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Author Topic: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.  (Read 8187 times)

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Offline Stephen Alford

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Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« on: April 02, 2017, 11:40:57 am »
   Changing direction is a bit concerning because the outcome is yet to be.  Just to set the stage a bit a few of the variables..
              The province is rewriting the water protection act.
               Firewood sales are down due to new tec.. ie  air to air ,geothermal , reduced tax on oil  and lower oil prices
               Public opinion about harvesting wood.
               Skidder parts and repair.
               Aging workforce (me) owner operator no employies
    In this environment the decision was made to downsize and focus on just farm tractor logging. The woodlot which will be worked on was thinned by me 26 years ago
 

  

 

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 11:47:58 am »
  Have just completed some repairs to the tractor and finished tweaking the winch.  Really pleased the way the fairlead is spooling on the cable. Hope to start the project this week weather permitting.   :

 

  

  

 

Offline bushmechanic

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Re: Heading in a new direction
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 03:58:11 pm »
Well that's too bad that you feel you have to downsize but I understand where your coming from. We are trying to get to another area and we had everything all approved by the dept. of forestry and thought everything was ok. Then out of left field came the salmon crowd trying to shut it all down. Why, because we were going to have to build a road adjacent to a river. Now never mind that we have strict rules to adhere too, but someone might want to build a cabin on our road so it should be squashed! Funny thing is there is already a road on the other side of the river already...Grrrr. Soon won't be able to move without pissing someone off.

Offline coxy

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Re: Heading in a new direction
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 04:47:15 pm »
your not kidding its ok if its to there advantage  ::) ::)

Offline lopet

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Re: Heading in a new direction
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 09:46:04 pm »
Nothing wrong when aging workforce is down sizing. :)   Or do i miss something ?
I think it's a lot easier as a one man show than as a guy with a big payroll and equipment payments.   

Glad your winch turned out the way you wanted it to.
Make sure you know how to fall properly when you fall and as to not hurt anyone around you.
Also remember, it's not the fall what hurts, its the sudden stop. !!

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 07:00:41 am »
   These hardwood stands are rather unique and could be described as "legacy woodlots".  Most of the original owners have passed and several of the families have contacted me to come back and do another thinning. This work was carried on for about a decade so there potentially would be another 10 years of work as they continue to come online. The landowners have stipulated that they do not want a skidder to do the work. Returning with the farm tractor is totally acceptable. The wood I have been harvesting for the last 15 years with the skidder has been small patch cuts in areas the were the wood was not easy to get at , generally a reparian zone  was involved.  I have never been fined or charged for any work in these areas but it has been getting tricky to stay out of trouble.
   Originally these thinnings were done manually. A lad had an iron mule and he would yard the wood. He did a great job but there were cash flow problems. So started harvesting the the wood myself with a farm tractor.  This second thinning will take a lot more work and due care. Hopefully the increased quality will compensate. A couple of these pics were actually taken on this wood lot.  We shall see.   :)



  

  

  

 

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 07:33:06 am »
That is quite the skidding grapple you have there on the tractor! Do you have any more action shots of that grapple in use? I can see where with a little care, the tractor will be almost as productive if not more so than a skidder, you have done a real nice job of "skidderizing " your tractor!! 8)
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 11:59:44 am »
I don't mean to thread hijack but can someone explain to me why some ppl do not want skidders on their land but are ok with tractors? I can't imagine a tractor doing any less damage. I would think a better option would be to require trailer for the logs and not drag them?
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 08:35:09 pm »
I cut with here with my Father with a 40hp tractor. We did it for 3-4 years. Maybe 2-3 loads a month of logs. Really could not tell we was in there besides the trails.Than my Father passed away and I kept cutting,but no way could I get it done. We was cutting trees 80-100 years old. Than I got a logger with a skidder and a forwarder. They hauled ALOT more wood than I could. Shoot,they weighed more empty than I weighted with a twitch of logs behind me. They was some damage done,damage as in deeper ruts where they was driving. Nothing a foot deep for the most part,but they was hauling alot more than me. Also a skidder does not make a mess,the operator does. I've seen more of a mess with someone cutting with a horse than a skidder. A tractor will only get a lttle wood out in a day,so the "damage" is spread out over months. Where a skidder will do more "damage" quicker,so it looks worse.
And most don't really know either. How many do you really think get out of thier cars and walk a wood lot? Kinda a hobby of mine to get out and walk a site that has been logged. Most only see what is seen from the road. A few broken trees does not look good at all. Than after it has been cut,some more damage will happen to the tall slender trees too.
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Offline lshobie

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 10:38:51 pm »
Sorry to hear what is going on, we are in ontario and not too many issues here yet but my sense on this is telling me that they don't want people buring firewood - they can't capture revenue or taxes on it...and in some rare circumstances there are cash deals in firewood im told.  Do what you can to keep the wheels turning and pay the bills.
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Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 11:23:50 pm »
   There is quite a spectrum of land owners.    "Legacy woodlot "  owners are very connected to their land. generally it has been in their families for generations. You will never hear them use the term "just woods".  Family members have been born,toiled,sacrificed and in some cases died on that land.  When you work on it they want you to treat it with respect...almost reverence.  They see the farm tractor as less invasive.  May sound silly but do it right and they invite you back.   :)
    Here are a few pics for you Mr. Murdock. The latest tweak to the grapple was to add a dangle chain.

 

  

  

  

  

  

 

These were taken the last time I worked on this land.

  

  

  

 

Offline gspren

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 06:32:53 pm »
  In my area the biggest factor in tearing up the woods with a skidder or a tractor is the weather, if it's too soft I just stay out but many/most loggers that need to make a living at it can't always wait for things to be right. I'm just cutting personal firewood so I can wait.
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Offline TeaW

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 06:50:31 am »
Stephen what does that dangle chain do?
TeaW

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2017, 07:29:35 am »
   Mr bushmechanic you are spot on. The problem with the new legislation is the " uncertainty".  I have not seen the new legislation. It may be the best thing ever. There probably are aspects that are good and badly needed. Some in bad need of updating.  Here after legislation is read and passed in the house it goes out to be implemented.  The transition period that follows is the problem. Different enforcement personal interpret it different for awhile. It is not law until someone is charged and found guilty.  There will be test cases etc and it just makes grief for someone who is just trying to make a living.
   I am not claiming any high ground. I work for the landowner and do as he or she requests within parameters at the time. This was a landowner that needed the money . If what I do is ok with the landowner and within the law  then its "giver"



 

   Mr TeaW ,the grapple is used a lot to yard small dia wood. the chain provides enough weight on the wood to make it easier to pick up. As the grapple closes on a grab it conforms to the shape of the grab , makes for better handling.

 

 

 In the early 80's 47% of the homes here heated with wood. Now it is estimated 52% are heated with electricity of some form.   With sales and prices dropping the only option is to focus on quality...hoping the wood from these second treatments will  make the difference.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 06:27:12 pm »
Stephen,I had a few wet holes like that on my land. I go in with a load of rocks in the bucket and come out with a load of wood. After a while no more mud.
I cross a bog. I have rocks across that about 2 feet deep. Well deeper really. I had the land logged and they drove one layer of rocks into the bog. After they left I hauled in bigger ones,much bigger. That held him up the next time he cut here.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2017, 11:09:23 pm »
Thats a situation where geotextile fabric ends up saving money in the long run.

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2017, 10:19:40 am »
   Ahhh you and your rock collection Mr. Cfarm always puts a smile on my face. I can certainly see how that would work. An added benefit that the work is done on your land, and investment really. We have no rocks here as such. We do have a sandstone  shale. Placement is with a dozer and with a bit of effort you can return it to sand. In general landowners do not want to spend money on roads and the volume and profit in firewood are so small it is not justified.  That road was once the a main road to town but it has been awhile since a horse and buggy used it.

 

 

   Usually I can fill a wet spot in with brush  but once I do there is no grading it. I needed to travel with the ton so the goal is just to remove the water.  I have a sludge hand pump to get the water off if necessary. Takes a lot of cold to drive through an inch of water and freeze the ground underneath it.

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 05:59:28 pm »
   Things have been on hold while everything dries out. Started a little project.. an on site shelter. had some old steel so decided to build a yurt of sorts.   Just wondering what you folks use .. pros and cons from your experience.  Wanted to wish all a happy and meaningful Easter as well.   :)

 

 

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2017, 07:28:12 am »
   Headed for the woodlot with the winch to give it a go.  Just want to be clear  "not a skidder" . Got to say however, it is  "geezer friendly".  Here are a couple pics.   :D

  

  

  

 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Heading in a new direction..more like a circle.
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2017, 07:59:34 am »
Like that first picture with the line of trees on the right,woods on the left.
I see you haul some small wood. I suppose you seen my post about 4 foot chains? Those 4 foot chains are geezer friendly.   ;D  Much easier to pull only a foot though a chocker than 4 feet of chain. Most chocker chains that I have seen are 8 feet long. I bought 3 chokers chains and 3 hooks. Cut them in half and made 4 foot chains. Those get used alot.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79