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Author Topic: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?  (Read 2086 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.

Online 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  :)
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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!

Online 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. 
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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.
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 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.

Online 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.   ;)
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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  :)

Online 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.

Offline lopet

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2017, 11:46:50 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  :)

Haa, I bought and sold a lot of stuff over the years. Most everyone has a bit of wiggel room, but they always know what it's worth in scrap.  :)
Sometimes it can be the case, that the first offer you just turned down was the best one ! Then what ?
I have to admit that I bought/sold for a firm price because it was priced to sell.  You have to know the market.
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 TKehl

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2017, 12:52:21 pm »
The one phrase that drives me crazy when selling stuff is, "what's your bottom dollar?".  I put a price on it.  If you don't like the price, make an offer.  As a local auctioneer says, "it's just like checkers". I took my turn, now you take yours.

Usually when someone asks what my bottom dollar is, I ask them what there top dollar is.  Throws them off enough that we can have an honest conversation.   :D

My best advice is figure out what your "walk away" price is.  (If you can't get it for $x, you will walk away.)  Offer a bit less than that then come up.  Don't be wish washy  and you can both feel like you had an honest interaction regardless of the outcome.  Respect their time, try not to take too much of it, and thank them for their time if you do end up walking away. 

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Offline lopet

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2017, 01:14:06 am »
It's always a bit of a game to find out how motivated the seller is.  When I think a piece of equipment  is priced too high my favorite saying is after looking at it ....." Maybe it's not quite what I was looking for ".... After that you usually know if you are the first guy looking at it or the second or third, because they will tell you  ;D  I would never say .... " What's the best you can do ? "........
Always try to be polite and try to explain that it costs so much to replace that, or to do a tire.  Some folks have basically no idea and some do,but don't wanna do it them self. :)
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 mike_belben

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2017, 05:09:26 pm »
Ive been a buyer and seller of junk, mine and others, for quite a few years.  Everyone is different. Theres no silver bullet. I was an exporter for a scrap yard for a while.  Whenever i got the 'scrap' talk id chop them right down pretty quick. "We buy em for bottom dollar, then find out what the top dollar is.  Whats your bid? We're in no rush."

People who try to offend the other party are just idiots, i never struck a deal with that guy and i struck thousands of deals.  I have only two strategies for lowball buying and theyve served me well.

For friendly people who are happy to BS with a stranger, ill wrap up our friendly chat and say "tell ya what, i like your machine and I think i can make do with it but the most i can risk is $2200.  For $3k im gonna pass.  So go ahead and see if you can find your buyer for 3..  If not or if something changes give me a call."

If someone is gonna take a financial beating theyd much rather take it from a new pal than a jerk.

For mr busy busy gruff seller who doesnt wanna talk  ill say "joe, im not lookin to win at your expense or lose at mine.. whats a price we can both walk away happy about?" 

My automatic response to the age old "its worth that all day"  mentality is "well, not to me.  Ill quit wasting your time"   oh.. Wait wait hang on is usually the response.

Never ever tell a person what something is worth.  Gawd how many sales ive watched disintegrate when a colleague pulls that stupid line. 

Its worth what you can get. And what you can get is a function of how many times you show it.

Offline ironmule2004

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2017, 11:52:12 pm »
I bought one of those 10-12 years ago for $1500.  Had a ford engine, truck transmission, and maybe a franklin transfer case.  You start looking at finding seal kits to repack cylinders and replacing hoses etc if that's all that is wrong and I don't think it would be worth the trouble.  I scrapped most of the one I had out and I never regretted it.  A good tractor with a hydraulic grapple is hard to beat.  Easier to move if you needed to and you can do other things with it beside logging.             

Offline claytonfsmith

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 09:13:24 am »
Well, I bought it for $2,500. Even with the front end dragging the ground and the loader hoses raining oil, it seems strong, reasonably tight and moves well in every direction. Hardly any leakage from the cylinders themselves. Now I'm looking into cheap used ag tires to get started with, and hoses from the less expensive vendors. Additional investment will remain minimal until I can give the thing a decent test in the woods. I'll add pictures as I make progress.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 09:24:20 am »
Please add more pictures.  ;D  Does not look like a high production machine. BUT it's like you paid $100,000 for it either.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2017, 11:23:30 am »
Tell ya what, im jealous.  Beats what i got for right now.

Offline coxy

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 02:38:21 pm »
do your self a favor don't skimp on cheap hydro hoses it will come back and bite you in the ars later on  jmop

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2017, 06:35:14 pm »
IME 2 wire hoses have no place on any forestry or farming equipment. They maybe cheaper and get you running, but any sort of abrasion, stray stick, stiff breeze, etc is just asking for a blown hose. 4 or 6 wire hoses are all I buy anymore, more expensive up front but better lifespan and piece of mind. 

Offline lopet

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2017, 06:47:33 pm »
Congrats and good luck with it.
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 bushmechanic

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2017, 08:25:26 am »
Good luck with your "new" machine there claytonfsmith. I disagree with the two wire hose comment on forestry equipment but I do agree that the four is a lot better. I ran Timberjack 230D forwarders for years and all we ever used were two wire hoses and they lasted just fine. The system on that machine should relief out at 2000 PSI so a two wire hose is fine. We used reusable fittings and had a vise welded to the side of the machine, kept a roll of hose also and made hoses right where they burst in the cutover. Very efficient and little downtime as opposed to now where if you don't have a spare hose you need to find a crimper and walkout to find it >:(.

Offline lopet

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2017, 11:44:52 am »
We used reusable fittings and had a vise welded to the side of the machine, kept a roll of hose also and made hoses right where they burst in the cutover.

You forgot about the two gallons of spare oil you carried on the machine as well. ;D ;D Or did you have a secret spare tank to tap in to ?
Agree on getting hoses made according to your hydraulic pressure system.
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 chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2017, 02:01:45 pm »
I don't run 4 wire hoses for the higher pressure rating. I run them because they are much more immune to abrasion and wear and tear. 2 wire hose all it takes is a little nick in the wires and it will soon blow, a 4 wire gives you an extra layer of protection, and locally the price isn't really that much more for a hose that lasts way better.

Last fall I had my pickup buried in the mud right to the frame and my tow strap wasn't quite long enough to reach good ground. We tied a 3/4" 2 wire gates hose onto the strap and promptly broke it, then tied a 1/2" 4 wire hose onto the strap and we were able to jerk the truck up out of the mud, then went on to run that hose on the processor for a while until it finally rubbed through in one spot.

Offline claytonfsmith

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2017, 07:41:49 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.

So far the loader seems to travel 270 degrees, from front, swinging around the back to a point straight out on the left side. I think I can make do with that, but the seller says it should swing 360 degrees. I'll figure out that situation when I get it home.

Offline barbender

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2017, 10:11:22 pm »
I'm going to disagree with Chevy on this one too- I think 4 wire would be overkill on this machine (unless you needed to pull someone's pickup out with one😁) our forwarders run 2 wire and I'm amazed at how long they last, even after there's frayed wires sticking out. There are sometimes friendly wagers placed on a frayed hose, as to when it's going to let go😊 Most of my hose issues on the forwarder are from me hitting things and breaking fittings.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2017, 11:09:39 am »

So far the loader seems to travel 270 degrees, from front, swinging around the back to a point straight out on the left side. I think I can make do with that, but the seller says it should swing 360 degrees. I'll figure out that situation when I get it home.

The swing mechanism on that forwarder and most other forwarders is a rack and pinion gear which determines the maximum rotation. On most forwarders the dead spot is the engine end of the machine which is OK because you rarely have a need to work on the opposite end from the bunk. With the dead spot in the bunk end it limits your working area because if you are picking up wood on one side of the machine, in order to switch sides you would have to swing all the way around the front of the machine. Depending on the exact placement of the dead spot, you may not be able to access the entire width of the bunk from either side of the rotation. With that type of design, you would hope to have somewhat more than 360 degrees of rotation.

Truck mounted loaders usually have a hydraulic motor for swing rotation so you are limited in degrees of swing by how the hydraulic supply and return hoses are connected.
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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Soderhamn forwarder - buy or not?
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2017, 12:05:35 pm »
our forwarders run 2 wire and I'm amazed at how long they last

We could never keep a 2 wire hose on either our processor or forwarder for more than a few weeks. Anytime you bumped them or caught them on anything they would start weeping and finally blow. 4 wire hoses could be smashed just about flat and have all kinds of wires sticking out and still keep on rolling.

For reference I had a hose made this morning for my hay mower. I paid $55 for a 4 wire hose locally, he said the same hose in 2 wire would be $46. To me the added protection is a no brainer for 9 extra dollars, that would barely buy a gallon of oil when the 2 wire hose fails.