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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. STLfirewood

    STLfirewood Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would do it different. I would buy old grain trucks and leave them at the mills. Let the mills load right into the grain trucks and call you when they are going to be full. If you can't do that load with the skid steer. Usde a regular bucket. Hit the pile about 6-8"inches high. Flip the bucket and you'll get the stuff to fall in it. Work your way around the pile while you helper throws the pieces close to the ground back onto the pile right behind you. You can load a trailer fast like this.

    Scott
     
  2. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    STLfirewood, i like your idea, and thats what i'm leaning towards, although i found a dump trailer that i'd like to use instead. What is the size of the dump boxes on the grain trucks? View attachment 218889

    Also, how much does an old grain truck go for? I can get a dump trailer like the picture shown for around 7-10k. I could just leave it under conveyor and they can call me when its done. I would only use that huge trailer to transport wood back to my pad, and use my 16' gooseneck dump to deliver like i do now. That huge dump trailer is 20x8x8. I could make the sides mostly wood to save weight. I'm not sure if a 3500 dually would pull it though, may need a f550 or dodge 5500.

    I'm starting to get a little better at loading the wood. The ground is froze hard now so i'm not getting as much dirt in bucket, although a concrete pad would still work the best. I would like one in the future when funds are better.

    Do you think the tandem dump trailer or grain truck would be better? I know i can get a dump trailer for around 8k so i'd have to find a grain truck with a dump that would lift 25k pounds. That huge dump trailer will hold almost 22 face cord, or 3 of my current loads.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. Tripled's

    Tripled's ArboristSite Lurker

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    Well one little piece of input I can add is that the grapple arm with the bucket instead of the the log grapple wont be worth the effort with split wood. I have a grapple truck and it seemed like a great idea to use it to load from the piles. Problem is one piece of wood will nearly always catch in the mouth of the bucket stopping you from getting a full load in and allowing all pieces that aren't turned exactly right fall through. The one time i used it I ended up just loading the wood by hand into that grapple and using it to lift into the truck. Saved alot of my back but still time consuming. Wouldnt have done it had I not needed the volume of the truck to haul that particular load with. In my opinion the conveyor sounds best. Currently looking for one myself. Still havent tried the grapple bucket on the tractor yet. Just sold on the conveyor idea.
     
  4. GeeVee

    GeeVee East Coast Champion

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    Can I suggest a modification?

    First, technique. Don't try and dig in from the edge of the pile so much, try and back drag some loose stuff from the top with the grapple tips.

    The bucket is good, but the side plate/webs, are getting in the way. Trim them out, and replace with a stout enough side plate shaped like a C from 1/2 plate. As well, add a flat plate across the tips of the grapple 60" wide by 16" high, making the closed grapple like more like a clam grip.

    The grapple tips being two points, the splits just wiggle sideways, and dislodge the stuff already trying to nest in the bucket anyway.

    I have Root Rake with C shaped bottom fingers spaced a full six to eight inches apart, and my grapple is just the two tips, just like yours. My Rake sides are open unlike the three webs on yours. I generally just go over the top and grapple from above, but I am not making production.

    I could make mine grip a lot more material even if I fabricated a slip on 16" tall by 60" plate for the tips. Try it cheap with some lumber/plywood.

    This is going to sounds crazier even-

    Instead of the grapple, take your standard bucket and use it upside down in place of the grapple, now you would have a more clamshell like grapple. Especially if you have 66" on the Rake and 60" bucket, go ahead and leave the side webs in place.
     
  5. CRThomas

    CRThomas ArboristSite Guru

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    I use a set of brush forks to load my buddy's dump truck. The forks are about 9 inch a part and it dont take long to load three cord in his tandem. He said it was three cord. Might look in to that they slid right over my forks. I wish my customers wood buy slabs but they won't. They want no bark. Later
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  6. ken45

    ken45 ArboristSite Operative

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    Back in the 1970s when we heated with wood, I used a lot of slabs until everybody got the idea and I couldn't find them any more. Sawmills were picked clean.

    Now it seems that they are being chipped, probably going into pellets.

    Ken
     
  7. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Alot of the saw mills have a chipper and don't do slabwood. These are Amish so thats really the only exception. I see tractor trailers lined up at the mills for the chips.

    I'm selling to the low end firewood buyers(craigslist) at a lower price as well. I was surprised by the amount of people that would burn slabwood. I sold around 400 face cord, and theres other guys in my area who sell the same if not more. Its good hardwood, just some peices are smaller and some have bark.

    Anyway- My plan is too put a concrete pad at my house where i store the wood. This isn't bad for loading and works alright. Then i want to get 2 old grain trucks with HUGE dumpp boxes. I would need a 20 ton hoist, which some have. I would like a 18x8x10ft high box. I'm not worried about cops b/c i'm only going 10 miles and all are back roads that i can go 40 mph on.
     

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