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Author Topic: Horse Logging  (Read 2557 times)

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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.

Benjamin Harris
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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).
www.ordinary.com (really); Jim
Always learning & questioning authority
Peterson WPF 10" Hi-Lo w/ 5' slabber
Dougherty RS3000 Tree Saw
Liebherr 621C, Bobcat A300, 430
NH TN90F, Kubota B3000
Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?