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Author Topic: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline OddInTheForrest

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This will take a while, but lets try.

In my neck of the woods, there is a few producers of small small machines for TSI-work, forwarding and similar stuff.

The Alstors of sweden, with a range of models. The Kranmans, with a respectable range of models. And then there is a few smaller manufacturers, like Lennartsfoss, who makes the Iron Horse and the Wheel-horse, Usewood in finland/estonia, and most likely a few more that I cant remember. 

Most of these machines have a payload of 1-3 tonnes, apart from the Ironhorse, that skids logs. 
They all seem to have decent hydraulic pumps, 20-40hp diesel or petrol engines, closed cabs on several models, heaters, tracked wheel options, hydraulic cranes, winches and what not.

The question from me then is quite simple.

Why hasnt these machines caugth on world wide?

I do understand that they migth not be suited for every bit of a logging operation, but given the amount of damage done to the ground, wich seems to be close to none, they should be atractive to many landowners?

As far as european rules go, for me at least, they are attractive due too the fact that I could trailer it behind my van, and be within what is legal as far as towing and vehicle+trailer length go. 

Just my few pennies. 

By all means, the cost of these machines are maybe why people dont concider it? At least here in Norway, its what I would describe as expencive. 

Best regards 
Odd

Offline teakwood

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 07:35:33 AM »
Before i bought my old old John Deere 540 Skidder i was looking at Alstors mini forwarder with crane, but at 63k new (10years ago) you get away fast from this idea, and then you still just bought a sandbox toy. would already be way too small to even handle one of my teak trees now, they are heavy when green. My 12k Johnny has already paid itself several times and if threaded with care the repairs are absolutely within reasons.
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Offline Log-it-up

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2022, 08:45:43 PM »
The forestry industry has been pushed for production so bigger is better 
The reason (I think) is a combination of things 
The main being wood prices up until about 18 months ago logs prices haven't changed much from the 80's ,knowing this because my grandfather handed me a scale sheet from 1983 and there was only a $10-$50 dollar difference depending on the species 
Second is at least in my regen of the world is longer tougher skids so when your doing a 2-3 mile round trip the more you pull the better 
The third reason I believe is the equipment manufacturers don't want to deal with the one man operation they don't make any money on a small business owner that is going to take care of a machine for 20 years and perform maintenance by him self,
So you start the price off of a skidder that cost 400k new theres no way hand cutter can afford that so you have to buy more equipment to feed the other ones
Just my thoughts maybe there in left field 

Offline John Mc

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2022, 06:49:29 PM »
I know a few landowners who wish more of that size equipment was in use around here. There are a lot of places in my area where it would be just the thing.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Southside

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2022, 08:13:54 PM »
You can't hire people to ride in an air conditioned, XM Radio, equipped machine.  Add insurance and workmans comp to the equation and production will never reach break even here in the states.  The land impact is terrific, but I don't see where the economics can pencil out at all.   
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2022, 09:57:22 PM »
I know a few landowners who wish more of that size equipment was in use around here. There are a lot of places in my area where it would be just the thing.
Would you be willing to pay each machine by the hour? Say almost 200 dollars an hour?

Offline brianJ

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2022, 10:35:19 PM »
There are a handful of draft horse loggers that fit this niche at a much lower cost.  

Offline OddInTheForrest

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2022, 03:34:36 AM »
I know of (have only read about, never met) a few guys back east towards our border with sweden, who also use draft-horses, but out west here where I live, I doubt it would be all that easy with horses. It tends to be steep and rocky some places. Not many machines like it either, by all means. 

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2022, 08:07:08 AM »
I will have to look around to see what the small logging equipment is now. Tractors with a cable winches are used, bit cheaper and can used for other jobs compared to a small specialist forwarder. Maybe developing the other types of jobs the small forwarders can do might increase their appeal. (spraying between narrow rows of trees, fire fighting, attachment on crane that can prepare container seedling planting spot (mini scarfier), carrying people into the forest for planting/ tending - tools/ seedlings etc)

Larger area forest. Use Cat 315F (15 tonnes, 34K lbs) as thin to waste small tree machine like other places use a chainsaw or disc brush saw). Excavator conversion gets over the caneberry/ brier etc a bit better than someone with chainsaw boots.

https://www.tomblesonlogging.com/tombleson-logging-in-logger-magazine/

Offline B.C.C. Lapp

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2022, 08:15:05 PM »
ODDInTheForest If I were you I'd look at a 208, 206 or even a 225 Timberjack. Or a 440B 44C or even a 540 John Deere.  Heck even a small Clark or Tree Farmer.  Plan on spending any where from $15,000 to $25,000 buying it depending on condition and then spending $6000 to $10,000 getting it woods ready.
But when your done youl have something that can move some wood and that parts can still be found for and you can make some money with it.
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Offline OddInTheForrest

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2022, 07:45:29 AM »
Have used a 4x4 Shinaura tractor in the past, with a decent 3pt winch. Brilliant piece of kit. 

A Clark or similar skidder just is not possible to find here. There was a 440 (I think) for sale here a few weeks ago. machine from the seventies. And thats then at least 25 000 USD here. And parts will have to be sourced in the US. So its not really an option for me here in Norway. 

Did however get a price for a Logbullet from Finland the other day, they seem to be decent for the price and loadbay area. 

Offline teakwood

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2022, 07:57:08 AM »
How about older euro skidders? they should be around where you are. HSM, Welte, Deere, Camox, there are many more brands 

these machines are a lot more versatile than the american skidders with their cranes and remote control winches
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Offline OddInTheForrest

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2022, 03:36:07 AM »
How about older euro skidders? they should be around where you are. HSM, Welte, Deere, Camox, there are many more brands

these machines are a lot more versatile than the american skidders with their cranes and remote control winches
Skidding in Norway hasnt been done with much more than a 3pt winch. We have by all means, close to perfected this, with large producers like Igland and others, who for the past 50 years all have done much within this field. 
However, after ca 1980, there has been very little skidding done in commercial forestry. Its more or less all done with larger machines now, same as many other places I guess, with a team of 2 or 3 machines. 
So the market for skidders really isnt there. I think as of today, there is one skidder up for sale on Norwegian ebay.
One could import one, by all means, but the cost would skyrocket due too import tax and so on.
So the option seems to be a small machine, and go with the whole Low impact image as a sale pitch to customers.

Offline Don P

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2022, 08:00:16 AM »
The only mini I have experience with was a little Forcat tracked machine. The concept was neat and it did a decent job on modest terrain. On steeper stuff it took real effort not to roll it, it was too narrow, which is great on level narrow trails. It wanted to lay over on its side on a hill and then the tracks had lots of rocker so when I did manage to swing straight downhill to get outta there I was bouncing down the hill tipping from blade to winch. I serviced it, sent it back and got a phone call a few days later, he had rolled it. Nice in its place but this wasn't its place. That was a long winded way of saying, work with it before you commit. You mentioned terrain, watch for the tail wagging the dog.
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Offline OddInTheForrest

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2022, 02:49:46 AM »
The only mini I have experience with was a little Forcat tracked machine. The concept was neat and it did a decent job on modest terrain. On steeper stuff it took real effort not to roll it, it was too narrow, which is great on level narrow trails. It wanted to lay over on its side on a hill and then the tracks had lots of rocker so when I did manage to swing straight downhill to get outta there I was bouncing down the hill tipping from blade to winch. I serviced it, sent it back and got a phone call a few days later, he had rolled it. Nice in its place but this wasn't its place. That was a long winded way of saying, work with it before you commit. You mentioned terrain, watch for the tail wagging the dog.
Sounds familiar, I`ve had many such experiences in farming, one of the part time jobs one had growing up. We were speading fertilizer on a steep pasture many years ago, and at one point the grass just came undone from the ground, and the Fiat tractor with myself started sliding sideways towards the bottom of the hill. Managed to turn it nose down, so it was driveable, but it was the hard way of learning how not to do certain things.
But by all means, I ended up doing almost the same this winter, however with my atv then. 
Got a little bold when loading up my atv trailer after some TSI work, and it damned near jack-knifed coming down a small hill. So after that I tend to do smaller loads. Its only a 500cc machine, so it migth be safer  :)

Offline John Mc

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Re: Curiousity around small small machines - Alstors, Kranmans and likewise
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2022, 02:40:11 PM »
I know a few landowners who wish more of that size equipment was in use around here. There are a lot of places in my area where it would be just the thing.
Would you be willing to pay each machine by the hour? Say almost 200 dollars an hour?
What few machines like that around here are as busy as they want to be. They get a reputation for doing high quality, low impact work and stay busy simply by word of mouth. I don't know what they charge, but they've been at it for years, so they seem to have a combination that works for their niche.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


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