The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: kanoak on April 24, 2018, 01:21:20 AM

Title: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 24, 2018, 01:21:20 AM
Started posting in another topic and promised an introduction thread. I am running a high value tropical hardwood plantation in kona, hawaii that dad started planting in 1994. I hope it will be an example that there are better things to grow than resorts and 2nd, 6th houses (or at least they might be customers). Pruned and thinned through college studying botany for beer money. Spent the last 10 years building access and fences and fixing the machines to do it; getting close to selling wood. Started with a godsend lt10 and have been figuring out what was planted and how to feel a cut. Fully rebuilt a '94 lt30hdd and just passed the 10 on. Learned a couple things locally, but the FF has been a great well-source and the tips you guys have been generous with have made my experience so much more successful.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Riwaka on April 24, 2018, 01:56:36 AM
Hawaiian logging on Kauai - Tiger cat grapple skidder, Cat grapple swing machine, morbark chipper plus stock pile?
Is this fuel wood/ chips?

Hawaiian logging on Kauai - YouTube (

Tesla solar panels are starting to power Kauai
Solar farms are taking good ground in many places.
Tesla solar panels are starting to power Hawaii island - YouTube (
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Ianab on April 24, 2018, 02:42:23 AM
It's interesting how the solar systems become practical in the Islands. We go to the Cook Islands for holidays when we can manage it, and it's the same there. Power is very expensive as previously it was all diesel generators, which is never cheap, and diesel has to be imported from NZ, where it isn't cheap in the first place. 

But the power demand is mostly daytime, and there is plenty of sunshine. They have to keep the diesel plant as backup, but if it only needs to cover 20% of the load, that's a LOT less diesel needed. 

Even the street lights and cell towers have solar panels there now. With LEDs and a solar panel, I would guess the money saved by not having to wire them to the grid and buy expensive power pays for the panel / battery on the pole.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 24, 2018, 02:54:28 AM
Those guys are doing something completely different. I gotta say, and I wont apologize; biomass is a bad use of our resources here unless it is a windfall or a value added extra of something incredibly valuable. Also some of the best biomass producing trees are liabilities in other ways. 
I would be excited to do biogas out of scrap, but diesel is cheep comparatively, and I have enough problems with fuel contamination.
Now I also understand it may not be the same guys who plant and harvest, but I understand economics and they dont make the same cents out here. There are 1000s of acres of !6!@#%^&* eucalyptus (urophylla x grandis) that was planted after the cane went bust and is likely going to be razed at 20 years for pasture. Was a couple of harvesters out here some years ago but I think they are gone now. Quite a BBQ when a wildfire took the stack. Heard they were sending to china for studs; those poor Chinese builders. I have never tested them but think that they need twice the diameter to be good wood; ends splitting like they wanted to be quartered fence rails. 
I love solar but I have a big problem with solar "farms". Keep that industrial 7!@#%^&* on the roof. It is industrial, not farming, and it pisses me off they get tax breaks for farming wasting good land. 
Riwaka - Looks like you have some experience with equip. I am a hick with what I got; but am always looking for a free dinner and a processor with a dangle head if you find anything for less than $1/lb with free shipping.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 24, 2018, 03:04:45 AM
Ianab - you are right. Solar is way more reasonable as power loads become more efficient. I have a 25 year old system and think my family has saved at least 1/2 the cost of our power bill over that period; pannels were $7/watt (last upgrade in '12 - $1/watt), compared to the initial expense ($7k+) each of bringing poles. Grid power is high but HELCO pays good dividends to investors and you never need to fill your batteries :snowball:. I suppose that makes everyone happy.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Ianab on April 24, 2018, 03:23:11 AM
Young plantation eucalyptus is generally nasty stuff. Firewood, pulp or biomass is the best you can hope for. Puts on lot of bulk in ~20 years, but it's not much good as lumber. The trees can grow some good wood, but they need pruning / thinning and about 50 years. 

The main solar farm on Rarotonga is beside the airport runway, so the land is already fenced off, and previously just had to be mowed anyway. 
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 24, 2018, 04:21:58 AM
We have a lot of old Euc. on the island, mostly robusta, plantation hybrid from the '90s, or 1% experimental. My experience is limited I believe with care nice boards are to be had; other guys hate the stuff mostly, but often without reason beyond hearsay I think. Same with all the silky oak; someone heard of a rash and is scared. Teak can do the same thing. I have 20 year old E. microcorys that is over 2' and rock solid 2-3% R&T shrinkage, but it had some space with trees of other species that it outcompeted. Durable; only thing is the color it leaves you after sawing. Yellow like you haven't seen; pellita does red. Seems to set with cheep alkaline detergent in the wash.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Ianab on April 24, 2018, 05:56:12 AM
Yeah, the older stuff gets better. Start with ~3ft+ logs and quarter saw them with a swing blade mill and you can recover some good stuff. 

It's expecting an 18" Euc log that's 20 years old to saw like a Nth American hardwood species that gets it a bad reputation.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Skeans1 on April 24, 2018, 07:56:46 AM
Seems like I remember a lot of the 3 wheel Bells over on the islands the last time we were there. Just throwing this out there, there’s two types of processor heads one is a dangle the other is a fixed to go on a Buncher.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 24, 2018, 10:56:39 PM
Aloha Skeans1, thanks for the info. I am still completely green as far as mechanical processing equip; saw a couple of the processors up in Hamakua a few years back but couldnt have told one type from another at the time. I will be thinning in mixed species stands and leaving the + trees, so I would like to minimize machine weight. Bucking and limbing on the ground arent much of an issue, but laying the trees down safely with minimum damage to the good ones would be nice. Maxing out the 12 ton ex taking down some of the larger stuff clearing for road. Got a few pans in the fire, rebuilding a prentice and mounting on a 5ton is coming hot after a roof to saw under. I can wait a while until the right one shows up at the right auction.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on April 25, 2018, 09:39:31 AM
Im surprised you havent already got one of this style grapple cutter for an excavator.  There are many vendors, or pretty straight forward to have made locally.

FARMA BC25 Energy cutter IN ACTION - YouTube (

Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Riwaka on April 25, 2018, 06:50:14 PM
US$1 per lb for a used dangle head processor is like what the repaint in a processor head rebuild is likely to cost.

There are used processor heads around that can fell, delimb and debark eucalyptus or used processors that can be converted to debark eucalyptus. Simple processors with no measuring system up to more complex ones with full linked in electronic measuring/ tally etc.
(Used heads I have seen recently have 20-30 ton machine base requirements, 16 inch up to 22 inch diameter wood)

Shipping - probably something going to rimpac for an oahu drop off.

Labour - see if any skilled loggers are doing the Ironman at Kona and incorporate logging into their pre-event training program. 

Biodiesel for power generation
Hawaiian Electric seeks biofuel for Oahu power plants | Hawaiian Electric (
Home - Pacific Biodiesel (

Biomass on Kaua'i for power generation.
Biomass | Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (   (Kauai woodchips for power)

Smaller version of a boarbuster trap for the wild hogs?

Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 26, 2018, 01:08:42 PM
Aloha, Thank you for the info and leads.
Mike - thats really cool, never seen one of those before.  Looks like it would fit on my smaller machine; I like the simplicity. 
Riwaka - didn't mean $1 as a lowball, but scrap price is about what it takes for us. And then they do cost a bit to rebuild. Got a 25 ton but it has wide tracks and is really hard to turn without the help of the arm; any of these systems allow you to put ground pressure to pivot in tight spaces? Shipping isn't a problem; part of living out here; but it can turn a good deal into an expensive nightmare. 
As far as iron man,  I foresee a new wood-splitting challenge. Some of this stuff has interlocked grain that would make a real masochist cry.
Here is an interesting gasification platform, would be cool to see one that had a few thousand hours on it running:
Boar buster is a cool design. Hogs get wise to traps; keeping the wire in the air is a good solution. Have they made it to your neck of the woods yet? Heard they were tearing up southern Oregon a while ago.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on April 26, 2018, 01:32:26 PM
You likely have deeper issue with the hard steer than track width, and if so itll only get worse.  Id be happy to help if you describe symptons a bit more.  Noise, hydraulic groan, evenness in speed and force from one track to the other etc.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Skeans1 on April 26, 2018, 09:06:28 PM
If it has 36” wide tracks with stumps turning can and will be an issue. The issue with the head Mike showed you is it’s a shear which is great for being simple but if you ever plan on doing logs you lose a decent amount on the butt well bucking. 
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on April 27, 2018, 01:14:29 AM
While i completely agree, Itll take a good long while to pay for the price difference between a shear vs processor head, especially FOB hawaii,  in 1ft chunks of 12" wood.   

If he only uses it to lay down culls during thinning and that saves 2 or 3 leave trees per day from getting tore up, its a step forward in production, safety and precision. 

I guess one could add a barsaw to a grapple themselves if the shear really split the butts.  
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Skeans1 on April 27, 2018, 08:00:47 AM
Last time we ran a shear it was on fir we typically had to take 4 feet or more off for a log. Just a thought what’s that cost say vs a reman logmax 5000?
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on April 27, 2018, 09:44:06 AM
What im really curious about is the freight cost on any head.  The matson rate on an F150 Lightning from port of LA to port of honolulu back in 2001 cost me close to $2500 if i recall.  That didnt count getting it from kentucky to LA.  

NorCal is probably the closest place to look for one where theyre commonly found.  Is australia using a lot of CTL?
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Skeans1 on April 27, 2018, 09:53:49 AM
Logmax is right next to the port of Portland, yes Australia uses a ton of CTL New Zealand is where Waratah is from. When I was like looking at a logmax they said the head would be on their stock order so freight wasn’t hardly anything.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on April 27, 2018, 01:46:00 PM
Aloha, good info, I imagine them as solutions for different niches. I could use the sheer to remove pre-commercial trees safely and without damage to others. I have not seen a market that will pay enough for <12" to be worth any further work. My alternative is herbicide injection which is cheep and fast, but some species root-graft while others don't respond to the same chemicals.  
The logmax looks like an amazing tool, needs twice the oil I can get (I think the larger one can put out 90 l/min with both pumps combined). In all reality, a full processor head is more than I could really use at this point, however I am stoked to learn more about them. Ill be in Oregon this summer so maybe Ill go window shopping and rubber-necking a little. 

Port to port freight is usually calculated cubic, roll on costs more. ~1k to ship a rig from Hilo to LA on PASHA; I would *guess* I could get a pallet for less than that from portland - dock to door.

Mike - thank you for the information and help. Had the machine for a couple of years now but still only run less than 100gal of fuel, working flat and on base corse. Fixing the most obvious problems first. Changed all the filters and drained/settled the hydraulic oil; looked good. Came without a cap on the fuel tank so most of the issues have so far been related to that. I need to sit down with the shop manual and look for any inline hyd. filters that we may have missed. Turning wise, I mostly notice the chains want to hop the lower rollers which wears things out fast. I know - first check track tension. However my experience on the smaller machine, (I replaced the rollers and tracks and have tried tighter and spec tension), is that I am commonly working side slope and lifting one track to spin it back on the lower rollers after turning.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: Skeans1 on April 27, 2018, 04:00:34 PM
Here in Oregon you’re not going to see much in the way of smaller equipment, I do know a guy running roughly a logmax 5000 on a 138 Komatsu which weighs roughly 15 tons. You also might look on the Portland area Craigslist there two smaller machines a 290 and a 490 that have fixed fabtek heads for cheap that would fit your needs as well. 
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on April 27, 2018, 04:41:37 PM
Take a look at the front of the track frame where the idler yokes ride fore and aft in the track frames.  Determine however the idler is kept square in the frame and see if its worn.  When you get a half inch of cumulative wear per side and the idler floats around, it can cause this.  My D31 has brand new sprockets and rails with good tension but lots of wear in the yoke guide and the frame itself.. Itll step the rolls over the rails on the high side track if im really light on it and trying to turn.

Has the inner flange on your bottom rolls been worn clean off?  That wouldnt help either. 

Sump strainers are great place to start.  After that find a port and measure your charge pressure going into the drive pump inlet.  Gonna want 80 psi or more in there.  
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on July 03, 2018, 12:15:31 AM
Thanks Mike, been a little crazy over here and just got to check out the machine. Yokes/guides are worn easily 3/4". Most of the bottom rollers are ok. Drained the fuel tank and mopped with a rag on a stick. Changed the secondary fuel filter ($%!$ fun that) and cleaned primary; seems like it fixed the the power issues mostly until the primary clogged again in about 2 hours. Looks like I am going to have some fun cleaning. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. 
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on July 03, 2018, 12:20:44 AM
Is it something you can weld up without too much trouble?  
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on July 04, 2018, 11:41:14 PM
Maybe when I replace the undercarriage. For now I will just try to be nice and stand on my sprockets to turn being I am in a relatively mellow area. Other equipment needs my time more.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on July 05, 2018, 08:34:55 AM
Did the lava flows effect you at all?
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on July 05, 2018, 06:37:18 PM
Interesting thread for an east coaster.
Makes my eyes glaze over.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: kanoak on July 20, 2018, 11:51:34 PM
Aoha Mike, lost about 56hrs of sleep helping friends and family evacuate in the beginning of May when things were getting going. Vog on this side is something like a pack a day habit; didnt notice it until I spent a couple of weeks in Oregon. Things are rusting even faster than usual due to the acid rain. Stoked to have a roof over the mill and new edger. Wish I had more. Compared to those who have lost everything though, unscathed.
Title: Re: Aloha
Post by: mike_belben on July 21, 2018, 04:36:00 PM
Catastrophe really does help us with perspective on the big picture.  Glad youre alright.