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Author Topic: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?  (Read 4010 times)

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Offline PDakin

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Hello everyone.  My two brothers operate water systems and have some newer trenchers and equipment and had this Vermeer M-475 surplus to their operation.  It had a bad clutch and they "donated" it to my homesteading/cabin building/land clearing project.  It has a Ford Industrial Diesel 4-cyl engine, T-18 4speed with hyd shuttle and creep speed.  I dropped the quick hitch trencher (now it is very nose heavy) to fabricate a winch mount/lift boom/log skid hooker/tractor weight bracket on the back.  I bought a Warn 18,000 lb. hyd winch on ebay and have plenty of tractor suitcase weights.  I have a John Deere 3020 and Ford 960 but both are row crop height and my acres are hilly so turning over is easy.  My Ford 640 (low slung) is out of commision for now.   I have skidded some with the 3020 with a Warn 8000 electric/3-point hitch and dragging hook, but I feel way up in the trees. Also a friend is letting me "store" his Wood Mizer LT20 (old aluminum portable style) bandsaw mill on my place in exchange for me repairing the odd and ends that are worn or need machine work, so I am out of the fabricate my own bandsaw mill business for now and ready to saw wood.  This saves me some time for 2011 as I was going to build one this year to start the deal.  NOW I have what looks like a mini-skidder donated to me and I am thinking it is worth the time and effort to "convert" it from trencher to skidder.  What do ya'll think?  Will the backhoe up front be in the way?  I was thinking it could be used to handle some logs in certain situations. Thanks, Paul in Mississippi

PS:   I am trying to upload photos of the trencher but cannot make the dang thing upload.  I see my gallery but it's empty and that is far as I can get.  Help with uploading photos to this forum????   

Offline mjeselskis

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 08:53:07 pm »
Hello,
I just joined the forum after seeing this post. I have a 94 M475 with the 65HP John Deere Diesel. I scrapped the trencher and have a forklift weight on the back to counter the backhoe. My plan is to do the same as you are talking about, winch on back with fairlead/arch to pull logs. I do plan on doing a bit of fabricating to make the backhoe removable while leaving the 6 way blade on front. I will need to cut apart the blade frame and fab some new mounts for the hydraulic cylinders that lift the blade. Mine has the ability to articulate but is missing the hydraulic Ram to do it, so that's on the list too.

I have 31" tires on it now, and I have to warn you, the ground clearance is the limiting factor. I am hoping to save up for 4 16.9x24 R1 tires to give it some more ground clearance. I also have to say, this machine is heavy....if you get it stuck, you will have a very hard time getting it out with the backhoe on front and weight on back. That is one reason to make the backhoe removable.

I've been planning this for about 6 months, and am encouraged to see someone else thinking the same thing.

Please share some more ideas, we can probably help each other out.
2006 WM LT28  2002 John Deere 990  1959 Case 420 Bulldozer 1974 Farmall 140 1985 F150 4x4 woods truck

Offline mjeselskis

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 08:56:53 pm »


This is mine this past summer right after I painted it
2006 WM LT28  2002 John Deere 990  1959 Case 420 Bulldozer 1974 Farmall 140 1985 F150 4x4 woods truck

Online thecfarm

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 07:12:15 am »
mjeselskis,welcome to the forum.Are you using this on your own land?I'm just thinking that just cut your stumps low,yes,it requires more sharpening of a chain and you will do fine.I run a tractor,18 inch clearance,around my land for just about 20 years and have had no problems.Quite a few changelings,but it can be done.My land is not too easy either to go where I want to.I could do some damge with that.By the way,new tires might be a tad pricey,have you priced them.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline bruce hare

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 11:03:34 am »
move the backhoe to the back . take the bucket off and hang a grapple on the boom bingo you have a swing boom grapple skidder with ablade on front and no extra weights to carry arround.just thinking outloud
nuts over wood

Offline Buck

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 12:06:10 pm »
Somebody here has done that! I just cant remember who. He will be along though.
Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.

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Offline Ironwood

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2011, 12:33:00 pm »
I promoted this idea awhile back, here are the pics of a local machine I had found, never bought, but was trying to help someone who may have been able to use it. Ford diesel. There is an extra rear diff above the rear one, it ran the trencher, so if anything ever gave way, you'd have the extra parts. Personally I think for general property maintainence and use as a skidder it looks awsome.

Ironwood


 











There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline mjeselskis

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2011, 06:01:49 pm »
mjeselskis,welcome to the forum.Are you using this on your own land?I'm just thinking that just cut your stumps low,yes,it requires more sharpening of a chain and you will do fine.I run a tractor,18 inch clearance,around my land for just about 20 years and have had no problems.Quite a few changelings,but it can be done.My land is not too easy either to go where I want to.I could do some damge with that.By the way,new tires might be a tad pricey,have you priced them.

I am using it on my own land. I will definitely need to cut the stumps low but most of the woods road are already there and in good shape so I can get around pretty well. New tires will be pricey, but I'm keeping my eyes open for a used sets on rims. I only paid $2500 for the tractor, so I really can't go wrong with it.

I just picked up a PTO Braden winch, and Hydraulic motor to run it, so I'm getting closer to making it more useful as a skidder.
2006 WM LT28  2002 John Deere 990  1959 Case 420 Bulldozer 1974 Farmall 140 1985 F150 4x4 woods truck

Offline Meadows Miller

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 12:15:55 am »
Gday

First off Welcome to The Forum to both Paul and Mj  ;) ;D 8) 8)

I like your thinking and yeah going by the size of the machine if you are planing on only using it for thinning and skidding out small to medium size timber the backhoe should not get in the way unless you are taking it into some realy tight spots I would fab something like a small  Crab Grab for it to make handling logs easier quicker and more positive Mate  ;)

Regards Chris
4TH Generation Timbergetter

Offline tjdub

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 02:08:33 am »



(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

That machine looks pretty massive when you put a logger next to it :D

Offline Bobus2003

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 03:31:17 am »
Ive got a older ditch witch that i have the same intentions with.. Think it'll be good on small tracts where even the 440 is too big

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Vermeer trencher into skidder? Can the backhoe stay in place?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 07:41:03 am »
Pittsburgh craig's list has a Gearmatic #9 in the farm and garden section for $1750.

 Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer