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  1. #11
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Thomas: Your right about the base. A couple of these root balls have taken a circumference of dirt 7 to 8 feet wide I would guess, which COULD bring up a hidden dagger up underneath Brutus. As long as the tree is tipping, I still push. Once the tree actually starts to fall on its own volition, I hit reverse to try to minimize any underneath problems AND lower bucket to keep it close to tree as buffer against it coming back. I have noticed though, that by the time I get to this point, the tree would have to defy gravity to come back towards me, meaning it’s REALLY leaning over HARD.

    Scruffs: Not too sure anyone wants these dead pine trees as firewood, ALSO, as they are within range of hitting house should they fall in that direction, I don’t know that I want ANYONE dealing with them except me or a logger and unfortunately, the loggers WON’T touch them. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img]

    Twinks: (I just HAD to say it that way [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]) don’t forget, that I’m not talking about using a B or L-series, but a Brutus [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Gordon: Repeating clarification that trees are within hitting distance of house, so I’m thinking that Brutus can help insure direction of fall FAR more than just cutting as I CAN’T have them fall on house if AT ALL possible. Now, there are only say 8 to 12 (currently standing) that meet this reality. THOSE are the ones I am most worried about. The others in the woods or fields, I don’t care about and have NO problems just chopping down with my trusty Stihl 044.

    Given that the dead trees in reference are within hitting the house distance (with one “medium” one actually having a lean towards house), and that the professional loggers (who BOUGHT them by the way) have decided to LEAVE them thereby putting me in a quandary. What is better? Cause I have to do something...

    1. Using saw and be at risk of barber chair or falling limb or other falling on “me” or house
    2. Use saw to cut my felling angle and make preliminary final cut to THEN push over with Brutus
    3. Use saw to cut my felling angle and push over WITHOUT preliminary final cut
    4. Simply bull over with Brutus if tree will go
    5. If 4 doesn’t work, loosen up roots and push with Brutus as per origination of thread

    Will certainly entertain ANY and ALL ideas, as these dead/dying trees are not going to become any safer.

    Another tidbit that may influence some thoughts...these dead pines are in the middle of other trees, primarily 3 to 4 inch poplar/oak or other kind of hardwood that I “prefer” to work around and try to save. If they all get crushed and nobody gets hurt, nor house I can live with that, but in a perfect world, I’d like to save as many of these as I can also by felling pines in quite specific directions, hence, another factor in the logic of using Brutus to push. I’m very willing to sacrifice any that I need to in the name of safety however. I don’t even mind sacrificing Brutus if it means accomplishing the job AND accomplishing it the safest way possible. Obviously I would rather not sacrifice Brutus, but Health and House come FIRST.

    Richard



  2. #12
    Veteran Member
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    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
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    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    First let me say that I have absolutely no experience in this, but If I had to attack it on my own here's what I might try:

    1) Attach a cable to the tree as far up as you can toss a lead line.
    2) Attach another cable to the tree about four feet from the base
    3) Run these two cables out in the direction of intended fall and attach each of them to a stationary object with a come-along.
    4) Use a saw to cut a felling angle notch in the direction of intended fall. Make this cut just below the lower cable.
    5) Take tension on the come-alongs.
    6) Make a cut most of the way through the tree on the opposite side.
    7) Go to work with Brutus pushing slowly in the intended direction of fall.
    8) Use Brutus to get the stump out.

    My theory is that the cables will help protect you and brutus by giving added guidance to the tree fall.

    (Repeat preceding disclaimer)

    WVBill


  3. #13

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    I have played this little game of felling a tree that was too close to the house (and carrying the majority of its weight _over_ the house) and I can tell you guys it is not at all fun. In fact it was one of the most harrowing things I have been involved in and I am including all my stupid tractor moves when I say that. The best idea that I could come up with was to use my pickup as an anchor and get some polypropolene rope (not sure how you spell it or even if that is the right name, it is the white plastic type rope they sell at Wal-Mart) and pull some spring into the rope to influence the tree the way I wanted it to go. I had four seperate lines going to the tree for safety and so I would not exceed the breaking strength of the rope. The ropes were long enough so the truck was not at risk. I had my wife in the truck and told her to step on the gas (but not too hard) when tree started moveing to get it further away from the house when it fell. I then notched the tree and prepared for the festivities. Everything was ready, the chainsaw was running, my wife was in the truck applying just the right amount of gas pedal (it's an automatic) to keep the tension right so I make my cut into the backside of the tree so it will fall and to make a short story long, things started happening WAY TOO FAST. The tree was cracking and started to fall. My wife stepped on the gas exactly as instructed. The tree started falling somewhat sideways. My wife saw what was happening and gave the truck more gas. The truck is a full size Chevy and as I am watching it get pulled a little sideways she really gets in it and all I can think is how much pull can that truck exert on those now way too small looking ropes that looked so big just a second ago. The ropes hold. She pulls hard enough to keep the now sideways falling tree from hitting the house. The tree almost takes out the air conditioning unit next to the house. But it is down and we are safe. My wife is almost freaked out because the tree fell sideways and pulled the truck sideways instead of just falling towards the truck. I am freaked out because in my mind I saw the ropes break and the tree come crashing into the house. But it didn't. Thank God.

    This was not the first tree I had ever cut down. I have enough experience to know trees don't always do what you think they will. I have learned a lot about trees and tractoring from this board and I am hopeing that Richard and all of you will learn something from my post about how bad things can get even when the most carefully thought out plan is set into motion, although I still think the elastic rope trick is a good one when you want to infuence the direction of a falling tree. If I did it over again I would use a 20,000 pound rated springy tow rope. Anyway, it still worked for me, but JUST BARELY.




  4. #14
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]Kubotadriver, we did the same thing at my brother's house this past Spring with a big dead oak tree leaning toward his house, except we had a single 150' strong nylon rope attached to my 3/4 ton Ford pickup. We considered all the possibilities, and were definitely running scared, but that tree had to come down. Fortunately, we had better luck than you and all went smoothly.

    Nylon rope has lots of stretch to it. A couple of years ago, we took down a big willow and didn't want it to fall across a fence, so we did the same thing, but had the rope tied to my brother's Kawasaki Mule, and had to run the rope through some brush, so that I couldn't see him or the tree when I got to the end of the rope. He said he would notch the tree, kill the engine on the chain saw, then when I heard the chain saw rev up again to take off because he would be cutting at the same time. I did, and when I heard the tree fall, I took my foot off the accelerator and that rope jerked me and that Mule backwards about 10 feet like a rubber band. If I hadn't had the seat belt on, I'd have probably bit a chunk out of his steering wheel.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Bird<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by Bird on 11/8/00 11:00 AM.</FONT></P>

  5. #15
    Super Member
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    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
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    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Richard,

    I like WVBill's plan. The only thing I might do differnt is to add Brutus's backhoe bucket to the tree while making my cuts. I don't think I would add much push, but it takes alot to move a 9000lbs+ TLB.

    I do hope you will keep us posted. This is getting better than the soaps.{smile}


  6. #16
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Kubotadriver..your situation sounds MUCH more precarious than mine seems to be. I FULLY understand your statement about it being “the most harrowing”...(wish I’d thought of the word). “So far” most of these trees are either leaning slightly down the hill, making their direction manipulation even more in my favor, or are straight up, on said hill. Either way, I am working my way to the uphill side of them, which allows for even greater leverage since I’m maybe 12 inches or more above the base when I push.

    Based on what you said, I think you can appreciate even more than I, the hard choice of what do you do?

    I’ll bet no lumberman would touch your tree situation unless you paid him a fortune, even then, I’d bet against him doing it. So here you have a legitimate threat that you must vanquish, possibly no professional help (at least in my case) and you can have muscle/Stihl/Chevy power or Stihl & Brutus power (not enough room for Chevy in my situation). So far, my self preservation instincts urge me to keep using Brutus. There have been numerous comments on the unpredictability of a falling tree. It is this very unpredictability that I feel is better managed with 90 turbo charged horses working for me rather than my 75 c.c. (?) Stihl. It is also this very feeling of “invincibility” that I’m wondering if it should scare me.

    In seriousness, I jest when I use invincible, the tree that hung up had me REALLY and SERIOUSLY worried. That said, I STILL felt safer inside cab than just beside tree. After all, I don’t think there is any question that dropping trees, alive or dead, is NOT a safe venture. So now it becomes a matter of degree and management.

    Bird: Bet THAT was a bronco ride from ****!!



  7. #17
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Mark..I'll have you know that Brutus has a FULL GIRTH of 16,000 pounds, (ok 15,900+ pounds, I'm adding in a FULL fuel tank)not your svelt 9,000 pound "baby" [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img] (trying to sound overly indignant and put out!!)[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]




  8. #18
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    MarkV...AND ANOTHER THING (do I still sound indignant??) [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Seriously, another thing is the reality of being single personed (as opposed to single handed)

    Father and Uncle in laws are ~80+/- and I DON'T want them part of cutting while I'm pushing with hoe or bucket. I also don't want them DRIVING while I'm cutting...Same with my better half...

    I can't do both, and I ***REALLY*** don't want to cut a fellig notch, make an "incomplete" felling cut, leaving the tree standing on the hinge while I crawl back into Brutus, hoping/praying that tree chooses to continue to stand and no whisp of wind arises....[img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img] I was going to have a friend out to help out and my better half (or is it SMARTER half??) nixed his help. Said if HE want's to cut his leg off with chain saw, he can cut his OWN trees down. (?)

    I'm kinda between the proverbial rock (tree) and a hard place (house) and if there is any life still left in these pines, (thereby giving me SOME element of time) it is leaving daily.


  9. #19

    Join Date
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    N.E. Ohio
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    TC21D

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    There was a article in the local newspaper just recently.Apparently a man was using his tractor to push over some trees and then cut them up with his chainsaw.The neighbors found him sitting on the seat of his tractor,Dead,and the tree he was pushing over still on top of him!!!! True Story. I can search the papers archive if anyone would like to read it for themselves.Tom


  10. #20
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    MA/VT
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    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Cutting trees is one of the most dangerous things you can do. As an industry it has one of the highest injury/death rates. It's because trees are big, their fall cannot be reliably cotrolled, and whatever they hit on the way down, they usually win.

    I've cut lots of trees (100's) and it still scares the you-know-what out of me, which I consider good.

    Here's are my suggested guideline:

    1) Don't knock down a tree with a piece of equipment unless it's designed to handle it.

    2) Is the machine specifically designed to knowck down trees? If not, don't do it.

    3) If the tree falls directly on your machine, right where you are sitting, will it matter? If it will matter, then don't do it.

    I had a 100' white pine come down in my yard in a wind storm. It up-rooted a 20' diameter ball. If I had driven close enough with a tractor to push it over, the tractor probably would have been flipped over by the up-rooting ball.

    Reading between the line - I think what you are proposing is a bad idea. Only plow down stuff that's clearly smaller than you are.



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