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r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture
How big is your tractor?

I'm right on the edge of getting a tractor. A local dealer has some Bobcat tractors back from lease returns, low hours and a great price.

I was pretty close to buying a 35 HP one, but it isn't available; I can go to a 30 HP one, or up to a 40 HP tractor (all Bobcat tractors). All of them are 4 wheel drive.

How big of a tractor do you need to keep your mill running?

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

RG, I run a JD 3032e it is 32 hp. and is all I need. It will yard one heck of a log and has good lift power up front. If Bob cat has the 40 at a good price go for it. I can tell you that Bobcat is one heck of a machine, they have great hydraulic pumps and power, not to mention the attachments are endless. I know this because a friend runs a bobcat tractor (45 hp I think) as well as a excavator and he can run the same attachments on either. Kioti tractors run the same attachment system as well. So my advise is take a look at the size (foot print and weight) and decide if you can haul it and it fits your needs and is a good deal, Just go For it!!!! PS don't bother asking the wife.

 photo 20141019_120056_zpsn3py3p8x.jpg

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

You'll never wish you had less power (except for when you pay for it), but power only tells part of the story.  You're on the right track to be looking at 4wd.  Weight and lift capacity are more important.  Big front wheels with tractor tread are helpful when you pull logs over rough ground.  Agility (turning radius) is also important.  I have a 53 hp IH-Case that can lift around 1,200 pounds.  It has a PTO winch that weights around 500 pounds on the back, which helps keep the rear wheels on the ground.  Sometimes I wish it would lift more, but it is overall a good tractor.  Consider your applications. If you lift logs onto the sawmill or onto a deck, you'll need more lift capacity than if you just move boards & slabs around.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

I have a 46 HP Kubota MX4700HST.  It's all I need.  But I have seen a few logs (maximum size for my mill) that it can't lift.  I sometimes wonder how my front tires can survive when the forks are loaded high with boards for the kiln or heavy logs.  Four wheel drive is highly desireable; and if your tractor is light like mine, fluid filled rear tires and/or weights, as well as a heavy implement on the 3-point hitch (box blade on mine).  My Kubota is 4-wheel drive with a hydrostatic transmission which is great when loading and using a bucket, but I think it makes the engine burn through more diesel than a standard trans.   It has a quick-attach front end loader that enables it to hook up to skid-steer type implements.  

Baron
Baron's picture

Of course, as we all know, it isn't the horse power that matters but rather the energy and how it is applied. A human being is only one zillionth of a horsepower and yet through the proper application of our efforts we're able to lift many many tons with our bottle jacks. I'm thinking of buying an old skid loader with forks (but without bottle jacks). I've noticed that no one has mentioned skid loaders yet and I would value your insight(s) regarding them. I have a very large track loader and also access to a very large cat telehandler. They are handy for lugging around the big logs and also loading trucks but are terribly slow when off-bearing and stacking or sorting lumber. I don't need to go charging around on mountainsides, I have that covered, I just need to stack and transport efficiently. Skid loaders take up very little space and have large lift capacity for their size.

My stickered lumber averages btwn 42" and 48" wide x 12' - 17'  long. how much does it weigh per vertical foot. I guess I could calculate board feet and look up how much different species weigh. I'm curious how high tall my stacks could be.  

Baron

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Well, I'm getting a Bobcat CT445, 45 HP rated for 2050 at the bucket. 4X4, hydrostatic. Now, to start collecting implements for it smiley

 

The skid steers I have a lot of respect for, but primarily for level ground; I don't think they do terrain all that well. The only experience I've had are the small ones, though. Lots of power, but a bit bouncy.

Baron
Baron's picture

I'm sitting in the airport in Salt Lake with to much time to think. I spent the week traveling in what appears to be a Case, Bobcat and JCB State. I've been envious many a time this week. I can hardly wait to be home. Roland, 2000-2500lbs is where I think I need to be for mill-side lifting. I wish I could have a giant conventional forklift like Armstrong Bill has but it is too muddy here much of the year. While I like Bill Mac's loader it wouldn't be appropriate for the Oak and Maple Giants I've been getting. I'd be using it to its capacity all the time. 

My budget is under 10k and there is not allot to choose from, mostly farm tractors and skid loaders. I also like some of the Skip loaders but they are heavy. I'm trying to stay away from the CDL and am thinking skid loader and eventually an f-700 or similar rollback truck. Very few of the logs I get are cylindrical. Most are flare-butted, include the first crotch and are very heavy. There would be no loader that could both lift them, out at the pickup address, and be nimble when milling and working around the yard. The rollback would be used to winch the logs up onto the truck. Budgets will improve in time. 

I wish you well with your new loader. Sounds really fun.

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

RG congrats on the Bobcat I am sure it will be many hours of enjoyment. And as time goes on the things you will see that you can do to make life easier on the body is amazing. My JD puts wood in all by it's self, I can sit out front and watch it go back and forth with wood while I enjoy a cold beverage. Actually my wife enjoys running it and often uses it to put in wood and do other chores around. Have fun and be safe, remember rollover protection is no good if you are not buckled in.

Baron
Baron's picture

smileyyes

Bill
Bill's picture

I think your going to be very pleased with your Bob Cat 4x4 hydrostatic tractor. I got by with a 20hp for 23 yrs. before getting a 28 HP . Like Eddie said get the back tires filled or even a 1/2 bucket of dirt will make the back end want to lift up. If in hilly country side stick it in 4 wd and don't take it out or your in for a pucker experience if you head down hill and try to slow down . Congrats on your purchase nothing but fun in your future. 

Humm
Humm's picture

Baron, I have small articulated loader that might work for you. It is a John Deere LD50 (Prime Mover) , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AIVJLiWW5s . That is my loader. It is a good little machine for flat land. 3179 3 cylander non turbo. 58HP, Hydrostatic, one stick control, weighs about 7800lbs , speced to lift between 4 and 5000. Homemade quick detach bucket. Great job he did. I planned on following the guys lead and mounting forks. I'm on the side of the Blue Mt. (Smith Gap) and it isn't going to work for me. Up and down the hill is fine, but scary otherwise. I've been using it to push snow banks over the hill and bringing firewood down from the shed. I borrowed a track loader last year and that is more suited to where I'm at. I recognized Piscotellos in one of your photos--Johnsons Express yard? Any how let me know if you want to see it.

Baron
Baron's picture

I sent u a pm. It is the norm in Europe to have articulate small loaders and few skid loaders. In USA the norm is skid loaders. I didn't even know this existed and would be supper when driving accross lawns to pick up logs(no skidding).

what does it weigh empty?

come visit when around. 

baron

Bill
Bill's picture

Baron one of my neighbors has four loaders a little larger than the one in the pic. with heat and air brand new forks and bucket for less than $20,000 have your pic. I think that would be $16,000 US

If your a wheeler dealer he'll most likely take 60,000 Canadian for all 4 along with tons of parts and attachments.

Baron
Baron's picture

Hi Bill,

Well Its easier for me to talk really big than it is to follow through. My total budget being less than $10,000 it would be difficult to do meaningful trading in BC but I appreciate your thoughtfullness. I'm sure I'll end up with an older machine that will do just fine with the proper care. I do worry though, that with older machines, if I'll be able to get parts.

What brand of loader does your neighbor have?

Baron

Bill
Bill's picture

Baron he bought a container load of new ones probably from China . I would be inclined to be more practical and buy an old Patrick or Massey loader myself. I see one that would suite your purpose on kigigi for $2,800 & they'll left 10,000 #. Amazingly enough parts are around for these old machines . 

Humm
Humm's picture

Good talking to you today Don. Anybody that rides a Trumpet to a wedding is my kind of guy. I'll be taking my springer to a picnic tomorrow.

Baron
Baron's picture

Gentlemen please don't misunderstand, I don't ride a Trumpet, No matterwhat Humm says. I do gladly ride Triumph's though. Furthermore I haven't met a bike I don't like. 

Bill the whole issue I have with equipment is that I've no wrenching ability or place to wrench. When you say Massey loader I assume that you mean articulate loader. I've never seen a Massey loader except for in pictures. I grew up on Massey and they were my favorite farm tractors through the 60's, 70's and 80's. I think Massey was bigger up your way and the whole line-up was better represented. I never heard of a Patrick. But they look like the old Hough's of years gone by. Thanks for your concern but I wasn't forthcoming with "the rest of the story" as it is somewhat embarrassing. With a bad back and knees and the extra 'stored energy' I carry around It is all I can do to get on and off those big machine many times a day. I need something easy to enter and exit many times a day. I work entirely alone and after some close calls I'm feeling the fear of a fall some day. I thought some of the small mantitoo telehandlers, sellick tow motors, skid loaders and farm tractors would do and then Humm's loader came up. I also need to be able to carry it around on a trailer when i need to. 

So you see I'm kind of a lightweight. I hope to find a loader with the following attributes:

-easy service

-easy access

-easy parts

-easy transport on a 10,000 lb gvw trailer or rollback

-2000 lb or greater lift capacity

-capable of 5-6" of mud

Yesterday and today I'm using a Cat 977 to load and it isn't fun but it is free and works.

 

 

 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

The forester that does most of the hard work keeping my land in great shape has an articulated loader, and he loves it. It is Chinese; I don't know what HP. The only problem is that when it breaks down (which is seldom), he may need to wait until a part is shipped in. I'm amazed at how he can make that thing crawl around through the trees. 

 

I am getting a 20' container dropped on the tree farm to use as a tractor shed; For $3100 delivered, it was the best bang for the buck I could get.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Baron, what is the chance that someone you work with for tree services is also looking for a new piece of equipment? Could you increase your budget by buying 1/2 share on something?

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Talking about ballast; I saw the neatest one last week. The place where I am getting my tractor, I saw one with a can (about 10 gallon size), with posts out the side and one out the top (for a three point hitch). The can was filled with concrete.

Looked easy to connect, and functional. Best of all, cheap, and doesn't require a lot of skill to make! I'm cheap, and don't have a lot of skill! Made for me.

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

RG they work great. I have seen them made with hooks poured into the sides for logging. The rod that you use for the through rod that, connects to the lift arms, Take pieces of chain and wrap and bolt them to it, then run the chain out the sides of the drum. You can then pour the concrete and this gives you an place to connect hooks to for connecting chokers. The one I have seen in action had 4 chains and hooks. But as a side note I don't use my counterweight when I am yarding logs I find the weight of the logs is enough for me because I am not using my front loader at that point.

Baron
Baron's picture

It would be fun to invent a quick detach rear ballast system to accommodate owners whom are multitasking their tractors between skidding and mill yard chores. 

Baron
Baron's picture

Does anyone have experience with Ford Industrial Tractors for millyard chores such as loading and stacking. Opinions on shuttle shift vs. manual.

Baron
Baron's picture

Did I hear someone say that Bobcat tractors are made for them by Kioti? Is there a relationship of Kioti to Kubota?

 

Roland, did you get your tractor yet? If so you have the floor for a little pre-forgiven bragging. I for one want to hear the latest.

Perhaps you and Bill Mac could have a pulling contest. 

 

Bill
Bill's picture

Baron I wouldn't be running back and forth in a mill yd. with anything but HST or a shuttle.

Baron
Baron's picture

Just bought a 1990 ford diesel  250c industrial tractor with 900 hrs., 744 loader, 3 pt  hitch, shuttle shift. All I need is forks. 

Bill
Bill's picture

900 hrs. it's still new smileyyes

Baron
Baron's picture

It feels funny to drive it. Nothing rattles yet as it is still tight. gonna take a while to get used to the shuttle shift but it seems like a worthy skill to aquire. I love the industrial tractors of the pre-skidsteer era. This should get me by for quite a while. Once its home I'll post some pics.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Baron! WAY TO GO! You got yours first. 

You get bragging rights, not me. I'm moving too slow.

 

No, Kioti and Kubota are two separate companies, and Kubota is very interested in keeping the difference (see link).

http://www.daedong.co.kr/eng/company/news_view.asp?src_con1=&src_con2=&seq=13&page=2

That said, McCormick, Landini, and Kioti and the Bobcat are parts-interchangable in this size tractor; that means I'll be able to find parts. There is a McCormick dealer about 25 miles from my tree farm.

 

My tractor has the deposit down, so the tractor is held for me. I ended up with a 45 HP Bobcat for $14500, which is a very good deal.

I was in Eastern Oregon working on the water system, now I'm back and catching up on work. The 19th, I'm going back, and he will bring the tractor for me then (I could haul it, but he really wants an excuse to see my place; charging $600 to haul a tractor 350 miles (and come back empty).

I like the idea of using chain for the ballast, instead of rod. Makes it more versatile (I can connect anywhere). 

You mention forks; I see three basic variations: One, clamp-on forks for the bucket. Two, Three point hitch forks. Three, front forks replacing the bucket.I think the three point forks would work for occasional use, but be a pain for long term. I see the bucket mount forks holding the load further forward (but more acceptable), I see the forks replacing the bucket as more expensive, and I tend toward cheap.

I'll probably end up with clamp-on bucket forks.

 

I'm also thinking of coming up with a drawbar log skidder, so the load point is under the axle.

smithbr
smithbr's picture

Roland

One thing to consider, clamp-ons vs bucket replacing.  The clamp-on forks extend your lift length with the bucket, which reduces your lift capacity quite a bit.  The load is more or less 3' further out.  I had a pair of friends visit, one with clamp-ons and one with the bucket-replacing rig; the tractor with the clamp-on forks was probably 25% heftier, 40-odd HP vs 32, yet his lift capacity was about equivalent to the smaller guy, due to the total length of the rig.  Sure, he could lift higher, but it was obvious that capacity was impacted.  Oh, and forks-on-bucket also made the whole rig much longer, increasing difficulties in tight quarters.

Just another consideration, I guess.  YMMV.

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

Baron, you don't need to invent a quick connect system, It is already done and they are relatively cheap. This is the model I have and I like it, it is completely adjustable so you can still use all of the older gear that is not category 1. You can drop the weight box and connect to other attachments in seconds. And for larger gear such as a snow blower that you have to wrestle with to line up... this works well. Only thing left to do once you back into the piece you want to connect is attach hoses and PTO.

 

As for forks ,RG go with a set of front mount forks that are not attached to the bucket. You can buy second hand fairly cheap, a lot of places have to have certified forks and you can buy them when they fail inspection. Bob-Cat sells the weld on adapters so you can change just about any forks to fit your machine, then you can change between bucket or forks in seconds. Some days I change attachments 5 or 6 times.

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