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Author Topic: Skilled Operator or Operator Error  (Read 9805 times)

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Offline Gary_C

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Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« on: March 08, 2009, 12:22:11 PM »
Over the years I have run a lot of different machines with different controls. My old backhoe is a four lever machine that I learned to run by trial and error. Now if I get in a two lever hoe, you don't want to be close when I am trying to dig. Definately not down in the trench like some guys will do with a good operator.

But now the ultimate challenge for this old dog. I learned to run a Valmet Harvester, by trial and error of course, but that machine is finished and I now have a Ponsse Harvester that has very different controls. Most of the crane movement controls are the same, but the head controls are vastly different. Not sure at this point if this old dog can be taught some new tricks.

For example, on the old machine there was a rocker switch to open the knives and feed rolls. You pushed one side to open and the other to close. This Ponsse machine has a little dimpled button, you can guess what the operators call it, that moves four ways. One way is to open the knives and feed rolls and when you want to close them when they are open, you move the button the same way. Now that saves having two positions for the function, but it sure is confusing to my brain. Unfortunately the opposite movement of the button starts the saw.  :o  So now when I have the grapple open and reach for a tree, just as I get there and want to grab the tree, I push the button in the other direction and instead of grabbing the tree, I try to cut it down.  :)

So I am being abused verbally while learning, all by myself. I have been called some bad names in that cab, and I am alone. At least nobody else hears it.   :D :D

I don't suppose anyone else has this problem with different machine controls?  ;D
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 12:29:58 PM »
Oh yea.  When I went from working for one company one day on one mill in 1984 to another company the next.  The carriage feed was opposite directions. I had sawn for 5 years one way, and suddenly I have to change.  Its tough.  Those repetitive movements become imprinted. Even years later I would have a brain fart and have to stop and rewire again.  I think its like smoking.  Even after 10 years of not smoking, I can find myself reaching for my pocket in a stressful situation.

That first week at billsby lumber there were a lot of logs dumped into the carriage tracks. :)
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline semologger

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 12:31:09 PM »
I would love to have the chance to challenge myself like that. I love that kind of stuff. The most contols i had to run was on a 410EX prentice loader. It had 2 joysticks and toggels on it tfor the delimber and buck saw. I was 22 then and the owner was shocked i picked it up sa fast. Ive ran most brands of skidders and can still mentaly pitchure all the controls in my head.

Must of been all the years of growing up playing Video games. Training my mind.  :D

Offline Jeff

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 12:34:41 PM »
Nother one I had trouble with was going from a Prentice loader with a hand swing to a barko with a foot swing.  These all pre-dated the wobble controls you find on most loaders now.   The bad thing was when I would reach for the swing on the barko, it was now the open and close on the grapple. :o
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 12:40:28 PM »
We changed the hoses around on the valve body of the Iron Mule so they operated the same as our old backhoe.  It was safer than retraining  ;) ;D
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 12:55:18 PM »
Not all the changes to newer styles are bad. My first forwarder was a Valmet 644 with levers for controls. It did have a crude foot swing mechanism attached by a rod, but I threw that away. However it was so hard to get much production out of that lever machine and at the end of the day, it felt like my arms were going to fall off cause they ached so bad at my shoulders. The forwarder I have now has joysticks and it is unbelievable how much more you can get done in a day. It does have those big black knobs with buttons over the top and a name that is not politically correct and they require a lot of arm movement, but still not nearly as bad as levers.

The mini joysticks they use now are much better for speed and wear and tear on the shoulders.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 01:34:06 PM »
I never got to the mini joystick era. I was ruined by the shoulder killin machines.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Dom

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 01:57:49 PM »
I know where your coming from Gary C. We would convert machines with mini levers to Supergrip all the time, as nobody wanted to run the mini levers. Now though, people have learned the mini levers, and prefer them to the Supergrip. Before these, we also had the catskull levers (looked like a black mushroom with 2 buttons in the front). The new levers generally have benefits, but take a while to learn. Once you learn to master them though, they are good. I always found it funny that people would complain and insult our product when we upgraded our design, but when JD and/or Cat would go with the same system, it was the best invention ever!  ::) Sorry, that's my small rant.  :D

I'm sure you can learn to operate them. In this area, most dealers offer operator training. It may seem expensive to the contractor, but the return on investement is worth it.
Many people like to learn alone, but usually having someone to give you pointers speeds up the process.

Offline Tom

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2009, 06:18:19 PM »
I know just what you are talking about.  I've been there.  When you go from a Cat TLB to a Case, to a Ford with four handles, to wiggle sticks, it warps more than your mind.
extinct

Offline ErikC

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2009, 09:11:06 PM »
  I can go from wobble stick backhoe controls to case 4 lever with no trouble. It's the Cat pattern to John Deere pattern on the 2 stick that gets me confused. The good news is most newer hoes have a lever under there to switch from one pattern to the other. :) The dozers with foot-steering or hand controls are no problem either. When the machine has the same controls but they have different funtions-WATCH OUT :D
  But after a while I am in the swing of things again. I kind of like the challenge as well. Keeps you thinking on the job too.
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline Sprucegum

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 12:59:28 AM »
 :D The new loader over at the Canola Plant has a little toggle that switches from front wheel steering to 4 wheel or to "crab" steering. The first time the operator got it wiggled in between the bins we distracted him with a dumb question and flipped the toggle from 4-wheel to crab. We had a good laugh watching him try to drive out of there  :D  :D

Offline DanG

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 10:17:38 AM »
I had a fun and interesting experience last week.  A fella is trying to sell me an old backhoe he bought to clean his place up.  He's about through with it.  He got me to come over and dig out a stump with it so I could see how great it is.  The only backhoe I've ever run before is a JD310 with wiggle sticks.  This one is an old Case Construction King with 3 levers and foot pedals for the swing.  While I was "digging" he was doing some grading with his other tractor, but he shoulda been making a movie! :D :D :D  It was a pretty good sized pine stump, but I finally worried it out of the hole in about an hour.  I woulda had it out in 10 minutes with that 310. ::)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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Offline ErikC

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 12:55:23 PM »
  The foot swing is great if you are used to it, many excavators have it as well. If you can keep track of them all, one lever per function keeps things straitforward I guess. And you can run that case with a beer beverage in one hand :o, you can't do that with wobble sticks :D. I sure like the wobble sticks though. So you're going to get some more practice with that case now that you bought it, right DanG? ;)
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline DanG

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2009, 01:41:10 PM »
NOT!  Well, I ain't completely ruled it out, but he's gonna have to get a lot more serious about selling it, if ya know what I mean.  He want's 7 grand for it and I found an old Ford 4 stick for $4000 on CL this morning.  I think I'm going for the pontoon boat though. ;D 8) 8)  I can eat fish, but stumps are a little too chewey for me.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline ErikC

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2009, 01:57:53 PM »
 Well, part of the fun is in looking. But be careful about digging up to many stumps for free trying them out. Might be someone wants a little free labor who isn't really selling a tractor at all :D :D
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline DanG

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2009, 02:15:42 PM »
True that, but the person with the pontoon boat said she'd take me fishing to try it out.  Sounds like a better deal to me. :) :)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline ErikC

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2009, 08:07:50 PM »
  Well now, I'm gonna start shopping for boats if that's how they're selling them these days. 8) 8) If I get any good leads I'll pass 'em on.
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline Frickman

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2009, 09:33:42 AM »
I did like Corley, I switched the hoses on my forwarder loader to match my other machines.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

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Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline Jeff

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2009, 11:26:06 AM »
When I went to a different mill, I could have easily switched the controls, problem was, I was being brought in as the second operator. It was better for me to switch as the mill that I had always ran was wrong to begin with  it was push feed. A mill should never be push feed.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Reddog

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Re: Skilled Operator or Operator Error
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2009, 09:07:09 AM »
Well Gary_C,
inquiring minds want to know, how is the operator training going? ;)

How is the harvester working?

Wally


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