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Author Topic: At what point is it worth more?  (Read 2470 times)

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Offline Firewoodjoe

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At what point is it worth more?
« on: August 14, 2020, 08:09:50 AM »
Iím hand cutting with single bunk forwarder and cable skidder. Happy with the hole operation. We do 10-20 cord per day average. With all factors included. Making money. Been thinking a cutter of some kind but is it worth it to spend more to make less per cord? More headache with computers, bigger machine transport, and just overall cost. It would cut down on danger and physical body wear. But I cut a lot of 18-30Ē log trees. So Iíd still be hand cutting at least some maybe 50/50. What do you all think? Just thinking out loud. Prolly a mistake to even thinklol

Offline nativewolf

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2020, 08:36:29 AM »
Iím hand cutting with single bunk forwarder and cable skidder. Happy with the hole operation. We do 10-20 cord per day average. With all factors included. Making money. Been thinking a cutter of some kind but is it worth it to spend more to make less per cord? More headache with computers, bigger machine transport, and just overall cost. It would cut down on danger and physical body wear. But I cut a lot of 18-30Ē log trees. So Iíd still be hand cutting at least some maybe 50/50. What do you all think? Just thinking out loud. Prolly a mistake to even thinklol
I am doing the same because I can't yet afford a new Ponsse Bear with an H8HD head.  However, when I can I will.  
  • Less physical risk-  Loggers cutting with saws get hurt.  FACT
  • Production- production will increase significantly.  We estimate 300% increase based on our work, your increase may vary.
  • Increased ability to react to market.  Markets are becoming very volatile.  The ability to quickly complete a job and capture higher spot prices means a huge difference in profit margins.   For example:  RO is moving higher right now, back up to $750-800 for 2-3 side logs, $1500 for butts.  This is for our lower quality Southern Red and Northern Red, we are slightly out or range for best RO prices.   This is a 50% bump in 3 months.  In 3 months that could be gone.  RO at $500/mbf splits out as $300/mbf to us and $200 to owner.  All in harvest cost are $200/mbf.  That left a $100/mbf profit and that sucks.  At $800/mbf $480 is back to us and our cost are $200 or less as the buyer may help on trucking.  So we move from $100/mbf profit to maybe $300/mbf.  To get that locked in means logs on ground quickly.  By December it could be right back to $500/mbf.  If you have the luxury of only cutting woods in high demand cycles (WO or Walnut at the moment) than you don't have to worry about speed so much.  
  • Low cost of capital- debt is as cheap as it will ever ever be.  SBA is backing anyone with a pulse.  

My thoughts.  
Liking Walnut

Offline Haleiwa

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2020, 09:42:51 AM »
I cut a lot of small stuff as I am clearing an old farm.  The harvester definitely is safer.  Personally, I think there is as much or more risk in limbing than there is in felling, and the processor head really helps in that department.  Depending on your conditions, the processor can lessen the need for the skidder if you can make piles that the forwarder can access.  As far as hand cutting the larger trees, that will be easier and safer if you have the smaller ones down and off to the side.  If you are running your wood through a firewood processor, having logs cut to length may increase your efficiency.  It's fun to push a button and pull the trigger to cut the length that you want.  It's especially nice when it is cold out and there is a foot of snow on the ground.
Socialism is people pretending to work while the government pretends to pay them.  Mike Huckabee

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2020, 10:05:09 AM »
Im on my 7th day in bed with still no idea whats wrong after an MRI, EKG, Xray and all sorts of bloodwork.  And no idea when i will be better or how to pay that new bill.


Kick that around when youre considering fresh debts that demand your health to repay.  

I would suggest an old cheap hydroax with a 6bt.  Not expensive enough to liquidate your estate.  And not full of computers to fry your brain.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline tacks Y

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2020, 10:24:44 AM »
Mike, Hope you feel better soon. Tom

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2020, 12:03:06 PM »
The tracts for the most part keep getting smaller. Growth is fine and so is newer and better stuff but debt in this business has sunk the majority who tried to leverage. The paper mills made a handful wealthy with backing, prime plantation jobs, and unlimited quotas. Others they encouraged to grow when demand was high and then forgotten with load a week quota when times got tight. The bank sells the latter group out every bust cycle which usually comes before your note is paid. 

I have bought timber for guys that had to move 10 loads a day to break even. Only money made there was made by the banker, dealer, and insurance broker. The loggers I have known that did well bought their equipment with cash from income tax savings. Having a keen eye and buying land with timber on it or and timber tracts lump sum because you have the cash when the buyer needs to sell is how money is made in this business. You are selling a commodity; the only possible way to make money is being an incredibly efficient high volume producer or a shrewd buyer.

The other thing I have noticed is guys grow to where they can't turn down marginal jobs and the demands of maintaining production means they don't have time to hunt timber. Some guys are better at running equipment than buying timber. Cruising is the easy part. You have to be a surveyor, lawyer, and salesman too. The good deals seldom last long; you have to be able to make an offer and ink a deal sometimes on the spot unless you want to be known for free appraisal services. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2020, 12:13:00 PM »
The tracts for the most part keep getting smaller. Growth is fine and so is newer and better stuff but debt in this business has sunk the majority who tried to leverage. The paper mills made a handful wealthy with backing, prime plantation jobs, and unlimited quotas. Others they encouraged to grow when demand was high and then forgotten with load a week quota when times got tight. The bank sells the latter group out every bust cycle which usually comes before your note is paid.

I have bought timber for guys that had to move 10 loads a day to break even. Only money made there was made by the banker, dealer, and insurance broker. The loggers I have known that did well bought their equipment with cash from income tax savings. Having a keen eye and buying land with timber on it or and timber tracts lump sum because you have the cash when the buyer needs to sell is how money is made in this business. You are selling a commodity; the only possible way to make money is being an incredibly efficient high volume producer or a shrewd buyer.

The other thing I have noticed is guys grow to where they can't turn down marginal jobs and the demands of maintaining production means they don't have time to hunt timber. Some guys are better at running equipment than buying timber. Cruising is the easy part. You have to be a surveyor, lawyer, and salesman too. The good deals seldom last long; you have to be able to make an offer and ink a deal sometimes on the spot unless you want to be known for free appraisal services.
That is about how I see it. For me around here anyways. I pay cash, owe nothing on my equipment. My goal was low over head. But production comes a factor. I honestly think Iím at my lowest per cord cost and still actually produce. Anything I buy or do will either just cost more initially for the same production or cost more to produce more. Yes will always make things safer and itís not all about money but will also take the rush and fun out of my love for logging sitting in a cab. 

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 12:29:29 PM »
Now I will say from a safety standpoint that I have been to way too many funerals. In one case a son, than his dad on the same 40 acre parcel in a couple months. The odds are pretty high you won't work a lifetime in the hand cutting game without a serious mishap.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2020, 01:15:53 PM »
Man, thats really losing the farm.   Sad story  :(
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2020, 01:22:13 PM »
@Haleiwa @stavebuyer - could not agree more, safety was my #1 too.  I find that limbing is indeed highly risky, more so than felling for injuries.  My nicks in chaps are all from limbing.

I think if you get a harvester one route is one of the very capable harvesters like @Skeans1 uses, much more common than a bear and h8hd head so you can find a good one used.  I think it could be a lifesaver in limbing and bucking hardwoods but you may still have to do much of the felling- risk would plummet, production still increase greatly.  You are younger than I so I decided to do the moon shot and try to fell some larger hardwoods.  Like stavebuyer and mike caution...debt can be dangerous, wait til you get on a track where you have great timber, go slow, learn to use the machine, learn how to market it, spend more time on the following:

Market those logs wisely.  You are in Ohio, that's a deep hardwood market for good logs.  Maybe the best place to be today.  You are no more than 4 hours from dozens of hardwood buyers.  In that regard I am jealous.  I send logs to Ohio almost every week but it is a min $1000 on shipping.  

Liking Walnut

Offline barbender

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2020, 01:30:08 PM »
I think a smaller rubber tire buncher might fill the bill for you. Although they are no longer built, the Bell 3 wheelers with a dangle head always looked like a good step up from hand cutting to me, unless you work a lot of soft ground. I think @Maine logger88 runs one. 
  As much as I enjoy working timber with a saw, as others have said, it's not if but when that you will have an incident.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline nativewolf

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2020, 01:32:42 PM »
I think a smaller rubber tire buncher might fill the bill for you. Although they are no longer built, the Bell 3 wheelers with a dangle head always looked like a good step up from hand cutting to me, unless you work a lot of soft ground. I think @Maine logger88 runs one.
  As much as I enjoy working timber with a saw, as others have said, it's not if but when that you will have an incident.
Great idea on the bell with a dangle head.  
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2020, 02:07:01 PM »
Iím in northern Michigan. And Iíve thought about the bells but thatís just going to fell. No bunching piles. Iíve run many large fellers and most ground I could pile 18Ē hardwood. Bigger and your not carrying it far before she starts to tip. Piles are the only way Iíd see more production I feel. Using the cable skidder to pre bunch 2+ trees really helped the forwarder. And itís odd you all think limboing is more dangerous. Yes you may get hurt more but most wont kill you or even put u in bed. Felling I find to be dangerous. Falling limbs and tops, then we get deep snow. Hard to get away from the stump sometimes. A harvester would produce more than my forwarder could skid so thereís a new problem lol This is why Iím asking and looking at crews and machines now and have been for awhile. To see if itís something I want or not. Most wood I produce is mill wood also. Cheap production is key. I donít market or care about markets as long as Iím working and they are happy. 

Offline nativewolf

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 02:48:41 PM »
darn...why was I thinking ohio.  Oh...well in that case....hmm...scratch what I said.  You are in totally different market aren't you. 

In that case, if you are cutting mill wood I'd be quite careful.  The pulp mill closures in WI are going to impact the wood supply in MI guys are driving wood over to MI.  I think in that case you'd be wise to watch debt loads really carefully.  Proximity to the mill helps but as we've seen in Maine and WI it doesn't help if the mills close.  I

How much sawtimber are you harvesting vs pulp?   I could see the deep snows making it hard to escape from trees.  I agree on harvester overwhelming a single bunk forwarder.  I just had you pegged in the wrong state by several hundred miles :D going to be worse problem with your wood mix.  



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Offline Skeans1

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2020, 03:24:43 PM »
@Haleiwa @stavebuyer - could not agree more, safety was my #1 too.  I find that limbing is indeed highly risky, more so than felling for injuries.  My nicks in chaps are all from limbing.

I think if you get a harvester one route is one of the very capable harvesters like @Skeans1 uses, much more common than a bear and h8hd head so you can find a good one used.  I think it could be a lifesaver in limbing and bucking hardwoods but you may still have to do much of the felling- risk would plummet, production still increase greatly.  You are younger than I so I decided to do the moon shot and try to fell some larger hardwoods.  Like stavebuyer and mike caution...debt can be dangerous, wait til you get on a track where you have great timber, go slow, learn to use the machine, learn how to market it, spend more time on the following:

Market those logs wisely.  You are in Ohio, that's a deep hardwood market for good logs.  Maybe the best place to be today.  You are no more than 4 hours from dozens of hardwood buyers.  In that regard I am jealous.  I send logs to Ohio almost every week but it is a min $1000 on shipping.  


 They are very capable machine and head size, itís the equivalent to the H8 from ponsse. If you need a bigger youíll need a track machine or a Timbco/Timberpro and honestly it sounds like a clambunk would fit your needs very well.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2020, 03:31:08 PM »
Now tell him the monthly payment.
Revelation 3:20

Offline barbender

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2020, 03:38:41 PM »
I'm looking at this from a perspective of what could reasonably boost production of your existing operation. I've only watched videos of the Bells, but it looked like they could fall and then drag the tree, I think a guy could build piles like that, and they'd be easier to limb than buncher piles. If you're looking to get an actual CTL harvester, that's a whole 'nother world! Can you get rid of 3-4x as much wood? You already realize your forwarder won't keep up. Markets in the Lake States are pretty grim right now, any way that you can make the specialty sorts is a plus (which CTL is great at) but it is not a good time to take on the debt of a CTL operation, IMO. But then, I know guys that have charged hard into a poor market that everyone else was running away from and have done well🤷‍♂️
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2020, 05:37:55 PM »
I'm looking at this from a perspective of what could reasonably boost production of your existing operation. I've only watched videos of the Bells, but it looked like they could fall and then drag the tree, I think a guy could build piles like that, and they'd be easier to limb than buncher piles. If you're looking to get an actual CTL harvester, that's a whole 'nother world! Can you get rid of 3-4x as much wood? You already realize your forwarder won't keep up. Markets in the Lake States are pretty grim right now, any way that you can make the specialty sorts is a plus (which CTL is great at) but it is not a good time to take on the debt of a CTL operation, IMO. But then, I know guys that have charged hard into a poor market that everyone else was running away from and have done well🤷‍♂️
Keeping current operation is preferred and just upping production cost affectively would be great. Iím not to worried about our markets. For one itís usually up and down and itís been a lot worse than what it is now. Thereís also guys in a lot worse financial shape than me. The fact is we have to keep trying and if you never take a risk youíll never get there. That being said I donít take big risk! 😆 but either way Iím glad with all the thoughts! To this point I cut mostly 50-80% logs. But also sort all pulp and bolts. On occasion some decent pine. What would the future holds who knows. Got to stay busy. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2020, 06:01:00 PM »
This is what I try for but it donít always work. Fell a few and trim them. Then drag them together and buck and pile it. Works very well for the bucking and the forwarder. 


This is a small hard maple job. 16-20Ē trees. Average 15 cord a day so far. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2020, 06:11:33 PM »
I also consider transport and right now I can easily haul all equipment with gooseneck. Keeps me versatile and a little more independent. Also a reason a looked at the bells. But they just seem like a weird design.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2020, 07:47:16 PM »
The Bell machines are the perfect "bridge". Experienced operators can do a respectable job bunching with them...you have to run backwards before the tree hits the ground. Getting harder to find these days though. You don't need a 7 figure loan or a detachable neck low boy to move one either.(Although loading one the first time or two may be an adventure LOL)

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2020, 08:05:27 PM »
Bar bender I do have a bell but itís a 18in hotsaw 

 It will carry a bigger tree than you would think but you gotta keep it balenced in the head as you drive over the terrain. Iíd like to watch the dangle head ones work they claim you can drag the around a little to bunch them up and they say you can top with them too but Iíve never been around any of them other than mine
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Offline Woodfarmer

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2020, 08:37:42 PM »
Whose land are you cutting on? Around here Iíve seen the destruction large skidder, forwarder and CTL machines do in hardwood stands. CTL only works in my opinion on clearing softwood jobs.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2020, 08:49:58 PM »
This topic is interesting to me although I am not a logger. There are no clear answers about buying expensive machines. But to grow old with a line skidder and a chainsaw is not good. Everything is timing and good luck. Alot of guys see a competitor with better machinery. Consider that sometimes that guy got lucky and found a deal he could not refuse or maybe he has an income you don't know about.      To me it is very interesting the side lines some 'loggers ' have. Things like a land company, gravel bank, trailer park etc.  If you are small like me don't try to copy them because they may not be making money cutting wood.     A good example is the land clearing guy with a pile of low grade and a profitable year who buys a cord king firewood processer.  Then some one who thinks thats the answer buys one. He is the one you need to buy from at his divorce sale.


Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2020, 09:50:38 PM »
Whose land are you cutting on? Around here Iíve seen the destruction large skidder, forwarder and CTL machines do in hardwood stands. CTL only works in my opinion on clearing softwood jobs.
I cut on anyoneís land. State or private. CTL is the go to thing here. Almost everyone does it. And it does a very good job on thinings. Actually better. But I feel the cable skidder and forwarder are a perfect fit. I almost never skid to the landing with the cable skidder. Only up or down a hill or a wet hole. The forwarder carries it out from there. And my forwarder would park at the grocery store with 2.5 cord of wood on it. There very nimble. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2020, 12:45:20 AM »
Joe, what about a 450 sized hydrostatic crawler loader with a dangle barsaw head from a bells?

I know it wont be a real buncher production wise but you'll be in a cab a lot more often instead of right there in the killzone and i know it'll tug wood around.


The bell hightrack ultra T with a dangle could probably lay down a lot of firewood in a day. 

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Offline Riwaka

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2020, 01:41:02 AM »
A lower outlay for a tracked machine that can effectively put wood on the ground is something like an old (some life left hopefully) Timbco short boom feller buncher (with an old spec forestry cab) and put a younger ryans or waratah  etc dangle saw. Need an Timbco expert to assess machine etc.

There are a lot of track swing machine options - reinforce the boom/ guard up a cat 321D  compact radius etc if working in select cuts, an TC 822 FB with a worn out  hot saw head and swap to a dangle saw.( and could swap to a mulcher head)

The excavator base could be made to change between the dangle head saw and still have a bucket for digging work etc.
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Could go to a forestry tractor (with forestry tires) and a multipurpose crane trailer that can do agricultural work as a sideline.(Bale hay, pick up bales etc)

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(3 wheel phoenix) most of 3 wheel stuff can tip over, Bell etc. there were also 5 wheel and tracked Bells. (Matriarch have a 4 wheel version of the delfab)
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Kansas City - Wood Cracker  (blade shear machine operating alongside an old skidder, old rubber tire loader, ) checkout the Colfax, NC vid too


West tech CS780 also a head that allows a logging excavator to convert back to a bucket. etc
  

I seen protected cab excavators with just bucket and another time with just a plain grapple, swing and hit old big trees high up the tree and a rain of old rotten branches come down that would have hurt or worse a chainsaw operator who put their bar in the tree, without the 'tree thump' being done. 

Machine assisted felling can make hazardous felling safer. The chainsaw operator leaves the final tree push down to the excavator operator.  or the machine holds the tree while the operator is cutting it etc when felling with a leaning tree etc.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2020, 01:43:20 AM »
Ashe equipment has a barko 1080C with a processor head on it.. Interesting contraption.  Maybe something like that could be handy for you.
Revelation 3:20

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2020, 07:12:59 AM »
Ashe equipment has a barko 1080C with a processor head on it.. Interesting contraption.  Maybe something like that could be handy for you.
Those were popular here in the 90s for row pine. It would not cut log trees on this ground. And for that money I can buy a Deere 653 or 290 or 490 with a Fabtek head. They will cut 20Ē. The equipment is here. Lots of logging and ctl. But you have to really look it over. Old iron can cost a lot but Iíve had good luck over the years if Iím careful. Thereís even a timbco with a rolly ll head for 42,000 but Iíve heard those can be real money pits. Equipment isnít a problem itís will it be worth that money and headache vs a simple cheap (and dangerous) chainsaw.🤔

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2020, 08:31:42 AM »
Oh yeah the price was silly considering it needed a obsolete main pump.  Ive seen broken barkos for $3k. I had just never seen one with rollers on it before.  Usually shear knives. 
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2020, 10:52:06 AM »
 I went back an read your first post. You said we at one point but do you work alone or with help? The last three jobs I did before getting sick, I had the perfect set up for a one person business. I have a cable skidder about the same size as a 640 jd. In 2010 it was totally rebuilt the only thing I haven't done is the pins on the blade.Been thinking of putting a 6way on.It now has 590 hrs on,it only get used on the job for the big stuff 18" and up. I've reworked my Landini 60 hp so that it weighs all most 5t it has the loader on with a grapple hanging off the front of the bucket,then I put a winch w/hitch on. I have a forwarder trailer to use and also a hay wagon w/ bunks instead of a body. A bunch of saws and that's it for equipment.
 I use the tractor the most, it's there to use the winch to pull medium trees to a pile,12" to 18". If I have a tree that might be a hazard the bucket is on the tree above my head with a little pressure (case it ever wanted to fall on me you know machines like to do that) so I can cut it. If I want a certain angle the bucket pushes it that way. I'm on the tractor under a real good roof (10" pole doesn't bend it). When I'm cutting poles the tractor an grapple pull them into a pile.It also is there to lift the butt up to put a chocker on. If I'm safe I use the grapple to lift the tree to limb it,if not I drag to the pile an limb it there. I use it to cut the big stuff too but use the skidder to push or cable an angle an drag it to the short landings an use the tractor to help with limbing it. I then use the forwarder trailer to haul short logs to the landing or the hay trailer for 22' cordwood and double logs rarely do I skid anything to the landing w/the skidder.

 If I could afford 1 helper it would probably double what I could produce in a day. The last job there was a few days I sent out a truck load in a days time. That job was mostly 30" r/oak. Forester should have let me cut all of it cause the left over really good oak blew over the next summer in a small wind storm. He wanted me to come clean it up but by that time I was so sick I couldn't get on the tractor let alone climb up the skidder. That's my best hope it was something to think about.

Offline quilbilly

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2020, 11:06:23 AM »
To the original title you'll have to answer that yourself. With the interest rate being so low if you have the work I'd right now would be the point it is worth more to get more mechanized. 

I can't see your jobs but if you want to be able to move everything yourself then a three wheel buncher seems the way to go. If you're willing to go with bigger equipment I'd think a processor is what you'd want. Especially if you have a forwarder. 

We were in the same predicament a few years ago and really messed up by not taking a chance and getting bigger equipment. It meant we went slower, and lost many potential jobs bc of it. 
a man is strongest on his knees

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2020, 11:43:25 AM »
I cut and cable skid what needs and dad runs forwarder. A processor or a buncher is the only real option or change nothing. And yes only I can make that decision. Just looking for input from those who have or have not went the next step. And Iíve had a good bit of responses to think about. 🙂 much appreciated. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2020, 12:10:42 PM »
Joe, i think you should buy a boat and take dad fishin while you still can.    Theres more to life than work and chasing money.

@Ed_K i really hope youll start a thread of your iron setup.  I am intrigued.  Hope you heal up and get back on that horse.
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2020, 12:57:31 PM »
Joe, i think you should buy a boat and take dad fishin while you still can.    Theres more to life than work and chasing money.

@Ed_K i really hope youll start a thread of your iron setup.  I am intrigued.  Hope you heal up and get back on that horse.
I had a nice open bow boat once lol id rather get remarried than buy another boat! But I know what you mean. We camp and hunt a lot together. We donít work tons of hours in the woods. There for 8 hrs a day. Then we sawmill or feed the cows lol

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2020, 03:11:58 PM »
Well then get remarried.  Its less maintenance than a cheap old processor will be! 

:D
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2020, 04:25:10 PM »
Lol 😂 Iíve never owned a cheap old processor but Iím thinking it would be a toss up. 

Offline Riwaka

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2020, 05:10:25 PM »
Another skill for the chainsaw saw felling crews  is to take a higher level first aid course with CATs and T3 bandages etc.
and other relevant training.

Planning the block prior to falling.BC. (Planners and tree cutters)  I am surprised at the tracks cut in the slope at 10:18



Offline teakwood

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2020, 05:46:10 PM »
Theres more to life than work and chasing money.


the wisest words until now on FF!
When i hear some of you guys talking about the hours you work i'm shocked and roll my eyes a little bit. Especially from our good friend on the forum, the king of savage working hours, 8days a week, from 6am to 11pm and then chase after a Blonde , you all know whom i referring to! I hope that at least he will have his bank accounts full when he burns out.

If i have learned something good from the costaricans is to enjoy life, they know how to do it, they live every day as they appear.  
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2020, 06:28:09 PM »
I will say that the king of conesville drops what hes doing and hangs out all day when he has visitors.  He probably just needs more of them. 
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Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2020, 06:50:56 PM »
Theres more to life than work and chasing money.
If i have learned something good from the costaricans is to enjoy life, they know how to do it, they live every day as they appear.  
OK, it's Saturday and I admit it was a long and very sweaty week and I wound up blowing the day off by default and 'wasted' it visiting a logger friend and having way too much fun watching his 3 year old little girl play with her new 4 year old boyfriend in some freshly screened topsoil out of his new to him trommel. Anyway he gave me a growler of good local beer when I left and I may have tasted just a bit (OK, it's empty) and when I read your post and saw the word "costaricans" I had no idea what you meant. I had to google the term only to learn that you left out the space between "Costa" and "Ricans". I laughed WAY too hard at myself. :D ;D (you should too or there is something wrong with you.)
 Anyway. I can't speak for others but I like filling the day, everyday, with good productive work. I admire guys like the one you referred to, I know him and have had the pleasure of visiting him more than a few times in just this past year. I get logs from him, and advice. A harder working (or playing I am told) guy you will never meet, that's true. There are many nights he is at it well past 11pm, but as Mike pointed out, he makes time for visitors no matter what. Some of us just like working when we are doing things we like. My problem is I am getting older and it is getting harder to go out and do that last session after dinner every night. I still like keeping the 7 day a week schedule though. There is always something that needs doing and if I don't do it, it don't get done. I can't speak for others, that's just me.
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #41 on: August 15, 2020, 07:02:24 PM »
I will say that the king of conesville drops what hes doing and hangs out all day when he has visitors.  He probably just needs more of them.
I like that "the king of Conesville", but I think his Pop gets that title, just by default. But I am with you. ;D His Dad is a sweet generous guy too.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Corley5

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2020, 07:53:12 PM »
Cheap old processors don't exist.  You can go broke just as fast with an old one as a new one.  If you can afford an old CTL processor you can afford a new one.
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Offline Mountaynman

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2020, 08:09:17 PM »
As the story goes been there done that seen it lived it made more money cuttin big wood on steep ground with a dozer and forwarder by myself or with a helper, Than i ever did with 3 or 4 helpers processor, skidder, dozer, sit and spin slasher, forwarder, log truck, firewood processor and the rest of it glad to be semi retired but do miss cuttin timber. Used to contract cut some on the tracts where no one else would go scattered big timber steep ground one tree at a time with the dozer to the top of the mountain. when they avg 600ft a tree 12-15 a day makes the world go round. Here just north of barges emporium cable skidders and high grading rule the woods too far from pulp markets and any thing else stick with what your doing bud buy dad a newer buggy 6 wheel fabtek when i sold mine had 32,000 hrs on it and is still goin tday more stable than 4 wheel and 6 cd loads then get yourself a newer skidder or add a dozer to the mix. Best of luck stay safe
Semi Retired too old and fat to wade thru waist deep snow hand choppin anymore

Offline mike_belben

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2020, 09:02:55 PM »
Downside to being close to pulp markets is they make big wood a thing of the past.  20" DBH and 60ft tall becomes the big stuff
 
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Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2020, 09:16:44 PM »
Well then get remarried.  Its less maintenance than a cheap old processor will be!

:D
 😆 the money I've spent on divorce and child support I could be 3/4 retired by now. 

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2020, 09:18:46 PM »
 Can you move a larger machine reasonably ? 490/120s with a 4 roller are around, a 415 with a barsaw will lay down alot of wood. 1x day in my 425D takes me a week behind the 440D to clean up. Anything you buy is going to help, just make sure it's not stove up or make sure the price reflects it. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #47 on: August 15, 2020, 11:45:39 PM »
Can you move a larger machine reasonably ? 490/120s with a 4 roller are around, a 415 with a barsaw will lay down alot of wood. 1x day in my 425D takes me a week behind the 440D to clean up. Anything you buy is going to help, just make sure it's not stove up or make sure the price reflects it.
Yes thereís transport. And the mill will haul it. Thereís always an option. But I couldnít myself. I know the rest of the year I have big wood. No harvester could cut most of these trees. Iíll just have to see where it leads. 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2020, 12:08:23 AM »
@Firewoodjoe 
How big are you talking? Iíve up above 32Ē with a harvester before itís possible to do.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2020, 05:43:52 AM »
New versus used. Payments versus repairs. I have seen some very mechanically inclined guys piece together "well seasoned" equipment and somehow make it work. I was never one of those guys. I think its fine if its a hobby, its ok if you can pay cash especially if the equipment in question is not a "must have to operate" like a say an old dozer for dressing up roads. You hire that easily after the sale if your antique dozer needs a transmission rebuild. Things you depend on to make a living I firmly believe that if your business model cannot justify payments on new then it won't work out with worn out gear either. The cost is not much different and running the old can cost more if you figure in down time especially working in the weather where the 2 days you loose on repairs/parts were the only 2 days suitable to work. I see it time and time again. Guy starting out doesn't have a big credit line and no way he can make payments on a 200k skidder out of pocket but gets a loan from the local bank at stupid interest on a 30 year old 50k machine with unknown hours and some parts getting hard to find. A few months later it is December the mud is belly pan deep and the motor throws a rod. Down for 2 weeks hunting a replacement that goes on the credit card as a cash advance. Last years taxes due in April and this years insurance. Been a wet spring and the friendly banker ain't quite as friendly. The payments on the new machine worked out to be less than payments on the old one+parts+ 2 weeks down time.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2020, 08:36:03 AM »
@Firewoodjoe
How big are you talking? Iíve up above 32Ē with a harvester before itís possible to do.

@Firewoodjoe 
How big are you talking? Iíve up above 32Ē with a harvester before itís possible to do.
i know itís possible but it canít be very feasible tree after tree. Iíve watched guys mess around with big limbs and chewing on big butts and you could have been done with a chainsaw just as fast and not worn on your machine. I donít know, I would have a lot to learn about one for sure. And in regards to old cost as much as new... well I understand but I would think If I financed one I could get a used one for under 2500 a month and I know guys that paid 20,000 a month for a harvester. Is that used machine really going to cost 17,500 a month in parts and down time? I canít see that. Especially my operation. I wouldnít let it cost me down time. Just like now some thing breaks and I do the next thing until parts are ready. I would not be cutting the wood that a 20,000 a month machine would need. 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2020, 09:12:26 AM »
@Firewoodjoe
How big are you talking? Iíve up above 32Ē with a harvester before itís possible to do.

@Firewoodjoe
How big are you talking? Iíve up above 32Ē with a harvester before itís possible to do.
i know itís possible but it canít be very feasible tree after tree. Iíve watched guys mess around with big limbs and chewing on big butts and you could have been done with a chainsaw just as fast and not worn on your machine. I donít know, I would have a lot to learn about one for sure. And in regards to old cost as much as new... well I understand but I would think If I financed one I could get a used one for under 2500 a month and I know guys that paid 20,000 a month for a harvester. Is that used machine really going to cost 17,500 a month in parts and down time? I canít see that. Especially my operation. I wouldnít let it cost me down time. Just like now some thing breaks and I do the next thing until parts are ready. I would not be cutting the wood that a 20,000 a month machine would need.
They can easy loose a pump or an engine and youíll find out how fast itíll cost more then a payment. 20k a month in a payment for a brand new machine is nuts, mine with insurance is no where near that.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2020, 09:33:49 AM »
Yeah...that would be $360k a year.  Maybe a 3 year note with high interest.  I mean even a new bear fully tricked out with the best head (h8HD) possible for a wheeled machine, and Ponsse is at a price premium, was a $12k a month note.

Point taken though.  Without a better forwarder you could not move the wood a new harvester cuts and you realize that because you're around many CTL guys.  

Personally I see this more a question of safety and financial risk.  Without a larger forwarder you are only going to move x amount/week.  The harvester would reduce the risk substantially and increase production and leave a nicer site.  It would also allow you to jump quickly when prices move.  Being that you are in a high risk area I could your point on $ value of a move.  You would not want this move to be dependent on pulp production.  

I can't speak to the value of your life.  For me...pretty high.  The less time with a saw the better off we are.  So, if you can find a nice used Ergo or Skeans JD model than I would say strongly consider it.  Make sure you can get the wood out.  Maybe just put it down as an investment in safety.  
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2020, 09:42:11 AM »
Yeah these were paid off early. I prolly stretched it a bit lol but even 9-10,000 a month is a lot of break downs Iíd think. Sure some months youd spend 10,000 but every month I doubt it. Like I said Iíve never ran one so Im going off what people say and I observe. And Iím not buying a forwarder so your right I just donít need that kind of machine. Iím glad you guys are on here lol i have to talk to everyone around here and almost every logger in my area says your crazy to hand cut now a days. But I also think thatís why I stay busy because thereís not many ďsteadyĒ hand cutters around anymore. 

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2020, 09:54:20 AM »
I'm a mechanic by nature and love to work on equipment. But running a "cheap" older high hour harvester made me want to pull my hair out. The constant little breakdowns, parts orders, and electrical issues were enough to make a grown man cry. While your enjoying your "low" payment and chasing electrical issues, repacking cylinders, replacing pumps, etc some other crew has a higher payment but didn't play mechanic and cut 4 loads a day while you were waiting for parts and wrenching.

Best day ever was when the old machine went down the road and it was replaced by a much newer much lower hour and more expensive machine. On a slow day the new machine doubled production a good day was 3x. Some of that because it had a stronger head and crane but most was because day in and day out I could sit in the cab and kill trees not troubleshoot issues.

The true cost of a breakdown is the parts and labor to get you up and running but also the lost production that you can never recoup. Down 2 days thats 6+ loads of wood for a harvester. It adds up quick.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2020, 10:23:58 AM »
So basically hand cut or spend $100,000s of thousands are my options. I may rent a buncher for a week and see what I think bucking piles. I donít know. Keep thinking a see where the future leads. Thanks guys. Conversation has been good. 

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #56 on: August 16, 2020, 12:48:44 PM »
A tracked buncher either hotsaw or barsaw can lay wood down as well as knock big limbs and tops off. One guy around here with a hotsaw with a full 360 rotation head that uses it to limb and top just about everything. I've even seen him get out with his measuring stick and a can of paint and mark his pulp out then grab it correctly with the head as to buck it to length.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2020, 02:40:37 PM »
A tracked buncher either hotsaw or barsaw can lay wood down as well as knock big limbs and tops off. One guy around here with a hotsaw with a full 360 rotation head that uses it to limb and top just about everything. I've even seen him get out with his measuring stick and a can of paint and mark his pulp out then grab it correctly with the head as to buck it to length.
Iíve consider that but I might as well buy a Fabtek or Deere based with Fabtek head. Then when or if the measure side gives trouble just use as a buncher. 

Offline Corley5

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2020, 10:30:40 PM »
  I had a $1,200.00 a month payment on the Fabtek 133 4 roller I had.  Injector pump, injectors, lift pump, encoders, wiring, AC pumps, condensers, solenoids, switches, relays, fuses, pins, hydraulic pumps, valves, track drives, cylinder rebuilds, etc.  The list could go on.  And then there's the routine expected maintenance stuff like bars, chains, sprockets, filters, fluid, hoses, etc.  If you can afford an old one you can afford a new one.  I've been there.  It was a truly great day for me when it was on a low boy headed out of my yard.
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Offline Hogdaddy

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2020, 10:36:14 PM »
I've been thinking about upgrading myself... been thinking about a ryan's dangle head on an exacavator.  Anyone have any experience with those types of setups?
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Offline barbender

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2020, 02:06:31 AM »
I think one of those could work welln if you set the excavator up right with proper cab guarding etc. They don't give those heads away either, for what they are.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Corley5

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2020, 06:28:16 AM »
Oh ya.  I forgot swing motors.  I also didn't mention that some parts are now obsolete and unavailable including track drives, swing motors, computers and their components.  Good luck finding used parts that aren't whipped.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2020, 07:23:52 AM »
Oh ya.  I forgot swing motors.  I also didn't mention that some parts are now obsolete and unavailable including track drives, swing motors, computers and their components.  Good luck finding used parts that aren't whipped.
Your in depth and detailed experiences shared here on the forum kept me from even looking at used machines of that era.  Since reinforced by many others.  So, just a thanks for taking the time over the years to report, sometimes that's more useful.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2020, 08:21:50 AM »
It's a little different with sawmill machines. Most everything was worn out junk when it came here. I could not have afforded to do what I have done any other way .  For one thing the machine is in your yard not 40 miles away at the bottom of the hill in a swamp. Plus I had another occupation and my wife worked. Many years of nights rebuilding sawmill machinery. Only recently have I bought machines that didn't need work. The sawmill income was never steady enough for me to make payments.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2020, 08:26:08 AM »
The reason I wouldnít buy a Fabtek carrier. Iím looking at the excavator conversions of the late 90s. Lots of dirt equipment had been bought vs woods equipment. More used parts and more parts still being made. The Deere 290,490 120s have a great reputation. Even on this forum. Yes thereís till the Fabtek head but some kind of version of those were in service longer I believe due to Deere starting then Fabtek then prentice then cat. Also Iíve found a older machine usually has less problems than a used low hour machine. The old machine has made it this long for a reason and most of the problems have been addressed or modified. Itís like everything else. One guy can do well the next goes broke. Idk 🤷🏼‍♂️ I know guys right now with brand new equipment that is down all the time. Yeah the dealer covers it but down time canít be covered. Thatís why you see lots of cat 501s with very low hrs. There was a batch that got a bad rep around here. Experience ctl loggers nearly went broke do to it. Sold them with 1000,1200,1400 hrs on them. Itís just the way it goes with iron. 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2020, 08:38:21 AM »
Oh ya.  I forgot swing motors.  I also didn't mention that some parts are now obsolete and unavailable including track drives, swing motors, computers and their components.  Good luck finding used parts that aren't whipped.
Seems like the track drives out of the Fabtek were 690 Deere, which computer the iQan or the Joral both are still available with a retrofit.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2020, 10:05:34 AM »
Oh ya.  I forgot swing motors.  I also didn't mention that some parts are now obsolete and unavailable including track drives, swing motors, computers and their components.  Good luck finding used parts that aren't whipped.
Seems like the track drives out of the Fabtek were 690 Deere, which computer the iQan or the Joral both are still available with a retrofit.
133s or 153s 

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2020, 02:17:40 PM »
All my stuff is in the mid to late 90s and itís been producing 65 to 70 ton per day with one operator. But I also donít mind wrenching and Iíd rather tinker than make big payments. But itís certainly not for everyone. Also this is whole tree equipment I donít know hardly anything about old ctl stuff or new ctl stuff for that matter 
79 TJ 225 81 JD 540B Husky and Jonsered saws

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2020, 02:28:57 PM »
All my stuff is in the mid to late 90s and itís been producing 65 to 70 ton per day with one operator. But I also donít mind wrenching and Iíd rather tinker than make big payments. But itís certainly not for everyone. Also this is whole tree equipment I donít know hardly anything about old ctl stuff or new ctl stuff for that matter
Your doing good. I wish I could tree length with circle saw. Most people just donít want it anymore. Itís simple production. Iíve considered doing ďinwoodsĒ slashing then forwarder it out. But Iíd have more iron and still trimming with saw. Might as well try a harvester. 

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #69 on: August 17, 2020, 02:41:57 PM »
Yes for your area and with what you have already for equipment a processor definitely makes more sense. Iím just saying it can be done with old tired iron but you have to work on it yourself and if something breaks that you canít afford at the moment go back to running saw till you can. I completely get what others are saying about production with a new machine and not as much down time and they will probably be more successful than me in the end. I just donít want to have to run a piece of equipment 75 80 hours a week. I have been doing that lately but only cause I want too And have nothing better to do lol lol lol
79 TJ 225 81 JD 540B Husky and Jonsered saws

Offline Skeans1

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2020, 05:44:44 PM »
Oh ya.  I forgot swing motors.  I also didn't mention that some parts are now obsolete and unavailable including track drives, swing motors, computers and their components.  Good luck finding used parts that aren't whipped.
Seems like the track drives out of the Fabtek were 690 Deere, which computer the iQan or the Joral both are still available with a retrofit.
133s or 153s
The only difference between the two is the undercarriage size otherwise theyíre the same exact machine. From memory the 133 used a D4 carriage so the rollers, rails, sprockets and pads where the 153 used a D5.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #71 on: August 17, 2020, 05:54:01 PM »
Good to know

Offline barbender

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #72 on: August 17, 2020, 06:00:21 PM »
The problem with harvesters is the complexity of the machines. Corley's 501 is probably one of the simpler harvesters, and he said he was really happy to see it go down the road. A guy with decent mechanical skills can keep an older skidder, buncher or loader going. That guy can keep an old harvester going too, but you're going to spend a lot of time down scratching your head, and some of the electrical components can be brutal. I have a buddy running a Ponnse Ergo harvester that probably has 35,000 hours on it. He has owned it since it had about 4000 hours, so they have grown old together in a sense. He makes a good living with it, contact cutting for the company I work for. However, there is no way you would want to try to keep that machine running. He literally knows the the thing inside and out, and all of its many quirks. I think Ponsse would even prefer he scrapped it, they've done a lot of computer updates and such on it and it is a major headache. My opinion- you don't want an old harvester like that. If someone made a dead simple one with analog measuring or something, maybe. But I don't think that exists. Bell, a forestry conversion with a Ryan's head, a Timbco like Barge has, or a small rubber buncher are the only things I see dovetailing into your operation without totally overwhelming the rest of your equipment.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Skeans1

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #73 on: August 17, 2020, 06:10:08 PM »
To the 490 question do they work yes do they work as well as a true harvester/buncher with the factory boom and tight or no tail swing no. Something youíd have to get use to and use to fast is your not turning a ton depending on how tight you cut your rows I remember look at them as a kid around the time we got our 653 one of the main reasons was itís a factory built buncher with limited tail swing with the counter weights on the back.

Offline barbender

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #74 on: August 17, 2020, 07:17:10 PM »
One of our contract crews runs a 653 in front of 2 Ponsse Ergos. It was VERY well used when he got it, he's had to put some money into it but not much, especially considering how much wood it puts on the ground. They're a nice little buncher, IMO. One plus for an older buncher for firewoodjoe, is that it would only need to run one day to keep them in wood the rest of the week. I guess the same could be said for an old processor, too. But that ol buncher won't leave you scratching your head and clinging to your wallet when electrical nodes go out at $3000 a piece, or something along those lines. 

 Joe, only you know what can work for you. I'm just sharing some of the things I've seen guys struggle with. On the flip side, I was talking to one of the local Ponsse mechanics yesterday, he was out in New Mexico servicing a couple of ancient (in CTL terms) Ponsse machines, an S16 harvester and S15 I think forwarder. Those would be mid to late 90's I think, and they're still running. I know of another logger up here that went from a Ponsse team to an excavator conversion processor and a single bunk Fabtek, he says he's making more money now🤷‍♂️
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #75 on: August 17, 2020, 08:35:38 PM »
I could run a harvester everyday. My forwarder would do 150 or so out of piles and in hardwood most guys are going 30-50 cord a day in those Fabteks. Which I believe Corley had a 133 Fabtek. Also I just canít see a 1998 Deere 490 with Fabtek head having much for computers. Idk maybe. 

Offline Corley5

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #76 on: August 17, 2020, 10:27:02 PM »
  It was a 1999 133.  The Iqan was obsolete.  Cat would retrofit a new computer for 14,000.00.  It had a Joral after market measuring system.  The track drives were Berco.  Parts for them were scarce but a place in the western U.P. had starting servicing them.  Depending on which swing motor and gear the machine had parts may not have been available.  
  The four roller heads are good.  My only complaint was they are hose monsters.  They wear in the same spots.  I had them all shortened so I only had to replace the shorter lengths.  Get a hose machine.  You'll be $$$ ahead.  I already had one and still have it.  Just re-hosed my firewood machine with it 8) 8)
  The older four rollers used some sort of photo sensor technology in the encoders.  A JD excavator machine on a neighboring job had a head that was equipped like that.  It was down on a regular basis too.  I wonder about how obsolete that technology is ???  
  A lot of new chainsaws can be bought for the costs of an old harvester.  I bought mine with a five year and out plan.  I was planning on being done logging anyway.  The used harvester experience ruined logging for me.  I'll be the cart guy at Walmart before I ever log on a production basis again.
  Do you want to be a logger or a harvester mechanic ??? :D ;D :) ;) :)   
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #77 on: August 17, 2020, 10:34:29 PM »
 Anything you buy that's not completely clapped out is going to help, laying it on the ground is the big help. 
 I feel like a poverty logger when I hear guys talk about being 10-30k a month in the hole for woods iron, the average guy would starve to death here. My nice clean 440D I post pictures of, was a bank repo from yrs ago when we where picking stuff up for the bank, that's got to be a horrible spot to be in and why I've avoided it. 
 Nothing wrong with a 490 / 120, just dont run it thru the stumps so bad. The cost to go CTL is huge, I can't justify it, full tree dollar for dollar puts more wood out with less headaches. 

Offline snowstorm

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #78 on: August 18, 2020, 07:51:04 AM »
i would not tell anyone to buy a converted excavator . been there done that 35 yrs ago. the undercarriage is way to light. mine had d4d chains nothing but trouble. wide pads put more strain on the chain. it was built to dig with so the hydraulic flow and cooling were sized for that. not much travel power they didnt need it to dig with. i always said using a pulp hook makes you old before your time. the same could be said of a chainsaw and cable skidder. if you want to still be in the woods when your in your mid 60's you are going to have to upgrade sometime. is now the time? markets for wood are junk here . there may be a lot that dont survive so there could be some cheap iron coming along. find a 646 valmet. mine has been close to bomb proof. hystat would be nicer than the power shift. but its fine. the crane isnt quite as fast as a new one with piston pumps. but its fairly quick and will be a big improvement over a mule or 230 tj 

Offline Cub

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #79 on: August 18, 2020, 07:59:22 AM »
Crews around here hand cut the stuff to big for the harvester. They cut the logs out up to the first defect or crotch or whatever then leave it there and the harvester comes back to process the top. I think a 490 would be the way to go. Find them cheap and relatively simple except for the electronic parts. Hand cut the stuff thatís to big and run all small stuff through the harvester. Thatís what my 5 year plan is. But this year with not so good prices here and quotas and such it might be a 6-7 year plan now. Thereís a guy that lives by me runs a fabtek 133 and a valmet single bunk 644. It works well for him. The question is how long can your body pound ground with a saw in your hand? Things can and will happen. Always 1 accident away from being really hurt or dead. The wife and kids wonít like that. I love hand cutting. But as soon as I can make a harvester work for me I will have 1 just because of the safety stand point. Just my thoughts. 

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #80 on: August 18, 2020, 08:26:33 AM »
  A guy I know got hooked up with a mill cutting their stumpage two maybe three years ago now.  He got into new JD equipment.  Tracked buncher, harvester, and a 6 wheel forwarder.  The harvester follows the buncher.  It doesn't fall any timber.  The mill helped him get setup.  He's doing very well.  But he's no longer independent.
Killing trees from the safety of a cab is pretty nice.  As long the AC works ;) :D ;D
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #81 on: August 18, 2020, 08:33:10 AM »
Ok. All points well taken. But to carry on the good conversation Iíll keep going with a comparison. Letís say for easy math I could finance a cheap buncher and a cheap harvester for the same cost and Burn same gallons of fuel. Now with all these problems a harvester has, how much different is that than a buncher? Still has a cutter to maintain, still has engine and hydraulics/hydrostatics, tracks arenít cheap but neither is bogies or rubber these days, still has some electric. I know the hydro ax 670s have electric run through the center and the valves are on the front half. (Electric over hydraulic) Saw bearings and that pump is thousands. So are harvester does still have a few more issues BUT it does virtually the hole job. Would the overall savings (physically and costly) be that much different for the job being done. And I agree dirt machines are not built well on bottom for stumps but that could be some what avoided. 

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #82 on: August 18, 2020, 08:47:14 AM »
  One thing to consider in Michigan if you're cutting DNR hardwood thinning jobs is that tree length skidding isn't permitted.  
  Most old logging equipment is being sold because it's someone's headache.  There's a reason it's cheap.  I've been the seller and the buyer ;) ;D :)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #83 on: August 18, 2020, 09:44:05 AM »
For the most part thatís only northern sales where u are. And as far as being independent. Thereís a big difference between being in debt to a mill and cutting mill wood. Iím what you could call a independent sub contractor lol i can work for any mill and have had some stop and ask me. They like my quality of work. Thereís also advantages. Donít have to buy timber, sell timber, truck timber and in my current case truck equipment. Donít deal with land owners or swinging markets. Muddy roads or weight restrictions. I just put wood in the pile and they pay me. Yes you can make more money on your own jobs if all goes as it should. And you should for the extra work. You can also loose lots more. I know guys not working or not making any money because the markets are slow. Iím making the same I always have. Good relationship that I HOPE 🤞 Benefits in time of need. And has a small amount. And in the end your selling your independent logs to the same mills you could be cutting for. Thatís why u do it. I like it. Iíve cut my own wood and for the phone calls and late nights it didnít justify enough. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #84 on: August 18, 2020, 10:51:16 AM »
Well I should say those sales are north of me. I usually work south of me. 

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Re: At what point is it worth more?
« Reply #85 on: August 18, 2020, 10:25:36 PM »
Ponsse presenting CTL webinar 10/1/20 10-11am CDT


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