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Author Topic: small woodlot skidder  (Read 2103 times)

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Offline joebillhill

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small woodlot skidder
« on: January 27, 2021, 07:06:15 PM »
I've been lurking on here for a little bit but I'm excited to get some post in now that my girlfriend and I recently purchased 9 acres on the east slope of Washington. We plan to build on it as well as manage the land for a healthy productive forest. 
It has fair amount of merchantable/usable Doug fir on it (14-30" DBH) and the site is also 20 degree slope or more for the majority of it.  We plan on developing the site and building ourselves a cabin and woodshop on it along with other structures over the years. My question is what would people recommend as a good all around machine (if there is one) to be able to level the slope in areas that we want to build as well as move logs to be able to be processed on site with a portable sawmill.
Thanks in advance for the input!
Joe

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2021, 07:23:30 PM »
How much money do you have to spend on a machine 

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 07:30:42 PM »
Probably a small dozer with a winch something like a 450 or 650 Deere or d3 or 4 cat
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2021, 07:35:59 PM »
Probably a small dozer with a winch something like a 450 or 650 Deere or d3 or 4 cat
That definitely would be good for nine acres 😂. Besides how much money you have to spend do you have a 3/4 ton truck or trailer to haul whatever you get ? What if it breaks down? 

Online mike_belben

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2021, 07:59:35 PM »
If youve gotta do stumps and dig foundations out of hillsides and skid logs with just one machine im going crawler loader. Unless you got money hangin out your ears and can afford a CTL.  Crawler loaders are the cheapest thing thatll curl stumps out, skid big logs and load them.  Even a small one will pick a 5k log no problem.  Theyre crappy at everything compared to anything else, but they can do a lot for cheap.  Nothing else in the $10k range will do it all.  Slow, clumsy, cheap and strong.  
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Offline Gary Davis

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2021, 09:35:49 PM »
the garrett 15  is a small skidder but forks on a jd 450 will lift a 26 ft log 36 in in dia 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2021, 09:59:23 PM »
Sounds like cat ground to me theres some of JD 450s with winches but youre more likely to find 650s or 750s just due to where we are. A wheel skidder might work but youll want chains or tracks and a decent sized tire plus finding a small one out here isnt the easiest anymore. Popping fir stumps can be an interesting task when with the right equipment. 

What part of WA are you in?

Offline TmbrWlkr

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2021, 10:45:12 PM »
+1 on the small to medium size dozer - make sure you get a winch on the back and a 6way blade.  Don't need to have a truck or trailer for it if this will be it's "home".  You can do a lot of work with a 450 size machine if you are just a little patient.  Have fun!

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2021, 10:57:13 PM »
Your right you dont need a truck and trailer but just remember if your not mechanically inclined if you get something older and have problems. 💰💰 to have somebody come out to work on and if its got to go in to the shop then you have transportation costs 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 11:18:06 PM »
Your right you dont need a truck and trailer but just remember if your not mechanically inclined if you get something older and have problems. 💰💰 to have somebody come out to work on and if its got to go in to the shop then you have transportation costs
No matter what youll have transport out here I sure wouldnt want to chance hauling a small dozer or skidder with a pickup. 

Offline barbender

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2021, 01:46:48 AM »
Yep, that's hairy enough on flat land😬 We were out in Wyoming this fall, coming down the back of the Bighorns with the 5th wheel camper with the Dodge 3500. Loaded up that camper is probably 12-14k that was a ride down the mountain I did not care for! Google searches afterwards centered around "5.9 Cummins exhaust brake"😂
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2021, 03:42:29 AM »
Theyre not that incredible.  i cut the hotside flange off the JY cat c7 turbo i used on my dt466 and welded on a flanged, ungated end to couple up a vee band for a pacbrake i also scored at the JY off a pusher rv.   


Its about 1/3 as powerful as a real jake.  Yes, they do help slow the rate of runaway slightly, but on a 10% grade at say 25 or 30k gross, they wont slow you down.  Theyll try to help keep you from gaining while youre letting off the service brake to let it cool for a second.  On big hills i still drop atleast one maybe 2 gears and ride the pacbrake the entire way.  



An autotrans will need a forced TCC lockup switch or the converter will just freewheel anyway. 
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2021, 05:26:24 AM »
Your right you dont need a truck and trailer but just remember if your not mechanically inclined if you get something older and have problems. 💰💰 to have somebody come out to work on and if its got to go in to the shop then you have transportation costs
No matter what youll have transport out here I sure wouldnt want to chance hauling a small dozer or skidder with a pickup.


 

 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2021, 08:27:50 AM »
Your right you dont need a truck and trailer but just remember if your not mechanically inclined if you get something older and have problems. 💰💰 to have somebody come out to work on and if its got to go in to the shop then you have transportation costs
No matter what youll have transport out here I sure wouldnt want to chance hauling a small dozer or skidder with a pickup.

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

Now try that in a the PNW youll be at the bottom of a creek the roads are steep.

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2021, 08:50:29 AM »
 Somewhere I saw a picture I think came out of TX where a guy had a 210 Komatsu behind a 1 ton, flat ground sure, not here 😆 

 450-650 dozer will do alot of work, i see Deeres out there all set up going for 25-40 with 8-12khrs. Biggest thing you want to look at is the C-frame. From what I see the bigger you go out that way with a dozer the further your dollar goes, decent older 6 will do 2x the work. 

Offline tawilson

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2021, 12:25:54 PM »
I've been lurking on here for a little bit but I'm excited to get some post in now that my girlfriend and I recently purchased 9 acres on the east slope of Washington. We plan to build on it as well as manage the land for a healthy productive forest.
It has fair amount of merchantable/usable Doug fir on it (14-30" DBH) and the site is also 20 degree slope or more for the majority of it.  We plan on developing the site and building ourselves a cabin and woodshop on it along with other structures over the years. My question is what would people recommend as a good all around machine (if there is one) to be able to level the slope in areas that we want to build as well as move logs to be able to be processed on site with a portable sawmill.
Thanks in advance for the input!
Joe
If it is going to be your only piece of equipment,  maybe something a little more versatile would be better and just hire someone for a couple days of dozer work, clearing and cutting a couple trails across the property. I've never run a dozer but I've seen what can be done with an experienced operator and I would think 9 acres wouldn't take too long .
Tom
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Woodmaster 725 ordered

Offline barbender

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2021, 01:18:33 PM »
Mike, I had heard what you are saying, that the pac brake and others aren't very impressive. But I was riding with my uncle in his Dodge 3500 Cummins out in the Wyoming mountains, kept getting my nose put into the windshield by that brake. I immediately thought, "me want!"😁 My other uncle out there said he can come off the mountain 2 gears higher with his truck that has a brake pulling his stock trailer.
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2021, 01:45:16 PM »
Its not that they arent helping to control the load... Its just that your perspective of a pacbrake's effectiveness changes when youre driving a 3406 or 6nz down a 10% @2200rpm with a true jacobs on 3.   I used to think the pacbrake was amazing.  I dont anymore, but i still wouldnt part with it!  


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Online mike_belben

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2021, 01:46:23 PM »
Uh oh.. Weve strayed pretty far for page one buddy!  
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Offline tawilson

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2021, 02:11:30 PM »
Uh oh.. Weve strayed pretty far for page one buddy!  
I call that "bumping the thread".
Tom
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BMS250 and BMT250 sharpener/setter
Woodmaster 725 ordered

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2021, 06:31:45 PM »
Its not that they arent helping to control the load... Its just that your perspective of a pacbrake's effectiveness changes when youre driving a 3406 or 6nz down a 10% @2200rpm with a true jacobs on 3.   I used to think the pacbrake was amazing.  I dont anymore, but i still wouldnt part with it!  
  ☝️☝️.... 6NZ.... 5" and open, doesnt get any better than that... 😆 
 

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2021, 07:45:58 PM »
Somewhere I saw a picture I think came out of TX where a guy had a 210 Komatsu behind a 1 ton, flat ground sure, not here 😆

 450-650 dozer will do alot of work, i see Deeres out there all set up going for 25-40 with 8-12khrs. Biggest thing you want to look at is the C-frame. From what I see the bigger you go out that way with a dozer the further your dollar goes, decent older 6 will do 2x the work.
A lot of machine for the money. The 450 Deeres newer ones with cab that have 800-1,400 hrs are 80 to 90k 

Offline joebillhill

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2021, 08:25:33 PM »
Thanks for the responses guys!  
How much money do you have to spend on a machine
I guess I should have included that important bit...we were hoping in the range of 10-20k.  

We also just have a 1/2 ton Tacoma but have friends with larger vehicles.  I've also done a bit of work on an old Japanese diesel van over the years (of varying success) and would feel comfortable having whatever we bought "live on the property" and if it needed service beyond my grasp figuring out a transport for it.  We're just outside Leavenworth and not too far from Wenatchee if it needed repair.


If it is going to be your only piece of equipment,  maybe something a little more versatile would be better and just hire someone for a couple days of dozer work, clearing and cutting a couple trails across the property. I've never run a dozer but I've seen what can be done with an experienced operator and I would think 9 acres wouldn't take too long .

That's not a bad idea...we were thinking as the excavation company puts in the driveway and pad having them skid and stack any of the trees I cut for the driveway path + others to stage until we had the means to process them.  Do you have a suggestion of a piece of equipment for us though?

If youve gotta do stumps and dig foundations out of hillsides and skid logs with just one machine im going crawler loader. Unless you got money hangin out your ears and can afford a CTL.  Crawler loaders are the cheapest thing thatll curl stumps out, skid big logs and load them.  Even a small one will pick a 5k log no problem.  Theyre crappy at everything compared to anything else, but they can do a lot for cheap.  Nothing else in the $10k range will do it all.  Slow, clumsy, cheap and strong.  

I like where you're heading with this.  We don't necessarily have money hanging out our ears, but we do have time which is nice.  I would be fine slowly chipping away at the woodlot over the years and if there was a need to clear a lot of trees quickly I think we could contract out something with a local operation.
Do you have any recommendations on crawler loaders (also what is a CTL)?

Lastly to all:
We had a builder come out and look at the property, we talked to him about our goals for the property and our involvement with the work and he said his recommendation was a mini excavator to dig and skid.  What are your thoughts on that?
Thanks!

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2021, 09:27:08 PM »
The longer the distance and the larger the trees the farther a mini ex gets from being ideal.  If its clearing scrub in a pretty central area and youve got lots of rocky soil and drainage to install.. Yeah the mini starts looking smarter.  Theres always a balance.  A trailer ball on the blade of a mini makes it a lot smarter IMO.  You dont want to drag 1 tree if you can wheel 5 and keep the hours off your undercarriage.

CTL is compact track loader.. ie bobcat on rubber track.  Big $.




I own a 79ish 450 case crawler loader backhoe because the way the drivetrain and steering is built... they dont tend to sieze up the clutches from long term sitting like you so frequently see on dry clutch machines.  1st gen deere 450 seem to always have one side stuck or no power or freewheel or brake or something..  If i ever found one that worked completely i might have bought one but in my money realm they were always broke.  Deere 350 is another popular small logging machine but same scenario above.. It cant sit 10 yrs.  The 350 and 450 C model deeres seem to be great but never in my price. 


I have a d31P-18 komatsu dozer that has been mostly fantastic.  It is wet clutch.. Id avoid the earlier dry models.. -16 and earlier.  Not sure on -17.  The motor has been great, tons of power and theyre often parked "broken" and cheaper than cat or deere.. Usually over shift issues that amounts to simple wear in some linkages that you can fix with a drill and some bolts to oversize the slop out.  Parts are getting harder to find but i havent really had to find any so win win.  Id be happy with a komatsu D31 loader too. The inline 6 non turbo jap diesel with denso pump is quite good imo. Very good fuel system.  Not bad on fuel consumption either.



Ive run a big international td25 crawler loader.. Its a big roughing machine.  Cant see at all in front of you but whatever is there, its going over or getting destroyed. Those are about a 15ton machine i guess in the $10-15k range.. Old but a lot of knowledge still in circulation over at redpower forums.  DT engines and torque convertors.  For guys with big impact guns.  


Cat always made the top tier crawlers at the top price.  My only experience was helping a guy who sheared the coupler bolts and im glad i didnt have to go far into that. Never ran one but im sure they were good if you had the $ to have it.  


I wouldnt fool with fiat allis or massey crawlers, never had enough market share so theyre obscure today.. When theyre broke you part out.  Oliver and cletrac are cute parade tractors (sorry barge)

And id probably stay away from deere 1010, track frames bend.  International TD6/7/8 are respectable, those became dresser then dressta which is still good afaik.  the old IH td340 i would skip unless it was ready to work for cheap.  Everyone seems to buy a td340 project when they first get started and it never goes back together.  Same for case 310.  Theyre all just getting too old and have had too many monkeys buy, abuse, jury rig and sell them down the line.  The next level up is usually a slightly serious investment and a bit more likely to be taken care of by a business minded person in general.  Ive looked at too many play dozers on trailer trash front lawns to want one.


Bottoms are very expensive.  Guys say $1/squeek.  Dont buy one with hanging tracks, pointy teeth, track frames worn to paper at the idler slides, rollers flatspotted and pin bushings busted through.  That wont buff out and if it dont steer run away.  Crawlers are out of vogue so you have the power there.. Few buyers, lots of them wanting a new home. 


Unfortunately all good equipment prices are rising fast.  Theres still some sanity at the auctions but may not last long, and auctions bring substantial fees plus risk.


Plan on $4 a mile to deliver, maybe worse.

And never buy a gas powered bobcat! Never ever.
Revelation 3:20

Offline tawilson

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2021, 09:28:40 PM »
I've got a mini ex, a skidsteer with OTT tracks and a 45 hp tractor, both with backhoe attachments. If I had to pick one, it would be the tractor because of the different things it can do, but my favorite go to is the mini ex. If you get into much sawing you probably will want something with forks.
Tom
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Woodmaster 725 ordered

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2021, 04:58:14 AM »
The longer the distance and the larger the trees the farther a mini ex gets from being ideal.  If its clearing scrub in a pretty central area and youve got lots of rocky soil and drainage to install.. Yeah the mini starts looking smarter.  Theres always a balance.  A trailer ball on the blade of a mini makes it a lot smarter IMO.  You dont want to drag 1 tree if you can wheel 5 and keep the hours off your undercarriage.

CTL is compact track loader.. ie bobcat on rubber track.  Big $.




I own a 79ish 450 case crawler loader backhoe because the way the drivetrain and steering is built... they dont tend to sieze up the clutches from long term sitting like you so frequently see on dry clutch machines.  1st gen deere 450 seem to always have one side stuck or no power or freewheel or brake or something..  If i ever found one that worked completely i might have bought one but in my money realm they were always broke.  Deere 350 is another popular small logging machine but same scenario above.. It cant sit 10 yrs.  The 350 and 450 C model deeres seem to be great but never in my price.


I have a d31P-18 komatsu dozer that has been mostly fantastic.  It is wet clutch.. Id avoid the earlier dry models.. -16 and earlier.  Not sure on -17.  The motor has been great, tons of power and theyre often parked "broken" and cheaper than cat or deere.. Usually over shift issues that amounts to simple wear in some linkages that you can fix with a drill and some bolts to oversize the slop out.  Parts are getting harder to find but i havent really had to find any so win win.  Id be happy with a komatsu D31 loader too. The inline 6 non turbo jap diesel with denso pump is quite good imo. Very good fuel system.  Not bad on fuel consumption either.



Ive run a big international td25 crawler loader.. Its a big roughing machine.  Cant see at all in front of you but whatever is there, its going over or getting destroyed. Those are about a 15ton machine i guess in the $10-15k range.. Old but a lot of knowledge still in circulation over at redpower forums.  DT engines and torque convertors.  For guys with big impact guns.  


Cat always made the top tier crawlers at the top price.  My only experience was helping a guy who sheared the coupler bolts and im glad i didnt have to go far into that. Never ran one but im sure they were good if you had the $ to have it.  


I wouldnt fool with fiat allis or massey crawlers, never had enough market share so theyre obscure today.. When theyre broke you part out.  Oliver and cletrac are cute parade tractors (sorry barge)

And id probably stay away from deere 1010, track frames bend.  International TD6/7/8 are respectable, those became dresser then dressta which is still good afaik.  the old IH td340 i would skip unless it was ready to work for cheap.  Everyone seems to buy a td340 project when they first get started and it never goes back together.  Same for case 310.  Theyre all just getting too old and have had too many monkeys buy, abuse, jury rig and sell them down the line.  The next level up is usually a slightly serious investment and a bit more likely to be taken care of by a business minded person in general.  Ive looked at too many play dozers on trailer trash front lawns to want one.


Bottoms are very expensive.  Guys say $1/squeek.  Dont buy one with hanging tracks, pointy teeth, track frames worn to paper at the idler slides, rollers flatspotted and pin bushings busted through.  That wont buff out and if it dont steer run away.  Crawlers are out of vogue so you have the power there.. Few buyers, lots of them wanting a new home.


Unfortunately all good equipment prices are rising fast.  Theres still some sanity at the auctions but may not last long, and auctions bring substantial fees plus risk.


Plan on $4 a mile to deliver, maybe worse.

And never buy a gas powered bobcat! Never ever.
Having owned quite a few of the above dozers/loaders (all of which turned into things I probably would have done better never owing) there is a gold mine of sage advice in that post!!

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2021, 08:52:47 AM »
I used a Case 310 (circa 1967) and a homemade arch for both road making and skidding. Worked well. I upgraded to a 4WD tractor and 3-point logging winch. Still have both, though. I have the arch for sale on this forum. Use the dozer to spread gravel. Case 310's are not easy to come by, but I've found parts rather easy to find, some 350's will fit (both drive sprockets are new and for a 350). I thought I'd part with the 310 after getting my tractor, but finding it too useful to part ways with.




 
Kubota M7060, Cat E70B, Case 310, 750 Grizzly ATV, Wallenstein FX110, 84" Landpride rotary hog, Classic Edge 750, Stihl 170, 261, 391

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2021, 09:17:24 AM »
one thing i would like to edit into my long winded post.  no matter what you're looking at for purchase,  the seller is NOT YOUR ADVISOR.  He is perhaps even more so, an adversary in disguise




it is human nature to want to do business with people you get a sense of liking, comfort and trust for.  it is also human nature for slime bags to develop those qualities to lighten your wallet.  used car salesman DNA isn't limited to car lots.  so when you're buying your first something or other that you don't know much about.. bring someone who does and confide in them, not the seller. if they can't come look at it, you go, take pics and keep your mouth shut.  be quick and know in advance what you're sposta take pics of, measure, wiggle, where the fluid sticks are etc.  play your cards close to your chest or else the seller will be talking you into all sorts of easy fixes and just needs the carb cleaned when the head is cracked and the parts for the reverser are sunken into a lawn 400 miles away, not actually in the box of stuff it comes with.  it is always raining on easy fix day, the cheap missing part is NLA, and the bolts to get at the NLA part always round off or snap so just don't go there.  dozer seized is a new brand of seized most normal folks don't know about. there harbor freight seized and theres snap-on seized.  they have a big difference in price. 


remember, nothing works unless it worked while you were in the seat.  all promises are gambles. if you wanna gamble go to vegas.  only drag home known good machines.  otherwise hire it out.
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Offline woodmaker

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2021, 08:48:49 AM »
What Mike said.  I have most of them: excavators from 7 tons to 25 tons, dozers from 9 tons to 20 tons , and small toy tractors also, but the one machine that stays at the house is a jd 350 crawler loader with a 4 in one bucket, because it will move dirt or logs from place to place, reach up to push trees over after digging around them ( easier on the machine than digging out just the stump), dig a cellar hole ,etc
 If i had to have just one machine , it would be a slightly larger track loader ( jd 550, international 125 or 175, 953 cat etc.) with a 4 in 1 bucket and a backhoe attachment .   just my thoughts
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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2021, 09:06:10 AM »
Thats what i decided was my swiss army homestead machine also.. I just havent been able to move it down yet which has caused much grief.




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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2021, 02:21:05 PM »
I would like one with a set of forks. 
Move logs and lumber.
And use to clear off  more of my land for expansion  of the mill.
I never see any with fork setups.
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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2021, 02:39:53 PM »
I would like one with a set of forks.
Move logs and lumber.
And use to clear off  more of my land for expansion  of the mill.
I never see any with fork setups.
They made factory forks for them but usually see that combo with a winch instead of backhoe. I had bucket and forks for both the Case track loaders I owned back in the day; but they were pin on and a PITA to swap. JD offered both as well.

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2021, 03:25:38 PM »
If i live long enough i will build a good clamshell skeleton rake for it to root rake and load stumps and logs.  The backhoe comes off in about 10 minutes or so, maybe 20 to put on.  I havent put the 5ton winch on the komatsu dozer down here yet because i want to get some seat time in the woods on this one first before doing the work.    Case is the only crawler with full power to both tracks in turns. Well.. Atleast prior to the adoption of hydrostatic on newer machines ill never have. 



  It should have more traction in the woods -on paper.  with a conventional dozer you cant turn if the turning track has no traction, which does happen on sidehills in wet clay.   But then my Case has narrow pads where the komatsu has big floats on it.  The Case would need lugs welded on for traction but will it sink anyway? Idk.  Its a 4cyl vs the komatsu 6 so will it have the power?  


Im not sure yet.  Whichever is better after enough test and tune will get a real bogey axle forestry trailer built with a real bypass grapple loader to go behind it and thatll be my primary logging machine until i build the 8x8.  Lord willin of course.  Both machines had new bottoms done by the PO which is largely why i bought them. 
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Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2021, 03:43:36 PM »
I want to support what Mike B said earlier about the excavator vrs the crawler loader and distance. I have an old HD4 loader(4in1)crawler plus excavators , a Hitachi ex50, Komatsu pc60 and sumitomo1600, plus a D3 dozer, D7e dozer and a fiat Allis 545 wheel loader. They all have their plus and minus. For a machine to do it all there are compromises with all and the type of machine that Mike B pictured, 450  case crawler loader probably comes the closest to being the all season do all.

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2021, 03:51:08 PM »
Unfortunately it dont do nothin for me sittin at my brothers!  But hey.. Its doubled in value since i bought it.  Not a bad investment imo even if i sell it where it sits. Paid $7500 
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2021, 06:11:11 PM »
Finally a little talk about a track loader. Very handy a friend has a CAT 963. Its a good unit. Just a few electrical issues. A lot of guys use them to dig basements out for new houses

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2021, 07:31:28 PM »
I think theres about 4 wires in that thing. 
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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2021, 02:19:16 PM »
Wooo boy, so much information!  This is a lot of good stuff to draw off of so thanks again guys.  I'm guessing it will come down to what is available used close to the area. Also there is the possibility that we would just contract some of the work out as well since we wouldn't need all that lumber.  Though maybe we could process it and help fund the portable sawmill?
Would you suggest tracks or wheels for the property?  like I said it's 15-40% slope with sandy loamy topsoil.  

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2021, 03:57:07 PM »
Would you suggest tracks or wheels for the property?  like I said it's 15-40% slope with sandy loamy topsoil.  
    you suggested some excavation needs in addition to logging in the first post.  wheeled machines are either articulated or skid steering.  in articulated wheel application its a skidder or a wheel loader.  neither machine will do both jobs very well at all.  a skid steer can dig and log but ... sigh... its a long story.  skid steers are great and terrible it just all depends.  an endless discussion there.  

   on tracks, you've got dozers, crawler loaders and excavators.  they can both log, AND excavate. the exact details of your site, other available support equipment and where the logs are destined is a major factor.  for instance a dozer and crawler loader can both get logs to a landing to mill up.  but if they need to get loaded on a truck you better have a crawler loader or another machine or a friend with something to load because a dozer isn't loading a 13ft high bunk trailer. so weigh that out.  


   logging with an excavator.. aka shovel logging.. very popular on the west coast but thats a excavator with a grapple that won't dig a basement.  can you do it with a bucket and a thumb?  sure but the logs will be swinging way out perpendicular to the boom plane as you swing.  are you going to clear an interstate sized path to swing tree length?  thats up to you.  i wouldn't want to walk longs any distance with an ex, like how a skidder or dozer does.  if a really good deal came up on an excavator and i had a lot of digging i would find a way to have the ex walk a trailer with me. maybe a 5th wheel convertor dolley and a cheap old rotten deck tag trailer with junk bunks welded on?  i wouldn't walk an ex back and forth as a skidder. id even consider putting a pintle plate on the back of the bucket and dragging a big loaded arch around before regular skidding. or just make a truck road with it first.
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2021, 10:31:04 PM »
Would you suggest tracks or wheels for the property?  like I said it's 15-40% slope with sandy loamy topsoil.  
   you suggested some excavation needs in addition to logging in the first post.  wheeled machines are either articulated or skid steering.  in articulated wheel application its a skidder or a wheel loader.  neither machine will do both jobs very well at all.  a skid steer can dig and log but ... sigh... its a long story.  skid steers are great and terrible it just all depends.  an endless discussion there.  

   on tracks, you've got dozers, crawler loaders and excavators.  they can both log, AND excavate. the exact details of your site, other available support equipment and where the logs are destined is a major factor.  for instance a dozer and crawler loader can both get logs to a landing to mill up.  but if they need to get loaded on a truck you better have a crawler loader or another machine or a friend with something to load because a dozer isn't loading a 13ft high bunk trailer. so weigh that out.  


   logging with an excavator.. aka shovel logging.. very popular on the west coast but thats a excavator with a grapple that won't dig a basement.  can you do it with a bucket and a thumb?  sure but the logs will be swinging way out perpendicular to the boom plane as you swing.  are you going to clear an interstate sized path to swing tree length?  thats up to you.  i wouldn't want to walk longs any distance with an ex, like how a skidder or dozer does.  if a really good deal came up on an excavator and i had a lot of digging i would find a way to have the ex walk a trailer with me. maybe a 5th wheel convertor dolley and a cheap old rotten deck tag trailer with junk bunks welded on?  i wouldn't walk an ex back and forth as a skidder. id even consider putting a pintle plate on the back of the bucket and dragging a big loaded arch around before regular skidding. or just make a truck road with it first.
Mike when we shovel log out here we start at the back and shovel everything out or forward. Theres a grapple called a power clam that will both dig and can rotate logs.

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2021, 01:01:35 AM »
I started out on land that sounds like yours years ago.  If I did it now I would hire the land grading and stump digging out to an outfit with a dozer and a 30,000lbs excavator and have the stumps burnt at the same time.   Then put your $ into a pole building to store stuff while you build a house.  You can rent an 8,000 lb excavator to do a lot of cleanup. 
I cleared with a skidder and dozer, had lots of dirt in my stump fires.  

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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2021, 07:39:22 AM »
Would you suggest tracks or wheels for the property?
For my property with uneven ground and lots of rocks, my tractor is much more friendly getting around than my dozer. Logging with my dozer was limited to a decent snow cover. Rocks are not easy with a tracked machine. I've thrown many-a-track playing around rocks. No fun putting that back on when up against a tree.
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Re: small woodlot skidder
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2021, 10:42:03 AM »
that is true. rocks are hell on a track, especially the wider flotation pads.  they bend and bind on their neighbor or snap off from the point loads of taking a rock on the side instead of centered under the rail.  and your fillings will take a beating too. 
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