Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Powered Forestry International › Silviculture for Sustainability › Forwarder Added to Horse Operation
- February 22, 2013 at 12:38 am #44528Traveling WoodsmanParticipant
I recently acquired a new (to me) Tree Farmer C5D forwarder that I will be integrating into my horse logging operation. My reason for the purchase was the number of contracts I currently have that involve long and/or uphill skids to access state roads, as well as working larger tracts with the other horse loggers around here. It will allow me to do jobs that I would have otherwise turned down, as well as help me on those marginal jobs where I really am skidding too far (400-500 yards). I know it’s been talked about on here, and I know of several loggers who use a forwarder/horse system, but I have never really been involved in one myself. I thought I’d just start talking here and see if anyone has thoughts or any input from experience (or not) regarding a system like this.
I decided on the forwarder as opposed to a tractor with a forwarder trailer because of maneuverability (backing down long haul roads), durability, and tractions (all the weight is on the drive wheels instead of out behind the tractor). I’m sure different situations would find a tractor with trailer plenty suitable though.
Thanks.February 22, 2013 at 11:05 am #77541Carl RussellModerator
Ben, that is great. I think this combination will really make horse-logging more feasible across the landscape. We just don’t have much good used equipment like that around here, and most folks I know have a tractor because of the multiple use for farming and other work, so the trailer models seem to be more common.
What I really like about this methodology is that the harvesting roads can be maintained easier, and after the harvest offer more functionality to the landowner.
I also really like what you referred to about working in cooperation with other horse-loggers. As we increase our capabilities as viable forestry practitioners, pulling together more horsepower in certain situations will be of great advantage.
Thanks for sharing, and keep us up to date……
CarlFebruary 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm #77547near horseParticipant
I looked at one of these (just googled it) and am confused about how it differs from a skidder. Is it a regional name difference or how it’s used or am I missing something (most likely option)?
Could you take me on a walk-through of how the system would work?
Here’s what I envision:
1) Fell, limb and then skid with horses to collection point(s) where skid trails meet meet harvest/access road.
2) Haul these groups of logs to landing using forwarder
3) Load truck from landing (self-loader or what have you).
Thanks in advance for your patience.
BTW – the one that popped up on google was for sale in Colebrook, NHFebruary 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm #77555BaystatetomParticipant
I really think that is a great direction to be heading. Using both machine and animal to their best advantage. The increase in production may close some of the gap in stumpage prices between the horse logger and skidder crews? I look forward to hearing about your progress, keep us informed how its going.
~TomFebruary 22, 2013 at 11:22 pm #77542Scott GParticipant
Perfect match! Congrats Ben!! Your horses & ‘bottom line’ will love you…February 23, 2013 at 7:46 am #77546simon lenihanParticipant
Hi Ben, This system has been used this side of the pond for many years and in the tight confines of conifer stands it is yet to be beaten. We have used this system with our own horse drawn forwarder on extraction distances up to 1000 meters [ mostly down hill mind you ] and averaged 80+ tonnes per week. It open up all those woods with long extraction distances that you would not even consider before and hopefully keep you close to home.
simonFebruary 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm #77548
what did you wind up with.horse or tractor drawn.i keeping thinking i would like to have one.lately i have been looking at a hudson brand out of new york.i would use two or four mules depending on conditions.February 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm #77543Scott GParticipant
Ronnie, I, personally, would avoid the Hudson unit like the plague. I owned one of them about 13 years ago. The loaders are notorious for the slew seal (main boom rotation) leaking due to the main shaft being pitted. Maybe they have beefed up the unit and corrected the seal issue by now. I’ll be an optimist, but…
For the hardwoods your working in, I would recommend a Farmi or another HD rig.
I hope all is well with you in your part of the country, my dear southern gentleman friend! 🙂February 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm #77558shorthornParticipant
Is there a way, where you can hook up a pair of oxen to the forwarder?February 24, 2013 at 2:35 am #77549
thank you sir for your kind and knowledgeable advice.my search continues.February 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm #77552Michel BoulayParticipant
Two sites with horse drawn forwarders, both are in the province of Québec. http://www.equipementswoody.com and
http://www.payeur.com I think the payeur model was shown at Draft animal field day couple of years back. The Woody site is in french and the payeur site in both english and french. Don’t know if there are any dealers in New-England. Would like to know how much they go for.
MikeFebruary 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm #77544Jim OstergardParticipant
Good move Ben. I ran an Iron Mule two winters ago on a very steep hillside job where it would have been near impossible to skid down it. It was small and cranky but did the job. I think it is about the size of a C4D. We picked up for 14K and put a couple of K into it to make it right. The engine was a Ford which made parts easy if expensive. I also had an older version Hardy trailer with a 17/ extenda boom. They build the trailer a bit heavier a decade ago. I ran it behind my skidder and used the hydraulics from the skidder. Worked pretty good but it was a bit of an ark to navigate through the woods. And in ice or snow and a full load ( 9,000Lbs?) on it would jackknife the skidder in less than a heart beat! We self powered it later on which made it great in the yard to sort and pile wood. I think it sold new for around $20,000 in 1999 we had about 13 into it with the conversion. I think you are on the right track with the C5D and looking for jobs where you can build and use an infrastructure as Carl describes and open up more cooperative jobs. Good luck and keep us posted.February 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm #77553Traveling WoodsmanParticipant
Ronnie, this is a self-powered forwarder, it’s about a 20,000 lb machine, around 100HP. For most of the jobs that I’m on a horse drawn unit wouldn’t really be practical, i.e. long and steep uphill pulls. Having the logs off the ground is helpful, but it’s still weight that needs to move uphill. We are in the mountains! And for my situation, I need to be able to handle large oak logs. Most of the jobs I’ve been on recently have oak butt logs that average 300 BF or more, usually with a few that are over 500 BF. I need to be able to handle big wood for the unit to be helpful to me. And part of the reason I got it in the first place is just to have a knuckleboom, I can see myself using it on jobs as a loader even where I don’t need it as a forwarder.
Tom, I am interested to see how this works out in regards to costs. I’m not sure whether it will change the game as far as how it compares to a completely mechanized operation, and I don’t care a whole lot whether it does. For me the purpose is to allow me to do jobs with horses that I otherwise wouldn’t, and make cooperative efforts more feasible. If it does that I will consider it to have been a worthwhile investment. That doesn’t mean that I’m not interested to see how it works out, it will be educational.
Jim, did you have a 5500 series Iron Mule? I considered them, they looked like decent machines but I ended up finding this C5D for a really good deal I couldn’t pass up. Are those Hardy units sold by Bailey’s now?
Scott, thanks for your cautions at Woodsman’s Week in regards to machinery. I really appreciate thoughts from experience. I guess we’ll see how this works out. Part of the reason I felt good about this particular unit is that it was a really good deal and I was able to pay cash for it.
I have been thinking about getting a forwarder for about 10 years now, looking forward to finally getting it in the woods.February 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm #77550
ben i hope you get along you get along allright with your new outfit.keep us posted on the good and the bad if any.we can each learn from others experiences.February 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm #77545Jim OstergardParticipant
Yes it was a 5500 series. Must have been an early one and worked well although it was a bit of a beast coming down a mountain side. Slow and a lot of rock and roll. Still all in all a good investment for the jobs we used it for. I think I would go the dedicated forwarder if I did it again since I don’t have a tractor I use for farm work to partner with a trailer rig. Have been using an excavator with a grapple bucked for yard loading and actually it is much faster and easier on the neck that either of the forwarders. Might be neat to build a woods trailer to move along a trail with in and use it like a forwarder. It would be pretty slow though and probably wear out the drives with all that travel. Just an idea. Keep us posted as I think you are on the right path.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.