Kyles redneck builds/ ideas


Feb 28, 2017
Peoria il
Intro: skip to the end, it's likely too long, and basically says I'm gonna post future/ current projects here rather than boring people to tears with a bunch of different threads.

So, as i get older, i find that my time is being pulled in many directions. I'm pushed forward in my pipefitting career, which is awesome because that's what I've dedicated my professional life to. However, it's a hit and miss, feast or famine life, and it's a famine moment :lol: No problem of course, it's simply an opportunity to shift my focus, and that will be advancing my tree business. While i have the capabilities to fabricate virtually anything, funds, time, and honestly motivation and energy only can allow so much, so i tend to focus on planning/ designing any ideas very thoroughly before attempting to build them. Since many ideas will be rightfully scrapped, and posting all of them like they are special would truly expose my intense adhd, i figured one thread would be more than sufficient to bounce ideas off you guys and weed out my dumbness.

Business wise I'm moving forward, getting a logo and a basic website going, but on the production front material handling is a constant bottleneck. Even my hibernating terrified sloth climbing can bury me in clean up work that the log arch and arbor trolley become torture devices. As much as i would like to just go out and buy/ finance stuff, that's not in the cards. So redneck engineering and welding rod is the path for me. No it won't be as nice as a mini skid, but this is the hand I'm dealt.

So, i have a few junk trucks, a few winches that I've never done squat with, and some steel. I've been fascinated with the mini forwarders, i think for me that would be the perfect machine in my area, except for the fact you can't turn it around, and it's too long with a 4 wheeler or tractor. Then YouTube happened to suggest that i watch a video on a bell loader, which has two wheels up front and one caster wheel in back, and looked as nimble as you could possibly be. A few minutes later i learned that the first few models of the skid steer didn't actually skid, but had a caster wheel in the back as well. Why they haven't built a mini skid like that again I'll never know, because it would be simpler and much easier on turf, because it's basically a zero turn mower.

So here's my plan: take the rear end out of a truck, shorten the axles, and then build a arbor trolley/log bunk trailer looking thing. I have a walk behind commercial mower that i don't ever use and needs blade bearings again, so that would be the engine, gearing, and clutch. The mower moves by a squeeze handle on each side, which releases tension on an idler pulley, acting as a clutch to drive a belt for the wheel. Or if you squeeze it all the way it acts as a brake. One side could be geared to run the truck rear end for driving, and a caster wheel would be hooked to a lever so you could steer it exactly like a concrete buggy. The other side would power a winch that would run a simple swing boom over the trailer, lifting the logs to load itself or load trucks/, trailers. Basically a self propelled version of this. Thoughts? :D

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Kinda like this, but a self propelled buggy, very similar to a concrete buggy.
I have considered a lower center of gravity/ off-road version of a concrete buggy for a while. Use it for firewood length stuff to fit through fence gates. Build something, you can always modify or change it or use it to inspire version two.
Seems like a lot of work even for a wizard like yourself.

What do you do with the logs once they are loaded ?

Speaking of 3 wheelers, here's vid of one based on the morbark wolverine design, might be food for thought.

Though you say buying pre-made/new isn't in the cards for you, plenty of folks finance equipment they can't currently afford. IMO it boils down to work available- if you have plenty of it then the equipment will pay for itself and more
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If i had/ could swing some wheel motors and the associated hydraulics, that would be the way to go, exactly what i was thinking. However a rear end would do the same thing, but only one direction at a time, which would work, and the caster wheel would steer it. Exactly like a concrete buggy, which have twice the load capacity of a mini and they use baby axles. Simpler to build I'm thinking, because i just have to shorten the axle, weld a pipe backbone with bunks, and then attach a pulley on the differential. I can use the existing brakes if needed, although using the brakes from the mower will likely suffice. Then all i need to do is power a winch, and a simple belt reverse shuttle setup could run both the winch and machine in reverse. Concrete buggy shown here...

In reference to the concrete buggy; which side is the trailer on for your build; front or back? If back, how do you operate the crane?
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No trailer, basically the entire body would be timber bunks, with the crane, engine, and controls over the caster wheel. That would put all the weight over the drive axle, helping to get traction. I could later even put a brake on either wheel, so i would be able to lock the differential by stopping the spinning wheel. My 2wd backhoe uses just that, with non aggressive tire chains (road link style rather than skidder with teeth style) it will go just about anywhere. I could even add a blade that could simply use the winch to raise and lower, to push up stick piles and anchor it full pulling, winching duties. I guess i could also add a fork truck attachment later too, for loading really heavy stuff. A piggyback fork truck uses the exact steering that I'm planning, they just hook the hydraulic wheel motors in series to act as a differential.

Screenshot_20200118-105927_Samsung Notes.jpg
You don't necessarily need heavy axles to move wood. This power wheel barrow can handle close to 1000lbs. That's my little sister helping me this fall.

I understand my setup is much different than what you are working towards.


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I'm hoping for a capacity of around 5k pounds, lift 1k with the crane at about 6 feet, to load 10 foot logs at a time or so. I can use the harbor freight crane i got to start, then build a better one later if needed. Eventually a hydraulic loader arm might be the way to go.
Kyle, do you have a large area to yard logs and the equipment that your thinking of building?
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I was planning on cutting down the axle to hopefully make it skinny enough to go through a gate. Think like a longer powered arbor trolley with a crane for loading itself and trailers/ trucks. Manually set outriggers, to keep it simple and to act like an engine hoist when lifting so i don't need counterweight. 13 hp Kawasaki motor is what's on the mower, which should be plenty powerful for what I'm thinking of doing. With my cnd chipper i could basically stack brush to the sky on this. I'm trying to figure out something i could build pretty quickly for moving material out of stuff i already have, and that would work with my setup well.
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:lol: no not yet, just put the kids down and it's -5 windchill. I'm doing an oak tree first, but i have the week off this week so I'm hoping to go up to the hall and build it.
Find a guy with an F550 ... ... no welding / fab needed lol 😆...That truck will haul / dump 10000lbs of logs n/p .... In fact what you see here in video is about 2/3 capacity ... in other words sideboards could be made and another 2face could be loaded
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:? you loaded those how? And got those out of a backyard how? Completely different problem. And an aluminum dump bed for logs?
I used psionics to levitate the logs , I am after all , a wizard of the first-order :big-wave:... The gent that owns the vehicle has a skid with a grapple and more logs than I could ever hope to cut - What’s wrong with an aluminum-dump ? Standard equipment round here:jam:
Rolling stuff is great, but higher tech.

What place does sliding stuff fit into your manicured lawns (and pavement), and most importantly snow. @kevin bingham is a fan of JetSleds, on lawns, IIRC. Some people skid on car hoods.

Strikes me that a piece of plywood with a sturdy attachment point up front (maybe a strip of metal across the front to strengthen the attachment) with a fairlead up a tree a little to provide a slight upward angle for the front lip would allow you to roll logs onto the plywood, and winch/ truck-pull them to the loading area with low psi and no turf damage. Cheap and using your existing stuff, basically. Ready to work with a very fast 'build'.

Simple cheap add-on to what you have...I use PVC extensions on my AT to increase my capacity for brush by about double, yet keeping it narrow.

Plywood on the sides of the brush in the cart can really corral it through even tighter spots yet be 8' long, .

Two pieces of plywood, to form a protective chute through a tight gate-way might increase your load per trip, and since you have a winch to pull it, the weight is not such an issue.

A ski-attachment for the front of the AT might let you ski, rather that skid/ fight to avoid the skid of the tongue, especially with a big load, working solo.

As another AT thought, along with orchard ladders' feet, I duct tape the foot of the AT, if I'm going to work on something that can be scratched, exposed pebble aggregate seems like it would show a mark really easily, along with decorative concrete.

That bit of protection would make me more comfortable loading more per trip, because it takes the scratch-potential out.

Maybe you can have the first AT with a hand-brake, since your crafty. IDK how much you have hills. Are you in a river valley giving your some vertical relief, or is it typical flatsville IL?
Have you seen the electric motor, radio control faux-AT?
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A dump truck is usually abused to the nth degree, especially loading logs or doing demo concrete work. I've seen them here lined with carpet for doing highway work hauling concrete, when the jobs over you go in with a sledge hammer and bust up the chunks and then rip out the carpet. Aluminum is far more ductile than steel, meaning it would dent very easily. It also loses strength when welded, so repairs on it would be a nightmare. It's one of those things that sounds like a good idea until you are around them. They are great for salt, dirt (not sand or gravel), and agricultural stuff like corn, putting the occasional pallet in them, and that's about it. That's why you never see them on a construction site hauling.

It's pretty flat here, but of course there are always exceptions. And lately snow is spotty, and I'm gonna need something to work all year, when it's frozen I'm not above using a truck as a skidder :lol: i really need a loader, and i figured this would be a two birds with one stone type thing.
Aluminum alloys can be made as strong or stronger than steel so the strength point is mute imho ... although more expensive initially the aluminum dump will get more at resale than a steel one , especially a rusted one !