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Author Topic: Light Logging w/Tractor?  (Read 9131 times)

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Offline luke

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Light Logging w/Tractor?
« on: October 17, 2003, 11:34:23 PM »
I have a lot of culled trees that need to be taken out of my woods, such as hemlock, beech, sycamore, soft maple, and hickory, to help make the red oaks and white oaks hard maples etc. grow better.

I priced a new holland tractor 4x4 tn 65 super steer w/loader and logging winch, all new costs about $29,000.00. Most of the trees range from 12" - 16" dbh. I would need to skid no more than 1,000 board feet a day.  Would a tractor that size handle the job? And what about using a snatch block with the winch?

I thought some of you more experienced loggers and timber men might be able to give me some useful insight.

Thanks, Luke
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline bull

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2003, 07:36:31 AM »
Luke
I have used farm tractors for all my skidding, I manage 100 plus acre mixed hard and soft wood uneven aged stand. I presently have a 4610 Kubota with a 3pt hitch skid plate...
I have had the skid plate since the mid 80's and prefer it over a winch..no extra weight on the tractor = less inpact on the forest floor..   I skid to my logging roads and then load my trailer with my forks and forward out of the woodlot to my landing or right to my mill...... My best machine in the woods was a Kubota 2550 GST it was 29 HP and small, could fit it anywhere and only needed a 6 foot skid path.....
I could skid 5 16' logs at a time... quite a serious twitch for such a small machine but it did the job.... I bought her new in 1987 and sold her to a friend in 2000 when i need a heavier machine in the mill yard.... the 2550 is skidding cordwood as we speak 3 whole trees per twitch 30-60 foot hickory, I know it sound unbelieveable but its true Kubota is a proven woods machine... I have friends who went Kubota after seeing the 2550 do what she could do....  My 4610 45 hp is no match for the 2550 in the woods.... Like i said Im not big on winches and I think you could save money but having a local welder make up a skid plate for you......... good luck Bull      any more questions keep askin

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2003, 08:42:54 AM »
Luke check out this page for tractors rigged up for forestry work.              http://www.payeur.com/

I have one of there packages Kioti LK3054 and metavic 1050A and it really does a great job for me.  The trailer makes for a long set up but is so easy to attach/detach that even in the tightest section of my woods I don't get stuck or hung up.  The forwarding trailer with its hydraulic winch on the head board and log loader makes quick work and gives mostly clean logs.

Even if you don't want to go the forwarder route, the tractors from Payeur are set up with skid plates, ROPS, FOPS, brush guards, and hydraulic oil coolers.  I have put over 350 hours on mine and not even had one branch break anything off the tractor, though hitting the fenders with logs takes its toll. :o :o

If you don't know about Kioti tractors try http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/index.php
for some good reviews on them.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Scott

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2003, 04:21:06 PM »
 From my expirience its not so much the brand of tractor but how its set up (although I do prefer new hollands). Ground clearance, width and wheelbase are all important factors in choosing a good machine. A tractor must be well balanced for working in uneven woods conditions. From what i've seen a winch is the way to go, theyre quick, powerfull and save you driving to each tree. Don't forget to add a belly pan and valve stem guards. Good Luck.

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2003, 09:08:32 PM »
We use a Ford 4WD (4610),  i THINK IT'S ABOUT 55HP.  wE RIGGED UP AN OLD tULSA 20,000 LB. winch on the 3 pt and fabricated a pto drive.  Cost about $300 total for the winch.  We have 300 ft of cable on it and have two snatch blocks.  About all of out timber on steep hillsides and this outfit works really well for us.  We have forks on the tractor and a hitch on the back of the winch so we can load with the tractor and take a load of logs in with it also.  Use one snatch block every once in a while and both very rarely.

Working with my son,  we can get in 1500 ft in 2 to 4 hours depending on the timber and how far from the mill we are.
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline luke

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2003, 10:58:09 PM »
Hi Bull,

I'm sure that Kubota is a good tractor, we bought a new holland 1920 4x4 new in 1996, and it was a good tractor had a loader and bachoe on it, and I did skid some logs with it, when I cut the poplar logs that we used to build our hand hewn dove-tailed cabin, probably about 3,000 feet skidded, and skidded about that much more when we cleared 1 miles worth of right of ways for electrical lines. We had 1800 hours on the tractor when we sold it no problems with it. That's the only reason I would buy one, is because I've had one, and I know that I can get parts locally, and their good tractors.

To the top of our mountain is 1400' elevation, there are bull dozed logging roads here. I would probaly need a snatch block to pull up hill on a bout 50 acres, and to pull down hill on 200 acres, the other 50 acres is fairly level. I would have to pull sideways, when winching the logs. I have looked at a winch that is sold by "farmi", it has 165' of  1/2" cable, and is suppose to pull about 11,000 lbs.

I don't know how useful a skid plate would be, in these mountains, but one could weld a piece of steel, onto the winch.
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline Scott

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2003, 01:34:02 PM »
 Luke, the TN series looks like a real nice tractor, the super steer has a locking front differential which is nice but it looks like it might be tippy on the hills. Do you have any expirience with them?

Online beenthere

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2003, 02:56:46 PM »
That super steer is not something I would want,especially on a side hill in the woods. IMO it is more 'tippy' than the row crop or 'trycycle' narrow front end. One of the 4wd with large drive wheels on the front would be real good, if not going to a forwarder or rubber tired skidder was not an option.

Not sure in this discussion where 'light-logging' is the cut-off and it becomes 'non-light' or 'heavy' logging.  Bottom line is to have a safety factor and respect the limits of the equipment.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Woodhog

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2003, 09:34:23 AM »
I think the tractor would easily handle your work power wise..

It is a FARM tractor so you have to remember that it will be basically doing work it was not designed to do..

I looked at the TN series several months ago and noticed
a fragile looking plastic fuel tank positioned such that it quite
easily get punched by  brush etc.

You have to add a few items to al these farm  tractors.
A skid plate under the motor-transmission area, it can be
3/8" plate, with access holes cut for oil draining etc...
(you dont want to have to take the plate off for routine maintenance items).

A front grill assembly to protect the radiator etc from brush
smashing it up..

Valve protectors welded to the wheels to keep from breaking off the tire fill valves.

A good size tool box.

A place to carry two power saws, gas can, oil can, water can
wedges, bbreaking bar etc...

ROPS

Forestry tires are nice if you can afford them, or make sure you cut small stuff off very flush  each and every time...

Sharp turning radius.

Vertical exhaust system.

We use ICE chains for the rear wheels.

The tractor should have maximum ground clearance, some only have about 12 inches, I would like at least 15 inches
from the bottom drawbar.

Make sure the wheels are not set in the narrow width position.

Dealer should not be too far away...

If you have no trade make sure you beat them well down on the listed price. I would say at least 20%.Free Delivery.
I would even try for the chains and the winch chains thrown into the deal, or a set of forestry tires.

A good snatch block really important with a winch, also a good set of legs as you do a lot of walking with a winch.

The tractor PTO lever should be accessible from the ground, if not you will be hopping up and down to the tractor seat each time you want to put the winch in gear and when the load fetches up on a stump or rock.

The most popular woods/farm tractor around here is the
LANDINI, high clearance and a good basic tractor with not
too many fancy things on it to get smashed up or shook off.
Model 6860/8860 4WD.

Should be a 4WD tractor...

Thats all I can think of in a hurry..
Good luck...


Offline Scott

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2003, 03:30:20 PM »
 The TND is a nice machine. Maybe you could get a metal plate to gaurd the tank or maybe the dealer could get you a metal one. A good welding shop could make you a good fuel tank if you can't find one elsewhere. The TND doesn't come standard with a locking front differential but the TNS (supersteer) does. I'd ask about the locking front differential being installed on the tractor even if its a custom job. From what I've herd it really helps in nasty spots.
 Woodhog, how are the landini's for quality? I've seen these tractors online but never knew how well they held up.

Offline Woodhog

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2003, 04:32:54 PM »
Hi Scott,

I asked quite a few fellas with them and all were positive about
them.
They are less expensive than the regular Deeres, MF, Case
etc around here.
They are not fancy and dont have all the fancy field/loader
features.
The engine is the same old Perkins used by MF for years
by Massey Ferguson.
They are made in Italy, around here they say they are really
Massey Fegusons with a different name plate,  I am not sure
about the transmissions or rear ends, but I think they are also
the same as the MFs...

The price always impresses me as the quality seems to be there minus the fancy stuff which you dont need for iron in the
woods...
They have been around here in quanity for many years...

Every thing is built strong on them but sort of squarish...

It is an endless argument when the best equipment is concerned...
It has a lot to do with the operator.

Today I was told a story of a processor stuck in a swamp, they then send in the Landini and Power Trailer with loader, it got stuck also, they then called for an excavator that also got stuck and had some expensive damage...

Why didnt he go around the swamp???

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2003, 05:20:17 PM »
Woodhog,
Maybe you haven't seen some of our swamps. :o

If you were to take a drive from Waskish, MN to Baudette, MN (about 50 miles), you spend most of the trip driving through one swamp or another.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline Scott

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2003, 06:42:19 PM »
 Woodhog, I was on the landini site, thier new tractors are really nice looking. A big selling point for me is a locking front differential. As for the loaders i'd probably end up buying one of those Hardy ones made in quebec. those valmet forestry tractors are some nice to.
 One time i saw 2 big grapple skidders and one excavator all packed in so tight in one little piece of swamp you could jump from one to the other. I'm not sure what the story was exactly but they had to bring in a second excavator to dig and pull them all out, fun to watch.

Offline luke

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2003, 10:59:20 PM »
Noble,

I would have the new holland dealer, reverse the rims out on the tractor for added stability. There are bulldozed logging roads on the property, I would stay on them. I didn't know that the super steer axle, makes the tractor more tipsy? I know that it gives you a sharper turning radius, which would increase the manueverability, of the machine. Why would the super steer axle make it more tipsy? I know that the wheel base, of the TNS tractors are longer than the regular TN tractors, you would think that a longer wheel base on hills would be better.

We checked on a TNDS 75 4X4 with cab, loader, forks and super steer, and logging winch, about $42,000.00. New Holland will finance this tractor, for up to 6 years. I don't know that it would be profitable to own a new tractor like that, that's why we have been reluctant to buy one. There are a lot of things that one can use a tractor like that one for.
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2003, 01:06:36 PM »
Luke,

I think maybe you got my post mixed up with someone else's cause I don't know what that tipsy kind of steering is :)

Skidding is awfully hard on a tractor's appearence.  I wouldn't want to put a new tractor in the woods.  We use our 4WD with forks to handle round bales as well as using for skidding and around the mill.  We found a good deal on it used.  I'd rather hunt for good used stuff I can pay for,  but cheap interest has me thinking about changing my policy :D
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2003, 02:35:57 PM »
Noble,
I knew you were a bright fellow when I saw that candle glow, but I'd have to think you are even brighter for using older equipment in the woods.  It's real easy to drop a stick on the fender and it don't hurt near as much to see a wrinkle in the fender that already has some paint missing and a little rust here and there.  I'd find it hard to justify a new tractor for skidding unless I had many hundreds of thousands of board feet, and if I had that much, I'd want a tree skidder that is designed for just that purpose.  I'd buy it used too and sell it when I'm done for nearly what I paid for it, unlike that new tractor that will depreciate quickly.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline J_T

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2003, 06:42:05 PM »
Got a Long 445 4x4 will run all day on five gallon of fuel. It is all gear drive for the frount I cut the bukett off the front of the loader and put forks on it . I copied someones post here on the FF onsliding the forks thur the bukett and it works .Put a small fork lift mast on the rear . Used 3,500  older models built like a tank. 8)
Jim Holloway

Offline luke

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2003, 09:13:09 PM »
Noble,

yea I would take a good used 4x4 TN 65 OR 75 tractor w/loader  also if I could buy one for a reasonable price, and one that would fit my needs. But I have looked, and most often, the used tractors that are for sale, individuals and dealers ask retail price for them. Why would some one pay, $27,000.00 cash for a used tractor with 400 hours on it, "supposedly", and tie up all that cash capital, when you can finance the tractor at 2.9% or 4.9%, and get a new tractor for about the same price, may be a lttle more with interest.

I would take a good used one also, for the right price? I look at ebay and equipment trader online everyday, if there is any one there used, they want close to retail price for them, and I don't know that they would finace their used tractor for me, like new holland will  a new one.
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline pappy

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2003, 06:40:40 AM »
Luke,
Before you fork out 30 grand for a new tractor to beat around in the woods I suggest you look around for a good used skidder.  I've heard of guys getting them at actions for $4,000 to $5,000.

I have a friend I hire occasionally who has a Timber-jack and he has had this machine for 20 years with little to know repair. He hasn't been working it daily for about 15 years now but he still needs it from time to time. He also has a brush rake mounted to the front blade and reclaims old pasture land for other people with it.

Over 20 years ago when I worked in the big woods the company I worked for had nothing but Timber-jacks ( about 25 ) and the Quebec loggers used them real hard, they held up very well.

Here's a picture and description of one and a link to where
it was listed.



Unit No. 0111025Timberjack, 1988, 240A, Cable Skidder,  rebuilt Detroit 453 (120-HP), Standard transmission,  30000# Gearmatic, 28Lx26  tires @ 50%, screened operators cab, rear fenders, new paint..  Unit 0111025
Loc: Little Valley, NY

check out this site >>>>     http://www.lyonstimbertalk.com/usedskidders.htm

just my two cents  ;D
"And if we live, we shall go again, for the enchantment which falls upon those who have gone into the woodland is never broken."

"Down the Allagash."  by; Henry Withee

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Light Logging w/Tractor?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2003, 06:32:07 AM »
The reason I went with a tractor for my sawmill and logging is that I can get more uses than If i just had a skidder. I use the FEL to clear up around the mill and push sawdust. The forwarding trailer makes for easy handling of slabs and for moving larger material like 6x6 and up.  When I start a new stack a few back drags of the bucket will level the spot.  add in the brush hog and other three point hitch implements along with the ease that the grapple makes for brush removal and multipurpose is a clear advantage.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM


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