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Brit logging.

Discussion in 'Forestry Equipment' started by John Shipp, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Well, in the spirit of island logging, here I hope to put up some pictures and words showing how a small logging outfit gets on here on the British Isles, UK. In the south east of England, zillions of people live here, small roads, mostly small privately owned woodlands dotted about, often heavy clay where historically farming was difficult so was left or abandoned to the trees. WP_20160305_16_41_10_Pro.jpg WP_20160305_17_01_22_Pro.jpg WP_20160305_17_07_12_Pro.jpg
    This is our log yard where we billet up timber for drying, then re-saw it for sale as firewood to the local towns, villages. 1st picture is 2008 zero-tail Case loader (sumitomo 8t), service truck 2007 Land Rover 130, and a forest tractor Valtra 6550 with Botex roof mount loader, which is made here in the UK up in Dalbeatie, Scotland.
     
  2. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    WP_20160119_14_01_35_Pro.jpg WP_20160304_13_30_20_Pro.jpg WP_20160428_17_18_19_Pro.jpg WP_20161114_09_53_35_Pro.jpg
    This is Jan 2016, the usual sort of job we see. Hardwood, natural regeneration from around the 2nd world war. 1st pic is actually not a bad piece of wood as it goes, 2nd pic is cutting a way in, 3rd pic is what passes for sawlogs if we are lucky to find a sawmill that wants odd hardwoods. There was a few cherry in that load, some ash, oak and I think a maple. Otherwise it is mostly firewood (4th pic).
     
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  3. Hank R

    Hank R Senior Member

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    Interesting, how long does your hardwood take to dry befoer it is good firewood your way? How large is your wood lot?
     
  4. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Hi Hank, if it's cut down before the sap rises in the spring, and billeted up before summer is too far along, the species like ash-birch-maple can be sold before winter. The log yard doesn't get much breeze, so we've ended up down this route because heaps of cut logs just turned into mushrooms. But it is labour intensive compared to the processors most folk use. WP_20161103_14_47_14_Pro.jpg WP_20161103_14_47_35_Pro.jpg WP_20170422_09_22_24_Pro.jpg
    In reality, it's good to have some stock and let it dry for a year, then we saw it up into boxes. This just makes deliveries smoother, even if it's raining or snowing, can tip some boxes and go.
     
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  5. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    The woodlot sizes round here vary from say a dozen up to a few hundred acres, the privately owned ones. The state owned forests can be larger, but nothing like the forest cover you have in north America. So we have to travel around every year, cutting a 1-5 acres out of lots of different blocks. Thinning can be good too, some of the plantation blocks are a better size and once we get on to the 3rd or 4th thin through a block, the trees are of a better size and we can make our tonnage a little easier as cutters. WP_20170221_14_43_19_Pro.jpg WP_20170424_14_45_03_Pro.jpg WP_20170502_10_42_02_Pro.jpg
    We've been lucky to get to do the thinning of a 75acre plantation locally, mostly beech, been doing the 3rd thin over the last 5years, then February 2017 we've started again at the beginning doing a 4th pass. Some of the logs should be sold as sawlogs really, but unfortunately for ecological reasons we aren't allowed in there during late summer when it'd be dry enough to get them up to the road, so... More firewood!
     
  6. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    That's interesting.

    A few questions:

    1. What's the gross vehicle weight rating on that landrover? (I want one.)

    2. Doesn't that tractor and roof-mount loader get awful tippy with no outriggers?

    3. How much are my royalties going to be for suggesting the title for this thread?
     
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  7. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Hi Mitch, ha yes I was wondering if you would notice. Definitely this is all your fault, for sure! Lol

    Yes, Land Rovers are puzzles. Over here, they're about the only basic, strong, simple work trucks you could get that are 4x4 and have a useful payload. The truck itself is 3500kg plate, gross train 7000kg. When I bought this, it couldn't find any other 4x4 tipper with this kind of plating, without going to a much bigger (more expensive) vehicle. It weighs 2200kg, so I can just about put 3 cubic meters of dry logs and still sit in it, and still be legal. As long as it doesn't start raining...

    And now last year, they stopped making them. WP_20170717_11_54_03_Pro.jpg WP_20170916_08_09_50_Pro.jpg WP_20171006_10_57_08_Pro.jpg
     
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  8. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    And yes, roof mounts are horrible when the ground is anything other than level. Which it normally isn't in a wood. It has it's limitations on some jobs, but we can get round these sometimes if we've made sense of the job beforehand with the tracked loader, we can pile the logs on the uphill side of the access. In thinnings, sometimes have to park at odd angles to the log or drive up on a stump. But sometimes it's risky just driving it stowed, it just make your guts squirm a bit. Once you've lost the comfort of knowing what angle is too far, it can be difficult for a while, as when it starts to go you have to stop it quick. It has been over on it's side.
    But it advantages are it's quick, you can move along without raising legs.
     
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  9. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    A little odd thing is that some of these blocks of woods don't have an easy access, we quite often have to fill a ditch with logs first to get in and out. I suppose some of them were last logged by horses and men, perhaps? WP_20170331_15_04_46_Pro.jpg WP_20170413_11_38_28_Pro.jpg WP_20170414_15_22_49_Pro.jpg
    A couple pictures of the roof mount in young Scots pine thinning (for chipwood)
     
  10. Hank R

    Hank R Senior Member

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    Your log trailer is that the common trailer that every one uses? Looks like it works well for you. I guess you get lots of rain and no snow. Kind of looks like your logging a in a park
     
  11. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread. Its interesting to see how things are done and how the "rules" differ in different places. In post 4 in the first picture there is a log splitter working that is not like any I have seen. I see wood going up the conveyor and I see split wood on the rack. Not sure if the worker is putting wood in or what. Please expand on that splitter if you can. To stabilize that roof mounted loader perhaps you could pour a couple of concrete wheel weights into the tire for ballast. A couple hundred pounds or so in each wheel would make a huge difference. Is all wood forwarded from the stump or are pole skidders used in some cases?
     
  12. Bumpsteer

    Bumpsteer Senior Member

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    Wow! How different logging operations are across the globe.

    Thanks for posting John.

    Ed
     
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  13. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    OIH, that's cutting small diameter splits into shorter lengths . "drum saw" or maybe "trommel saw"?

     
  14. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Thanks for the interest everyone. The trailers we use are quite common amongst similar contractors, though most are fitted with the crane on the drawbar. We like the tractor mounted because we can use the crane on other work, like winching logs up a bank one person and machine can do it all, or feeding a chipper or splitter. We'd like to get a drive trailer to help us in the wet, but they can't be towed fast between jobs, are expensive, and we simply aren't allowed to muddy up most of the jobs we go to. It feels like logging in a park, sometimes! The other route is a purpose built 8x8 forwarder, but they are just not affordable for this area unless you buy a high houred one and then they just break down. So we just get on with the cutting, make sense of the chaos with the tracked loader, and if it's too wet to get it to roadside without rutting we have to come back later. WP_20170707_18_04_00_Pro.jpg WP_20170713_09_13_08_Pro.jpg WP_20170717_15_34_43_Pro.jpg WP_20170718_13_58_24_Pro.jpg The grey trailer is a Botex brand, pretty simple thing but it can take having the occasional bigger log "manoeuvred" onto it, and it's narrow enough to get down the rows of trees. The green trailer is a Farma and has extending rear bunk which is great in short chipwood, can get 2 bunks, but creaks a bit when oak logs are rattling it.
     
  15. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    OIH, Delmer has nailed it, the dusty green machine with conveyor is a drum saw, it's a 2006 Kretzer Rotomat built in Germany. It's quite of a beast to feed, but if you feed it quick enough it can have good output. Unless it jams! WP_20171004_09_47_18_Pro.jpg
     
  16. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Don't know how well these photos are coming out, they look a little blurry? I'm offgrid here, camped in a wood and these pics are off my year old phone. I'll try later using a laptop, see if they less grainy.
     
  17. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Don't see a lot of pole length skidding sadly. A few contractors have your grapple skidders, but across the country there aren't many. We'd love to get one, but I think we'd scare the owners and dog walkers if we showed up with a Tigercat bogie skidder. Perhaps we should...

    So we skid the occasional job of larger hardwood butts, especially if a hill is involved. And there's the situation with Poplar. Up to quite recently, a lot of hydrid poplar was planted around here, sometimes as a pure stand, sometimes mixed in with other species. there must have been a buoyant market for it as matchsticks or fruit packaging at one time. But then it became unwanted, and some of the larger pulp mills went bust so that market went. And it didn't stop growing, so now there are these poplars getting to quite large size, and nobody wants them so often they get larger until they start blowing over. Crazy that the mills don't use them, even as palletwood. So sometimes we have to drag these about, we might be on a job and get the "while you're here" request. WP_20170427_11_24_52_Pro.jpg WP_20170427_11_33_50_Pro.jpg WP_20170427_11_46_04_Pro.jpg WP_20170427_12_09_32_Pro.jpg
     
  18. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Photos look good here
     
  19. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Thanks Mitch. Good to know.

    I'll have to look into putting some clips on youtube, see if it's possible for a technophobe.

    Delmer, that red drum saw is a newer equivalent but it's a smaller model, bit less money but easier to change length etc. Ours is an earlier version, originally it had 6 holes in the drum which were not useful size, so couple years ago we bought a 5hole drum set, this has worked well. I think having that 5th hole makes them un-proportionally quicker, if you get into a good feeding pattern you never have to wait for a empty hole, and you can adjust the drum rotation speed so it is almost constantly sawing. That red 4hole machine would be a lot quicker if they adjusted there billet length to suit it, the little small offcut pieces they're producing mean they have to wait an extra revolution for an empty hole.

    I think I've been doing this too long, maybe!?
     
  20. Graham1

    Graham1 Senior Member

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    Glad to see another Brit on the site. Photos look great. Looks a nice setup you have. Although I got so fed up with Landrover’s I sold my last 130 (my 4th) about a year ago and bought Ford Ranger 3.2 auto. You wouldn’t believe the comfort! I don’t need much payload, just the 3.5t legal towing.
    Do you do all your felling, even the small thinings, by hand?
    Never seen a processor like that before. Looks pretty quick though, although I guess you have had to pre split a lot.
    Keep the photos coming.
    Graham