The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts





Author Topic: Small scale, low impact equipment advise  (Read 2040 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« on: March 14, 2020, 11:00:01 PM »
Good evening! Long time forum lurker and finally making my first post. 

I need some advice; to make a long story short ..... 

I have been offered an opportunity over the course of the next couple years to expand my families “personal” firewood and custom cutting operation. 

Over the last 5 years my family and I have done a lot of work on our own woodlot to improve it for the future with thinning, select harvesting, and building trail for future use. Through our forester some of my large parcel neighbors visited our wood lot and were impressed with how our management plan and hard work had turned out. A couple of them have gotten together and approached me if I would consider doing the same work for their parcels as part of there updated management plans. A big factor of their decision to approach my family was the fact that they have been very unhappy with the “mess” left by previous loggers with larger production equipment. 

My family and I have always used small scale equipment (in my mind) and keep our own trails narrow. We currently use a combination of a tractor with winch, shovel dozer with winch, mini excavator with thumb, tractor with pto chipper, and a dozer with homemade log trailer (old hay wagon gear). Set up in a “fixed” location on the property is our wood processor and our mobile wood mizer sawmill with a skid steer for material handling. 

This is where I need some insight ..... I think it’s time to get some more specific forestry equipment. I love my old tractors, but having increased my work area by 10+ fold I don’t think it’s realistic to continue efficiently.
The equipment I have been looking at primarily are used small scale forwarders/bicombi machines made by Vimek, and other manufacturers from Europe. Another couple ideas/options could be to buy a forwarding log trailer to pull with the shovel dozer (metavic maybe) and/or a harvesting head or just a regular rotating grapple for my 6.5 ton excavator.

I have done a bunch of searching on this forum about small scale equipment and operations and seen a lot of information but still still leaves me with in answered questions more specific to my opportunity. I definitely need some insight from individuals who have been doing this longer than me. 

Terrain considerations: somewhat hilly, small streams, some ledge, avoidable wet areas and deep trenches. 

Species: completely mixed bag, some areas do have concentrations of a specific species. 

Pay: No final decision has been made, but discussed options include hourly payment for my work on the management plan (trail clearing, brush removal, retaining ponds, etc), traditional owner shares, to the most extreme I can have all the wood for “free” as long as I supply them with there yearly firewood.  

This would not be a “full time” per say job, I currently have a job that takes me away for varying times of the year, any where from a few weeks to an entire season, but then I get to be home for the same amount of time that I was away. Allowing me to have “extended weekend” work we will call it. 

I greatly appreciate any words of wisdom, equipment recommendations, or comments! 

Thanks, T 

P.S.
I found a picture on a post with a JD 350 and a forwarder trailer, maybe just the answer? I will see if I can attach it.
Blue skies ahead

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 12:26:23 AM »
 

 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Skeans1

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1360
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 02:12:03 AM »
Here’s a good question what sort of lengths and size of the timber are you going into? 

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 29651
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 07:19:17 AM »
Glad to see you joined, welcome.
It's nice that you are taking care of your forest. I am no help on the equipment, but I could use what you have. I just have a 40hp tractor and a Norse winch to get out firewood and logs. I have 150 acres that I "maintain".  ;D  I say "maintain, but it's impossible for one man to keep up at that much and work a 40 hour job too.

Somewheres on the forum someone had a small excavator with a grapple on it and they would load a trailer with that.

I don't have a chipper, I just cut my brush up in to pieces, that I try not to have longer than 2 feet. I even ran the saw up and down the limbs. When my Father and me was cutting here, the brush will disappear in just a few years. One reason we kinda had to do that in places. My land is a challenge to get around on. With wet holes, big rocks, knolls, uneven ground and leave trees, it can be hard to get around on. Sometimes we have to drive through the brush. With it all cut up into short pieces, a tractor can go through and should not do any damage to the tractor. We still tried not to run through the brush, but if we had to ,we could.
What ever you decide on, we like pictures.  ;D  Good luck to you.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline snowstorm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4050
  • Location: maine
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 07:35:36 AM »
that 350 and trailer was the answer in the 60's there were a lot of them. they had the jd roto boom loader and a much more rugged trailer. undercarriage if there was a rock within a mile was a night mare. go buy a 646 valmet 

Offline Ed_K

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3090
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Leyden,Ma.
  • Gender: Male
  • Leave it better than you found it. Ed_K
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 08:14:15 AM »
 This is what I have used for the last 20 yrs.


 

 It has a rotating grapple that goes on the front bucket loader when I have large logs to load onto a hay wagon trailer, when I can't load onto the forwarder trailer.
Ed K

Offline Bruno of NH

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3812
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Springfield NH
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 09:01:13 AM »
I have an off road forwarding trailer it's well built and can move a lot of logs.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls Riehl Steel edger,F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline Bruno of NH

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3812
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Springfield NH
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2020, 09:03:06 AM »
I see your in Vt you are welcome to come see and operate it if you would like.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls Riehl Steel edger,F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2020, 10:54:59 AM »
Here’s a good question what sort of lengths and size of the timber are you going into?
Most of what I have cut on my own land is thinning out poor quality (mostly). Anything under 16” can go through my processor for firewood, 12-16” pine and spruce I usually try and get a boards out of, the real junk gets chipped and I have a lot of uses for chips on the farm. 
On request I have selective cut some of the larger timber on my property, 20-36” range that is then custom sawed. I have a friend who is a professional furniture maker and he has requests 5-10 times a year. Over the last few years tapped maple has been a big request. 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2020, 10:57:01 AM »
Glad to see you joined, welcome.
It's nice that you are taking care of your forest. I am no help on the equipment, but I could use what you have. I just have a 40hp tractor and a Norse winch to get out firewood and logs. I have 150 acres that I "maintain".  ;D  I say "maintain, but it's impossible for one man to keep up at that much and work a 40 hour job too.

Somewheres on the forum someone had a small excavator with a grapple on it and they would load a trailer with that.

I don't have a chipper, I just cut my brush up in to pieces, that I try not to have longer than 2 feet. I even ran the saw up and down the limbs. When my Father and me was cutting here, the brush will disappear in just a few years. One reason we kinda had to do that in places. My land is a challenge to get around on. With wet holes, big rocks, knolls, uneven ground and leave trees, it can be hard to get around on. Sometimes we have to drive through the brush. With it all cut up into short pieces, a tractor can go through and should not do any damage to the tractor. We still tried not to run through the brush, but if we had to ,we could.
What ever you decide on, we like pictures.  ;D  Good luck to you.
Thanks! 
I will try and share some photos when everything works out.
Blue skies ahead

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2020, 11:00:11 AM »
that 350 and trailer was the answer in the 60's there were a lot of them. they had the jd roto boom loader and a much more rugged trailer. undercarriage if there was a rock within a mile was a night mare. go buy a 646 valmet
I found that picture on the forum and though that might just be what I need. My old wagon set up is by no means the best. Sense it is made of wood it takes a beating and the tires do no do well on “off road” conditions. 
From what I have read, forwarder trailer with a loader seems to be the right choice. 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2020, 11:03:12 AM »
This is what I have used for the last 20 yrs.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

 It has a rotating grapple that goes on the front bucket loader when I have large logs to load onto a hay wagon trailer, when I can't load onto the forwarder trailer.
Awesome, what brand, size trailer is that? How large of a tree can you load with the trailers loader? 
My thoughts reach wise would be to be in the 14-16’ range. 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2020, 11:05:39 AM »
I see your in Vt you are welcome to come see and operate it if you would like.
May take you up on that, currently on work trip and will not be back for awhile. Did you fabricate the trailer yourself? 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Skeans1

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1360
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2020, 11:29:12 AM »
Here’s a good question what sort of lengths and size of the timber are you going into?
Most of what I have cut on my own land is thinning out poor quality (mostly). Anything under 16” can go through my processor for firewood, 12-16” pine and spruce I usually try and get a boards out of, the real junk gets chipped and I have a lot of uses for chips on the farm.
On request I have selective cut some of the larger timber on my property, 20-36” range that is then custom sawed. I have a friend who is a professional furniture maker and he has requests 5-10 times a year. Over the last few years tapped maple has been a big request.
The reason I’m asking about lengths and diameter is most the equipment you’re looking into or wanting to on the small size for the timber. The Vimek would be the smallest I could consider to do anything you’re talking about, from the sounds of it you’re getting into commercial thinning territory which really do call for bigger equipment. We’ve had a TJ 1010 now we run a 1210 as well as having a forwarding trailer for a tractor that I wouldn’t recommend for anything other then extremely light duty use vs a built machine for the application. If you’re going to be cutting roughly 20” stuff you’re into much larger equipment then you are wanting to look at, when you look at the heads look at h415 on our 1270 is full delimb capacity is 18 or 20 inches but it can cut and delimb up to 32+ inches. Take a 4000 logmax the max size you’ll get through that head will be 20 or 22 inches but you don’t want to do that all the time either.

Offline Bruno of NH

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3812
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Springfield NH
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2020, 11:39:12 AM »
I see your in Vt you are welcome to come see and operate it if you would like.
May take you up on that, currently on work trip and will not be back for awhile. Did you fabricate the trailer yourself?
The trailer is a Woody's off road trailer made in Canada 
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls Riehl Steel edger,F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2020, 12:06:12 PM »
Here’s a good question what sort of lengths and size of the timber are you going into?
Most of what I have cut on my own land is thinning out poor quality (mostly). Anything under 16” can go through my processor for firewood, 12-16” pine and spruce I usually try and get a boards out of, the real junk gets chipped and I have a lot of uses for chips on the farm.
On request I have selective cut some of the larger timber on my property, 20-36” range that is then custom sawed. I have a friend who is a professional furniture maker and he has requests 5-10 times a year. Over the last few years tapped maple has been a big request.
The reason I’m asking about lengths and diameter is most the equipment you’re looking into or wanting to on the small size for the timber. The Vimek would be the smallest I could consider to do anything you’re talking about, from the sounds of it you’re getting into commercial thinning territory which really do call for bigger equipment. We’ve had a TJ 1010 now we run a 1210 as well as having a forwarding trailer for a tractor that I wouldn’t recommend for anything other then extremely light duty use vs a built machine for the application. If you’re going to be cutting roughly 20” stuff you’re into much larger equipment then you are wanting to look at, when you look at the heads look at h415 on our 1270 is full delimb capacity is 18 or 20 inches but it can cut and delimb up to 32+ inches. Take a 4000 logmax the max size you’ll get through that head will be 20 or 22 inches but you don’t want to do that all the time either.
Commercial thinning is probably the closest thing to describe what I will be doing. For my updating business plan I have figured at least 5 years + worth of thinning on these 2 large parcels if I am able to make my operation 10-20 more efficient. 
My goal is to find a piece of equipment that will fit most of what I do. For the selective cutting I have done it is usually 1 or 2 trees that I then custom mill. 90% of the next 5 years would be thinning sub 16”. 
I may be in a dream world ... I have used very “narrow” equipment so far and it has allowed me to keep my access trails small and would like to keep it that way if possible. 
That’s why when I saw the vimek machine I thought that maybe the best sort of dedicated machine, or a forwarding trailer of similar size. 
The jump to a full size forwarder would require some enlarging of my own access trails to these new parcels. 
Another pipe dream .... finding a machine that has the ability to do it all or have it down to maybe 2 main pieces. I have always hand cut and bucked all my own logs, so have no experience in the mechanized harvesting with some sort of processor. I have a John Deere 60 excavator 6.5 ton range and not sure if finding some sort of feller/harvest or attachment would be worthwhile or even practical. 
I realize that any forestry specific equipment would be a substantial purchase and from my internet search not a hole lot in the used market for the scale of equipment. 
Appreciate the help and insight.
Blue skies ahead

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2020, 12:06:58 PM »
I see your in Vt you are welcome to come see and operate it if you would like.
May take you up on that, currently on work trip and will not be back for awhile. Did you fabricate the trailer yourself?
The trailer is a Woody's off road trailer made in Canada
I will add there name to my research pile for trailers. What model do you have?
Thanks
Blue skies ahead

Offline stavebuyer

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 632
  • Location: KY
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2020, 12:15:48 PM »
I am not so sure the magic is in the machine; I think your current equipment mix is right on target and you may only need to upgrade to a factory guarded logging tractor and hydraulic forwarding trailer. Not meaning to offend the pro CTL guys who do a much better job than commercial tree length; but there work still doesn't come close to the minimal impact from a careful landowner working their own land at their own pace. I think your neighbors expect the same job they see at your place; even if they have to pay you rather than be paid by you. 

Offline Ludlowlad

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
  • Trying to forge my way ahead, always need advice
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2020, 12:36:12 PM »
I am not so sure the magic is in the machine; I think your current equipment mix is right on target and you may only need to upgrade to a factory guarded logging tractor and hydraulic forwarding trailer. Not meaning to offend the pro CTL guys who do a much better job than commercial tree length; but there work still doesn't come close to the minimal impact from a careful landowner working their own land at their own pace. I think your neighbors expect the same job they see at your place; even if they have to pay you rather than be paid by you.
Very well put, couldn’t have describe the situation much better. I have a better than average load of equipment even though it’s old it’s well maintained and functional. The land owner expectations are that it will look the same/ similar to how my own land currently looks. 
Many land owners use logging to bring in extra money, but these owners don’t necessarily need the extra money (best way to say they are well off) and want the “look”/ plots managed. 
I grew up watching my families heavy construction company and all the jobs were time and material. My father would tell any one who questioned it, “it’s the fairies way for both party’s. If you don’t like it get someone else who will do you dishonestly”. 
Having to buy a forwarding trailer is also much easier of a money pill to swallow. Use what you know rather than a new demon may be the best way. 
Thanks for the advice
Blue skies ahead

Offline hacknchop

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Bruce Mines Ontario Canada
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2020, 12:41:49 PM »
Totally agree with stavebuyer stay with your model it is working good ,worthy of imitation . There's a lot to be said about knowing what you are doing , nothing wrong with improving but as they say now a days stay in your lane , I think you got this , as I read somewhere nothing but blue skies ahead.☺
Often wrong never indoubt


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
small scale logging equipment

Started by Norwiscutter on Forestry and Logging

3 Replies
2682 Views
Last post May 18, 2005, 09:21:38 PM
by Kevin
question
Tulip scale impact?

Started by OneWithWood on Ask The Forester

5 Replies
1010 Views
Last post June 15, 2012, 01:55:16 PM
by OneWithWood
xx
Low impact logging equipment breakdown

Started by Jeff on Forestry and Logging

19 Replies
4105 Views
Last post September 24, 2011, 08:32:06 AM
by Norm
xx
Recomendations on a small, low impact forwarder ?

Started by Madman_Mark on Forestry and Logging

38 Replies
14280 Views
Last post January 25, 2006, 11:25:46 PM
by fencerowphil (Phil L.)
 


Powered by EzPortal