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Big J

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Everything posted by Big J

  1. Yep, it pays for itself. I had the first Logbullet in the UK, and have been out to Finland to see them in action, and will again go at Easter. Mine is 630hrs and 18 month old. It's paid for itself already. I've broken various bits of it, but the manufacturer support has been outstanding and everything I break gets replaced FOC and subsequent machines sent out are uprated. I'm basically the "if anyone can break it, he can" guy, and I'm helping with development going forward. Small machines have to built down to a weight, and as such are delicate, but if you're a sympathetic machine operator, they are reliable enough and cheap to fix when they break. I've just had to replace a lift motor and ram on my much larger Komatsu 840tx and that's about £800 once fitted. Just to be able to lift the sodding cab up. The difference in ground damage has to be seen to be believed. We're working on a site at the moment with a big machine clearfell, a big machine thinning and a small machine thinning. The ground was hard on the big machine bits and is now completely buggered with the weight of the machines and the weather we've had. The small machine section was very soft to start, but the damage has been minimal by comparison. I'm biased obviously, but I'd say go Logbullet. Alstor make very good machines but they are extremely expensive. I don't have any experience with Kinetic, but again, a different price class to the Logbullet. I don't have personal experience with the Kranman forwarders, but they are popular in Sweden, and I have the Kranman processor, which is very good and their backup is also very good. I don't know where you are, but you're welcome to come and see my machine in action in Devon. Otherwise, there are a couple more of us on here with Logbullets, one in Wales, the other North Yorkshire (I'll let them introduce themselves!).
  2. A point I forgot to mention is that my back is much worse now that I'm a machine operator mainly. Having the back held in an unnatural position for 8-12hrs a day is just not good.
  3. Bugger. I'm sorry you've had it so bad. As someone with an occasionally incapacitating and usually stiff back, you have my sympathy. Training is the only thing that works for me. The osteopath really helps, but there are good ones and bad ones. What has been the most likely diagnosis from your various tests? I realise that back complaints are hard to diagnose.
  4. Not really, no. I have a good orthopaedic Ikea mattress and I still wake up as stiff as a board. Only place I wake up fresh from is a reclining chair. I know you're generally as fit as a flea, but what core and posterior chain exercises do you do? I find my back is only OK if I'm disciplined and do some weighlifting, specifically squats.
  5. The stove is almost exclusively loved by men and exclusively loathed by women. It's an engineering masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned, but I agree that it can be contentious with the women folk.
  6. Bullerjan 01. We had one in a similar sized room in a similarly draughty house in Scotland and was certainly not OTT. 11kw. Should be able to find one in budget, though they aren't the easier to get in the UK. The convection from the pipes is superb, and they punch above their weight. Take 50cm logs too. Much more interesting than the current trend for boring square boxes with oversized windows.
  7. OK, you win! 😂 It's just been so wet for so long. Just over 400mm in the past 11 weeks. The majority of the rain free days have been foggy, so no drying. The only week I've seen any drying all winter preceded Storm Ciara and then was completely undone by the weekend's rain. I was chatting to another forestry contractor down here, and he said he's spent more time debogging and repairing machines this winter than actually operating them.
  8. Liquid mud. This defines my life now.
  9. I think it's a combination of a number of pressures and issues: Climate change. More regular extreme weather events. Whilst we've not had consequential flooding here where we are in the South West, we have had over a metre of rain since the second week of September. That's more than a typical year here. With that level of ground saturation, it doesn't take much to overspill. We had 29mm of rain in a few hours yesterday morning and all the back roads were flooded. Population pressure. Increased population, without the planning law change to accommodate them. It's still incredibly hard to build your own house, and as such new building is left entirely in the hands of large developers who frequently build on unsuitable sites, such as flood plains. Lack of investment. 10 years of austerity, with sustained cut backs of public services and reduction of investment in flood defences. Upland land management methods. Continued use of uplands for grouse shooting (with associated burning) and lack of aforestation accelerates the passage of rainfall into rivers, exacerbating flooding issues downstream. We need to plant the hills, ideally with spruce. We import 80% of our timber at present, and to establish upland forests would kill many birds with one stone. Bugger native broadleaves. They are useless squirrel food until we eliminate the greys. The issue is that the guidance is at present that only NBs can be planted in most upland areas in England (Dartmoor, Exmoor, Bodmin, to use the local examples). Public attitude. Some places flood. They aren't defendable. Either adapt your house to occasional flooding or move.
  10. I don't know about hardwoods, but softwood is presently about 20% down on October.
  11. High speed rail is best suited to countries where geographical distances are a limiting factor for the economies, where populations are widely distributed and countrysides that aren't cluttered with centuries of historical development. The UK is a tiny country. It takes very little time to drive from one end to the other. I did Edinburgh to Devon just after new year in 6hrs 45min overnight and that was just about sticking to the speed limits. High speed rail requires long, straight lengths of track. England is the most densely populated country in Europe (as a misanthrope, quite why I moved here is beyond me!) and trying to cut an unyielding straight line through two millenia of civilisation is going to be staggeringly expensive and massively unpopular. The 20th century was the age of personalised transport. I have my car/van on my drive, I get in it, I go to where I want to go and get out. My vehicle is still there when I want to come back and I don't have to share that space inside the car with anyone not of my choosing enroute. That convenience is absolutely unbeatable when compared to the public transport alternatives. The investment needs to be going into hugely upgrading the road network. I know I bleat on about it, but the roads here in Devon and the South West more broadly are horrendous. They are the cause of very slow average speeds, very high emissions and frequent, avoidable accidents. The two closest towns to Cullompton (where we live) are Tiverton and Honiton. Tiverton is only 4.5 miles away, but the main road is so bad (ie, 50% single track) that they don't recommend you go that way at all and redirect you via the M5 and the North Devon link road, which is 12 miles. Similarly, the Honiton road has frequent pinch points that are only a fraction better than single track. My point is, no one in their right mind is going to give up their car to use high speed rail, and the only people that HS2 makes sense to are people in the London bubble.
  12. We are working on bog at the moment with the Logbullet, and I'm testing out some new tracks on the machine. They are working well, though I still get stuck sometimes. I've had the tracks for ages, but the issue was the guides that deflect them around the guide motors. That's sorted now, so front tracks will be fitted next week too. The ground is so soft that they'd overtop your wellies sometimes. It's mainly alder, with areas of ash and norway spruce. Thank goodness for the spruce, as it's all I can use for brash matting. Still though, you'll pass over an area that seems OK a couple of times, and then suddenly sink a foot, as the photo shows. Good fun though. I much prefer titting around with this, and letting a driver clear my clearfell area for me with the Komatsu. Apologies for the blurred first photo:
  13. Ach, that'll buff out Gary!
  14. It's not. 😝 It's the photo that's wonky (if you look at the trees in the background).
  15. If you're worried about sap on your saw, you're in the wrong trade! This is my cutter's 372XP which at the point that the photo taken was 2 weeks old. He'd been cutting sitka.
  16. The thing is, I've not actually heard anything from anyone that wants HS2 except for politicians. It's appears to just be a massive vanity project for egotistical buffoons.
  17. I agree. My brother is an engineer and has been working on HS2 related projects for ages. I don't object to investing that quantity of money in public transport, but this represents extremely poor value for money.
  18. One thousand times that. Approximately £3257 for every working age person (excluding the unemployed) in the UK.
  19. What a collasal waste of money. At a cost of £200,000 per metre, it's the most expensive high speed line in the world by a massive margin. This article from the Telegraph uses a lower estimate of £42 billion for the construction cost, and given that it's now expected to cost over £100 billion, you can extrapolate that our HS line is costing 25 times as much per kilometre as in Europe: Revealed: HS2 'abysmal value for money' at 10 times the cost of high-speed rail in Europe WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK HS2 is the most expensive high speed project in existence, according to new analysis undertaken by The Telegraph. And I'd bet my left nut that the £106 billion figure won't stand. They'll get to that point, with the project 50% complete and demand the same again to finish it, throwing good money after bad. I realise we have compulsory purchases to pay for, but how does it cost 25 times as much? The French can build TGV for a fraction. In fact the new TGV Méditerranée line cost £11630 per metre and includes huge viaducts and tunnels: Where exactly does the extra £188370 per metre go on HS2?
  20. That's made my day with the swamped Masserati! Anyone who buys a poser-mobile like that and expects to be able to ford floods deserves what they get!
  21. Outstanding! I love brown oak
  22. I'm only relaying what I was told. I haven't verified the price.
  23. I checked with SV Tech. It's only the rear axle assembly that's required. It is infact only the internals of the diff, but it's generally cheaper to get a new rear axle. A new one is £800-1000 plus labour, less for a second hand one.
  24. Chipwood makes pretty good money at the moment. I was asking about location as it'll influence the price a bit. If you were local, we might be able to help with the harvesting or point you in the direction of customers. Larch makes superb firewood, but getting firewood customers to take it is the issue. There would be sawlog material from the stand too.

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