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Author Topic: IRON MULE  (Read 8434 times)

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Offline treefarmer87

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IRON MULE
« on: October 28, 2010, 09:31:53 AM »
what are these machines like? how much can the boom lift? how much wood can they haul? theres a kid i went to school with that wants to buy all my equipment. i was thinking about buying a  1 machine that could do it all, then all i would need is a truck.
1990 Ford F-800
1974 Ford L 9000 Self Loader
2004 Tigercat 718
1998 Barko 225
1992 Treefarmer c6f
1994 John Deere 648E
FEC 1000 slasher
FEC 1550 slasher
Danzco Delimber
Sthil 660
Jonsered 2172
Jonsered 2255

Offline mad murdock

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2010, 01:20:25 PM »
Depends on what model you are talking about, the small machines were the 4501, and the larger 4510.  Then they made the 5000 series, I think 5510?  Northwoods1 probably could tell you better, he is in the thick of old iron mule country there in the "northwoods".  They were built by Gafner Machine in Gladstone, MI, and bought out by Valmet in the 1990's I think.  The 'mules were pretty much a massey fergeson tractor, with the front end cut off, and the tractor rear tires became the front tires of the skidder, add a Gafner loader and rear bunk and another axle, and you had a nice forwarder.  The smaller machine (4501, we bought and operated a brand new one in the early '80's), had a 3 cyl. perkins diesel, that was super easy on fuel, and the loader was about a 14'6" boom, could lift any piece of short wood you could grab on to no problem, if you are planning on moving alot of saw logs say longer than 14-16 ft on a regular basis, They don't work so well, though it has been done.  Most forwarders of that era were made for production skidding of pulpwood, and other shortwood products like 104" veneer, saw bolts ect. ect.  As far a pulpwood capacity, I would say the smaller 'mules were good consistent 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cord load machines, the larger 'mules probably 1/3/4-2 1/2 cord machines.  They are fairly stable skidders on uneven ground for shortwood machines, and can really maneuver well without skinning everything left standing.  They really work well in plantation thinning, where quarters are always tight.
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline treefarmer87

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2010, 02:06:20 PM »
i usually cut 10'6" saw logs. i would be using it for thinning too
1990 Ford F-800
1974 Ford L 9000 Self Loader
2004 Tigercat 718
1998 Barko 225
1992 Treefarmer c6f
1994 John Deere 648E
FEC 1000 slasher
FEC 1550 slasher
Danzco Delimber
Sthil 660
Jonsered 2172
Jonsered 2255

Offline Reddog

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2010, 04:30:16 PM »
If I remember right the 5000 series was built using a Ford 5000 tractor as the base.

Offline treefarmer87

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2010, 04:49:18 PM »
i like the way their booms are constructed. i like the 5510
1990 Ford F-800
1974 Ford L 9000 Self Loader
2004 Tigercat 718
1998 Barko 225
1992 Treefarmer c6f
1994 John Deere 648E
FEC 1000 slasher
FEC 1550 slasher
Danzco Delimber
Sthil 660
Jonsered 2172
Jonsered 2255

Offline badpenny

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2010, 08:32:27 PM »
   Mine is a Massey Ferguson 203, with a Gafner loader, I think. Is not the original loader

Hope and Change, my foot,  It's time for Action and Results!

Offline treefarmer87

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2010, 10:13:29 PM »
nice machine you got there. i saw one around here when i was younger for $4000.
1990 Ford F-800
1974 Ford L 9000 Self Loader
2004 Tigercat 718
1998 Barko 225
1992 Treefarmer c6f
1994 John Deere 648E
FEC 1000 slasher
FEC 1550 slasher
Danzco Delimber
Sthil 660
Jonsered 2172
Jonsered 2255

Offline badpenny

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2010, 11:25:00 PM »
   The 203 is pretty worn, needs new center pins, and lots more tlc. I can load 1.25 to1.5 cords of 100" fire wood, and use about 11 loads a year for my owb. It also will haul 12' sawlogs, any thing longer puts too much pressure on the worn center pin. It works ok for my needs, wouldn't want to try making money with it, just too worn out. Of course, it's nothing 3 or 4 grand couldn't fix, only paid 2800 delivered if memory serves me. Unload a grapple full, hold it about 2 or 3 feet off the ground, cut what I can to stove length, then cut what the grapple was holding, repeat till empty, and do it all over again.
Hope and Change, my foot,  It's time for Action and Results!

Offline quietrangr

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2010, 07:45:05 AM »
The early mules were made from Massey tractors, but most you will find running now are Fords. I have a 1980 5000F, (Ford). Most of the running gear is compatible with the corresponding Ford tractor. Lots of parts are available at tractor salvage yards. The center piece joining the two halves together is a bit of a weak spot. I have to replace the vertical shaft bearings every year and a half or so. The loaders will load a plenty heavy log, even if you have to do one end a time. Maybe will load a three foot hardwood, if you have them that big, but you can always skid out the bigger logs if necessary. The original loaders are short, and not the best for banging in your landing piles; you can't really park far enough away to make it handy. My loader was worn out, so I replaced it with a 18 foot Hood loader. I have hauled lengths up to 24 feet, but you have to have part of a load on so the long ones are at the far outside of your bunk, then be careful how you turn, not too sharp, or the logs will hit your cab.

Offline timberjake

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Re: IRON MULE
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 08:08:56 PM »
I have a massey 5000 model and it has been dependable, easy to fix and can't be beat for fuel economy.  You can haul 10 foot logs without too much trouble, usually put on top of the 8 foot stuff  so it won't overbalance and fall off.  You can haul longer stuff but it has to be balanced on the load and hits the cab or loader when you turn.  The loader is strong enough to pick up anything that won't tip the cab over and the bucket can hold.
"Never hire a man who doesn't wear suspenders and smokes.  If he ain't lighting a cigarette he's pullin up his pants."


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