Travis Johnson

master pollinator
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since Feb 03, 2016
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Recent posts by Travis Johnson

You know these people from Maine; never satisfied with what they got...

All joking aside, I always wondered...

What if a person took their 2 wheel tractor, and build a log arch for it on the back. Then took another one, a 2 wheel tractor, and another log arch, but mounted that one going forward, and mounted a swivelable bunk on it? In that way, the log would be positioned between the two machines, and fully supported by driven wheels. If the two operators used the same gear, where couldn't they get logs out of the woods? My goodness, they are 3 feet wide and all traction?

Of course if a person put tracks on their 2 wheel tractors too boot...

It would be a really capable machine. Really a person could get logs out from anywhere, and have nothing but walking paths when they were done.

The double 2 wheel tractor would be pricey if both were new, but if at least one was used, that would take the edge off. I bought my 2 wheel tractor for $500 cash.
1 hour ago
I love my family, and having a family, so I always feel the most fortunate when we can enjoy our property together. Once and awhile one of the kids will say, "Let's go on a family hike", and so off we go, usually having a picnic along the way.

We once got featured on the US Forest Service's advertisement campaign for "Discover the Forest" for our family outings.

3 hours ago
No, you cannot do that. If there is a negative draft, that CO2 might find its way down into the main living area of the house and could drama here...kill you. And you cannot taste it, smell it, or see it...

I think you lack the confidence, but I also know that you can cut a hole in your roof and seal it properly. You buy a kit to do that that has all the parts, and it is pretty loose on dimensions, so you do not have to worry...'oh no, I am not exactly on the line." It is not like that at all.

You can watch a few videos on yourtube on how to do it too, and will see it is very easy. Again the roof kit really helps make it easy for you.

You could also get a handyman to do just that part of the installation too if you wanted.

3 hours ago
I have never logged with a log arch.

I have thought about building one, especially when I had my bulldozer and was dry-dragging logs, and snapping logging chokers. I think they could work really well. They would get one end of the log up off the ground, put the weight on a set of wheels, and aid in weight transfer for the tractor. If a person added a winch all the better. An even better of the better might be having a power axle so that the logging arch was driven by the PTO. That would make the tractor a 4x6, or 6x6 depending on if the tractor was four wheel drive, or two wheel drive. A logging arch with a powered axle would actually go better in the woods then a 4x4 tractor, because often times the front tires are not pulling all that much. With all the weight being on  tires that are driven, I imagine a person could go through some pretty deep mud/snow with a powered axle log arch.

About the only negative thing I can think of for the log arch would be in turning around. It is not like a tractor or skidder where you just back up to where you are logging. I am not sure how that would work. It is obviously doable, I just wonder how much of a pain it would be. Other than that I think it would work great.

Years ago people used to build a "power trailer." I have never seen them bought, only homemade. All it was, was a trailer that had a rear-end and big a truck rear end, and truck tires with chains on the dual wheels. There was then a drive shaft that went from the input shaft of the rear end towards the front of the trailer. At the front was a transmission. To that the pto shaft was connected off the tractor. You selected a gear that matched the speed of the tractor, with how fast the trailer tires were turning. In this way, all the weight was on the trailer and its wheels, which was powered, again a 4x6 or a 6x6 situation. You could go anywhere with them with a heck of a load.

The really only bad thing about them was, you were limited in gears. The tractor had to match the transmission gear of the trailer. You could shift the trailer in neutral (or undo the PTO) and use the tractor in any gear, but the tires were not powered. It was one of those things, if it was muddy, you were coming out of the woods at one speed. However, you at least were coming out of the woods.!
4 hours ago
We have a few guys here who horse-log, and I kind of take exception to what they say. To get jobs they like to tout up how environmentally friendly they are, but it just does not stand to what actually happens in the woods.

The majority of the damage done in the woods is by the chainsaw, not what is used to get the wood out.

I have seen some really nice logging jobs done with a skidder, and I have seen some really bad logging jobs. But equally I can show you some horse logging jobs that are horrific, and horse logging jobs that have been done really well.

Horse logging still causes ruts though, and a clear cut is a clear cut no matter if they use a horse, or use a skidder to haul off the wood.

The biggest thing with a skidder is that it has the power to knock over regeneration. If those trees are not cut down and cleaned up, the logging job looks nasty. This is mostly subjective though because with horse logging, trails have to be swamped out prior to being used, so the wood is cut and piled next to the trail. It looks better, but it still is dead regeneration. With skidders, we just drive over that stuff, which looks worse, but dead is dead. Forester Drake noted this when he first compared horse logging to tractor logging, and that was in California in 1909! And ruts, no matter if they are made by horse or skidder, over time fill back in with the freeze-thaw cycles, so I never worried about them too much.

My issue with horse-logging I where they cannot log.

Until we started logging with skidder, quite a few places on our land were impossible to log with horses. The grades were to adverse for a horse to pull wood up, or too far away from the road, or too wet. When we switched to tractor logging, the same issues were at hand, so the areas went unlogged. Bulldozer logging allowed us to get into wet and steep areas, but were too slow to get far back into the woods. (Some areas of our forest are 2 miles away from the nearest road). In 2016 we finally were able to get to those far flung mature forests and pull some wood off. To my knowledge there is only one section left that has not been logged on our land.

What I have tried to do after logging with a skidder though, is go back in with a bulldozer and clear the major skidder trails of rocks, stumps and cradle-knolls and put a nice road in. Not graveled, but smooth so I can go back in with my farm tractor. With its 150 cable and winch, I can do future work with my farm tractor instead of a skidder. That really helps for future forestry work.

Here is an example of a bulldozed road through the forest for future forestry work.

6 hours ago

Julie Reed wrote:Eric,

I don’t know how many hours he worked on the days he taught, but adding up weekends, Xmas break, spring break, 3 day weekends a few times and summer vacation he had an equal number of days not in school, not teaching, which left him free to log with horses and raise a few dairy cows. That’s how he explained it to me and it made perfect sense. I’ve heard other teachers comment similarly. The school day is 6-7 hours, I would guess most teachers end up at around 10 with prep, correcting papers, etc? It’s not a job I would want, or could do well. I love kids and am able to teach them things (we homeschooled for a few years) but not in multiples of 25!😳

My ex-wife was a teacher, and her contract was 181 days, which is 6 months. I think after that it gets into how much passion a person has. When I worked at the shipyard I worked 9 months out of the year, as most "real" jobs do, but with full-time farming, I work everyday. In fact, people used to ask me, why I did not know what the weather was going to be. And I said, "I am a farmer, I am going to be out in it no matter what the weather is."

My ex-wife, she called "homework", homework to her kids, but called it "Busy work" to me, and so she took them home where we burned them in our burn barrel. Grades were based on test scores and her estimation of how they did on the homework. So I would say a teacher works 6 months a year, but good for them if they are more passionate.

Here in Maine, the typical farm back in the oxen/horse farming days was sized around 40 acres. That was about all a farm could handle back then. Ours was always a little bigger, we had 2000 acres, but my Great Grandfather also had 17 teams of horses he had to keep going all the time. Obviously that was through a lot of hired hands, but the old duffers here have told me, he was so tired keeping so many people moving in the right direction for the farm, that he would sleep anywhere. It was just that stressful, and all consuming.

He loved horses, and always did. But my Grandfather (his son) hated horses and preferred tractors. That was where I got my love from, but I have been driving tractors since I was 5 or six years old.

I actually got my first traffic violation at age 10 by "driving across a paved way with a tracked machine." I never thought in the world the Deputy Sheriff sitting on top of the hill would pull a 10 year old over for just driving a bulldozer across the road. That cost my dad $65 as it was determined he had, "Allowed to Operate", kind of a catch-all offense.

My 5th grade teacher, she once told my mom that "I was a good kid, but lived in a fantasy world." My mom was shocked and said that I was "honest to a fault." That was when my teacher said that I kept saying how I drove bulldozer. That was when my mom informed her that I really did. I was only 10, but because the bulldozer moves slow, and is steered by levers, I could put my feet on the dash and pull my guts out, and get the bulldozer to steer through the woods. my dad would log, get the bulldozer hooked to the trees, and my job was to drive it to the landing, push them up, then drive back as he cut more trees. To stop the bulldozer, or shift, I had to stand on the clutch.

I did not actually start using a chainsaw until I was15 years old. My dad told me if I started to cut wood, to not stop until I finished that load...10 cords of wood. I have been cutting wood ever since.

8 hours ago
I have been waiting years to find this.

Thanks...we make a lot of homemade bread by machine!

9 hours ago
I do not use the term "lucky" as to me that lends a sense of …"it just happened by happenstance."

I prefer the term, "Fortunate", and you see that on a lot of my posts, as in, "I was fortunate in that..."

For Katie, I am fortunate that as we talked while dating, she saw the virtues of moving her, and her kids from another state, and giving up what they had there, for a better life here, with me as her husband, and me as the step father to her two daughters. I see that as fortunate, although I fully understand the term lucky, and how it is used. I am just proposing there might be a better word, and hope others see the virtues of using that word instead.

9 hours ago