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Author Topic: cold weather skidder starting  (Read 7104 times)

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Offline a old timberjack

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cold weather skidder starting
« on: January 06, 2008, 09:35:41 PM »
 this is something i never seen till recently, but alot of other people have, especially in the north country, on my skidder when i got it ( and they are still there ) there were 2 accessory lines ( hearter hoses ) with hyd disconnects. i never had any idea what the heck they were for till recently, you put a set off your heaterhoses ( a "t " ) in each line and a set of hoses on your pickup, it circulates the hot water/antifreeze thru the engine on the machine and warms it up within minutes ( while you sit and drink your coffee and read the paper ) the gauge on the skidder reads 100 deg . 25 min the machine is up till full temp and it starts like it has been running all day when it it is zero out ......pretty cool, i almost took them out of the skidder when i bought it but not now after i spent till 11 am trying to get it running the other morning. i started asking around this weekend and i was shocked that i never herd of such thing... they are std. 1/2 in hyd disconnects with auto heter hose.they will be on my truck this week........Brandon
H.T. LOGGING and Trucking, llc, GREENE, Rhode Island

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 09:42:36 PM »
I have been warned that the cold coolant going into the hot block can crack the block, but have not actually seen it in person. I was thinking that if I could get a water to water heat exchanger, I could protect the motor on the truck, but then you would need to put a pump in the system too, which I would put on with the exchanger under the hood. Of course there is always the diesel fired heaters from Eggimans, they are supposed to work well too. Gary_C has one. I'll have to go investigate them now.


Dave
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 10:08:09 PM »
That is very true. There were many loggers using those disconnects that ruined the engines in their pickups doing that. That is an extreme thermal shock to the block when that extremely cold solution hits that hot engine. Cracked heads and blocks. So be aware of that potential.

There is now a partial solution to cold starting problems. Switch your engine oil to one of those new synthetic engine oils. I have been using a Cenex 5W-40 synthetic but I know there are now other brands of synthetic oil. They are not cheap, but they will improve your cold starting problems.

Also like Dave said, those diesel fired heaters are the ultimate solution. The one I have is a Webaso and it starts off a 7 day electronic timer and will start automatically an hour before you expect to arrive, will heat the engine coolant, the cab, and the hydraulic reservoir. Best thing around for working in cold weather.
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Offline MaineLogger

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2008, 06:23:10 PM »
this is something i never seen till recently, but alot of other people have, especially in the north country, on my skidder when i got it ( and they are still there ) there were 2 accessory lines ( hearter hoses ) with hyd disconnects. i never had any idea what the heck they were for till recently, you put a set off your heaterhoses ( a "t " ) in each line and a set of hoses on your pickup, it circulates the hot water/antifreeze thru the engine on the machine and warms it up within minutes ( while you sit and drink your coffee and read the paper ) the gauge on the skidder reads 100 deg . 25 min the machine is up till full temp and it starts like it has been running all day when it it is zero out ......pretty cool, i almost took them out of the skidder when i bought it but not now after i spent till 11 am trying to get it running the other morning. i started asking around this weekend and i was shocked that i never herd of such thing... they are std. 1/2 in hyd disconnects with auto heter hose.they will be on my truck this week........Brandon
We call them "spit swappers"! I used to use them when pickup trucks had iron heads and blocks and rubber heater hoses.I had a valve that I would open slowly so it wouldn't get that cold shot all at once,I never had any problems.
 I wouldn't dare use this setup on these newer engines.
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Offline Frickman

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 07:35:27 AM »
It doesn't get real cold here like up north, so not too many guys have heaters on their skidders. I switched my skidder over to a synthetic engine oil, and it is suprising how easy it turns over now. On a zero degree morning last winter it cranked like a fifty degree day. That was one benefit I did not expect when I switched.
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Offline slowzuki

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 09:45:43 AM »
I like the synthetic gear oil because the tranny acts like it is all warmed up.  the tractor used to be a bear to shift until it had been running an hour.

Offline twobears

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 12:47:28 PM »

 when,i was fulltime logging we had the couplers on the whole tree chipper.it did do a nice job of warming the motor but,i always wondered what it did to the pickup truck motor.but,in three winters of use we never had a problem with the truck motor.
 on another job we used diesel fuel in a bucket to warm the skidder motors.we would put about 3 to 4 inches of diesel fuel in a maple sap bucket,give it a tiny splash of chainsaw gas.then dip a piece of cardoard in it and then,light the cardboard and toss it in the bucket.we had the bucket right under the skidplate by the motor.i never lied doing it but,it was bosses orders...it did work good tho.
 i have learned that good fresh batterys,cutting the diesel with kerosen(even,if it,s winter fuel),denatured alcohol in the fuel to trap water and the right weight of motor oil is very important to keeping a skidder running/starting in the winter.

 delbert

 PS:try the bucket heater at your own risk.. ;D

Offline sawguy21

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 02:09:21 PM »
More than one logger burned his truck/cat/skidder down using an open flame under the engine. I have used a length of stove pipe with an elbow on one end.Lay it under the machine with the elbow facing up and a tiger torch aimed into the other end. Good batteries and synthetic oil really help.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline mainiac

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 10:54:51 PM »
I back my truck up to my tractor then take a piece of metal dryer exhaust pipe and slip it over the exhaust of the truck and have aimed at the block on my tractor. Then I go fuel up the saws, have a cup of coffee, and read the paper. About 20-30 minutes later, the tractor takes off with no problems. I told this to an old timer here in my parts and he tried it on his 100hp tractor that had always given him a fit in the cold and he said it worked well for him as well.

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Offline arojay

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2008, 12:28:29 AM »
I use the coolant exchange method with my skidder and I have no problems.  If you block off your heater hoses from the pick up or something you could exchange coolant too quickly but if you think about the volume of fluid that can pass through the quick couplers if your heater hoses are open and coolant is still passing through the heater core there isn't a very rapid exchange.   I've used this method for many years with just about every kind of diesel engine and many different gas engines.  You do have to be sure that coolants are compatible etc.  I used to work for a drilling contractor all over the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska.  We started up this way every day, as cold as seventy below.  Yes, seventy below.  I also ran the lowbed for that and other companies and pre heating with coolant exchange was common.  I agree that pro heat and others are great but in some circumstances, not practical.  You have to be sure that coolant levels are maintained and I wouldn't suggest going to far away for very long, as things could go wrong, thus one of the names we use for the system, The Murphy Heater.  I use 0w40 motor oil in winter.  It pours at 40 below, but I rarely do.   
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 08:35:18 PM »
 I've been known to use a coleman 2 burner stove under the tractor with a horse blanket over the hood. I don't think I'd try it on the 453 tho,to much oil dripping down  :D .
Ed K

Offline shinnlinger

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2008, 05:18:42 PM »
IN the recent Farm show there was some guy up i canada who lived off the grid but needed a way to start his van in -40 F weather.

He acomplished this by burrying 50 ft of 1/2 hose 10 ft under ground and filling it with anti freeze.  I assume he plugged it in to the van with "spit swappers".

ANywho, he would use a 12 volt pump to cycle the underground antifreeze into his van fo about 20 minutes and he claimed it would warm the coolant up into the 20's and the rig would start.

This approach probably isnt practical for sites you arent spending much time at, but for home use or big jobs (If you happen to log with an excavator or big backhoe) it might be a cheap way to get you going.

Shinnlinger
Woodshop teacher, pasture raised chicken farmer
34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline Maineloggerkid

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2008, 05:50:24 PM »
We've got those on our 540B. They work wonders.
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Offline Ken

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 09:07:50 PM »
We too have used heater hoses in the past.  The only problems that I did see was an increased rate of water pump failure in the pickups and nothing seems to ruin a good pair on winter mits like antifreeze spilled on them.  With the heater hoses it is best advised to have some rubber gloves to hook them up as it is inevitable that some prestone will get spilled.  Since purchasing a 5500W generator and installing block heaters in all machines we seem to have managed to get things going any morning with little effort.  Good batteries and high grade light-weight oil seem to help a great deal. 

Is it odd that we are talking about cold weather starts and it is nearing the end of March?  It has been nearly -20C (-4F  ??) here for the past 2 mornings.  Although we are lucky and there is only about 3' of snow in the bush on my logging job those a little bit farther north here in NB have 5-7' of snow in the hardwood ridges.  It has just about shut down all but the truly foolish (or starving) manual loggers.  Even the mechanized operations are having a rough time.  I'm truly looking forward to getting bit by a mosquito.

Cheers
Ken
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Offline Maineloggerkid

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2008, 05:49:08 AM »
Ya, here in Maine we got the same problem. Probably because we are pretty close to each other.
 
I went out into my work site the other day and there is over 3 feet of snow in the shallow spots under trees. I didn't dare go into the deep stuff because I didn't have the snow shoes on.
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Offline a old timberjack

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Re: cold weather skidder starting
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2008, 07:17:01 AM »
here in R I it like a regular spring, mud season is not to bad, roads are not posted, you can go pretty much anywhere in the woods,i only have 1 place on my job i need a snorkle still. i dont want to jinks my self , but rain today and i am not going in the woods .going to do some odds and ends........Brandon
H.T. LOGGING and Trucking, llc, GREENE, Rhode Island


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