Vermeer Mini skid steer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Windwalker, May 9, 2018.

  1. Windwalker

    Windwalker Member

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    I was thinking I was going to get a grapple trailer to use to fetch the wood and logs. The last two days I've been thinking about this realistically while on 4 different jobs. I realized that I'm still going to have a lot of heavy lifting because of access with a big trailer. This mornings removal was the kicker, big apple tree removal in the back yard and I could only get my truck to the side of the house. Chipping wasn't that bad but getting the wood out sucked. Considering some of the 16" long rounds I had to split so I could lift them in the truck after I rolled them to the truck. That was it, I wont be doing that anymore.

    I called my local Vermeer dealer and plan to run out and get a look on Thursday. They are having a promotion right now and 0% financing. Cant beat that.

    So what says the real world tree guys, are the Vermeer Mini's good, bad, or ugly?
     
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  2. Jackjcc

    Jackjcc Active Member

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    I think they are excellent, we upgraded from 725 to 925 recently. I haven’t had a chance on the 925 but the 7’s were great. Track tension is important to keep up on!

    I’m pretty sure I have the numbers right, but I’ve been wrong before.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. deevo

    deevo Well-Known Member

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    What Jack said! My 725 has been great , my 650 before that not so great!
     
  4. flyingsquirrel25

    flyingsquirrel25 Well-Known Member

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    I have run very few Vermeer machines due to the serviceability if them. Many of the parts are specifically made for Vermeer so you must return to them to get most parts, for a premium price. We had a valve body on a chipper break and it was super expensive to get it replaced.
    I would recommend a call to Jesco, when we bought our DW it was 0% as well. But remember there is no free lunch in this world. Cash price was just north of 33k, financed price (through them) was just north of 36k. So 0% looks cool but in reality you pay no mater what.
    You are more than welcome to swing down our way sometime and run our machine if you want to see where we find it’s limitations and strengths. If you came on a weekend I could probably get you a couple tickets to visit Longwood Gardens as well!
     
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  5. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    BMG Grapple, with whatever machine, IMO.

    DW seem to be skookum by reputation.
     
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  6. Windwalker

    Windwalker Member

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    Well it was tough three days loading lots of wood by hand, glad those jobs are behind me, but as we in the tree business know, when your done with one job you move onto the next. I got two big oaks that are coming down next week that I promised myself I will not load by hand.

    I have a Vermeer Chipper and Stump grinder and actually have been quite pleased with the equipment and service. I put a call into my salesman yesterday and today he brought the 925 out to my woodlot. As busy as things have been for me, its more of a convenience thing for me. He brings the machine out, meets me here while I'm between jobs, I get to put it through its paces working around my woodlot and my funds should be transferred from my one account to another tomorrow and he's bringing it back. I'll own the machine tomorrow and I never left home.

    Thanks for the offer Flyingsquirrel, if I wasn't in such a need for something I would have certainly taken you up on it. I probably should have looked into other machines, but like I said it came down to time and convenience.

    I was pretty impressed with it, it'll lift twice what my Kubota tractor will. I was lifting and moving logs with it that my tractor wont budge. I can see where it will tear up the lawn pretty quick if you do any kind of tight turns, but seemed pretty gentle if you were gentle with the turns.
     
  7. Merle Nelson

    Merle Nelson Well-Known Member

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    4x4 sheet of ply for places you need to make turns - or so I hear. (I have a wheel loader and few lawns.)
     
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  8. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    Drive reasonably straight, spin on plywood as a "turning station" and drive reasonably straight to another piece, if you don't need to protect in-between due to load and soft soil.

    I can stack full sheets on to of my grapple frame and handles, driving forward, unloading, driving forward, unloading...

    A sheet on top, alternately means the mini can carry ropes, saws, bins from truck to tree
    And back.
     
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  9. SomethingWitty

    SomethingWitty Well-Known Member

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    Just a few sheets for turn points does about everything unless it is sopping wet.
    We have a tiny one... 650? Maybe. Most jobs we set a few sheets right by the trailer. It runs forwards and backwards just the same, so often it is straight in, straight out, turn and load. Brush doesn't snag gates if you grab butts and drag a huge wad, either.
     
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  10. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    Lots depends on soil type and conditions... Max lifts mean riding on front tires or idler pulleys, meaning high point loading. On the plus side, heavy loads don't tear turf, riding on two points.
     
  11. flyingsquirrel25

    flyingsquirrel25 Well-Known Member

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    Spread out the wear on the lawn areas. Offset your travel lines so as not to grind one area into the ground. Our long tracks on the DW will turn on 4’ wide ply but only when it’s on a single sheet. If you are spread between two they just slide out or move around.
     
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  12. Windwalker

    Windwalker Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys.
     
  13. rugger01

    rugger01 Active Member

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    I find it all depends on your market. I am grateful that my market is very forgiving about turf damage as long as it is communicated in advance and price options are offered. Some customers are picky about their lawn and they want it left pristine, that's fine just as long as they are willing to pay for it. The vast majority of my customers would rather save a few bucks and water grass seed whilst drinking beer after we leave. Win win. Be very picky about who you let jump on it. With a good operator a lot of turf damage can be avoided. And always remember side slopes are the devil.
     
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  14. Windwalker

    Windwalker Member

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    I totally agree. And fortunately I have a similar market. I like to be very up front with all the possible scenarios and the trade off for each. But like you said, they almost always go with the cheaper option.
     
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  15. CjM

    CjM Member

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    We recently got a Vermeer ctx100, seems pretty good so far, the little bit I’ve got to run it. Little tricky feeding brush into the chipper with it, but I’ve been surprised at the wood it can pick up.

    The tracks aren’t tensioned by grease, but with a tensioner you can turn with a wrench which is easy in the field. Also has a built in code reader which I haven’t used yet, but I think is pretty cool (why cant my car have that?).

    We have forks and a rotating log grapple, and the grapple is on pretty much all the time. It can tip back over the body of the machine so you have to watch when you put the arms down, but it’s a good attachment.
     
  16. Windwalker

    Windwalker Member

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    Already put it to work today. I think we're gonna get along just fine. I normally would have cut this thing up into firewood size stuff so I could load it in the truck. Also saves on clean up since there is so much less saw dust.
     

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  17. flyingsquirrel25

    flyingsquirrel25 Well-Known Member

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    Aren’t you glad you decided to go with the mini?
     
  18. Windwalker

    Windwalker Member

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    Absolutely! Thanks for stearing me this way. After you suggested it in the other post I thought back over a bunch of past jobs and realized that the grapple trailer would have limited use due to access. The mini won’t lift as much so I’ll have to cut smaller saw logs, but I can surely live with that. It ended up being a little more than the grapple trailer but I think it will be much more of an asset.
     
  19. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of tricks to moving larger logs than you can lift or drag on lawn/ dirt. You basically need to lift one end at a time.

    A plywood roadway has way less friction. A tag axle, like a log-arch or Arbor Trolley does wonders.

    Rolling the round log lets you move a lot, if you have the width. Roll up onto a piece of wood at the balance point and spin it to rotate the log for steering without tearing the lawn. If you have a tapered log, it will roll in an arc, without persuation. Sometimes this is just pushing off-center.

    Free-hand ripping a log in half means half the weight, and still millable (not as sell-able).

    Skid logs perpendicular to the drag.

    Roller logs under the log you're moving.



    New trick yesterday. Rather than trying to push the log with the BMG spikes, I bent the boom down, grapple almost 90* to normal, bumping the log with the top of the boom, and rolling the tracks forward wants to make the machine crawl up the log. If you bump it, and it crawl up a bit, and the log keeps rolling, the machine comes back down to flat, where you can bump the log again with the top of the boom. If you can keep bumping and keep it in motion, you can do a lot.

    I rolled a 6' cottonwood spar that was probably at the very least 15' long, slightly downhill without problems, just good tricks.

    You're more likely to be able to subcontract a hauler...mini is a good choice!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  20. flyingsquirrel25

    flyingsquirrel25 Well-Known Member

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    Sweet
    sweet little tricks! One of my favorite is putting a set of forks on instead of the grapple. Moves that load closer to the lift pins and this more weight can be lifted.
    Another favorite is the atom splitter. I quartered 4’ dia red oak 9-10’ Long in a back yard with very little access. Had the whole thing busted up in less than an hour.
    9B10A9B5-1DDD-4090-A34D-3E21355CF9B1.jpeg
    To a guy that has a saw mill this is probably sacrilege, but there was no other way (except in 3’ pieces). On the positive side if someone wanted to quarter saw it into really nice boards, half the work is done. Was surprised when it worked on hickory too, but there was a bit more work involved. I was going to build a dolly for the tail of the log on this job but then we decided to do it this way.... worked great!
     
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