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Author Topic: Single best purchase to aid your work?  (Read 2449 times)

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Offline Daburner87

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Single best purchase to aid your work?
« on: October 10, 2021, 10:22:32 PM »
I recently met with a local sawyer when buying some metal to make ramps to load my own logs onto the mill manually with a winch.  I thought I got a great deal, and he gave me one bit of advice.  He said the best purchase he's ever made was a forklift.  I had to roll five 20"+ diameter logs about 35 ft each today to get them into my staging area, and even though I have a 60" Logrite cant hook it was some pretty hard work and I'm no stranger to hard work, but now I'm contemplating a forklift purchase.  I knew I was signing up for some heavy manual labor getting into this hobby, but I don't wanna break my back in the process.   Anyone else using a forklift?
Soon to be  owner of a HM130Max Woodlander XL

Offline Crossroads

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    • Kevin Bales faith family farm and portable sawmill
Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2021, 10:38:23 PM »
Skid steer with forks for me
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins, l8000 Ford dump truck, hr16 Terex excavator, Farmi logging winch, Valley je 2x24 edger, Gehl ctl65 skid steer

Offline Southside

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 10:41:47 PM »
Retired US currency printing press, got it off an auction site complete with tons of blank print stock, it was sold because it will only print $100 bills.  Helps with lots of things around the mill and the farm.   :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 10:42:33 PM »
I dont have a forklift - yet, but I do have a tractor with forks, a grapple, several buckets. Whether you get a forklift, tractor, skid steer, or whatever, youll be a lot better off. Theres a lot of material handling before and after the actual sawing.  Any type of equipment you can add will make that easier and more efficient.  

A sawmill is a gateway drug.  It always leads to tractors, forklifts, edgers, conveyors, a saw shed, a drying shed, a kiln, a bigger shop, etc., etc.  But thats part of the fun!

Whether you choose to start with a forklift, a telehandler, a tractor, or a skid steer, youll be happier and your back will thank you.

My name is Robert and its been one day since my last sawmill related purchase. Welcome to Sawdust Anonymous.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2021, 11:07:09 PM »
Another consideration is a log deck. A deck can be be built for little or no cost and improves throughput greatly. It doesnt have to be complicated or fancy to be functional. You can add a log deck right away while youre looking for a forklift or tractor. 



 

Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 11:14:53 PM »
As far as best purchase to aid my work, is a shirt pocket notepad, and a pencil; to do lists, and organization are top for me.  I could use my smart phone, but it doesn't do the same, I like to see the items scratched off, to give me a sense of accomplishment.

As far as hands on tools to get the job done, I'd say it's in the eyes of the beholder, and operation there of.  I've got some decent 'bought' equipment, but find the stuff I fabricate myself is far better on many fronts.   A great thread to check out is the 'daily fabrication thread'; lots of good diy ideas in there.

Edit to Add:  I would highly recommend a printing press like southside has; the only issue though now, it's got to print the bills real fast, as the cost of everything is going up, real fast lol
Life is short, tragedy is instant, it's what we do with our time in between that matters.  Always strive to do better, to be better.

Offline Roundhouse

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 12:17:30 AM »
Here is mine,



Yep, forklift. It's the most I've spent on any single piece of equipment including my sawmill. I had a skid steer before getting the sawmill and it handled nearly everything I needed it to given the size of logs I handle. Although some were at the upper limit and getting on and off mid-task was never easy or safe. I don't like taking those kind of chances and was on the lookout for a loader/forklift to match what I need with excess lifting capacity to spare. This off road forklift is just the ticket for me. Logs that would have had my skid steer up on its toes are no problem, in fact the Owatonna will carry two no problem, also it's fast enough on its feet that if the haul is short enough I'll just drive them to the mill and set them on the log deck.


Woodland Mills HM130, 1995 F350 7.3L, 1988 F350 dump, Owatonna 770 rough terrain forklift, 1938 Allis-Chalmers reverse WC tractor loader, 1979 Ford CL340 Skid Steer, 1948 Allis-Chalmers B, 1988 Yamaha Moto-4 200, various chain saws

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2021, 02:50:23 AM »
A decent loader with quick change bucket and forks. Gets logs to the mill and lumber, slabs, and dust away from it. You will never get much done without one.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2021, 03:08:48 AM »
I don't know if it's my best tool or not (it probably is) but if mine broke down I wouldn't show up at the mill I'd spend the day(s) fixing it or replacing it.

I got mine for quite cheap, gets an easy job during the kiwifruit harvest working as the second machine in the loadout bay. Then gets punished for the rest of the season at the mill lifting things way too heavy for it xD.



 

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2021, 03:28:54 AM »
Someone here once wrote that a sawmill is a materials handling nightmare with a saw in the middle of it.

Truest words ever.

After a while you figure out you get paid for cutting wood, not rolling logs or carrying boards to piles or whatever. Machinery helps with that
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline Raym

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2021, 03:44:47 AM »
Retired US currency printing press, got it off an auction site complete with tons of blank print stock, it was sold because it will only print $100 bills.  Helps with lots of things around the mill and the farm.   :D
You are going to get a visit today by guys in dark suits with sun glasses. :D
Many, many years ago (1979) I was in a trade school during high school. It was a printing trades school, or lithography. we had a guy put a 5 dollar bill in the camera, make some negatives and made a couple of prints all in fun. Well word got around even though he had no intentions of trying to spend any of them, he soon was visited by the (I believe FBI).
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It's not the fool that askith, it's the fool that agreeith.

Offline Raym

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2021, 03:48:00 AM »
I would also say a skid steer with forks. I started with an old Case 480E that I paid 2500.00 for. The brakes didn't work and the steering was only 20% effective. I made due until I had the money saved to buy my current bobcat. I now cannot imagine doing life without it.
'14-LT40 super, nyle l200m kiln, vintage case 480E loader.

It's not the fool that askith, it's the fool that agreeith.

Online ladylake

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2021, 03:48:44 AM »
 After my 2 skid loaders, the sharpener and setter  by far. Maybe more important as I do a lot of on the road sawing.   Steve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline jimbarry

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2021, 05:55:21 AM »
MTL skidsteer with forks and a grapple. Money well spent.



 
Jim
WoodchuckCanuck.com ? Livin' the rural life in Nova Scotia.
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2021, 06:09:39 AM »
I would say skid steer but it's not the best set up for a mill operation. 
Small wheel loader would be ideal.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2021, 07:07:51 AM »
Get  lull and have reach.


 

 
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Offline Resonator

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2021, 07:28:11 AM »
I would not be able to run my sawmill without my 4wd Kubota tractor. Quick attach forks for log loading and lumber stacking, loader bucket for sawdust clean up, and hitch on the back to move the mill around. Plus I can skid logs out of the woods, bush hog trails, and have fun with the snow blower in winter. ;D
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

Proud owner of a Wood-Mizer 2017 LT28G19

Online HemlockKing

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2021, 07:35:44 AM »
I would not be able to run my sawmill without my 4wd Kubota tractor. Quick attach forks for log loading and lumber stacking, loader bucket for sawdust clean up, and hitch on the back to move the mill around. Plus I can skid logs out of the woods, bush hog trails, and have fun with the snow blower in winter. ;D
As someone who recently got a tractor, I feel like a kid waiting on Christmas for the first snow fall so I can fire that thing up and plow the driveway, with a heated cab it will beat a atv or snowblower/shovels
Building the land of my dreams.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2021, 07:47:50 AM »
  Since I mostly saw mobile I am limited to what the customer has on hand. I did buy a used JD750 with a small FEL I use a lot around the house. It is undersized but what I could afford at the time.

   A leaf blower to blow the sawdust out of the mill has to be high on the list even though it is not a big ticket item.
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 maple flats

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2021, 08:11:45 AM »
From the time I bought my first sawmill, back in 2003, I've handled logs in a few different ways. My first was a Logrite cant hook, which I still use, but far less. Then I got a 25 hp tractor with a FEL and I bought a set of clamp on forks. That was a huge improvement but still not good. It could only lift that way, maybe 500#. On heavier logs I slung them off the back ( closer to the tractor) edge of the FEL bucket. That way was difficult and hazardous for the tractor grill, but it likely lifted maybe 1100#. My next piece of equipment was a mini excavator. To lift with that I made a lifting bar , 4' long and I had a shackle (lift loop) at each end, which I attached 2 pair of log tongs to, one at each end.

That was a huge improvement, with the blade down and when I lifted in front of the blade I could lift about 2500#, but only about 6-7' in front of the blade. To load a log near that heavy I had to work the log up to beside the sawmill and at about 90 degrees off the track. Then I had to park the excavator at 45 degree to the sawmill, lift the log just off the corner of the front blade (for stability), swing the cab along with the boom and the log to parallel with the track and then out onto the log bunks. It was my best to date at that time, but it left a lot to be desired. I have since added a thumb to the excavator, big improvement and I recently converted the thumb to  a hydraulic thumb, my best yet.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, Woodland Mills HM130Max , maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.


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