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Author Topic: Skidder/Forwarder Question  (Read 2139 times)

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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2018, 07:31:20 AM »
I'd say what does a supervisory mechanic cost in relationship to an operator in Europe or the US.  2-3 times as much?  I'd think at least that.

Good luck !
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Offline teakwood

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2018, 07:52:31 AM »
I live in the first world and have worked harder for less.  
Believe me mike, me too!
That is what i figured also nativewolf.  I bring my knowledge as owner/operator, mechanic and translator, so i think my time is worth that.
I also have to drive with my own car to the site, one is 10km the other 40km away.
I will include some off worktime duty for that price such as:
contact with the Welte fabric for mechanical question and assistance
the axles and boogies are from a different brand. NAF, so i have to contact them to get any info because the welte books don't explain this parts.
document maintenance history    
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2018, 10:09:45 AM »
Yep, documenting and staying ahead of things.  They just don't have the same conditions that you will have to deal with.  May I say that is an odd choice.  Wonder how they came to that decision?
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Offline teakwood

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2018, 06:05:26 PM »
They just don't have the same conditions that you will have to deal with.  May I say that is an odd choice.

What do you mean with that? i'm not sure i fully understand.

Today they sent me the parts list they ordered with the machine, oh boy it's a dream.  26k in parts, filters, tires with rims, break valves, magnetic spools, pressure sensors, switches, the list goes on and on.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2018, 07:06:59 PM »
I look at Welte as a boutique specialist with a narrow customer base almost all in N Europe.  In N Europe overall user/operator/mechanic employee pool is pretty good and the conditions are known.  

To me Welte seems a bit of a risk, low global sales in a complex machine.  Neat machine and if you owned it ...great, you'd make the most of it.  But to buy it without knowing they have someone like you on board...whew that could be high risk.  Of course they bought cat before, risk of a different sort.  

JD, Komatsu, Ponsse are much larger manufactures with wider distribution networks. 

Are your soils in CR ultisoils I guess maybe so, actually different physical properties than many soils in NE.  Certainly different temperature regimes.  Are all the cooling system sufficient?  Will you have to double/triple down on fluid changes, add more cooling, etc.  I'd have picked a machine known to work in tropical conditions and knowing that the hydrostatic drive components could take the wear and tear and abuse.  Or, if they can't to know it.   

I mean with you on board they should be quite fine, and that parts lists is great!  Without you on board...well it could turn into another parked machine.
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Online barbender

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2018, 07:16:39 PM »
I don't think it really matters what manufacturer they chose with a modern forwarder, I doubt anyone has much of a presence in CR, especially CTL equipment.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2018, 07:57:33 PM »
Barbender I agree on presence in CR not being so much the issue.  This might be one of the few Welte machines in the world working in the tropics and I think that is important.  It is never cool, deep volcanic clay soils actually have different soil properties, they can sometimes be tough on equipment.  Just ...well it is interesting.  Ponsse has  many sales in Brazil for instance.  So they have some experience with forwarders in the tropics and cooling system.  Ditto for Komatsu and JD maybe there are some Tigercat machines working Brazil, I don't know.  

Anyhow, it was a bit odd.  I mean it would be odd if you bought one in MN but just a bit more so in CR.  They may be the only welte customer in central america.  On the other hand, I bet the Welte techs are glad to visit in January :).  
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Offline teakwood

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2018, 09:03:44 PM »
They may be the only welte customer in central america.  On the other hand, I bet the Welte techs are glad to visit in January .  


You can bet on that, maybe even the only one in america. I hope i can work with/for them but remember this machines are also new to me, so i'm by no means an expert. I will add a lot of value for the maintenance part and i'm good in careful operator overlooking.

I look at Welte as a boutique specialist with a narrow customer base almost all in N Europe.  In N Europe overall user/operator/mechanic employee pool is pretty good and the conditions are known.  


That's what i ask the CEO, what's up with parts and repair assistance?  He told me that it was exactly the same with the CAT, in CR CAT only sells construction equipment so they wouldn't even bother with helping them finding parts. so it doesn't matter which brand you buy, you will have to import parts and service.

They did a mayor repair on the Forwarder, the whole back end is new, drives and boogies (who would have seen that coming ), so the forwarder is also ready for work and i'm sure i need to overlook those operators too
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2018, 09:23:25 PM »
I'm sure you'll do just fine.  Supposed to be fine machines.  Just putting a machine in a totally new environment is always a gamble.  I guess I'm paranoid re the hydraulic cooling, I would watch the cooling as you put a load on the machine.  It would be nice to get a video camera filming the control panels or else to see if they offer a output to capture a data dump of the hydraulic system as it goes about the day.  See how the temps change as you put the load, try with varying loads at various outdoor temps.  Take a fluid sample before you start working and then 2 weeks later.  

Good luck, seems this could be a good gig for you!
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2018, 09:31:32 PM »
My main question is why not just put a clam bunk on the forwarder? Cat didnt originally build those forwarders they were Fabtek which means you can source everything for them. How much production is left on the table not running a processor even on the landing? Theres other places you can make effective use of that money vs this machine would be my thought.

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2018, 10:12:33 PM »
Cat forwarder (vs clam bunk)Guessing that the logs have to be kept clean for export) Log would not want the expense of washing logs or exporting a container half full of mud.

Volvo have some fairly new wheeled excavators - single tires so the mud does not clog them like duals.   15 tonne with 3 section boom (volvo have 20 tonne and others)

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2018, 10:23:43 PM »
With a forwarder that has a clambunk on it you can do both tree length or short logs since a set or two of bunk are retained with the clam holding the tops tight.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2018, 10:35:37 PM »
Just like this 

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2018, 10:54:21 PM »
Yep the Weltie is an odd choice.  I'd have gone for Ponsse, they have offices and sales in Brazil so they know tropics.  Big company, great forwarders and processors.  JD would have been the second.  I'd have bought something looking at getting a processor.  Everything tracked up and bought a few extra tracks to be careful.  Plantation thinning work, you could do it all with a small team and 1 mechanic.  Jam through it with 24 hour shifts.  If you have too much capacity move into subcontracting.  Perfect sorts via the processor computer.  
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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2018, 11:31:31 PM »
Ponsse definitely has experience in Brazil, I wasn't considering the heat factor. Sometimes when us grunts on the ground are scratching our heads wondering about a decision, with all the practical aspects of keeping something running and making money, the actual decision we envision a lot of thought went into could've been as simple as a couple CEOs bumping into each other in a bar or something. "I need to get a machine to Costa Rica to haul teak." "Oh yeah? My nephew runs a company where they make those!"🙄
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2018, 03:25:43 AM »
Ponsse ten years in Brazil & background

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2018, 08:06:23 AM »
Ponsse definitely has experience in Brazil, I wasn't considering the heat factor. Sometimes when us grunts on the ground are scratching our heads wondering about a decision, with all the practical aspects of keeping something running and making money, the actual decision we envision a lot of thought went into could've been as simple as a couple CEOs bumping into each other in a bar or something. "I need to get a machine to Costa Rica to haul teak." "Oh yeah? My nephew runs a company where they make those!"🙄
Ha, I've been that guy selling the ceo :).  In this case though I think it is just making job security for teakwood.  
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Offline teakwood

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2018, 08:32:42 AM »
 No no, i will try to explain. The company is Swiss and the new inverstors are from Germany, Welte is from Germany so maybe that was a point. But i think the real reason is they have some logger friends/contractors which some times work and help for the firm giving them advice. the have come over to look at the process how we work here. they have done directional felling courses for the chainsaw operators (which didn't stick by the way  ), skidding and handling improvements, good guys with lots of experience in Switzerland. As they know the complicated machines from Europe (Welte, HSM, Valtra, ...) very well and have it sorted out logging in Central Europe they want to adapt that system here, so they suggest the only machines they are familiar with.
The biggest problem i see is the operators, in Switzerland a operator earns 6k a month has excellent training and are experts in knowing their machine.
I am not saying that there are no good operators in CR but they are few and have to be found and trained well.  
I'm surely not the best operator there is but if my excavator has a complain i feel it right away in my butt or i hear it and will stop to investigate the problem and that is my biggest selling point, but kinda hard to explain to a CEO.
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Offline teakwood

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2018, 08:47:56 AM »
I would watch the cooling as you put a load on the machin


Thanks for that advice, i will definitively put an eye on it.

My main question is why not just put a clam bunk on the forwarder?


Good point to consider. I think the machines will always be used to haul long wood, so the clambunk is king.

I'd have bought something looking at getting a processor.


A processor would be to complicated and expensive i think. Teak has very sturdy branches and they can damage the log, just a thought. The bark peels really easy when green and a processor head would definitely peel a log and we get payed by the diam. a peeled log is less diam and will give less money, even if it's just 5%.
Remember teak, even in small diam, is a high value wood. So we have high value but high careful handling logging going on here, i don't know if that makes sense.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Skidder/Forwarder Question
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2018, 09:48:51 AM »
Quote
The company is Swiss and the new inverstors are from Germany, Welte is from Germany
Ahh so it was a kickback scheme then...  

;D



Costa rica is a lot of red clay right?  Does it rain enough to keep dust down during harvest timeframe or is it dry powder?   Basically oil leaks and dust will be the main cause of reduced heat exchanger efficiency.  Periodic power washings of the radiator and oil cooler and any time a hose blows, getting that powerwashed before dirt starts caking on.. Will go a long way.  You want a fuel oil fired steam producing power washer to break the grease and oil down.  

If its that crazy hot you may have to add heat exchanger capacity.  And it probably wont fit under the tin.  If absolutely necessary i would look at feasibility of building a cage mount over the cab roof and have aluminum cores and 1/8" tanks tigged up at the local racecar shop.  I would duct them for electric fans with sideflow so that they haveeither white or reflective tin armor over the top, to prevent solar heating and leaves from packing into the fins. The degas tank and fill cap would have to go on the top.  Air space is always needed at highest point in a cooling system and there would be no more checking coolant from the lower radiator cap unless you want a face full.  

 The good news is heat rises so roof exchangers are really effective at creating a thermal siphon with no pump flow.  The machines would cool down pretty well even just parked in the shade at lunch.  The more surface area the better.  
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