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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. Speak to Logie sawmill. I expect they'll take them. They have the throat capacity for 4ft logs
  2. Speak to Mark Councill at Logie Timber. They might have some left from two loads I arranged for them last year. Say that Jonathan Robinson sent you!
  3. I'd never twigged, but the APF is only 5 miles from my cousin's house, and with us now being down south, I shall make an effort to come this year
  4. Not quite. Whilst pools of water in ruts might be OK ecologically, rutting to that extent means significant root damage most likely, thus compromising the long term health of the trees. The site we're on at the moment has certain areas we can use large machines and other areas we cannot. I've pulled about 200t off a boggy bit with the little machine, running along an access track that was put in years ago for a landrover. For the couple of months since we started, the track has remained fine for a 2wd van. The first time the harvester went along it, it squashed the opening to a pipe under the track, causing the ditch to back up. The only full day we've done with the big forwarder has completely knackered the track and now that 2wd van cannot go down it at all. Big machines means potentially big damage and always means big reinstatement. You can regularly get away without that with the smaller kit.
  5. A small forwarder really is the way to go. The speed with which you can move, position, lift timber and move again is in another league compared to a tractor trailer set up. Additionally, you have far more traction. If moving a decent amount of timber is what you want to do, then get a small forwarder. They aren't expensive, and not much more than a decent tractor/trailer set up. I found loads of work really quickly with mine and it paid for itself on the first three jobs.
  6. Coming from a sawmilling point of view, the benefits are very substantial. With species such as larch, douglas and western red cedar, it would be extremely beneficial to high prune the branches at an early stage to improve the quality of the final crop. Dead knots highly devalue the final product, and as a sawmill, being able to offer clean, knot free timber products means you can charge a premium. That grade of timber is largely covered by imported stock presently. If I (as a sawmill) can charge more for the end product, I can pay more for the raw material too. For pristine douglas, I'd expect to pay at least 25% more than for standard grade, if not more than that. Particularly for douglas, as it's widely used structurally and knots (whether live or dead) will devalue the beam. The cost implications aren't high. Say for instance it's DF, you high prune only your final crop and possibly the final thinning stock. You do this after the second thin, at say 25 years. The trees are 60-70ft and you prune 35-45ft of the stem. After a second thin, you might have 1000 stems per hectare. You only prune 400 of them. That's a cost of about £400. You final crop will usually attain 500t/ha, of which 50% would be premium sawlog material. So 250t at 25% more than the average (which for long length DF is presently about £75-80/t) gives you a return on your £400 investment of £4600-5000 per hectare. Seems pretty sensible to me.
  7. From reading the comments on the Youtube vid, the manufacturer seems to reckon it likes spruce the best.
  8. Looking at some of the comments and responses from the manufacturer, it seems to cope with branches to 4cm. Should handle oak OK, but the stems would need to be poker straight. I'd be happier using it on conifer personally. It would be a good service for us to offer with our low impact first and second thinnings. Thin out the stand, and then high prune everything once we're done.
  9. I definitely need to get one of these. The benefit to young plantations (in terms of improvement of sawlog quality) is enormous and being able to fairly easily do 500 + trees per, it would be very productive. We're working in Larch and Douglas at the moment that would have hugely benefitted from a machine like this 20 years ago. It's a little depressing when you've a long, straight stem, 70ft up to the live branches and there are dead pegs most of the way up.
  10. Big J

    Gap in the market?

    I know, but I had 590 miles to drive and the 15 minutes I saved on the stretch from Aviemore to Perth (by driving at the limit, as opposed to 9-10 miles an hour under it) makes quite a difference. I do agree that the ASC have improved safety but I just wish people didn't drive so slowly (or inconsistently - cruise control is on most vehicles now). Most of the A9 is still single carriageway but the lanes are incredibly wide and you've often at least 1/2 mile of visibility infront of you. It's a lovely and easy road to drive.
  11. Oh course I'm right! 😁 The fact of the matter is that FPTP has given the impression that Scotland is overwhelmingly pro Independence and that England is overwhelmingly pro Leave. That is not the case, and the reality is that it's much more balanced.
  12. Big J

    Pensions

    My best advice would be invest in woodland. The capital is protected from inheritance tax and the income is income tax free. If anyone is interested, we've recently started a company to establish new woodland. It's only come together in the past 12 weeks, so we're a little late to the game for this planting season, but as it is, we're planting 74 acres of new woodland in the Southwest this spring, across two sites. Infact, the site in West Devon represents 40% of all of the new planting in that Forestry Commission area (West Devon), which shows the shocking state of new woodland creation in the UK. In all seriousness, we're looking to expand the planting quite significantly in 2021, so if you're interested in an alternative income source for retirement that leaves a protected asset for your kids/significant others, get in touch.
  13. Big J

    Gap in the market?

    Quite probably, but it's not worth the risk to my licence. They made a big thing of the ASC on the A9 and they were quite controversial at the time. I was very much against them, but I see their merit to an extent. It still added 20 minutes to my journey to Aviemore though when they were installed. Sat nav is the key thing. All car speedos are inaccurate. Use a sat nav and you know what your speed is and can adjust accordingly. On a road like the A9 (with high traffic volume), I feel that you're morally obligated to travel at the speed limit to ensure smooth traffic flow. Especially in ideal weather conditions. It's a very long and boring road if you're doing 50mph!
  14. Big J

    Gap in the market?

    I can't wait for widespread electricification. Individual motors on each wheel means no more differentials and no more wheel slip. I've just over 2 years left on the Berlingo until it's paid for. It'll be interesting to see what is available then. The immediate and urgent acceleration offered by electric vehicles is of huge appeal to me. I don't like getting caught behind slow drivers, but it happens all the time. I was coming down the A9 the other day between Aviemore and Perth in moderate traffic and with the average speed cameras, everyone does about 57mph according to their speedos. That's about 53mph on GPS, which is about 10mph less than I would like to do and about 13mph less than you can get away with. But getting past them in the V10 Touareg was easy and safe. Must have overtaken about 30 odd cars between Aviemore and Perth. Whilst that might seem like a performance car now (370ps, 850nm), it's distinctly average for an electric vehicle. The days of getting stuck behind the Sunday drivers in their Nissan Notes and Honda Jazz's are coming to an end! 😁
  15. There are some sites where larger machinery simply couldn't go. We're cutting and extracting on bog at the moment and a larger machine would just sink. I have the choice of a fully tracked komatsu 840tx or the logbullet and the komatsu is going nowhere near the stand. The damage would be horrendous. Ok it takes longer with the little machine, but it still does 4-6t an hour. Also, in early thinnings, a small machine on a modest extraction distance is almost as quick as manoeuvring a large machine in a tight stand is time consuming. On balance, I'd rather use the small machine as the ground impact is so low.

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