Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Forestry › Draft logging equipment choices…
- May 24, 2013 at 7:36 am #79666Brad JohnsonParticipant
I am currently working on a woodlot in Lilliesville, VT. Carl Russell is the forester for the site, and there are two of us working there with my team and Bob Capobianco’s small 4WD Kubota tractor with winch and forks. There are two aspects of the job that really struck me this week. First, my team is on a John Plowden built arch that allows wood to be lifted up under the arch. This simple tool allows me to pull logs of any size, but in particular the arch is essential for large logs that would be unmanageable without the lift that the arch provides. We have pulled a number of 16 foot sticks that have 350-475 bf each. Wood of that size would be too big for my team to haul with loose rigging, not to mention the fact that the arch minimizes soil disturbance as the arch travels over the ground. Second, this job is once again reminding me that draft power paired with a small tractor is such an effective strategy. We are using the tractor in the landing to pile wood, which is a huge time saver (not to mention much easier than rolling with a couple of peaveys). We are able to keep the landings small and compact. And, in a few cases we had logs that were on the wrong side of slash piles and wet ground, and the winch allows us to grab those sticks with the cable and pull them to a spot where the team can reach them with the arch, minimizing ground disturbance and wasted effort moving slash around by hand. When you choose the right tool for the task at hand the results are good.
Also, as I have found the past, having two people in the woods more than doubles the daily output I can generate on my own, and it increases the safety margin as well as decision making with two heads working together. What fun it can be to spent days in the woods with man and beast.
We are having lots of rain here at the moment, so we will be out of the woods until next week, but I can’t wait to get back to it next week.
-BradMay 24, 2013 at 7:57 am #79667
Brad, thanks for sharing on your current job. I started a job three weeks ago and there are two of us and a pair of horses. Flat nicely drained pine woods so the going is great. No more than 200′ to the woods road. Nice pine with most logs measuring in the 150-200 mbf and almost no pulp. As much as I like working alone it is very nice to have the second person for all the reasons you mentioned. Alone I would not produce nearly as much wood as with the two of us. We don’t have any mechanical help here, hot yarding to a really good woods road and using the scoot to get it to the landing. The scoot time is not so good as its about 1000′ to the landing but we will move the landing up into the woods for the next truck load which will really save time.
If there one piece of equipment it would be a loader although on my next job we have a 4wd tractor with a Fransgaad winch and grapple bucket, it would be I think a small excavator with a roto-grapple. I used one a lot this winter with Erik Carlson and it really made the yard work go well. In that case I would just process the tree length wood the grapple skidder delivered to the yard and we did 4 tractor trailer loads in 5 days with just the two of us. I think also the ability of the excavator the back drag roads and keep the yard small is great. And lastly, how many jobs do we get on where the 20 year ruts could use a little attention? Good to hear from you Brad.May 24, 2013 at 10:33 am #79669Does’ LeapParticipant
I mostly log alone in the winter but have been trading a day a week with a buddy who also logs with horses just 8 miles from my farm. Although, I too like working alone, I think there is a synergistic effect with two, not to mention the camaraderie. On an average day, I more than double the footage on the landing compared with working alone One of us cuts, the other works the horses and we both load and chain the sled or scoot.
Brad, can you post some pictures of your arch sometime?
GeorgeMay 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #79673Ed ThayerParticipant
Sounds like a nice arrangement. I have to admit, I was hesitant to purchase a tractor a few years ago but found that it was invaluable for loading manure and moving logs at our landing. I absolutely prefer the horse power and the tranquility of man and beast however, I have yet to figure out how to load the manure spreader with the horse 🙂
Glad to hear you are enjoying your work.
EdMay 25, 2013 at 6:55 am #79676
Well a almost two weeks off from this nice job in good pine in Lincolnville, Maine. We shipped a load of logs after 4 days (5270 bf) and should do better next time around as we have moved the yard into the woods almost a thousand feet. Loading the scoot and going to the landing took a lot of time. We have a good woods road that the tri-axle will have to problem going along and room for him to turn about. Does work well with two folks especially if their style is compatible. I chopped most of the first week as since my horses are home but that will change and we will trade off. We haul the horses over at the start of the week and home at the end. Experimenting on this video stuff and wanted to try the upload here.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.May 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm #79683Michel BoulayParticipant
Video came out good Jim, awsome. Now I know why you get your truck load completed so fast those are good size logs.
MikeMay 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm #79684Ed ThayerParticipant
Great video Jim. awesome example of horses in tight woods with little ground disturbance, nice work.
EDMay 26, 2013 at 5:01 am #79686Carl RussellModerator
Thanks Jim…. nice vid.
I will be visiting the job again this week, and will get some pics and vids….. between painting trees. These guys are knocking them down as fast as I mark them.May 26, 2013 at 5:24 am #79687Hopewell FarmParticipant
I will have to get up to Lilliesville next week to say Hi to you and Bob. I also used my small tractor and a forwarding wagon this winter/spring to start on my first ever logging job. It is a long haul out to a road that is accessible by a log truck. So I used horses in the woods to twitch to several small landings then used the tractor for the final move out to the road. For this job this seems like a good mix of both power types and as Jim indicated above I will be able to improve/fix roads with the tractor as an added benefit to the landowner, which they have been very thankful for.
I have attached a picture of my first load of logs ready to head to the mill.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.May 26, 2013 at 10:35 am #79689
Mike, we did alight on the scale with the first load of logs and not too badly on grade. In that first load of logs we only produced a cord of pulp. At some point I am sure we will get into more pulp and then the numbers will surely change for the land owner. So far its a break even for the landowner and we are getting a fair days pay.May 29, 2013 at 1:07 am #79699simon lenihanParticipant
Great job Jim.
simonMay 31, 2013 at 8:18 pm #79736Brad JohnsonParticipant
The last couple of days Bob and I have been using the tractor to get after a number of red spruce and hardwood stems that are on the bank of a small stream that serves as the boundary for the cut. It is great to be able to fell the stems and then pull them with the Kubota back across the stream bed before limbing, keeping the tops and slash out of the waterway. I am not sure I could have done much with these trees with the horses as the bank is steep and slippery. Once the logs are up the bank and limbed, I have been pulling the marketable logs and firewood out with the arch. Such a nice pairing of old and new technology. So far, having worked about 12 days or so. we have shipped about 13,000 bf of pine logs and 10,000 bf of spruce/fir/harwood. The firewood is coming out last, and it looks like there will be quite a bit of that as well. The landowner has a neighbor who is going to take 7-10 cords off then landing in his dump trailer, which is good for us and for him. This really is a great spot for horses an well as the tractor. I invite anyone who is close enough to come for a visit to do so – it is a beautiful lot and we are really enjoying the work. I am hoping to get some photos and video at some point – maybe we can get Carl over to work on that, but if we do I will post them here.
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