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- This topic has 28 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 3 months ago by Anonymous.
- October 24, 2010 at 3:01 am #55839AnonymousInactive
@Rick Alger 16157 wrote:
Returning to silviculture, I would like to share thoughts on working spruce/fir stands with other folks cutting in the northern forest – if such there be.
In my experience there are two commonly applied silvicultural treatments, patch cuts and single tree selection thinning. Both tend to yeild a high pulp to log ratio on the landing.
Anybody found a way to squeeze more value out of these treatments than the standard return on pulp and logs?
If you haven’t, have you found a way to increase production enough to take in say $250 a day?
I live and work in on the south coast of NS Canada. Most of the stands I’v worked in over the last decade are spruce/fir mix. I’v tried stip/patch cuts, merchanable thinnings and group tree selection. The best results both for the land owner and my bank acount have been single tree selection. We make small openings next to trees that show promise of long life and good growth. By only opening the crowns around trees that have show promise we aviod uniform park like spacings that are so prone to wind damage. Our goal is to get good regen in spots but no a solid mat through the exsiting stand. We call this uneven age management.(:( I’m sorry this is a crude and short description.)
Becauce our trees tend to be quite tall and the stands being tight the horse is required to pull a third of the trees down. We try to work in two man teams one tipping stems the other yarding with a single horse ready to hook on as soon as the tree is tipped. Our aim is to cut 6 cord per day and cover an acre. I keep the skid distances as short as I can and forward the wood to truck roads.
In our province for the treatment of Uneven Age Managment we are funded around $200 dollars per acre. Most of the wood lots we work on are FSC and we get a small bonus per tne at the mill. Even with the funding its a up hill hard pull. Taking the worst first most jobs yield as much pulp as saw logs. I have to keep my pencil very sharp but most days I’m making a decent hard living.:)October 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm #55830
Hello Dobbin Forestry, and welcome to the forum,
Most of the work I have been getting lately is commercial thinning on environmentally sensitive sites. I take mostly co-dominant fir and leave dominant red spruce. The wood is marked by a forester. It is usually a 30% removal, and the average stand diameter is around 9 “.
I work alone because of insurance issues, and over a season average 5 – 10 cords a week ( including time spent making trails, managing the yard and losing days due to weather.) Depending on conditions , I ground skid with a single and/or use a cart or a scoot with a pair. Average log size is 25-30 bf (International). Log to pulp ratio runs about 50/50. I haven’t found any way to get government or industry support payments.
It sounds like we are doing pretty much the same kind of work ( I have to yank down a tree or two also) but your per-man production is much better – more like what I get in a clear cut.
What’s your secret? Are Canadians that much tougher than Americans! LOL Have you got a stroke delimber?October 25, 2010 at 1:23 am #55840AnonymousInactive
Thanks for the welcome. I’m so happy to be able to read about and learn from others with so much expience and knowledge. I’m working alone aswell for the next month. The young man who has been working with me just had a car accident and hurt his shoulder. You are right it is working by your self is harder.
Haha.. Nope we arn’t very tough. We just cheat a little.
No delimber just a big saw with a short bar.. but a delimber is a great idea.
The largest Wood lot that I work on has a 4×4 tractor and log loader. All we have to do is skid to hauling roads. As long as he can reach the one end with the loader our work is done. No manual labour on the landing other than junking if we are cutting tree length speeds things up alot. (Fowarders are almost as common as pick ups here. On other wood lots I’m lucky to be able to hire some very good operators who will work with us.)
I’m also blessed with short hauls around 200 to 300 feet would be a long haul. The horses more of a aid to felling and extraction.
Over the last two years I’v been doing time and cost studies. Working with a forwarder and keeping the yarding distances short has really helped production. Thats all my secrets.
Have you considered a horse/drawn forwarder ? And would that be exceptable in sensitve areas?October 25, 2010 at 11:58 am #55831
Thanks for revealing your secret.
I’ve thought long and hard about a forwarder. How much do you think it would increase production for a one-man operation?October 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm #55833john plowdenParticipant
Forwarders and horses are a great combination – We’ve worked several jobs with a tractor drawn one and have really been able to boost production – A horse drawn one would be great – How about purchase cost?
Are there any North American manufacturers other than Payeur?
The SJM I’ve seen in Europe looks like the right weight and size –
Majaco/Anderson made one –
JohnOctober 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm #55841AnonymousInactive
I’m not sure how much a horse forwarder would boost production on a one person operation. So many variables.
It would be great if we had acess to some of the modles of horse forwarders in Europe.
I’v owned two both had factory log loaders installed on home made boogie wheel wagons. The largest problem we have found with the horse forwarder has been that the horses can handle a good load on flat or rolling terrain. But short steep twisty hills were hard to handle. So many times I’v wished that some one in Noth America would build a forwarder with hydrulic assist on the rear wheels.October 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm #55823Scott GParticipant
First off, welcome Dobbin. Kind of neat to hear that term from someone from the NE. Dobbin is a very common term for horse out here. One of my old mentors in the backcountry packing biz was named Dobbin. Anyway…
Just so it is in one place, here are the links for known horse-drawn forwarders.
Majaco – North America
Payeur – North America
SJM – Sweden (use Google translator)
…all of these have brake options, both for the bogie wheels as well as the axle under the “forecart”. I believe most of these manufacturers’ offer a hydraulic draw-assist option as well. It is pretty common.October 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm #55822Carl RussellModerator
This link was posted in another thread on here, but it looks pretty good to me. No loader, but in a lot of cases the loader is not as necessary as the transport.
CarlOctober 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm #55824Scott GParticipant
John Plowden of Stow, ME is currently manufacturing some Scandinavian style equipment modeled after what Carl’s previous link shows. Difference being that John’s does not incorporate a bogie axle, which runs much smoother in the woods. John may already be onto that and would certainly work with you on your ideas/needs. Best part is that you would be buying a domestic product from a North American horse logger.
Even better yet, come to the LIF Workshop in Unity, ME 11/19-21 and see John and his equipment in person.
(shameless plug)October 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm #55837vthorseloggerParticipant
All you really have to do is find a couple of hydraulic motors that will work with the pump for the loader and then get a divider plumbed in. The only problem with that is you also have to have a flow control valve to adjust wheel speed as needed.October 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm #55842AnonymousInactive
The problem is standard a hydrulic motor is they will act as a brake when not being turned under pressure by oil flowing in the port. Most can turn when not under pressure if a open centered control valve is used. However even though pressure won’t be built up as the valve is open or in neutral the motor is still turning oil like a pump as the wheels are being pulled by the horses. This creates a drag in cold temps and during start up in the morning the oil will be thicker and harder to turn. Althought a clutch added to the standard drive motor to let it free wheel when draw assit is not required. There are problems. The main one being clutches don’t seem to like mud,ice and snow when monted on the boogie beam. The only light wieght and simple solution that I’ve come across are very expensive wheel motors that have been built to free wheel when not engaged. It would be easier and in the long run cheaper to purchase a forwarder already equipted with free wheeling hyralulic assist than to build. Unfortunatly as far as I can find out there are not any distributers in North America for the companies who build these forwarders with this option. If any one has found solutions to theses problems or has more info I would love to know. We are planning to start builing a new forwared next summer.:)October 29, 2010 at 11:41 pm #55832
Had a good opportunity yesterday to see a couple forwarders in action thanks to John Plowden. He has a small job going with Jim O. and a bunch of other good folks over by Unity, Me. They had a Hardy 1700 pulled by a 40 hp tractor, and a Dion on tracks (similar to a Bombardier). Both machines worked very well, but I came away deciding to try to refine my tree-length skidding system before I get into a large investment in a forwarder.
My horses, forecart and tractor are all on the light side. I can see no way to safely/efficiently pull a loaded forwarder (without braking and power assist) in my area of the White Mountains with either my horses or my 30 hp tractor. I know there are smaller forwarders, but the 40 hp tractor struggled with the kind of load I was hoping to pull with the horses.
I’m going to experiment using a Logrite arch as a tag axle for tree-length stems. I will have a way to let the wood drop to the ground when descending steep hills. I hope to skid about half a cord per turn right from the stump to the landing.October 30, 2010 at 12:47 am #55838vthorseloggerParticipant
You could always get a short throw cylinder to move the motors to and away from the tires when not in use. Just build the frame and mount one cylinder in the middle. That wouldn’t add that much more weight, and then it is on demand. Short of importing one that would be the best thought I can come up with off the top of my headNovember 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm #55843AnonymousInactive
Thanks a trow cyl. is a good idea.
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