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Author Topic: Horse Logging  (Read 2558 times)

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Offline dirthawger

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Horse Logging
« on: October 06, 2017, 03:29:25 am »
I currently run a small stump grinding business and have been really wanting to get into horse logging. My big problem is i have no horse experience or logging experience. Is it even possible to learn this trade on your own? And how do you go about finding work? Just advertise in the paper? Thank you for any help.

Offline Blue Noser

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 05:20:09 am »
I would start by contact a local government forester/forestry department and/or woodlot owners association. These people may have knowledge of local contractors who offer this service, or could guide you in the right direction.

Also, what area are you located in? Someone on here may be able to help if they know where you are located.

Good luck!

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 06:57:35 am »
You will be way ahead of the game by working with someone who has many years experience logging with horses.It is a skill that requires an even temper,good physical condition,and foremost,the utmost respect for your working partners.
You also need good horses or mules,not all of them are well suited to this type of work.
 There is no greater pleasure than returning to the barn with a team after a good days work.
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Offline VAMuleskinner

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 07:43:28 am »
Kind of saying the same as 47sawdust but find someone that can teach you a thing or two.  I started using a team of mules and it was a HUGE learning curve.  I trained them myself and started logging part time with them.  Luckily my mules were somewhat forgiving on my stupidity.  Not only are you dealing with animals but the way you fell and plan your cut has to be planned for the use of animals.  I started using only the mules but I found that my situation was better using mixed power (animals/machinery), using the mules to skid and bunch the logs on a trail and a tractor to pull the hitch to the landing.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 08:19:03 am »
Your questions and experience indicates that you are sorta getting the "cart before the horse", so to speak.  I doubt that you can just go to the horse lot and buy animals that are suitable and trained for your intended purpose. 

I am not trying to be negative, but I would concentrate on the animals first.  I view this as a long term venture and commitment. 
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Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 02:29:51 pm »
Years ago my father and I bought two horses that had been used for logging. Logging on extremely steep hills. Both, but one was worse, if they felt any slack in the chain pulling the load took off. Full gallop. The best one you could hook a couple of hitches to him and take him to the landing. After he learned where it was all you had to do was hook him and send him on his way. He took the logs to the landing and stopped and waited for someone to unhitch him. If the log got hung up on something he would ease off the pull and step over and usually get it loose. There's a reason they are called work horses. Having plowed a lot of tobacco with them it is a lot of work.
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Offline Wallys World

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 05:41:13 pm »
Maybe FF member "Horselog" can give you a good idea what is involved.
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Offline killamplanes

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 11:17:28 pm »
Funny this topic come up. I was just having a conversation about this today. Couple years ago I was on a track cutting, skidder skidding etc. A neighboring landowner paid a visit. Said he skidded with horses in past but not a full time logger. Well long story short he offered free to me he would skid some if I would drop them during week he skid on weekend. We'll a week into this I either cut to fast or he skidded to slow with the team. Long story short he payed me a visit again. By this time I was rollin thru it with the skidder. We sat there and talked comparing things, and we figured if I payed him 20 bucks an hour I would go broke and he would have to figure out if he would eat or his horses. I'm not being negative towards it. But he said for the hitch and turn times I had with a little 440 skidder with 15-25 gallons a day it wasn't feasible for his time. And he had to usually cut tree to 8-12ft logs, and not take tree length to landing.  He had fun and I got a semi load or 2 logs to landing for free so we both were winners. His horses were the anheiser busch big ones and they pulled wagons, rake hay, about anything and you could tell he worked with them alot. Still see him around and we have great mutual respect for each other..
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 11:18:47 pm »
Goodness, talk about a lot of great informative answers. Yes I will admit Im putting the cart before the horse because #1 Ive never worked with horses and #2 I know nothing about logging (i don't even know what a landing is).  But having said that I'm willing to learn. I live in Shreveport, LA, and Im a coal miner running a side stump grinding business.

Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 11:22:53 pm »
You bring up a good point, while the idea of horse logging sounds great, I do need to make money and not sure if that's possible with horses. Im open to other ideas for a small one man profitable logging business.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 06:12:50 am »
Not knowing about both,is hard to make money. But the money part is not the worse part,your safety is what I am more concerned about.
Horses can be dangerous being around,they more move when you don't expect it and drag a log over you. Doubtful,but never know. Than felling the trees can be dangerous too. You need to know what trees to cut and what to leave. You need to know the market of the logs. Some species sell good at a certain time,some sell better. Then there is bucking the logs to length. The market might want 10-12 footers,maybe only 9 feet 6 inches. And on and on it goes.
We do have a dictionary. Go up to the "Home" bar,it's kinda on the top of this page.  Starts out with Home,Help,Search. Go over to Extras,a drop down will appear,click onto Foresty Forum Dictionary. Than click onto a letter for what you are seaching for. Landing is in there.
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Offline Rick Alger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 01:05:23 pm »
I'm retired now, but I've done a fair amount of horselogging. The advice so far is right on. Learning from someone who is cutting with horses for a living is the key. That someone may be hard to find.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2017, 02:57:51 pm »
First things first.. Go find your log buyers.  You never invest in equipment without first finding your market.


Go to the sawmills.  Get the price sheets, get the cut length specs.. Talk to the scaler or owner at each place.  "Hey bud, im joe.  Doing some market research, thinkin about buying a skidder.  What are the worst mistakes you see come in here every day?  What logs are you sawing here (vs reselling to another mill.. Called yarding. Which cant pay you as good as that mills primary product.)

Take your time and dont rush into logging.  Transition from stump grinding into it.  Remember.. Loggers get about 50/50 cut of the timber.  If you were CHARGING a landowner for land clearing with your excavator, crawler loader, dozer et ... Then youd get 100% of the logs.  Youd be able to wiggle a toe and learn the ropes of log selling on a fee basis.. Where the owner of the logs is paying you.  When youre a logger, you gotta buy the log.  Sooo much less room for error. And the early years are FULL of errors. 

As for horses.. I need a horse like i need a hole in my wallet.

Offline Horselog

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2017, 04:38:47 pm »
I've been horse logging now for about 15 years, and we're now doing some equipment logging too, but usually a hybrid system using horses and a forwarder. 

Horse logging is a very hard business to learn.  It's so much more than hooking to logs with horses and pulling them out of the woods.  You need knowledge and experience with the general logging/forest products industry, forest management knowledge, and business and negotiating skills to be successful.  You also need some light equipment, a skid steer and small truck is a minimum, depending on your area.  The biggest thing you need to do is position yourself apart from the industry as far as quality of product, or else you'll fall prey to the John Henry syndrome: John Henry beat the steam hammer, but then keeled over and died.  You can't compete with heavy equipment using horses, so don't even try.  You have to spend the time and effort marketing yourself as having a superior/different product than equipment logging.  As long as you try to get conventional jobs you'll never make it.  If you can establish that you can do a better job than someone with loads of heavy equipment, you'll be able to charge more for your work.  Which brings me to two other points: 1) Your clients will be different than a company with heavy equipment and 2) horses work best in a management scenario where you're doing a somewhat light select cut and where reducing residual damage is important. 

A lot of my work is on properties that wouldn't have been cut if I wasn't doing it with horses.  They don't even consider equipment as an option most of the time, so if they want to log they accept the lower income for themselves because of the enhanced product we're offering. 

But sometimes I get jobs that other equipment operators considered, but because of the nature of the select cut, they aren't interested in the lower production involved.  And sometimes I just get good jobs that any logger would want because I have the ability to pay larger stumpage lump sums up front, and the owners were willing to what felt like a large sum up front, even though for the amount of timber being sold it wasn't very much.  All of this requires skills and knowledge of the logging industry, as well as contacts. 

Then there's the basic skills of felling timber, skidding with horses, bucking, loading, and hauling that you have to be good at. 

If you're starting from scratch with none of these skills, expect 2-3 years losing money, breaking even if everything goes awesome.  Then another couple years not making much, until eventually you can make decent living.  But this is not a way to get rich, and especially not to get rich quick.  You could cut a lot of these numbers shorter if you were able to work for someone already doing it and being successful, preferably for a year or more.  That's not going to be easy to find.  Although any logging experience will help some, even if it's heavy equipment logging.

I'm not trying to scare you, I'm trying to give you the realistic picture of what you're looking at.  There's lots of little niches you can fill, such as specialty skidding situations such as golf courses or power line right of ways, or other sensitive or special areas.  You can move a little more into the tree service side of things and do a little "backyard" logging, but all of this depends heavily on your marketing ability, as well as logging ability.

There's lots more that could be said, but I'll stop for now. I can answer questions if you have them.
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Offline grouch

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 07:17:28 pm »
[snip]

A lot of my work is on properties that wouldn't have been cut if I wasn't doing it with horses.  They don't even consider equipment as an option most of the time, so if they want to log they accept the lower income for themselves because of the enhanced product we're offering. 

[snip]


Of all the excellent info in Horselog's comment, the above stood out most to me. My property won't be conventionally, mechanically logged while I'm above ground.

There's not enough of it to make access roads fit for machines big enough to handle both the terrain and the trees. (I've been trying for over 2 years to map out a least-destructive track for a 2wd tractor to get to the 'bottom'). The slopes, drainage and location of the trees would require more than one trail to be cut for conventional logging.

Horses or mules could likely get to every tree on the place and get it out without damaging the land or other trees. That low impact on the land is more important to me than higher potential dollars from the logs.
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 07:48:54 pm »
I agree with what I'm reading. The fellow hiring horses to log is a very unique person who has particular ideas and isn't worried if the world disagrees with him. If I had horse knowledge and a horse or two I could access a bunch of small woodlots that simply won't consider mechanical logging. But I don't so I'm thinking about small skidders or tractor attachments where I can get very long skid ropes onto and simply reach into those small woodlots. I like the whole concept of horse logging and would pay a premium to hire someone.

Dirthawger - you've got a real project ahead of you and reality needs to be looked at but don't quit. Take your time and see what you can accomplish. Find good people to mentor you as has been mentioned.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2017, 09:24:19 pm »
   I had a man with mules and experience come haul for me last year. See this thread

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,90576.msg1394287.html#msg1394287

    I enjoyed it immensely but learned real quick it was real hard work and you needed a lot of skill, special equipment and experience working with these animals. I would never think of trying to start something like this without a pretty extensive internship with someone who knew how to work such animals. It is hard and it can be very dangerous . From  what I saw there are lots of much easier way to make money. You could not do it for the money - you would have to do it because you loved the horses/mules and being in the woods.

   I see it as a special niche market. You'd have to market yourself as a low impact logger and find customers willing to pay more for you to haul a load of logs off their property with mules than their next door neighbor would be willing to have the same load hauled with machines.

    Good luck but get some more experience before you get too much further into this idea.
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2017, 11:14:54 pm »
Well.... after hearing what y'all have to say, id say im more interested in logging more so than horse logging. Horse logging is something i might like to tinker with but i run equipment for my fulltime job so that way i wouldn't need to learn 2 skills although running a skidder is probably a lot different than running a dozer. My main goal would be to make money and sounds a lot harder to do with a horse.  I already know the answer to this but should i work for a logger for a while to learn? I get lots of days off through the month and it works out to be i work 6 months a year.  But i don't know many employers that would give me a flexible schedule so it wouldn't interfere with my job or my stump grinding jobs i get.  And how do you guys go about finding work? Ive never seen any advertising for logger work. As far as equipment goes, what would i require for a one man operation? I got a tractor, a 1 ton and a trailer right now.  Thanks for yalls help.

Offline VAMuleskinner

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2017, 03:54:43 pm »
Tractor, truck, and a trailer is all you need to start with.  Others may disagree with using tractors but tractors have been used in the woods for a long time.

Offline dsgsr

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2017, 05:52:56 pm »
I know this won't be very popular but.

Volunteer, or work for peanuts. Back in 2012 I wanted to get my CDL Class A drivers Lic. I talked with a contractor about driving one of his trucks on the weekends. I just told him I wanted to get my CDL and needed experience. He knew of me and knew I wasn't a slacker, so he tried me out one Saturday. I got my learners permit and ended up working the hole summer working Sat. and Sun. hauling stock pile. After a month he told me to take gravel home for payment, who can't use some gravel. At the end of the summer he loaned me a truck and a Class A driver to take my test. For the next two summers I worked weekends I was available and bartered for gravel. Every once in a while he would give me a few hundred. I now have my own construction buiz.

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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2017, 06:26:03 pm »
So with the logging comes harness that need mending. So a course in leather work. Then your working crew needs shoes. More expenses in ferrier work. Yhen a course on horsemanship. Some of us grew up with it. It is doable but time consuming.  If you get to love your anamals and dont care too much about the money go for it.
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Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2017, 07:16:49 pm »
I know this won't be very popular but.

Volunteer, or work for peanuts. Back in 2012 I wanted to get my CDL Class A drivers Lic. I talked with a contractor about driving one of his trucks on the weekends. I just told him I wanted to get my CDL and needed experience. He knew of me and knew I wasn't a slacker, so he tried me out one Saturday. I got my learners permit and ended up working the hole summer working Sat. and Sun. hauling stock pile. After a month he told me to take gravel home for payment, who can't use some gravel. At the end of the summer he loaned me a truck and a Class A driver to take my test. For the next two summers I worked weekends I was available and bartered for gravel. Every once in a while he would give me a few hundred. I now have my own construction buiz.

David
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2017, 07:31:32 pm »
All very sound advice, i reckon i have the bare mininum to start until i can buy a forwarder and a skidder. Guess what im trying to figure out how is how do i go about finding work, i don't see any advertising offering logging service.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2017, 08:58:08 pm »
Dirthawger,

   If you are looking to make money I'd ditch the horse logging idea. I'd say horse logging is for the guy who loves horses and wants to work with them every day and is looking for a career that will help help fund his hobby into a legitimate, if not high paying, career. Its a niche but not likely one that will make you a millionaire.

    If you are just looking to get into the logging business, and understand I am not, never have been and never will be a logger, I'd suggest you start with your local sawmills and foresters (Private and government). I'd think you have to be certified as a logger through your state and pass some sort of certification process. If there is an opportunity to participate in local Game of Logging competitions I'd do that and attend logging shows and events and learn all you can there.

   You are going to have to pay your dues somehow to prove you are for real. I'd think as a real small logger you might be able to fill a niche for small woodlots that might not be profitable for others - and not hugely profitable for you at first but you could gain credibility and experience if you do a good job, leave the site clean and make the landowner a decent profit.

   I'd try to develop a good relationship with your local feed and seed dealers because they are likely to be dealing with the same customers you are chasing. Same with real estate people who specialize or service large rural tracts with woodlots. You might be able to "partner" with real estate guys who can make sales by showing customers they can afford to buy tracts of wooded land because he knows a guy who can help convert the trees on the lot to cash - you being that guy.

   I put half page flyers off my printer on community service boards at feed and seed, hardware, rural country stores, etc advertising sawing services . They cost nearly nothing and are businesses I trade with so they allow and endorse my ads. I get a few jobs this way. I don't see why the same thing would not work for a small, private logger.

   You might develop/foster relationships with the tree service people in your area in case they come across jobs too big for them but where you might be able to provide a service and help a  client to the mutual benefit of his customer and yourself. I do a lot of referrals to all kinds of people. Even if I don't make money in the process it gives me a warm fuzzy, feel good feeling (Kind of like wetting your pants in dark trousers where nobody else notices) and hopefully they will remember and come back when they do need a service I provide or refer me to a friend who does.

   Good luck.
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2017, 09:56:11 pm »
Yea, it was a fun idea to think about but horse logging just won't be for me. I do want to get into small scale logging but ill be doing it with equipment.  Might be a while before i make a go because i need to learn  about logging first,  hopefully find a logger that will let me work with him,  but i don't know many people that will train possible competition or be flexible with my schedule.

Offline ronnie tucker

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2017, 11:34:04 pm »
I use mules to log. I can not get to all of the timber that people want me to cut. I need help to cut and drive the truck. I live in middle tn.i only cut saw timber no pulpwood.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2017, 11:52:55 pm »
I really think the easiest way in is with a dozer. I didnt even want to log, but when you got a dozer people with trees want you to doze stuff.  The trees are almost automatically yours 100% with no split.  No one ever said to me i want a pond and you pay for the trees itll take out.  No.. Pond, pad and pasture means any tree is in the way and needs hauled off, and its completely mine no argument.  Plus you owe me money to boot.


This gives you A) money to operate from your dozing fee and B) trees to drive around trying to sell.  You need trees of all sorts to find out which mills pay and what timber produces for a rate.  Its much better to get stiffed by the mill on free trees than on trees you bought (stumpage.. Very very risky for a noob) or logs delivered with a 50/50 split to landowner. 

You will find very quickly that only way for a slow guy to do good is in big nice timber and thats what every logger is sniffing for and every landowner is awful proud of (read: pay me.)   Small diameter scraggly pulp.. Forget it.  I just refused a 48 acre pulp clearcut today. No way i can move it fast enough because its tremendously time consuming and low rate.  But i can break my back for free on it no question.

In pulp, you will handle 3000 stems to make what veneer will pay in 30.  Which job sounds easier?  When your machine springs a 5 gallon per day leak that you cant get at until its back home.. you might be able to finish off the 2 acre job with 30 good trees.  But not the 40 acre pulp deal.  Its all about the rate of pay per hour.  Meanwhile that leak dont care, its sprayin your money into the dirt.  No machine, no pay.

Start with a 6 way dozer and winch that you can move with your ton truck.  Get a dual tandem pintle trailer with removeable bunks, not too tall so you can load it with a bobcat.  Learn the game.

 If you still want in, let the dozer buy you an old grapple skidder with cable when that first big logging job finally does arrive.  A grapple will let you move fast enough to do okay in low grade timber (remember its stems per hour onto the trailer that counts.)  Keep the dozer around, youll surely need to build haul roads, cut drainage and get things unstuck or flipped back over.


The owner of the biggest mechanized outfit in my region told me theres only two ways to make money at timber.  Be huge or stay tiny.  I prefer tiny.  Tiny doesnt get audited or sued like huge does.

Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2017, 10:39:11 pm »
yea I've thought about the dozer route, but im thinking of going ahead and jumping in with my tractor and 1 ton, but I'll at least need a forwarding trailer. As far as work goes most loggers just put an ad in the paper?

Offline Horselog

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2017, 08:04:34 am »
No I would say that most loggers do not put an ad in the paper.  There's a lot of ways that work comes in, and most of them require you to be in the middle of the logging industry and having lots of contacts. 

I have a website that I get a fair amount of work from.  I present what I do that sets me apart from the competition, which in my case is horses and low impact harvesting.  In your case it may be low impact harvesting, but you need something that you specifically define that sets you apart from the big outfits.  Maybe personal service, handling smaller sites, low impact work or some combination.  But I set it all out on my website and organic web searches yield a part of the work I get, maybe 30%-40%. 

I also make friends with the log buyers and foresters at the local mills and they send jobs my way that they know fit well with my operation. 

I also put road side signs at the jobs I'm doing, often that's the best advertising.  They can actually see my work as they drive by and see how little it looks like it's been logged.  I've gotten some of my best jobs from signs. 

I also get in with the local foresters that put harvests up for sale and get on their mailing lists so that if they have a sale coming up I get the info on it.  Theses are usually lump sum sales, and are better to get into after you get more experience under your belt.  But when you do, they can be a cash cow if you do it right.

And good old fashioned word of mouth is still probably my number one way I get work.  The key to keeping this working is good customer service.  Make sure your customers are happy before, during and after the job you do, and if they're not try to work it out for them.  Happy customers are your best advertising.

What size tractor do you have?  I recommend some kind of attachment that would allow you to get the front of the log off the ground.

Are you talking about hauling logs with your one ton?  If so, I would recommend you get a bigger truck, at least a 2 ton, maybe one just under CDL.  They really don't cost any more per mile to drive and you'll easily haul twice as much or more, and you'll have better brakes.  I've always found trucks under CDL that have air brakes, they stop the best.

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2017, 09:02:51 am »
Find out if you can log on "farm tags" in your area.  In rural regions logging and farming are still tolerated but "under CDL" doesnt mean anything anymore to leftern states and counties.  Especially to DOT.  Air brakes is automatic cdl no matter the GVW to fmcsa.

Theres my $3000 lesson in progress.  Juice brake, 23k truck and 14k trailer weighing less than 19k, all registered and insured, hauling nothing.  Not for hire all over it.



Got a criminal charge for driving it without a CDL-A. 


If youre in a big govt state or have to drive past some scales or a significant distance down the interstate to get to the mills.. Id say dont quit your day job.  DOT can break anyone they want. 

Offline TKehl

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2017, 12:30:26 pm »
Dude...  That sucks.   :(
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Offline grouch

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2017, 03:16:25 pm »
Find out if you can log on "farm tags" in your area.  In rural regions logging and farming are still tolerated but "under CDL" doesnt mean anything anymore to leftern states and counties.  Especially to DOT.  Air brakes is automatic cdl no matter the GVW to fmcsa.

Theres my $3000 lesson in progress.  Juice brake, 23k truck and 14k trailer weighing less than 19k, all registered and insured, hauling nothing.  Not for hire all over it.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Got a criminal charge for driving it without a CDL-A. 


If youre in a big govt state or have to drive past some scales or a significant distance down the interstate to get to the mills.. Id say dont quit your day job.  DOT can break anyone they want. 

What's with the political preaching?

When I add 23k and 14k, I get 37k, which means pretty much all them "leftern" states like Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, gee, might even be most of them, are going to require you to have a CDL.

Might be that vehicles of a gross GVWR over 26,000 lbs handle a bit differently than a SUV. Do you want the stereotypical soccer mom or unhandy dad hauling freight, tailgating, hopping curbs and running lights while texting and watching the game?
Find something to do that interests you.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2017, 06:49:46 pm »
Find out if you can log on "farm tags" in your area.

This is still a good point made.  Some states make allowances, others don't. 

FWIW, in MO, 42k and under with farm tags is allowed and exempt from federal regs as long as it is in state, within 150 miles of the farm, and it is farm related.  Farm related is where it gets grey as hauling logs is not defined.  If hauling logs or lumber from land you own within 150 miles, you are probably ok here.  Buying logs to haul on farm tags greyer.  A for hire log hauler on farm tags = trouble, but it's all subjective and hard to prove... 

This is why I sold my IH S1900 and dropped to a F350.  Decided I was in the business of producing things, not the transportation industry. 

Of course some get away with murder like the local guy who runs an F450 hauling scrap metal with _____ Scrap decals on both sides, ...running farm plates. 
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Offline killamplanes

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2017, 08:11:19 pm »
If you have learned one thing from this topic. Is that there's alot that goes into "logging". Not as a hobby but a sustainable income worthy of calling it a career. Starts at buying timber thru delivered to a mill. And a whole bunch of things in the middle. My2cents
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2017, 10:19:25 pm »
Oh no, i never considered this as a hobby, i almost got a job logging right before i got hired at the mines. I know there's a ton that goes into logging,  which is why I'm in no rush,  i don't even know what legal documents id need to get started.  Just trying to get started.   Ive been thinking about maybe putting my 1 ton to work hauling logs just to get started.  Id also like to work part time for a logger but having trouble finding any logging companies in my area.  I have talked to a guy named Tim Carrol that runs cedar river horse logging and offers classes on horse logging,  altough I'm not sure how much one could learn just taking a class.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2017, 02:56:03 am »
Find out if you can log on "farm tags" in your area.  In rural regions logging and farming are still tolerated but "under CDL" doesnt mean anything anymore to leftern states and counties.  Especially to DOT.  Air brakes is automatic cdl no matter the GVW to fmcsa.

Theres my $3000 lesson in progress.  Juice brake, 23k truck and 14k trailer weighing less than 19k, all registered and insured, hauling nothing.  Not for hire all over it.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Got a criminal charge for driving it without a CDL-A. 


If youre in a big govt state or have to drive past some scales or a significant distance down the interstate to get to the mills.. Id say dont quit your day job.  DOT can break anyone they want. 

What's with the political preaching?

When I add 23k and 14k, I get 37k, which means pretty much all them "leftern" states like Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, gee, might even be most of them, are going to require you to have a CDL.



Life is political, accept it. If DOT was about safety theyd be confiscating phones, not trucks.


Ive worked on quite a few triaxle dumps this year. Most of them not even tagged.  You dont need a cdl to have a driving job here.. Just show up every day. Theres interstate and theres county.  Two different worlds.

Offline MbfVA

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2017, 11:48:10 pm »
 In VA, 26,000 and under GVWR is non-cdl, regardless of airbrakes, I think.  If you're driving with farm use tags legally (there's that grey stuff), no CDL required, regardless.    You really have to read the rules in your state.  And some state troopers here in Virginia are stricter than others, from what I hear.   For example they may come in and talk to anybody parked at a restaurant with a farm use tag, though that does not constitute a problem under my understanding of the rules.  Like he said, those gray areas.

I took the CDL test, and got my learners, but not my final license. Pretty basic stuff, easy to learn from books on the subject & studying the trucks themselves a little bit. Understanding airbrakes was a big part of it, for example, I never realized that air keeps the brakes unengaged, that pressing your brake pedal lets off the air pressure to let the brakes engage.   That's why they call the foot brake the emergency brake.   Took the test about 15 years ago, hope I'm remembering all that correctly.  We bought two Mack dump trucks, but I never drove them on the road.

 How many of you knew that George Westinghouse invented airbrakes, and that using them on trains in the late 1800s cut the death rate from accidents by a  whopping amount?  Learned that from a radio thing called "a moment in time", locally produced from Richmond Virginia.

 That's one reason why I never have completely understood the line in the "wreck of the old 97" about losing the airbrakes.  Lose the air, and the brakes go on, stopping the train, but maybe the writer was imprecise.  The railroad salvaged that locomotive and had it back on the road within a couple months, from what I recall.

 Things got hairy around here about 10 or 15 years ago when somebody driving carelessly, tho' probably with a CDL, cannot recall, took a curve too sharply and turned a big trailer & bulldozer over, killing a woman in a car.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2017, 12:11:22 am »
By the way, more to the original subject, horse logging in Virginia seems to be going out of fashion.  Other than a guy in Floyd County who gets himself on television once in a while, I can't think of anyone else doing it.  Word on the street is, or perhaps the word on the farm or in the woods is, horse logging can be harder on the land than usual methods.

 And as has been observed above, it is not the low-cost form of logging.

 My own opinion: it's more the methodology, the mindset, and in some cases the education, of the logger that determines how messed up things are when they leave.  For example, Justin LaMountain, who used to log for the rich and famous in Northern Virginia (that's a crowd that it is heavily influenced by the kinds of things represented as good by horse loggers) was also a conservation minded guy, who talked in scientific detail about things like only taking out the trees no longer contributing to the forest, making good use of that masters degree in forestry he had from Duke University.  I think the truth was he just happened to be a horse logger as well.  Whack em cut them, leave no tree standing is the working philosophy of some guys around here.  Some of them well educated.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2017, 01:29:59 am »
Youre a little rusty on airbrakes.  The brake chambers have springs that apply full lockup to the rear brakes for parking and emergency.  To move the truck takes about 50 psi against those springs to release them on truck and trailer.  If you lost air, poof, springs would redeploy and lock the truck up.  You dump the air to park the truck too.

The foot pedal is your service brake and that is applying air to the chambers in proportion to how much you press the pedal.  The service side does not work by venting off air.   Theyre a pretty complex system when you first look at the schematic for a whole truck and trailer.  Lotta valves with lotta names.    you cant flub one little bit of the brake portion of your skills test. 

Offline MbfVA

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2017, 03:34:59 am »
I didn't express myself clearly, and I made a quick edit on the post. My basic understanding is in keeping with what you said, but, right, I don't know all the tech side.

I did double check, and airbrakes or not has nothing to do with CDL in Virginia-- it's the GVWR.  I'm looking now for a crane truck with a dump body, and I prefer to stay with class 6 so that's not even an issue (and a lot easier for me to handle as a non-every day big truck driver).
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2017, 07:53:58 am »
I jump in our 80,000 pound air braked ladder truck and take off as fast as she will go with nothing more than a class D license. Gotta love volunteer fire departments :) If the red lights are on it adds at least 20 mph to your top speed. ask anyone who thinks we drive to fast.
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Offline Babylon519

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2017, 04:43:46 pm »
I have no interest in becoming a logger, but this has been a very interesting thread to read. You guys sure bring a lot of good info to the party, and always with a helpful attitude even when the message is one of caution or "looking before you leap". That's what makes this forum indispensable. Happy Friday The 13th!   - Jason
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2017, 04:57:27 pm »
 whether we talked you into it or out of it, maybe it'll be your lucky day after all👌
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2017, 07:26:17 pm »
Nope, hard or not im still very driven to horse log. Though im not sure how im going to do it. Im looking at either Cedar River horse logging or healing harvest forest foundation. They both offer an apprenticeship. Even with that it will still be hard i know.  I don't want to get rich just a living for my family one day.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2017, 02:11:36 pm »
I'm a fan of "follow your passion."  Followed by "don't quite your day job".  At least until you have a bunch of work lined up and it looks sustainable. 

Many will say something can't be done.  It may be true or they may not have looked at it in the right light...

I've accomplished the most by using time and money in this order:

Needs
Dreams
Wants

Many people get distracted by wants and then lack the resources to chase dreams. 

I do hope you keep us updated on your journey.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2017, 06:15:55 pm »
I definitely say go for it.  One guy runs a marathon, why shouldnt the other one draft log?   

Life isnt about the money.

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2017, 07:40:01 pm »
What is your experience with horses?
Ridin enough to go by your self?
If not then find some one local that has horses and see if you are comfortable around them. Drafts are big animals and if you are unfamilar around them a steped on foot will not feel good. You should learn how to be around smaller horses first. The drafts are a lot more docile but 2 to 3 times as heavy.  Then if you cannot get comfortable with them you save yourself the expense of the schooling. 
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2017, 10:40:54 pm »
No I have 0 experience riding horses,  only experience i have is riding mules down grand canyon about 12 years ago, haha so yea no experience. Of course there would need to be a market in my area for this and im not sure how to see if there is one.  I believe an apprenticeship would be a good idea but there like 10 weeks long and while i do get a week off at a time i couldn't take off that much time.  And on top of that im not sure how to market this or how to advertise. So I definitely have a lot of work ahead of me.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2017, 08:48:38 pm »
Going back to air brakes and brake failure, they are fail safe, in that if the air pressure suddenly fails, the brakes are applied. But on the other side, if you use them incorrectly you can lose your brakes.
I have a CDL (however it's only good for school buses). If you pump your brakes too much on a long hill, you can use air faster than the pump replaces it, then the brakes got over heated, making you pump more and harder, BINGO, brakes fail. In CDL classes (instruction) we are taught not to pump the brakes, either hold relative steady pressure or minimal peddle movement as you vary the peddle pressure.
I believe that big train wreck was the result of a leak in the air tanks or the tank supply hoses which was faster than the pumps could replace it, the brakes over heated and failed. That was before the simple warning device all air brake vehicles now have, a wig wag, which drops to warn the operator that the air pressure is getting low. Without that visual warning an operator who is not paying proper attention to all of the gauges and meters might no notice low air pressure until it gets too low. Weak air pressure makes the brakes drag and they can get super hot. Overheated brakes do not work. This is why on many long steep hills you will see signs for a run away truck ramps. If a big truck loses their brakes on that hill , they pull off and come to a rather abrupt stop, but if the driver hit the ramp right, they are still alive and the rig is stuck but upright. In those, there is a very loose, usually round stone deep enough to allow the tires to sink down enough to stop the rig.
On horse logging, I've done a fair amount of it, but only for firewood and only in the winter. That's another story, in another thread from a few years ago. Long story short, I felled the trees and bucked them, while a single horse pulled the logs out without a driver. At the landing, my brother unhitched him and headed him back in, then he piled the logs on the landing using a tractor FEL. If I wasn't yet ready when the horse got back in the horse stopped about 100-150' away and waited. When I shut off the chainsaw, and called the horse, he came the rest of the way. I put a chain on the log while he came in, then I backed vhim to the log and quietly hooked the chain to the whiffle tree. I say quietly because as soon as the horse heard the chain drop he was off, ready or not.
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Offline teakwood

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2017, 03:58:18 am »
 :o :o what a great horse!!

Offline MbfVA

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Re: Horse Logging
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2017, 05:45:58 am »
Going back to air brakes and brake failure, they are fail safe, in that if the air pressure suddenly fails, the brakes are applied...
<>
I believe that big train wreck was the result of a leak in the air tanks or the tank supply hoses which was faster than the pumps could replace it, the brakes over heated and failed. That was before...

As the song goes, "....3 mile grade...that he lost his air brakes...see what a jump he made....

There are a few variations but that's close.  From memory not google.

A VA Landmarks historic marker in Danville VA commemorates the accident and the 8 gentlemen who died that night.  I spent 3 months working as an engineering coop student for what's now CSX, met lots of true "Railroad Men" (not many women then) from central casting; that song moves me.
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Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?