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Author Topic: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV  (Read 4067 times)

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Offline wisconsitom

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TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« on: February 18, 2019, 11:00:30 AM »
Fellows, I will have an amount of thinning to do in my larch plantation within next 5 years.  Actually, I need to do a non-commercial thinning before that, but that is another topic.

At any rate, given the size of stems I will be cutting, mostly in the 12" to 16" diameter at the base range, and all softwoods initially.....I think I can get away with moving the cut material with a good ATV/UTV and one of these forestry trailers w/winch.  I would not have thought this doable until I hit YouTube and watched roughly 100 videos of folks doing logging that is roughly on the same scale as what I might be doing....and these combos appeared to work well, maybe even better than tractor rigs.  Much narrower, more maneuverability. plenty of power for loads I saw toted....and even some ability in snow.  Very surprising.

For example, if you access the "Swedish Homestead" group of videos, the guys from Germany that moved to Sweden to log and saw with a Wood-Miser..They use just such a rig and are sawing some fairly large spruce.  Well-within any weight I'd need to haul from one end of my property to another.

What am I missing?  This equip. is, of course, much lighter than "real" forestry stuff, yet there are all those videos of guys succeeding.....or seeming to succeed, with these units.

Note...I'm not looking for a firewood hauler, although it may get used for that now and then, but a unit with log bunks.  DR makes one, Woodland Mills makes one...I'm sure there are more.  Are these things useful?  Sure look it.

Thanks
tom

Offline mike_belben

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 11:33:34 AM »
The problem is there is no real saleable material generated in the pre commercial thinning operation in america for the most part, europe seems to pay for crazy high tech machines by harvesting cigarette packs of wood somehow..   Anyway all these fabricated atv grapple systems have a very real pricetag.  You can buy an old skidder AND junky knuckleboom for what some of these quads + powerpack + grapple trailer cost.   And we know they arent suited for the commercial end of a harvest so basically they cost an input fortune and generate an output trickle in our country.  Business wise thats a terrible model.

In my opinion they are for folks who have excess capital and need a retirement hobby or really need a deductible toy.  Im speaking of the financial picture of buying a manufactured unit only,.  Not of doing critical TSI or of building equipment for it.  I am 1000% behind you there. 


A quad can pull wood.  An old garden tractor or compact ag tractor can be made to pull wood better than a quad and not split in two from fatige at the puny 1/8" frame welds or crack a paperweight aluminum case or smoke that baby clutch.  A small articulated trencher is plate steel and dana 30 or bigger truck axles, usually with hydraulic motor into cast iron gearbox drive.  it can be made to pull wood better than either of those and the weight balance is already designed right.  They are meant to pull a very heavy cable plow through tight spaces and a boatload of tractive power/weight.  They all fit on the same sized trail and trailer. They all can be bought cheap, repaired and built into purpose machines. Your level of fabrication capacity really kinda decides what you end up doing, if you dont have the money to just plop down or if you dont habe any desire to consider the financial end of it.  Thats sounds silly but theres no shortage of harleys and vettes a ski boats to prove my point.  Not everyone cares about the money so without knowing your financial portion its hard to tailor a response to auit you perfectly.  


I have seen all the vids of new hobby homestead machines pulling wood out and ive done my share too.   We see the quad vids when theyre new, not when theyve got 6000 hours.  The duty cycle at max load continually goes up when you go from quad to mini tractor to trencher.  

This softwood you will be dragging out, what will you do with it and whats the shortest length it can be? How physically fit are you?  Ive built a number of contraptions for this stuff on a mostly zero dollar budget that actually works, but will wait for that info before saying any more.
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 11:52:45 AM »
Thanks Mike.  So "hobby" and "retirement" are two important words in your reply above.  And more generally, I would get better traction here with my questions if I was sure to spell out....this is not my main income source.  These are indeed "retirement toys" albeit with a fairly serious purpose, that of extracting and culling runts and weaklings from a very dynamic plantation....and attempting to, among other things, make prototype products that could be used in home shows, etc......things like weather-fast wood bevel siding, interior paneling featuring figured grain, flooring, etc.  Mostly small-dimension stuff from smaller logs that are being culled from main "crop" or legacy trees in stand.

But at this farm, there would be use for any trailer that could haul rocks, dirt, sawdust, woodchips, etc.   So those combo trailers with the metal boxes make sense for this use as well.

Gotta run but will check back later.

Thanks,
tom

Offline mike_belben

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 12:00:21 PM »
Thats totally fine and dont take it as me condemning in any way.  People habe the right to do whatever they want with their time and money.  Knowing the goal makes it possible to give bettter advice.  You dont tell a guy to buy a pipeline welder for his art deco passion, or a 110 flux core for starting his pipeliner career.  Need to know the purpose and duty cycle and budget to pick the tool.


So part 2, whats your level of fabrication willingness and ability?

2A, whats the forest material length x dia and your ability for physical labor? Can you lug an end up on occasion or must it be 100% joystick work?  Can there be skidding or only forwarding?  How is the terrain?

3.  Whats the budget

I cant say whats right or wrong for you but i can tell ya what ive tried and what didnt work, which is hopefully useful in your endeavor.
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 02:40:49 PM »
I'd rather purchase these toys, then modify as need arises.  My physical condition is, well....let me tell you what my doctor said when I asked her a...'where do I rank for a 62-year-old man'... kind of question...she replied "95% or better"....so yeah, I'm in shape.  I routinely lift heavy objects over my head repeatedly just for the exercise!  I walk faster than anyone I know.

Logs will be larch, so not actually so light a wood.  Much denser than their pine-family status might suggest.  I'd like to be able to lift, or I should say, place on the trailer, logs of up to 20" butt diameter or thereabouts, with an absolute maximum length of 20'.  These dimensions are way to the big side of what I will typically need to be moving, at least within the foreseeable time frame.  More typically, logs of perhaps 14" butt diameter and maybe 12' length.  In many cases, even shorter/smaller.

I ran a Prentice log loader in an earlier life.  That thing had capacity, but when a 70"-diameter silver maple stub was just a bit too heavy to lift, I would drag one end up onto bed, then get better purchase with more hydraulic oomph, and get big log up on bed.  On a much smaller scale, I could do similar with one of these trailers.  Again, I'm a strong guy.

I'd love a unit with knuckle boom but I'm not made out of money, for what is after all, a serious hobby.  So I seek info only on the winch units.  And I think I would like the accessory of a remote winch control and power off the ATV/UTV to run that winch...whatever it ends up being.

Thanks,
tom


Offline Skeans1

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 09:45:58 PM »
Are we talking tree length skidding with straight rows or dashing in and out to get a cull?

Offline timbco68

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 10:47:08 PM »
You'd be better off in my mind to use a skid steer to carry it out if it's 8 foot wood. I cant see an atv holding together at all over any amount of time.

Offline barbender

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 10:50:41 PM »
A 20" 20' larch is getting to be a pretty serious stick for the hobby category. Even though I work on a commercial cut to length crew, I have a soft spot for small scale equipment. Personally (I've never used any of this stuff so take it fwiw) I think any trailer and crane you can pull behind an atv is going to be lacking for moving the size wood you're speaking of. I think an atv arch would be a better option. That way you're not having to lift and load the logs, just back the arch over and hook up a set of tongs. The arch won't have as much of a tendency to push the quad around, either.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline mike_belben

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 11:44:41 PM »
20" x 20ft a quad will not touch IMO.. Maybe once or twice before you hear the metallic snap and the sauce leaks out.  Those few big logs will have to go on an arch and it may require a roller skate under the other end too if the terrain is bad enough.  ATVs are too light no matter how much HP to hook into that kinda weight skidding. Theyll spin in place or stand up and flip, or slip the clutch or worse, shatter something.

These illustrate what a quad can do.  No front ballast, wet clay, bad rubber.  Barely able to do 8ft of 16" red oak.  



Front ballasted, dry flat ground. pretty much max i can skid. Wet white oak.





These next two pics are culled firewood oaks i skidded out of my back lot individually because of the hill,  8 to maybe 15ft or so.. Then cut to 6 or 8 and loaded ALL of them on the trailer and hauled off without issue.  Wheels are really something!





With a trailer having the axle way back there is sufficient tongue weight, [and must also be sufficient front ballast] for my little 300cc kingquad to move about a facecord at a time this way as long as its not too long or steep of a climb.  Aircooled will overheat.  If the axle was centered, a long log would lift the back of the quad off the ground and lose braking/traction.  


 

Old iron compact tractors would skid that big stick size you describe without too much issue and actually survive it over and over. Pretty confident my 17hp kubota L175 2wd would skid it and im sure it wouldnt even notice on a arch or trailer.  Its only 4ft wide and theyre pretty cheap.  Drawbar power wise its like 5 or 6 of my kingquads if not more.  Theyre incomparable.  Same sized trail.. kubota would take 4 of those sticks per trip. Quad only 1.



And to briefly touch on garden tractors, this pic maxxed out my deere 140 sled puller toy. Its 2 sticks of 16" pine, a 10' and a 12'.  Bota would not care.





The issue with a trailer that holds 20fters is it doesnt get thru tiny trails anymore, so again id plan to skid or arch those, or cut them shorter as much as possible.

Manageable sized cull stuff loads onto a trailer pretty quick by hand.  A DC winch on a boom with tongs seems to be the cheapest and fastest mechanical loading assist but you must have some sort of outrigger stabilizers.  You probably saw the homesteader on youtube who forgot to put his outrigger down and bent the snot out of the whole trailer. A round main tube will resist that form of torsion loading far better than a square one given same size tube.   Biggest downsize to lots of winching is that the quad stator will be taxed hard and could burn up.   I would insist on hooking up a full sized deep cycle trolling motor battery in parallel with your quad system so that the voltage drop isnt too severe on the quad.  The deep cycle batteries will survive deep discharge that conventionals will not.

The atv grapple trailers look cool on youtube but how much of the quads payload is consumed by the grapple, outriggers and engine?  If you go that route, the pump unit really should be on the front of the quad for wheelie ballast.  

Keep in mind, when you wheelie with a trailer and grapple behind you on a quad, you get pinned into the grapple joysticks and gored pretty badly.  When really heavy, i throw a knee over the seat and avoid sitting in it.  Ballast is why i built that huge rack.   There was no steering before i did that.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 07:25:47 AM »
Tom, Not sure what kind of terrain your are working on, that can make a big difference. I too wanted to have a trailer like the one you seek, but cost really slowed me down. I came to learn that just pulling a few sticks at a time worked just fine and went quick. Dragging is a bear of rough on the gear, an arch to get the nose off the ground makes a world of difference, and for really big sticks, a skate under the rear will make that go well (see @nybhh gallery for a photo of one he made). On hilly terrain, you must consider braking and control also as you don't want the hitch or trailer to try to pass you. This little setup shown here handles everything I need so far and I have skidded red oak up to 22" x 16' without much issue. After doing this for a year or more, I think loading a trailer would take too much time for me and not add a lot of benefit. But that is for my situation, not yours.
Good Luck,
Tom


 
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I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline Ed_K

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 08:14:39 AM »
 I started with this equipment to do TSI work.


 

 And this is what I use now for work in my maple orchard.


 

 Over the yrs I tried two 4x4 wheelers then a 33hp compact with the compact I changed to the trailer in this pict. I also had to rework the loader from trying to lift 20" 8' pine logs.
 In the u-tube videos most of the logging is 8' logs around 6"to 10" dib. I did a red pine thinning and lost $$$. When I had the 33hp tractor. The trailer is now modified to take 10' logs. 12' logs if you put some 8' on top. Any thing longer the trailer comes off and dragged with the winch.
Ed K

Offline DaveP

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 08:26:28 AM »
I use a Logrite log arch behind my 4 wheeler.  Works great and easy to get around with. Keeps the wood off the ground so it is clean.  Look at their add.

                  davep

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 08:39:48 AM »
Most helpful fellows.  So here's what  I'm thinking, after reading your replies;  First, that 20-ft. larch log was only intended to outline the furthest limits of what I might be doing in say, the next 5-8 years in my plantation area.  Much more often, it will be smaller stuff needing to be hauled.

There will be "dashing in and out" to paraphrase Skeans 1, as well as taking out whole rows.

I'm in a marvelously hilly area-the glaciers really humped and dumped odd hills all over that country...but my terrain is fairly level.  Additionally, where this plantation area sits is high and well-drained.

I'm thinking, the combination of one of these trailers w/winch...I still like the idea...and then, a log arch for bigger stuff, as time progresses (our stock is rapidly growing-I am going to be harvesting timber that was-at its oldest-first planted in 2008!).  There will be white pine coming along shortly after the larch.  2nd-fastest grower in my plantation area.

I'd love a tractor/trailer w/boom combo, but I have a building to build ($$$), power to get installed, (more $$$), well to dig, (mad $$$) and a septic system...all in roughly the same time-frame.

Then, later, I can start to shop for a bandsaw mill!  If I can get by a little cheaper on the log-hauling stuff, it will be beneficial to the overall cause.  Plus, with the UTV/trailer, I can haul lots of other stuff, a task I always seem to need to be doing.

Thanks for reading.
tom

PS...how about this?...a bigger UTV-not ATV...hooked up to the beefiest "forestry trailer w/winch" I can find?  I'd rather have a UTV again...we used to have a Polaris....and with this combo, I would still be under the $$$ I'd spend on tractor with necessary attachments.  Tractors are dear these days.  Then again, so are side by sides!  I'm not a rich man, but I did take the trouble to save some funds for post-retirement needs.  Delayed gratification, I think it's called!

Offline mike_belben

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2019, 08:53:35 AM »
I definitely will put the atv at the bottom of choice list.  

Outside of the logging is your other life.  Whether its a tractor for bush hogging or a sxs for hunting and fetching the mail, is up to you.  Either machine has better HP and ground weight than a quad.  The tractor is obviously cast iron, exponentially more rugged and able to be the hydraulic source as well as a grapple/bucket loader in itself that a sxs will never be.. But that is all up to you.   You can get into a good older tractor or sxs probably starting in the 4k+ range if you are prudent and handy.  

Beware, a sxs is a belt convertor direct drive.  Any decent ag tractor has a planetary rear end with a high low.  I cant speak for the new hybrid mini tractors with hydrostatic drives like kubota bx25.  Not sure how rugged they are long term.  


Ed_k.. I am curious with your first setup, would the quad pull the trailer with wood flush up to the bunks?  What was the price on the loader if you dont mind me asking? And am i eyes deceiving me or is there a hose around the tree and wood block risers on the loader feet?
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2019, 09:12:10 AM »
It's more than the wood you are describing, having a trailer to haul rock, dirt etc.
After 40 yrs of that kind of life I can't tell you how much I wished I had bought a 4wd tractor earlier.  I have a D2 dozer that I rarely use.  A mid sized tractor (40-50hp) with a FEL and a set of forks will help you move logs and lumber.  I thinned a 1/2 acre a few years ago.  Cut it all 8' and hauled it out cross ways with the FEL. 
The total package of grading roads, lifting and moving dirt, gravel, logs, lumber, brush(forks make an ok brush rake) fits a wheel tractor imho.  I have never owner a 4wheeler but know people who do - and they also swear by tractors for the same kind of work you are describing.  My 2 cents.

Offline Weesa20

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2019, 09:20:10 AM »
I have used a 2014 polaris ace for a cleanup project and butt pile management on a 40 acre commercial hardwood thinning (I went in after the loggers left and cleaned up the tops for usable firewood). The issue with ATVs/UTVs is the rated tow capacity of around 2000 lbs. So even though the winch trailers can handle a bit more weight, the tow unit will be maxed out. I have broken the axle 3 times on a trailer rated for 1500 lbs simply by overloading it and trying to get that last chunk on there. Factory tow hitch is also failing. Have to avoind trying to get that last peice, which is eacy to say and much harder to do with darkness and rain moving in...Other than that, the ace has held up remarkably well with only a couple of CV boots torn in rough terrain. It has a clutch-belt transmission and I have not changed the belt. I also have hauled many cord of 20-24" oak with a Logrite arch and the ace but now use a compact tractor and Iglund logging winch which by far the best combination- and a forwarding trailer would even be better.  

W

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2019, 09:22:29 AM »
 Mike, the yamaha big bear pulled the trailer ok with 4' wood stacked up over the bunks in the middle, but I had to be real careful coming down a 20 hill. get to a 45 an your going for a ride ;D.
The loader came from Bailey's I think I paid $4500. it's a JMS 900.
The hoses go to an American 4' wood splitter chained to the pine tree.
The loader legs where to short to reach the ground mounted to an old boat trailer. So I tried the wood blocks but ended up welding extra metal to the bottom of the legs.
Oh the first 4x4 wheeler was a 200cc and I over heated one to many time till it quit running. burned up the $100. coil. so I traded for the 350 big bear.
Ed K

Offline mike_belben

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2019, 09:32:44 AM »
Thanks for replying ed.  Youre saying the wood is cut in 4ft lengths and rounded up over the bolsters right? How many rows of wood?  I cant quite tell how much longer the trailer is past the pic.  


I will be building another trailer for the kubota,  pretty similar to yours when i get my junk all moved down here eventually.  Im wearing my joints out heaving stuff on manually. 

Could that quad pull said load uphill at all or only flatland and down? Liquid cooling is a must for a tow machine IMO. Kingquads biggest downfall.
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Offline Rick Alger

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2019, 01:14:31 PM »
Hi Tom,

I know nothing about ATV's, but I did years of commercial thinning of softwood stands with a horse, so I thought I'd add my two cents. 

The horse was ideal for precision thinning, as I imagine the ATV would be, but there were drawbacks. On long skids pulling one log at a time is extremely inefficient, and trying to pile logs in the yard with a rope and pulley is even more so.

What worked best for me was hot yarding bunches of logs along or near trails, forwarding with a 4wd tractor with winch, and piling the wood with the same tractor (after bolting on forks) 

I have hand-loaded logs on scoots and woods trailers and found it to be dangerous and time-consuming. I would also suggest you look into what you can and can't do with your larch. The larch here in NH  is of very limited use.

Anyway, I wish you the best on your project. Very few things in life match a good day in the woods.

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: TSI and stand-thinning with forestry trailer w/winch and ATV
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2019, 01:38:20 PM »
Thanks Rick.  We've got guys here in WI that do horse logging.  Some real good shows I think.  And I also agree-the basic size/width of a UTV is in the ballpark for tight working spaces like I will have.  Then later in the process, there may be "real" logging equipment on my site, when we go to take out every other row.  But that's not what this is primarily all about nor where we're at today.

The larch we're growing looks like stuff in this website:  larchresearch.com.  Fantastic stuff, it lacks only a grade stamp.  That won't be an issue for stuff I use myself-it's fully-functional timber-and generally, the stuff is of high quality, usable for many applications.  I've seen a number of references right here on this board that make me think that perhaps New England larch is inferior to what we're able to grow.  That is speculation on my part, based only on the words of others here.  I have no particular reason to think that would otherwise be the case.  Many years ago, when travelling thru Maine, I saw healthy tamaracks growing on mountainsides. 

 There is a situation with larch however where it's Catch-22:  Will mills modify their equipment to saw a species when a steady supply of that species cannot be guaranteed to be delivered to the mill?  And will a landowner plant a bunch of something for which markets have yet to be developed?  It is not at all about the wood characteristics, so much as factors like these, that limit usability.  In Europe, there are large bridges built entirely of larch wood.  There are many buildings with larch siding and paneling, etc.  We will make deck boards, bevel siding, beams, and other items with ours.

Hybrid larch are, like many pine-family members, very long-lived trees.  We're talking multiple centuries.  Tamarack, by contrast, "only" lasts about 100 years.  Similar, but quite different in a number of ways.....eventually, very large-dimension stuff could be derived from these trees.  This is only somewhat a commercial venture.  When I first planted, there was no intent to ever harvest anything.  Now that I've seen that A)  Some of our blocks are planted a little too tightly, and B)  there's always thinnings and culling work that can be done, I've become interested in making partial harvests over a fairly long time span.....maybe eventually leading up to a Wood-Miser (or equivalent) bandsaw rig, to make a range of items we can use ourselves and potentially sell a bit.  But its' all good.....this is my retirement project and we always wanted to leave legacy trees....and will be doing so as a part of our management of that property.

Thanks again...
tom


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Poulin 17' 30,000 LBS. Forestry Trailer Self-Loading Log Trailer

Started by 2StateTrigger on For Sale

6 Replies
5534 Views
Last post June 28, 2019, 05:48:10 PM
by 2StateTrigger
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My first home made stuff. Log arch, winch stand,log loader (pics 2-06)

Started by Part_Timer on General Board

12 Replies
7313 Views
Last post February 12, 2006, 10:10:22 PM
by getoverit
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Winch for trailer

Started by clintnelms on Sawmills and Milling

21 Replies
2301 Views
Last post September 27, 2016, 07:26:21 PM
by clintnelms
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Trailer Winch Question

Started by solodan on Forestry and Logging

23 Replies
17254 Views
Last post April 27, 2007, 01:12:26 PM
by olyman
 


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