Best way to move big wood?


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I took forever getting pics up of the zahn, but here is a new favorite. We were at the lake today and had to chunk it into the water. I swam them over to the side, and "knuckles", our zahn, did the rest.


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906 cat lifts 9000 I believe an it's a lil narrower than a pick up we got a smaller loader that fits thro 40 inch gate but for everyday we use the 906 cat all the way u can load a big truck an isn't as hard on lawns as you would think


Your mini loaders look awesome guys! I have lots of hours on large articulated loaders. The smallest loader I have run a cat 908 for a brief period of time. I can see the obvious strength and convenience of using these articulated loaders on pavement. That being said, how is the weight distribution with tires while driving over lawns? Is it similar to skid steers? Does everyone avoid lawns with sprinklers?

When I have to move big wood, its usually across lawns with sprinklers or soft ground, and I use tracked machines. I have found them to distribute weight very well.


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Similar to a skid, the AL140 with dual tires is obviously a good deal less.

The 540 has 15.5" tires and weighs ~7400lbs.

The 340 has 12.5" tires and weighs ~5500klbs

The 140 has 10.5" tires and weighs ~3500lbs.

Top Notch has dual ms for the 140, and one of my customers has duals on a 540.

Tracked loaders suffer the same physics as wheeled machines, the heavier the load, the more weight that's on the front of the tracks. Still, they function better in soft conditions.


You're right, if driving loaded tracked machines around on the nose of the tracks, there's no benefit. Keep them level, and be easy turning, and they work well. Thanks for the info on the Gehl units with duals, look like cool machines.


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My track loader (SVL90-2) has 18" tracks and weighs a bit over 12klbs with a tipping capacity of 8600lbs., however on flat, firm ground it won't lift enough to get the back end off the ground. My previous CTL (Tak TL250) had a lower tipping capacity with higher arm force which makes for better compaction on dirt jobs.



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I found an old Wilmar manufacturing wrangler, which is an articulating loader close to the al540. Picked it up for 6 grand if I remember right. Put a little work into it like modifying the front with a universal skid mount, next up is running through the hoses and getting a bmgHD. Engine is solid.


This are very nice machines guys. I'm going to have to find a way to acquire a boxer. I have several ways to put that bugger to use. Lol
I've moved big wood with my JD5300 with 540 front end loader and chain when I could. I have a 24' gooseneck trailer. When i can I back it up under the tree I'm dismantling and lower the section down onto it. I have a10,000 lb winch mounted on the trailer. I've used it to help lower big sections. When I can't get to the tree I have a 40' grain hopper tarp with a 3" pipe rolled into the end with a chain ran thru it. I lower the wood onto the tarp and use the winch to drag it to the trailer.
I don't cut trees for a living so I've managed with these methods.
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Well-Known Member
Omaha, NE
Machines working well so far. HD Grapple has a few kinks to work out though.
  • It really does leave no trace on grass. Turf tires arent necessary on this machine. In fact I wouldn't recommend them.
  • I love the visibility versus a skid loader. I can back up long distances without wondering about whats going on behind me. This also helps with feeding the chipper.
  • Tons of power. Pulling over huge trees with backleans saves us half a day that it would have taken to piece the thing down. This savings is enormous.
  • More comfortable to ride on than a skid loader
  • Price- much cheaper than a comparable skid loader

  • Headlight on the 2 post ROPS are probably going to get pulled off from branches. They sit near the boom and have been getting knocked around.
  • Seems a little tippy. I don't think I'll let any greenhorn hop on this machine. Its stable enough but don't lift boom high without being on flat ground. Maybe its normal to have the front opposite wheel come off the ground a bit but it makes my butthole pucker up.
  • Material handling bucket doesn't tip up very much so its hard to load stump grindings or other debris without being pushed into the bucket by the mini.
  • Harder to feed the chipper than the mini unless the brush is very long. Then it is relatively easy but takes quite a bit of room to maneuver it in there. The mini feels like an extension of your body as if you had robot arms. This machine is nice but a bit more clumsy.
  • I think it will be hard to convince people to let me drive it on their yards. Its an intimidatingly heavy looking machine. There will be some preconceived ideas of what their yard will look like after. I might have to come prepared with some video demonstrations.

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Lebanon, Pa USA
I don't see any piece, I couldn't lift with my BMG. In fact I am pretty sure I could carry almost double what the video shows. It is all in how you try to carry/move the piece...low and tight.

But maybe this is an bad example of what you are talking about.

Free spinning grapple is awesome for flowing turns. To turn the grapple, to grab something, you just have to learn how to tweak the mini...or use of the brush to spin it. Once you grab the brush you can lock the spin, or free spin depending how you hang the grapple.

Imo if you are using the grapple (like pic below) you are using it way wrong. It doesn't hang low, unless you let it...and most times you shouldn't.


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Well-Known Member
Coastal SC
I had a bmg grapple on one of my mini's and did not like the uncontrolled spin on the unit and how far out front it stuck out and how low it hung down.

I had a BMG grapple on one of my mini's but did not like the free spinning grapple or the down and out front nature of it which reduced capacity some imo. The spinning made it hard to grab at times without getting off the machine. I sold it and the next guy did not like it either.
I think it's what you get used to. I have a grapple bucket like you have treevet on my regular skid, and I believe when I get my mini i'd probably prefer that type on it as well, as opposed to the hanging kind. I've learned to work well with it. The only thing i think might be better with the bmg style is loading brush in the chipper. But once again, the guys who've been running the bmg all along probably think we're crazy. These things become an extension of our bodies so it's hard to break habits.

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