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cousin jack

Mechanised or horse logging

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would extraction via winch to ride and then stack with tractor make it any easier ? . only asking as im interested in your thoughts and findings .

 

As someone has said above, each site will be specific. I have worked alongside a winch, pulling larch thinnings to chip and there was nothing in it, horse and I easily compared to the winch operation.

I will always try and advocate using a winch on uphill extraction, site tractor and winch above, and then use the horse to pull across or downbank to the winch line.

The above sample, (which was not cherry picked), has been produced to try and make woodland owners, foresters and agents, to consider using horses as a viable and sustainable alternative to machine methods, and proposing that selective thinning, rather than linear will produce a better yield and potentially bigger profit's over the lifetime of the crop.

Of course the other thing to consider is that the horses and operators are up to the job.

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Well if its tricky extraction and you need high outputs consider an Alstor, its under 5' wide and can move between 30-60 tonnes per day to roadside, ( WITH A GOOD OPERATOR). i know i'm biased as i have been operating these for 15 years now, but for its size there's nothing else to compete at the present, it also makes a lot less mess than the completion including the old horses with a psi foot print of 4 to 1.5 psi. you can also lift logs of over half a tonne so 5m saw logs, then put it on a trailer and take it home. if you need a winch we now fit a hydraulic one to the loader with a remote control and 35m of cable to get to those hard to reach places

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Get an old tractor and Timbermaster winch for next to nothing, 2 guys cutting short wood then extracting. No need for harvester or horse, uses bugger all diesel and good living to be made if you have a good head and are willing to graft!

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Well if its tricky extraction and you need high outputs consider an Alstor, its under 5' wide and can move between 30-60 tonnes per day to roadside, ( WITH A GOOD OPERATOR). i know i'm biased as i have been operating these for 15 years now, but for its size there's nothing else to compete at the present, it also makes a lot less mess than the completion including the old horses with a psi foot print of 4 to 1.5 psi. you can also lift logs of over half a tonne so 5m saw logs, then put it on a trailer and take it home. if you need a winch we now fit a hydraulic one to the loader with a remote control and 35m of cable to get to those hard to reach places

 

At £50,000 you need to keep it very busy and it would have to be a VERY short extraction to get 60 tonne to roadside.

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£40,000 approx for a new 820 and up to 400 m runs for high end outputs, as the pay load is 2 tonne longer runs than 400m will reduce out puts. also important to present timber well for forwarding. typical extraction costs per tonne range from around £3.50-£10 per tonne. don't get me wrong i think horse logging is a good way to remove timber we had a few shires on our farm and enjoyed using them, i have also worked on site with horse extraction and for short hauls they work well. the only problem is commercially the cost of extraction. to make timber commercially viable without off setting with subsidy or grants the harvesting operations should at least cover its own cost and should look to make the owner a profit. the cheapest option would always be mechanical harvesting and extraction, with larger machines with costs around or sub £10 peer tonne to roadside. typical new investment costs of £250k plus for a harvester and £160k plus for a forwarder, these produce high outputs, but as large scale forestry is dying in the UK they tend to have to work for less and less and for longer hours to make the payments, i know as i own a valmet 901 harvester. its by no means new, but it still takes a lot of paying for. larger machines can sometimes be hard on the ground, which may ask the question by owners what other methods of extraction are available. i use an altsor for my delicate or difficult sites as it offers me a good solution to many of the issues that i encounter. yes it is not a cheap option but no new machines. You can never compare second hand prices with new. Also a company that produce 50 machines a year would have a higher unit cost that say a company that produce a 1000.

 

Also another factor is how much need s to be felled or extracted per day. If its a small amount then a powered wheeled barrow might be a solution to some people or at the other end of the scale a 20 tonne class forwarder may only just keep up with a hgigh out put harvester. there is a massive skill shortage of good forestry cutters, with a decline reaching back now over 20 years. production forestry is a dying art and is hard work with very little good operators wanting to enter this career. there are clots of folks working at it part time, but a lot have the timber costs off set by trust or organisations. there's room for all kinds of working methods in forestry some better than others and some more sensitive. surely the aim is to do a good job and try and make a little money in one of the hardest jobs in the world

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Well if its tricky extraction and you need high outputs consider an Alstor, its under 5' wide and can move between 30-60 tonnes per day to roadside, ( WITH A GOOD OPERATOR). i know i'm biased as i have been operating these for 15 years now, but for its size there's nothing else to compete at the present, it also makes a lot less mess than the completion including the old horses with a psi foot print of 4 to 1.5 psi. you can also lift logs of over half a tonne so 5m saw logs, then put it on a trailer and take it home. if you need a winch we now fit a hydraulic one to the loader with a remote control and 35m of cable to get to those hard to reach places

 

I really like the idea of the Alstor and have been looking at them on and off over the last 8 years or so. I understand the economies of scale, but I really just can't see why they retail for so much.

 

I realise it's not a particularly great comparison, but I've always liked the idea of the Vimek 606. It looks to be a productive small machine too, but is more expensive at £70,000 ish. But despite the extra cost I can't help but think it looks the better value for money with having a bigger crane, reverse drive, full cab, more robust tyres and a diesel engine as standard.

 

Talking to Caledonian at the APF they reckon there are operators in the UK managing to legally move them on trailers behind a normal 4x4 (just).

 

As a lower cost (and admittedly less agile) alternative to an alstor, I think a small 4wd tractor (an alpine or kubota/iseki etc) and one of the driven Vahva Jussi trailers with the new extending crane would be a useful little tool and the tractor could come in for other stuff too, from skidding to running a splitter etc.

 

I got a bit sidetracked in my previous post - I don't have anything against using Horses and if it came across that way it was unintentional. From what I've seen there's little mechanically that could deal with the sideslopes that a horse could.

 

What I do like about machinery though is it can be parked up and forgotten about if need be, whereas a Horse can't.

 

Totally agree with Nathan's last paragraph in the post before this :thumbup1:

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£40,000 approx for a new 820 and up to 400 m runs for high end outputs, as the pay load is 2 tonne longer runs than 400m will reduce out puts. also important to present timber well for forwarding. typical extraction costs per tonne range from around £3.50-£10 per tonne. don't get me wrong i think horse logging is a good way to remove timber we had a few shires on our farm and enjoyed using them, i have also worked on site with horse extraction and for short hauls they work well. the only problem is commercially the cost of extraction. to make timber commercially viable without off setting with subsidy or grants the harvesting operations should at least cover its own cost and should look to make the owner a profit. the cheapest option would always be mechanical harvesting and extraction, with larger machines with costs around or sub £10 peer tonne to roadside. typical new investment costs of £250k plus for a harvester and £160k plus for a forwarder, these produce high outputs, but as large scale forestry is dying in the UK they tend to have to work for less and less and for longer hours to make the payments, i know as i own a valmet 901 harvester. its by no means new, but it still takes a lot of paying for. larger machines can sometimes be hard on the ground, which may ask the question by owners what other methods of extraction are available. i use an altsor for my delicate or difficult sites as it offers me a good solution to many of the issues that i encounter. yes it is not a cheap option but no new machines. You can never compare second hand prices with new. Also a company that produce 50 machines a year would have a higher unit cost that say a company that produce a 1000.

 

Also another factor is how much need s to be felled or extracted per day. If its a small amount then a powered wheeled barrow might be a solution to some people or at the other end of the scale a 20 tonne class forwarder may only just keep up with a hgigh out put harvester. there is a massive skill shortage of good forestry cutters, with a decline reaching back now over 20 years. production forestry is a dying art and is hard work with very little good operators wanting to enter this career. there are clots of folks working at it part time, but a lot have the timber costs off set by trust or organisations. there's room for all kinds of working methods in forestry some better than others and some more sensitive. surely the aim is to do a good job and try and make a little money in one of the hardest jobs in the world

 

The opening post states that the owner of the woodland concerned could be better off to the tune of £300,000. If that is'nt profit I don't what is. The figures were compiled by Dr Adam Watson, he is a scientist not a forester, he is impartial as to the profits/losses incurrred, his main concern is the effect modern forestry is having on the area where he has lived all his life, ie The Cairngorms.

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steep side slopes is a good point, especially in tight areas as machinery can find this hard if not running on a levelled brash matt. The Alstor now has the option for reverse drive for less than a £800, which is a great help. A friend of mine priced up a new compact tractor the other day and a small drive trailer and he was surprised to find the unit would cost about the same as the entry level 810 Alstor.

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