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Old 12-08-2002, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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recreational skidder

Does anyone out there have any experience driving a logging skidder?

I have this crazy idea to build a buggy that is hinged in the middle like a skidder. There are a couple of thoughts behind this. 1) really tall tires with no lift/ low center of gravity (front tires don't need turning clearance).
2) no birfields/ u-joints in the front axle to go boom. Use 2 rear axles (cheaper and stronger).

The down side is the drive shaft that goes to the rear axle (front part of a two piece drive shaft) is going to have to deal with crazy angles that are contantly changing. How do the real things deal with this?

The unknown is....how do skid steers like off camber turns (uphill or down)

FYI... the thing would have suspension (not solid mounted axles)

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-08-2002, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't imagine ever building one and having it be manuverable enough to be effective with two non-steer axles. We have a skidder that has been converted into a drill rig at work and it has a turing radius of roughly a mile. Like you said, the pivoting capability is limited to the driveshaft angles. It is scary as hell to watch take an off camber surface while having to turn but having no suspension might have alot to do with that.
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Old 12-08-2002, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The trick might be in using hydro instead of a driveshaft....

Believe it or not, I have been cogitating on a similar idea. ....course I got no $$$ to make it happen, but it gives me something to think about during boring meetings at work.
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Old 12-08-2002, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mamy moons ago (like the late 70s) I remember seeing on the tele a gizmo that IIRC had 8 a-arms that hung the (big atv/bobcat type) wheels/tires, and articulated on a center vertical axis rather than a horizontal axis. I think the 4 front wheels steered sort of like a HEMMET army transporter.

By the best of recollection I remember it crawling all over a log pile and stone walls. It had seating for 4 in the front section and probably (it was Swiss IIRC) a small diesel for power in the rear section. The closest thing I can compare it to (in something I have seen in real life) is an Army Gamma Goat 6x6

One could get bodging using (2 or 4 pairs) of IFS with torsion bars? I suppose if you were Jeepy, one could use Libby parts once folks start the SFA conversions?

If ya won the lottery, maybe invest in the ultimate toy for treading lightly I'd call it the Extra Spotter Getter

http://www.timberjack.com/development/index.html

Sorry for a long first newbie post...
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Old 12-08-2002, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alabamatoy
The trick might be in using hydro instead of a driveshaft....

Believe it or not, I have been cogitating on a similar idea. ....course I got no $$$ to make it happen, but it gives me something to think about during boring meetings at work.
Seeing the rapid builds of some of the buggies on this board has made me realize that with some tubing, a bender and some imagination.....cool things can happen in your driveway.

Not paying for labor could make some off the wall ideas a reality.

Last edited by Flipper; 12-08-2002 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 12-08-2002, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wes in TN
It is scary as hell to watch take an off camber surface while having to turn but having no suspension might have alot to do with that.
Is it the uphill turns? (when the middle swings to the down side)

How high is the center of gravity on the one you have seen?
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Old 12-08-2002, 03:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Originally posted by Wes in TN
I can't imagine ever building one and having it be manuverable enough to be effective with two non-steer axles. We have a skidder that has been converted into a drill rig at work and it has a turing radius of roughly a mile. Like you said, the pivoting capability is limited to the driveshaft angles. It is scary as hell to watch take an off camber surface while having to turn but having no suspension might have alot to do with that.
I searched the web and found some info on John Deere skidders. It says taht they will pivot 90 degrees (45 degrees from center each way). Is this similar to the rig you have at work?
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Old 12-08-2002, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Drive a 640 john deere.

Stability is damn good. Better than anybodies rig on the board probably. Up hill turns and shit are fine. You guys figure it out, it is made to be in the woods, hows the turning radius? Damn good. You can drive up 75 degree grades pretty easy if the tractions there.

I have gotten them stuck but not where you cant wiggle out...
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Old 12-08-2002, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally posted by Toyota_Jim
Drive a 640 john deere.

Stability is damn good. Better than anybodies rig on the board probably. Up hill turns and shit are fine. You guys figure it out, it is made to be in the woods, hows the turning radius? Damn good. You can drive up 75 degree grades pretty easy if the tractions there.

I have gotten them stuck but not where you cant wiggle out...
So do you think a center hinged buggy would be fun on the trails?

Do you think it would do better or worse than a "traditional" buggy/truck/whatever?

Does a John Deere skidder have a real drive shaft that connects to the rear axle, or is it hydraulic?

Last edited by Flipper; 12-08-2002 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 12-08-2002, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The rig we have at work looks alot like this one.



I've seen it lay over into some trees on a slope that any production car or truck could drive, I drove my 4X4 Silverado ahead of it right before it tipped. Get it on a gentle slope and try to turn upslope and it's a hairy experience to say the least. Obviously with all that equipement mounted on board it's alot heavier than a basic log skidder and I'm sure it's COG is fairly high. Ours can probably wiggle 40 or so degrees in either direction and on slippery surfaces it can turn well enough but for a competition buggy we're talking high traction surfaces in tight quarters, I just can't imagine a skidder type setup working. Now a pivoting chassis with steering axles hmmmm.....? Anyway, I'm comparing apples to oranges in a sense due to the fact that the skidder I'm talking about has no suspension and wieghs a ton, several actaully. What you're talking about mght very well work but if it's anything like what I'm used to based on the skidder I've seen I can't imagin it. Should make for an interesting discussion though.
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Old 12-08-2002, 04:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Drive shaft. All the skidders do, timber jack, franklin, caterpiller, john deere. I have broke a couple axles, transfercase, and driveshafts.
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Old 12-08-2002, 06:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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This was copied from a logging website. According to this, articulated steering could have some advantages.

"ARTICULATED OR FRAME STEERING

Articulated steering is the steering of a vehicle (tracked or wheeled) consisting of two units of a single pivot point system in which the pivot is not located over the axle of either unit. In an articulated vehicle, steering is accomplished by bending the vehicle about a pivotal point, and in consequence, is often referred to as frame steering This concept is not new as it existed as long ago as 1916, being used in a one-row cultivator machine by John Deere &; Company (Figure 6).

It has not been possible to establish quantitatively just why articulated steering succeeds where conventional steering fails, but comparative tests show that vehicles with frame steering are capable of extricating themselves from ruts, mud holes, and other obstructions. No particular increase in drawbar pull is apparent with articulated steering over conventional units on a straight pull. The merit in the frame steered vehicle appears to be its ability to "step" or "wiggle," and each time the vehicle is steered a slight forward motion is obtained. It is in this maneuver that it is felt the net tractive effort or drawbar pull is somehow increased. Here drawbar pull is considered as the tractive effort developed by a vehicle in excess of motion resistance (net tractive effort). Since the drawbar pull is apparently increased (motion resistance reduced) during the steering maneuver, it can be concluded that there must be something peculiar to articulated steering that produces this increase.

It has been found that, when negotiating a rutted condition, a machine with articulated steering can move the front end of the vehicle out of the rut into adjacent soil, whereas this cannot be done with Ackermann steering (7).

A 90 change in direction can be made without forward motion of the vehicle. The location of the steering trunnion at or near the center of the vehicle also results in almost perfect tracking of the front and rear wheels. This feature is important in avoiding obstructions, and, at the same time, enables the vehicle to be readily steered either forward or rearward as the steering characteristics of the vehicle do not change with direction (8). This characteristic makes possible the ready use of dual controls which enable the operator to drive forward or backward with equal ease; and this greatly reduces the need for maneuvering and turning in the forest (Figure 7).

One factor noted in tests is that articulated steered tractors are considerably more unstable when turning uphill than skid or four-wheel steered machines."
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Old 12-08-2002, 08:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Guess it depends whos driving. Sides if ya flip ya got a 30,000LB + winch to dig ya out.
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Old 12-12-2002, 08:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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30,000 lb winch?

I am not talking about building a real skidder, I was talking about building a tube buggy that hinges behind the front seats.

Anybody have an opinion as to how it would wheel. It might be the next big thing.
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Old 12-12-2002, 08:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Forget the log skidder how about a Material handler. Here is a picture for you. http://www.gradall.com/material/images/matanim.gif
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Old 12-12-2002, 10:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Next trend after portals...

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Old 12-13-2002, 03:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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an articulated skidder like rock buggy has already been built....by my buddy Dan...... and it is super freakin kool !!!........ I can say no more.... I may have already said too much
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Old 12-13-2002, 03:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flipper


Seeing the rapid builds of some of the buggies on this board has made me realize that with some tubing, a bender and some imagination.....cool things can happen in your driveway.

Not paying for labor could make some off the wall ideas a reality.
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Ah a tele handler, I have never seen one of those get stuck. Pretty fun machines to drive.
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Old 12-13-2002, 01:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wes in TN
The rig we have at work looks alot like this one.



I've seen it lay over into some trees on a slope that any production car or truck could drive, I drove my 4X4 Silverado ahead of it right before it tipped. Get it on a gentle slope and try to turn upslope and it's a hairy experience to say the least. Obviously with all that equipement mounted on board it's alot heavier than a basic log skidder and I'm sure it's COG is fairly high. Ours can probably wiggle 40 or so degrees in either direction and on slippery surfaces it can turn well enough but for a competition buggy we're talking high traction surfaces in tight quarters, I just can't imagine a skidder type setup working. Now a pivoting chassis with steering axles hmmmm.....? Anyway, I'm comparing apples to oranges in a sense due to the fact that the skidder I'm talking about has no suspension and wieghs a ton, several actaully. What you're talking about mght very well work but if it's anything like what I'm used to based on the skidder I've seen I can't imagin it. Should make for an interesting discussion though.

The stability would flat out suck for an off camber environment. Think about it, set it on a side slope, then turn uphill. The downhill wheelbase is extended, the uphill wheelbase is shortened and then with the pivot, throw the center of gravity outside the downhill tires. If you were on a steep enough spot, I bet you could flip it just by turning the steering wheel. It would be about the same as turning the front wheels too sharp on your little red wagon when you were a kid.
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Old 12-13-2002, 01:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Ooh, I didn't think about that one. Turning up hill mean the pivot and most of the vehicle shifts downhill, and the tires move uphill. Eek.
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Old 12-13-2002, 05:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Originally posted by AIRZUKI
an articulated skidder like rock buggy has already been built....by my buddy Dan...... and it is super freakin kool !!!........ I can say no more.... I may have already said too much
Got any pictures? How stable is it? Does it flop over when he turns up-hill?
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Old 12-13-2002, 07:54 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Ah a tele handler, I have never seen one of those get stuck. .
I have pulled a fair share of telehandlers out of some nasty mudholes.

If a person wanted to dump serious cash into the ultimate trail rig, the best way to go would be hydrostatic. Then there would e no axles or driveshafts to worry about, plus with some really fancy plumbing, you could get individual wheels to run at differnt speeds. or you could have multiple steering setups such as skid (via differnt wheel speed to each side of the machine) articulated, and you could throw in a steerable front, rear, or both axles and would not have to worry about cv joints. You could very easily keep the center of gravity very low, because there would be no driveline limitations.

Just hunt down your local tractor or construction machinery dismantler and have fun.

Matt

P.S. Sorry for the long post
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Old 12-13-2002, 08:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Many of the "big" Ag 4x4 tractors are articulated and originally were built by farmers who wanted more horses and tires. The original Stiegers, and Versitiles were all "home built" originally. I've also seen some of those true log skidders on some pretty nasty slopes. Sounds like a concept worthy of looking into. Good Luck.
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Old 12-13-2002, 08:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I have been thinking of this exact concept for months, but with a twist.

My skidder if you will, would have steering axles at each end. it would be hydraulically driven via a splitter box off of the engine. the two pumps would then power the individual drive motors at each wheel. through a systems of hydro valves and relays I would be able to drive the wheels in any manner needed, such as.

side by side like a cat. front to rear, or any wheel individually or all wheels at once.

The articulation would be a orbital position like a pintle connection between front and rear so that they could be at any angle within a given range.

Forced articulation of the rear would be done with flexible connections since you would need a solid connection to push. so a strap at three points and small motors/winches to pull where needed to bring the rear section into the desired location.

I would still look at having a suspension of some sort and not a frame mounted axle style skidder.

If I could just find that rich uncle.
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