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Author Topic: Small excavator in the woods  (Read 3235 times)

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Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2021, 07:28:49 PM »
I like the look of your ...deer...  I think the one on the right has more points... :D

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2021, 09:19:35 PM »
So you use both machines in the woods logging I guess?
How big are your trees logs etc?
Any hardwood ?
Winter and summer ? Or both ?
Any pics ?
Quebecnewf
i use all 4
mostly the 5520 with forks on loader, and winch on back
the winch also makes a good counter balance.
log loading
tractor or excavator.
Excavators are slow, and long distance trips put a lot of wear on the track drive assembly
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Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2021, 09:29:43 PM »
As I see it I would not be doing a lot of travelling with it . 

Working slowly and carefully through the woods . Mostly driving over the branches . Like I said all small branches from spruce and fir trees .in a cutting season I would see me going about a mile ( at the most ) into the woods . Then as soon as the first snow comes coming back out the trail loading the sleds that will be transporting the firewood and logs out of the woods .

Quebecnewf 

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2021, 09:35:53 PM »
rent an excavator for a week to try it

lot cheaper than buying one

and rent a skidsteer then a tractor, or see if you can borrow one
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Online mike_belben

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2021, 09:38:15 PM »
Does the machine have to cross the ice or water?  If so what is the maximum weight or size?




This is what id be aiming for.  But i would add knife edges in the up and down plane for delimbing the tree better while still standing, then shear it off. 








I understand for sawlogs youll still be using chainsaw to prevent shear damage, but between limbing most of them and cutting most scrub and firewood i think your physical labor could drop 70%


Psalm 37:16

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2021, 09:49:54 PM »
i also built a job box for the logging tools and chainsaws
built it with two 6x6's so i can get the forks under it

yes there are 4 forks, makes it into a tractor-pitchfork




 

 

 
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Online Walnut Beast

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2021, 10:15:33 PM »
Nice 👍

Online Southside

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2021, 11:04:32 PM »
All I can say is if you do go that route put ROPS and FOPS protection on the machine.  Those cabs are only designed to keep the rain out and the radio noise in.  I have bumped dead pines with my fellerbuncher and knocked out a 16' or so piece and when they smack the cab she rocks like a Tonka toy.  Jump the daylights out of you but being that Big Pig has a full FOPS system on it all it does is make noise.  I know some of those would flatten a mini-ex cab.  
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2021, 06:51:43 AM »
this could get expensive in a hurry. rubber tracks would not stand the strain. steel may not either. they are not built for this. triple grousers will fill with snow turning to ice quick. wide pads would be the last thing you would want. they put more strain on the track chain. that isnt going to be big enough to begin with. no track guards. tracks will come off. i know it sounded like a good idea. i though the same thing 30 yrs ago when i converted a excavator to woods work. never again

Online Ed_K

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2021, 07:28:50 AM »
 When I worked for the highway dept, I talked them into buying a grapple with the swivel rotor and we pined it on the back of the backhoe bucket where to pin is for using a chain. They use it all the time cleaning road side trees and loading into the dump truck. Last summer they used it for putting culverts in too 8) ;).

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2021, 08:06:13 AM »
My excavator is mid-sized, about 16,000lbs. I was lucky enough to stumble across this rather locally. 1990's, so it's not very compact for it's weight - but does make it easier to work on. Came with a hydraulic thumb and 24" tracks. You can see the rocks I deal with in this pic. Size and power have been perfect for my application. The counterweight swings well over the tracks, so being careful when swinging I've had to learn the hard way. This cost me about $22k. Hour meter shows 4,000+ hrs, but doesn't work. Probably more like 6-8,000 hrs.

 
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2021, 08:49:45 AM »
Iíve track equipment out in the brush shovel logging about like what youíre talking about. Steel tracks are must single or double bar grousers with the narrowest set available to keep the power up on the travel system. Next full rock guards are a must otherwise youíll be putting tracks on left and right all the time. After that youíll probably bust off the upper rollers so either slides or bottom rollers put up top. Every pan and plate on the under belly needs to be about 3/8Ē to 1/2Ē thick minimum to keep from being bent as easily. After which the whole  right side plus the rear needs guarding which can be fun on a non tail swing. After all of that you have full cab guard with screening on every window donít skip any of this or it could cost you a lot of time or money down the road.

Online Iwawoodwork

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2021, 01:20:02 PM »
After  fully reading this post and most of Q,s other post many of you are forgetting that the trees that Q handles are quite small compares to what we in the NW or east US are used to plus the ground does not appear as rough, At the time of use the ground will be frozen and/or snow covered, With his small wood and doing the corridor\trail yarding will not be exposed to the larger trees. 
I have a Hitachi ex50 with thumb, rubber tracks, and a blade with the half cab (Not good for limbs and brush) but handles logs with the thumb where you have an open area to rotate 180 degrees, decking or loading. Mounting a winch, preferably hydraulic, would be a great help in moving the logs to the trail side for skidding.  With your small wood I think a 6000 to 10,000 LB machine would do fine and on packed snowmobile trails rubber or metal tracks will be fine. The rubber tracks are a plus in dry fire season over the steel for me.
I have used tongs on my Komatsu pc 60for loading logs but it is slower than a thumb,
The excavator would work great for your decking and also putting the logs in the water. With your logging trails only being about a mile out per trail the excavator travel would not be a big issue. On the smaller excavators like my EX50 the tracks are solid rubber , not rubber on steel and relatively inexpensive to replace.  In previous pictures of your logging I did not see ground conditions that warrant rock guards or cab guarding beyond an enclosed cab.

Offline Mattjohndeere2

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2021, 11:45:39 PM »
Having both a 16k lb excavator and a dozer, and spent a little time in the woods with both, I would say your better off with a little dozer with a winch in the woods. The excavator is great for making trails and moving the brush and whatnot, but when it comes to hooking onto a tree and getting it somewhere, especially when you say it's pretty crowded in your woods, a dozer/winch combo will be much more effective. Swinging the excavator around gets tricky in tight woods, and it's just easier to plow over trees if necessary with the dozer and winch anything in any direction. Plus, you get a good hook of logs and chances are you can still travel a bit faster with the dozer than with the excavator. Plus steering clutches are quite a bit cheaper than final drives...

Online Walnut Beast

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2021, 11:59:54 PM »
Having both a 16k lb excavator and a dozer, and spent a little time in the woods with both, I would say your better off with a little dozer with a winch in the woods. The excavator is great for making trails and moving the brush and whatnot, but when it comes to hooking onto a tree and getting it somewhere, especially when you say it's pretty crowded in your woods, a dozer/winch combo will be much more effective. Swinging the excavator around gets tricky in tight woods, and it's just easier to plow over trees if necessary with the dozer and winch anything in any direction. Plus, you get a good hook of logs and chances are you can still travel a bit faster with the dozer than with the excavator. Plus steering clutches are quite a bit cheaper than final drives...
Good recommendation but maybe he just needs to get both a excavator and dozer then he would be really set. Itís just money 💰😂

Online Walnut Beast

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2021, 12:02:15 AM »
My excavator is mid-sized, about 16,000lbs. I was lucky enough to stumble across this rather locally. 1990's, so it's not very compact for it's weight - but does make it easier to work on. Came with a hydraulic thumb and 24" tracks. You can see the rocks I deal with in this pic. Size and power have been perfect for my application. The counterweight swings well over the tracks, so being careful when swinging I've had to learn the hard way. This cost me about $22k. Hour meter shows 4,000+ hrs, but doesn't work. Probably more like 6-8,000 hrs.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

That is a dandy 👍💪

Offline Mattjohndeere2

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2021, 01:50:20 AM »
Having both a 16k lb excavator and a dozer, and spent a little time in the woods with both, I would say your better off with a little dozer with a winch in the woods. The excavator is great for making trails and moving the brush and whatnot, but when it comes to hooking onto a tree and getting it somewhere, especially when you say it's pretty crowded in your woods, a dozer/winch combo will be much more effective. Swinging the excavator around gets tricky in tight woods, and it's just easier to plow over trees if necessary with the dozer and winch anything in any direction. Plus, you get a good hook of logs and chances are you can still travel a bit faster with the dozer than with the excavator. Plus steering clutches are quite a bit cheaper than final drives...
Good recommendation but maybe he just needs to get both a excavator and dozer then he would be really set. Itís just money 💰😂
Haha very true! Having both is definitely nice. They are just tools and both have their purpose. From experience, cuz I find myself doing it at times - I just know that if it was only an excavator you had in the woods, you start doing things that it isn't meant to do, like pushing trees or stumps, or hooking onto logs and pulling them.  Enough of that and the final drives will most likely give up. You can beat on a dozer pretty good in the woods and can do just about anything except reach high, and it'll take the beating. Get into wet areas and instead of walking an excavator out there, sit on solid ground and winch everything in. When it comes to hills, much safer with the dozer and winch. Now I've never used an actual skidder machine, supposedly that would be even more effective than the dozer - but I think when things get wet and soft the dozer does a lot less ruining of the logging trails than a wheeled vehicle

Offline Mattjohndeere2

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2021, 01:55:37 AM »
My excavator is mid-sized, about 16,000lbs. I was lucky enough to stumble across this rather locally. 1990's, so it's not very compact for it's weight - but does make it easier to work on. Came with a hydraulic thumb and 24" tracks. You can see the rocks I deal with in this pic. Size and power have been perfect for my application. The counterweight swings well over the tracks, so being careful when swinging I've had to learn the hard way. This cost me about $22k. Hour meter shows 4,000+ hrs, but doesn't work. Probably more like 6-8,000 hrs.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

That's a nice machine. I have pretty much the same exact thing. Hydraulic thumb is a must!


 

Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2021, 04:50:16 AM »
Thanks for all the info guys itís making me think about it more .

I need to explain a bit more maybe how I see this working .

 The trail and the cutting will be all done by chain saw . 

We would open up say a 50 ft long section just a bit wider than the machine . The machine then goes forward and stacks the fire wood logs and good logs on each side that this cutting has produced . The slash is placed on the ground and used as a bedding to smooth the trail . 

The machine backs out to a safe distance and we start working blocks on each side of the trail . Taking down some (log trees ) and older scrap ( firewood ) trees . The machine moves back in and pulls these trees to the trail where they are processed ( logs cut of and tops cut into 8 ft lengths as firewood . ) 

At no time will we be pushing over trees or clearing a bunch of hang ups that could fall on the machine ( an excavator cannot run) . We will use the machine to dig out stumps as needed but the ( road) will be mainly made of a bed of limbs . 

As Iwawoodwork said . These are small trees mostly . The ground is soft and uneven but not rough in that sense . We will have lots and lots of small wood to fill in and make the ď roadĒ level . 

The excavator does not forward the logs this is done with snowmobile later . The excavator will then be used to load the logs and the firewood into the sleighs .

As soon as the spring breaks and the thaw starts the excavator will be parked next to the log piles by the shoreline and used to place the logs in the water for rafting home to the mill . 

Quebecnewf 

Online Walnut Beast

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Re: Small excavator in the woods
« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2021, 05:15:58 AM »
So what excavator do you plan on getting?


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