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Author Topic: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .  (Read 3630 times)

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Offline danf26

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Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« on: March 28, 2011, 09:28:35 AM »
Hi all,

So Im building a small cabin and am using lumber from the land. Ive milled a number of timbers myself with a chainsaw mill, intend to hew more, and had been intending to mill/hew them all myself. But, after some difficulties with the mill (see the post called: Trouble with Alaskan Mill, especially Mini Mill), Im thinking about bringing some logs to a mill and having them do it for me. Money may be the prohibitive factor here, but if another mill cut them for me, I think I will get 1) squarer timbers (key since I’ll be timber framing), 2) less resource/energy intensive – and I hypothesize this may even be true with the energy it would take to get the wood there and back, and 3) more wood than just the timbers (with the chainsaw mill, when Im milling for a large timber, its not always possible or efficient to get smaller boards as well, meaning theres lots of “waste”). Money is the only concern, as milling them myself with the chainsaw mill only costs the price of gas (of which is uses a lot), and takes lots of my time.

So, my questions for you all are:
1.   What are cheap ways to get my logs to a place where a truck could pick them up and bring them to a mill? I don’t have any power equipment myself, so Im talking about a winch, or a skidder. Preferably a winch as some of the logs are less accessible, and I don’t necessarily want to cut a skidder trail just for them. Where would I find someone able to come and help me with this (a logging company?)
2.   How could I get the logs to the mill? Do mills sometimes have vehicles themselves? Would I rent a flatbed truck?
3.   What do sawyers generally charge when they mill your own wood? How common is it that they may need another helper and could reduce their rate if I acted as their second pair of hands?

I guess that’s it. I know these questions are often location specific, and I live in Western Massachusetts, but writing them down is helpful for me, and maybe one or two of you has some good answers.

Thanks a lot . . .

Offline paul case

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 09:36:14 AM »
simple problem. serveral answers.
i would suggest getting a trailer and a winch to start with. if you have a tractor with a front end loader then the winch may be un neccessary. serveral of us us some sort of setup that could be pulled behind a pickup truck to fetch logs. how are you going to set those timbers? maybe if you could find a piece of equipment that would load logs and set timbers would be a big plus for you. pc
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 09:36:44 AM »
Hi danf26, and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.  It seems that maybe a logging arch could be in your future.

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Offline bill m

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 12:32:11 PM »
danf26, I see in your other post you are from western Ma. Where?  I might be able to help with some or all of your questions.
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Offline jdtuttle

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 01:32:30 PM »
Hi danf26, & welcome to the forum. Why not leave the logs on the land & have a portable mill come there?
Jim
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Offline ROUGH CUT

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 07:22:12 PM »
Dan; Be real careful about who brings a skidder onto your property. Get a horse logger if possible.
        Try to find a guy with a portable bandsaw mill who will work for a share of the lumber.
                               
                                             Good luck ...R.C.
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Offline laffs

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 08:47:41 PM »
id look for someone with either draft horses or oxen to skid the logs some may do it just to exercise their team (free) there should be some in your area. then look for a portable mill in your area. you might want to check out some of Jander3's threads in the timber framing section also, he's built a remote cabin.
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Offline danf26

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 09:15:18 PM »
Hey guys,

I really appreciate all the responses.

So, I dont have a tractor, otherwise a winch or arch would be a great idea. I also dont want a skidder in there, unless they had an arch. Im only removing a few logs, and to cut a path for a skidder would mean felling more trees than I may even need. Draft power (Im pretty sure theres a horse logger in these parts) would be a great option, one that I would definitely support, and I know they need narrower paths, so that may work.

Im in Wendell, MA.

I have a friend a few towns over with a tractor and winch, and am hoping that he would be open to "lending" his tractor to me for a few days, either to work it with him or without. I would need to pay to truck it to me, but then other than gas, I could use it for a few days free. This option however, is dependent on him and if he's open/able to do that.

The nice thing about winch vs. draft power is there are some trees that were blown over in the 2006 tornado, but got hung up on other trees, and the winch would help me get those down, while I cant imagine a horse team could.

Thanks again guys, Im hoping to figure this one out promptly.

Offline Piston

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 04:33:09 AM »
Danf,
I think your best bet would be to use your friends tractor and winch, then get them out to an open area on your land that is accessible to a truck/mill.  Then have a local guy come out with his portable mill and mill the lumber for you, it would be cheapest and easiest that way. 
There is at least one guy on here (dave will chime in) from not too far from you that has a mill, I'm not sure if he does portable jobs or not but could probably tell you someone who does in your area. 
If I was a bit closer I would be happy to help you move logs with my tractor/grapple, and log arch for not much more than a burger, case of beer, and some gas money.   ;D
The log arch is great if you can find one to borrow, it wont' tear up your land since you can keep the log completely suspended.  Again you could use mine if you wanted but would need a plug on the back of the tractor since it's an electric winch. 

I have a friend with some large belgian draft horses that lives about 2 hrs from you, he may be interested in helping for very cheap money since he enjoys doing the work as a hobby.  Let me know if your interested in either. 
-Matt
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 07:36:49 AM »
Dan,your going to live on your land and probibly heat with wood.Sooner or later you will need a tractor to plow your lane and fetch firewood,better sooner than later.Even a smaller tractor and an arch will be handy for logs.A good woodroad system in your woods is well worth the time to make. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline bill m

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 07:48:18 AM »
I have a friend in Conway who works his oxen in the woods sometimes. If your interested I will give you his contact info.
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 08:12:42 AM »

 As far as your hung up trees, don't sell off the horse team too quick on not beeing able to get them down  ;)  It will take quite a tree for a good team and driver to not be able to bring it too the ground and out to the landing.   
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline fred in montana

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 08:27:00 AM »
Have a sawyer come to you!
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 02:09:15 PM »
I'm a big fan of horse logging, but don't assume that just because someone has a horse, they'll do less damage. In my experience, a good job depends a LOT more on the operator than the type of equipment they use. Yes, some equipment is just plain not suited for the job, but an experienced operator makes all the difference.

Borrowing your friends tractor and winch sounds like a decent solution for you. When I lend out my tractor and winch, it comes with the operator as well... I don't want someone unfamiliar with it damaging the equipment or hurting themselves (it's also a great way to ruin a friendship). Also, there are some tricks to operating one safely that you don't want to learn the hard way.

I do agree with the statement someone made that you may want one yourself eventually anyway, but assuming that's not in the cards right now, seeing your friend in action might be interesting for you.

If you are looking to buy some less expensive equipment to have around for future use, an option might be a small gas powered winch with a capstan to pull a rope, or a cable. They are slower than some of the other options, but a whole lot less expensive. Bailey's (a sponsor of this forum) sells a couple types of these winches: Portable winches
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline danf26

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2011, 02:12:05 PM »
Thanks so much guys.

Ive spent a number of days with my friend out in his woodlot working with him and his tractor/winch setup. I have used it myself with him. The winch I am less familiar with, but I am very familiar with his tractor (I would be useless looking under its hood or fixing anything - which obviously is very important - but in terms of operating it, I have used it quite a bit). Its just a matter of him not needing it for a period of time, and I don't know what other hesitations he may have, but addressing those as well. I have mentioned this idea to him once, maybe I should ask him again what his thoughts on it all are.

He also has a friend, who I have met a few times, with more type of gas powered winch. I am trying to contact him. I simply do not know him as well though.

I know of Porter & Noonan Draft Horses in Worthington. I would love the contact info for the man in Conway. I am still very mch trying to figure out all my options here.

Online beenthere

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2011, 06:48:56 PM »
To stay friends, best to get your own tractor and not borrow his. Or ask the friend to bring his tractor to your place and run it.
If anything breaks, even paying for the repair doesn't always set well.  And things do break :)

Take it slow, and within your means. IMO
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2011, 08:40:35 AM »
To stay friends, best to get your own tractor and not borrow his. Or ask the friend to bring his tractor to your place and run it.
If anything breaks, even paying for the repair doesn't always set well.  And things do break :)

Exactly why my tractor generally only gets lent out along with an operator (me). I may let others use it under my supervision (I don't know why, but somehow it doesn't bug me as much if they break something when I'm there to watch).

The fact that you have worked with him using the tractor and winch may change things a bit in his mind...
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline danf26

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Re: Moving small amount of logs from land to mill and back . . .
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2011, 09:00:36 AM »
Great guys. Yeah, I've actually damaged a piece of his equipment before (completely unrelated to tractor work), and painfully went through that experience. I would totally prefer him to come join me, if he's able, but I know hes a busy man.

We'll see what he's open to.

Its so nice to have these reminders, though. Nice to remember to think cautiously so I dont find myself regretting my decision down the road.


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