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Author Topic: forwarding on a slight grade  (Read 4579 times)

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Offline 1270d

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forwarding on a slight grade
« on: August 30, 2012, 08:12:43 pm »
this was the first run down this trail, hence the caution. carrying beech pulp.

Offline Jamie_C

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 09:17:31 am »
It didn't look that bad until the forwarder got right beside the person filming. It looked like the ladder was down while the forwarder was moving, you guys have the ladder switch bypassed somehow ? Machine shouldn't move with the ladder down and if for some reason it does the usually the ladder doesn't last too long.

Whats fun is when you have to haul up steep hills with hardwood pulp, really easy to lose the entire load off the back and that ruins your day in a hurry .. lol

Offline 1270d

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 05:57:18 pm »
None of our equipment can climb this hill so we don't have to worry about losing a load. :)  the ladder is made of cable, always down.  I have removed the ladder by accident on our jd forwarder when the sensor failed once. 

I've never heard of forwarding up hills like this.  Do you do it often?   I can't even pull my way up with the harvester.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 06:25:33 pm »
Once you can really know your machine just by the feel of your butt on the seat you'll be fine. Just don't over load or you'll have wood sliding in to the back of the cab.

It might be a thought to put a chain binder on coming down. It would be a lot faster then playing pick up sticks.

My S8 IH would walk right up a hill that steep [loaded tires] my C5-D would spin out, walk side ways, jump up an down [no fluid]
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline Jamie_C

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2012, 08:33:38 am »
None of our equipment can climb this hill so we don't have to worry about losing a load. :)  the ladder is made of cable, always down.  I have removed the ladder by accident on our jd forwarder when the sensor failed once. 

I've never heard of forwarding up hills like this.  Do you do it often?   I can't even pull my way up with the harvester.

If you can't get the harvester up it then there is no way a forwarder will climb it. I have worked on hills so steep that the wood would slide off the back climbing it, sometimes you have no choice but to forward up them due to not being able to put roads where you really need to.

lj48 ... you only make the mistake of putting wood higher than the headache ONCE when forwarding down a steep hill ... has the potential to be very dangerous and very expensive .... as to the putting a chain binder on a loaded forwarder on a steep hill, that is a sure fire way to actually flip the machine ... much safer to lose the load than to have it shift and have all the weight hanging out past the back tires

Offline 1270d

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2012, 12:34:16 pm »
I see jamie.   And here I thought I was going to learn of a new hill climbing trick. :)  I like to think it helps skidding uphill to work the bucket into the back tier to hold it.  Seems to make a bit of difference.   

I would enjoy seeing some photos of yours/others shortwood operations.   Always looking for tips, tricks and tools to make the job easier.

Offline Jamie_C

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2012, 01:36:09 pm »
A scary trick i learned running 6 wheel drive forwarders is that if they wont go up the hill forwards with a load on, chances are that they WILL go up it backwards ... This isn't for the faint of heart or for a rookie operator, you have to be able to have a mental picture of your trail in your mind and know where the point of no return is. You would puke if you saw the spots we had to do this trick with a John Deere 1010 forwarder.

Sometimes getting the grapple wedged in the back bunk works but the best trick is to put some 16' wood in with your 8' to help keep the load together. A few softwood logs scattered around in your load plus a full row of them across the top makes a huge difference. If that isnt possible then load both bunks so they are sloped back to front just slightly and keep any ugly twisted stuff on the front bunk.

If you are cutting both 8' (studs and pulp) and random length logs then don't haul them seperately. If there is a lot of logs then take out 1 load of logs then come back in and your next trip start loading your 8' wood on the forwarder until you get to where the logs start again and top off with them. You can usually gain at least 1 load per shift that way.

Another important thing is landing setup ... if you normally haul 2 sorts of wood at a time then pile them on opposite sides of the road so the forwarder doesn't need to move when unloading ... Seems like common sense but a lot of people seem to be lacking in it ... Keep the products you cut the most of piled closest to where the forwarder gets on the road, the less time spent driving down the road before unloading the more trips per shift you get.

There are so many little tips to increase forwarder production that it would take quite awhile to type them all out here. Same thing for running a harvester, lots of little tips but most of them are learned from time in the seat and just trying things.


Offline 1270d

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2012, 05:45:25 pm »
We hardly ever cut anything other than 8 ft stuff including sawlogs.  I've done the backward skid a time or two. I try to use stumps to remember turns etc.     Hardly ever run forwarder anymore, 99% harvester now.  Shucks, I hand saw more than I skid.  We ve got a decent operator now so he stays with that only.

After watching half a dozen plus harvester guys, it seems there is no "silver bullet" for higher production.  Everytime I plateau and get frustrated, the boss says " just a little smoother and a little faster"  gee, thanks. :)


Offline Jamie_C

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 12:23:48 pm »
Nothing boosts production like time in the seat. Depending on average stem size you can gain quite a bit of production by "wishboning". This is basically just piling on both sides of the harvester as you go down the strip. You cut a tree on the left of you, swing to the right of you and process it, drop the top and cut a tree on that side and swing to the left side with it and process it. You cut down on a lot of wasted swing time going from one side to the other with nothing in the head. Gains of over 25% aren't unheard of and in the right wood it will get even higher.

If possible drop your tops almost right where they are when you finishing processing the stem unless they are big and bulky and need to be moved out of the way.

Never use the extension boom for cutting straight out in front of you, move the harvester forward so you are aren't reaching in front too far.

Let the computer do most of the work for you, use the automatic feed and the species buttons to your advantage. If your running a 1270D then setting up the computer properly will make life a lot easier. You basically only need to hit the saw button and the computer does the rest.

Start feeding the tree before it even hits the ground whenever possible, you want to be swinging to the pile while the tree is being processed so that when you get there you just need to hit the saw button. If you notice a really limby spot in the tree then override the auto feed and prelimb the rest of the tree, will save tons of time.

Learn to "flick" the head to get the last stick of pulp to the pile.

Offline Tree Killer

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2012, 10:42:06 pm »
 I cut with a Rolly, all our wood is 245", & always fall the trees into where im cutting & the wood goes into wher ive been, this way the wood isnt in the way 4 the next swath. If the logs r good enuff we send em 2 the landing @ double lenths. It saves room on the forwader. I agree that using the head 2 cut off bigger limbs speeds up processing, im going to try & auto feed more . im working on a steep job right now, i have been cutting going up the hill & processing the whole tree down the hill. when i come back down i cut the lenths @ the bottom. If the wood wuznt so nice i probly woodnt bother.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 03:47:38 pm »
what do you guys like the best. 6 rubber tires or tracks? what about heads. fixed or dangle?

Offline Tree Killer

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2012, 04:54:04 pm »
ha ! why dont u just ask Ford or Chevy ?lol   (Ford by the way)

Offline Jamie_C

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 05:55:48 pm »
For "smaller" softwood and really hilly ground give me a dangle head and a wheeled carrier. For bigger softwoods & hardwoods give me a dangle head and a tracked carrier.




Offline snowstorm

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 07:11:39 pm »
the good and not so good of different heads? i like my keto anyone else ever run one?

Offline Tree Killer

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 09:00:47 pm »
 I only have ever run a Timbco/Valmet/Komatsu tracked machines, with fixed head Rolly. Around here nobody runs rubber tired fellers. Most of our jobs are big hardwood or big softwood. 

Offline 1270d

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 07:28:12 pm »
I ve never run anything but a dangle head on rubber.   The rolly heads are impressive in single stem large hardwood, but seem slow otherwise.  The h480 that I run can fall larger trees than most fixed heads,  cutting mostly decent sized hardwood.   Never watched a fixed head in softwood, but how could it be any faster than a dangle.

I know a few guys with keto heads.  150 and 500 models.  From what I've heard the track drives offer tons of traction and excellent measuring.  The 500 is supposed to handle rough hardwood pretty well

H480 and afm 60 is where my experience is

Offline snowstorm

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 07:45:25 pm »
someday i will have a 500 keto. for now the 150 will do. it is one tuff peice of steel. have looked at a few used rolly heads. several had had a lot of welding rod in repairs. were they just abused or do they not stand it? the cat sales guy says there fabtec cat is the answer. he also says for someone that is used to a dangle head its like watching paint dry. they are all way better than a chain saw and cost way to much

Offline 1270d

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 08:55:12 pm »
One sure thing; if a head is used in hardwood more than a little, it will have welds on it.  The only cat/fabtek head I've watched could only cut an 18 inch stem.  Not sure about a rolly

Offline Tree Killer

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2012, 06:16:40 am »
 the Rolly is rated @ 24" for tree diameter, Ive cut down 39" spruce with it. It takes about 3 cuts around it. I have a Rolly with a Roto-saw on it, From what i hear i Bar saws are high mant. With chain sharping,breaking, Bar bending. im sure a dangle head is a lil faster but i woodnt want to cut what i do with one.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: forwarding on a slight grade
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 08:24:44 am »
the Rolly is rated @ 24" for tree diameter, Ive cut down 39" spruce with it. It takes about 3 cuts around it. I have a Rolly with a Roto-saw on it, From what i hear i Bar saws are high mant. With chain sharping,breaking, Bar bending. im sure a dangle head is a lil faster but i woodnt want to cut what i do with one.
  i use 404 chain so it isnt that bad. new bar  $60-70   chains $20 a half galon on bar oil a day. most of the time a bar can be strightened. chains could last all day or you might put 5 of them on. depending on how many rocks jump in front of it. as far as chain i use sthil. bolth oregon and sthil bars