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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I'm getting ready to finally pull the trigger on a clearing job. After putting a beating on my 3320 and grapple, I decided it was time to call in the big boys to finish the job. The plan is to use a dozer and excavator with thumb to finish the job.

Here's my question... Currently I have a Stihl with a 16" bar. I'm going to have trees stacked up everywhere after this job. Do you think I need a bigger saw?? Here are some pics of the trees.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1360899679.836744.jpg
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If you are going to drop these yourself get a bigger saw. You don't say which Stihl you have but the 16" bar indicates that it is a smaller one. I have and like the 460 and have a 28" bar as well as an 026 running a 20" for smaller stuff. You might be good with the 361/362 but it is hard to tell the exact diameter of the trees. You will rarely regret having a bigger saw unless the weight gets to you.
Nice looking dog. GSD?
 

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A lot of the trees in the pics could be handled with a 16 inch, but I personally like an 18 inch for bucking stuff on the ground to reduce backpain. It's funny, but the extra 2 inches does make a difference. Now, depending on the model of your saw maybe you can just buy an 18 inch bar and chains. This would be a bad move if you don't have an adjustable oiler that you can crank up for the extra length. However, it sounds like you expect a lot of trees down at once so will you chip everything under 8 inches? Limbing smaller stuff gets to be a drag real quick. Any real hardwoods( oak and hickory etc. ) if allowed to dry off the stump will be tougher cutting and harder on chain life. For that reason, I would look for the saw with an adjustable oiler and chose a chain that is semi-chisel(RM) it stays sharper longer in dry,dirty wood than a full-chisel (RS). I currently have 3 saws MS362 w/20 and 25 inch, MS280 W/18 inch and a MS250 w/16 inch that I converted to PICCO chain and corresponding bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments guys. Your info is very helpful.

I'll be moving to this property as soon as the house is done (probably the fall). There are some trees on the property that are huge oak trees I can't wrap my arms around. I'm leaving those up for now and planning on taking down about 500 by 100 feet of what you see in the picture. The plan is to have the dozer and excavator push these trees over and then stack them up. I'll start cutting and chipping after that. I just got home and snapped a picture of my current saw. It's a MS 250C.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1360904241.749133.jpg
 

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I have the same saw, Stihl MS250C and it has the 18" bar so I know you can replace the bar and chain. Not sure but I think you can get a 20" bar and chain. I went with the 18" the 20" seemed to ba a lot of bar for the saw to handle.

Doug
 

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I have the same saw and 18" bar as well. Its a great little saw and handles the 18" just fine. My saw has the EZ start system .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys. I didn't even consider an 18" bar for mine. That might just do the trick!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anybody have a Stihl Farm Boss? Looks like a pretty nice saw. With the 20" bar, it's about $400.

Also, if any GTT members are near southeast Michigan, I'll load you up with all the firewood you can hall at no charge :)
 

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I have a farm boss w/ an 18" bar, it cuts well, but I am no logger....for dealing w/ big oaks you might want something bigger still???
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you are going to drop these yourself get a bigger saw. You don't say which Stihl you have but the 16" bar indicates that it is a smaller one. I have and like the 460 and have a 28" bar as well as an 026 running a 20" for smaller stuff. You might be good with the 361/362 but it is hard to tell the exact diameter of the trees. You will rarely regret having a bigger saw unless the weight gets to you.
Nice looking dog. GSD?
Furu,

You think the 362 with 20" bar would be a good choice? It looks like a nice saw. Can it handle the occasional extra large oak?
 

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Furu,

You think the 362 with 20" bar would be a good choice? It looks like a nice saw. Can it handle the occasional extra large oak?
I think the 362 would be a great choice for you. It is not too big but has adequate power above the smaller ones. It can run up to a 25" bar if you find that you need something bigger than the 20". It will do wonders with the 20" bar. It is a "pro saw" which despite all the arguments that ensue when that term is used means that it is composed of higher quality components and will last longer as well as having some features that make using it all day longer easier on you.
Being a bit bigger it will handle dropping a larger tree much better than the smaller saws. I know you said that you were going to have the Cat's push them over for now, but you don't know what the future will have you doing.
You will like the saw for certain.
 

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I'll second the 362. I bought one last year and love it. It goes through anything with ease and not too heavy. My father in law has a smaller Echo and I can seriously make three cuts to his one. I was initially looking at the farm boss but its not a serviceable engine. It's a cast one piece. Throw away if you have any engine trouble down the road.


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I'll toss in a suggestion for the 391 with the 24/25 inch bar. It was over $200 cheaper than the 362 (which is comparable and slightly better in every metric) but since I only need it every so often and they have similar power levels, I elected the 391. It does get heavy (and is heavier than the 362), but it's a choice to consider for the larger saw. I use the non-skip RS yellow chain and can run WOT buried in oak as long as i resist the urge to push down. It's really a perfectly fine saw for me, and might be for other occasional users.

Like you, I have a small saw (211EC) that I use almost all the time for brush, topping, limbing, and bucking the handily sized stuff. That's my 90% saw.
 

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I don't like running any more bar than I need 75% of the time. Just more to maintain and lug around.

I have the same saw as you with the 18" bar. It was ideal for what I am doing.

Sorry if I missed it but what are you doing with the wood. I used a cat loader and pushed it up in a pile and burned most of it and kept some aside for firewood. Are you uprooting the trees ?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't like running any more bar than I need 75% of the time. Just more to maintain and lug around.

I have the same saw as you with the 18" bar. It was ideal for what I am doing.

Sorry if I missed it but what are you doing with the wood. I used a cat loader and pushed it up in a pile and burned most of it and kept some aside for firewood. Are you uprooting the trees ?
That's my plan as well. My buddy is going to use a dozer and excavator with thumb to uproot the trees and push them into a pile. We're going to burn most of the trees and brush but keep the good logs for firewood. I've heard that when you push logs into a pile, you get a lot of dirt in them. Did you have that problem? I was thinking about getting one of Stihl's specialty chains for cutting dirty logs.
 

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That's my plan as well. My buddy is going to use a dozer and excavator with thumb to uproot the trees and push them into a pile. We're going to burn most of the trees and brush but keep the good logs for firewood. I've heard that when you push logs into a pile, you get a lot of dirt in them. Did you have that problem? I was thinking about getting one of Stihl's specialty chains for cutting dirty logs.
Attached are a couple pictures. I think this was the day before we finished so the pile was not complete yet.

Few comments.

We really did not need a thumb. I decent size loader will push them over. If not dig down in front of tree and clip the roots. Usually when you do that they will go on over.

If you have a loader lift them up and drop a few times to break the dirt loose. The root balls wont burn for the types of trees I have. Period ! They have too much moisture in them and too much dirt. If you can and have the room, cut the stump loose, dig a hole and bury them.

Get into the pile and cut the trees up as much as you can. Even if you don't cut all the way through you need to get a lot of end grain showing. Its hard to cook the moisture out of a log without doing it through the ends. What I am saying is its really hard to burn an entire tree. Once again depending on what you have.

Helps to have a machine on site when you burn. Stirring the fire really helps and if you have a big pile you will probably burn the middle out and have stragglers on the outside.

By time we were done with our land project we could pretty much burn anything green without issue.
 

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That's my plan as well. My buddy is going to use a dozer and excavator with thumb to uproot the trees and push them into a pile. We're going to burn most of the trees and brush but keep the good logs for firewood. I've heard that when you push logs into a pile, you get a lot of dirt in them. Did you have that problem? I was thinking about getting one of Stihl's specialty chains for cutting dirty logs.
A friend of mine did something similar when he cleared his lot for his house. I realize if you just want to get it done and over with, shoving it all into a pile is quick and dirty, with dirty being the key word. :laugh: My friend ended up with large piles of decent firewood, with most of the piles except for the top layer covered in dirt. It was a giant pain to try and cut them with a chainsaw both because of the dirt, and because it was like a giant game of Jenga trying to get logs out without things falling all over and logs getting stuck. We ended up just shoving about half the wood into a pile out back to rot.

If it was me, and I had the time, I'd knock a few trees over, cut the limbs and root ball off, drag the good logs off to a pile, and shove the trash onto another pile for burning. Then I'd knock a few more over, and so on. It will take more time, but if you actually want to maximize the firewood you get from it, that is the best way to do it.

I do have to add that another friend of mine did something similar to what I suggest. It still was a little bit of a pain to cut the logs up, but at the time I didn't have a loader to help. Doing it now I would pull a few logs from the pile as I had time and cut them to firewood length instead of trying to cut them while all piled up.

Like i said, this is if you want the firewood. If you don't care and just plan on burning it all, then pile away.
 

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ElWood, I'm up in southern Genesee county, sounds like we may be near the same neighborhood.

My dream saw would be the 362 w/ a 20" bar. I run a 261 with an 18" bar as its the next sweet spot on the power to weight ratio down the Stihl $ scale. The 261 is awesome on the ash trees I deal with and super light but a big oak or beech makes you know its not in the big leagues. Anyway, below is my land clearing project. Behind me are ~6+ acres already hand cleared - in front another 2 or 3 to go... all looking like what you see in the picture. :cray:

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In an earlier experience where heavy equipment was available and the grades weren't so steep, we cut the trees down and removed the good wood (trunks) by hand and left the stumps and the tops. The excavator cut the stumps out and the dozer piled them and the tops for burning. The trunks were bucked and handled separately. It was more time consuming than a big push with heavy machinery alone but we didn't waste much good wood. No approach w/ heavy machinery (other than my tractor) is a reasonable approach for my current project for a number of reasons...

Good luck with your project and saw purchase!:good2:
Matt
 
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