Prepping to Clean Up 330 Acres. Advice would be great

danmcph

danmcph

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Hey Guys,

I am new to the forum. A little backstory on me. I worked as a faller on a Hotshot crew for a while in the early 2000's. We ran stock 044s mainly. Since that time my only real saw work has been firewood.

I just purchased 330 acres of wooded ground in ID. It is full of deadfall, standing dead and snags. I am just starting the process of getting it cleaned up to make it look nicer and reduce the fuel load in the event of fire so it is a more defensible space.

My current saw lineup are:
2X MS440 full wrap 28" bars with semi-skip, semi chisel
1X MS462 28" bar with semi-skip, semi chisel
1X MS261 20" bar with semi-skip, semi chisel

The saws I used on fire and have been using since that time have always been stock. Is it worth getting mods done to any of these saws to get a little more power out of them? I still want reliability after any work is done. I have heard the muffler mod on the 440 is worth it but not so much on the 462. True?

If I were to get it woods ported it seems that Saw Monkey is well known but I haven't been able to get a response off of Facebook. Who would you guys recommend and is it worth getting the saws ported? I don't use them full time but I have a thing for tools and have no problem spending money on them.
 

ATH

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My first bit of advice will be to have a Forester to help you develop a plan. It sounds like you've already got some pretty good direction. But having a second set of eyes from somebody that does this everyday may save you a lot more time than the right or wrong saw...
 

ArtB

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renton wa
330 acres with just a saw???

I'd get at least a small dozer, loader, or bobcat, up from there in size and complexity based on your budget.
Excavator or backhoe with a claw nearly indispensable for me on just 3 acres, let alone 330!

I'm guessing your age in mid 40's?
How long do you plan to have the property? In 20 years you may not even be able to carry a saw to the middle of the 330 acres! I'm guessing that at 50 my strength and endurance had dropped by 10%, 30% by 60, etc. I'm 76, now have about 1/3 the endurance and body strength I had when at 35-40 YO peak energy/strength, hard to carry a saw even to the middle of a 32 acre woodlot I have, looking to buy another small dozer just to keep access open thru the blackberries!

I have a thing for tools and have no problem spending money on them.
Then, you will love having an excavator with a thumb, will wonder what you ever did without one!
 
old CB

old CB

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Come November I can say I've been cutting trees for 50 yrs. Am just now retiring from full time fire mitigation work (been doing that the last 10 yrs), as I turn 70 in a few weeks and want more time off to enjoy the outdoors rather than slaving away there. All my saws are bone stock. I'm happy with their performance. I'm more focused on maintenance, and ensuring that every saw I run is razor sharp and properly adjusted.

I don't doubt that you can get more oomph out of a saw by tinkering with it, but that's either time or money that I'll spend elsewhere. Nothing against the guys who port or run ported saws, just nothing I care to bother with. Every one of my saws rides in its work clothes, pitch-stained and nasty, but will likely out-cut some of the shiny shelf queens I see on this site.

330 acres is quite a project.
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

Firewood by TJ
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Twin Peaks
I spent several years off and on in Idaho so have a hint on what you are up against. Even a small Garden Tractor will be helpful or a decent 4X4 to drag stuff around. In many parts burning is acceptable or burn permits which is also good. A good self powered winch not electric can be a huge asset. Some of the wood should sell easy which will help pay for equipment. Equipment is far cheaper than paying for labor from the local people pool. It sounds like a couple year endeavor but it is a good reason to get your pants on every day. Thanks
 

sb47

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It depends on how fast you want to get it done. I would look into hiring or renting or even buying a used track ho from an auction to do most the work. You can fell trees and make piles and even remove the stumps with a track ho. You can even dig a hole to burn in and then cover it up once your done.
This guy is a surgeon with a track ho.
 
mbrick

mbrick

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Post some photos for us if you have a chance... very jealous of the project and work you have ahead!
I've been working on clearing an acre part time, can't even imagine how much time 330 acres would take!

+1 for a chipper for slash and debris.
 
danmcph

danmcph

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Don’t worry. It’s not lonely. There are six of them so far. That is in addition to 40 cords of firewood we have hauled out. Not bad for working on the weekend and spare time over the last two months
 

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