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Big J

Compact harvester - best base machine (excavator)?

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Might be worth checking flow good enuff fr a forest mulcher head too, so you can snap it on fr tidy ups on rides and turning areas?  K

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19 hours ago, Big J said:

Very useful. Many thanks! The JCB seems to be coming out top on flow rates, but I do need to check pressures. 

I'll make some calls on Monday and try to expand my knowledge on the topic. Because it's a very small machine, I'd be limited to small heads. The Jobo ST50 combi would work well here, having roller feed for cleaner timber and stroke feed for the crappy stuff. 

I need to explore a few more first thinning blocks in the area too to determine what the average ground conditions are like as that'll inform the base machine choice, should I go ahead.

I seem to recall @LGP Eddie saying about lower working pressures on a JCB machines, with regard to tree shears on them.

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I have had most makes on hire or demo over the years and I can honestly say the worst machine ever by far was an 8 tonne JCB - couldn't get rid of it quick enough.

 

Best by far, the best to spend time in and to operate was a 14t Volvo, so refined - followed by a 25t Hitachi Zaxis. 30t Kobelco was also good, if a little lumbering.

 

Got a 7.5t Hitachi now.

Edited by arboriculturist
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By no means expert on this but looked at putting a head on our tb175 and the answer was pretty much no chance for a roller head but a stroke head would be fine.

Steel tracks also a necessity, rubbers are hopeless once you get greasy branches/roots underfoot.

With regards to a 5t machine, if you can get one of those in there you'll not exactly struggle with a 7-8t. Especially zero tail. And a bigger machine will be far more capable and better balanced.

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8 hours ago, SbTVF said:

By no means expert on this but looked at putting a head on our tb175 and the answer was pretty much no chance for a roller head but a stroke head would be fine.

Steel tracks also a necessity, rubbers are hopeless once you get greasy branches/roots underfoot.

With regards to a 5t machine, if you can get one of those in there you'll not exactly struggle with a 7-8t. Especially zero tail. And a bigger machine will be far more capable and better balanced.

Interesting regarding the TB175 - I've seen lots of videos on Youtube of small machines running roller heads. There is a big variation in the oil flow requirements on the thinnings heads that I've looked at though.

 

There is a big difference in footprint between a 5-6t digger and a 7-8 tonner. Usually the former are 195-200cm wide and the latter are 30cm wider. I am told that there are a lot of young plantations in the Southwest that were planted tighter than normal (1.5-1.8m spacing) so to avoid having to take two rows, a narrow machine is a must.

 

Definitely agree regarding the tracks.

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11 hours ago, arboriculturist said:

I have had most makes on hire or demo over the years and I can honestly say the worst machine ever by far was an 8 tonne JCB - couldn't get rid of it quick enough.

 

Best by far, the best to spend time in and to operate was a 14t Volvo, so refined - followed by a 25t Hitachi Zaxis. 30t Kobelco was also good, if a little lumbering.

 

Got a 7.5t Hitachi now.

JCB seems to be very unpopular. Good to know, as you cannot beat 1st hand reports.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Big J said:

Interesting regarding the TB175 - I've seen lots of videos on Youtube of small machines running roller heads. There is a big variation in the oil flow requirements on the thinnings heads that I've looked at though.

 

There is a big difference in footprint between a 5-6t digger and a 7-8 tonner. Usually the former are 195-200cm wide and the latter are 30cm wider. I am told that there are a lot of young plantations in the Southwest that were planted tighter than normal (1.5-1.8m spacing) so to avoid having to take two rows, a narrow machine is a must.

 

Definitely agree regarding the tracks.

 

A 1.5m centre spacing with a row out will give you a 3m rack which is about standard, hence all purpose built thinnings machines are <2.9m wide. Only time I’ve  taken 2 rows is when it’s been spaced less than that, and has had very good results for the crop. 
I personally would not go as small with the machine I would rather have a slightly bigger base machine with a smaller head for what you want to do. Less strain on all the pumps, motors, pins etc etc. A lot of conversions for 1st thinnings are on 13-14ton bases for this reason and has more potential for related works down the line and has the stability when working the matrix. 
Bare in mind if you take 1 in 6 rows at 1.5m spacing that would leave a matrix of 6m how would you access the middle with the small machine if required to do so. 

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2 minutes ago, Elmsdown Forestry said:

 

A 1.5m centre spacing with a row out will give you a 3m rack which is about standard, hence all purpose built thinnings machines are <2.9m wide. Only time I’ve  taken 2 rows is when it’s been spaced less than that, and has had very good results for the crop. 
I personally would not go as small with the machine I would rather have a slightly bigger base machine with a smaller head for what you want to do. Less strain on all the pumps, motors, pins etc etc. A lot of conversions for 1st thinnings are on 13-14ton bases for this reason and has more potential for related works down the line and has the stability when working the matrix. 
Bare in mind if you take 1 in 6 rows at 1.5m spacing that would leave a matrix of 6m how would you access the middle with the small machine if required to do so. 

I'd access the middle in one of two ways. Either by creating chevrons and using them to get further into the matrix, or I'd cut a ghost rack out in between the main access racks.

 

I'm really not keen on a machine as large 14t. The largest I'd consider is a zero tailswing 8t base unit. There are loads of people down here with Harvadigs and similar sized harvesters and there is no point trying to compete with them. 

 

I do take your point about stability and strain on the machine though. A small head on a larger machine is eminently sensible. 

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Just now, Big J said:

I'd access the middle in one of two ways. Either by creating chevrons and using them to get further into the matrix, or I'd cut a ghost rack out in between the main access racks.

 

I'm really not keen on a machine as large 14t. The largest I'd consider is a zero tailswing 8t base unit. There are loads of people down here with Harvadigs and similar sized harvesters and there is no point trying to compete with them. 

 

I do take your point about stability and strain on the machine though. A small head on a larger machine is eminently sensible. 


7-8 ton with a small nisula 325h would probably be onto a winner. Slightly wider still  low ground pressure and possibly

put wider tracks on to help stabilise the base. 
Speak with molsons see what they offer with high ground clearance will help

a lot, in the brands they offer someone must offer something. 
 

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