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Author Topic: cable or grapple skidder  (Read 1369 times)

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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2021, 02:53:02 PM »
Well you keep saying footage so Iíd guess your cutting only logs (cable skidder) you keep saying steep ground (cable skidder) your already pulling line (cable skidder) grapple gets in the way (cable skidder) dozer slow (cable skidder) keep three guys and produce more (cable skidder) keep three guys produce more and most likely cheaper than tracks (cable skidder) grapple skidder around here cost more than cable skidder. 🤨 I think itís been answered (cable skidder) lol

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2021, 06:18:59 PM »
Ive said this to guys repeatedly, go buy a fellerbuncher and you don't own a loader / slasher.... i learned this the HARD way. Im still a firm believer that the dumbest way to cut production is to cut up on the landing with a chainsaw. Whatever you buy, cable / grapple or combo is still better than skidding with a dozer. From what your saying in footage your cutting bigger wood, only get 1-3 at a time even with a large grapple. 

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2021, 06:53:01 PM »
Getting rid of the chainsaw at the landing is absolutely the biggest gain lowest cost production enhancement behind limiting the dozer to road work as much as possible. 

A knuckleboom/bucksaw at the landing and limit the dozer to roadwork you might hit 15k with 2 men dedicated to getting it done.


Offline so il logger

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2021, 07:27:19 PM »
Not every job is going to be terrible terrain? D/A machine with a winch is versatile. And you will grapple more of your turns than some may think. The clamp capacity of this 648H is impressive and as long as the skids dont get excessively long it will work a good cutter hard. 15k ft a day is not hard to sustain for a 2 guy crew at all

Offline quilbilly

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2021, 10:49:14 PM »
Going back through the comments it seems like nearly everyone said grapple with a winch. But if you already have your mind on a cable have at it. Been there done that and it just flat isn't as productive, especially on smaller pieces where getting hooked up and turned back around is more important than getting that extra log per hitch/turn. 

Either one will outproduce 15k per day, or at least can I should say, not having  seen the jobs. 15k was a pretty normal out west here for a cable skidder, on decent ground and wood they could do more of course. 
a man is strongest on his knees

Offline jb14972

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2021, 04:41:36 AM »
Going back through the comments it seems like nearly everyone said grapple with a winch. But if you already have your mind on a cable have at it. Been there done that and it just flat isn't as productive, especially on smaller pieces where getting hooked up and turned back around is more important than getting that extra log per hitch/turn.

Either one will outproduce 15k per day, or at least can I should say, not having  seen the jobs. 15k was a pretty normal out west here for a cable skidder, on decent ground and wood they could do more of course.
Agreed most are saying grapple, most are also saying to use the dozer to bunch logs in bad terrain. I have 2 concerns that you may be able to clear up. 
1. Can I still hit 15k per day average with a 3 man crew while also having to bunch 30% of the logs with the dozer?
2. Iím also concerned with the steep terrain using a grapple skidder vs cable. Buying the same sized machine a cable skidder has the advantage of getting through a steep spot while pulling a larger load. I donít want to be limited with a grapple to 1-2 trees and hurt footage or end up dumping a log at the hill every time to keep the skidder moving. 
The tract we just finished was 20 acres, it was split by a steep ravine that we put a bridge in to cross but still had a very steep 60í section on both sides. Dozer had to drop the logs and winch them every time. Grapple skidder would have been very limited on half of this job of the dozer would have been working to bunch the logs. 
Iím gonna talk to a few guys about renting a skidder for a week or two and see how it works. My next tract is 40 acres and all down hill skids so Iím sure a grapple will shine.
Also I didnít say it but we have a loader and bucksaw at the landing. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2021, 05:18:15 AM »
Then a grapple makes the most sense. And 15,000 foot is a in a few hours with that set up. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2021, 05:24:02 AM »
And just out of curiosity how long has that dozer been dragging wood to that slasher? How many undercarriage parts been put on it? One year would put some serious wear on that. 

Online mike_belben

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2021, 06:04:23 AM »
I dont know the distances in the bridged ravine example but calculate the time from the stump to the slasher @ dozer speed.  Now pencil a grapple into the equation where the dozer bunches logs across the ravine and the grapple fetches them to the slasher at grapple skidder speed.  Depending on the job layout the skidder man might be sitting there waiting at the top for the dozer, okay so he unchokes for the dozer operator and saves him the climb.  Dozer spins right around and goes back in.



Even on a bad site with a grapple only skidder where logs are transferred off, there are minutes saved in there being a man waiting to unchoke the dozer and a rapid speed increase from the ravine top to the knuckleboom.



Like was already said though, just take the grapple off and leave it at the shop on a job where you know its gonna be a winch fest, put some quick connects in the hoses to make it less of a chore.  That way your skidder man cant be lazy and refuse to winch.  Youve got a cable and a grapple without extra engines, trans, tires and wages to cover.  




Theres no tellin what the next 4 years is gonna bring so id be cautious of stretching thin.  Remember that wealth earned on wall street is the end consumer of a lot of wood product.
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Offline grabber green

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2021, 08:21:31 AM »
Another big advantage with a grapple machine, if the landings full of logs,the loaders loading trucks and you cant bring a drag in.It makes it so easy to drop em and make a stockpile close to the landing. Then you can keep skidding.When the loader needs more trees you can cover it up in minutes while never leaving the skidder seat.   Also with a stockpile close to the landing like that you will be able to run wood and keep the trucks going when it to wet to skid from the woods . Greatly increasing your yearly footage and tonage.

Offline quilbilly

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2021, 10:13:23 AM »
Going back through the comments it seems like nearly everyone said grapple with a winch. But if you already have your mind on a cable have at it. Been there done that and it just flat isn't as productive, especially on smaller pieces where getting hooked up and turned back around is more important than getting that extra log per hitch/turn.

Either one will outproduce 15k per day, or at least can I should say, not having  seen the jobs. 15k was a pretty normal out west here for a cable skidder, on decent ground and wood they could do more of course.
Agreed most are saying grapple, most are also saying to use the dozer to bunch logs in bad terrain. I have 2 concerns that you may be able to clear up.
1. Can I still hit 15k per day average with a 3 man crew while also having to bunch 30% of the logs with the dozer?
2. Iím also concerned with the steep terrain using a grapple skidder vs cable. Buying the same sized machine a cable skidder has the advantage of getting through a steep spot while pulling a larger load. I donít want to be limited with a grapple to 1-2 trees and hurt footage or end up dumping a log at the hill every time to keep the skidder moving.
The tract we just finished was 20 acres, it was split by a steep ravine that we put a bridge in to cross but still had a very steep 60í section on both sides. Dozer had to drop the logs and winch them every time. Grapple skidder would have been very limited on half of this job of the dozer would have been working to bunch the logs.
Iím gonna talk to a few guys about renting a skidder for a week or two and see how it works. My next tract is 40 acres and all down hill skids so Iím sure a grapple will shine.
Also I didnít say it but we have a loader and bucksaw at the landing.
Without seeing the territory you're in I can't say exactly what's best, but just to answer the above questions. 
The winch on a D/A does work. Are they as good as a pure cable skidder, no. But I have used the one on mine plenty dragging out every last foot of cable. So if we're only talking 30% cable only, you might be able to make that 10-20% only for the dozer. And use the cable on your DA the rest of the time. 
As for hills, that's what I can't speak of for sure. If you're hooked up with the winch on the DA you can of course do the same thing and drop the load, run up, the winch back up. The other thing a DA can do is push you out of a wet spot unlike a cable skidder. When you get some slippage, just push with your grapple. This has been a great benefit to me. No stopping and dropping the load just to get through a small nasty spot. Big time saver. 
People are right about a guy not wanting to get out of a grapple skidder. I do, but don't want to unless I have to. Operator fatigue is just way less. And out here where it rains 9 months a year, the ability to stay in the cab and not get wet is really nice. I don't miss the sour smelling gloves after working a day in the rain. 
a man is strongest on his knees

Offline Skeans1

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2021, 10:25:39 AM »
Another thing to think about is insurance costs for having a guy on the ground setting chokers will be higher then if youíre a complete mechanical show. In my situation I would be hard pressed to give up my grapple cat to a grapple wheel skidder it has ability to stay working year round.

Offline Satamax

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2021, 11:03:20 PM »
Guys, i saw  the word "buncher" i understand the verb "to bunch". But i don't know what a buncher is.  :-\

And how do you call this thing. 





Knowing where Pierre and Laurent go. It is sure steep terrain. 
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Online mike_belben

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2021, 11:25:54 PM »
Buncher is short for feller bencher which is any mechanized tree cutter that takes a tree down whether by shear, barsaw or circle aka "hotsaw."  Theyre 3 wheeled, 4 wheeled or tracked.  But they dont delimb, measure, record or cut to length.  Thats harvester heads.



That machine is probably just a "euro skidder" to us. Accessorized to the hilt with squirt boom, twin drum, hydraulic butt plate and clam bunk. 
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2021, 07:29:30 AM »
If you've got a dozer with winch you can go places no skidder will ever get to and cut haul road as you go to get a skidder in behind you. So buying a cable skidder because of a steep pinch or soft spot on your haul road is redundant: fix it, that's what dozers are for.

Anytime I work around a grapple skidder I get the urge to upgrade my cable machine... amazing how much more wood you can pull a day when you don't spend half of it rolling around on the ground setting or retrieving chokes.

Time is money etcetera etcetera etcetera. The only reason I don't upgrade my cable skidder to a grapple is I prefer to buy logs not cut my own... no way would I be able to compete as a logging contractor without upgrading.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline Loglugger

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2021, 03:27:55 PM »
We work the mountains in western North Carolina. Hand cut and trim everything, too rough for mechanized machines. We have a 640 cable and a 648 single arch with a winch. The cable skidder runs all day everyday, the grapple only about 10% of the time. The grapple is handy for long skids to the loader after the cable sets out. If I only had one machine in rough country, it will be the cable. 

Offline thecfarm

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Re: cable or grapple skidder
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2021, 07:26:13 AM »
Loglugger, welcome to the forum.
This thread will keep you busy for a while.

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