexibility of any saw in the price range, and the maximum in output. The only thing close to it in production is a fixed hand set circle mill, which is too much of a jump for me, plus I do not want to set up a permanent milling site.
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline starmac

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 06:39:44 PM »
I guess I do not know enough about the turbo saws, I do not see how you can change from one product to another any faster, or that they are less labor, but I have never used one. I do se where one would be faster or at least easier on oversize.

Is this milling site something you will be doing a week or two now and then, or basically all the time??  The way I understood, it was to be like an ongoing weekly job.
If you have good ground, sometimes a good forklift is about as good as it gets, especially if you need to load trucks with bundled lumber, just get one with a side shift. You can almost always pick up a serviceable forklift much cheaper than a skidsteer or a decent front end loader, unless you have farm related or other duties where a 3 point lift is needed I would not be looking at farm tractors.
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 07:16:54 PM »
Starmac-It may turn into a semi-permanent gig, but will not know until it gets underway.  Completed units will be containerized, and shipped to market.  At this point, compact wheel loader or skid steer type machine are the 2 top contenders, but I will be getting things on an incremental basis, to not bite off more than I can chew, as it were.  The biggest advantage of a swing blade mill is no need to load on the mill, just roll or place under the beam, then fine tune align log to beam or beam to log (quick adjustment), quarter sawing can be done without turning the log, and you can switch from one size product to another easily, as well as no edging is needed, due to the way the saw chews away at the log. Biggest ongoing factors are waste removal and product movement away from the mill to keep production going. 
I have been around band mills and handset circle mills, as well as MD mills.  IMO, most bang for buck in production and cost to operate per bd ft of production, from my experience is a swing blade, for the wood type and sizes I typically encounter here in the NW part of Oregon and SW washington. The turbosaw offers an additional level of simplicity over any of the other flavors of swingers, as the single beam is really the easiest/quickest, to set up, and get underway in all the situations I have seen thus far. I am in no way disparaging any other mill or mill platform, I am simply saying for my conditions and intended use, the Turbosaw is the best tool for the job, just like I am similarly picky when it comes to my day to day 8-5 job as an aircraft mechanic, in regards to the tools I choose to put in my tool box. 
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 07:30:30 PM »
I have been around circle mills my whole life and have only seen a very few mills that would do 10,000 BF a day and every one but the big PNW ones were sawing cants and 2x8x16 and up with a crew of 1 man per 1000 ft. per shift . How big a crew will you run rollers ? You still need to touch each board .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline starmac

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 07:57:02 PM »
Well if this is a try and see if it works out deal, I definitely would look at an older forklift. Mine is a 6,000 pound lift and gets around good except for soft ground, where even a rubber tired skidsteer will start to have problems, and I picked it up several years ago for 1000 bucks, so no major investment. If nothing else, they are handy to leave exactly where you need them with the forks at a good working hight to pull your lumber off and store on the forks, till you sticker them.
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 07:00:50 AM »
I dont want to rain on your parade friend, but were I you I would be dividing your estimated output by four and seeing if the proposition was still viable.

Then I would be volunteering myself to another operation to stack and sticker, strap and store 10MBF per day by myself. For 5 days straight. Ain't built like Hulk Hogan or The Rock yet? You will be... :D

I have had this goround before: you cannot extrapolate a manufacturers production numbers that are based on short production bursts in a demonstration into any sort of real production number. 1000BF per hour, a sawyers 10 hour day, and a 50 week year puts you at 2,500,000 BF per annum with a lightweight portable mill. That mill is incapable of that level of production, regardless of how much support gear you throw at it.

In order to maximise your production you're going to need a machine that can quickly and safely handle a minimum 6000lb lift ( you said 48" diameter logs, I'm assuming DF at 38lb/cubic foot).
You're going to need a way to handle your sawdust, and a plan for how and where you will be disposing of it. Ditto for solid wood waste.
You're going to need a highly organised arrangement with regard stacking your lumber by size and grade, and a roller/conveyor/greenchain arrangement that means that lumber handling is limited.
You need to think about how you will be loading this lumber into the containers. It's not like shovelling them over the side of a truck with a forklift.
And as Percy said, you better pack a big lunch. :D

Good luck with it.
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 10:09:12 AM »
Would like to know if anyone has used a compact wheel loader and wonder how that stacks up to a skid steer, or a good sturdy FWD tractor for that matter, compared to the previously mentioned 2 machines?

Bibbyman had/has a Terex wheel loader.  He'd be a good one to ask opinions of.

As for a FWD tractor, if you already have one or need a tractor for other things, great.  I would in no way seek one out for this as the loaders and front axles are generally not built for what you will need.  You need industrial equipment.  Now with that said, a skip loader (tractor with industrial loader & axle) or backhoe can be a good option. 

4x4American has a backhoe recommended by  ???  maybe Custom Sawyer or WDH  ???.  The model they recommended has controls to switch from bucket to forks from the cab.
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 10:21:57 AM »
LTL-well shared and I agree, my ultimwt goal may be a bit high, i will be happy with a sustained average output of half that, but in larger average sized lower logs, it will be doable with 2 guys which is what i am going to be modeling as my average production scenario. I will let you know how it all goes. Will see if I can get some pics as well.
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 10:28:20 AM »
Maybe I should give you a old rule that still stands today . 1000 feet per man and 5 gal of fuel for a thousand feet .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 12:18:19 PM »
A mbf an hr is pretty lofty. Thats on the upper end of what I can do with th BP Dominator at work over the course of the day, week or month.

As LL put it so well, never go off the manufacturer sawing rates as they are inflated perfect logs perfect help perfect weather.  You'll likely never put out what they say you can.

200bdft an hr is bookin it with a mill that uses a chainsaw for a power plant.  I can avg. about 100bdft and hr sawing 8ft in to 1in edging onthe mill by myself with my 40.
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 10:59:21 PM »
Maybe I should give you a old rule that still stands today . 1000 feet per man and 5 gal of fuel for a thousand feet .

I've been tossing stuff like that around in my head a lot lately - lost a couple seriously big jobs because the lead time was too short for us to do it so naturally my head turns to upgrades.

It's sort of true, and sort of not. It's true if you're using the same type of gear as the old days and getting the same type of logs. You'll come in under it with old gear and the modern log resource in most places because of declining log size. Go over it with modern gear in the old log resource where you can get it.

Really there has been no advancement in band or circle technology for a couple hundred years... the maximum speed the saw can cut wood hasnt changed much in that time. The upgrades have been in the areas of mechanical log handling, material movement through the mill etc etc: we use a machine now to get the log onto the deck, position it for the saw, a belt carries the lumber away, and that has replaced a lot of labour and given a fair bit of production increase. The saw still travels through the log at the same pace now as it did in grandads time though.

But thats only one side of the picture - thats the "new traditional" viewpoint.... mechanical log handling on a saw that remains unchanged since 1830.

The new technology viewpoint blows that 1000 per man per day out the water by 8.30 am every morning. The saw hasnt changed its speed, but optimisation technology is replacing the mans brain in the way that hydraulics took his strong back away from the carriage knees. And if you dont need his strong back and you dont need his brain then- you dont need that man.

The reality is that right now today you can go and buy a setup where from the time the log hits the infeed chain until its strapped down in a pack at the other end of the line no mans hand touches the wood. The computer scans the log, works out the optimum yield, positions it, saws it while scanning it continuously after each cut to check that things are going to plan, sends it to the resaws that do the same scan and consult with the electronic brain each time, send material to an edger that is again scanned and positioned and sawn automatically, cuts it to length and drops it through a stress grading machine at the finish before finally automatically stacking it into the correct pack and strapping it down. One guy drives a loader one end, one guy drives a forklift the other end, one guy runs the whole sawline from his computer (which doesnt even need to be on the same continent as the actual production line) and somewhere theres a sawdoctor sharpening saws and a coupel monkeys running around changing lightbulds and pumping grease into bearings.

The argument against it all of course is cost. But cost is relative... you replace a guy, you remove the need to pay his wages. And worry about his insurance. And his need for a day off occasionally, or some extra money when you want him to give you an 80 hour week. Instead you got a payment that is fixed which covers the machine whether it does a 20 hour day or a 10 hour day. It might be a big payment but its fixed and that makes it easy to budget around.

The other argument that gets used a lot is that "thats the big boys, it doesnt apply to us". But that kind of stuff always filters down, and I imagine that 50 years ago there was a lot of guys felt they had job security because they were capable on a handset carriage. 20 years ago digital setworks was "big boys only" too.

Kind of a long way from the OP's post and for that I am sorry. But its interesting stuff no?
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 10:25:27 AM »
LtL- very Interesting stuff indeed!  Your musings are right along with the spirit of why I started this thread. I really appreciate your thoughts!  We will keep on keeping on, as long as our old thinkers keep thinking :)
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 02:20:24 PM »
We started our business with me sawing a few hours after work, when I got home, after a full days work, like many people.  Production was key, minimum effort with max return.  We sold a lot of wood, and I didn't have a lot of time.  So productive time was my goal, and still is.   

Material handling is a key to production.  A true Cat Loading Dock forklift probably halved our pallet and lumber handling time, they are built for speed and maneuverability on gravel or solid ground.  Nothing beats a true forklift for forklifting.  If ours went down, we would be down.  I'd have a rental company on the phone as quick as I could dial.  But these are worthless in mud, so we put enough gravel down in our forklift paths, that I believe the Earth shifted on its axis.   

We have a second fork lift piece of equipment dedicated to handling logs, lumber waste in muddy ground, etc. because the ultimate in quick detach accessories is another whole machine.  I've used telehandlers quite a bit and they are wonderful.  They aren't maneuverable and aren't quick compared to a true forklift, but are very strong and can do amazing things.  I'd have one if I could afford one.   

End loading containers is easy with long forks on a truckers mast forklift.  That's what they are built for. Telehandlers can also do it, as well as skidsteers.  The pallet geometry you settle on would be very important to that.  BTW we build our own skids and pallets depending on our needs.  Everything is standardized.  Nothing is random length.  I have steel carts that can be lifted from the side, but also have fork pockets so can be lifted from the end to move a unit of wood from the narrow side.  Very handy.   

Sawdust takes forever to shovel.  Or just suck it up with a blower and shoot into a dump truck.  We have to empty our dump truck about once a week.  Easy. Turn the key, drive off, dump, come back.

Waste wood goes off the mill into a roller table into a slab rack, with the front end loader already parked with the forks under it after reloading the log deck with a bunch on logs.  When we run out of logs, we dump the waste rack and come back with more logs.  One round trip to the logyard resets everything. 
 
Without doubt, one of the best ways to incease production is simple......I installed a wall clock staring me right in the face....every time the mill isn't making sawdust and I look up and if the hand has moved, I know I lost "non value added" time.  The solution is to figure out why time was lost and fix the gaps.  10 minutes lost an hour adds to not making sawdust real fast, real quick.

Lots of other ways to save time and be more efficient.  Surprisingly, maintenance is key.  The old adage "stop chopping wood long enough to sharpen the axe" really applies to a sawmill operation.



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Offline redbeard

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 06:51:50 PM »
Been around a Lucas mill to know that reaching in too get bigger cants or even flipping the half log to saw down the other side too get a big wide slab.
A far reach fork lift (Telehandler) is a big plus.  You do need hard ground they are heavy 12-18 ton  uneven ground is no problem and they can turn     in a 20'circle. Average used price in our area PNW is 25-35 k
I use both 50 hp JD orchard type FEL with forks and a 10 K far reach lift. Mine is a short boom no out riggers it's big but it gets in and out of tight spots. Works great for picking logs off of log decks. The uses are unlimited not just for sawmilling. You pretty much see one parked at every large construction site. A big plus buying used is resale your not gonna lose a dime on one.
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2018, 08:29:16 AM »
JCB makes a skid steer (tracked) like nine I have ever seen, quick attach features with many options. Have any of you ever seen one of these in action?
 Very interesting little critter!!
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2018, 09:28:13 AM »
Yes, very interesting for sure. 
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2018, 09:48:41 AM »
Years ago(maybe 40) I read a practical book on "engineering economy".  A search today says that term has changed to engineering economics and the amount of higher level math applied makes my eyes glaze over, this is not what I remember reading.

What I do remember is there are two different aspects in manufacturing anything-material flow and accumulation points.  Bottlenecks can form in both areas hindering the overall process and the economics of what should be done to maximize profit sometimes hidden or not so obvious.  The 'time value of money' was one concept that was discussed in detail.  I wish I had a book to recommend.

With the rising cost and serious shortage of labor locally it isn't as easy or fun as it used to be.  Labor is in charge of wages!  I had a fellow business owner telling me they had someone with zero experience demand $17.00 an hour to start doing basic labor!  A good employee will make you money and it worth a higher price.  Deciding who that will be from a brief interview not so easy.  Labor is more flexible and equipment isn't.  Equipment doesn't get sick, show up late, or change it's price.

My 2 cents, fwiw.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2018, 01:17:06 PM »
With respect to loaders and time there is no bigger waste of time than dropping a stack of logs, boards or slab pile off the fork loader because it bounced off, and then chasing them all around to reload.  Ive done this with every medium many times.  Pickup sticks ruins your day.  

After that is when you cant tip far enough to dump the load on the forks.

Bounce is the enemy.  Forks that cant curl back against the back board are the enemy.  Forks that dont have a hydraulic finger for log clamping are the enemy.  

Skid steer positives. very tight manueavering, tons of attachments, great traction, forks dump vertical.  But they rut everywhere, bounce stuff off the forks, limited lift, hard to enter with a load, rain on your lap, and the cheap fork attachments dont curl back enough to capture a log on a downslope without a finger clamp.  

Indoor Forklifts enjoy extreme maneuverability but always stuck, great load capacity but can only lift and set down.  No dumping.  If you arent stacking high inside a building theyre less likely to be the perfect tool.  The backwards tractor style of offroad forklift is probably a much better sawmill machine, especially if you are running out of space to operate.  I have an articulated 4wd nasco but they made a lot of the 2wd for this.  Good simple machines from alabama i think. Still a forklift though.  Limited curl range and needing tons of room to operate is their problem.  

4x4 Tractor loaders are versatile.  Their problem is the steer knuckle weakness. Thus the loaders must be capacity limited to save the front axle housing and planetary parts.  So theyre almost perfect, except for load capacity and longevity when overloaded.  Only other gripe might be turning radius in tight yard.  Theyre half way between skid steer and articulated steer. 

Wheel loaders have an ideal mast setup for log yard work and a solid axle to handle the load.  Full range of curl and dump wins the fork articulation contest.  no other machine can lift as heavy and manage offroad too.  

If i needed one machine to support a portable sawing operation, i would find a waldon loader with R1 or R4 tires on it and rig up a quick change to swap from bucket to forks with a top clamp.  Thats a dead simple, do it all machine that will load heavier than you think and not tear up the customers yard like a bobcat.  With a truck winch it can also do some light skidding if you are going in the woods after your own lumber.

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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2018, 05:56:48 AM »
Mike, your advice is good, I am wondering if you saw the video of the JCB teleskid. What are your thoughts of it vs a wheel loader? I am drawn to it due to its compact size and its ability to handle good sized loads along with its increased versatility. I will be getting some proposed scenarios for it, as in lease cost vs purchase, etc. I am interested in you assessment of this machine. Thanks! mad murdock
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2018, 12:06:02 PM »
I keep thinking for just where you are cutting lumber that a mini excavator with a thumb would be the best all around option.
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Offline Savannahdan

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2018, 12:20:38 PM »
Saw various JCB equipment and a few others in action during Hurricane Matthew cleanup here in Savannah.  One looked much like a moon rover and it took whatever was on the ground, lifted it over the sides of dump trucks and "Kaboom" let it go.  Those thing didn't grunt or even like they were going to tip over.  Just wish I had the place that they could have just dumped them for me to saw them.
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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2018, 11:53:56 PM »
If your dealer will allow, have them drop the piece of equipment off for a week at your place.  I've done it several times.  Try it before you buy it.  
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2018, 01:36:28 AM »
That is definitely an option that is under consideration. One other key consideration is ease of moving the machine from place to place. If need arises to have it available to prep a job, for example I have a couple OG doug firs on my tree farm (7 1/2í dia dbh x about 200+ ft tall) I will need some sort of machine to prep a bed for the tree which will also serve as working area to cut it into finished product or cants on the spot, as a tree this size is too large to move by todayís standards. My mill on the other hand can cut it to finished dimension or sawable  cants easily insitu. Though most of the time it is nice to try and limit milling to one general locale. 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2018, 10:39:18 PM »
I think highly of JCB, they are boundary pushers.  The CX1 really blew my doors off.  

That machine looks to be based off the "robot" side boom.  I sat in one of the them once and it was a heck of a lot better than the tin coffin of an old bobcat 7xx.  The engine was pretty easy to get at and visibility was good, side door was nice feature.  I mean i never worked on one and like anything there are gonna be lemons lurking in the batch, there are gonna be parts that are very hard to get at.  Equipment is a gamble in general.  If i were a betting man id be pretty confident in JCB.

Nice thing about that telescope is youll be able to self extract if ever manage to get stuck.  Id be careful about extending it when youre real heavy and running on the toes.   Be a good hard faceplant if you went over at full boom.  telescoping booms are a wonderful feature for grading and finishing over banks and berms.  You just sit stationary and let them rake in and out.
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