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Steel tracks or hydraulic cooling preferred?

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For forestry mulching skid steer? Both would be great but have not seen both avail on same used machine.

Colorado has dry snow so slipping on ice is marginalized a bit.

Thinking it ma6 be less ecpensive to add auxiliary cooling than steel tracks.

But steel tracks are pretty noisy and taboo on asphalt. But im planning on forestry work far from pavement.

Plus Colorado mountains run cooler than normal.
 
catbuster

catbuster

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I think your mind is already made up, you want steel tracks instead of the extra cooling…

However, I run rubber tracks over a variety of terrain, ceom asphalt to way off the beaten path up in the holler, and they do just fine for us, you just have to recognize that it’s not a ****ing dozer or crawler loader. Both in terms of tracks and pushing on stuff. In the words of many veterans of industry: “I been there, I done it, I lived it.” Trust me, rubber tracks in a compact track loader aren’t all that bad. Especially compared to something with an ASV undercarriage.

I would bet it’s easier to go to steel tracks than add cooling in the already tight quarters of a skid steer’s guts. You can work on the undercarriage where everything is easily accessible without having to lift the cab, stick your arms through anything or get covered in coolant when you have to break a line. I quite frankly wouldn’t want to spend the time messing around with the thing when it should be out working.

299 XHP with the forestry package is the best thing you’re going to find. I promise. It’s expensive, but you gotta pay to play in this game. Lease it if you have to, but these little machines are not like a full sized excavator or dozer. They just don’t last that long, especially when you’re doing something that asks a lot of a machine like running a mulcher head.
 
softdown

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I think your mind is already made up, you want steel tracks instead of the extra cooling…

However, I run rubber tracks over a variety of terrain, ceom asphalt to way off the beaten path up in the holler, and they do just fine for us, you just have to recognize that it’s not a ****ing dozer or crawler loader. Both in terms of tracks and pushing on stuff. In the words of many veterans of industry: “I been there, I done it, I lived it.” Trust me, rubber tracks in a compact track loader aren’t all that bad. Especially compared to something with an ASV undercarriage.

I would bet it’s easier to go to steel tracks than add cooling in the already tight quarters of a skid steer’s guts. You can work on the undercarriage where everything is easily accessible without having to lift the cab, stick your arms through anything or get covered in coolant when you have to break a line. I quite frankly wouldn’t want to spend the time messing around with the thing when it should be out working.

299 XHP with the forestry package is the best thing you’re going to find. I promise. It’s expensive, but you gotta pay to play in this game. Lease it if you have to, but these little machines are not like a full sized excavator or dozer. They just don’t last that long, especially when you’re doing something that asks a lot of a machine like running a mulcher head.
Sounds as if i should avoid over approx. 2000 hours instead of my current max. of 3000 hours.
Had not looked at it this way. Thanks for the insight.
 
catbuster

catbuster

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The XHP machine really needs the auxiliary hydraulic cooler. Having all that horsepower going right to the pumps makes for a lot of heat, even if the engine cooling package is better.

If you’re not sure you want to do this, like you’ve suggested in other threads, lease a machine. If you don’t like it or the work you’re doing, you walk away and don’t have to try to sell it or make any more payments. A lot of lease agreements have a purchase clause where they put your payments towards the purchase of the machine. I did that for a few years when I had my satellite office in PA building roads and wellpads. Come winter, I wasn’t paying for it anymore. Up there when the first snow hit and winter really set in it was game over. I had a few pieces of equipment I owned and we could do a little bit of work but for the better part of four months we had a shutdown, so I had most of the big iron short of a D7, an 8, a 330 and a 345 on a nine-month lease agreement that I re-upped for the five years we worked.
 
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Sure are a lot of things to consider.
Seeing how well the prices hold up makes leasing more attractive. I see plenty asking close to new prices in spite of 2-3 years age. Seems nuts from here.

So we need:
aux. Cooling
Rops
Maybe less than 2000 hours if possible

More land mgmt packages avail than forestry by far

Then we have the mulching heads with prices all over the place. 2500 pounds can be $10000 or $50000.

Still unsure about disc vs drum. Drum is what almost everybody seems to use. Looks slower but mulch debris is far more consistently sized it seems. Probably handles rock hits better.
 
catbuster

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Hmm, I spent part of my day in a 299D2 and now I’ve logged in for the first time in a few days.

Land management & forestry packages aren’t too different, and are better to run a mulching head than just the stock machine.

Get a drum mulcher. They don’t give a **** what vegetation you put them in, and they turn it into a nice mulch. A disc cutter is better to cut stuff and lay it down but generally don’t mulch as well. Their ability to cut and lay down then move ahead is why somebody can move so fast, not because they mulch faster. Whatever you get, a push bar is a must.

I’ve run more Fecon heads than anything else. They are a more durable product than FAE and on the same CTL I get better production than an FAE head. Denis Cimaf are the Cadillac of forestry mulchers, but the price premium reflects it. You could go with Cat’s mulcher, they work pretty well.
 
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Hmm, I spent part of my day in a 299D2 and now I’ve logged in for the first time in a few days.

Land management & forestry packages aren’t too different, and are better to run a mulching head than just the stock machine.

Get a drum mulcher. They don’t give a **** what vegetation you put them in, and they turn it into a nice mulch. A disc cutter is better to cut stuff and lay it down but generally don’t mulch as well. Their ability to cut and lay down then move ahead is why somebody can move so fast, not because they mulch faster. Whatever you get, a push bar is a must.

I’ve run more Fecon heads than anything else. They are a more durable product than FAE and on the same CTL I get better production than an FAE head. Denis Cimaf are the Cadillac of forestry mulchers, but the price premium reflects it. You could go with Cat’s mulcher, they work pretty well.
Hmmm - useful input as always.

But my goal is to mulch burned trees while keeping those over ~14" for either firewood or lumber. I spent $35,000 on a portable sawmill. Plus I am thinking of building a log cabin with the larger logs.

Honestly it seems that new skid steers can be justified given how well they hold their value. Plus mulching is very hard on the machines and lowers their useful life - by a lot.

I don't know the difference between land management and forestry packages. Brush vs trees but how does that affect the skid steer?
 
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There is an argument for a disc mulcher to cut then a drum mulcher to mulch. That also yields two mulchers in case one breaks down.

But it also puts me over my trailers limit of ~14,000 lbs. I have hauled 13,500 over a Colorado pass - before just installing new 10 ply tires.

So one mulcher likely has to do. Plus I think there exists more efficient cutters than the disc mulcher.

Also - there are several skid steers of slightly larger weight and more HP. A lot of 299 XHPs are priced at dreamer levels. A 3000 hour machine may only have another 1000 hours left on it given the arduous work load of mulching.
 
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Which brings up a powerful dilemna. To really do this i am looking at:
Semi- due to colorado passes
Low boy trailer
CDL
Dump truck
Mulcher
Log grappler
Excavator in likelihood
Plus more im almost sure.
Worth it for ten years of work?
Probably- if the economy/system remains stable. It does not appear stable for more than 1- 2 years.
We are overdue for the recession that hits every decade- like a Swiss watch. Now we have inflation and crazy debt piled on. Plus a youth that does not want to do real work.
I see storm clouds. Everywhere.
 
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Did some reconnaissance with my neighbor who is doing a full scale lumber mill. They were loading a giant Hydro Ax tree cutter unto a semi trailer with Wide Load signs. I asked some questions and found they are going after both dead and live trees with that ~ 50" cutting blade. Not the competition that I wanted with 7 kids and a few decades of experience.

Its a big enough state but I feel like too many are chasing the mulching path right now. My "hot spot" had one mulcher last year. Now there are three. And that giant Hydro Ax and his other equipment make a skid steer mulcher look quite small indeed. Literally a wide load for a semi.
 

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catbuster

catbuster

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Did you miss last year? That was a recession. I stopped going back and forth with you last time because of the INGSOC comment and now I’m going to call your ******** here. I have plenty of guys between 18 and 25 who work their ass off, every day. As a matter of fact, I have a whole job with two crews where there are two people on the job who are over the age of 30 running pipe 21’ under the ground with the other 3 man crew running 400’ of 6” force main daily. The two guys are a 41 year old site superintendent and the other is a 48 year old hoe hand who is in the process of teaching two younger guys how to dig deep, use slide rails and drive boxes. The two foremen are 28 & 24, respectively.

I don’t see dark clouds, I see artificially low wages and lack of opportunity for young people. Maybe once the people in their 50s & 60s pull their head out of their ass they’ll recognize it’s time to give these people a chance. But I’m sure you, like many think I don’t know anything, I’m just a 34 year old business owner.

ANYWAY…

You don’t need a semi to move a 10,000 lb machine. Matt moves his skidder and excavator on a tag trailer behind his dump truck and he’s at elevation and runs steep grades. I move smaller equipment, and a 299 counts, behind an F250 or F350 on a PJ trailer pulling the Appalachians and I used to haul around Allegheny mountains and the Cascades. If you go to an excavator, anything over 30,000 then yeah you need a semi. An 80 or 130 moves just fine behind a dump truck and compliments a big skid steer very well.

Honestly, man, with as negative an outlook as you have I’d probably run away from going into business, especially for a 10 year setup.
 
softdown

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My oldest business started when you were 7 - learning cursive - went from 1993 to 2020. I've had several - recessions/timing are a large part of the equation. You don't know what a real recession is - they last for years.
I'm certain you have not read "1984" hence derogatory considerations of Ingsoc are completely unfounded. But I'm sure you are as happy as a bug with your head ensconced in the sand. Attacking "negativity" helps certify your pedigree as 75% chimp/25% bee.

Good day. You did dispense some interesting insights for a bit.
 
catbuster

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So you’re going ad hominem? Fine. Cursive writing is far less time and money intensive than any sort of construction, forestry or any sort of heavy industrial business like you’re trying to get into. The two just are not able to be paralleled, and if you try to do it you will lose your ass.

Also, dude, I was around when 2008 hit. I was working for myself then, fresh out of school, and had to get a job working for someone else. Fuel was up to ridiculous prices for something like 5 years afterwards.

In case you don’t know, the effects of last year are still being felt. PVC & ADS pipe is up 220% and the lead time is now 6-10 weeks for pipe, up to 20 for ADS basins. It was 2 weeks even for something ridiculous like a full size underground detention basin in the peak of construction season in 2019. Fuel is up, albeit not like it was six or seven years ago.

In high school both 1984 and Animal Farm were required reading in my english classes along with plenty of other good, thought provoking reading. If you think there are thought police running around and the government is pushing people to think endless war is the way to go you are mistaken. I do not disagree with Orwell on many things, though Ayn Rand is a different story. However to make the leap to saying INGSOC is alive here in the United States is not one I am willing to take.

You asked about mulching equipment which I have plenty of time, experience and knowledge to share. But when you start with the senseless tropes about how the world is going to end I’m just not interested.

Best of luck.
 
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Something very large and evil is afoot. Fauci reversed the ban on viral gain of function research in 2017. Then plowed millions into the Wuhan bat virology lab. All after predicting a huge viral outbreak.

There is only Ingsoc.
 

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softdown

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Adding enhanced hydraulic cooling to a Cat XHP is $6000 per yesterdays quote. The big question now is - How much does it cost to add steel tracks instead of rubber tracks? I'd guess at least $8000 - likely more.

Takeuchi 12 is equipped with a thick radiator and runs cooler for that reason. But the 12 only puts out about 3500 psi of hydraulic pressure at 40 gpm. Weaker high flow numbers than many others.
 
softdown

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Hard to glean useful info. with Ingsoc troll/trolls dropping turds on anything that questions todays ecopolitical instability.
Outside of their circle jerks, everyone agrees these are crazy days - making it a challenge for investing:

Assume perfect credit rating:
Obtain .11% interest on savings account
Obtain mortage rate of ~2.5 - 3% after all is accounted for.
Pay 20% on a loan with collateral.
 
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