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Author Topic: Any advice on using a Log loader to push over standing dead Alder or Maple trees  (Read 1859 times)

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Offline Stuart Caruk

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I've recently acquired a Barko 450 heel boom log loader to help gets logs on my mill.


The loader works fine and in fact is way bigger than I figured it would be. It moves around the logs I've had problems with in the past like they are toothpicks.

I have a bunch of standing Maple and Alder trees that are essentially dead above 70 feet or so, and probably 14 - 18" DBH. Judging by my past experience tipping trees with smaller excavators, I'm pretty sure I have enough weight to push these suckers over, avoiding the risks of the tops falling on me as I go to saw them down. For soem odd reason, I was under the impression that I could just grab them with the grapple, and push them over with the heel... naive I guess. Having started to run this machine, I'm teaching myself how to run it, never having seen a loader run before much less operate one. I have plenty of experience on excavators and other equipment though, so I'm not a complete idiot. Stacking and restacking a couple piles of logs has got me to where I'm reasonably comfortable on the machine. The problem with my plan is that the grapple swings down freely by gravity. No matter how I position the boom, stick, or heel the grapple is going to hang parallel with the tree, so there is no practical way to grab the tree with it.

So can a loader be used to push over a tree, and if so, how does one go about it?

If anyone has tips on how to run a log loader or a manual for a Barko 450 that would be great as well.

Thanks,

Stu
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline loggah

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If you open the grapple, and swing it toward the tree,stop it just before the tree the bucket will swing up and you can grab it!!!! ;D  It will take some getting used to but it will work, you might want to practice on a live tree you plan to cut to get used to doing it. those old Barcos are beast of a loader they got plenty of power for anything you need. Don
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Offline mad murdock

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That is a big old loader.  I have knocked smaller trees over with a loader, and used a loader similar to Don's description to put pressure against a tree for easy directional felling.  Is it detroit powered?
Turbosawmill M6 (now M8) Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline barbender

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 I can't give any advice, as I've never ran a live heel loader. In a forwarder, I do like Don describes all the time- swing, stop, and let the momentum swing the bucket horizontal to grab the tree. Than I snap them off, but that's on small stuff. You have a different game going there :D  Can you stick the heel out enough that it sticks out beyond the bucket, and just push with the heel?
Too many irons in the fire

Offline treeslayer2003

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I can't give any advice, as I've never ran a live heel loader. In a forwarder, I do like Don describes all the time- swing, stop, and let the momentum swing the bucket horizontal to grab the tree. Than I snap them off, but that's on small stuff. You have a different game going there :D  Can you stick the heel out enough that it sticks out beyond the bucket, and just push with the heel?
i doubt it, my 275 is similar and won't do that. i though the same thing when i got the first knuckle boom........a word of warning, do not try and use the swing motor to push, they are not strong enough for that and you could get in trouble.

stu, i wonder if its detroit as well? also, is that the one was on craig's list?

Offline Stuart Caruk

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It's got a Detroit V653 engine in it on Cat D5 undercarriage. The swing bearing and tracks were replaced not to long ago. It's got a bunch of small hydraulic leaks that I'll have to work through. Mostly hoses and fittings. Everything pretty much seems to work right. There's a couple busted bolts here and there, but I own a machine shop so that's all simple stuff to fix.

I just realized the tracks are designed to spread in and out, but I have yet to figure out how to do it. I'll need to remove some cover plates and poke around. If anyone has the solution I'd love to know it. By the marks, clearly they go in to about 12' wide and probably out to 14 or 15 feet+.

This was the one advertised in Craigs list in Canada. Heck of a deal in Canadian $$$ to boot. Delivered all the way to my front door. No simple feat at 13' wide and around 40 tons.

I never considered swinging the grapple out. I'll have to try that. The heal can't be manipulated so it goes past the grapple and I don't want to push on the grapple sideways, nor do I want to swing the boom sidewise to try to topple the tree. I've repaired to many excavators from bozos pounding out stumps with the house rotataion rather than prying them out to even want to try it on something I have to pay to fix. I've owned big excavators, but nothing quite this big. Sitting in the cab it's quite the ways up, and with the reach and weight it should be able to topple a pretty big tree. Worst case it should be able to grab it and apply pressure to drop in a desired direction whilst I help remove a bit of wood from the butt to make it easier to fall.
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline barbender

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If you could pull your hoses of to the side of your boom tip, you could push with that. That's kind of standard practice with CTL harvesters- grab, bump the boom tip into the tree a bit to push a little, lift slightly and cut.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Brleclaire

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It might help if you can dig around the roots with the grapple before trying to push over.

Offline so il logger

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May be easier to cut the trees in my opinion, if they are dead and brittle tops you surely are going to get tops and limbs falling on your loader when your trying to force them over

Offline Stuart Caruk

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That's the problem... I started on a couple of them and quit sawing when 4 - 6" limbs came whizzing down around me. I'd rather stand off a wee bit with a big machine and push them over. At least if the tops come down they won't nail me in the head. This machine is pretty well guarded from an alder limb strike perspective.
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline kiko

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I want it when you get done with it.

Offline pine

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I am a lot closer

Offline tj240

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i have pushed trees with a 210, 24000, and a 495 barko, use the side of the boom, or the edge of the heel. the higher you get the more leverage you have. it doesnt take alot of swing power if you are cutting the tree. if you want to push it over roots and all, break some roots and use the heel. good luck
work with my father[jwilly] and my son. we have a 240 tj 160 barko[old] works great three generations working together


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