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Author Topic: Loading up  (Read 3351 times)

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Offline timberbeast

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Loading up
« on: March 08, 2001, 01:01:44 AM »
I'm in the market for a new (used) piece of machinery to load up my 3/4 ton pickup and a double-axle trailer.  My arms are tired and I'm taking up too much time hand loading.  I'm loading cedar posts 3" to 6",  100" long,  and cedar bolts 7 to 15",  100" long.  Would an old Ford 8N or 9N with a bucket do this safely and efficiently,  with log forks or a grabhook/lifting tong system?  Or would I be better off to find an old crawler with a log clam?  I may also use this for skidding at times.  I currently use an ancient Allis B to skid,  and its narrow width makes it easier to get in and out of the woods.  I skid larger logs as well,  but they get skidded to my mill.  I work in a cedar swamp in the U.P. of Mich,  soft,  wet ground but my landing is solid.  Any thoughts?
Where the heck is my axe???

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2001, 02:20:22 PM »
I would vote for the crawler.  The crawler will be able to do more work than the tractor.  It would be useful for skidding if it has a winch.  

The problem with a farm tractor for loading is the size of your material.  A tong system would take more time to attach than to just pick it up and throw it on the truck.  

I was around a system like that to put logs in a mill.  It took 3 guys to get the log in the mill.  One to drive tractor, 2 others to steady the log.

As for log forks on a tractor, they might work fairly well.  But, you need to have some sort of weight in the back to avoid tipping.  Water in the wheels probably won't be enough.  

My uncle had a 9N, I believe.  To put a loader on, he needed wheel weights and a big concrete block on the rear to offset the weight of snow.

Besides, the tractor won't skid nearly as well as a dozer.  The dozer will go places a tractor can't.
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2001, 06:03:28 PM »
Ron is correct that a trac loader will be able to go more places than a tractor would. Also a dozer will skid more in lbs per skid. I wish I could afford a nice dozer, but I can't afford to let it sit in the yard when there was no work for it. So like many other things it's on my wish list.

You are limited to the other uses of the dozer/tracloader, other than skidding if it has a winch or road work, clean up and loading. I use a 45 hp 4wd Kubota with a frontend loader that I use for skidding, but it's also my do all. It also does loading with front forks, dirt work, grading, rototilling, brush cutting, boxblading, raking, snowplowing and many other things.

To your question about the 8n--skidding small amounts would work in dry paths. The only loader setups that I've seen on them are very light duty at best. Much better suited for manure removal and other light materials. Not what I would consider safe to load timber, if it would even pick up much to begin with.  The tractor is just a little on the small side for what you want to do. I've got an 8n that I use for brush cutting and it works great but I've got no loader for it and don't plan on one. The tractor was not designed to handle a loader.

Another thing is how much the wallet will allow to spend. There are a lot of options on tractors, dozers, tracloaders out there. If you do decide on a tractor get 4wd. It is night and day when it comes to production and tire spin.  

Hope this helps
Gordon


Offline timberbeast

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2001, 10:10:51 PM »
Thanks,  guys!  A little more food for thought!  I'm trying to keep it under 4 grand.  I wasn't aware of the danger of tipping with one of the old wheel tractors,  and I much appresiate the input!  What are the odds of throwing a track on a crawler,  different brands,  etc.  I run into a lot of small stumps when skidding and the little wheel tractor with tire chains just hops over them.  I'd rather be making wood than cutting trails.  Any recommended winches?  I've snaked a few big cedars,  spruces and white pines out with an old sears winch,  but it takes forever.  What about tracks on the crawler?  What type would be best for a mossy,  mucky swamp?  Sorry to throw so many questions at you at once,  but The 3 feet of snow on my land will be melting,  and I want to know which tires (or treads) to kick!  Thanks again.
Where the heck is my axe???

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2001, 06:26:41 PM »
Your price constraints might make things a little tough.

You might be able to locate an old D-2.  It used to be a mainstay for small loggers a good many decades ago.  I'm not sure it has log forks on it or not.  Its not too big of a machine.

I've seen some older model vehicles that had six tires and a track that went around them.  I don't know who made them, but they would work pretty well.

The problems that you will find with an old vehicle at that price is that it is probably pretty well beat.  You may be throwing tracks more than you would like.

They do make an arch for the back of a 4 wheeler.  That won't get out big logs, but it could be used for your smaller logs.  I've seen pictures, and it doesn't look to be too hard to make.  Unfortunately, that doesn't help with loading your trucks.

What type of truck are you using?  A pick up or a flat bed?  You may be able to rig something to load trucks that doesn't involve a tractor.  They used to do it that way back in the '50s.
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Offline timberbeast

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2001, 10:22:40 PM »
Thanks,  Ron.  I'm loading a 2-axle trailer hooked to my old F-250 HD.  I usually throw the posts in the pickup and the bolts and sawlogs on the trailer.  That's what's taking away from me financially,  half a day loading logs,  then drive 50-60 miles to deliver.  I've thought of some kind of trailer-mounted boom,  and have checked out a few websites.  I was just going to stack 'em and have a regular logging truck come in last year,  but the road was too wet,  nobody wanted to come out there,  and I had to move this stuff by myself in about two weeks,  about 15 cords.  I can cut and skid about 3 or four cords a day,  not counting what I bring to my mill,  and am getting average 170/cord for Cedar,  so you can see there is money to be made,  if I can cut my loading time.  The biggest problem is that I work alone,  in a wilderness area,  and I don't need any accidents.
I can haul about 3 cords at a time,  but hand-loading 3 cords of wet cedar is a work-out.
I pile them high and load-bind them down.  I've seen the ATV arches,  but the Allis B will take out most of what I cut.  Have to cut a lot of crummy Balsams out of the way,  that goes on the pulp pile,  good riddance for small money,  but they're coming back strong.
Where the heck is my axe???

Offline Gordon

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2001, 05:13:20 AM »
Timber beast your wallet sounds about like mine.;)
When it comes to equipment you get what you pay for. So at times it's best to bite the bullet and go alittle higher price range. That way you will spend more time running the tractor, rather than working on the tractor. Time is money and money is time.

In this area decent 8n's are going in that price range. So shop around or go to a couple of auctions and you might get lucky.

As for a winch I've got a Norse 400 on the back of my tractor and have been very happy with it. Farmi also make a top notch winch as well. These winches run off the rear pto of the tractor. So size the winch according to the tractor hp. The skidding speed and power of these winches are great.

The only problem is the price. They run anywhere from 1750.00 to 3500.00 depending on brand and model. But once again you might get lucky and get a used one for a decent price.

Hope this helps
Gordon

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2001, 07:20:27 AM »
There is an old system of loading logs called the crosshaul system.  I don't know if you can use it or adapt the system to make it less labor intensive.

They used to use either chain or cable.  Logs or poles are rolled up or across temporary skids, sloping to the ground.  Power is either a stationary winch, tractor or horses.

A forked cable is put under the logs, which are near the end of the skid poles and attached to the trailer.  The double cable goes into a single cable, and is attached to the tractor.  When pulled, the logs go up the skid poles onto the truck.  

I don't know how practical that method is for you.

Another practice was to build elevated skid ways off the side of the road.  But, that requires some hilly terrain.  

You may be able to build some sort of portable ramp and use the crossbuck system as a low tech method of loading logs.
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Offline timberbeast

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Re: Loading up
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2001, 11:03:33 PM »
I thank you all kindly for the advice.  Ron,  A guy I know in Oregon explained the cross-haul system to me,  I may give it a shot.  I'll let you guys know how it all shakes out when I can get into my land,  I'm kind of leaning towards an old knuckle -boom cat right now,  if I only use it for loading,  I shouldn't beat it up too bad.  Thanks again!
Where the heck is my axe???


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