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Author Topic: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner  (Read 3248 times)

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Offline Stuart Caruk

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^ years ago I saw one of these in operation and hatched a plan to someday acquire one. I've heard many good, and a few bad comments about them, and I'd tried for years to find one to rent, or volunteer to work on a project to gain some time on one. Unlike most excavators, these seem to have a cult like following. People either love them, or hate them. Personally I love the idea of a multipurpose machine. I've had a Kubota KX-161 for several years now and it sees a lot of use. The 4 way blade is very handy, and for a 12,800# machine, it has a lot of ooomph. But, I do a lot of trail and road building on out woodlots, and the lack of a 6 way blade is a real handicap. I used to have a small dozer with a 6 way blade. It worked great when I ran it all the time, but if it sat, the frictions in the steering clutch froze up and it took way to much work to fix them. I don't miss the dozer, but the 6 way blade, I usre miss.

We own a couple Bobcats, so I tried a 6 way blade with those. I simply couldn't cut a grade. Either bump the bucket curl, or the bucket up functions and the cutting bit would move. I just couldn't make it work productively,  so I sold the blade.

About a month ago I found a nice Bladerunner being sold by a logging contractor. It was perfect for my needs, but I called to confirm the wire transfer instructions and the owner decided to take it off the market. So I went on the hunt again. I found a nice machine in Santa Rosa California and bought it. 



It already has a thumb and a Dromone coupler which makes it ideal. Some bozo took off the wing extensions (a Bladerunner has a 10 8" wide blade, with wing extensions that fold back to make the blade 8' 1" wide to transport easily on a 3 axle trailer. 





Without the extensions, when I angle the blade, it dumps the spoil in the middle of the track, so I'll be looking to replace those as well as some glass and mirrors. So far I'm pretty happy with it. It has gobs of pushing power, contrary to my buddies who told me this wouldn't be like a dozer. One benefit that I love is when grading on a slope and running out of dirt, I can just reach up with the boom, grab some dirt, throw it out in front of the blade, and keep going, rather than stop and backup to cut a wee bit deeper and continue. I ripped out a couple stumps with ease that I couldn't budge with my other equipment. 

My next plan is to fab up a stump ripper / splitter like this



I saw one working on a unit next door, and it did an awesome job. They were using a 120,000# excavator, and I thought the massive weight was required. I'm rethinking that now. I think the bucket curl strength is key, and this machine has similar power in this regard, as it's based on the size of the curl cylinder and geometry. There's only one way to know for sure, and that's to build it and try it out.

My ultimate goal it to see how this machine performs. If it does what I need, I'll build up a bunch of attachments and then get a new one to ship down to Honduras for a project I'm working on down there.

I'm curious if anyone uses an excavator with a grapple for loading logs. I've used a bucket and grapple loads of times. I'm not sure whats's the easiest way to plumb the extra hydraulics required for the grapple curl, and rotate functions. Do you add extra valves and run the plumbing up the boom, or add a 3 way valve and run electrics to the valve? Can you use the thumb as a heel like I do on my log loader? Any attachments that make the excavator more useful around the log yard?

Thanks,

Stu


Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline 711ac

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 08:36:47 PM »
That's the machine on my dream list.  8)
I've read that it's a dozer u/c designed for more than just walking the machine around (excavator).
Very nice!

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 09:01:33 PM »
The 160 BR has a 200 class undercarriage. I'm told it pushes like a D6.
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Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 09:24:06 PM »
We looked into one when we upgraded, alot of it depends if your truly want the "combo". I've noticed Kobelco's love pins /bushings.  Look on machinery trader, a couple of the salvage yards have those wings from burned machines. 

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2018, 09:58:21 PM »
Thanks for the hint. I found 2 burned machines and called. Those parts go fast. They sold the entire undercarriage and blade from one and the wings immediately sold from another. Interestingly, it seems loggers like to take them off and use a shorter straight blade with more power. Personally I suspect that it's a PITA to unfold and pin, then refold the wings each time you move it. I've already made the pins, but sadly the holes on the back of the blade are bent, because the blade was used and abused without pins to keep the hole from collapsing. If I could get them on my mill, it would be a simple fix. As it is, I'm going to have to create some kind of portable mill to clean up the pin holes while I'm sourcing the wings. New ones are affordable(ish) but I'd love to find a used pair. If not, I'll roll my own from grader blades and T1 plate. I have loads of both at the shop.

I have no idea how much a D6 will push, but this sucker will push a 2 - 3 yard pile with no issues, other than that it drops down into low range once you hit the pile. Back blading out, it automatically speeds up. 

My neighbor really screwed up converting an orchard for residential construction and wants to hire me to pop out that he can't get out with his excavator. I've enjoyed watching his adventure. He told me he saw me rip out an orchard with my Kubota so he bought the same machine and used my technique. I have no idea who has been giving him advice, but when I did mine, I waited till spring when the ground was damp, but not wet. I simply pushed all the orchard trees over, brought in my bobcat with the brush cat mower and demolished all the branches and small limbs, then hauled off the entire tree and root balls that were left because local ordinances won't let me burn. I cut up the rest at my shop for firewood, and buried the stumps in a low spot.

He, on the other hand cut all the trees leaving 6' tall stumps. The smaller stumps he could pull over, most of the 18 - 24" stumps wouldn't budge, so he tried to whack them loose by banging the bucket on them after swinging sideways with full force. (I simply made a mental not to never lend him my equipment). I suggested that he try digging the roots first to make life easier, but he whined that it took way to long to do that. Then I suggested he call a powder monkey buddy and have crack the stumps with Duponts finest. He didn't like the $50 / stump fee, so he hired a forester to cut the stumps just above the ground. The developer now refuses to proceed until the stumps are gone. I've played with a bunch of smaller stumps here, but I think that stump ripper will be the ticket to solving my big stump problem, and his medium sized problem. Here's hoping I can help put money back into my account. 
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline barbender

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2018, 11:12:01 PM »
 Nice machine, it looks really handy!
Too many irons in the fire

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 11:01:28 AM »
Good idea on the ripper. I was at a show and watched a video of what you want,I think. All they did was curl back the bucket and the ripper just split the stumps in 2,still in the ground. Than it was able to dig the stump out.
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2018, 03:56:09 PM »
We have pretty much the same machine a 135 with a factory high and wide its been a good little machine for CTL wood with a manual QC to grapple heel rack to bucket. Watch the pipes in the lower half of the machine from the rotary manifold to the drive motors. Myself I wouldnt use a ripper to split stumps if you do plan on doing some boom repairs itll be a lot of shock load. A guy around has the blade runner they said with extensions on they wore the pins and bushings out fairly quickly.

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2018, 04:52:31 PM »
What attachment are you using for you CTL head? How did you plumb the machine to accomodate it?
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2018, 10:19:30 PM »
No harvester head on it, we have a pulp wood grapple on it for loading CTL wood wood Ill see about getting a couple pictures.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 01:42:20 AM »
Regarding your blade extensions, i have some info that may be pertinent to you.


Years back i built wings for a snowplow i had on a locked up cherokee.  I set them so that they pointed straight forward when blade was at max angle, which came out to about 40* or so when it was straight.  It changed the entire dynamic of the machine in many ways. Ive had plenty of straight plows and none compared.

When i needed to push back a frozen bank say at the end of a parking lot.. id full angle and joust it like a unicorn with an offset horn, swing blade other way and do again.. severing the bank into chunks before pushing it back with straight blade.  All the trucks force was focused in that one cutting point instead of spread over 8ft.  When you smack a bank straight bladed its like hitting a curb, terrible jolt.  With that wing aimed like a knife it was like driving into pillow.

If i was widening a roadway as i drove down it, there was no more need to angle the blade like before the wings.  Id idle along with blade about square to the road and that 40* wing would just peel the snow right off and into the blade pocket, no fight.  No more getting the truck shoved away by the resistance of the bank against an angled blade.  Snow never spoiled out the other side and i never had it pouring spoils into my tire path anymore thanks to the extra width and excellent capturing after the wings.

In machining, cutter angles are everything, tool geometry is a science.  When youve got it wrong you get poor finish and sparks, rapid dulling or breakage and lots of hp demand as the spindle needs so much force to move the cutter through the metal.  When your rake angles are right the chip just peels off like butter and the hp demands drop way down as less spindle torque is needed.  That was basically my experience with cutting snow.  The heavy throttle days ended when the wings got welded on.  It cut my snowstorm fueling in half. 

 If i was gonna start fooling with my dozer blade it would also be wings,  id make semi-u corners and improve that cutter geometry.  If youre gonna put an extensions on, included a provision to angle them.  You wont be disappointed.  

Ive lusted for a blade runner from the first time i saw that 6 way.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Bridge Reamer
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 02:59:01 PM »
Well, I found a used set of blade wings for this machine. Sadly,the darned if the holes in the back of the blade that hold the pins, that keep the wings in place have been hammered to anything but a round shape. Now I figured this was going to be a royal PITA to fix the holes so the retaining pins could be installed. There's enough room for my mag drill to mount, but I can't find a reamer to fit my mag drill. 

Googling for tapered reamers with a 1/2" or 3/4" shank that were cheap didn't turn up much. I found several cheap solutions, but all of them had #3 morse taper shanks. Good old, old school toolings typical retention method. Knowing an adapter wont give me enough room, I googled for options. Interestingly I found a forum that had talked extensively about this issue, and the gist of the thread was to take a large nut and weld it to the taper to turn it into a poor mans bridge reamer. What a cool idea I thought. Then I thought... what the heck is a bridge reamer. So I Googled that and lo and behold I found several in 1 3/16" diameter, so I ordered a couple off amazon. They showed up in a couple days. Turns out a bridge reamer is a common item for steel erection crews when the holes don't line up. They slam a reamer through with an impact wrench so the bolts fit.

I did the same thing and in less than 8 seconds per fitting, my holes fit their pins again. I simply used an 1 15/16 3/4" drive socket with an adapter, powered my my 20 volt Dewalt impact wrench. The tool works great and is available in a host of sizes. This may solve a lot of other people a bunch of grief when your holes don't line up.

Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Pattern Changer
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 03:10:52 PM »
Woo Hoo, I can finally run this sucker with some appearance of the ability to control it. When I got this machine it came set up for CAT style controls. 35 years ago I learned on a John Deere, and all my equipment has been set to John Deere pattern since. I simply can't drive CAT controls after many attempts at trying. I called the dealer and they wanted a lot more money to swap the pattern than I was willing to spend.

Browsing the web, I found a pattern changer valve made by Holmbury for not that much $$$. Thankfully Kobelco color codes the pilot lines from the operators cab, so it was simple to trace the appropriate pilot hoses for the boom and stick. I made a simple mount for the valve, and 4 new hoses. The challenging parts was getting from the 4 SAE O Ring fitting, to the 6JAS Japanese standard. That took a few adapters. I simply ran the hoses into and back out of the valve. Flipping the valve one way gives me CAT style controls. Flipping it the other gives me my normal John Deer controls.

This is a super simple retrofit for machines without pattern changers, and will make your operators more productive. Since its a 4 port, 2 way valve, there are a host of other uses for it as well.

Here's the finished installation. I used yellow zip ties to tell me the CAT pattern position, and green for the John Deere. I added a zip tie to make sure the valve doesn't vibrate for the JD pattern position.

Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2018, 04:33:21 PM »
No harvester head on it, we have a pulp wood grapple on it for loading CTL wood wood Ill see about getting a couple pictures.
c'mo  skeans..lets see the pictures
Liking Walnut

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 04:38:55 PM »
 

 

 

 This is what we use to load CTL logs and pulp.

Offline quilbilly

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2018, 05:34:34 PM »
Skeans how are you getting trailers off? Or are you loading hay racks?
a man is strongest on his knees

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2018, 05:37:35 PM »
We run turkey racks all the time or mule trains that are hopped up. If this machine had the shovel boom and high lift cylinders it could unload our trailers pretty easy.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2018, 07:52:47 PM »
Nice work stuart.  I wish i knew about bridge reamers 15 yrs ago.  I was a pistol/rifle range mechanic in a past life and a few million rounds ensures no panel ever goes back in quite the same.  So much spud wrench and drift pin smashing to get stuff back together.
Revelation 3:20

Offline barbender

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2018, 11:07:06 PM »
Thanks for the tip on the bridge reamers!👍👍👍
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Another tool for use around the woodlot - Kobelco ED150 BladeRunner
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2018, 02:49:43 AM »
Funny thing is I run a fab shop. I've reamed thousands of holes and dreaded this job. In retrospect it was a simple task. The reamers are cheap to boot.

Man, I love that heel rack and rotating grapple. I'm going to have one soon enough. I just need to figure out how to get more hydraulic lines up the boom.
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.


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