- December 25, 2007 at 5:51 pm #39362Rural MissourianParticipant
I have seen pictures from time to time in various draft animal publications of self-loading log wagons that use a cherry picker and pull behind a team. I am trying to contact companies that manufacture them, if they exist. The ideal for our situation would be one that could be pulled both by team and vehicle so that it could be pulled from a backwoods landing site to the road where we could take it to our bandmill. Any recommendations?December 25, 2007 at 8:20 pm #45108Gabe AyersKeymaster
There are several companies that manufacturer forwarders that may be pulled by animal power or tractor/machines. The innovators in this field are the Swedish. They make of the one in the attached photo (oops, the file is to big) is Majoraca or something like that. This photo was from few years ago at Horse Progress Days when we hosted the logging section, which ended up being a showcase for all sorts of logging machinery manufactured for animal powered applications.
I think you may do a search on horse powered forwarders or log loaders and find some examples. I will search also and see if I can post an address of the supplier.
We have used the horse drawn models previously and the only limitation is that they are not usually built heavy enough to handle big hardwood logs. Each manufacturer stated that they could custom build one with a stout knuckle boom and all wheel brakes for down hill log moving. The machine is great for larger tracts that have long skids and may be used for reloading onto trucks to transport to the next stop in the processing or turning into money.
We have hired commercial loggers to forward with their big machines and it did increase the production tremendously. When we had one of our Biological Woodsmen’s Week we rented one that moved 80k in two days. The was servicing five crews of horselogger’s strung out from the bottom of a long sloping ridge to the top, about a mile long old haul road. He would start at the top and load a few logs, come down a little ways, load some more and so on until he was fully loaded at the bottom and on his way to the landing.
I will post again on this once I find some sources for the machinery. Anyone that wants to see the photo may send me an email (email@example.com) and I will send them the photo. The cost is somewhat prohibitive with them starting at over 16K for the lightweight models that will handle soft wood and small hardwood.
Jason RutledgeDecember 25, 2007 at 9:52 pm #45118
I looked into this a while back, and at that time the off-road forwarders were not made to be street legal , and the highway loader/trailers were not suitable for off-road use.
Payeur in Ascot Quebec was one of the companies I spoke with, and Nash equipment in Colebrook, NH was another.
If you find anything new, please share it. It is an ideal concept.December 25, 2007 at 10:40 pm #45124
we have used a horse drawn forwarder for a year now and are very pleased with results. The forwarder is made in finland by a company called M & s jumentum . The model we have is the biggest of 3 models available, it has a load capacity of 5 tonnes and is braked in all back 4 wheels, the lifting capacity is 1 tonne close in however it is possible to cheat on a much larger log than that by putting one end up first. This particular model is designed for working in steep terrain and is fitted with 4 small drive motors in the back wheels to help the horses going back up hill, this is run off a honda 13hp engine which in turn runs the pump that drives the hydraulic oil. WE use our 2 ardennes studs on the wagon. These forwarders are fitted with wide tyres suitable for work in the forest and or not really designed to be taken on the road, they would scrub off in no time, also the wheel bearings are not designed for fast road towing.
happy christmass, simon lenihanDecember 27, 2007 at 4:07 pm #45109Gabe AyersKeymaster
Well my search includes cut copy paste from the other front porch. The same question was asked by the Missouri Woods folks and this was a response on the other site. I think this is appropriate transferring of information given this sites young age and the possibility of some of the members don’t visit both sites.
Hope this helps everyone and the Missouri Woods folks.
“Newco Sales Inc. has an ad in the Draft Horse Journal for grapple trailer systems. Their address is P.O.Box532 Marshfield,Wisconsin 54449 Phone no.715-897-0889.The ad says to contact Brian.”
I think there may be an advertisement in Rural Heritage about this type of equipment also.
There is another post there by a co-member here (Dale Wagner – read wise old timer) that suggests using a gin pole and block and tackle systems to lift the loads on to some/any form of transport. This is good stuff, proven methods and works. Yes it is more labor intensive, but uses less fossil fuel and adds to the true potential for sustainability. Human labor seems a small price to pay for sustainability, it begs the question – “What are people for?” WB. We have a practitioner among our group that uses this method to load fish net poles along the North Carolina coast. Works great for him, although he uses a cable strung between to large trees to hoist the log from using the same block and tackle arrangement and his horses power.
We would like to have some plans for that gin pole system so we could retro fit or rebuild it with steel and make it transportable for low income start up woodsmen who can’t afford an old knuckle boom loader or don’t have them available in their area. If anyone has knowledge of such plans please share them. There was such a diagram in the Small Farmer’s Journal many years ago but I can’t seem to find it now and the editor isn’t aware of which issue either.
The earlier post by Simon is interesting and helpful. An article about his work is in a recent issue of RH. He won an award as the best horse logger in England and will be harvesting some timber on Prince Charles estate as some point in the future. There are a few folks over there working animals in the forest. He said the Prince had a pair of Suffolk horses so I of course encouraged him to work them in the woods too. I bet they are fat and haven’t done much work and probably never worked in the woods. There is awesome grazing in England.
I also encourage the Missouri Woods folks to keep us in touch with what they decide to do. We are all learning together. No organization or individual has all the answers, if they thought they did, someone or reality would change the questions. This type of sharing is what makes this site worthy of being considered a community.
Jason RutledgeDecember 28, 2007 at 5:08 pm #45119
I believe Rural Missourian is looking for a forwarder that will travel from stump to mill. I haven’t been able to locate such a machine.
The Maine Horselogging site (Google) shows a road trailer under “finding a niche” with a swing pole system that works along the lines Dale was suggesting.
In my experience with the relatively small wood in New England and the small top-diameter utilisation you’re more efficient skidding tree-length.
If you have to do the sorting in the yard, a snatch block on tree works okay, but it’s better with a helper.
If you have to truck, you can cross-haul onto a trailer with the team. It also works better with a helper.December 29, 2007 at 3:32 am #45111Carl RussellModerator
I would have to say that the forwarder wagons are indeed attractive. A friend of mine just bought a tractor towed version for $20K+. For that kind of money I see them having to fill a need such as Simon or Jason describe, hauling long distances for several teams and cutters.
Another good friend of mine is a caretaker for a 1400 acre parcel where they have invested in a Metavic Forwarder wagon. The owners are not concerned with rapid payback, more interested in facilitating the low impact long term harvesting plan. I have yarded to this machine several times, and find it very handy, and effective. They run it with an 80hp John Deere 4wd and haul about a thousand feet to a load. Our terrain is too steep and variable to truly consider a horse-drawn model.
One of the draw-backs with these kind of investments with horse-logging is the difference in overhead. While I can appreciate the improvement in capability, there is a substantial carrying cost to such equipment. Yes more work can be done, but it must be. One of my beloved old-timer mentors, a man who grew up logging with horses, went to crawlers and skidders, then back to horses, always said once you get into the seat of a machine its nearly impossible to get out.
So much work can be done with horses without machinery, and that is the real beauty to me. I can make or break the effectiveness of my horse operation, myself, based on my own ingenuity and skill. The low overhead and flexibility of the animal power unit is ideally suited to low tech operations. I have loaded many logs on a log wagon by hand or by par-buckling. I also use a bobsled and scoot, both excellent ways to move larger loads on snow.
Just to add to the discussion, one of the coolest ways I have found to move large tree-length wood is with a bunk-cart. A set of wheels on a pole, like a rear-end of a small truck. The bunk is situated to top out at the top of the tires. Backing the cart against the butt end of the tree so that one wheel is about a foot from the cut, a chain is attached to the center of the bunk, and wrapped around the tree trunk at that point. With the chain as tight as possible, and both wheels against the tree, the horses are engaged to move ahead, turning slightly to the same side as the butt. This presses the butt against the tire which is turning, as the cart goes forward, so that the rolling wheel lifts the tree up, and as the cart continues to turn in that direction the log swings right up onto the bunk. I have successfully loaded white pine trees 50-60 feet long scaling 450 board feet. Once the log is in place it should be centered and bindered to prevent it from rolling or sliding. I have rolled the thing over because I hadn’t figured that out yet. I have used horses and oxen on this cart and found it to move very easy.
Any way Mike Miller, a member of this forum, is a salesman for Payeur Distributions Inc, in Quebec, a private message to him might get more info about forwarder wagons, otherwise call him 819-679-0175 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . He brought a HD model to the NE Animal-Power Field Days in Tunbridge VT in September. They do work, CarlDecember 29, 2007 at 8:41 pm #45125
For years we have worked steep ground, this was our niche, sourceing quality timber in really difficult terrain. This enabled us to buy the standing timber cheaply or if working on a tonnage basis to get a top price at roadside. The maximum skidding distance would vary between 100 and 300 meters, this has kept us going full time for the past 18 years but we were running out of suitable work, we were refusing work 500 meters / 1000 meters from roadside as it would be too much on the horses and not financially viable. There would be an option to skid to a forest track for further collection by a mechanical forwarder but there are several problems associated with this method, first and foremost is the cost, secondaly you have the bottelneck of timber at trackside and then you have to consider if your landing area can accomadate several lorry loads of timber at once. The advantages of the log wagon is that it has opened up alot of extra work for us, most woods are within our capabilitys now, it has taken away the back breaking manual stacking of timber at roadside. It has allowed us to take on contracts where the loading bay is small allowing us to stack timber high enough to bring a lorry in. The disadvantages are the inital costs, the amount of timber required now each month to make it viable and most importantly the continuance of viable contracts. I am not familar with the terrain carl works but over here it is only steep ground that we work with the log wagon any forest that is on the level or even with a slight gradient is worked on by big processors. WE work mostly 6 days a week and about 48 to 50 weeks a year, our only income is from the timber we produce and it is for this reason that we must keep in touch, we will never compete with the big skidders nor do we want to, but we want to be a financially viable option for those that want their timber harvested sensitivly.
simon lenihanDecember 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm #45120
Glad to hear the forwarder is working out for you, and congratulations on the award.
Would you mind explaining your crew configuration?December 30, 2007 at 1:52 pm #45112Carl RussellModerator
@simon lenihan 311 wrote:
…… M & s jumentum . …….. load capacity of 5 tonnes and is braked in all back 4 wheels, the lifting capacity is 1 tonne ………. This particular model is designed for working in steep terrain and is fitted with 4 small drive motors in the back wheels …
Simon, I’m sure that our terrain is similar to yours. I have not had the occasion to try a HD forwarder in the woods so I am only guessing about the effectiveness as regards the terrain.
Could you expand on the manufacturer, I don’t think we have that design on this side of the puddle.
Also I’m not sure of the equivalent volume/weight that you are describing.
Are the wheel-motors hydraulic also? Can you accelerate as the need dictates?
I am going to try to get our regional dealer on this forum.
Great to have you on board Simon, we are very excited that we can use this tool to broaden our community experience. CarlDecember 30, 2007 at 9:02 pm #45126
hi rick, the crew configuration has not worked out as well as we planned last year. My wife was very ill at the start of last year and one of our sons had to stay home for a number of months, that just left 3 of us in the wood which was not ideal. However now that my wife is back to full health we hope to get our crew configuration sorted. My son keith who is 20 drives the forwarder with our two studs in the shafts, simon jnr, ian and myself will do the felling and use our mares to skid to track side. WE would aim to keep keith on the forwarder full time if possible. Miik afelt [ horselogger ] who designed this machine along with MS jumetumn did a time study a few years back. The productivity of forest transport of three meter birch pulp at a medium distance of 473 meters was 8.7m3 at an actual working hour, 5 meters birch pulp would yeild 14.5 m3 an hour. timber specs will vary from wood to wood, at the moment we are mostly cutting 3.7 meter sawlogs which would equate to about 11m3 an hour.. 11m3 =10 tonnes which roughly = 2000 board feet. A 6 hour working day should yield 60 tonnes [ 12000 board feet ]. The problem is that you would require a large crew and quiet a number of horses to fully maximise the potential of the forwarder. THe ideal situation is if one is living in an area where there are a number of horse loggers the forwarder could be maxmised by coring with other horseloggers to forward their timber.
simon lenihanDecember 30, 2007 at 9:43 pm #45121
Simon, thank you for the detailed reply. That gives me some real numbers to play with. The potential is intriguing. My winter job this year is on a huge private tract harvesting wood that the mechanical guys wouldn’t touch. There is plenty of work ahead.
As we discussed in the past, the challenge I face is paying for worker’s comp insurance on employees. The rate in NH is around 75% of payroll.
Anyway, thanks again for the info, and good luck with the noblemen.December 30, 2007 at 11:35 pm #45127
carl, the wagon was designed by a horselogger from finland called miika afelt, the company m&s jumentum built the forwarder, these forwarders are not made outside of finland. They build 3 different versions, lightweight for one horse, middleweight for a pair without assisting draw, and the model we have heavyweight with assisting draw. Our forwarder weighs 1600kg and can take a maximum length of 5 meters. maximum payload is 5000kg. THe assisting draw is variable and is operated by a lever marked from 0 to 10, 10 being the maximum assist, as the horses come under pressure the lever is raised driving more hyddraulic oil to the motors which in turn helps the horses.
simon lenihanDecember 30, 2007 at 11:45 pm #45128
rick, is it not possible to hire employees that carry their own insurance,or is it possible to sub contract the felling operation.
simon lenihanDecember 31, 2007 at 2:43 am #45122
Simon, the answer is, Yes, but … To be an independent sub-contractor, at least in NH, the person has to have his own tools, a track record as a contractor and the freedom to choose how he accomplishes his work. That effectively excludes rookies. The good loggers with these qualifications already have their own machines with big payments. They work as one-man crews with their skidders and saws, and can’t downsize easily.
One possibility I’m looking at is a newer type of business organization called a Limited Liability Partnership. In this arrangement, the partners don’t have to insure each other, and their liability extends only to the assets of the business. Of course It’s almost impossible to get an unsecured loan.
Anyway, thanks again for the input.
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