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Author Topic: Cat TSK track skidders  (Read 945 times)

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Offline OH logger

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Cat TSK track skidders
« on: February 04, 2019, 04:51:12 PM »
im considering the D4 model TSK skidders.  does anyone know much about them? I would like a grapple but prolly settle for a cable if the machine is easy to jump on and off of. its real flat here and the woods stay wet so much that I would like to skid to the woods edge and pull em the rest of the way to the landing (if its not right there) with my grapple skidder. I always was thinkin about a 550 or 650 deere possibly LGP but they don't get the log that high off the ground and we get into some pretty good diameter stuff here. I just started seeing these older cat track skidders and like the idea of em. they get the log higher off the ground. im pretty concerned about flotation cause ill only be using it if its too wet in the woods for my 548. I also like that they are made for pulling wheras a dozer is made for pushing. they seem hard to find as im assuming they didn't make many of em. the new 517s are just too expensive still. I like a single arch idea cause I need a winch for pullin over edge trees.  maybe hangin a grapple off the back is a bad idea for one reason or another. I work alone and would only use it about 100 to 200 hours a year. so im looking for anyone with experience with these cats as to how they hold up, how accessable parts are, how they float and all that good stuff.  or what to stay away from. Thanks
john

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 09:47:39 PM »
We have a D4H TSK an 88 model with about 9k for hours and it's been trouble free if we bought a different one I wouldn't a single arch grapple model I'd rather have a swinging grapple it's easier on the undercarriage. Most of the TSK were sold out here and are still extremely popular for wet weather from clear cuts to thinnings, if you look for the 5 or 527 you'll see more of them for sale just because they were more popular.

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 05:22:01 AM »
I would probably prefer to guard up (depending on the forestry cab rules in the area) a younger dozer (even an earth mover, fresh off a dirt site with shiny blade and grousers )  and put on a new or reconditioned(with warranty) winch.
Lottery buying an older logging dozer in many places. Could have water in the engine from sitting around so long, hidden probs etc or could be ok.

There are a few tsk operators/ owners that have written or videoed  them with some information e.g
d4 tsk


Possible to fabricate higher fairleads for a dozer winch, if you know about the metal used in the winch etc  (use lower fairleads for side pulling)
https://www.pkengineering.co.nz/forestry-industry/md5dyvsq48w5tcihj96h02d1igww70    

Pulling a bit low with the 650J
   (John Deere 650J)

-----------------------------------
Depending on environmental rules etc - what are the other options, serious mud tire chains etc for the 548?, (winch assist for the 548  )  single grousers with extensions on an excavator/ grapple swing machine for shovel logging. KMC skidder. Old school - ground cable hauling.



Offline starmac

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 07:52:11 PM »
The main logger I haul for has one, with a swinging grapple. It was probably wore out when he bought it, and still is. It runs and performs great, but the undercarraige is getting tired. They are a weird track rail setup that I am betting is big bucks. I have run it a little, and it is one handy rig. I have no idea how many hours it has on it either, nor where it came from or anything about it's history.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline OH logger

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 10:46:38 AM »
ive done some m more looking and the ones with grapples are harder to find than hens teeth. in fact I don't know of a D4 grapple for sale. I found a d5 but that's too big for me. I cant have a swing boom cause I NEED a winch.  im not opposed to a cable machine. the ones ive found have either 18'' or 24" pads on em.  im sure 24" would float better (how much better im not sure) but im thinking I heard on here one time that the wider the pads th harder it is on the rest of the undercarriage when you hit a stump, etc. is this correct? and how much better would a 24" pad machine float than  an 18"? I have not much experience with dozers as you can tell. but I think buyin a dozer this time of the year is about like buying a boat in may. its a sellers market.
john

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 10:52:44 AM »
The winch on ours is worthless its too *DanG fast with no control over it, even the cable ones the guys hate them. The reason you dont see them for sale is look out in the PNW theres a few for sale but guys dont want to get rid of them.

Offline labradorguy

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 11:03:12 AM »
I did a lot of engineering work for Cat in the TTT plant (track-type tractor). I can 100% guarantee you that you do not want to go the LGP route unless you are working in a bog and then you would probably be better off shovel logging it. :)

The stresses on the undercarriage are exponentially compounded with those wide tracks. Yes, they do float better, but you will pay for it. They were designed for outfits that HAVE to work every day in the same terrain regardless of conditions. As a logger you have a little more flexibility in your scheduling and picking and choosing your terrain. In your case, IMHO, the benefits just don't outweigh the extra expense and downtime.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 11:04:17 AM »
The first PDF i came to on a D4K2 compares the XL vs LGP with 18" vs 25" pads on the same 89" track frame.  Ground pressure was 5.6 vs 4.2 pounds per square inch respectively.  

I have a D31P with 24" pads and it floats very well but you have to be careful not to let a rock or stump get under the edge or youll bow a pad and obviously apply plenty of torsion to the rails which cant be in their best interest.   As the grouser bar wears down youll bow the pads easier and that'll also reduce some floatation a bit since theyre applying more weight in the center and sinking deeper before the bowed pad makes full contact.. Maybe splitting hairs tho.   

A tall grouser bar is part of the pads structure.  I have to assume double grousers would make the pad itself stronger.  Youll see worn ones frowning quite a bit more than a fresh set. 

Revelation 3:20

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 06:42:06 PM »
Sort of have to question what is not right with the 548.

4x4 forestry Tractor with powered trailer in the wet


Cat D6T winching log in mud
Davis's Cat D6T Dozer snigging logs - YouTube


Grapple skidder in the wet, where would a operator of a small tsk be sitting in this?


John Deere 548 dual winch, tire chains and hydraulic back plate (france?) winch control - to bring up half the load weight at a time, tire chains for weight and traction, hydraulic back plate for a brake, to lower into dirt with, and grapple tongs on front blade for extra weight.
There is a better video of this machine, somewhere on youtube.
EXTRÊME SKIDDER JOHN DEERE 548 G3 - YouTube

Offline OH logger

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2019, 04:23:33 PM »
the search is over. I gave up on the cat tsk.  too rare (too much money), and kinda big for my needs. I bought a 1994 JD 650 G LGP. im putting a log arch on it. its nothin spectacular but its in my price range and I think its a sound machine.  itll be a great 1st dozer to get my feet wet. if I use it way more than I think I will I can always step up but I think I got a good machine at a fair price. hope fully itll have the new arch on and a couple other minor things and be ready to roll mid to late week this coming week!! thanks for the help fellers!!

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2019, 05:06:11 AM »
Remember to be careful unloading etc

 (dozer off the side of the transport)


Excavators in the sloppy ground can pull and push themselves around with the boom, stick & attachment.  

Dozers in the wet require an equal and more amount of pre-planning.
There are bolt on traction aids for the lgp shoes (I would not use them myself) . If you need the traction aids it often means you should be staying out of that area till the ground is dryer.  trackgripusa.net

For the serious machines there are cleated lgp shoes. (diagonal grousers - wood getting stuck in them?)
Caron Compactor Company, Inc.  |  New Dozers

Offline starmac

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2019, 02:56:09 PM »
The logger I originally hauled for had a 650 g with the full logging package, which he used to build the roads and any skidding he had to do. He mostly shovel logged, but at times had to skid. when he first got it he had some hydraulic or tranny problems, that were caused by the front end lifting too much while skidding. He was down to oregon at a logging equipment show and they had one with a grappel. He mentioned to the salesman that it would be worse with the grappel than just the arch, compounding the problem he has. The salesman explained that they had loaded the inside of the blade with over 1000 pounds of lead. He came home and did the same thing to his, and it worked much better for skidding and got rid of his problem.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 07:57:29 AM »
The logger I originally hauled for had a 650 g with the full logging package, which he used to build the roads and any skidding he had to do. He mostly shovel logged, but at times had to skid. when he first got it he had some hydraulic or tranny problems, that were caused by the front end lifting too much while skidding. He was down to oregon at a logging equipment show and they had one with a grappel. He mentioned to the salesman that it would be worse with the grappel than just the arch, compounding the problem he has. The salesman explained that they had loaded the inside of the blade with over 1000 pounds of lead. He came home and did the same thing to his, and it worked much better for skidding and got rid of his problem.
nice & simple
Liking Walnut

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 10:36:36 AM »
Doin dishes on a rainy day and these popped up, seemed a bit related to this thread.  Some high track cats cutting road.  I dont know if those are built as skidders or dozers but they seem to be pushing well.  Except maybe for at the end where the guy slotted it so deep.  I normally dont see vids of winch machines doing significant blade work. 






Revelation 3:20

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cat TSK track skidders
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 11:26:27 AM »
527 would be a purpose built track skidder, the D6 is a conversion machine.


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