Pop goes the weasel...

Show us pictures of your JD crawler and attachments.
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CuttingEdge
1010 crawler
1010 crawler
Posts: 417
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:13 pm
Location: Maine

Pop goes the weasel...

Post by CuttingEdge » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:04 pm

Now that I am officially retired and have got my first week of retirement in, I have had a chance to really see what the 350D will do in its intended purpose on my farm; and that is, pull wood from the forest.

It's been a LONG time since I cut wood with a dozer and its taking some getting used to over that of a skidder or tractor. I like it; the zero-turn capability, the amazing push-anything-out-of-your-way mentality, and its sheer ability to pull. With these new grousers on, it doesn't spin! But there in lies my problem. When cutting pulpwood last week, it was not too bad, I idle the dozer around in the woods, but now that I am cutting hardwood logs and mat wood, I'm snapping 3/8 chain chokers like links from the Silver Bridge!

Without a winch and arch, I am dry-dragging them which I know is the real culprit. But in the near future I do not see a log arch or a forwarding trailer. I might be able to build a scoot, but that has issues onto its own. In the interim, I am wondering if I might have better luck with cable chokers?

In some ways its good that I am snapping chokers and not the dozer itself, but on my first twitch of hardwood logs I snapped 3 3/8 chain chokers, and the third one I was using the blade and twitching the tree backwards. I got to do something different here!
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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Paul Buhler
350 crawler
350 crawler
Posts: 935
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 6:25 pm
Location: Killington, VT

Post by Paul Buhler » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:05 pm

Congrats on your retirement. Now you can play at what you once thought was work.
As a former logger who logged initially with only dozers, then expanded to include a skidder. I'll offer this: Chain chokers are strong, and if they break, it means that something on your dozer isn't - a good thing. I like chain since it doesn't have splinters looking to poke through your gloves like cable does. I'd suggest that you evaluate how you are building your hitch and dragging it. Build and bring your load in close to your dozer, and bind it so that it doesn't catch on stumps and hollows. Load light; too many stems will work against your goal of getting them all to the yard. With my 350c I would generally haul 4-5 stems depending on size, sometimes doubling smaller ones, but if conditions were challenging, I'd load lighter, and bring the load in closer to my machine. I found that a downhill skid often presented the biggest challenge since the logs wanted to pass the machine, or ride up on the tracks. My machines had winches and integral arches which worked well. A friend used a truck hood as a light and easy to manage skid with chains tied to his draw bar for his operation. He pulled everything together and used a chain binder and extra chain to build a package before heading down to the landing. Hope you find this useful. Best wishes. Paul
Paul Buhler
Killington, VT
420c 5 roll with 62 blade, FOPS, and Gearmatic 8a winch

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CuttingEdge
1010 crawler
1010 crawler
Posts: 417
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:13 pm
Location: Maine

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:47 am

Thanks for your reply, and I did as you said and choked up on my chokers and it helped a little, but still snapped a few of them. The end all, be all I guess is to get the wood up off the ground. I was only going with 4 or 5 stems, most in the 1 foot range for pulp, and for hardwood logs, nothing over 30 inches, and only 2 of them so there is no real reason to be snapping chokers. I do know what you mean by going light, more often too. I learned that with my little Kubota. I called it "flow", because that is where the money is, the flow of wood from stump to landing, not fighting to get a big twitch that comes out with "many a loud nasty oath".

I have a few ideas on that. My first idea was a logging scoot, but I still must get the wood from stump to the scoot and there would be a lot of roots, rocks and stumps between the trees original stump and the scoot; plus it is summer and a scoot would drag hard this time of year. I'm thinking maybe a simple drawbar. I got some ideas on how to fabricate one and some steel so maybe I could cobble something together.

It is frustrating because with my tractor I can't get enough traction to pull wood, and with my dozer I get so much, my chains snap.

I'll try and get some pictures when I can.
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

User avatar
Paul Buhler
350 crawler
350 crawler
Posts: 935
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 6:25 pm
Location: Killington, VT

Post by Paul Buhler » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:32 pm

Sounds like you're assessing your needs and situation well. Good luck finding a solution that's good for you. Have you considered a tow behind arch? They can be set up in ways that don't need a winch. Paul
Paul Buhler
Killington, VT
420c 5 roll with 62 blade, FOPS, and Gearmatic 8a winch

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