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Author Topic: Single best purchase to aid your work?  (Read 2497 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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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

Online 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
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Online 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.

Online 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.

Online 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.



 

Online 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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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.
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Offline 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
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Online 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.
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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
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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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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2021, 08:35:26 AM »
+ 1 on the sharpener and setter.
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Offline goose63

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2021, 08:50:22 AM »
 

 

This works for me Ilike the heated gab when blowing snow in the winter just don't brake the doors at $485 a door don't ask I know
goose
if you find your self in a deep hole stop digging
saw logs all day what do you get lots of lumber and a day older
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2021, 09:02:02 AM »
Since I am 100% portable and depend upon the customer to provide the needed tractor, the most used items regarding log handling are:   Logrite Cant Hooks.  Two 48" for small logs and two 60" for larger logs.
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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2021, 09:51:58 AM »
Having a farm and a sawmill makes some overlap on equipment, find that my Case 60xt works well with the mill, as long as I don't get a monster log, and my 4020 JD tractor with loader and bale forks works well to bring logs up to the mill, not so good when loading the mill because the seat is so far to the rear it is hard to see with the hood in the way. Weight capacity is about the same. Have bigger tractors, but no loader, and the bigger the tractor, the farther back you sit.  Find that using the skidsteer to load manure is about twice as fast as using a tractor loader. And I don't pile so much dirt.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline charles mann

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2021, 12:15:23 PM »
Even though im still building my mill and not milling yet, i purchased a pair of M936A2 military 5tn wrecker/cranes to go get logs and when im able to start milling, be able to set the large logs on my mill.
https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=116575.0

When im able to become mobile with my wide cut mill, ill be able to use the crane to tow the mill, load logs and if need be, winch logs to the mill up to 270 away with the front winch.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2021, 12:45:31 PM »
Back when I started it was the mud saw [Cornell log cleaner] The metal detector was another great.

Offline BandsawBen

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2021, 08:10:49 PM »
I

 

I just got this 1700dl  Hardy log loader. Iam hoping it will work as well as i think it will. I have been using a 50 hp kubota to move everything, although it works great, i seem to always have it on it knees. Iam currently mounting an engine and pump to make it self powered. Just waiting on parts.. Its hard to say what the best addition has been, probably the hydraulic lt40.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2021, 05:55:41 AM »
I will say that it doesn't matter how much rolling stock you have you will always need more. Or chainsaws. There is another skidsteer and a forklift on the far side of the tractor. Everything except the forklift has quick coupler for bucket and forks.



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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2021, 06:00:05 AM »
I will say that it doesn't matter how much rolling stock you have you will always need more. Or chainsaws. There is another skidsteer and a forklift on the far side of the tractor. Everything except the forklift has quick coupler for bucket and forks.


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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2021, 06:57:08 AM »
I will say that it doesn't matter how much rolling stock you have you will always need more. Or chainsaws. There is another skidsteer and a forklift on the far side of the tractor. Everything except the forklift has quick coupler for bucket and forks.


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No SXS or atv!?  ;D
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Online Southside

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2021, 08:15:08 AM »
Those are just the ones he uses to build bon fires with.   :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
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White Oak Meadows

Offline Daburner87

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2021, 08:40:34 AM »
Some of you have some serious pieces of equipment, but if you have a farm its expected I guess.   I only have half an acre property, some of those machines would be overkill, a forklift would be great.  A skid steer be far better but the prices are out of my budget.  Where do you guys find your equipment? Craigslist is pretty much my go to place and prices are crazy.
Soon to be  owner of a HM130Max Woodlander XL

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2021, 10:31:10 AM »
Some of you have some serious pieces of equipment, but if you have a farm its expected I guess.   I only have half an acre property, some of those machines would be overkill, a forklift would be great.  A skid steer be far better but the prices are out of my budget.  Where do you guys find your equipment? Craigslist is pretty much my go to place and prices are crazy.

You have to expand way outside Craigslist to find the best deal (or any deal in some cases).  Offerup, Ebay, Machinetrader, local/regional/national auctions, just to name a few.

The right deal will come along...eventually.  Sometimes you hit a homerun, sometimes you pay retail depending on whether you can wait or not.  Many of the folks on here have businesses and they have to have the equipment.  Some of us don't need it and want it for convenience and can wait for the right deal.

One of the greatest lessons I learned long ago regarding procuring equipment (woodworking, metalsmithing, milling or otherwise), make it part of as many conversations you can.  You never know who knows of someone who's looking to get rid of something.

Online SawyerTed

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2021, 10:36:32 AM »
Occasionally stopping by an area equipment dealer who takes trades or otherwise buys and sells used machines has helped me find what Ive been looking for.  When theyve got an idea of what you are looking for theyll call if something comes in. 
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Online btulloh

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2021, 11:19:07 AM »
Occasionally stopping by an area equipment dealer who takes trades or otherwise buys and sells used machines has helped me find what Ive been looking for.  When theyve got an idea of what you are looking for theyll call if something comes in.
Absolutely. I would say this is a must when looking for a forklift. Usually theres a compny in the area that specializes in forklifts both new and used. They can be very helpful and usually have a good selection of used stuff that has been serviced. 
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Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2021, 04:41:58 PM »
Best piece of equipment I own . Small portable gas powered capstan winch .its been a game changer for us . Theres no way we would even still be logging and sawing if not for the winch .

Best money I ever spent 

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2021, 12:18:12 PM »
Best piece of equipment I own . Small portable gas powered capstan winch .it’s been a game changer for us . There’s no way we would even still be logging and sawing if not for the winch .

Best money I ever spent

Quebecnewf
Can we get pictures of this unit? Never heard or seen of one
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2021, 12:28:02 PM »
Google "portable capstan winch". 
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2021, 01:20:26 PM »
Best piece of equipment I own . Small portable gas powered capstan winch .its been a game changer for us . Theres no way we would even still be logging and sawing if not for the winch .

Best money I ever spent

Quebecnewf
Can we get pictures of this unit? Never heard or seen of one
https://www.baileysonline.com/portable-gas-powered-capstan-pulling-winch-gxh50-pcw5000-pcw5000.html
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2021, 01:41:04 PM »
I believe that Logrite sells them too 
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2021, 03:19:11 PM »
I have a new kubota MX 5400 cab tractor with igland log grapple, root grapple and a set of forks. traded in my 03 TC 45 new holland just because of age, but it did just as well as the kubota.   I went this route so it can be used on my property for everything from skidding logs, clearing brush, brush hogging ect...

I use the log or root grapple 99% of the time so I can gently sit the log right onto my LT 35.  I prefer this so it doesnt rock onto the mill or bang onto it with forks. 

but yes..  my tractor with grapple is a must have for the mill.  I would not have a sawmill if I didn't have a tractor and grapple.   if I had the money to just throw out I would say an articulating small loader..  maybe 60 yo 75 horse would be perfect.  skidsteers work great, I just dont need a dedicated piece of equipment for part time milling and the tractor can handle all the logs I have cut so far up to 20' long.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2021, 03:32:47 PM »
I use a tractor with a skid steer front end that I can use forks on.  it's awesome 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2021, 07:57:00 PM »
CBN BMS250 auto Sharpener and Setter. x 2
TCM forklift would be next
Then my 10,000 lb 24' beavertail trailer
Oh I can't forget the brand new LT40HD Wide, compared to my 1992 LT40HD what a great upgrade. I am only ever shut down for maintenence now, compare to fixing the old girl on the road every month time. 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2021, 08:41:56 PM »
Best piece of equipment I own . Small portable gas powered capstan winch .its been a game changer for us . Theres no way we would even still be logging and sawing if not for the winch .

Best money I ever spent

Quebecnewf
Can we get pictures of this unit? Never heard or seen of one
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2021, 09:52:29 PM »
Quote
I have a new kubota MX 5400 cab tractor with igland log grapple, root grapple and a set of forks.
Durf700 what do you have for a 3rd function hydraulic valve on your tractor (aftermarket kit)? My MX5800 did not come with one, and I want to add it for running a grapple.
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.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2021, 10:08:30 PM »
The dealer can install the third function valve. Probably costs more than buying the 3rd party kit but its an independent circuit and not just a diverter. I had the the dealer install the third function valve and two sets of rear remotes when I bought the mx5400. Im betting the mx5800 has the same plumbing.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2021, 10:28:52 PM »
At the time I bought my tractor, the dealer said I would have to buy the backhoe (BH92) attachment also to get the extra hydraulic valves. That was 5 years ago, just wondering if it is an option now, or what aftermarket setup was used.
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.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2021, 10:35:22 PM »
The third function and remotes are kubota options but dealer installed on the 5400 and 6000. Dont know about the older models. I guess a call to the dealer could clear that up. Im sure there are 3rd party sources for all those if you feel adventurous- or can get Mike Belben to come visit. 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2021, 10:55:48 PM »
Possible that there is a kit for the 3rd function addition? 
That was the easy way to add a 3rd function to my Deere.. came with everything needed and good installation directions.
Now am looking to add a diverter to that 3rd function for the Thumb that I added to the forks. Don't like switching hyd. hoses at the rear from the 3pt top arm to the front Thumb. Lazy is part of it, but often want both working when doing a job cutting and moving brush and trees.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2021, 11:03:41 PM »
Summit Hydraulics offers a complete kit with instructions. Quite a bit cheaper than a dealer install. Looks like it uses the power beyond port. I think they have rear remote kits as well. 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2021, 07:43:15 AM »
My New Holland dealership installed a WR Long Third Function kit on my new 100 hp tractor, with warranty.  That will tell you about the quality of the WR Long kit.  It is used for my grapple, and it works great.  Easy to install in any tractor, and they have a good website, and I've talked to them on the phone, they had very good technical assistance.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2021, 08:15:07 AM »
Thanks for the info, I'll do some research what's available locally. smiley_thumbsup
To keep on thread having a grapple makes a huge improvement lifting and setting logs onto a mill, as well as picking up slabs or branches.
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.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2021, 08:27:05 AM »
I purchased the 3rd function kit from Kubota for my M7060. About $1,000. I did the installation myself - it was pretty straightforward. The hydraulic fittings, pipe, and new handle with switch were all OEM and make for a slick addition. I looked at aftermarket kits, but didn't consider them very seriously. I thought the installation might have been a bit more "clumsy".
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2021, 09:08:06 AM »
Love my moffett and flatbed.

 

 

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #54 on: October 14, 2021, 12:29:16 PM »
I'm not yet doing the sawing you guys are doing but a year or two after we bought 6 acres of partially wooded land I rented a backhoe that was handy enough that I went and spent more on a used backhoe than a new Honda Civic. It's been hugely helpful, though maybe not a great tool for loading a mill. I got some clamp-on forks for it a few months ago and the first use was moving a pretty big log that was absolutely no problem. Setting it down precisely was a different story. 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #55 on: October 14, 2021, 03:09:47 PM »
My lineup looks similar to Jakes (except my big loader is bigger than his... 8)).  If I could only have one machine, it would be my Cat 420Dit Backhoe.  It is strong (8000 lb capacity), and has a quick attach bucket / forks for alternating between handling logs, lumber, and removing sawdust.  Plus the backhoe function is very handy here on the farm.

The second most used piece of equipment for log handling is a skid steer with a grapple fork on the front.  I prefer it for long handling because the grapple works like a set of fingers for picking up and rolling logs, plus the operators seat is so close that it's easiest to work.  It's good for around 3,600 lbs.

The big loader is great for handling large stacks of lumber, and the oversized logs that we slab.  It can pick up a 20,000 lb log.

Although I started with a farm tractor (65hp Kioti), it is not as powerful as the backhoe or maneuverable as the skid steer.  It's better than nothing though, but the backhoe and skid steer are better choices.

I don't currently have a telehandler, but have used them before.  I still find the backhoe / skid steer to be more versatile around the mill.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #56 on: October 14, 2021, 03:56:27 PM »
Scott I figured you would say the crane was the most convent log handling piece since you can load the mill from half way across the farm.   :D
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #57 on: October 14, 2021, 08:52:36 PM »
My New Holland dealership installed a WR Long Third Function kit on my new 100 hp tractor, with warranty.  That will tell you about the quality of the WR Long kit.  It is used for my grapple, and it works great.  Easy to install in any tractor, and they have a good website, and I've talked to them on the phone, they had very good technical assistance.
I had the Long kit on my last 2 tractors .
Worked great .
Would buy one again for a tractor.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #58 on: October 14, 2021, 10:09:27 PM »
I think every piece I buy is the best thing ever......till I use it for a while....I got this puppty in the spring and while it had alot of cobweb issues from sitting for 20 years, Im still in the honeymoon stage with it......

 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2021, 11:10:27 PM »
I honestly don't know how I ever got along without my Lull. It gets used daily for multiple parts of our business. A farm tractor just can't compete with them when it comes to material handling.

I modified mine so it has a quick tack set up on the front, takes seconds to switch from bucket, to forks, to grapple. Also did some plumbing work so it runs low flow skid steer accessories as well, have a power broom it runs awesome with. 
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #60 on: October 15, 2021, 03:02:32 AM »
Bull, James, Andrea, Ben... now Eddie. Doesn't matter the name the concept remains the same: Purchasing skilled labour has always been the best money I've spent. 

One thing I've had to learn and relearn in my life is you don't get twice the work done with 2 capable men, you get three or more times as much done. 

(There's also a list of names that didn't work out, but you just have to weed through enough to find a good one)
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #61 on: October 15, 2021, 05:52:46 AM »
Got tired of messing with tractors and bought a CTL.   Kubota svl-75 
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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #62 on: October 15, 2021, 06:38:36 AM »
@scsmith42 Can you tell me a little about your quick change bucket on the backhoe? I'm assuming you mean the loader bucket? Did you do the change? How's it work? Expensive? I'd love to be able to flop off the bucket to have forks I could see. I'd also love a thumb for the hoe side and it looks almost reasonable to attach, other than the extendahoe part... And it sounds like hydraulic thumbs are kind of a pain to do properly.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #63 on: October 15, 2021, 06:49:02 AM »
I have the same backhoe as Scott. He is correct in that if I could only have one that would be the piece. The quick coupler comes from the factory. The backhoe is a Cat420IT the IT stands for integrated tool carrier. I have a manual thumb on mine and it is priceless. I can use it to even unload log trucks with really high bolsters or customers trailers with sides. It is also great for handling timbers for crane mats and such. I wouldn't use it for timber frame timbers as it will leave marks in the timbers. The coupler on my articulated loader I think is a JIB. It is a after market coupler. Google them and see if they offer one for your backhoe.  
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2021, 12:08:16 PM »
Not doing the same level of work as most of you but chiming in on loading mill with forks vs. grapple. You don't have to slam the logs on the mill from the forks, I level them to rails like a log deck and roll log on with Peavey. Not great, but better than just dumping the log on to slam the mill. When the mill gets moved to a better spot it will just get a dedicated infeed deck like many have posted examples of here as I need other things more than a grapple right now, as nice as it would be to have.

Offline Resonator

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #65 on: October 15, 2021, 12:54:41 PM »
Forks vs. grapple is a matter of steps in growth. A grapple and forks is a step up from forks, forks are a step up from loading logs with a tractor bucket and chain, and that's a step up from rolling logs up ramps. If your sawing only occasionally, you can get by with the minimum. As I'm building a sawmilling business, I try to make improvements in the operation to make it easier and more efficient as I grow.
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

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #66 on: October 15, 2021, 01:51:07 PM »
I have the same backhoe as Scott. He is correct in that if I could only have one that would be the piece. The quick coupler comes from the factory. The backhoe is a Cat420IT the IT stands for integrated tool carrier. I have a manual thumb on mine and it is priceless. I can use it to even unload log trucks with really high bolsters or customers trailers with sides. It is also great for handling timbers for crane mats and such. I wouldn't use it for timber frame timbers as it will leave marks in the timbers. The coupler on my articulated loader I think is a JIB. It is a after market coupler. Google them and see if they offer one for your backhoe.  
@scsmith42 Can you tell me a little about your quick change bucket on the backhoe? I'm assuming you mean the loader bucket? Did you do the change? How's it work? Expensive? I'd love to be able to flop off the bucket to have forks I could see. I'd also love a thumb for the hoe side and it looks almost reasonable to attach, other than the extendahoe part... And it sounds like hydraulic thumbs are kind of a pain to do properly.
Jake did a great job of answering.  It only takes around 30 seconds to uninstall the bucket / fork assembly, a minute to reposition the tractor, and another 30 seconds to attach and lock the next attachment.
Additionally, there are hydraulic lines available at the front of the tool carrier so that a custom grapple could be built and operated from the cab.
Mine is an extend-a-hoe model, which is not as ideal for a thumb because of the extending arm.  It's still doable, just not as optimum.

Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #67 on: October 15, 2021, 03:15:37 PM »
As with @Resonator  my Kubota tractor with forks has been invaluable.  I liked it a lot when it just had a bucket, but with forks its much more useful.  I rarely put the bucket back on it.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #68 on: October 15, 2021, 04:41:35 PM »
Forks vs. grapple is a matter of steps in growth. A grapple and forks is a step up from forks, forks are a step up from loading logs with a tractor bucket and chain, and that's a step up from rolling logs up ramps. If your sawing only occasionally, you can get by with the minimum. As I'm building a sawmilling business, I try to make improvements in the operation to make it easier and more efficient as I grow.
Truth there. But, if someone was to ask me I'd tell them to reach: Buy the machine that's too big, the saw thats too fast, design the shed with room to extend, spend a few more dollars than you intended.

Maybe 6 or 7 years back I knew I was getting serious about the business of milling, and that it was shifting from a sideline operation to a core business. And I had the chance to buy the perfect "too much" machine but it was a reach and when I asked some guys who could have helped me in terms of prepaid sales etc and not felt a thing I got told " You have to crawl before you can walk". And these guys were buying like $200k a year of product off me at the time

What I'll tell you today is that if you only buy equipment that will help you crawl, you'll spend all of your life on your knees. (And I'll also tell you to be aware that sometimes people have a vested interest in keeping you there.)

That saw I didn't get because I just couldn't afford it - and only just couldn't, I was about $30k short of the mark  - yeah well not having that saw has cost me at least $5 million in turnover in the 5 years since. It would have paid itself off in the first year just with the value of the work I didnt take/lost because I didnt have the capacity to do a lot of jobs. When I had the dozers it was the same... I never lost a lot of work because the machines were too big, but I lost an awful lot because they were too small.

And that's my $0.02 on buying equipment.
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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #69 on: October 15, 2021, 06:40:03 PM »
Truth there too, LL. The hardest part is starting out with a small business. The first year you're learning (and I'm still learning) all the aspects of the business, not just turning round logs into square boards. Also proving to yourself and your family that the dream will fly, and not crash and burn. Unless you have a large nest egg or inheritance to pay for everything, you will be dealing with debt. I've seen many other businesses fail in less than a year, because they got in over their heads before they were established and knew how to run a business. Each individual should educate themselves before they first buy equipment, what they need, and how much debt they take on.
My $0.02.
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

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #70 on: October 15, 2021, 07:26:48 PM »
No doubt going too "small" can cost you but it will seldom sink you. Whenever I "needed" additional equipment its was never more than a phone call away. When you need cash to cover payments is when people won't return your calls. When I fired the bankers and the equipment insurance companies is when I really gained ground.



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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2021, 07:43:01 PM »
I totally agree with that too, I took a lot of baby steps, and it's not like I have it all figured yet.

But there's a point at which you know you want to do this, and that you probably can do this ( for nothing in life is guaranteed)... and at that point you need to start thinking beyond this week/month/year and start taking prudent risk.

Buying saws and loaders etc when you're a sawmiller is prudent risk... it not speculative so much as an investment in your future prosperity.
Dunno, I went years keeping my debts at a level where I could manage them if I had to go get a job. And then at a level where I could manage them if I had a job plus sawed part time. And I've had that job for a month here or there along the way to smooth cashflow along. But at no point during that job did I ever think I was anything but a sawmiller.

If I could do it all again, I'd have bet the house on that too much saw five years ago. Even if I'd failed at least I'd know I'd had a real crack at it, but I caved to wifely pressure about the potential downside. Somewhere in the other list of things I've learnt is that a partner/wife who doesn't share your goals isn't the right one either, seems I need to learn all my lessons the hard way.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #72 on: October 15, 2021, 08:01:37 PM »
A bit of a sidebar, but an important aspect that can help justify buying the first piece equipment is the many tasks it will help with besides the sawmill chores. Whether its a tractor with FEL, skid steer, forklift, or whatever it will get used for many things and youll wonder how you got by without it. Firewood chores, cleaning up the yard, plowing snow, lifting the side of a trailer to check the bearings, working on the lawn mower, processing a buffalo, etc., etc., etc.  

Of course it goes without saying that buying more equipment is just part of the sawdust addiction.  :D  Not all wives understand and support this, but having a long list of benefits can help swing the vote. (I cant think of many any tasks a new pair of diamond earrings can be used for.)

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #73 on: October 15, 2021, 08:05:22 PM »
(Just to bring this back towards the original intent, the OP is talking about a hobby situation. )

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #74 on: October 15, 2021, 08:09:21 PM »
I totally agree with that too, I took a lot of baby steps, and it's not like I have it all figured yet.

But there's a point at which you know you want to do this, and that you probably can do this ( for nothing in life is guaranteed)... and at that point you need to start thinking beyond this week/month/year and start taking prudent risk.

Buying saws and loaders etc when you're a sawmiller is prudent risk... it stops being risky and starts being an investment in your business.
Dunno, I went years keeping my debts at a level where I could manage them if I had to go get a job. And then at a level where I could manage them if I had a job plus sawed part time. And I've had that job for a month here or there along the way to smooth cashflow along. But at no point during that job did I ever think I was anything but a sawmiller.

If I could do it all again, I'd have bet the house on that too much saw five years ago. Even if I'd failed at least I'd know I'd had a real crack at it, but I caved to wifely pressure about the potential downside. Somewhere in the other list of things I've learnt is that a partner/wife who doesn't share your goals isn't the right one either, seems I need to learn all my lessons the hard way.
You really summed it up right there. Wifey pressure will doom you period. You have to keep doubling down to get anywhere. When you have nothing to loose its not all that big of a gamble and borrow. If you have the business neither is borrowing for an expansion or upgrade. Borrowing to built it in hopes the business will follow is what will sink you.

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Re: Single best purchase to aid your work?
« Reply #75 on: October 19, 2021, 03:07:18 AM »
I have a Mahindra 6520 4WD with a 6 foot grapple for the smaller logs. I assembled and installed my own diverter valve for the grapple.  It can also power my auger when hanging off of the loader bucket.

 

I got tired of making the Mahindra's front tires run flat from heavy logs.  So I bought a Lull 644D-34 for the larger logs.

 
The Lull comes in handy in other projects also.

 

hugs,  Brandi
Mahindra 6520 4WD with loader/backhoe and a Caterpiller E70 Excavator.  My mill is a Woodmizer LT40HD Wide Diesel. An old Lull 644D-34 called Bull

My Hero is Johnny Jett


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