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Author Topic: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?  (Read 2273 times)

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Offline claytonfsmith

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Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« on: August 29, 2017, 05:36:14 pm »
There's a small Soderhamn forwarder for sale near me. Supposed to be a 1984 vintage with a Ford engine and some Franklin components. Runs and works, but needs tires now and hoses soon. Priced around $3,000.

My avatar is a picture of the machine.

 http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/46857/12820~0.jpeg

Should I buy it for my one-man logging operation? Any advice? I can't find any info on this machine on the internet.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 08:52:38 pm »
While I am a fan of odd equipment, I don't really think that a person could make money with that without investing a lot of time and money in the machine.
If you are a good welder, painter and mechanic and really enjoy hunting down obscure parts and have the time and money to do those things before a pay check comes in; have at it.

Oh... and welcome to this forum  :)
MS193, MS192 and an 026  Weeding and Thinning. Gilbert Champion sawmill

Offline lopet

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 08:54:23 pm »
3000 doesn't sound much, but it doesn't take much to put 3000 or 6000 in it. Just say'n .
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 thecfarm

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 08:56:24 pm »
claytonfsmith,welcome to the forum.
One thing,tires. I hear some pricey prices on tires on here. :o  You may want to check on that first.
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 10:41:11 pm »
That machine is an early design and the main design features are no longer used. Specifically the loader mounted on the front section is not a good idea as you can't get 360 deg rotation so when you swing to one side you have to go all the way back around the front to get to the other side. The dead spot in the rotation must be in the back since the loader is all the way to the front when traveling. Plus the loader mounted on the front section is a no-no for many reasons.

If you put enough money into repairs you might get a workable machine and you might not. You have to wonder why there were so few of them around and why that one was abandoned.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline claytonfsmith

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 10:50:47 pm »
Thanks for the welcome! Gensco tires quoted $590 for a new 18.4x26 tire; MRL brand from India. I'm interested in used tires if the price is better, but haven't found many that size in the South. Most logging tires are bigger down here these days.

Offline claytonfsmith

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 06:45:03 am »
Gary_C,
You might be right about having to swing the loader around the front, but looking at how the hoses run in the picture, I'm not so sure. I'll know more when I try it out. Please tell me more about why the loader should be on the rear section. I'm new to forwarders altogether!

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 01:59:30 pm »
Pay no more than scrap minus shipping costs. 

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 09:20:50 pm »
Keep in mind that forwarders are designed for high volume production so many of those older loaders with design deficiencies are still capable of working for someone not producing large volumes on a daily basis. That being said, having the loader mounted on the front (engine) end of an articulated machine causes problems when driving and steering. If you set the loader down for driving on the load, it will try to swing with every steering maneuver and most likely break something. Some of the other early designs tried to overcome that problem with a complicated system of putting certain levers in a float position so the loader could follow the load side when driving. That worked marginally well but in some cases came with powershift transmissions and other complicated features.

The other problem was operating the loader to the side of the machine caused the machine to be somewhat tippy. While it is somewhat better to have the loader mounted on the heavier half but you got no advantage from the weight of the load to prevent tipping. Most newer forwarders now have articulation locks that automatically lock the front and rear sections from tipping separately when you are stopped and loading wood. However from the light construction of the loader on the machine you are looking at, you may not have a problem with tipping. That top cylinder (jib cylinder) looks to have a very small rod and low weight capacity.

What is really a crap shoot with that machine is it looks to need a lot of money and time invested before you find out if it will do what you want it to do. There is no history of that brand of machine being functional. 
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline claytonfsmith

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 10:25:53 pm »
Gary_C, great information! I'll make sure not to let the loader ride the load.

I have a pretty clean, smooth 29 acre pine plantation here in GA that I want to thin gradually, using my own sawmill and post peeler to add value to my wood. No tree is over 12 inch dbh. I won't be working the machine very hard, so I'm hopeful that it will hold up. I could probably even get by with some cheap used ag tires for this work. The forwarder has been for sale at least a couple months, so the man might come off his price some. I'm still young, and don't mind spending elbow grease to save money.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 05:46:52 pm »
Ill go against the grain and say buy it. 

Its your life, yours to decide how best to run it.  If you think that machine will move you forward, make it so.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 06:27:29 pm »
Sounds like this is a side gig like mine.  Small plot, slow production, yeah, I'd be interested.  Close enough to drive it home?

Try to stay as close to scrap as possible.  Worst case, the loader taken off to be mounted to a trailer would be worth something in itself.  Add some parts sold to recoup if the thing takes a dump on you.

I would avoid investing much in it.  Maybe you get lucky and the dead tire will take a tube if the sidewall hasn't been destroyed.  I'd run the others til they won't hold air then try and tube them.  Otherwise check ag salvage yards in your area. 

I bet it needs oils and filters changed.  I'd only change hoses as they failed.  It's amazing how long worn looking hydraulic hoses will hold up.
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Offline claytonfsmith

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 07:50:46 pm »
TKehl, that's a good "plan B"; putting the loader on a trailer. By the way, what would y'all consider scrap value to be? I'm guessing it weighs somewhere between 4 and 7 tons.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 09:48:47 pm »
Call the scrappers, get a price, give a different piece of equipment of same weight (some other skidder).  Then offer a bit less than that, cash money and take it.  Can't really lose at that point.

Offline BurkettvilleBob

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 10:05:13 pm »
What's scrap, I think it's going up, maybe 200 a ton on something like that? Either way, if you can afford it buy and have fun. If it dies on you then fix it or park it out back and kick  yourself in the butt. Buying junk is fun when you aren't relying on it to pay the bills, roll the dice and see what happens, 3k aint much, some people spend that on scratch tickets.

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 10:18:21 pm »
  I'd only change hoses as they failed.  It's amazing how long worn looking hydraulic hoses will hold up.

At the very least, change out any hose that suspends or holds a load before you head to the woods.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2017, 10:58:01 am »
110/ton here. 

They would dock it 10-20/ton for being a complete machine they would have to cut up.  I think they want pieces no bigger than 18"x18"x4'.  Been a couple years since we hauled in a junk corn head and found that out.

You have to expect that they guy knows what it will bring in scrap.  With that said, some of my best buys at auctions have been one bid over the scrap man.   ;)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline lopet

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2017, 08:34:43 pm »
Call the scrappers, get a price, give a different piece of equipment of same weight (some other skidder).  Then offer a bit less than that, cash money and take it.  Can't really lose at that point.

Personally I don't think you gonna have much luck with this strategy by offending the seller. If you can point out a few things what  need to be done right of way and you know the cost of it , then it's negotiable. Let's say scrap is $ 1000 and asking is $ 3000 then it's probably somewhere between.
Good luck.
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 coxy

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2017, 09:23:10 pm »
not trying to pith in anyones lunch box but if I have something used for sale and someone starts to pick it apart I tell them to go buy a new one and walk away I hate when some one does that knowing full well its old and used  :)

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2017, 11:31:14 pm »
not trying to pith in anyones lunch box but if I have something used for sale and someone starts to pick it apart I tell them to go buy a new one and walk away I hate when some one does that knowing full well its old and used  :)

Yeah, it is old and used and beat up no need to point out all the so obvious issues.  The only question is the price, make an offer he can't do worse than a no thanks,  If it is bought at scrap price than no harm or foul, he wasn't getting more that route anyway.  Bring cash and a bill of sale ready to be signed.  Get a certain number of days to remove it.  Get it moved on time.  Trucking it alone is going be be a few dollars.