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Author Topic: Small scale, low impact equipment advise  (Read 1965 times)

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Offline Ludlowlad

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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

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 12:26:23 AM »
 

 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Skeans1

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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? 

Online thecfarm

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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.
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Offline snowstorm

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.☺
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Offline Ludlowlad

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2020, 12:51:36 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.☺
I have wanted a forwarding trailer for a long time and maybe this is the excuse I have needed to buy one. The better question is maybe what brands I should consider. 
Ideally I would like to go to a forestry show and see as many as possible.
Thanks for the advice 
Blue skies ahead

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2020, 05:42:12 PM »
Ludlowlad--Welcome to the Forum.  Good plan you have.  This is what I use.  I think Kesla bought out PATU.  Both Co's from Finland.  PM me if you'd like to come by for a look-see; 1/2 hr away?  All the best, Rob.  


 


 
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Offline Ludlowlad

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2020, 06:00:57 PM »
Ludlowlad--Welcome to the Forum.  Good plan you have.  This is what I use.  I think Kesla bought out PATU.  Both Co's from Finland.  PM me if you'd like to come by for a look-see; 1/2 hr away?  All the best, Rob.  

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Thanks, I may take you up on that. What size trailer and reach capacity? 
Blue skies ahead

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2020, 07:10:01 PM »
 

 

 
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Offline Haleiwa

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2020, 07:18:27 PM »
Unless you're in a rush, the Northeast Logging Expo is coming up in Essex Junction on May 15 and 16.  It's a fun show, and they have something for just about every size operation there.
Socialism is people pretending to work while the government pretends to pay them.  Mike Huckabee

Offline Ludlowlad

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2020, 07:24:17 PM »
Unless you're in a rush, the Northeast Logging Expo is coming up in Essex Junction on May 15 and 16.  It's a fun show, and they have something for just about every size operation there.
My plan was to attend the Expo. Last year went to the one in Bangor. 
I just want to have a finalized plan when I show up and talk with dealers so I could maybe take advantage of some special pricing. 
Words of wisdom I was told, when you go to the sales man know what your looking for before you get sold on something more than what you need. 
 
Blue skies ahead

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2020, 07:26:05 PM »

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Are you happy with the woody? 
May just be the camera angle but how wide is trailer? 
Thanks 
Blue skies ahead

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2020, 08:16:40 PM »
I try to buy on the large size. Than when I get to using it a year or 2 later, it's just the right size.  ;D Seem like the salesman I get involved in want me to buy a size smaller to make a sale. Some of them have never even used what I am buying.
This is bill m set up

cwood 2010 - DSC00365 -
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Offline Ludlowlad

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2020, 08:30:30 PM »
I try to buy on the large size. Than when I get to using it a year or 2 later, it's just the right size.  ;D Seem like the salesman I get involved in want me to buy a size smaller to make a sale. Some of them have never even used what I am buying.
This bill m set up

cwood 2010 - DSC00365 -
Do you know if he hauled all that wood with that trailer? Looks like some seriously sized pieces. 
I understand that, just like buying your child a coat that is a little large so when they grow it fits them still. 
Size wise I just want to make sure that it will fit through my existing trails, ideally would not like to expand them if possible.
Blue skies ahead

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2020, 08:50:54 PM »
I'm happy with the Woody 
They have added to their model line up since I got mine.
I wish I had got the optioned winch.
The picture it is loaded with red oak.
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Offline Ludlowlad

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2020, 08:55:10 PM »
I'm happy with the Woody
They have added to their model line up since I got mine.
I wish I had got the optioned winch.
The picture it is loaded with red oak.
Winch definitely would be handy! Will have to see if they are coming to the Northeast expo 
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2020, 05:47:45 AM »
I have no idea for sure if he hauled all the wood out with that.
This is a thread with a few more pictures.

Small skidder vs. tractor with farmi winch? in Forestry and Logging
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Offline dustyjay

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2020, 07:56:22 AM »
Maybe too small of scale? Also a steep learning curve. Certainly it's low impact.
:D ;D


 


 


 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2020, 09:53:28 AM »
 The loader I bought from Bailey's it was rated for 9' reach an 900 pound lift. Over the yrs I've modified it to reach 13' and lift 1500lb. I wouldn't buy another without at least 16' reach. It's just to hard to get close enough to pick the logs up with out winching them closer. The trailer is a flex 320 I can not remember the maker it's from Canada also. Outside to outside wheel track is around 6'. The bolsters have been bent up bad while loading.Their built with to thin of steel. This is what they call a center pole look for a double frame I think that would be stronger.
 I hope to get to the forestry expo.
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2020, 11:03:00 AM »
Reading from my spec sheet:P PATU "525" has 16' reach and 1500 lbs; load capacity is 17600 lbs; load bed length 11'6", so can do 16' logs; load area is 21.5 ft2; PATU "80" trailer weight is 3680 lbs (2180 lbs +1500 lbs with grapple, rotator, control valve & stabilizers), total width 6'10", ground clearance 20.5".  What I really like is ability to twitch logs to edge of my lanes, then go out with PATU/Case 695 4wd (70hp) and lift full log with grapple over my trailer, cut, set log length into trailer, pull more log over trailer, etc until fully bucked up and in trailer.  Minimizes damage to the my woods as I'm not pulling around at an angle.  All the best, Rob.

 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2020, 06:55:17 PM »
Maybe too small of scale? Also a steep learning curve. Certainly it's low impact.
:D ;D

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

God bless, thank you for keeping a tradition alive! I wish I was able to be around full time to be able to even consider.
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2020, 07:16:46 PM »
Reading from my spec sheet:P PATU "525" has 16' reach and 1500 lbs; load capacity is 17600 lbs; load bed length 11'6", so can do 16' logs; load area is 21.5 ft2; PATU "80" trailer weight is 3680 lbs (2180 lbs +1500 lbs with grapple, rotator, control valve & stabilizers), total width 6'10", ground clearance 20.5".  What I really like is ability to twitch logs to edge of my lanes, then go out with PATU/Case 695 4wd (70hp) and lift full log with grapple over my trailer, cut, set log length into trailer, pull more log over trailer, etc until fully bucked up and in trailer.  Minimizes damage to the my woods as I'm not pulling around at an angle.  All the best, Rob.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Sounds like the way to do it and keeps you on the trail. So you don’t have to make big turns. I have made “mini” landings every few hundred feet to I can back my winch across the trail and pull the logs to the main trail. Similar but a lot more work. 
The more testimony that I get forwarding trailers are the way to go. Now to just narrow down the make, model, and add-ons. 
I forget now which trailer I saw that had hydraulic drive, what they called 4 wheels drive. Definitely an interesting option. 
Thanks for sharing !! 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2020, 07:29:05 PM »
 

 

Wish we could all be like this guy in this interesting machine. 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2020, 08:34:33 PM »
Ludlowlad,I wonder what would happen if he grabbed on to one 2 feet across!! Would work great for my firewood now. I could cut the bigger wood into 4 foot lengths. Who's buying it for me?  :D

dustyjay,and it's a lot quieter too.  ;D
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2020, 09:39:04 PM »
Ludlowlad,I wonder what would happen if he grabbed on to one 2 feet across!! Would work great for my firewood now. I could cut the bigger wood into 4 foot lengths. Who's buying it for me?  :D

dustyjay,and it's a lot quieter too.  ;D
Doing some research, I found that picture and was like crap that thing is small. 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2020, 09:47:39 PM »
That’s a pre commercial thinning machine and honestly what you’re talking about it would push that machine well past it’s designed usage. Something to think about is more trips with something lighter better then something that might get the job faster or in one turn?

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2020, 11:10:08 PM »
That’s a pre commercial thinning machine and honestly what you’re talking about it would push that machine well past it’s designed usage. Something to think about is more trips with something lighter better then something that might get the job faster or in one turn?
What is the ideal machine, I definitely don’t know, trying to see what is out there. My biggest restraint is my trails are 6’ - 8’ wide and that is one of my largest concerns is to to carry on those same size trail. 
The Terri machine is probably a machine that costs 100,000 maybe more? A six figure investment in 1 machine is maybe more than what I am ready to swallow. If I could find a machine that would do everything, which I think is hard (with my restrictions), I would entertain the idea with some serious thought. 
Being practical, I am looking for a equipment for a job that I probably conduct about 35-45% of yearly worked time. If I was a full time thinner then I might already have the 1 and done machine. 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2020, 04:50:18 AM »
Best way to put it is you need something a little bit bigger for your planned work. You can stagger your cutting to allow a little bigger machine well creating a look of a smaller trail, when it comes to corners you don’t cut them you cut spurs off the main trail if needed. Laying out a job is a much of an art as cutting the job the itself.

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2020, 10:50:30 AM »
Reading from my spec sheet:P PATU "525" has 16' reach and 1500 lbs; load capacity is 17600 lbs; load bed length 11'6", so can do 16' logs; load area is 21.5 ft2; PATU "80" trailer weight is 3680 lbs (2180 lbs +1500 lbs with grapple, rotator, control valve & stabilizers), total width 6'10", ground clearance 20.5".  What I really like is ability to twitch logs to edge of my lanes, then go out with PATU/Case 695 4wd (70hp) and lift full log with grapple over my trailer, cut, set log length into trailer, pull more log over trailer, etc until fully bucked up and in trailer.  Minimizes damage to the my woods as I'm not pulling around at an angle.  All the best, Rob.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Sounds like the way to do it and keeps you on the trail. So you don’t have to make big turns. I have made “mini” landings every few hundred feet to I can back my winch across the trail and pull the logs to the main trail. Similar but a lot more work.
The more testimony that I get forwarding trailers are the way to go. Now to just narrow down the make, model, and add-ons.
I forget now which trailer I saw that had hydraulic drive, what they called 4 wheels drive. Definitely an interesting option.
Thanks for sharing !!
That tractor/forwarder set-up that thecfarm posted the link to in post #27 has hydraulic drive. It belonged to BillM or billm IIRC. You could look at his posts and gallery. he was very knowledgeable in equipment of that type and worked commercially. I believe I remember him stating that the hydraulic drive was almost a necessity for winter work in the snow.
gg

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2020, 03:39:53 PM »
Reading from my spec sheet:P PATU "525" has 16' reach and 1500 lbs; load capacity is 17600 lbs; load bed length 11'6", so can do 16' logs; load area is 21.5 ft2; PATU "80" trailer weight is 3680 lbs (2180 lbs +1500 lbs with grapple, rotator, control valve & stabilizers), total width 6'10", ground clearance 20.5".  What I really like is ability to twitch logs to edge of my lanes, then go out with PATU/Case 695 4wd (70hp) and lift full log with grapple over my trailer, cut, set log length into trailer, pull more log over trailer, etc until fully bucked up and in trailer.  Minimizes damage to the my woods as I'm not pulling around at an angle.  All the best, Rob.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Sounds like the way to do it and keeps you on the trail. So you don’t have to make big turns. I have made “mini” landings every few hundred feet to I can back my winch across the trail and pull the logs to the main trail. Similar but a lot more work.
The more testimony that I get forwarding trailers are the way to go. Now to just narrow down the make, model, and add-ons.
I forget now which trailer I saw that had hydraulic drive, what they called 4 wheels drive. Definitely an interesting option.
Thanks for sharing !!
That tractor/forwarder set-up that thecfarm posted the link to in post #27 has hydraulic drive. It belonged to BillM or billm IIRC. You could look at his posts and gallery. he was very knowledgeable in equipment of that type and worked commercially. I believe I remember him stating that the hydraulic drive was almost a necessity for winter work in the snow.
gg
Awesome thanks will definitely look back at that and gallery. 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2020, 04:17:52 PM »
Be prepared for some sticker shock when you price one of those Vimek forwarders you mentioned. Even the small ones are really expensive.

I'm hoping the logging expo still happens with the whole virus scare going on now. All of our schools are closed down (currently our local schools are closed till April 6, but there is a lot of speculation that this will be extended). Restaurants are closing or switching to takeout only.

From your name, I'm guessing you are in Ludlow, VT. I purchased a lightly used Metavic M95 forwarding trailer a year and a half ago from a guy down your way (in the boondocks south of Bridgewater). It's too small for what you want to do, but it has worked well for me so far. It matches my compact tractor and mid-sized pickup truck nicely. It has the self contained hydraulics, powered by a small Honda engine, so I can use it behind a pickup truck as well as with my tractor (not dependent on tractor hydraulics to operate). It has a winch with about 100' of cable, which comes in really handy. I have a logging winch, but generally don't have it on when pulling the forwarding trailer. Having that winch makes it a whole lot easier when loading - I don't have to pull up right next to each individual log. The previous owner also had electric brakes put on it when he purchased it. He had a brake controller from an old pickup that he hooked up, and just ran the brake lever manually when needed. With a larger tractor, that probably wouldn't be needed. But with a compact tractor, and running on our hills it the previous owner said it comes in handy (I still haven't hooked a controller up on my tractor yet, but I do appreciate the brakes when towing with my mid-size pickup). No hydraulic drive - It was not an option on this model, but most of my hills are not severe, and with the lighter loads, I've not had a problem so far. Since I'm not doing this for a living, I have the luxury of just not working when conditions get too gnarly.

I'm in Monkton, VT. If you want to stop by on your way up to the Logging Expo, you'll pass within a few miles of my place if you are coming up Rt 7. Happy to show you mine. As I said, too small for your needs, but it will give you an idea of Metavic's build quality, if you are considering one of their larger units. I also have a friend up in Lincoln who has a larger forwarding trailer which he pulls with a 60 HP (?) tractor. I think his is a Woody as well. I'm sure he'd be happy to let you check it out, if you wanted. Just let me know.

There are a number of people around here using a tractor in the woods. Even if you intend to stay on prepared trails, it's a good idea to install a belly pan and grill guard, and possibly engine guarding and operator protection as well. There is a fabrication guy a couple miles from me who is a genius with this type of guarding. He puts a lot of thought into his designs, suggesting small features I would not have even thought to ask for. HAppy to make that introduction as well, if you are interested (and might be able to arrange for you to see a larger tractor than mine that he did a nice custom install on).

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2020, 09:35:38 PM »
Be prepared for some sticker shock when you price one of those Vimek forwarders you mentioned. Even the small ones are really expensive.

I'm hoping the logging expo still happens with the whole virus scare going on now. All of our schools are closed down (currently our local schools are closed till April 6, but there is a lot of speculation that this will be extended). Restaurants are closing or switching to takeout only.

From your name, I'm guessing you are in Ludlow, VT. I purchased a lightly used Metavic M95 forwarding trailer a year and a half ago from a guy down your way (in the boondocks south of Bridgewater). It's too small for what you want to do, but it has worked well for me so far. It matches my compact tractor and mid-sized pickup truck nicely. It has the self contained hydraulics, powered by a small Honda engine, so I can use it behind a pickup truck as well as with my tractor (not dependent on tractor hydraulics to operate). It has a winch with about 100' of cable, which comes in really handy. I have a logging winch, but generally don't have it on when pulling the forwarding trailer. Having that winch makes it a whole lot easier when loading - I don't have to pull up right next to each individual log. The previous owner also had electric brakes put on it when he purchased it. He had a brake controller from an old pickup that he hooked up, and just ran the brake lever manually when needed. With a larger tractor, that probably wouldn't be needed. But with a compact tractor, and running on our hills it the previous owner said it comes in handy (I still haven't hooked a controller up on my tractor yet, but I do appreciate the brakes when towing with my mid-size pickup). No hydraulic drive - It was not an option on this model, but most of my hills are not severe, and with the lighter loads, I've not had a problem so far. Since I'm not doing this for a living, I have the luxury of just not working when conditions get too gnarly.

I'm in Monkton, VT. If you want to stop by on your way up to the Logging Expo, you'll pass within a few miles of my place if you are coming up Rt 7. Happy to show you mine. As I said, too small for your needs, but it will give you an idea of Metavic's build quality, if you are considering one of their larger units. I also have a friend up in Lincoln who has a larger forwarding trailer which he pulls with a 60 HP (?) tractor. I think his is a Woody as well. I'm sure he'd be happy to let you check it out, if you wanted. Just let me know.

There are a number of people around here using a tractor in the woods. Even if you intend to stay on prepared trails, it's a good idea to install a belly pan and grill guard, and possibly engine guarding and operator protection as well. There is a fabrication guy a couple miles from me who is a genius with this type of guarding. He puts a lot of thought into his designs, suggesting small features I would not have even thought to ask for. HAppy to make that introduction as well, if you are interested (and might be able to arrange for you to see a larger tractor than mine that he did a nice custom install on).
Yea I am from there, quiet area most of the time but currently it is overrun with people flocking away from the cities.
Yea, hopefully things work out before the expo, but will have to wait and see.
Appreciate the opportunity and once I am back in VT I might take you up on that.
Depending on the location I use either one of a couple tractors up (50 or 90hp) or shovel dozer (jd350 or cat 919). More recently I have been using the shovel dozer.
With this in mind I have been considering the following for a trailer:
-self contained for variance in equipment
-hydraulic drive
-reach length, maybe extenda hoe style
-fold down or extend down legs
-length of trailer
I think the best bet is to visit some machines in person in the field if I can and then go to the expo I can and talk with some dealers.
The discussion about operator protection was the next topic I was going to make on the forums. I have operated some large excavators with front screen protection when using a jack hammer but all my current machines don’t have any sort of added protection. Something that I need to change for sure.
Always looking for recommendations of either bolt on or ideas for custom forestry protection ideas. Equipment: JD35, JD 60, JD 350, CAT D4, CAT 919, NH T5050, NH TC45, Oliver 1950 series

P.S. got a call back from the Vimek dealer and he said a new bicombi machine delivered to my door was $300,000 definitely caught me off guard. Unless I found a used machine for CONSIDERABLY less that’s out of the question. Realizing a trailer is more my speed. I have, or have access to a variety of equipment depending on the time of year and work flow. Nothing wrong with old equipment, maintained well and serviced can compete with new to the level that I need. 
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2020, 10:55:20 PM »
Figure a good 100K+ is in the harvester head alone couple that with a machine that really has no market in North America it’s going to be an expensive machine. Just an idea this machine is narrower then a Vimek from memory and you’re still at 10 feet wide on the row it just depends on planting as well as how the row trees look from the beginning. If we went out and measured most of the guys running tractors with the forwarder trailers I’m willing to bet most are right around 10 foot wide, running our full sized gear most of our trails aren’t much wider then that.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2020, 11:42:59 PM »
I assume you are looking for an off-road trailer.

Woody has already been mentioned. It and Metavic were two of the makes on my short list. I was looking for small and lightweight, and they had what I thought were two of the models that fit my needs best. Both companies make larger sizes that would be a better match for the tractors you mentioned.

Here's a link to Metavic's off road forwarding trailers. (Not too far a drive from the Expo.) You'd probably be looking at one of their 1400 - 1600 series (or possibly their 1150). Pete's Equipmentin Morrisville, VT sells them. I believe they have one of the 1150 series in stock.

Woody Equipment Log Loaders and Trailers

I hear Farma makes some good equipment as well, but I have not seen any of their stuff in our area yet.
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2020, 07:46:34 AM »
 The expo has been canceled till Oct.
Ed K

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2020, 08:14:04 AM »
The expo has been canceled till Oct.
Bummer, but understandable.
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2020, 03:06:18 PM »
I assume you are looking for an off-road trailer.

Woody has already been mentioned. It and Metavic were two of the makes on my short list. I was looking for small and lightweight, and they had what I thought were two of the models that fit my needs best. Both companies make larger sizes that would be a better match for the tractors you mentioned.

Here's a link to Metavic's off road forwarding trailers. (Not too far a drive from the Expo.) You'd probably be looking at one of their 1400 - 1600 series (or possibly their 1150). Pete's Equipmentin Morrisville, VT sells them. I believe they have one of the 1150 series in stock.

Woody Equipment Log Loaders and Trailers

I hear Farma makes some good equipment as well, but I have not seen any of their stuff in our area yet.
Yea, off road trailer is the way forward unless something else comes along. 
Company wise seems to be 3 main competition:
-Metavic Looking at model 1150m14/1150m16 or a little larger 1400/1600 series with the longest reaching boom, hydraulic drive, 
-Woody Looking at model 11-74 or 13-78 trailers with ideally w/ 150 hdt telescopic 
-Farma Looking at model 6.3/6.7-9F w/ the hydraulic 4 wheel drive w/ gen 3 crane
Also seen some decent looking trailers from 
-Farmi Looking at model FT 11 or FT 13
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2020, 03:30:28 PM »
The longer reach is a great convenience. However, if I had to choose between that and a built-in winch, I'd go with the winch. It makes for far less repositioning of the trailer than even the longest boom available. Of course, if you can find one with both at a reasonable price, that's the way to go.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2020, 04:17:28 PM »
The longer reach is a great convenience. However, if I had to choose between that and a built-in winch, I'd go with the winch. It makes for far less repositioning of the trailer than even the longest boom available. Of course, if you can find one with both at a reasonable price, that's the way to go.
My plan currently sits that if I purchase a new machine then I would get a winch no matter what brand I decided on. If I find something reasonable used then I may have a different view on some of the requirements. 
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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2020, 10:17:11 PM »
I've never used one of the small scale loaders, but my experience in operating an 18 tonne capacity forwarder on a daily basis tells me that trying to have too long of a reach with one of those loaders will be kind of fruitless- there's just not enough mass and power there ("it takes a pound to move a pound"). I would lean more towards a capable compact loader that is a good fit for the trailer you select, and have it equipped with a winch. Even with the big forwarder, at max extension (30') even if the machine will pick the load, it's a lot of strain on things. With a big log, I will reach out and grab one end, and just pull it in with the extension without lifting it, or only lifting one end. You could do the same with the winch, and save yourself about $400K😊
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2020, 04:10:38 PM »
Heard back from my friend in Lincoln, VT:

Quote
I have the Woody 130 with extended boom. Works good for me but if you are trying to move a good-sized 16’ hardwood log, it’s not big enough. I pull it with a JD 4066 which is a bit light also. I have to be careful not to load too heavy.
He said he's happy to show it to you, once the whole virus thing dies down. He will be bringing it to a lodge he runs in upstate New York in mid-May.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2020, 08:29:10 PM »
I have thought that having a trailer/loader on the back and a hyd winch and blade on the front would be the best of both worlds, able to use the winch with the trailer on and able to easily drop the trailer to get around in tight spots and winch logs to the wood road. In practice this may not hold true.

Offline Ludlowlad

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2020, 10:20:02 PM »
Heard back from my friend in Lincoln, VT:

Quote
I have the Woody 130 with extended boom. Works good for me but if you are trying to move a good-sized 16’ hardwood log, it’s not big enough. I pull it with a JD 4066 which is a bit light also. I have to be careful not to load too heavy.
He said he's happy to show it to you, once the whole virus thing dies down. He will be bringing it to a lodge he runs in upstate New York in mid-May.
Yea this hole virus thing has over the course of a couple days drastically changed my non-forestry job. I am a traveling pilot, I got a call today that my next contract may not be honored because of the virus. 
Hopefully in a week, or few weeks things level out and I can go back to a green light on a trailer purchase. In the mean time I will just have to be happy with looking at pictures. 
Blue skies ahead

Offline John Mc

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Re: Small scale, low impact equipment advise
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2020, 10:23:54 PM »
Yea this hole virus thing has over the course of a couple days drastically changed my non-forestry job. I am a traveling pilot, I got a call today that my next contract may not be honored because of the virus.
Hopefully in a week, or few weeks things level out and I can go back to a green light on a trailer purchase. In the mean time I will just have to be happy with looking at pictures.
Who do you fly for? My wife and I are pilots (not professionally, but I am a CFI). We leep a 172 at the Middlebury Airport.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Ludlowlad

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  • 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 #59 on: March 19, 2020, 11:19:10 PM »
Yea this hole virus thing has over the course of a couple days drastically changed my non-forestry job. I am a traveling pilot, I got a call today that my next contract may not be honored because of the virus.
Hopefully in a week, or few weeks things level out and I can go back to a green light on a trailer purchase. In the mean time I will just have to be happy with looking at pictures.
Who do you fly for? My wife and I are pilots (not professionally, but I am a CFI). We leep a 172 at the Middlebury Airport.
Most recently have been instructing out of Springfield, KVSF. In addition to instructing there I worked at the FBO and did my 30 months on the job experience to get me A&P (airframe and power plant). Currently in Oklahoma studying for the oral and practical. 
I have a job I’m Alaska that is suppose to start in a few weeks. Questionable how much business will be had because of people canceling there trips to Alaska for fishing and hunting. Also may not be able to even get there in a couple weeks depending on travel restrictions. 
We will have to see. 
Blue skies ahead !!! 
Blue skies ahead


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