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Author Topic: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons  (Read 1342 times)

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Offline supertrucker

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501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« on: March 11, 2018, 03:24:08 PM »
Hey everyone, looking to get a processor, was wondering what people thought of the 501hd with 4 roller, pros, cons and what not.
2006 westernstar, 1989 LTL 9000, 3406B 425, 8LL, 1994 Stoughton chip wagon, 2011 John Deere 1510E, 2011 pmi trailer, 2003 serco 7000.

Offline Corley5

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 03:35:15 PM »
I've heard that the 501 Cats aren't as good as their Fabtek 133/153 ancestors :-\  Just what I've heard ;) :)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline supertrucker

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 04:29:55 PM »
Good advice, any ideas of common problems with the 501?
2006 westernstar, 1989 LTL 9000, 3406B 425, 8LL, 1994 Stoughton chip wagon, 2011 John Deere 1510E, 2011 pmi trailer, 2003 serco 7000.

Offline Riwaka

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 04:49:19 PM »
Depends on the size and type of wood you intend to be working in.
2017 Cat 501 with Prentice PF48   head  makes a few comparisons with the old 2007 501 (he purchased new and ran)
new head has better tilt motors on fixed head, new head has better roller spikes, new 501 better cab heater etc



Caterpillar sold Fabtek/ Prentice Forestry two years ago. New company diversifying services.
http://www.prenticeforestry.com/en/about-company/company-history.html
http://www.wsaw.com/content/news/Prentice-Caterpillar--389342441.html

Offline Corley5

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 08:35:27 PM »
FF member wannaergo had some experience with one.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Skeans1

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 11:32:42 PM »
Have you looked into the Barko 240 with the skidmore head if it was me that would be my choice over the cat machine.

What are you planning on doing with the machine? Thin? Clear cuts? What kind of production do you need?

Offline wannaergo

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2018, 04:08:49 AM »
We had a 2013 501hd and hated it. The machine was capable of producing a fair amount of wood, but it was ALWAYS broken. The hose routing on it was stupid(in our humble uneducated opinion), we changed hoses like underwear, it was ridiculous. We had to replace multiple high pressure fuel lines, the fuel pump, the common high pressure fuel rail, and all 6 injectors. The feed motor housings were another weak point, they would crack and were unweldable due to being cast steel. We put multiple track pedals in it at $1300/pop and cat had no idea why they were getting wiped out. The four roller setup had good traction, but the chains could be high maintenance. We put multiple encoders and saw sensors in it, because they would quit working. The wiring harnesses to said sensors would get wiped out by sticks and brush, and were absolutely no fun to change. Iím sure thereís more problems that we had, they just arenít on top of my mind right now. On top of all that, the hydraulics were very primitive. Multifunctioning was impossible, because there wasnít even close to enough oil flow. On the good side, I could cut s lot of wood with it, it was easy to work on, and easy to learn how to run.

My opinion? If you want a fixed head, Buy a barko 260 with a CF22.
2016 Ponsse ergo 8w
2014 Cat 564
Husky 385

Offline Riwaka

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2018, 07:57:33 PM »
Is there a move towards wheeled harvesters/ processors in Maine?
Are there any regulations against the use of the tracked Barko 240/260 in certain forests?

Just about use a battery chainsaw on what this John Deere wheel machine is cutting.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 12:40:28 AM »
I dont think its doom and gloom to feel like id be destroyed by a machine like that.  I can chase my own tail in the living room cheaper than at the Cat parts counter.
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Offline wannaergo

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 02:53:41 AM »
To be honest it almost broke us. The best thing we ever did was trade it in on a better machine.
2016 Ponsse ergo 8w
2014 Cat 564
Husky 385

Offline supertrucker

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 03:32:33 PM »
I agree that the barko 240  or jd753 with skidmore would be a lot better, but at this my choices are somewhat limited due to cost. there are a lot of used 501s on the market that are inexpensive and more in my price range. Thank you every one for the advice, it is much appreciated.  
2006 westernstar, 1989 LTL 9000, 3406B 425, 8LL, 1994 Stoughton chip wagon, 2011 John Deere 1510E, 2011 pmi trailer, 2003 serco 7000.

Offline supertrucker

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 03:39:43 PM »
As far as production goes if I can cut 10 trailer loads a week ill be happy, and job types we do everything from clear cuts to thinning, some people around here like the wheeled harvesters some don't, seems like a personal preference more then anything. the thing I don't like about them is the electronics and complex systems, but they are fast and produce a lot of wood. we work in all types of wood, big and small, figured the 501 would be somewhat universal.
2006 westernstar, 1989 LTL 9000, 3406B 425, 8LL, 1994 Stoughton chip wagon, 2011 John Deere 1510E, 2011 pmi trailer, 2003 serco 7000.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 05:33:19 PM »
There is a reason used ones are inexpensive and adundabt. A local guy had two 153s that he had great luck with and traded them for 501s and they drove him almost to the point of bankruptcy. He practically gave them both away on trade for a Ponsse. Said it was the best move he ever made.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 08:47:48 PM »
We still have a Fabtek 4 roller on a 653E after 17.5k it hasn't been too many issues just not up to the task of production work anymore, right now we're demoing a 1270G production wise I'm at the same as the 4 roller in 4 days of running the 1270 with a H415 head. As far as price there was some used Barkos at Crostrek for reasonable money one complaint I have is the reach and they don't level.

Offline supertrucker

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 03:04:58 PM »
leveling is nice but I'm not as worried about it, none of the hot saw bunchers ive ran leveled and got by just fine. we don't have a lot of really steep ground in this part of the state, don't get me wrong theres some, but its nothing like other parts of the world.
2006 westernstar, 1989 LTL 9000, 3406B 425, 8LL, 1994 Stoughton chip wagon, 2011 John Deere 1510E, 2011 pmi trailer, 2003 serco 7000.

Offline wannaergo

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2018, 05:30:06 PM »
Yeah the 501s are cheap, but thereís a reason for that. when you are looking at a monthly payment, you have to factor in the amount of down time and repairs that you will see. With a 501, youíll be almost guaranteed to spend $1000+ a month on hoses and that doesnít even factor in lost revenue from downtime.  From what Iíve heard about the barko/rolly setups you donít see that.
2016 Ponsse ergo 8w
2014 Cat 564
Husky 385

Offline JLeBouton

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2018, 10:48:43 AM »
Yeah the 501s are cheap, but thereís a reason for that. when you are looking at a monthly payment, you have to factor in the amount of down time and repairs that you will see. With a 501, youíll be almost guaranteed to spend $1000+ a month on hoses and that doesnít even factor in lost revenue from downtime.  From what Iíve heard about the barko/rolly setups you donít see that.
Barko/Rolly setups?  Pretty sure that doesn't exist.

Offline wannaergo

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Re: 501hd + fabtek 4 roller head pros and cons
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2018, 03:40:48 PM »
By barko/rolly setup, I should have specified that I meant barko or rolly. My bad.
2016 Ponsse ergo 8w
2014 Cat 564
Husky 385


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