We’ve been steady through the season selling hardwood and softwood firewood. Along with ourselves, the skid steer and the grapple attachment have been working hard to bring logs to the log deck. We all need a little maintenance now and again, and machines are no exception.
Winter and summer, the skidsteer and pulled its weight and then some.
This summer of 2020 allowed us some time to get to work expanding our firewood storage area.
It involved a lot of digging, to which Gina was happy to get involved with.
All this dirt moving had an impact on the rubber tracks of the skid steer. The tracks are made for light duty dirt work but these tracks are already 10 years old from light duty use, so this summer’s work of dirt and rock movement took its toll. We had to order new tracks because tightening the tracks was no longer enough.
That’s a sketchy maneuver shown above, not recommended. Anyway, the tracks arrived and we got to work removing the old tracks. We discovered a significant amount of wear in the wheels of the tracks and the undercarriage frame itself.
The entire track undercarriage on both sides have to be rebuilt. As I said earlier, the skid steer plays an important role in our business, it does all of the heavy lifting. So this rebuild is necessary and given the expense, its a long term investment.
The other heavy lifter in our equipment family is the 2009 Silverado 3500 dump truck.
Its faithfully carried and delivered firewood for us since the beginning. Along with the 14ft K-Trailer trailer we bought last year.
Our delivery system is getting an upgrade as well. Before Covid was even a thing, I was planning for replacing the truck and trailer with something larger. During the winter, we acquired a 2008 Sterling truck and had it hauled down from B.C.
With its inspection passed and everything up to date, the truck was brought to MC Power Equipment in Truro, to install a 3.64 Palms loader. Jason Monk has gone above and beyond the level of equipment sales and service to assist us. We highly recommend him for your forestry needs, hydraulic sales and service, and while at their store check out their safety gear and work boots made in the province of Quebec.
The primary purpose of the loader will be in the yard, where the truck will be able to move 4-5 cords at one time to the firewood processor. The skidsteer has been doing this grunt work easily but it takes about 6-7 trips per cord from the wood pile to the log deck. The grapple will also allow us to work with smaller producers of firewood and sawmill logs as well.
While Sterling is getting fitted with hydraulic hoses, we started working with another local business, North Riverside Welding in Boylston, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Chris MacDonald is the owner, and based on his portfolio of work we’ve seen, he seems to be the right welder to help us with the next stage of the Sterling upgrade, a mesh box.
That’s the plan. A mesh box to sit on top of the 14ft tilt deck.
Chris wasted no time getting the framing together.
The rectangular gap in the middle will be the grab spot for the grapple. The mesh sides will be removable so that we can still use the flat deck of the truck when we need it.
We are certain Chris will be happy to get his shop back. This time of year it’s pretty difficult if not impossible to spray paint and let it dry outdoors. He’s up for the task and we’re happy he is.
The Sterling truck build is complete. We’re now ready to roll into 2021 !
Now at home and ready for work.