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highway
highway's picture
Hydraulic Log Loader for HD36

I seem to remember someone had added a third log loader arm to their mill. Any pics or information would be great. Specifically how it ties into the hydraulic system.

 

Thanks,

 

Ed

 

olcus
olcus's picture

I need to do the same thing Ed. I added 2 four foot extensions at first assembly. 18 feet holds my Red, White, and Post Oak Logs OK. Sometimes I have to take off a few feet. But there ain't no way that two arm loader is gonna heave them big sons a biscuit eaters off the ground. I'm thinkin' even with the extra arms (and I could finger it ou... I mean figure it out) that the pump may not be strong enough to lift that much weight. I really thought that system would be stronger than it is. So I too am waitin' now on some experiise to jump in here and answer your... our question. Thanks for postin' it.

jfk2man
jfk2man's picture

I'm a little disappointed to hear the hydraulics seem to be a bit under engineered. I would think you should be able to lift the back end of a Mack truck with those things. They know what logs weigh! A simple modification would be to increase the size (Diameter) of the lift cylinder if you could fit one in. Just a thought...

Jimmy F Kaiserlik

Bill
Bill's picture

As Fred said , by increasing the size of the bore a cylinder has you can get plenty of lift as long as with the increased lift some thing else doesn't start coming apart. The pump size will be adequate just slower. 

jfk2man
jfk2man's picture

Bill makes an excellent point. Nothing like 'fixin' something into uselessness. Usually there is some built in wiggle room in the design specs. A few times I have found out just how far I could go. Then I started over.

Jimmy F Kaiserlik

BillyReeder
BillyReeder's picture

I just came from the show in Texas and asked that very question. The gentleman doing the demo told me that Norwood has gone from using 1 1/2 inch cylinders to 2 inch cylinders specifically because of this. 

highway
highway's picture

I was able to lift this pine log onto the mill after a little help from the forks on the tractor. Once it got about 6" off the ground the loader took over. But its hard to run the mill lever and the tractor at the same time. no

 

  https://goo.gl/photos/fn2ihwUM5SiZwpbv9

BillyReeder
BillyReeder's picture

That's a beast!!!  Both log and mill. 

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

OK, you got it on the sawmill, now what???

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

Ed, are your cylinders 1 &1/2" or the new and improved 2" ?

Baron
Baron's picture

Post Oakie, my thoughts exactly, lol.

highway
highway's picture

I sawed that log into 1" boards, several of which were over 27" wide.

 

I think the rods on my lift cylinders are 1.5". They are not very big.

 

https://goo.gl/photos/3TFpJtmiyqiruD1z8

 

Ed

 

Baron
Baron's picture

Love the photos Ed! Well done. 

 

Bill
Bill's picture

You gave your saw a good work-out nice pics. TY for sharing Ed.

papow22
papow22's picture

I have to agree with Bill.yescool

 

Kids who hunt fish and trap,DON'T mug little old ladys.Plus this one also =I'M
PRO-CHOISE...I CHOOSE to hunt,fish,TRAP,eat meat & wear fur.Also work my lm2000,Also my L775 new holland skid steer,D65 Komatsu,Hough100,m5 tractor,

oneoldcoot
oneoldcoot's picture

Too much of that white stuff for my tastes but the wood is awesome

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Looks like you're giving that sawmill a real workout.  Nice photos.  Get those boards stacked & stickered and put some weight on them.  They'll try to cup on you as they dry.

rickcnc
rickcnc's picture

I was a little disappointed with my log-loaders this weekend.. Was at a customer’s site, one sugar maple log 11’ long, 28” in diameter at the base and 30” at widest point on the crouch.

Rolled the log on the loader and pulled the lever.. Nothing…. Well this is embarrassing, customer watching and my mill cannot lift his log.. I assured him eariler, this wouldn’t be issue. Prior to purchasing the hydraulics for my mill I visited the Norwood facility and asked  sales rep  what the loader could left and they indicated a 36” 12’ log. … Before purchasing the hydraulics I was using an electric winch and ramps, no issues pulling up the big ones. (just to slow)

My saving grace for this project was a little 2.5 ton hydraulic floor jack. Place this under the log as best I could and used it to get the thing started.. I was only able to raise it about 6” before I had to reposition the jack.. Interesting enough the loader held the log stationary while I reposition the jack.. Once  my floor jack along with the hydraulic loader reached the 10-12 inch point the loader took over and finished the job.

As a test I wanted to see if my hydraulic rollers could lift this log.. My thinking was if loader couldn’t, the rollers probably couldn’t either..  Well the good news here is the rollers hand no issues lifting the log.

The next step was to cut the log in slabs.. The customer was now speculative that the mill was going to struggle cutting the slabs he wanted. Armed with a sharp blade, I knew this wasn't goint to be an issue.. been there done that....  He was completely blown way the quality of the cuts how smooth the boards were.

At the end of the day I had another happy customer. Me.. not so much

I would appreciate any input on a better way to load the logs the loader can’t seam to lift.

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

If that sugar was green it's going to be the heaviest log for those dimensions. It has more water in it than any other species that I've cut. It seems to cut easier with all that moisture too.

If you don't have a tractor for back-up and you're going to be milling some more big ones, try a long 4"/4" . Lay it perpendicular to the mill so it will be under the log when it's on the loader. Then pry up on the 4"/4" as you use the hydraulics to give it a boost . It should be quicker than a jack.

 

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Glad you worked it out!  You might consider getting an old-fashioned mechanical farm jack.  It has more lifting height.  I got one, and it comes in handy more often than you'd think.  Maybe weld a tab that the jack can lift on that would keep you out of the way if something goes awry.

bakertools
bakertools's picture

Jumping in on this hydraulic lift arm topic a little late, but, I have some battle experience to share for everyone's safety!

I have a HD36 purchased in 2015 with full hydraulics, power saw head and feed with the trailer package (factory assembled demo unit). I'm guessing that my lift cylinders are the smaller 1 1/2" versions and the earlier version of lift arms with the cross rail at the toe on my arms compared to at the elbow on the current arms. Without the cross rail in place the arms just flail without uniform lift.

My experiences with the loader arms have been mixed and a little disappointing. The product information states they should lift 3,000 lbs. You always hope for them to be under-rated, but I'm thinking that might be over-rated. Hopefully, the larger cylinders get it there, but if you plan to cut a 36" by 8 foot plus log, they will all be more that what the hydraulic arms can lift. I will say, I have lifted oak logs 24" x 13', but it struggled. There is an adjustment set screw with lock nut on the pump, but have not seen a noticeable difference when trying to adjust it. My next thought is to change hydraulic fluid, but it doesn't look old. The lift arms are great for small to medium sized logs and you are working alone. Much faster than a hand crank. If you are stationary, you could build a log deck to roll them on, but you will still need something to get them up to that higher level. If you plan to mill larger logs, you should have access to a 50+ HP tractor or skid steer with loader/grapple capacity to lift up to 6,000 lbs. This will make your life much easier!

There are a few things to be careful of when using the lift arms to be safe and not damage the equipment or injure someone:

Insure that there are no leaks in the connecting lines and the splice boxes for the lift arms that share the same control lever and the fluid tank is full.

Insure that the leveling jacks are on stable footing. I have added one four foot extension with an extra set of jacks to the mill to cut up to 16'.

Insure the base of the lift arms are on firm ground or blocked up to carry the load and torque that will be exerted on the side rails. I tried to lift a 26" x 8' ash log and the foot blocking kicked out from under the arm causing the bracket to bend the track side wall out. This caused the carriage to drag on the side track face. I had to do a little hammering to correct the error of my ways. Easy fix with design of the side rail system.

Keep the saw head at the front end of the rail system when loading!
Point #1: I was loading a 34" x 13' hickory log using the lift arms with a small tractor loader that neither could handle on their own. Together, we got it started up, but the tractor loader slipped off and the full weight of the log twisted the mill track system to the lift side at the speed of a catapult. If the saw head would have been at the end of the track I think I would have had to drive to the next county to retrieve it! We got it loaded on the mill and to the credit of the Norwood track system, it flexed back to the proper orientation without damage to the track.
Point #2: I once loaded a large 34" diameter log on the mill with a tractor with the saw at the end of the rail. It was too big to get over the top to roll it back to start. I had to remove the blade to get it back to starting position.

My experiences have shown that anything 32" - 36" in diameter can be milled, but it will feel like a you wrestled an elephant for about 3 hours when you get done. There have been several times that I sheared off the woodruff key on the hydraulic roller motor shaft when trying to roll these monsters.

Be safe everyone!

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