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Author Topic: worn out iron  (Read 8269 times)

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Offline 240b

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worn out iron
« on: January 05, 2010, 05:57:25 PM »
What will we do when all the little tree farmers and timberjacks are worn out? I mean my equipment is ten years old and for around here (vt) that is pretty new for a one man show. Most guys are running 25/35 yr old equipment  A 540g3 looks to be the smalllest made and how many of those are made each year. The pool of good used small skidders/fowarders seems to be shrinking.  How can a kid go and get started now?  Has any one else wondered about this?

Offline Tom

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 06:19:50 PM »
It has been a long time since a "Kid" has been able to go out and do anything.  There was a time that a fellow with a fish hook could feed his family in a hard time.  He might even sell enough fish to make his gasoline use.
There was a time when a man could scavenge shortwood from the tailings of a production pulpwood harvest and send his kids to school.
There was a time when a man with enough money for a can of shoe polish, a brush and a rag could stand on the street corner and make enough money to pay the rent.
There was a time when a fellow with forethought could raise enough vegetables to have some on his table and sell enough on the side of the road to buy some clothes and plant another garden.
There was a time when a fellow with a chauffer's license and a truck could hold his own pretty good by making a lot of local deliveries, hauling junk or hooking it to a piece of equipment and working on the weekends.
There was a time when a young fellow could work at a sawmill or do construction for a summer job between school terms.
There was a time when a 14 year old could pull wrenchs at the auto shop, or pump gasoline.
There was a time.....

But, then, along came the folks that make the rules and they, to have rules to make, curtailed all of that entrepreneurship and wound it up in miles of red tap, taxes, permits, intimidation and threats of incarceration.

A young fellow, or a man down on his luck, doesn't do as well in this "improved society".
extinct

Offline timberjack240

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2010, 06:24:01 PM »
yea i have .. im more worried about gettin parts .. im glad i bought mine while i was in school went half w my dad so for 7500 i can have the rest of it.. id hate to be startin out at my age buyin the whole thing with the way prices are these days. nothin crawls thru the woods liek these lil guys and everybodys hangin on to em .. moeny talks but where do you get that  :-\ haha

Offline zopi

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 07:02:11 PM »
Tom is sooooo right.
Got Wood?
LT-15G GO chassis added.
WM sharpener and setter
And lots of junk.

Offline 240b

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2010, 08:20:08 PM »
So sorry guys, I forgot people in this country don't work anymore.  silly me

Offline cuznguido

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 08:57:50 PM »
Well...once you get over the shock of it all, you might want to look at what Tom is saying.  There is gold in his words, but it is up to you to mine it.

Offline b11lefevre

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 09:40:18 PM »
Unfortunately I think about this every day.  I'd love to get into light excavating but what do you do, spend 50 grand on equipment and have payments in a time when work is at a standstill when I have a job that pays the bills?  I'd like to think that I have the work ethic and brains to make it but with no work what do you do.  Now it's work on weekends to try to get ahead and work through other people to make contacts but in the lovely state of CT getting ahead is kinda tough.

Even with the rising prices of parts for older machines it seems as if it's almost better to spend a little more for a never machine rather than make up the extra cost in a couple years of fixing up an older one.

Offline timberfaller390

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 10:05:57 PM »
I am living proof that a young man can make it. I currently own and have paid for all own my own a JD tractor that i bought new in 06 A hydraulic portable production sawmill , a 2 ton flatbed truck that doubles as my log truck another small farmall tractor and the last cutting of hay I got this year paid for the mower rake and square baler I bought in May. Add to this list a host of weldors and shop tools and I have accumulated a pretty good collection of equipment. The way to get this stuff is to make sure whatever you are buying will pay for itself. Only buy one thing at a time. If you don't have enough credit to get a loan for a piece of equipment then start small. A great way to build credit is to get a loan from the bank for less than $1000 then buy a new saw or something you can make a little money with, then pay the loan off on time or sooner. One or two of those and you shouldn't have any problem coming up with money fo equipment. Just remember if it won't pay for itself then don't do it.
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Offline timberjack240

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 11:59:00 PM »
well this is what im up against as of today .. i have 2 of the 3 sfi core courses.. ive worked maybe 5 months this year . i finally get my hands on 860 thousand feet of state timber and cant cut it because i dont have the 3rd course i missed them last year due to my schedule. i dont knock the sfi but this time the course requirements laid a hurtin to me.. i call about getin it done and was told i cood but now the ney guys tellin me they dont have time.. he is gonna talk to the old teacher and see if he can do it .. i hope tehy can cause this could open up a lot of opportunities for me bein just turned 21 . its hard to come by work as it is let alone almost a years worth .. i hope i can get this course   :-\  . job opens feb courses start march into may.  gotta call tom to find out .. gonna be a long nite. i have/ had full intentions to buy the rest of the skidder and maybe a triaxle but if i dont get this ill be lucky to buy a new pair of boots  :-\. if they cant do it i ave to tell the sawmiller to find somebody else how do you do that to a guy that has about 7 little kidswhen you told him you would glady do it especially when hes your neighbor .. i figure if i pull thru times liek this ppl may respect me alittle more so we'll see..  take it one tree at a time    :-\

Offline ErikC

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 12:01:57 AM »
  I have obtained all my equipment about the same, and own everything outright. But I also am able to make a lot of money besides with the equipment shoeing horses so that always evens out the slow times. Without that it would be a different story I think. Timberfaller390 probably has had about the same thing as me that way. Being patient is the key with this, but when you haven't got any money coming in from other things it's not as easy to wait, even for a couple of weeks. Maybe if people want to do this kind of life they need to start broadening their skills, It has saved my bacon a few times. Also It wouldn't hurt anything if your wife has a good job :D
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline timberjack240

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 12:20:58 AM »
i heard that. ive cut firewood jsut for gas moeny haha cut trees used my skidder .. do what you gotta do stuations down rite suck  ;D..  19 yrs old i cut little hemlock trees that was ground up for mulch for 14 dollars a ton fuel was 4 29 a gall gas was was a lmost four bucks .. i cut that inthe middle of augst by myslef cause i had nothin else to do. a triaxle load and a half a day by yourself in 7 hrs w no lunch break and a 45 minute drive each way  keeps you movin  ;D . and my last boss tells me i need to work on time mangament  ha  :D  .. notice last boss he had me that mesed up i couldnt get nothin done . today cuttin 16 in timber about 50 ft tall and scattered i cut about 2 1/2 laod in 4 hrs .. immm back!!  8)

Offline Bobus2003

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 02:35:27 AM »
i'm 24 and have a nice small fleet of my own.. like many just had too buy it slowly.. I have a '69 JD440, '94 JD550G Dozer, '94 Case 1845 Log Grapple & Shear, '01 Link Belt Processor.. I bought the Skidder when i was in HS and have been aquiring since..  But I know of a couple "kids" They graduated HS last year that with some help from there dad went and bought a '06 Cat 535 Skidder, '04 Timbco Feller and a '04 John Deere Chassis w/Danharko Boom Delimber.. Granted they lucked out and bought out a failing company. Plus the Parents have some Money :o

Offline rputt.tj200

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2010, 06:40:35 AM »
Seems good to hear somebody else wondering about all of the old iron out there.  I work in the woods part time and have been working on, and rebuilding, old iron for the past 15 years.  I would rather spend the money fixing something that I know I can fix again rather than have to get a degree in computer science to figure out what it going on.  I
 am currently rebuilding my second timberjack 200 skidder.  It makes you wonder when you drive by an piece of old machinery parked, with trees growing through the frame, what the real story is behind it.  Just my thoughts

Offline moonhill

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2010, 07:30:37 AM »
As times change we become more efficient.  There is fewer manufacturing jobs out there but production is higher, at least that is how I have heard it explained, due to technology, machines doing the work men used to do.  The logging industry is no different. 

You could take Toms list and go back 50 years and that would change it.  We just need to adapt to the new environment.  Don't put all your chickens in one basket or something like that, eggs I thing it is. 

I see these huge list of machinery and wonder if it is clear and free or you owe on it to the bank?  I am in debt, a sucker I am.  I get a kick from hearing the politicians trying to get the banks to loan more money to the micro businesses, be careful chasing that carrot.   

I believe the change we must take as small operator is to let the Big Boys cut the huge loads, you may be young and hot to trot, but you have a life in front of you.  Take a step back and find a speciality market where you can operate on a smaller scale.  Maybe you will have less overhead and can spread the job out.  Fill the gap where the Big Boys can't go.

Tim
This is a test, please stand by...

Offline 240b

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2010, 08:42:42 AM »
  Yep, the logging equipment is paid for so I can sit here till it warms up alittle and than go work on my couple loads for the week.  The guy down the road gets up at 3 and goes to work. How do you ever see your family like that?  you have to do enough to justify owning the junk ,but all you end up doing is working your self out of work. A lot big shows around here ,but there a still more one man deals too. Even my trucker admitted maybe all this mechanical logging is not the best idea.  And he has a couple bunchers 3 big grapples 3 big chippers and a dozen trucks ,loaders dozers etc... just seems to be a big rat race. Oh yeah and than go find somebody to run the stuff and not destroy your $400,000."investment". Those people are needed to pay for the infastructure of the industry i realize. Like my farmer friend told me recently " I miss milking 75 cows in the old barn instead of 350 in the palor. I was just as poor only had fewer headaches."

Offline lainemech

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2010, 09:09:07 AM »

There was a time.....

But, then, along came the folks that make the rules and they, to have rules to make, curtailed all of that entrepreneurship and wound it up in miles of red tap, taxes, permits, intimidation and threats of incarceration.

A young fellow, or a man down on his luck, doesn't do as well in this "improved society".

Well put!!! I couldn't agree more with you tom!!  I'm 53 and making less money now than when I was 25.  I've done just about everything you can imagine in my 53 years and never once was I not able to go from one job to another and actually better my pay scale with each move.  Even when times were (relatively) bad,  I was always able to use my skills to find good work and earn a decent living.
My last "Good" job was back around 5 or so years ago. It was a term job (around 18 mos.) that I knew was going to come to an end.  I had 2 months of comp time pay coming to me at jobs end, so didn't need to worry about looking for a new job till after this one ended.  WRONG!!!  I guess I was too busy with the job to notice (or realize the effect that would result from it) the influx of foreign workers into my trade.  I can go back to my trade and make what I was making 20 some years ago along side foreign speaking workers with a fraction of the experience I have gained over the years. One interview I was on actually told me I would have to learn to speak Spanish if I wanted the job!! I live in the USA, why on earth do I have to learn spanish to get a job in the trades???!!!! Instead I decided I would try something different.  I went through training for a new trade and now make less money than I was 20 some years ago anyway!
So, along with all that Tom pointed out, add all the US work that has gone south and east, and all the non US citizens that now do our old jobs (for a fraction of the cost)     "A young fellow, or a man down on his luck, doesn't do as well in this "improved society"".

Bob

Offline timberfaller390

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2010, 09:37:34 AM »
As far as my equipment goes its all paid for except my tractor. I have a friend down here name of junior cochran who at one time owned several trucks and bunchers and skidders. Now he does the same thing as me. He cuts quality hardwood sawlogs with a 440 skidder and a single axle truck and a bobcat to load and is much happier and still puts about the same amount of money in his pocket.
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Offline timberjack240

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2010, 11:02:19 AM »
thers a guy areound here that has a couple brand new john deere grapples new kenworth tractors trucks .. on the job scales big chippers a few timbcos endless supply of trailers big crews firewood processors big sawmill you name he has it.. he told the guys i used to cut for .. he said i wish had a little mill like this were all you needed to saw was 3 tiraxle load a day and 3 to 4 guys to run it w a small cable skidder

Offline motohed

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2010, 11:10:02 AM »

There was a time.....

But, then, along came the folks that make the rules and they, to have rules to make, curtailed all of that entrepreneurship and wound it up in miles of red tap, taxes, permits, intimidation and threats of incarceration.

A young fellow, or a man down on his luck, doesn't do as well in this "improved society".

Well put!!! I couldn't agree more with you tom!!  I'm 53 and making less money now than when I was 25.  I've done just about everything you can imagine in my 53 years and never once was I not able to go from one job to another and actually better my pay scale with each move.  Even when times were (relatively) bad,  I was always able to use my skills to find good work and earn a decent living.
My last "Good" job was back around 5 or so years ago. It was a term job (around 18 mos.) that I knew was going to come to an end.  I had 2 months of comp time pay coming to me at jobs end, so didn't need to worry about looking for a new job till after this one ended.  WRONG!!!  I guess I was too busy with the job to notice (or realize the effect that would result from it) the influx of foreign workers into my trade.  I can go back to my trade and make what I was making 20 some years ago along side foreign speaking workers with a fraction of the experience I have gained over the years. One interview I was on actually told me I would have to learn to speak Spanish if I wanted the job!! I live in the USA, why on earth do I have to learn spanish to get a job in the trades???!!!! Instead I decided I would try something different.  I went through training for a new trade and now make less money than I was 20 some years ago anyway!
So, along with all that Tom pointed out, add all the US work that has gone south and east, and all the non US citizens that now do our old jobs (for a fraction of the cost)     "A young fellow, or a man down on his luck, doesn't do as well in this "improved society"".

Bob

 I also agree with Tom , it is near impossible for children to learn to drive and operate machery in this day and age . I learned when I was four years old , now you would be arrested for child endangerment and locked up . With video games and TV ,k ids today have'nt had the learning oppertunities we had back when we where young .

Offline Tom

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Re: worn out iron
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2010, 11:36:25 AM »
The modification and maintenance of old machines is surely a way to go, if you haven't the cash or credit to buy into something new and dependable.  I admire folks that can make an old machine run.  My son is one of those guys. He is always being called out to diagnose a problem with the old trucks where he works.  There is a knack to it that not everyone has.    

The biggest problem with using old iron is getting and keeping a supply of parts.  Most of the small businesses of which I'm aware who use old machines, have rooms and yards full of old machines and the back acres look like a junk yard.  They almost have to be in that business to keep their primary business running.  Eventually the parts become non-existent.

Those who buy newer equipment generally run their equipment out of a shop and take advantage of the manufacturer's supply line for parts and expertise.  The problem is that you end up with a piece of equipment with computers that you can't fix yourself.

Most people, of any age, who are newly getting into business, have to make the decision to go one way or the other.

Both old and new stuff can surprise you.  I bought a fine truck that ran 9.00 20's for tires.  Tires were cheap because the school busses used them. As a matter of fact, the School bus companies would give you slightly used tires just to get rid of them.  You see, the Government made them take the tires off before there was much wear.  That was fine with me.   Then the School system bid out the bus system and a company from up north took it over.  The supply of tires went away.  The price of tires went up and the last time I got tires, I was told I needed to change the wheels and go to another tire because that tire wasn't readily available.

The same happens to filters, and other disposable parts  but when it happens to the real guts of the engine, whether it be valves, clutches, camshafts or whatever, you're left with another piece of iron to store out back.

The best equipment to use for day to day use, in a business that feeds the family, is measured in dependability.  Leave the really old stuff for the collectors.  Leave the really new stuff, along with its purchase contracts, to the Gov. or big companies who write it off inside of 5 years.

That leaves you with a window of 5-15 years of equipment that has manufacture backing. After 20 years, you are repairing boat anchors.

I know that 20 years seems like a long time to a 25 year old, but you age with the equipment.   When you are 50 years old and your business is built around old iron, you wonder if you'll make  60.

So, as a starter, it might be OK.  I wouldn't form a long term business plan around it though.

Just an opinion, granted, that's not to say you can't make it work.   :)

extinct


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