Remote control tree removal

limbcontrol

limbcontrol

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imo you are increasing safety in some ways. However, each pick you make you have a piece that is top heavy causing the load to flip. In crane work you always want your picks to be butt heavy so they do not flip. You also want your loads balanced so they do not move. With this device I see a lot of damage being done to the crane itself. There will be increased shock loading and stressing the components of the crane in ways its not designed for. This can be lessened by going with much smaller picks, but then you have a crane working way below its capacity. We also have a Kboom crane, a 65 metric ton(Effer 655) and the reason we spent the money on it is to go big. The trees in your picture, with the truck that close, appear to be 2-3 pick trees. With that grapple saw on there it appears you are taking pieces that average conventional rigging like one would do while climbing.

Mike Poor has a grapple with no saw for his kboom and he grabs the end of the branch and he drops down to make his cut to keep the pick but heavy. Last I spoke with him, his grapple gets used only on a few trees a year due to its limitations. Most, if not all kboom users, sling their pick with one or more slings to keep tree parts just as they sit in the tree.

It would be nice not to have a climber in the tree, but I would not want every pick side loading my investment. If there was a way for the pick to stay butt heavy/balanced I'd be looking further into purchasing one for our kboom.
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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imo you are increasing safety in some ways. However, each pick you make you have a piece that is top heavy causing the load to flip. In crane work you always want your picks to be butt heavy so they do not flip. You also want your loads balanced so they do not move. With this device I see a lot of damage being done to the crane itself. There will be increased shock loading and stressing the components of the crane in ways its not designed for. This can be lessened by going with much smaller picks, but then you have a crane working way below its capacity. We also have a Kboom crane, a 65 metric ton(Effer 655) and the reason we spent the money on it is to go big. The trees in your picture, with the truck that close, appear to be 2-3 pick trees. With that grapple saw on there it appears you are taking pieces that average conventional rigging like one would do while climbing.

Mike Poor has a grapple with no saw for his kboom and he grabs the end of the branch and he drops down to make his cut to keep the pick but heavy. Last I spoke with him, his grapple gets used only on a few trees a year due to its limitations. Most, if not all kboom users, sling their pick with one or more slings to keep tree parts just as they sit in the tree.

It would be nice not to have a climber in the tree, but I would not want every pick side loading my investment. If there was a way for the pick to stay butt heavy/balanced I'd be looking further into purchasing one for our kboom.

The Mecanil SG220 grapplesaw is designed to give. When you grab a big vertical limb it will allow the limb to tilt down to a hanging position. I bought my crane from Tiffin Crane in Ohio (the largest Palfinger distributor in North America). When their engineers raised that question but we're satisfied when they saw the design of the SG220 and how it works. I wouldn't have had it built if they said otherwise.
Besides, the Finns wouldn't build something that wasn't engineered to perfection.
Another thing that is great about the design is when you have a tree close to an obstacle (house, utility wires) and you don't want it to swing down (like when rigging) you just grab it higher and lighter and it will hold it upright. It really is brilliant.
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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So what did you come up with for a rate to sub contract and stay profitable.

Rates for subcontracting a tree-mek would vary like anything else and the options are many.
Say you have a mini loader and a chipper : hire a tree-Mek to put the tree on the ground while your guys are busy doing another job. They show up after the tree-mek is gone to find all brush stacked one way for chipping and wood stacked ready for loading. This is the most profitable for you because your guys are never standing around. They go from one job to the next. The chipper is never idling.
Or, hire the tree-mek to work with your 1 employee and chipper. Tree-mek sets limbs on the chipper deck (or can even feed the chipper in case your employee wants to get paid for just standing there). Call in a dump truck and have the tree-mek load logs.
Say you have a 50' bucket and a 110' tree. Hire a tree-mek to just get it down to where you can handle it.
There are tons of scenarios
 
limbcontrol

limbcontrol

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The Mecanil SG220 grapplesaw is designed to give. When you grab a big vertical limb it will allow the limb to tilt down to a hanging position. I bought my crane from Tiffin Crane in Ohio (the largest Palfinger distributor in North America). When their engineers raised that question but we're satisfied when they saw the design of the SG220 and how it works. I wouldn't have had it built if they said otherwise.
.
I understand the load is allowed to twist on the grapple and the grapple is designed for that, the crane is not.
So the engineers say it's ok to shock load and side load the crane? Did they also provide you a new load chart or are using using the existing PK33?
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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I guess it might be difficult to understand until you actually see it operate. It's designed to 'take apart' a tree in pieces. It's not designed to take huge picks or anything like that. You grab a reasonable sized piece. You cut it off. If it's top heavy it slowly tilts down. You bring it down.
There's a video on YouTube of a guy with a grapplesaw mounted on a log loader grabbing a heavy top (because he couldn't reach any higher). I believe if you were to do that, you'd ruin your crane pretty fast.
You have to be reasonable, like with anything. Afterall, it's taking huge trees down with buttons!:)
 
Philbert

Philbert

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It's very smart technology.

We've seen how feller-bunchers have taken over certain production activities, where there is volume to support the investment. And where others can still make out on smaller operations with lower overhead approaches.

This would also be nice for certain technical or hazardous removals, where the area is sensitive, or you don't want to put a guy in a tree.

But a lot of overhead for a simple residential tree removal. JMHO.

Philbert
 
Griff93

Griff93

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That's a really cool setup. I just don't see it taking over due to it's overhead cost of $250K. I'm having a hard time justifying buying a $30K bucket plus the operating it overhead at the moment. Most tree co owners are little guys that probably won't be able to come up with that capital outlay nor will they be comfortable having to make the payments on that. That's $4,660.75 per month of payment. I see the huge labor savings but you don't have to pay your guys when they aren't working in the middle of winter. Don't take that the wrong way, I want one. I just don't realistically see me getting one.
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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Let me explain exactly why I made this move. Many of you guys will relate.
I've been cutting trees since I was 13. I am now 44. I bought the business from my dad then bought my brother out 10 years later. I know there's money in trees. I'm thinking of the next 15 years. I'm not getting any younger. I know it occurs, but how likely is it to sell a tree business? I sold my bucket and my small knuckleboom and put that money towards my Tree-mek. You see, it's an exit strategy (with dignity) instead of going out with an injury, complications from overuse, or just not being able to be as productive as I age. Who agrees that good help is hard to find? Who agrees nobody treats your equipment like you do?
This has been working out great for me. I love working with trees and equipment. I'm making more money. I'm free of employees and all the headaches that go with it. I'm safe. I'm not beat after work. I have time to spend with my family And travel.
A tree-mek is a great option for guys like me or bigger companies that want to eliminate competition.
You either see it or you don't. That's why there are still guys climbing, dragging brush, and cutting logs into firewood so the can haul it.
Limbcontrol posted some legit concerns and I hope I addressed them. I wish I had my movie done to post here.
 
Griff93

Griff93

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I completely understand why you did this. I just don't see how I can pay for it realistically. I think a lot of others will be in the same position I'm in. What do you think this setup costs you in overhead on a per hour basis to operate?
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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I want to point out that I bought the Mecanil SG220 and ran it on my little knuckleboom first. It was what,I guess, I'd call a mini-mek. It worked really well on trees up to 55' tall. Even with it's short reach I was able to cut job time in half on jobs where I could use it. After a month or two I was convinced, without a doubt, that investing in a bigger crane was a safe bet.
So, if you live where the trees don't grow super tall, you could put the SG220 on a smaller crane and still get into it.20140916_125726.jpg
 
TC262

TC262

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Rates for subcontracting a tree-mek would vary like anything else and the options are many.

I would imagine you'd have to be in the ballpark of $300 to $400 an hour to cover the cost of the equipment plus expenses (fuel, repairs, inspections, insurance, maintaince, operators wage, ect). Considering you're in an area where you won't be keeping it busy year round. That would buy me a lot of time with a climber and groundie.
It might be viable in your area but I'm not sure that my market could support that kind of investment when guys are working so cheap.
 
TC262

TC262

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I'd really love to have someone near with one so I could sub them on those rare ones. I know I don't have the work to support it tho.
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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Guys that work cheap are not my competition.
Difficult removals are what I do most and most times (not all) if a client has a 'no risk' option for tree work, they're going to take it. It's never been offered until now. When you tell a client you can 'take that tree down that's hanging over their house with a remote control' they suddenly become very relieved.
 
arborjockey

arborjockey

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Wow what a machine. I've watched many Trac style machines but none have reach nor stability.

What a machine. America is a so so market for this machine but in Europe and Asia it would explode. They have much more respect for the tree industry. They shut entire streets down at night so crews can use massive equipment.

Hats off to you
 
Gerasimek

Gerasimek

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Wow what a machine. I've watched many Trac style machines but none have reach nor stability.

What a machine. America is a so so market for this machine but in Europe and Asia it would explode. They have much more respect for the tree industry. They shut entire streets down at night so crews can use massive equipment.

Hats off to you
Thanks!
All I know is that my local market is exploding and things are going great. I just made this thread to tell people it's available and it works better than I ever imagined.
 

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