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Loading cut split firewood slabwood with bucket?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by firecatf7333, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    What bucket for a skid steer would be best for loading piles of cut slabwood, basically smaller firewood into my dump trailer? or a conveyaor? this pic is similar to a pile i will load into my dump trailer parked right next to the pile, currently i load by hand. My pile may be a little smaller. I was thinking maybe a grapple bucket with a mesh wire between the claws so small peices don't fall out. Also, i've seen a fork bucket with small tubes to get under the pile of wood. Idk if a conveyaor would work if i put it next to the pile and hand loaded onto conveyaor. My dump holds 6-8 face cord and i'm sick of doing it by hand. I load around 40 loads a year and use some and sell the rest. thanks

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  2. MrDan27611

    MrDan27611 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Grapple rake would work in my opinion. Skid Steer Grapple Rakes - A skid steer grapple rake for your skid steer handles material, for use in land clearing, hurriane cleanup, sorting, and demolition skid steer rake applications
     
  3. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I figured a skid steer would be the best way, but it could be any type of loader really. How would a small conveyor work? The wood pile is 15 miles from my house, so i would prolly park a skid steer or a conveyor next to the pile. Any other type of machine that would pick up wood and lift it into my dump trailer? I've been looking at skid steers for under 10k, and have found older case 1845cs for around 6-8k. I could prolly use the skid steer for other things but loading would is the main purpose for w/e i buy. thanks
     
  4. freemind

    freemind ArboristSite Guru

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    A rock bucket would work, IMO.
     
  5. efornshell03

    efornshell03 ArboristSite Lurker

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    rock bucket, only way to go

    i have a rock bucket for my skid-steer and i love it! It has small enough grates that you wouldn't lose your wood out the bottom, yet it lets any dirt and smaller bark pieces fall out. this is the one i have...

    Virnig Manufacturing, Inc. - Skeleton Rock Bucket
     
  6. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Is there a way to make or buy a grapple arm to mount on my dump trailer. I think a grapple arm that log trucks have( not as heavy duty), would work if it had a bucket that closes and opens to grab the wood. How difficult would this be to make, i would have my neighbor who is a welder do it but not sure if itd be alot of work which would then cost alot.
     
  7. gwiley

    gwiley Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Making the bucket is a lot of work - there is a reason they cost so much new. Expect to pay $70-80/hr for metal work at a typical shop (more if they are strong). If you ask your neighbor to do this pay him well or you may use up your goodwill budget with him permanently. I would expect something like that to run 12-24hrs depending on the features and extra bits.

    I use a skid steer to harvest firewood for our own use and I can't see not having it. I recommend Bobcat brand skid steers (I have 2), they just seem to be heavier and better built. The parts for the older ones are cheap and readily available. The 743 was the single most popular model skid steer ever sold - got mine for $6K with a snow plow, dirt bucket and forks included!!!

    The machine I got for $10K (763) is a beast - more than I need for FW processing, but we use it for excavation and clearing work as well.
     
  8. MrDan27611

    MrDan27611 ArboristSite Lurker

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    One simple solution that I've seen is to take an axle from a junk car/truck/etc. Mount the axle vertically so that one wheel rim is well above your deck height. Obviously everything has to be braced properly. You then mount/weld some type of jib crane arm (usually some type of thick wall pipe) to the wheel rim and then a small cable pulley system running up the axle and down the arm. You now have a scrap metal job crave for your hauler. A set of log tongs on the end of the cable allows for the lifting and a 12 volt winch gives you the lifting power. You won't do any really heavy work but I do see this setup often on tree service/grinding/etc trucks locally.
     
  9. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    It seems to me that the best option for me is going to be a rock bucket or a grapple bucket. Are there any Rock grapple buckets for sale? Can a rock bucket with a grapple be made?
     
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  10. gwiley

    gwiley Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Take a look at Skid Steer Attachments | Skid Steer Loader Attachments | I have bought some implements from them - great prices, good shipping. They have a rock bucket with a grapple.
     
  11. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    grapple

    I bought a 66" Rock bucket. Now i need to make the grapple part. A local guy has a 4.5 ft york rake he would sell me for $250. Could this be made into a grapple and would it work good? If, not what are my other options for my grapple. Purpose is to load cut/split firewood.

    -Where can i get a ram(going with one ram) and what size ram should i get

    -what hoses will i need and couplers. My 1845c has 2 flat face couplers

    -Local welder/machine shop is going to put the grapple on the bucket and finish everything. I've gotta talk to him, but do you think it be better/cheaper to just have him make the grapple instead of buying the york rake or another grapple? Could a bar/large tine be welder on each end of the bucket for the grapple, then use steel wire mesh to fill it in?
     
  12. kemer

    kemer ArboristSite Lurker

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    I would Google grapple buckets I know there are companys that just sell grapples to weld on your bucket.The york rake wouldn't hold up very long
     
  13. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    reply

    Well i have a rock grapple bucket all made up. I have $2500 into it, and its not working too well. View attachment 218483

    I have this 66" rock bucket, and then had a single center mounted ram grapple welded on. My biggest problem is the w View attachment 218484

    I'm loading slabwood, which tends to be a little smaller than normal cut/split wood. Anyway, i go into the pile and if i try to scoop up wood, my tires just spin. I have to angle bucket down and get under the pile, but then i get half a bucket full of dirt/mud. Any suggestions? I have a 7x16 dump trailer and it takes me 45mins to load with the skid steer, but i'm getting more dirt than i want and i think that 45mins is too long. Me and my brother were loading the trailer in about the same time by hand.

    I pick up the wood 15 miles from my house, then stock pile around 30-50 loads throughout the year. this means i'd have to load and unload the wood, so loading it twice is a pain. Here are the options i can think of

    Keep loading with skid steer

    Any idea how long it would take to do it with a small conveyor? i know itd be the best way to load, but loading 50 loads a year by hand may get old. If i could load it in about 30 mins with a conveyor i'd prolly go that route.

    a long shot and not sure how much itd cost. A grapple mounted to dump trailer, similar to a log grapple but with a bucket to pick up wood instead of a grapple used for logs. Idk how thatd work picking up wood, and idk how it would be mounted to the trailer. Just some thoughts.

    A concrete pad would prolly work, but i would need 3-5 concrete pads, since i get the wood from 3-5 different saw mills and then would need my own concrete pad.


    thanks for help
     
  14. flyboy553

    flyboy553 Oakaholic

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    Not sure how familiar you are with operating a bobcat, but there are tricks to everything! When you start in to the pile, have the loader arms a bit off the ground, and the bucket tilted forward. As you drive in to the pile, tilt the bucket back while lowering the bucket. No need for a lot of throttle to do this, as that will just make you spin quicker. Might even have to do this more than once until your used to the machine. Once you have enough wood in the bucket, a few quick tilts back (without spilling any wood) should shake a lot of the dirt out.

    Ted
     
  15. ken45

    ken45 ArboristSite Operative

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    For picking up firewood, I think you want the points of the tines to be flat on the ground. I lot of grapples have the ends of the tines curved upward and, with firewood, you just slide up and over it. Yes you can tilt the front down but then you are more likely to dig dirt or have it at an angle where it won't load more than a few pieces.

    Ken
     
  16. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have tried this. If i place the bucket slightly above the ground and then go into the pile, my tires just spin(its like i'm going into a brick wall). I'll try it again and some other things too see if i can make it work. Not sure what else to try
     
  17. cantoo

    cantoo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have pretty much the same bucket and I have a 2 arm grapple on it. I'm not impressed with my loading ability either. I am loading splits but it's pretty much the same as slabs, the tines push the wood away. Have you tried to scoop down on the pile to get a bucketful? The same as what you would do with a clam bucket. I can get a decent amount of wood this way. I thought I had already posted on this thread but it must have been another the same. I think a rock bucket with the round tines is the best for loading split or slabwood. I have a manure bucket that has 8 round sharp tines on it and it works good but the tines are only about 30" long and the bucket is only about 50" wide so it doesn't hold alot. Slabwood isn't very heavy so a wider bucket with round tines about 5" apart on it would be better I think. View attachment 218629
    [​IMG]
     
  18. cantoo

    cantoo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This is the regular smooth bucket with the grapple on it. The grapple also fits the stone fork bucket. This is from driving into a pile of wood, lucky grab this time. There was still too much crap in with the wood though.
    View attachment 218630
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  19. cantoo

    cantoo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Here is the stone fork one. You can see the grass in the bucket. I would think it would be alot worse in a muddy area or a pile with lots of sawdust under it. View attachment 218632
    [​IMG]
     
  20. flyboy553

    flyboy553 Oakaholic

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    Maybe you would be better off to get an elevator. Then you could dig the end you load in to the ground so that it is flush or a little less than flush with the ground. Take your bobcat and just shove the pieces in to the elevator.

    Just brainstorming now! lol

    Ted
     

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