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Today's Job...

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by MCW, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Not sure if many of you guys will find this interesting but had been asked by a large corporate Citrus Orchard to drop their Casuarina windbreaks (over 1000 acre property).
    Had played around previously having already dropped about 30 but today was the first time I'd gotten serious. The farm manager had been told by a logging company they were thinking of getting in that their guys could average around 30 an hour at $60/hour. I actually thought this was a bit high but said that if they can do it I could but for $50 an hour :)
    Tree sizes ranged from 12-32" and probably up to about 60 feet in height.
    There was a very strong NW wind which helped immensely as I didn't have to wedge one single tree.
    Anyway, over 7 hours with about a 30 minute break talking to an interested neighbour over the fence I ended up dropping 357 trees.
    In the first 195 minutes I dropped 171 trees, in the next 160 minutes I dropped 164 trees.
    I dropped another 22 trees at the end of the day and averaged 51 trees an hour for the day. I also made them aware that without wind and having to wedge this rate may nearly be halved.
    Used the 7900 all day and had to swap out one filter and 4 Carlton Semi Chisel chains. Only went through about 10 litres of fuel which is good - I though I'd use around 20 litres. Had a GB Ti 25" Roller Nose bar on that ended up with sap stuck all over it.
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    The odd bifurcated trunk showed up amongst them and without a strong wind I probably would have left them for later. I just cut the scarf as low as possible to minimise the chance of splitting (the tree below split when it hit the ground).
    I ended up leaving two trees for the whole day that were leaning a bit too far the wrong way, even with the wind.
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    By the way, now I can hardly move and every muscle in my body is hurting. I had to peel my fingers off the saw at the end of the day because my right hand was cramping. I haven't hurt this much for a long time :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  2. AUSSIE1

    AUSSIE1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Good job Matt.
    Any plans for the stumps?
     
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  3. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Basically my job ends with getting them on the ground but the main aim is to kill them ASAP as they are sucking valuable moisture out of the orchards. These windbreaks haven't been irrigated for about 18 months but are still quite happy as their roots are into the orchard's Avocadoes, Citrus, and winegrapes.
    The manager was spraying the stumps behind me with Glyphosate to limit regrowth and in the future they'll probably push the stumps out with a dozer.
    Today was basically a trial to determine the viability of felling these trees with a chainsaw as the mechanical harvester owner from the Adelaide hills said he can drop 80 trees an hour for $240/hour. The chainsaw guys who said they could do 30 trees an hour for $60/hour were from the same company.
    Had to be pretty careful as there are a lot of fruit pickers burning around that can't speak, and don't understand English. I had to have eyes in the back of my head although I didn't have any come near me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  4. cjcocn

    cjcocn Tree Freak

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    ha ha ha

    Damn straight we find this interesting!

    That's a heck of a lot of trees down and you took some great pics - keep them coming!

    :cheers:
     
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  5. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Casuarinas are generally pretty hard wood when grown without irrigation but these were relatively soft as they've had a good life. They are also normally an excellent firewood but I've already taken about 6 tonne off this property and it's splitting like you wouldn't believe, despite being as heavy as hell. Obviously a good percentage of water.
    The 7900 and 25" bar absolutely ate them.
     
  6. AUSSIE1

    AUSSIE1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The reason I was asking is cause a mechanical harvester would cut at 150mm or less.
    Loggers with a saw the same.
    30 for a logger is cruising for sure.
     
  7. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Do you mean 150mm as in cut height off the ground? If so my back would be completely shot if I did that all day :)
    These are the easy ones though. In the centre of the property many of them are around 42-46" diameter and probably 100-120 feet tall. They will also have to be felled perfectly as the upper canopy is basically the same width (or wider in some cases) as the two headlands with citrus either side. Many will be very tricky and will slow things up massively.
    I will only be able to start on these bigger ones after all the citrus has been harvested as these will completely block access to certain parts of the farm when dropped.
     
  8. Gumnuts

    Gumnuts ArboristSite Guru

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    Great job / fun an hard yacka.....but I would not / could not /see that wood go to waste.
    Not sure which Sheoak .....but one of the best burners you could find.
    Here on thee Mornington peninsula / Vic it was shippedd to feed the Melbourne kilns ,earlier in the century. Wish i lived closer I'd be grabbing as much of it as i could .....with an eye for any millable sizes.....usaully full of fiddleback.......give thought to stashing for sale to a mill.....great for floor boards too........nice stuff.
    Do you know which variety/ species of Sheoak ?

    - Graeme



    think we spoke on the phone bout saws an stuff while back
     
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  9. gmax

    gmax Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Nice photo's, I bet you back ache's after cutting that lot, your 7900 would have paid for itself by now :)
     
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  10. AUSSIE1

    AUSSIE1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yeah, off the ground.
    The most common head we have around here is 22" in capacity.
    The largest here is 24" (Waratah 624 as an example).
    Everything up to 22" you would be hard pressed to keep up with a harvester.
    One cut only to your three.
    With an inch or two over, you can do a front cut, get behind the tree, do your final cut and push.
    But over that size, get out the saw.
     
  11. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Not 100% sure but I think the species is Casuarina cunninghamiana. It would be good wood as a rule but has grown a bit too fast and splits like mad. I've had whole 24" rounds that I brought home split clean in half - no joke!
    The tree harvester crew were actually going to take all the timber and fell it for free but once they got a few samples they canned that idea and said it was no good for much at all.
    We may have spoken on the phone a while back but I've got a memory like a goldfish!

    I can't remember hurting so much when I'd finished in my life. Everything was aching. I'll be stiff in the morning, thats for sure.

    I wouldn't have a hope in hell of keeping up with a harvester from the ones I've seen. They are impressive units.
    For interest's sake mate, how many trees an hour do you reckon a harvester could do? When these guys said 80 an hour that seemed a bit low to me?
     
  12. aldo

    aldo ArboristSite Operative

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    Nice work, my back got a bit tichy just reading that. Thats bloody hard yakka for $50 an hour I reckon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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  13. AUSSIE1

    AUSSIE1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Don't get me wrong Matt, I reckon you've done a good job.
    I reckon the harvesting contractor is doing a bit of leg pullin myself.
    It depends on the situation of course, but I'd say a good operator should drop at least three to your one (head capacity of course).
    He's not processing, only harvesting.
    Working this side of the fence, you work backwards.
    If that fence wasn't there, you can go forward and it would be a touch quicker.
    Do all the trees to capacity and come back with a saw for the larger trees.
     
  14. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    Thats what I thought too mate. I actually saw the guy's quote and 80 trees an hour for the harvester is what he had on it. The harvesters I've seen on the internet are absolute weapons and I have no doubt they could do 3 trees to my 1. They also don't get sore backs and feel like dying at the end of the day :)
     
  15. Gumnuts

    Gumnuts ArboristSite Guru

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  16. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Nice Pics Mat - looks like a fair bit of work though!

    It sounds like a species we have here called Swamp Sheoak which as you'd expect grows in swamp. Any log that comes from a swamp splits into half a dozen pieces unless the cut ends are sealed as soon as it is cut down. Then it's best to leave it for a few months partially wrapped in plastic so they can dry out slowly. Even then a good fraction of them will split enough not to be worth milling.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  17. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    I've been told I'm mad by a few people but it's also good exercise. My full time job certainly doesn't burn too many kilojoules :)
    I actually enjoy felling trees so getting paid for it is a bonus.

    Unfortunately all of the fruit trees on the orchard have been getting fertilised via state of the art drip systems and top notch fertiliser programs (Full Martinez system if anybody is interested).
    It's not only the fruit trees that have been benefiting from this fertiliser!
    A lot of the trees I dropped have basically had water running from their centres. They really are getting pumped, hence the poor timber quality.
    All the windbreaks have been planted in about 1995-1996. The size of some of them may give you an idea how fast they've been growing :)
     
  18. AUSSIE1

    AUSSIE1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    And that's for sure.

    The way I'm thinking Matt is the way they have quoted this is to make it worth their while.
     
  19. MCW

    MCW Somebody's talking crap here & it ain't the tree!

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    A few more photos. Will get more as the job progresses. I'll be back there again next Sunday. I'll try to get some photos of the bigger trees. Taken on my phone so not the best...
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  20. PetrolHead

    PetrolHead ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks for posting the pic's Matt, Well done and I hope you get a good nights sleep mate, I think that rate would be hard yakka. I'm glad you got the job, for one reason, because they wouldn't have posted pics here for us to see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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