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Big J

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About Big J

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    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2014

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    East Devon

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  1. I agree entirely. Politics has long been the game of managing public perception, rather than enacting any meaningful and worthwhile change. We need better public transport - HS2 is a big glitzy prestige project with little actual benefit. We need greener heat and power - feeding millions of tonnes of (often not grown in the UK) virgin timber into boilers to make rich people richer isn't the answer. We need to get home users to reduce their particulate pollution from their fires - regulating moisture content isn't the answer. Better appliances and consumer education is more effective.
  2. I think that's the first time I've every heard/read you swear Beau. I apologise for the provocation 😲 It's a bit depressing really. The solution is really simple to reduce particulate pollution. Ban open fires completely and educate the public. Make is a legal requirement that all stoves have temperature monitoring so that they can't be 'slumbered'. I also really don't see why anyone on mains gas would want to bother with a stove? Or in the middle of a town or city? They're a lot of work - I can't wait to move into a house with geothermal and air/air heat pump so that I don't have to deal with the mess, the dust and all the bloody processing and stacking.
  3. You're much better off selling the timber at roadside as it's exempt from income tax. The moment you do any further processing, income tax applies. Sell it at roadside to a firewood producer who works from your site if you want, but keep the enterprises separate.
  4. This whole scheme will be in the evidence dossier in 50 years time as one of the obvious examples of how the Brits can take a good idea (ensuring that people burn dry firewood) and turn it into a complete farce. Much like HS2. Having high speed public transport is great, but not if you demolish dozens of ancient woodlands along the way and at such expense that the cost equates to paying every man, woman and child in the UK almost £2500. And where is the benefit for people in Wales, Scotland or N. Ireland? Or the stamp duty cut to stimulate the housing market in the wake of covid. That saving just going straight onto the asking price, pushing the price of housing up to even more unsustainable levels. I'm going to stop ranting now, before I properly start 😄
  5. You're going to be outside of my usual area, but you sound like you'd be an asset to any company that used you. Best of luck with the job hunting.
  6. Big J

    ArbDogs? Pics!

    Thanks Doug. She's home for now. I'll have her back out again, but not in the height of summer and not on the kinds of jobs I've been doing of late with long extraction routes. I have been careful not to overwork her up to now, but she can't even run up a hill at the moment whereas she was very rapid before this episode of ill health. I really do miss having her with me, but not as much as if she had died. You have to look for the silver linings....
  7. Big J

    ArbDogs? Pics!

    To update all you kind folk: Katie is doing really well. Back to her normal self, albeit with much diminished cardiovascular capacity (though it's improving, and her heart function seems to be improving too). She's eating like a horse, popping pills like there's no tomorrow and seems to have developed a fan club at the vets. We're so relieved that she's pulled through this 😎
  8. That would indeed be a very ugly situation. I'm always really careful when descending not to hit a larger log or stump with just one of the front wheels. When breaking into a rack for the first time (after hand felling), it's inevitable that there will be product lengths in the racks. Sometimes I climb up into it to sort it out, but I can't always actually climb them if they are steep. I sorted one rack descending backwards, meaning easy sorting, but no product pickup and having to drive back to the top to load. Normally I just force my way down, reaching around the cab to move the logs. A big saw is a necessity to cut stumps down as even a tidy stump can be too much for the 40cm ground clearance on a steep slope.
  9. I think I had you right - I was just explaining that it's much less unpleasant with a purpose built. I've only once had an uncontrolled descent in a tractor/trailer combo and it wasn't something I'd like to repeat.
  10. With the forwarder, you just have to make sure that when you do the steep bits that you are absolutely dead square to the hill and that you don't have to make any turns, as it'll seriously destabilise you. I never descend with a full load, rather picking up bits along the way so that I'm only full right at the bottom. For reference, the largest log I've loaded on the fairly steep bits was a 4.9m douglas, 43cm TDUB and 60cm base diameter. A smidge over a cubic metre. That's starting to become a little oversized for the machine, at about 850kg.
  11. Haha 😄 Is this the stage where I point out that I paid you for a day we were rained off because of your aforementioned heroic cutting efforts? 😝 All credit though as you started and finished the site and didn't take a day off, cutting about 400t on the way. It's the cages that are braked on the back, but most of the traction and braking on the slope comes from the front wheels (which are chained). I'd never take a trailer down there. With it being unfixed (ie, on a towing hitch and articulated, rather than fixed to the machine), you'd run the very serious risk of your trailer overtaking you. It might have been a bit easier with the Komatsu in there as the machine being 9ft wide gives if more stability. You'd have wanted front and back tracks though, which wouldn't have worked for the extraction route.
  12. Big J

    ArbDogs? Pics!

    This was her when she first got home, with my younger daughter cuddling her.
  13. Big J

    ArbDogs? Pics!

    Really good Gary - as well as we could have hoped. My wife collected her from the vets and came to my site with lunch, and Katie was cheery and bright. Panting a bit (it is warm, and she's always been crap in the heat) and not so quick on her feet but in no way withdrawn. I'm so pleased that she seems to be out of the woods. We've got a massive pile of meds to give her every day for the short term, and she'll be on heart meds for the rest of her life. She went straight to bed for a bit when they got back home, but then spent the rest of the afternoon outside, potting around the farm and sitting in the shade under the bench.
  14. This the very steepest bit. My stomach was fluttering a bit as I went over the edge of the step. Totally stable though. That slope is 35 degrees (on 70 percent, if you prefer. Or a little steeper than 1.5 in one). It was fine to load up a few small logs whilst sat there
  15. Big J

    ArbDogs? Pics!

    Thanks for all the warm wishes guys. It means a lot. So many of us here have companion dogs that we see more of than our partners, children, friends or indeed anyone else. Nobody goes into dog ownership blind - we nearly always outlive them, but it doesn't make the prospect of that end point any less traumatic. So to update - she's doing a lot better today. Much perkier, and she's somehow managed the convince the (obviously easily manipulated ) nurses that she only eats gravy bones. Her temperature is stable. Her heart murmur persists and her breathing is a bit laboured still, but it's a positive step and we can take her home tomorrow morning. With a bucketful of meds (to quote the vet). I don't think that she's out of the woods, but she'll hopefully recuperate better at home. There will be lasting damage to her heart with the endocarditis and the recovery from that is 4-6 months usually. It'll require her to have a change of pace in life, but hopefully she's on the road to recovery.

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