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  1. I did a stint on one last year , for short haul work they are handy machines. Some were lengthened at the front and were ok,..its those that were lengthened behind the bogies that caused most problems as it puts too much leverage on centre joints.Its always worth bouncing the crane around on them to check for centre joint play ,bearings aren't cheap and if the casting is damaged you are looking at machining /line boring, which soon runs away with a few grand. Sounds like yours is standard length.
  2. It comes back to cost every time doesn't it? Unless a contractor is in small thinnings full time then its a case of making the best of what you have. Harvesters that will cut big will also cut small, but it doesn't work as well the other way round. Cutting two row racks in a lot of stands is the only option to facilitate machinery, but even a few degrees of side slope can bollocks things, forwarders tend to creep and standing trees get marked. 50-80 cu/m days are common in poor quality first thinnings and with a harvester/forwarder setup needing to earn £1500-1800 a day minimum its not that attractive, taking downtime into consideration. The flip side of it is that timber stands don't have to achieve the quality of past generations,...most computerised mills are looking for 45cm max butt diameter which is easily achievable as a final crop. In a perfect world perhaps things would be done differently, but since mechanised harvesting its been a case of go with it or get out, there could be ten + contractors look at harvesting sites and someone will always do it, normally highest bidder buys the wood, lowest bidder gets the harvesting. although marketing companies are specifying maximum size machinery in some areas it tends to get overlooked when theres a few quid at stake. You only need to work crops that haven't been thinned to see the losses caused by suppression, this tends to get overlooked , yet damage in a thinned crop is the first thing that gets picked up on,..rock and a hard place.
  3. Like I said, bottom line, every time you handle a piece of wood in the way you are describing adds costs, add another machine into the equation and it increases contractors costs .Tbh most of us will have seen some pretty shitty messes made by quad bikes when constantly used over wet ground , some sites are better left for another day, the contractor who is the one that normally gets the flack for things like this is only doing as instructed, if most of us had a choice we would work mess free all year round, but forestry ground doesn't always allow that, however dry the weather.
  4. My bet is that anything would have made a mess in there looking at the photos. Its not as much a case of machinery being wrong as perhaps timing, but someone let them start the job, that's forestry hey ? Most landowners/ agents will look at the bottom line, would they have been better off financially extracting with lighter machinery extracting a couple of tonnes a time ? I doubt it with the added extraction costs , and they would have still had mess to reinstate.
  5. A lot been shipped to India in recent years for peeling.
  6. ESS

    Anyone seen this Matador about?

    If you were to join the timber tractors and lorries group on F B my bet is someone on there will tell you exactly where it is.
  7. ESS

    Sthil 441 Chain Tensioner Breaking

    From memory there is a backing plate on these saws that you would have to remove to change the tensioner.Pretty sure that on some Stihls you had to remove the bar studs to remove the backing plate. If that is the case have you made sure that both studs have been fully tightened into the crankcase when replacing, if not one of them could be undoing itself a little when you slacken the bar nuts and the bar not seating properly .
  8. Keep an eye on Cheffins prices at Cambridge. I could see it making that. I brought a lot of beech and Yew tree off there in around 90/91 and there was a 1200 working at the top of the lane where we went in. Think it was the old gallops alongside the block we were in. Perhaps that was you ?
  9. Did you ever do work at Box hill with the 1200 ?
  10. What do you see the value of them as ?
  11. It helps , but with wheeled machines not as much as you would hope.I had a small one built years ago for skidding large conifer to keep them cleaner, I only had a smallish skidder at the time. The front end still lifted at times, and because I was dragging an extra set of wheels through mud it made things heavier going . Tbh I was a bit disappointed with it. Behind cats, which they were really designed for they were a great idea. Have you got your front wheels ballasted, that makes a big difference?
  12. For sure. Tbh a lot of lorry cranes would struggle to lift butt end of a 150 lump, its a big ask of a crane on the back of a machine.
  13. Sorry , no what I was trying to say was the machine will pull 150 comfortably as a skidder, but I couldn't comment on how efficient the crane would be with that weight.There were only trees up to 70 on this site. Lifting 150 tip first on longer trees would probably be ok, but butt first not so sure. I know exactly where you are coming from with the 2 machine operation,we used to fell a lot of Oak,and looked at all the options, in the end we just used a skidder and subbied the crown wood forwarding out, it worked for us and we weren't paying finance on a crane trailer or forwarder that was stood watching us whilst we felled/extracted butts. If I was to go down that route again I would probably use grapple/cable skidder and still subby the forwarding out. £6- 8 /t gets a lot of forwarding done. To buy a forwarder that you could afford to sit for these sites would be buying someone elses scrap and it just wouldn't stack up financially.
  14. Its easy to forget how far back they went,particularly when they are still used. Always liked the shape of the 1164, and they sounded sweet. They always seem to find a home when they come up for sale, whatever condition. Some seem to find their way to the vintage sales at Cambridge. Thanks for that, brings back memories.


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