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<mark burke>
posted
What are some methods for removing trunkwood, limbs and brush from lawns with little damage with a ATV, skid steer, tractor etc.Any recommended materials/means other than trailers? Or possibly unusual and lightweight trailer construction.
 
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<Rob Egan>
posted
Reply to post by mark burke , on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Mark
I've used a grapple attachment for a skidsteer loader. This is a great labor saver. Depending on the size of the loader you can move some very big material with it. A little pricey though,about $3,000 for a good one. I perfer a "trash graple" the tines are close together, and 2 seperate claws for good grip.
 
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<John S>
posted
Reply to post by Rob Egan, on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Some guys here swear by 4 wheeled atv's, Chec out Toms thread ( try replacing the msg number in the location feild with 58).

One guy I know uses a logging snake, Nothing more than a heavyduty winch.
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by mark burke , on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Mark, if I read your question correctly the idea is how to you get debris off a lawn are with minimal damage. Skidding or winching would not appear to be a good solution unless you can tolerate or localize turf damage.

Among the solutions I've seen are hand carrying (or using a ball cart for small cut logs); getting the truck/chipper right to the debris if there's access and the ground is hard; carrying it out with a turf tired loader with a grapple or bucket; speedlining the stuff out to truck access; rigging a highline to get debris over rough terrain or pools or greenhouses. The small ATVs sound like a workable idea. My old partner used to talk about the ammo carriers they used in Viet Nam and thought they'd be ideal, especially if you could get them cheaply from govt' surplus. He also talked about perforated steel plank (PSP) which they used to build airfields and helicopter LZs. I saw a discussion of PSP either here on KnotHole or maybe on the FineHomebuilding site.

In the final analysis you need to be able to amortize the cost of the toys and come out ahead of just grunting it.
 
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<Russ Carlson>
posted
Reply to post by mark burke , on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Mark, if you have a copy of Arborist Equipment (1995, Donald Blair, International Society of Arboriculture) check page 234. It shows a log carrier, similar to a peavey or cant hook, but with 2 hooks and used by 2 people.

I also saw an old device made of wheels set on a wide yoke. A ring between the wheels allowed the log to be attached, then pulled with a long tongue out the front. This would be easy to construct out of old bicycle parts for medium duty, and lifts the log off the ground. Two of them would could be used to maneuver the log with ease. Let me know if you'd like a sketch of it.
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Russ Carlson, on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

We start to think in terms of expensive toys like ATV's and tough stuff like skidders and heavy cables. (It's proably part of the arborist disease).

But as Russ points out there are low tech solutions. A bicycle wheel looks flimsy, but it supports a lot of weight and does not weigh a lot itself. It's best characteristic is large diameter which a) goes over bumps and through ruts more easily than a small diamter wheel and b) uses mechanical advantage (think of the wheel radius as the length of the lever applied to the load).

Had a client who was a sculptor who built huge metal works for public places. He used garden carts (you know, those things with the bicycle wheels in the ladies' gardening catalogs) to move I-Beams, castings etc. around his shop and yard. The North Vietnamese moved millions of pounds of supplies over the Ho Chi Min trail two hundred pounds at a time, slung over a bicycle frame.

So Russ is right, the most cost effective and least daming solution may be to break the load up into small units and use low tech tools.
 
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<Tom Dunlap>
posted
Reply to post by mark burke , on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

There are a couple of commercially made units that you should check out. Forestry Suppliers, Inc sells one called a Skidmate (Copyright) ATV Log Skidder. A rather nice and simple concept. See page 85 of Catalog number 50. Another company in Canada makes some really innovative devices for logging small woodlots. Check out their website at www.forestnet.com/novasylva
Send for a catalog, you will be impressed.

ATVs are not toys. They might be used by most people as toys. I have owned an ATV for about four years now and have only used been trail running twice. We use the quad on almost every job. The machine makes dragging brush fun and also very quick.

You guys need to rethink "toys" a little. Would you go back to using crosscut saws instead of chainsaws because chainsaws cost so much!? Would you go back to carburetors instead of computer controlled fule injection on your car so that you can adjust the carb?! I can't remember that last time I had to make any engine adjustments. Does anyone still grind their watch or do you replace the battery once in X years? Cell phones? Pagers? What are we using to carry on this discussion? We all move forward with some of our technology but look at other technology and think that we should stay where we are.

The use of ATVs may not pay off in time savings on every job but it does pay off in physical wear and tear on workers bodies. I can't remeber the day that I came home aching and sore from humping brush. The ATV is one TOOL that will successfully extend my career as a tree climber. I have four young, under thirty, guys working for me that will have a future ahead of them without being used up by the time that they are forty years old. I am forty five and look forward to climbing every day that I can. In the BA (Before ATV) years I used to lick my wounds on the weekend. I could sleep in, get some rest, take a long hot bath so that on Sunday night I could psych myself up to go out and wreck my body draggin logs and humping brush. Now my weekends are spent doing what the rest of the workforce does, camping, kayaking, fixing the house, having fun!

By using proper tools and saving physical wear and tear on our bodies we get a chip for every day we go home comfortable and not sore. We use up one of those chips on the days that we beat up our bodies. At the other end of our career we can start to cash in those chips. We use them because life just wears out our bodies. I plan on having a pretty big bag of chips to use in my senior years. Think of the chips like a retirement account. I have a better physical IRA than I have a monetary IRA. Which one would you want to be bigger in your senior years.?

The soft skills of arboriculture have been researched and old practices have changed. Why is so hard for the hard skills to change? We now have some Doctors doing research and testing of techniques used by climbers. Check out Dr. Peter Donzelli's work on the effeciency of various rigging blocks and mechanical advantage. It is about time that the green shirts get some research done that benefits thier craft. The white shirts have more than thier share of the research-dollar-pie.

Health will get you through times of no wealth better than wealth will get you through times of no health.

Working Safe and Smart,

Tom
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Tom Dunlap, on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Tom,

Some good points.

First "toys" is not meant to be perjorative with regard to innovation. I think it's pretty well accepted that people in any trade have a tendancy to like new stuff. Sometimes they go overboard and become "tool junkies." Ooooh I have to have one of those, or maybe one in each color. Maybe a lot of truth in that thing about "the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys."

Russ's point is well taken. The low tech simple solution is sometimes the most cost effective and the easiest in the long run.

I was trained by men who were climbing everyday into their sixties. They grew up in the days before chain saws and chippers. Some of them cut firewood with an double bit axe and a cross cut saw to make it through the depression. They were not used up by the time they were forty. What they did know was how to work smart with whatever tools they had. And yes those guys went hunting and fishing on weekends.
Maybe they were still climbing because there were not other opportunities open to them, but they were physically and mentally able to do.

That generation and the one that followed (mine)managed to climb with minimal gear. Some of the new climbing equipment may make work easier and safer in some situations, but I wonder if the 'toy' phenomenon comes into play somewhat here.

The bottom line is, tools should make sense. Not ignored because of tradtion or a false understanding of cost. Not acquired because of a trend or whim or false understanding of need or efficiency.
 
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<Russ Carlson>
posted
Reply to post by Tom Dunlap, on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Tom, the Skidmate in Forestry Suppliers is basically what I was describing. I saw an old one once on similar design, using the bike wheels, and pulled by hand (or horse). Use a pair of these, and you can lift the log off the ground, reducing damage. You attache the chains to the device while the tongue is tipped up, then pull the tongue down and it lifts the log. A second chain secures it that way.
 
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<Tom Dunlap>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on April 12, 1999 at 20:34:08:

Scott,

Great reply, thanks.

You were very fortunate to be trained by pros. I wish that there were more opportunities for beginning climbers to work an "apprenticeship" before going out on their own. I learned a lot from a hack pruner. He could rig well but not prune too well.

Tom
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Tom Dunlap, on April 13, 1999 at 06:41:52:

Well Tom, you might have seen this already since this is one of your favorite sites. I didn't make it up about tool junkies. Here's a discussion on the topic!
 
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<Tom Dunlap>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on April 13, 1999 at 20:26:52:

Scott,

Thanks for the link, I follow FHB/FWW but I missed that thread. The gagn on the FHB site is a lot like the Tree-Tech gang.

I have a 1985 Ford one ton van chock full of gear. The back doors swing open and there is a wall of orange. The Huskies are racked and ready. Power Pruner hung with care. Blower and hedge trimmer tucked in front. On the floor is the gas powered capstan winch powered by a non-Husky-but-orange-saw. The side doors is where the climbing and rigging gear is kept. With five climbers, we have a pile of lines.

I am thinking about replacing the van with a cab over engine one ton. A large behind the cab tool bos with belly boxes and an eight, no nine foot dumpbox should work. Diesel, automatic with a working radio would be nice.

Gear is Good, Gear is Good,
-The Arborist's Mantra

Tom
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Tom Dunlap, on April 15, 1999 at 10:25:53:

A 1 ton chassis is just about right for tools. Allows you a lot of freedom. But with a 9' chipbox. I don't know. Maybe you'll need to leave some tools home because the toolbox will be smaller or because the chips will be a lot for that chasis. How could you ever decide which tools to leave home anyway. Imagine how they'd feel. No, sounds like an additional chip truck is in order, 18,000# minimum. All wheel drive too. Besides with all those guys you'll need more than one vehicle anyway.

Then again, we had a plan for a crewmobile - like the RR's use - when we needed to think about bringing three crews in and out of Manhattan and dealing with traffic, parking and tolls. It would have been a converted schoolbus, leaving enough seats for crew size. Rest removed to make room for tools. Poles and ladders in the center aisle; in and out through the rear door (theft prone on roof racks you know). Chipper hitch of course. A small RV kitchen would have been tempting. And a small workbench with vise for sharpening saws, etc. That contract never came through though.

Yes, it's a disease.
 
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<Tom Dunlap>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on April 17, 1999 at 00:52:26:

Scott,

Already done the school bus gig. I bought one, cut off the body two windows back from the driver, cut out the right side, reinstalled a drop down ramp. Why? To drive the ATV in the bus! It fits in nice and we don't need to trailer it!

Maybe I need one of the small van-type school buses.

Can't have too many tools. I never thought about the tools feelings, there would be some attitude problems I am sure if some get elft at the shop and some get to work. Just what i need "Tools With Attitudes".

Gear is good!

Tom
 
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<John S>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on April 17, 1999 at 00:52:26:

I thought the vise belongs on the chipper?
 
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<Nathaniel Sperry>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on April 08, 1999 at 23:00:12:

Bike tires sound fine, yet they must be as wide as possible to minimize landscape damage and disperse the load well. I think of using plastic sewer pipe and making your own spokes as a concept yet it sounds much too labor intensive. Keeping it lightweight, minimal width and functional will insure that it gets used often.
 
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<ted taylor>
posted
Reply to post by Russ Carlson, on April 12, 1999 at 20:34:08:

I prefer the Timberjack 380
 
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<David M>
posted
Reply to post by Tom Dunlap, on April 06, 1999 at 22:29:45:

Hello, I just read your post and wanted to suggest some tools for your atv, take a peak at the site I found:

www.montanajacks.com

they make great UTILITY atv stuff. I thought you and the other readers may be interested.

Take care.
Dave
 
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