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Author Topic: What tools am I missing  (Read 1056 times)

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Offline Corius

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What tools am I missing
« on: January 14, 2020, 06:38:47 PM »
The project:
So I came into the opportunity to do some logging on a property a mile from my house. Wood is free landowner just want to clear out space for cornfields, and my landscaping business slows way down in the winter so I have time on my hands. The mill is 22 miles from where trees are. 

My experience: 
ISA certified and state certified arborists. Mostly do residential removals and contract climb to fill my schedule. During the year all the wood from removals is just split up and sold as firewood.(not getting rich but keeps the lights on in the winter)

My equipment: 
Currently I have 1 ton truck (cdl), 14 foot dump trailer, 25hp kioti tractor lifts approx 1200lbs (bucket, pallet forks,grapple), saws ranging from 25cc (14 bar) to 89cc (42 bar) various sized chains. 

My questions: 
1. Am I biting off more than I can chew with the equipment I have?

2. What is the best way to measure logs to get the most out of them?(trying to avoid using a tape measure for every cut)

3. Ties into 2, can anyone share some resources on grading logs so I can get the best logs out? (bad ones will go to firewood pile)

4. I know a pto winch would help but dont want to buy one for just one job. Are the little norther tool 3point sliders worth the money?

5. What smaller hand tools can make life easier? 

6. What are things to look out for (red flags) when dealing with a mill

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read all this I know it was long but wanted to give as much information as I can. 

Offline nativewolf

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 06:52:49 PM »
how many acres?  what sort of trees- diameters and species?
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Offline Corius

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 07:05:30 PM »
Sorry I should have added this.  

10 acres total no real time limit on completion. I just cant Mess up the corn when its in the ground. 

Average size is between 12-20dbh with 13 oaks over 30  and one monster oak 68 dbh. 4 black walnut 17-28dbh. Then little trees 8 and under

Main species I saw elm (America and red possibly some 8!@#%^&* in there to) ash, hackberry, oak, mulberry and walnut 

Offline A-z farmer

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 07:07:35 PM »
I would hire a forester to look over your wood lot to be removed.I have hired one to go through all our forests on our farms and got their recommendation on what is there and the marketable timber.Also I would not be doing any logging with a small tractor because trees are heavy and unpredictable.Do you have to stump all the acreage too that needs heavy equipment.This is just my opinion there is a lot of knowledgeable people here on the forum.
Zeke

Offline Andries

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 07:12:52 PM »
Adding to nativewolf's questions:
- call the mill, will they take your logs? and at what price? what length and diameter?
- can your tractor load the logs (that the mill will accept) into your trailer?
- making cutting and skidding trails, plus clearing a landing to stage your logs for trucking are an up front cost in time and money. Is the acreage a steep and hilly one?
Sorry, thats far more questions than answers for you, but a bunch of clever folks on here can give good answers. They just need more info.


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Offline Corius

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 07:44:00 PM »
Thank you Andries your questions are things that I did not think about before hand

Offline mills

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 03:47:46 AM »
Welcome Corius. Hate to say it, but I think you're going to need more horse power. You should be able to pull the smaller stuff, but I have my doubts on the larger trees... even a log at a time. You know your tractor better than me, so you may already know it's limitations. If not, it's just a mile down the road. Run down and drop a medium size tree to see what it will do. Main thing is be careful. Tractor roll overs in the log woods has taken out many a good men. 

Disclaimer: Not responsible for the vicious cycle on which you are about to embark... bigger and bigger iron... having to cut more and more trees to pay for the addiction. But, on the bright side you'll be in good company... it got most of us on here.  :D :D :D

Offline leeroyjd

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 05:58:42 AM »
    What needs to be done with all the leftover brush?
    As far as grading, go to the mill, see if you can spend some time wth the scaler. On that subject, you'll want to get a real logging tape measure, and absolutely measure every log making sure the mills preferred trim is included.
   I'd also inquire about a log truck picking up logs. 


Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 07:00:55 AM »
Welcome Corius. Hate to say it, but I think you're going to need more horse power. You should be able to pull the smaller stuff, but I have my doubts on the larger trees... even a log at a time. You know your tractor better than me, so you may already know it's limitations. If not, it's just a mile down the road. Run down and drop a medium size tree to see what it will do. Main thing is be careful. Tractor roll overs in the log woods has taken out many a good men.

Disclaimer: Not responsible for the vicious cycle on which you are about to embark... bigger and bigger iron... having to cut more and more trees to pay for the addiction. But, on the bright side you'll be in good company... it got most of us on here.  :D :D :D

I agree with mills, you may struggle skidding the bigger stuff .
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Online thecfarm

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 07:16:03 AM »
I don't know for sure about the size of your tractor.  Seem like I have heard Kioti takes a frame and puts a 25-35-45hp motor on the same size tractor. The wife has a 30hp NH, much smaller than my 40hp NH. That 30 would almost fit in a pickup truck body. No way the 40 hp would fit. But it's still 25hp. I have logged,on my own land, with a 40hp tractor, with a 3 point winch. Slow for sure, but I got all the money,kinda like what you are going to do. Which I am surprised someone will just give wood away to you like that. But maybe no one else wants to bother with a small piece.
I have no idea what that 3pt sliders you are referring too. They have so much junk stuff to look at. Really start to work their stuff, day after day,it might not hold up. And too, I don't know how many logs you can bring out at one time. One log at a time will take a lot of time. I use to do that before the 3pt winch. My Father and me would do that. He would stay on the tractor and I would hook up the logs. If you are alone, lots of getting up and down on the tractor. That gets real old, real fast. A 3pt winch, you can stay on good ground, but sounds like your ground is level and dry, but you can keep away from the brush. With the 3pt winch I have now I can bring out 7 logs at a time. Sometimes I bring out one, sometimes I bring out 7. Than what really helps, I can stop on the way out and winch in logs. No need to back up to each log.
Grading logs is VERY important. No way to really explain it, but you want good logs,cut to whatever length the mills want. Knots will bring the grade down quick, sweep will too, anything that makes the logs look bad will bring the price down quick.
The mills will tell you want they want. If they want a 12 foot log, most want 6 inches more on every log. So a 12 foot log is really 12 foot 6 inches long. Lets say you cut a log 12 feet 3 inches, they could scale that as a 10 foot log. So there goes some money, right there. That's why a tape measure is important.
You being a small guy, like I was, they can stop buying logs from you anytime. Yes,if you kept at it for 10 years, they might move you help some, and they might not cut you off.
In my state I need an Intent To Log from. Not a big deal, just paying work to fill out. Keep all scales slip and I fill it out at the end of the year.
You should have a Logrite cantdog or a peavey, even for your tree business. They are a sponsor on the left. Nice people.
Tires, you have 4ply? Should have at least 8 to hold up in the woods. Don't want tuff tires either.
You will need to stick with it too, meaning get the wood out in a timely fashion. The mills want the logs fresh, they don't want logs sitting around for 2 months.
Someone asked about the brush. Will you have to burn it? Some states are  fussy on that. Brush piles can only be so high and wide.
Than you will have to hire a trucker to bring your logs to the mill. Some places those are hard to come by. Here in Maine there are a lot of self loading trucks and straight jobs. Some places trailer trucks and no loaders are the norm. Meaning you will need a bigger landing and a way to load the trucks.
You will have to cut your stumps low too, And I do mean low. You ruin a tire on a 4 inch stump, that will cost ya.  :'(  Plus with a tractor, the logs come up against a high stump,and you have just about all the tractor wants on the back, it will stop you quick.
Any weight inside the tires, meaning loaded tires, That will help you a lot.
Yes others, and me get by with smaller equipment, but you start to do it steady and the equipment and you will get tired. 
The trails will, have to be kept free of brush too, the limbs like to do damage to a tractor.
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2020, 09:54:39 AM »
A log arch would go a long ways on skidding the bigger logs if you have good ground(and I assume it is if the owner is converting to cropland) and would be a handy tool for your regular tree work in the future. The 1200lb lift capacity of your tractor is your biggest limiting factor as it doesn't take a very big log to exceed that.

Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 12:06:57 PM »
I don't know for sure about the size of your tractor.  Seem like I have heard Kioti takes a frame and puts a 25-35-45hp motor on the same size tractor. The wife has a 30hp NH, much smaller than my 40hp NH. That 30 would almost fit in a pickup truck body. No way the 40 hp would fit. But it's still 25hp. I have logged,on my own land, with a 40hp tractor, with a 3 point winch. Slow for sure, but I got all the money,kinda like what you are going to do. Which I am surprised someone will just give wood away to you like that. But maybe no one else wants to bother with a small piece.
I have no idea what that 3pt sliders you are referring too. They have so much junk stuff to look at. Really start to work their stuff, day after day,it might not hold up. And too, I don't know how many logs you can bring out at one time. One log at a time will take a lot of time. I use to do that before the 3pt winch. My Father and me would do that. He would stay on the tractor and I would hook up the logs. If you are alone, lots of getting up and down on the tractor. That gets real old, real fast. A 3pt winch, you can stay on good ground, but sounds like your ground is level and dry, but you can keep away from the brush. With the 3pt winch I have now I can bring out 7 logs at a time. Sometimes I bring out one, sometimes I bring out 7. Than what really helps, I can stop on the way out and winch in logs. No need to back up to each log.
Grading logs is VERY important. No way to really explain it, but you want good logs,cut to whatever length the mills want. Knots will bring the grade down quick, sweep will too, anything that makes the logs look bad will bring the price down quick.
The mills will tell you want they want. If they want a 12 foot log, most want 6 inches more on every log. So a 12 foot log is really 12 foot 6 inches long. Lets say you cut a log 12 feet 3 inches, they could scale that as a 10 foot log. So there goes some money, right there. That's why a tape measure is important.
You being a small guy, like I was, they can stop buying logs from you anytime. Yes,if you kept at it for 10 years, they might move you help some, and they might not cut you off.
In my state I need an Intent To Log from. Not a big deal, just paying work to fill out. Keep all scales slip and I fill it out at the end of the year.
You should have a Logrite cantdog or a peavey, even for your tree business. They are a sponsor on the left. Nice people.
Tires, you have 4ply? Should have at least 8 to hold up in the woods. Don't want tuff tires either.
You will need to stick with it too, meaning get the wood out in a timely fashion. The mills want the logs fresh, they don't want logs sitting around for 2 months.
Someone asked about the brush. Will you have to burn it? Some states are  fussy on that. Brush piles can only be so high and wide.
Than you will have to hire a trucker to bring your logs to the mill. Some places those are hard to come by. Here in Maine there are a lot of self loading trucks and straight jobs. Some places trailer trucks and no loaders are the norm. Meaning you will need a bigger landing and a way to load the trucks.
You will have to cut your stumps low too, And I do mean low. You ruin a tire on a 4 inch stump, that will cost ya.  :'(  Plus with a tractor, the logs come up against a high stump,and you have just about all the tractor wants on the back, it will stop you quick.
Any weight inside the tires, meaning loaded tires, That will help you a lot.
Yes others, and me get by with smaller equipment, but you start to do it steady and the equipment and you will get tired.
The trails will, have to be kept free of brush too, the limbs like to do damage to a tractor.

Very good advice from TheCfarm.
Husqvarna 550xp , 2- 372xp and a 288xp, Chevy 4x4 winch truck

Offline g_man

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 05:58:28 PM »
W/O a picture of what the site looks like it is hard to say what you need as a minimum. It must be flat to make a corn field ?? I have done a lot of small scale logging in our woods with a 5000 lb 30 HP kubota L3010 with a winch. If I think about the flat sections of my woods I cannot image clearing a 10 acre section w/o a winch. Even with a winch it is a huge task with a tiny tractor. But your piece may be way different than mine. You don't say where you are. We are in northern VT and the corn is in the ground from May until it is chopped in late Oct so if it were here you would be working in the snow too. 

Why don't you make an agreement that you try working for a week and just take firewood trees so you don't need to know about grading and species values etc and you don't take any of his money trees. You will quickly find out what you are up against equipment wise and can figure weather it is worth persuing  further.

gg

Offline TKehl

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 09:37:09 AM »
Are you allowed to just select cut before he hits it with a dozer or is he expecting you to clear cut it in exchange for the wood?  I've seen both.

That tractor will not load logs, but it should pull most of them to a staging area if it's flat.  Especially if you can get some kind of axle under it (log arch or even just a trailer axle chained to the log.  You can often jump the log up pulling it over a steel wheel with chain run through it.).  Tractor is smaller than I would want, just be aware of its limitations.  

I would recommend you stage the logs, take the advice from your log buyer, and find someone with a log truck and grapple to do the haul.  (The mill may have one or know a guy.)  Either that or roll the logs on your trailer from the side.  All depends on volume and distance to the mill.  

Likely won't find a buyer for the monster Oak locally.  Just to big for most mills.  Need a swinger, slabber, or a wide bandmill.  It's even too big for my slabber as I max at 50"...

With Black Walnut, most experienced loggers around here drag out tree length and have the buyer tell them where to cut it...  Also, be sure to watch some videos on how to cut BW without screwing up the butt log.  WAY different than any cutting I'd ever done before growing up int he woods and cutting firewood.   ;)

Where are you located?

And just measure each log.  Will the the quickest and most valuable (or way to loose value) part of this anyway.   :D  After safety, this is the last place where you want to skimp!
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline TKehl

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 09:44:37 AM »
Oh, and if you use the tractor and grapple to push brush in the woods, armor up that radiator!  Not a hard repair, but from my experience I kick myself the whole time I'm pulling it as a guard would have been cheaper and quicker than doing the repair.   ::)  ;)
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Online mike_belben

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2020, 10:38:31 AM »
People logged with one horse, youve got 25.  It can be done.

Youre going to need a log arch and a 3pt hitch lifter of some sort to hook your choker chain.  Lacking a winch you will have to buck to length and pull some trees by chaining and pulling then shortening the chain and repeating. Oh well.  If your trailer cannot dump a load then youll need it unloaded at the mill and they arent gonna grab from a tailgate. Theyll unload from the side with forks so you need an open side trailer for that and preferably the logs up on 4x4 dunnage to leave space so they dont dig your trailer apart.  If your current trailer can dump then great... But youre gonna need to parbuckle the big logs in. Google it.

Trying to load with a farm loader always breaks axle housings and front planetaries and loader parts in time.  I have welded a few now.  

Grade aside, The longer the log, the more its worth.  Cut as long as the major defects allow [forks, crooks, limbs, catfaces etc.] You want sound ends with centered hearts at each end.  Dont haul in 13" big end logs with a 2ft deep rot tube up the center, just lob that off until you hit clear wood.  Not every tree is worth sawing.  Now if its 30" small end with a little doady center hole thats different.. Theres so much more sidewood that you can still do okay.  


I suggest going to the mill youll sell to and talking with the grader.  There is a balance of admitting youre green and getting info, but also showing that youre sharp and wont be ripped off but once for your inexperience.  The biggest bulk of wood in a clearing is pulp, which youll firewood in time so figure out before hand where to put it so you dont have to move the pile twice.    

Next in volume per acre is ties.  Knotty but straight and sound hardwoods that are slabbed 4 times and spit out a railroad tie or crane matt, the side wood is didcarded. Cutting these right is your bread and butter because there will be so many loads.  Find a mill that specializes in tie cutting and especially learn what makes a switch tie.  16'6" and 13" DIB small end (diameter inside bark) is what im accustomed to.  They brought 40cents a BF and filled trailer fast for me.  


Above ties is grade logs, they produce average quality boards and a center tie or post.  And above that is staves for barrels.. Very profitable, and veneer, which is the smallest portion of any lot.  DO NOT LEARN THE ROPES ON YOUR BEST LOGS!  Leave them standing.  Log out all the firewood and ties first.  Screw up your cuts on trash wood, learn who is an honest buyer on trash wood, make room for your prime timber to come down when youre ready.  

It sounds like you fell in to a hell of a gem if this guy doesnt want a cut of the proceeds or a stumping done after.  Its hard work.  Go easy on your equipment or he will find someone else to finish what you started before snapping your tractor.

Push up the brush piles as you go.  The landowner and the critters will appreciate it.  They can be burned later and itll keep you from tripping over the tangled matt that youll be walking in at all times otherwise. Brush is dangerous.  Itll poke holes in your tractor fast too.  
Revelation 3:20

Online mike_belben

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2020, 10:47:45 AM »
PS.  All logs have "trim" meaning extra length.  If the basic spec sheet says we buy in 10, 12, 16 ft.. You still need to add 3 to 6 inch trim.. Ask first.. Call from the woods if u arent sure. Wait if needed.


Say youve got a buttlog that goes 17feet to a crotch you cut off and the end is sound and single hearted.. Bring it in at 17ft.  If you cut off 6" and find a worm tube that wasnt previously showing, well you just did them a favor and lost you some grade.  If the crotch end shows two hearts, trim it back until theres one.  Theres a balance to bucking, being a slob will cost you money and being obsessive will cost you time.  Try to stay in the middle, make good logs in good time.
Revelation 3:20

Offline jd540b

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Re: What tools am I missing
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2020, 01:12:44 PM »
I would say you are missing an experienced logger with a decent sized skidder, with contacts.  


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