Self Loaders on fire duty?

northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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Buddy of mine ran his on a few fires, says they can make pretty good money and are always needed. He wasn't real clear on the details though.

I'm curious on what the work entails, is it just picking up logs more or less same as I do now, but with FIRE! or is it picking up stray logs on forest service/DNR roads while trying not to get burned alive.
Biggest thing I'm not real keen on climbing up and down the loader for every stick in the best of conditions {stupid loose screws (me not the loader), and hammered knees}
With current info I can probably pass the physical test for an operator (2 miles in 45 minutes? I think? on flat ground? with a light pack)
Where do these logs go?
Who's paying who?
Who's in charge of dispatch.

We don't get many fires on the wet side, so I'm a little out of my element as it were i.e. mildew and moss everrrywherrrre.

20210804_093912.jpg
 
slowp

slowp

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I'm thinking, after seeing pictures a few years ago, that trees are cut, skidded out of a very wide fireline, and decked for future sale. I do not know where the trucking would enter the picture--maybe they want the deck to be farther away?

This then creates controversy after the fire is over and is dubbed A Timber Grab by the usual suspects. The example I'm referring to was in the Lake Wenatchee? Leavenworth? area and photos of The Too Wide Fire Line were sent around on line and published in the news. It was also deemed Too Wide AFTER fire season was over. Note: I have been on fires where very wide (4 dozer blades wide) were put in and no timber was taken out. On one fire, the lines were useless and the fire went on happily burning on the other side, where early the next day--repeat.

Better read up on physical requirements. It may be 3 miles in 45 minutes with a heavy pack? Plus, you've modost likely got to go through some training. I am not certain on either, having been out of the process for some time now.

Some operators will boast of making massive amounts of money whilst having a dozer parked on a lowboy (standby) so you might look into that. I don't think there is much standby in this area right now. We've got lots of fires popping up after the lightning event on Tuesday night. I expect all equipment is out working.

2 dogs and catbuster will be a better source of info on this. You do need to find out when the training and sign up time is for next year.
 
sean donato

sean donato

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Just out of curiosity why wouldn't you be using a forwarder to a landing for log storage? Would be faster in the woods I would think, no climbing up and down off load to pile or a semi.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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Just out of curiosity why wouldn't you be using a forwarder to a landing for log storage? Would be faster in the woods I would think, no climbing up and down off load to pile or a semi.
a forwarder would be scrap iron in a few minutes out here.... its steep for the most part. Not to mention things are pretty remote, once logs are decked its many miles to the nearest safe storage place, which is generally a mill.

Some forwarders are used out here, don't get me wrong, but its a very limited use, partly cause long logs, but mostly cause steep ground

Self loader makes sense because I'd imagine there are only a few loads in any particular spot, bringing in another piece of equipment just to load logs is expensive, and during fire season risky.

As for offloading, thats one of my questions, if logs are destined to a mill, they offload there, I still have to climb loader to load trailer, but I wouldn't have to climb to unload, climb down to shorten up, climb back up to load trailer, climb down and drive away... or same if there is multiple piles to pick from, climb, unload trailer, climb down, stretch out (hope you guessed right at the lengths) climb back up, load, climb down, toss wrappers, drive to next pile, pull wrappers, climb up load, climb down, throw wrappers again, rinse repeat as necessary.

Don't get me wrong, climbing the loader isn't all that bad, 3-4 times in 3-4 hours, but doing it every 5 minutes for 14 hours... isn't something I'd be looking forward to on a good day. This loader isn't exactly a nice set of steps at the perfect angle, the top step sticks out about 8", the rest are straight up and down or staggered but still straight up and down. Oh and your 13' to the top with nothing but hard things to land on.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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I'm thinking, after seeing pictures a few years ago, that trees are cut, skidded out of a very wide fireline, and decked for future sale. I do not know where the trucking would enter the picture--maybe they want the deck to be farther away?

This then creates controversy after the fire is over and is dubbed A Timber Grab by the usual suspects. The example I'm referring to was in the Lake Wenatchee? Leavenworth? area and photos of The Too Wide Fire Line were sent around on line and published in the news. It was also deemed Too Wide AFTER fire season was over. Note: I have been on fires where very wide (4 dozer blades wide) were put in and no timber was taken out. On one fire, the lines were useless and the fire went on happily burning on the other side, where early the next day--repeat.

Better read up on physical requirements. It may be 3 miles in 45 minutes with a heavy pack? Plus, you've modost likely got to go through some training. I am not certain on either, having been out of the process for some time now.

Some operators will boast of making massive amounts of money whilst having a dozer parked on a lowboy (standby) so you might look into that. I don't think there is much standby in this area right now. We've got lots of fires popping up after the lightning event on Tuesday night. I expect all equipment is out working.

2 dogs and catbuster will be a better source of info on this. You do need to find out when the training and sign up time is for next year.
3 miles with a 45# pack I think? I carry 30 with me when falling so its not exactly a stretch.... as long as my knees hold up. Which is looking sketchier every year.
 
sean donato

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a forwarder would be scrap iron in a few minutes out here.... its steep for the most part. Not to mention things are pretty remote, once logs are decked its many miles to the nearest safe storage place, which is generally a mill.

Some forwarders are used out here, don't get me wrong, but its a very limited use, partly cause long logs, but mostly cause steep ground

Self loader makes sense because I'd imagine there are only a few loads in any particular spot, bringing in another piece of equipment just to load logs is expensive, and during fire season risky.

As for offloading, thats one of my questions, if logs are destined to a mill, they offload there, I still have to climb loader to load trailer, but I wouldn't have to climb to unload, climb down to shorten up, climb back up to load trailer, climb down and drive away... or same if there is multiple piles to pick from, climb, unload trailer, climb down, stretch out (hope you guessed right at the lengths) climb back up, load, climb down, toss wrappers, drive to next pile, pull wrappers, climb up load, climb down, throw wrappers again, rinse repeat as necessary.

Don't get me wrong, climbing the loader isn't all that bad, 3-4 times in 3-4 hours, but doing it every 5 minutes for 14 hours... isn't something I'd be looking forward to on a good day. This loader isn't exactly a nice set of steps at the perfect angle, the top step sticks out about 8", the rest are straight up and down or staggered but still straight up and down. Oh and your 13' to the top with nothing but hard things to land on.
Hmm interesting. I have a mate that lives in Sweden, runs a forwarder. Seen some pictures of him on some questionable grades with it, but I have no personal experience with one. Guess it's very dependent on the situation.
 
slowp

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Some guys moved to W. Warshington and brought their forwarder with them. They used it once. Oooops, more because for a while they used it as a guyline anchor for the little yarder they had to get. It wasn't just the steep, it was the log price. Short logs aren't worth as much as long (regular) length logs to the mill.

The topography can be brutal and going in a straight line on a machine isn't always possible. Nature, and tree planters, did not plant trees in nice straight rows.

I have seen loggers in Wisconsin unable to use their forwarder because it was too steep. Out here, we'd consider that ground to be flat and a walk in the park. In fact, I carried a picture of a yarder set up on a unit out here to show those guys what steep is, after they'd warn me about how rugged their unit was. The photo inspired awe and questions. Forwarders are great for flat ground and straight skid roads where logs are hauled sideways on a flat bed.

I still can't figure out the log truck on a fire bit.
 
sean donato

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Some guys moved to W. Warshington and brought their forwarder with them. They used it once. Oooops, more because for a while they used it as a guyline anchor for the little yarder they had to get. It wasn't just the steep, it was the log price. Short logs aren't worth as much as long (regular) length logs to the mill.

The topography can be brutal and going in a straight line on a machine isn't always possible. Nature, and tree planters, did not plant trees in nice straight rows.

I have seen loggers in Wisconsin unable to use their forwarder because it was too steep. Out here, we'd consider that ground to be flat and a walk in the park. In fact, I carried a picture of a yarder set up on a unit out here to show those guys what steep is, after they'd warn me about how rugged their unit was. The photo inspired awe and questions. Forwarders are great for flat ground and straight skid roads where logs are hauled sideways on a flat bed.

I still can't figure out the log truck on a fire bit.
That was what lead me to ask why not using the forwarder, when using a log truck, but I guess your 100% right with the short log length, but also doesn't make anymore sense to me to be driving a semi back in the woods to areas unacessable to normal forestry equipment.
 
slowp

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That was what lead me to ask why not using the forwarder, when using a log truck, but I guess your 100% right with the short log length, but also doesn't make anymore sense to me to be driving a semi back in the woods to areas unacessable to normal forestry equipment.
No it doesn't. That's why I don't understand why a log truck would be used. Maybe for a long distance on a road? But I still can't figure it out.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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That was what lead me to ask why not using the forwarder, when using a log truck, but I guess your 100% right with the short log length, but also doesn't make anymore sense to me to be driving a semi back in the woods to areas unacessable to normal forestry equipment.
I would assume that the logs are skidded out to a useable road.

Though I've spent a good deal of time off road in the log truck, its not ideal or wise, but in the right situation on decent ground it can work out.

Most of the work is east side WA, where civilization is spread out a bit, but there are logging roads all over the place, if a pickup truck can get in a log truck usually can. They may be semi trucks, but they are set up a little different then your average Freightliner sleeper cab affair, a lot less plastic for one, more ground clearance, tougher bumpers etc. Still though just a semi truck so they can't leap small buildings or perform magic.
 
catbuster

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The only reason I could think of would be removing as much fuel as possible once something big like the infamous “Dozer Superhighway” of last year was cut. A crown fire would probably eat up a log pile and put off a tremendous amount of heat, but I cannot for the life of me think of how a log pile would send a lot of embers or something that would cause spotting.

Who knows?

Edit: Pack test is 3 miles with 45 pounds in 45 minutes on flat ground. You work for a living, you can do it.
 
Husky Man

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In 2019, We got a LOT of wood from some log decks that sound exactly like what you are talking about

These decks were from firelines created fighting the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. I am just a wood cutter, not a professional, but I did talk to a Forest Circus Ranger about the decks, the information in wood cutter weekly info sheet was a bit sparse on how to get to the decks, and I believe his name was Mark, talked to me a bit about the origin of the decks, but didn’t say how the logs were hauled or stacked, but a self loader would seem to have fit very well. Mark didn’t mention why the logs weren’t sold, but I got a lot of cheap BTU’s, so I was Happy

5BF27CB3-7B71-429B-AD6C-CDF5752B6C37.jpegEF2CBF6D-1FD9-4BC0-B1AA-1D1F3E8191C9.jpeg
The pics don’t do the decks justice, and it was evident that they were much larger before we found out about them, a lot had already been cut. The main stems were to the left of my trailer, with the tops behind to the right of it.

These decks were near Otter Tail Lake, at the very end of 11 miles of logging road, and Many MILES from any active fire, I can’t imagine that where they were decked could have been any closer than the mill at Odell/Parkdale, but again, it was a Good Deal for Us, why ask too many questions?

judging from the distance from the fire, and the terrain around there, and there not being any firelines near the decks, I can only imagine that the logs were trucked in
A3A24864-BB54-4D49-970A-4905933C8AC4.jpeg75C9E8CF-642D-4FB2-B506-240A762E029A.jpeg15175A34-0D42-4658-98EF-1CE22692C762.jpeg1DFD47A1-16A2-40B4-A0AC-649729E85D49.jpeg
These stretches of road were still in good shape (and were more Picturesque), but about 3-4 miles from the decks, was a 1/2-3/4 mile stretch that was washed out really bad, had both trailer axles into the gullies, with the rear of the trailer doing some “Grading”, especially coming out loaded, I imagine that turned around quite a few people. With the larger tires and wider axle spacing of log truck, a log truck could have gotten through, definitely have the PDL locked in, and I have no doubt that 2 Winters took a toll on the road since the decks were built

It could be worth looking into, not everything always makes sense, and asking questions should be free


Doug
 
2dogs

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Matt in Cali there is no pack test for your type of contractor, only for fire fighters. (Three miles in 45 minutes, no pack, tenny runners not boots, flat ground.) You take a class called hired equipment vendor, the cert is good for Cal Fire and USFS. You do have to pass a timed shelter deployment. Equipment is inspected, insurances of course, the ability to think clearly and act decisively, etc.

Those of you working with contractors be on your toes around Mountain Enterprises and Anvil. Keep your gear locked away and take pics of any high value timber.
 
slowp

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Just saw a video on facebook (can't figure out how to post it here) of a skidder bringing logs in off a fireline. It is on FS land and says there were trees in the way at the bottom of an avalanche chute where a fireline had to go. Mind you, that fire is burning in the very steep North Cascades-- almost in the park. The trees were avalanche debris and it says they will be hauled elsewhere by log trucks. Mystery solved?? And it would be a self loader in my mind. One less piece of equipment to haul if they use those. Is your buddy going up there from Darrington, Matt?

Elsewhere, there was mention of opening the Pass tomorrow.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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Just saw a video on facebook (can't figure out how to post it here) of a skidder bringing logs in off a fireline. It is on FS land and says there were trees in the way at the bottom of an avalanche chute where a fireline had to go. Mind you, that fire is burning in the very steep North Cascades-- almost in the park. The trees were avalanche debris and it says they will be hauled elsewhere by log trucks. Mystery solved?? And it would be a self loader in my mind. One less piece of equipment to haul if they use those. Is your buddy going up there from Darrington, Matt?

Elsewhere, there was mention of opening the Pass tomorrow.
Maybe? we're all pretty busy lately, so chances to BS are slim and none, and Slim left town
 
Skeans

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Some guys moved to W. Warshington and brought their forwarder with them. They used it once. Oooops, more because for a while they used it as a guyline anchor for the little yarder they had to get. It wasn't just the steep, it was the log price. Short logs aren't worth as much as long (regular) length logs to the mill.

The topography can be brutal and going in a straight line on a machine isn't always possible. Nature, and tree planters, did not plant trees in nice straight rows.

I have seen loggers in Wisconsin unable to use their forwarder because it was too steep. Out here, we'd consider that ground to be flat and a walk in the park. In fact, I carried a picture of a yarder set up on a unit out here to show those guys what steep is, after they'd warn me about how rugged their unit was. The photo inspired awe and questions. Forwarders are great for flat ground and straight skid roads where logs are hauled sideways on a flat bed.

I still can't figure out the log truck on a fire bit.

You’d be in for a surprise I’ve done 40’s on a forwarder on 75 percent without the yo-yo cable the rougher ground is something that they work really well on in the West side of WA and OR.
b2f9574af975fc19fe13f703ee189137.jpg

These are 38’s and 40’s on a 12 ton forwarder on nice ground in a clear cut, but previously this setup was used for long log thinning.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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You’d be in for a surprise I’ve done 40’s on a forwarder on 75 percent without the yo-yo cable the rougher ground is something that they work really well on in the West side of WA and OR.
b2f9574af975fc19fe13f703ee189137.jpg

These are 38’s and 40’s on a 12 ton forwarder on nice ground in a clear cut, but previously this setup was used for long log thinning.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
if its laid our right, I could see it working, That said, SW WA, and W OR, are a lot milder slopes then NW WA and the Peninsula, or even NE WA for that matter. considering that 100% slope is only 45deg, its generally much steeper then that round here.
 

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