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Author Topic: Tractor size  (Read 2831 times)

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Online wbrent

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Tractor size
« on: November 19, 2018, 10:00:19 AM »
So Im new to this milling thing but enjoying it immensely. when I got my mill I had a pile of cedar logs to try it out with. Biggest one was probably 14" at the butt and a bit over 12'. I was able to man handle them on to the mill. So this weekend I went out to my wood lot. Dropped a moderate size Spruce, and was able to drag it out in a few lengths with my four wheeler and one of those log arches. However there was no way Im getting those up on to the mill without help. Im going to rig up some ramps and a winch for now and see if that will suffice for a while. But I foresee needing a tractor if Im going to progress at all. My question is. What size tractor do you think I could get away with? Uses will be to lift logs onto the mill. Carry lumber away for stacking. And probably dragging logs out of the woods. I dont foresee working with logs any bigger than 24" diameter and 16' long. Mostly I will be cutting logs closer to 16-18 " diameter. Im hoping to find an old cheap tractor to suffice. What do you think? 35-45 hp? Bigger?

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 10:23:06 AM »
I would think a tractor in that size range would be big enough, A 2 wheel drive with a set of forks on the back would do a lot of work (may require front weight). Add a dead deck slightly higher the mill with a slight slope towards the mill and a couple of drop down ramps to the mill then you can stage several logs at a time.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 10:52:09 AM »
 I dont foresee working with logs any bigger than 24" diameter and 16' long. Mostly I will be cutting logs closer to 16-18 " diameter.
I guess part of it depends on if you want a tractor to lift your largest logs or the logs you'll be handling most of the time. Depending on tree species a 24"x16' log could be real dang heavy.
Around here it's hardwoods and after using my dad's 7040 Kubota (70hp and 2300lb. lift capacity) I bought a used Bobcat 873 Skidsteer that can do about 4400lbs. Logs are heavy and that tractor was pretty dang tippy when maxing it out. I had a lot of logs the tractor could just barely lift and a others it couldn't touch. More than once I had to engage front wheel assist because the rear tires weren't making contact with the ground. And more than once I had to suddenly drop the loader when the tractor went on three wheels and started to tip.
But I see pictures of guys picking up pretty big softwoods with pretty small tractors so if softwoods is what you've got you'd probably be ok with less. Calculate the weight of logs you plan to move and just make sure whatever you get can handle that much. You should be more concerned with lift capacity than HP.
Alan
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Offline Andries

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 11:11:56 AM »
Judging a machine by it's engine size is a bit misleading.
Give this a try . . .
There are basically two kinds of tractors: agricultural and construction.

Agricultural machines are great at pulling, with good ground clearance and low weight. 
Construction tractors are heavy, have less ground clearance and great at lifting.

So, my construction machine weighs 11,000 lbs. and can easily lift 5000 lbs. It's perfect for sawmill chores. . . . but has a hard time in the woods, leaving ruts and getting hung up on stumps. The agricultural machines are much better at getting logs out of the woods, but struggle with lifting - for both height and weight at the sawmill.

The logs you said you might encounter are 16' long and 24" diameter.
That's about 3100 lbs. if the tree is an oak. Can the tractor you'll be looking for lift that? It may weigh in at 6 to 7,000 lbs. - regardless of horsepower. 
Here's a good website for tractor data: http://www.tractordata.com/farm-tractors/index.html 

Here's the humour part: Only you know what you'll value most in a machine. 
You'll know what you value, once you've owned a machine for a few years. 
Then you'll REALLY know which machine you need.  :D  :(  :D
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 02:34:41 PM »
Compact tractor,that's what I have, 40 hp will kinda do what you want. But drop a front tire in a 6 inch hole,with a good size log up in the air four feet,bad things will happen quick. And I do mean quick.
I could use a bigger one.  ;D
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 03:48:26 PM »
You can buy old, cheap, powerful and reliable equipment all day long, BUT - you can only choose three of those qualities.  I have done what you are tying to do and in the end found that there is no one size fits all, at least not on the cheap.  As it was said you are either going to have lifting capacity issues or traction / clearance issues.  It would take a little work but affixing a set of forks to a 3 pt hitch for your log lifting, basically along the lines of a bale spear,  would give you more capacity than a loader would for the same size tractor, the kicker there is you will be limited with how high you can lift.    
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 04:02:54 PM »
Replace cheap with reasonably priced and it is probably doable.

It seems that the 30 to 40 hp range is in the most demand and the most held on to size tractor around my area bump up a bit in size and the prices seem more reasonable plus more lift capacity and height.

With some remote hydraulics a person could easily add a tilting function to the rear forks which would be really handy, with a bit more ingenuity some extra lift could be added as well.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 05:06:20 PM »
It hard to get too large a tractor for use around the mill. An industrial (yellow) loader backhoe should do anything around the mill you need. Ideally another farm tractor for skidding and woods use. I modified a JD 45 loader on my old JD 60 with forks will handle about 3000 lb. If I can't lift it and don't want to shorten the log, I don't mess with it. Some like a grapple, myself I prefer adjustable forks. Frank C.
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Offline Wudman

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 05:23:13 PM »
 


I have a set of forks that I welded up for the three point hitch.  I can lift close to a ton with the forks, but don't have the lift height to load a trailer with just the forks.  This unit is on a Fordson Dexta (2000 Ford - 32 horsepower).  It is a mast that I pirated off a Clark Forklift.  I stuck a pair of stub axles in the mounts for the forklift.  It will lift anything that you reasonable stick it under.  It has to be on solid ground or I hang myself up.  In reality it is too heavy for that tractor.  It is a three stage lift and is total overkill for my needs.  I bought it off Ebay.  The price was right - I paid $400 for the forklift, removed the mast and sold the tractor for scrap for $600.  After buying wheels, axles, and new hoses, I ended up with nothing in the lift.  It would be good on a 75 - 100 horsepower tractor.  I have seen commercial 3 point forklifts that are light enough to use without issue.  I have used this one with a 80 HP New Holland tractor to load a 20 ton highboy trailer.  Works ok.




Here is the overview of the unit.  Tight turns will cause the wheels on the mast to slide and puts undue stress on the lift arms and stabilizers.  I have to make wide sweeping turns to protect the tires.  I have been considering foam filling them so I don't slide one off the rim.  I would prefer to have dual remotes on my larger tractor and use it on that.




The stub axles bolted right in the mounts for the mast.  I used a section of 2 1/2 inch (I think) galvanized pipe for some shims.





This is what I started with.  Not very good for working on unpaved ground.





This is my log arch.  It started life as a 3/4 ton Chevy crew cab pickup.  I build it to handle tree length logs.  It is powered with a Mile Marker hydraulic winch.  I don't have a picture of my forks, but they are pretty basic with a hydraulic cylinder for the top link.  Work very well to move stuff around.

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Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 05:33:47 PM »
I guess cheap is a relative term as is reliable.  I've had a number of hoses and cylinder seals go out but that's probably due to age more than anything.


 
This can lift 9,000 pounds (I've maxed that a few times with logs ::) and often with boulders), up to 38' high (that should be high enough for anyone's mill ;)), has lots of ground clearance (I have it leaning towards the camera a bit) - about 20" and it was "cheap" at $8,000.  It is around a 1987 model.

Reliable?  I suppose.  I get about 3 months between annoying repairs.
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Offline Andries

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 05:43:34 PM »


 
Loading height can get to be an issue with smaller machines. If you're stacking lumber up high, or loading bins with bark and slash, height 'reach' gets to be important. . . and tippy. 
A heavy tractor/loader is better around the mill and log yard.



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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 05:44:26 PM »
So you might have an idea on tractor size - I have a 2 wheel drive Kubota MX 5100 (54 hp) with a FEL.  With the rear tires loaded it is still light in the rear end.  I use a ballast box on the 3 point hitch.  I can lift (on the front forks) a green oak 24" dia and 8' long okay.  Anything much larger it gets sketchy real quick!   I can skid a considerably larger log but lifting onto the mill would be a real challenge.  If I can lift one end of the log skidding is much easier.  

A neighbor has a forklift mast modified for a 3 point hitch.  His rear hydraulic lines control lift and tilt. He can easily lift 2000 pounds+ 12 feet high.    Transporting is a slight challenge but doable.  He transports things as low as possible and lifts while stationary.  The bottom of the mast has steel wheels that rest on the ground when lifting.   A word of caution should you go this route, lifting too high on a side incline WILL cause a tip over.

 I agree an industrial backhoe is a good choice as a sawmill support machine.  Skidding could be a challenge. 

IMO the best machine would be a telehandler-a rough terrain forklift with an extendable boom.  Lift capacity with the boom extended can be upwards of 5000 pounds depending upon the machine.  A grapple or grapple forks can be used with a telehandler and it can be used to skid logs as long as the terrain is not too steep.  It's easy to spend somebody else's money.   :D
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Offline John S

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2018, 05:51:44 PM »
Check out Outdoors with the Morgans on YouTube.
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Offline Jack Lilley

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2018, 06:01:18 PM »
I have a New Holland TC30 (30hp), I use it to yard trees out from my woodlot, first with a bar on the 3pth I could hook chains into and this summer with a Igland winch. I have a set of bolt on forks for the bucket I use to load my sawmill. While this size works good something a little bigger would do the work a little easier. If I was buying another tractor I would look for something in the 45hp range, a little heavier machine with a little more hydraulic power. If you are going to do much yarding wood the winch is worth the money, so much easier and can do a better job being selective without damaging other trees.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2018, 07:26:23 PM »
Jack you are right on the size,what can be done and not done. The wife has the same size tractor,I have the 40hp. But that 30hp I can sneak through the woods with it. Not much sneaking goes on with the 40hp. It's that much longer and wider. BUt I can do more with the 40hp. I can haul alot more out with the 40,meaning less trips. Most of my woods roads time is at least 5 minutes one way. I have never really tried to haul as much as the 40 can,I have no winch on the 30,nor a loader on it. But I can not see it doing the work of the 40.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2018, 07:43:15 PM »
I was in the same boat last year at this time.  I had a 25 horse Kubota at the time, but it was too small to lift big logs.  I bought a 42 horse that has a much stronger loader.  Even still I have trouble with oak logs that are long and thick.  I donít want a bigger tractor though.  I can push the bigger ones around and lift them with my loading apparatus I attached to the mill.  Originally I used a farm jack to lift the apparatus with log on it.  Now I push a big log up on the arms and then I can use the tractor loader to lift the apparatus.  I definitely recommend 4wd if you will use a loader.
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2018, 07:49:03 PM »
This is the thread I started a while back.
http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=98556.0
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2018, 10:17:25 PM »
If I was buying another tractor, I would pay a little more attention to the gal. per min. flow rate of the hydraulic pump.  My tractor is a 70 horse power Kubota (M7040) but the flow rate is somewhere around 11 gal. per min.  Wish it was a little bit more.  Banjo
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2018, 06:35:16 AM »
I use a old Ford 2000, 36hp tractor with a old hay fork. It's a 1975. I am able to lift logs that are under 25"x16' long with it. I tried to lift a 26"x16', was able to, but was unable to move the tractor. :o That was a first. :o No problem, Used my backhoe. ;D 

I use the heck out of the tractor when sawing. I back up to my mill and as I saw, slabs and lumber go on the forks. Makes life easy. 8)

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2018, 06:38:40 AM »
If you use the old circular sawyers trick and set your band mill up on a side hill you don't need to lift logs merely roll them. You can have the mill at a handy Hight and just roll the logs on. Frank C. 
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2018, 12:46:57 PM »
 

 my 8n Ford and log arch is what I use. I mill cedar only so no real big logs.
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2018, 12:48:48 PM »
 

 
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2018, 09:05:49 PM »
Before I was into milling I was an OWB dealer. To load and unload trucks we mounted a forklift mast on the 3 point arms of a 70 HP Belarus tractor. It lifted and handled up to 3500# on firm level ground. However, the shift pattern was unusual to say the least. It was tough but sure was crude.
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2018, 07:53:16 AM »
My 8540 Kubota 4wd fel is rated at 3800 i think.
I still have to use4wd sometimes whenbacking up a slight   grade with a heavy load on the forks even with my 700 pound farmi winch on behind and loaded tires.
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2018, 08:29:01 AM »
I feel like a toddler with my puny Kubota L2800 28 hp tractor. I have had a few logs that moving was quite challenging and getting them high enough to put on the mill was also quite challenging. But so far it has worked good for me. The trick is to lift closer to the front of the tractor. so instead of using forks or chain over the front of the bucket I put chain over the back of the bucket. You would be surprised at how much more you can lift by doing that.

Tractordata says 1142 lbs lift capacity at the pin.

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2018, 09:14:23 AM »
I recently sawed this job:  Whatcha Sawin' ??? in Sawmills and Milling


 
I was shocked that the customer's Kubota110 would not lift the log, but the sawmill's loader handled it quite nicely.

So what size tractor is best?  I have never seen one too large.  ;D
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2018, 01:10:44 PM »
I went into the abyss with this when I bought my custom made New Holland from overseas.  The North American versions of most tractors, both foreign and domestic, are limited on their lift capacity due to the safety concerns of a full overhead lift, and are generally sized to lift one or two full round bales of hay, overhead, nothing more.  The pressure for most hydraulic system is about the same, so the pressure capacity is there, its just not utilized, intentionally, for an Ag tractor.  So a backhoe, a construction machine, with the same motor will have significantly more lifting power for the same engine Hp, due mainly to larger hydraulic cylinders.

The problem is that when using larger diameter hydraulic rams, you increase the lift force, but lose the speed.  So then larger flow rate pump is required, or even a second hydraulic pump, which I have.

This is why even a relatively small Agricultural or Farm tractor can basically lift as much as a big Farm tractor, and oddly enough, sometime when getting into the real big tractors, say 200 hp and up, the actual lift capacity can go down because these tractors aren't designed for from end loaders and all the hydraulics are servicing the PTO and rear end.

The "Yellow" versions of the agricultural tractors, such as shown in the previous posts are construction grade tractors and generally have the uprated hydraulic system, and can lift significantly more, for the same horsepower.

Once the lift capacity goes up, the rear end, front end, everything must be upgraded also or things start to fall off.  I had my dealer upgrade my loader lift and curl cylinders on my old TN70 and it would dead lift with the big boys, but every now and then the front bearings would crack. 

If buying a new tractor, look at the specs and get the hydraulics upgraded, if possible.
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2018, 09:32:10 PM »
Iv got a 2017 kubota 7060 73hp with 3000# of lift at max lift height or 3500# but loose 10Ē of max lift. The 3 pt has a 4000# lift capacity. I dont have anything fabbed up yet to lift from the rear, so i use a 4000# set of pallet forks and 99% of the trees im dealing with, i have to engage 4wd to drive forward bc my rear tires are 6-10Ē off the ground. But if im going backwards, the front drive pushes my rear tires to the ground and helps to disperse the load towards the rear a bit more. 
35-45 hp wont lift but about 1500-2000#. I had a 35hp kubota, traded up to a 50hp 2 yrs later and a yr after that, traded up to a 73 hp. Im done going bigger with ag, so my next purchase will be a construction all terrain forklift or a backhoe. 
Look to the future when purchasing equipment, dont concentrate only on the present. 
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2018, 06:36:48 AM »
I like the versatility of a tractor but I find myself searching CL often looking for used, medium sized wheel loaders.  If all we did was move logs at a mill and did not need to transport, mow and do other chores that a tractor is handy for, I would probably own a loader.  We saw wood for recreation and do not rely on it to pay the bills- more of an excuse to seek refreshments and watch slabs burn after a few hours of "work".

Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2018, 08:40:34 AM »
My friend had a Kubota wheel loader.
That type of machine would be great at the mill.
They cost a lot more than a tractor.
My Mahindra dealer tells me we might see skid loaders and small wheel loaders soon.
thomas 8013 mill ,Mahindra 3540 cab tractor loader  Dump trailer  and lot of contracting tools

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2018, 07:06:29 AM »
Well a few more weeks have gone by since I posted this originally. Iíve done a bit more tooling around in the woods and on my mill. I feel that I am unlikely to be cutting anything beyond 20Ē diameter. And Iíve inherited a good old logging winch which I hope to use as soon I have a tractor that it will fit. As well Iíve rigged up a ramp and winch system for getting logs onto my mill.
So my main consideration for the tractor now is: something just large enough to carry this new winch of mine. But not too big that I canít get in and out of the woods comfortably. (Right now my trails are all atv trails.) Drag logs out of the woods to my mill. Front end loader to lift small to medium size loads to and from the mill.
Iím looking at a local 1984 International 484 with a front end loader. I think it will do all that I need it to do but my one question is. It is two wheel drive. Do many of you use 2 wheel drive tractors for dragging logs out of your wood lots?  I realize Iíll have to have realistic expectations but is it still reasonable for a hobbyists use?  It comes with chains and weighted rear tires.

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2018, 07:20:32 AM »
Before the 4wd tractors came out a lot of wood was hauled behind a 2wd tractor.It depends on your terrain as well.A heavy 2wd tractor with chains,loaded tires,and good working brakes will work.You will have to depend on the brakes for steering.Before I got my current tractor I used a 2wd Kubota M4000 with a Tajfun winch on the back.It had a creeper gear and that tractor would go anywhere,just not fast.My terrain is rough.
Be careful,things get sqiurrely pretty quick.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2018, 09:45:35 AM »
Yes a 2wd will do it. We use to use a Ford NAA,a little bigger than those 8 and 9n's.
But that International looks almost twice the size of what we used. We use to haul out my firewood in log length. Yes,we would get kinda stuck. Sometimes a stump on one side and a good size tree root,or a rock would stop us. Just have to set over a foot and off we would go again.
We bought a 4wd to cut some logs to sell. What a difference. A mighty difference. But I am the same way,sometimes you have to use what you have. Be it money or just don't need something so called bigger and better.
I only have a manual mill. So what? Yes a hyd mill can out cut me all day and easier to use. BUT I don't need a high price mill. I only saw for myself. I am happy with what I have.
Plan out your roads. I still do a real good job with my roads. Be it hauling in rocks to fill up a wet hole or I just built a road and it was a rough spot,rocks sticking up and kinda wet. Many rocks later it is smooth and dry. Whatever improvement you make,you will use it for many years. Yes,it make take me a couple times before I can get a road through. Due to rocks,trees that I want to keep,sharp knolls.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2018, 01:02:10 PM »
You might also consider a mini excavator. I use an 8,000# excavator to load my mill and also to pull logs out of wet areas. I have a thumb on it now, but originally I just made a HD attachment with tongs on each end. I bolted that across the top, open side of the bucket. According to the log weight tool on this site I could lift about 2500# in close out to the side or in back and no more in front with the blade down, but the blade helped me reach out 4-5' farther. Now with my thumb, I can only lift maybe 2000# but the grip is the weak link. Trying to lift more I simply drop the log as bark slides off.
My little excavator was only $8900 back about 10-11 yrs ago, it is a 1989 machine.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2018, 04:30:03 PM »
Yea good idea. Seems like there is a member that hooked a trailer to his excavator and loaded that.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2018, 05:24:10 PM »
The IH 484 is similar hp but considerably heavier than my Kubota.  I believe you can do what you need to with that size tractor.  I use a ballast box on the 3 pt hitch when lifting logs with the FEL even with loaded rear tires.  A set of tire chains on the tractor will make a big difference in the woods.
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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2018, 09:29:53 PM »
You can do a lot with a 2wd tractor. Hereís my IH 574 gas tractor with a Dunham 2020 FEL hauling in a little chunk of a blow down burr oak on a set of forks I built for the 3pt hitch or loader. Note the counter ballast in the front bucket and the squatting rear tires. I highly discourage doing this.Wasnít one of my brightest ideas. I had to steer with the brakes.



 
Brent 

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2018, 07:23:14 AM »
Who was the lucky person that got to split that little piece of oak?
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2018, 10:24:55 AM »
Who was the lucky person that got to split that little piece of oak?
Oh that would've been me and my trusty "056 Super". Never again. Huge waste of time and fuel.

Brent

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2018, 03:00:54 PM »
New here but have been milling wood with a Stihl MS 880 unto 80" wide. We started moving wood with a come along and quickly upgraded! We now use a good sized track skid steer. 3500lb lift with forks. Anything bigger than that we will mill it up on site.

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2018, 03:21:41 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, offrink!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline alanh

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2018, 05:24:58 PM »
Agree with those above that "construction" equipment is a lot more capable than similiar sized "farm" stuff, a yellow JD 110 is quite a wheeled machine, also the versatility and maneuverability of a skid steer shouldn`t be overlooked

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2018, 06:36:03 PM »
I read a couple responses above that mentioned the propensity of a tractor with too much weight to "tip" over. Having had this experience myself a couple times, it's a very real concern. 

One very plausible way to die while sawmilling is to roll over a tractor while carrying too big a log. If you have lots of tractor experience, it's less of a concern, but everyone gets impatient, and sometimes goes a bit too far. 

A lot of the pictures I see posted of tractors with a lot of weight on them in this thread have no Rollover Protection System (ROPS). ROPS will help prevent the tractor from crushing you under it if it does happen to roll over. It depends on you wearing your seatbelt and staying in the seat while that's happening. 

The other option you should look at if you are pulling trees from your woodlot is "Falling Object Protection System) or FOPS. As you bump trees in the woods, they drop things (branches, bird nests, squirrels, and etc.) and some of those things can land on your head. So if you will be moving around inside the woods and under the canopy, consider FOPS equipped tractors too. Safety first. 


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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2018, 06:38:44 PM »
offrink,welcome to the forum. I also see you have a LT15 wide. You sure do like the wide stuff.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2018, 09:04:44 PM »
A lot of the pictures I see posted of tractors with a lot of weight on them in this thread have no Rollover Protection System (ROPS). ROPS will help prevent the tractor from crushing you under it if it does happen to roll over. It depends on you wearing your seatbelt and staying in the seat while that's happening.  The other option you should look at if you are pulling trees from your woodlot is "Falling Object Protection System) or FOPS. As you bump trees in the woods, they drop things (branches, bird nests, squirrels, and etc.) and some of those things can land on your head. So if you will be moving around inside the woods and under the canopy, consider FOPS equipped tractors too. Safety first. 


Better advice can not be said.  It only takes a moment to get over the center of gravity and roll a tractor, once she start to go your reaction time is too slow.  As far as FOPS go - ABSOLUTELY - I have bumped dead pines with my 48,000 lb feller buncher - it is armored like a tank - and when a 16' chunk of dead pine comes from 20' up it has rocked my buncher like a Tonka Toy - even bounced the loaded tires off the ground - if that were an open station machine the operator would be dead, no question about it.  

Just over two years ago a local guy was removing a couple trees from basically his back 40 using his open station Kubota tractor, well something happened and one fell on top of the tractor and pinned him to the steering wheel.  It really was not a big tree, but it was big enough that he didn't survive.  
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Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline waynorthmountie

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2018, 09:17:48 PM »
Who was the lucky person that got to split that little piece of oak?
Oh that would've been me and my trusty "056 Super". Never again. Huge waste of time and fuel.

Brent
What was the diameter on that sucker. Someday I want a big Bandsaw mill for just that stuff. love how it looks slabbed out. Only issue Is I will likely have to ship most of the huge diameter wood to my area so It won't happen. But a man can dream.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2018, 06:35:52 AM »
I don't recall anyone telling me their tractor was too big or too powerful. With the advent of articulated loaders the old rear steer loaders can be had for chump change if you search. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2018, 10:14:55 AM »
What was the diameter on that sucker. Someday I want a big Bandsaw mill for just that stuff. love how it looks slabbed out. Only issue Is I will likely have to ship most of the huge diameter wood to my area so It won't happen. But a man can dream.
I don't recall but it was way too big for the tractor. As a reference the tire size is 
16.9-28. So rim alone is 28"
Brent

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2018, 11:53:46 PM »
Iíve owned a 2WD and they suffer from the rear drive wheels coming off the ground the heavier the load gets.  Iíve gotten stuck on flat ground with a 2WD and a load of lumber logs. Also, if you reverse and turn hard with a load, it will eventually snap the front axles.  Iíve do that twice.  

A 4WD will dig the front tires in and greatly increase traction with the heavier the load.  Iíve owned from 40 and up 4WD and the all worked well.

This is my current tractor with the upgraded heavier lift configuration hydraulics.  4 logs and no problem.
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Offline Greyhound

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2018, 12:18:25 AM »
You are getting some great advice so far.  If I dare to summarize it so far I would say... 1. Buy used if possible, it is a much better value.  2.  Since tractors, etc, keep their price so well over time, don't be afraid to buy new if need be.  3.  Weight of the tractor is more important than horsepower.  This one is confusing, since oftentimes higher h.p. tractors have heavier chassis.  So, what does this mean?  You may be able to get away with a "compact" tractor in the 20-40 h.p. range if you add appropriate ballast weight to the 3-pt hitch. FWIW, I have Kubota L3710  (38 hp "compact") with an LA681 (1500#) FEL and I can handle pretty good sized logs.  However, if you can afford it you should try to get into a "utility" tractor in the 30-60 hp range (e.g. Kubota M or MX series).  These will have much heavier frames, suspensions and hydraulics.  Sorry, I don't know the comparable models in other tractors.  I'm absolutely no expert.

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2018, 06:05:16 AM »
wbrent, you don't show where you are from. That would help. For example, in New York State and maybe others there is a ROPS program where a grant is issued to pay for much of the cost of retro-fitting an older tractor with a ROPS. In the program it must be done by a professional, you can not install one yourself.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

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Re: Tractor size
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2018, 07:58:34 AM »
Thanks so much folks for all your replies and suggestions. I ended up pulling the trigger on an 1984  International 484. RAted for 50hp I think. Its a bit of a fixer upper - not much though. Along with an old winch that I will take the time to overhaul. 
I have no intention of carrying large heavy loads with this. MAinly to just drag a log from the woods to my mill. I think this is going to be perfect for my purposes. Came with a set of good chains too. When I get something loaded for the first time I'll see if I can manage some pictures. Thanks folks.  


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