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Author Topic: Making it through another year '21-'22  (Read 10262 times)

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Online Old Greenhorn

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Making it through another year '21-'22
« on: May 17, 2021, 08:06:34 AM »
Well Today is Norwegian Constitution Day, a large holiday in Norway, something like out 4th of July here in the states. Lots of parades, traditional dress, and other celebrations. One of these days maybe I will get there to see it myself. But for a Norwegian, it is no small honor to have my birthday on that date also. As has been my tradition the last 2 years, I start a new thread on this day, just because it is a date I can remember. I don't want the server to get too bogged down with my never ending drivel which at this point is something like 29 page in the old thread, which can be found here: Staying Busy and Out of Trouble '20-'21.  (The one prior to that can be FOUND HERE.) I thought long on the title for this one but could not find anything suitable so settled for what you see. Maybe I will modify it later when I think of something catchy.
 It still amazes me that so many folks read and respond to my pitiful offerings here. Because its my b'day and because I have been feeling a little down the last few days because I am so tired, I have been thinking a lot about my dwindling ability to produce physical work on a consistent basis. It sucks to get old. Don't get me wrong, I know I have many blessing's that others may not enjoy. I am healthy and have no medical issues that I am aware of, I don't even have any prescriptions to take daily. I do have a shop, and some decent tools, and I have managed to find some good clients. I found this forum which has exposed me to a lot of the details and knowledge that I had been lacking and provided some amazing and generous mentors to answer my questions. I would not be where I am right now without it, that is for certain. In fact, I have even gotten a couple of personal messages already this morning wishing me a good day, so thanks for that. You guys are nicer to me than I deserve. Each of these blessings is a big thing that many would love to have and I should be grateful for that everyday and I think I am. But I am having trouble staying up with the workload I have developed. In addition, the work demands some investments in better equipment and I am not too interested in jumping up to large trucks and heavy equipment that I know in a few years I would be working to pay for in repairs and upkeep while getting even slower myself. I am still searching for that balance between making some extra money to keep us afloat, and building something that becomes a beast I have to work everyday to feed. I don't mean to whine or give the impression I am feeble. My ability to work is still a lot better than a lot of other folks. My neighbor across the road can't keep up with me for an hour, let alone a day, and he 'works out' nearly everyday and is at least 15 years younger than me. I am just not happy with what I can produce compared to my expectations of what I should produce. Working in the woods puts you in a situation where the environment doesn't give you a break based on your age. It treats everyone the same and will hurt you quick if you let your guard down.
 Maybe I am just thinking about all this stuff too much. :D
 Anyway, new thread today.
 The conversation on the prior thread at the end was about the upcoming Mushroom log harvest trip which hopefully begins at the end of this week. After the suggestions and discussions I was pondering the idea of mounting a truck bed crane in my trailer right about mid-ships to lift log bundles out of the Mule and into the trailer. I found a cheap one locally, but I have to do some measuring to see if I can mount it and still drive the mule on the trailer. This might have to wait until the new trailer gets bought. But I think if I jazz it up a bit for speed with an electric winch it might save time and sweat. Just before I went to bed I also came up with a modified idea that began with WV Sawmiller's suggestion for a forwarding trailer. As I explained to Howard, the terrain is too rough for that in most cases, BUT his idea is a good one that I had been looking into for a while before I set it aside. Well I let it roll around in my head for a few weeks now. 'Yeah, the ground is rough, but what could I do to mitigate that?' As often happens, I found my possible answer from back in history. I am contemplating making a stone boat of sorts with skis of something of that nature that I can drag behind the Mule adding to the capacity. Perhaps not even skis, but a flat poly bottom if I can find some surplus material someplace. Anyway, the idea has merit and I will pursue it once I spend some time in the woods figuring this all out. It also depends on whether reducing the number of trips out of the woods to the landing will really improve my 'cycle time', which, in many case it won't. So for now it is the 'load/unload' issue I will focus on first. That one will have a big impact on allowing me to work longer without having to lift and load each log at least 3 times. A 35# log isn't much to lift and move, but when you do 100 of them times 3 in a single day, it adds up quick and can really take the life out of my legs at the end of the day.
 So now that I still have some time before I can get in there, I have been trying to figure out what my numbers goals are to make this work for me (and the clients by keeping the cost where they want it). My initial goal is to cycle through 150 logs/day (from the slash pile to my driveway inventory pile). If I can do that it should put me at just over the break even point, if I can do that for days in a row (without a rest day) it would be very workable. If I need rest days, then the viability goes down. (getting in and out quickly is very important so I do not have an impact on the logger's schedule. That relationship is worth much more than to me than the logs could be.)  If I could do 200 logs a day (I think my current rig can handle that) then I am in pretty good shape. I am hopeful that I can cut more than I can haul in a single trip, so my plan is to cut as much as I can each day, take the load I can and leave the rest stacked. Then the next day get up there early and load those first (a fairly quiet operation), take a break, then start cutting again until the trailer is full and I have more stacked up. If this happens, eventually I will have a mess of logs queued up and can take a day and make multiple trips or do a run with the dump trailer to catch up (more handling involved in the dump trailer, so I'd avoid that if I can). When I run out of time or steam I make one more run to fetch the Mule and gear and whatever logs are left in the truck bed and remaining trailer space. If I can pull this off, it is a workable plan.
 As it relates to orders I have on hand right now, the first run (150) should satisfy a 'co-op' order I have (I need a day to deliver that) plus the two tiny local orders. After that I have the order for Cornell (which is still in some limbo as to the details) which is 300-500 logs, and 2 commercial orders for 100 to 400 logs each but one of those is white oak only. I don't know how much of that I will find, if any. Balancing those large orders to make everyone happy will be tough, but this all depends on what I can get in the inventory. The commercial buyers are willing to wait until I get the right stuff in the right quantity. Also, this first lot I am cutting is a new one, not the one my plans were based on. It's a rush clearing job that just came up. So I have to be fast and when it ends, if all goes well and my relationship remains in good standing (and I am still standing), I still have the 'big lot' coming up in mid-June. Hopefully the money from the first lot can put me in that bigger trailer, I will have learned a lot and outfitted myself better as time goes on. My last ace in the hole is that I have one or two sturdy folks who have offered to help me when I am ready. This means I will have to figure out my system so that I maximize their time and make it worth while for them. I also need to be pulling enough productivity to pay them, so for now, I work alone until I get my act together.
  Anyway, that's my plan. I wanted to put it down in writing so I could come back and see how close I was, and what I completely missed. Second guessing myself is a cheap hobby. ;D 
 Here we plunge into another year, let's see what this one brings. For now, I'll just worry about today.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2021, 08:15:39 AM »
Gosh and I thought I had a lot to do!

Happy Birthday Tom.  Take a minute to celebrate LOL

Offline samandothers

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2021, 08:35:43 AM »
Happy Birthday Tom!  It is good to have another!  Enjoy your day and do something fun or enjoyable, maybe not work related!  My daughter's birthday is also today.  She's a bit younger than you.  :D

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2021, 08:38:48 AM »
I think the totes I use for firewood might come in handy, modifies for your purpose.  with enough they could provide storage and inventory management.  can be moved with a crane or forks, or pallet jack on a hard surface.  they are about 3.5 x 4 feet so could handle your size logs.  could help keep them sterile and such and with the plastic liner, help to not damage them.  just had to get a comment on here so it pops up on my cue.  Happy birthday!



 

 
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2021, 09:11:43 AM »
Tom,

  Happy birthday. I assume you are wearing your fancy silver buckle shoes and your fancy little knife all day today.

  Good luck on the stoneboat idea. I used to use an old p/u truck hood with the right curve to pull behind my little gravely tractor. I just ran a cable or piece of old guy wire through the metal and it would tear out after a while but it was cheap and fast to replace. The old car hood laid flat, the front curved up to ride over obstacles, and I could butt the back up against the big stone or boulder and it was easy to roll a big stone over one flip then drag it to a low spot I was filling. I'd cut a locust pole and lay it across 2 trees or stumps as a dam and fill in behind them. I read a blurb here somewhere a while back about a guy in Tennessee who had made stone boats all his life. Was pretty neat. i watched the Mountain Men show where Eustace Conway down near Hickory NC made one to drag his logs out. Looks like a fun project. I don't know what kind of swing arm loader you found but I think HF makes a cheap one worth investigating. Good luck. Stay safe. Keep those posts a'coming.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2021, 09:17:31 AM »
Happy B-day Tom, OGH. As always, you are well deserved for your service to all, and the break (of sorts) that you get from your past life for da man. Now, you are da man!

Good job on what you DO!
Trying harder everyday.

Offline gspren

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2021, 09:19:11 AM »
Happy Birthday young feller! 
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Online btulloh

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 09:32:12 AM »
Happy birthday OGH!  

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2021, 09:36:45 AM »
Happy birthday, have found that many of my friends and neighbors can't keep up either, a couple guys younger than me are having a hard time just getting onto their farm equipment.  One thing I have observed, when you get to be an older farmer, all the younger guys want to be your friend. So now I have more friends than ever.  Having a good time. About the prescriptions,  been avoiding that stuff, but the doctor is determined to get me on a statin.  So have been having oatmeal for breakfast, beans for lunch and an apple for supper.  All supposed to help you get your cholesterol down. Think I could run my truck off my own gas if I just had a way to get it into the fuel system.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2021, 09:44:29 AM »
FFK,

   Remember in the famous words from my then 6 y/o granddaughter "Never trust a fart."
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline DbltreeBelgians

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 09:52:09 AM »
Happy Birthday Tom, its a good day every time you have one. 

Brent

Offline nybhh

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 10:02:01 AM »
Happy birthday Tom.  Those AG/FIBC bags are cheap, light-weight and I believe sized accordingly.  They could be a great way to minimize handling if you add a crane lift and are cheap enough that you could charge the buyers a "deposit" to cover the bag if they don't return them.
Woodmizer LT15, Kubota L3800, Stihl MS261 & 40 acres of ticks trees.

Offline KEC

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2021, 10:09:32 AM »
Happy Birthday OGH. Take comfort in knowing that you have no monopoly on the trials and tribulations of our age group. Keep plugging!

Offline jb616

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2021, 11:59:22 AM »
First of all, Happy Birthday.  I have a landowner where I hunt that is 87 and still getting out some to cut and split firewood. I found out he no longer can start a chainsaw and has been using a battery operated one for small wood. I gathered up my son and both chainsaws and cut a few cords out in the woods where his daughter and himself can split it and haul it in. We could have done the whole job but to preserve some of his dignity (doesn't like to accept help) we did it this way for now. Not only do I feel obligated to help this gentleman out, I will be in this position some day and I feel that the Good Lord will send me someone to help me out as well. I can see the coming signs as I try to flex my arthritic fingers after a good days work....

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2021, 12:02:21 PM »
Happy Birthday  Tom!

Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2021, 12:48:07 PM »
Yes Harbor Freight has a small bed mounted hyd crane that will lift about 700 lbs.they used to be on sale for around $70 with reg price around $100. I have 2 of them mounted an different trailers. I mounted them at the front of the trailers on the frame with about a 3' extension using 6" well casing and 3 1"x 1" side braces, that gave me enough height to load items like skidder tires , engines, etc. I also added an extension to the Boom by sliding a thicker, longer piece of box tube over the first section down to the lift cylinder mount, then the outer boom section slid inside the thicker piece added about 24" of reach.

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2021, 03:36:37 PM »
Happy Birthday, Tom!  Looking forward to more "dribble" :D
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2021, 04:10:42 PM »
 popcorn_smiley 

Birthday greetings smiley_beertoast

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2021, 04:25:04 PM »
Happy Birthday!  I can't believe its been a year since you started the last thread and what  a year it's been.  I have more to do than I have time to do it.  I have logs to mill.  I have 2 live edge tables to build for customers.  I have to build a fancy dog kennel that will double as a stand to hold an aquarium.  Summer is coming and that means when I'm home my boys will be home with me.  I love them, but they are not helpful in me getting projects done.  Ohh and I have a pig roast to go to.  Let's not forget that.
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Kawasaki Mule 4010

Offline Andries

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Re: Making it through another year '21-'22
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2021, 04:35:11 PM »
From a Dutch guy to a Norwegian : Gratulerer med dagen! 
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