Page 1 of 7

Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:47 am
by Deas Plant
Hi, Folks.
Many of you will have heard of the practice of using 2 dozers pulling a length of ships anchor chain between them to clear large areas of land quickly. Here is a collection of posts - questions and answers - on this sort of work that I collected from a couple of threads on the ACMOC forum several years ago.

Collected posts on chaining.

(Post about formula for determining chain length.)
Pardon me for butting in and feel free to tell me to butt out if you wish, but there is a sort of a formula to setting the length of chain needed to work two tractors pulling scrub or timber.

Determine the width of cut that you reckon your tractors will handle and add 100 feet for each tractor. Much less than this and you will find the tractors continually wanting to turn outwards due to the cross-pull of the chain. This makes life rather hard going for the inside steering clutches, assuming clutch and brake steering.

We used to run 300 feet of 1 3/4" chain behind two D6cs pulling heavy-ish scrub and light timber with the occasional tree to around 10" diameter. The cut was around 100 feet per pass. If your scrub is lighter and no timber, you could probably run 1 1/2" chain quite successfully.

A bit of light rain works wonders for the way the chain slips along over the downed scrub and trees and this work is usually easier with damp ground because the vegetation tends to pull out of the ground easier rather than break off at ground level or just above.

I ought to have added in that previous post that the weight of the chain is also fairly important to the finished job. The heavier the chain you can use, the lower it will ride, the less break-offs you will get, the more vegetation it will crush and break, and the better will be any burn-off you do afterwards.

Thanks Deas,

I didnt know how far apart the tractors ran with 400 feet of chain, although I did figure there to be a bit of loop out back. My main thought was that there are a lot of places in the Ozarks where the ground is rough and I didnt think the tractors would be that far apart. Also, I havent a clue what anchor chain costs yet.

Also, some very valid comments were made about damaging/breaking some expensive equipment. I thought 100 to 125 of chain would put a lot less stress on the equipment. Yeh, it would take longer, but still be a whole lot faster than one Cat.

So Deas, using your formula, figuring 2 D-8s with 400 feet of anchor chain, 100 of that being for loop, that means that a D-8 can push a swath 150 feet wide? Whew! I know, I know, youre not dragging down that many trees simultaneously. I figure 50 would be easy for a D-6. Say, how fast were the Cats running to pull that chain?

Glad for the help, though!


We spent a LOT of our time in second gear with one PS D6C and one stick-shift D6C, cutting around 100 feet wide. We would have averaged a reasonable walking pace for most of it. A lot of the time, we had to tie poles to the legs of the brush canopies with flags on top to keep track of each other.

Ive also used two D8Hs pulling 600 feet of 2" chain cutting 400 feet wide and pulling 1,200 acres in an 11-12 hour day. 6,000 acres in five days. Even on 400 feet of chain, Id reckon on 2 D8s pulling around 200 feet wide in reasonable going.

Hi, Folks.
I posted some info on this topic in a previous thread addressed to Greghickl. I will add more here.

Tree size that can be handled is very much dependent on available horsepower and weight of the tractors involved and on the width of cut. I have personally used 2 Cat D6Cs pulling 300 feet of 1 3/4 chain pulling mostly mallee scrub with the odd tree up to 12" diameter, cutting up to 100 feet. Sometimes, the closer dozer would have to go back and push the offending tree down individually to be able to proceed. In heavier timber, we could have been down to 20 to 30 feet cut with the same length of chain.

Keeping the same length of chain in heavier timber serves two purposes. It enables the operators to widen the cut in lighter going and it helps to keep falling trees off the tractors by keeping them further behind.

Mallee scrub consists of multi-trunked trees of from 2" to 6" in diameter, depending on the species of mallee. Many species have these multiple trunks, from 3 to a dozen or so, attached to a solid wood root base that may be almost totally buried or may protrude above the ground by as much as 2 feet or so.

When the ground is dry, these root bases and attached roots can be very hard to pull out of the ground. (This applies to pretty much any type of vegetation.) For this reason, chaining was usually a winter sport DownUnder. Mallee scrub is one of harder types to pull because of these root bases.

Lighter vegetation, wattles, acacias, etc., were often much easier to pull and I have used two Cat D8Hs pulling 600 feet of chain, cutting up to 400 feet wide and clearing up to 1,200 acres per day, when you could keep the acreage to be cleared in front of them. We once pulled into a 6,000 acre block and were out in 5 days.

This lighter vegetation will quite often burn out sufficiently with a running fire to be able to put a heavy plow straight into it.

When pulling heavier vegetation, a narrower cut is used with the same length of chain. I have seen two Cat D9Es pulling trees up to 3 feet in diameter cutting about 30 to 50 feet wide but still using 400 feet of 3" chain. In very heavy timber, they would often have a chase dozer fitted with a tree pusher bar to take out anything that stopped the chain tractors. This
chase dozer was/is one of the worst jobs Ive ever done. You are expected to be at the offending tree in seconds, while bouncing over or pushing your way through all the other trees just pulled down by the chain. Notta lotta fun.

Loading the chain for a float move is a work of art in itself. One dozer is moved first. Then the second dozer is used to pull the chain on to the float using a pulley set up in the gooseneck of the float. With heavier chain, this might involve several trips to get it all to the new work site. Shackles come in handy here. The first dozer is then used to unload the chain at the destination. The second dozer comes along last.

Most clearing contractors DownUnder gave away using the ball with the chain because it tended to break off a lot more trees than just the chain by itself. The downed vegetation tends to keep the chain off the ground enough in most cases. The ball was also a whole problem on its own to load and chain down on the float.

After an area is chained, it is usually burnt where it lays and then the remainder is raked and re-burnt. This method works better with lighter timber and scrub than with heavier timber. Even so, raking heavier timber is much easier after chaining because everything is already down and laying the same way.

As Orrin mentioned above, it is open to mis-use. There have been several cases DownUnder of farmers or land-owners getting and pulling large areas of land before a clearing restriction order could be implemented.

Deas - Good pics .. are they all NLA pics?

Dale - Clearing with a chain is done in spring, when the subsoil is wet, but the surface is dry, and the trees just fall over .. if you have scattered big trees, you turn in and nudge the big trees to loosen them, then back out and keep going.

Nudging the trees was a delicate operation .. you had to loosen them, and tilt them in the direction of fall, without knocking them right over .. if they fell right over, they would often tangle in the chain, resulting in a trip in 2nd reverse to untangle the chain from the fallen tree.

Chaining was the ultimate test of personality match. You needed two blokes who could work together, and you had to watch the other fella 99% of the time to see what he was doing.

If one was a racehorse who kept racing ahead, while the other bloke had his hands full trying to avoid a boggy patch, or nudging a tree, or fighting off beehives .. it put an extra strain and sideways pull on the tractor falling behind, and often caused tempers to reach fury level. Keeping level was also important, as one tractor in front of the other caused the load to increase on the rearmost tractor.

Not the first time, one bloke would lock up the brakes, and maybe get dragged backwards, while he waited for the other operator to wake up to what was going on, and reverse up ..

Light springy vegetation requires a heavy chain to flatten it .. we used 2½" stud link .. about 300', with 50 of 2" on each end .. 400 overall, and it weighed over 8 tons. I knew some other contractors who used up to 600, with D8s.

Loading it on a truck and transporting it, was another interesting exercise .. we used a 30 length of cable with a rail carriage safety hook attached, hooked around the top end of the tree pusher.
By pulling the chain up first, on the ground, with the ripper shanks, so that it lay in four equal ¼ lengths, made loading faster and easier.

You then pulled up at right angles to the chain with the low loader (lowbed) and pulled it on to the deck, with the tractor and cable until it was draped over the deck. You had to be careful you had enough drape to hold it in place without the chain touching the road.
Once that was done, youd load the tractor, and drop the blade on the chain, to hold it in place.

Hi, Billy.
As mentioned in the previous thread on this topic, it was sometimes necessary to tie a long stick to a timber canopy leg on each machine with a rag tied to the top of the stick, just to keep track of each other.

Hand signals?????? Through 400 feet of thick mallee scrub? Ive got pretty good eyes, even at my age, but I DONT have x-ray vision. A lot of the time, even with the sticks tied to the canopy legs, the only real guide you have as to the whereabouts of the other tractor is the hang of the chain behind your tractor. If you have more chain hanging out straight behind you than normal, the other tractor is probably lagging behind you. If you have less straight chain than normal, you are probably lagging behind. Or the inside man has gone wider than normal -- by quite a bit. Which one?????

As for it being rough on the machines, yes, it can be rough. However, like most other forms of dozer work especially but machine work in general, the operator can do a LOT to reduce that by thinking about what he is doing and what that is doing to the machine -- and to himself. A machine is usually only going to be as rough on the operator as the operator is rough on the machine. Once you learned to weave your way in and out amongst the trees a bit and let the chain do most of the work it took some of the rough out of it. It also reduced the amount of branches you had to duck.

8-10 hour days. Sometimes, we would nearly have that up by midday. Try 13 hours a day, then do it for 6 or even 7 days a week for 3 to 4 months. The season is only just so long because once the ground dries out you break too much off instead of pulling it out of the ground and you have to give it away. Then you go on to dam-sinking or raking or clearing timber or whatever else you can get.

Cornering at the end of a run is a bit of an art too. Both tractors would break free of the scrub. If you broke free first, you waited for your mate to show before moving on. When both tractors were out, the inside man would back up until he reached the point where he wanted to start his next cut. Then, once he saw his mate going past where he had broken free of the scrub, he would turn and head off in the new direction. In the meantime, the outside man would have turned the corner and be coming up to where the inside tractor had broken through. If he got there before the inside man had made his turn, he would wait until the inside man was set before moving on. That usually made two times on each run when you DID get to see each other.

Yes, even tempers are a BIG help. So is a bit of common sense. Experience also helps but a good teacher to start with is probably the best start a man can have at this sort of work, just as with most other sorts of work.

Radios????? Youre probably right about it being rather difficult to use them under the circumstances. Besides, what do you say? "Im just passing that little bent tree with the broken branch on the left" And your mate is 400 feet away and can't see 40 feet towards where you are. Nope. Notta lotta help.

Yes, a cold beer did go down well after a day of that. But, a lot of the time we were 40 or 50 miles - or more - from the nearest cold beer supply -- unless we kept it in our own trailer fridges.

It wasnt easy, but there is no way I'd miss doing it if I had my life to live over. I learned a fair bit from it, including some degree of tolerance for the other bloke.

Hope this helps in understanding a game that was never easy but didnt have to be really hard and could even be fun.

BillyD7 4T’s thoughts.
Appreciate the photos and the description of the whole experience !

Id never thought of the giant chain theory for clearing large parcels of land, was interesting to learn about. Oz has shown some photos in the past and gave us some insight on the subject. Ive got 2 4Ts some healthy chain and some acreage that’s got 20 years growth, nothing real big, 6" birch that pop out real easy with my front end loader, HMMMM..... Nahh better not, the deer will find new cover to hide !! Id love to try one swath though, just for the hell of it !

Kinda figured hand signals would not fly !!! LOL !

I agree about the operators habits and the wear and tear factor, it goes up proportionally !

These must have been remote places, and with trying to meet a deadline, like in all earthwork, the hours increase, cant stop until you get it done, make hay while the sun shines. Been there, grin & bear it time !

Id a made sure that trailer was stocked !!! Of course in that environment cold water is best, but when the days done ..... sometimes good to take the edge off just a little.

There is nothing worse than working with inexperienced operators ( we all had to start out someplace, I remember an old timer teaching me how to run an excavator ! ) especially on a gig like that. Funny thing about operators, either you have the instinct for it or you dont. I spent several years as an operator in the site work field, I enjoyed the experience of it, and became good at it, was very conscientious minded for maintenance on whatever it was I ran, the mechanics probably thought I was a pain, but I made sure whatever I ran was taken care of. A lot of superintendents on tight jobsites would request me on their jobs, which was a nice compliment of ones ability, by demonstrating good and safe skills on the job, especially while digging around live utilities. That used to stress me a bit, high voltage, gas mains etc. & the unknowns...... Had a 977 on its nose once, could stand under the drawbar !! Substructure collapsed while loading a truck, what a scary ride ... turned out fine though, just carefully though it out, was on the spotlight as the entire job stopped to watch the fiasco!

A lot of operators used to be picky about running particular machines, whereas whatever I was assigned to, I was glad to run it, helped a lot when winter came and layoffs came around as those guys would always be considered a pain in the ass and would get let go first, while they kept they guys they wanted until spring ( snow removal and other winter work kept us busy )

One company I worked for, gave me a "tryout" before hiring me, ( I knew I would ace it, but they dont know you yet etc. ) then they assigned me the very 1st machine the company owned, an early 70s 955 H ? forget the series.
They had like 15 tandem dumps hauling from a pile of topsoil, and all we had was the 955 to load, boy was that slow, hell a 977 would have been slow. Not a job for a track loader IMHO. The rubber bushing between the motor and the drive train ( engine installed out of alignment ) broke like 3 times ( they had just majored the engine, ran nice too ! ) and here I was the new guy on the block, I told the field super it aint me buddy, goin nice and easy with that 955, they were good about it and they knew the deal, well they brought out a WA-450 loader from the yard, that caught me up quick with the line of trucks. They were testing me out I suppose, but not too long after that, they put me on brand new machines to demo and help with the decision on what to buy. I enjoyed running equipment, kind of moved on to running work and building projects, but I started from the ground up which was really beneficial careerwise down the road.

Dont mind me -- the rambling blatherer !!!

Trakman’s ‘Turning it all around’ query.
In your latest post about tree clearing, you commented about getting the 2 Cats turned around at the end of the swath...real challenging! My question is when coming back, taking a new swath, what did the Cat that would be on the inside do with all the downed timber pointed towards him? I cant imagine ever stick, branch and trunk being perfect so that you could drive right over them?
Thanks for all of your input on this subject. Ive gotten lots of giggles and grins out of your posts! Could listen to a lot more as you have a unique way of telling the story.

OzDozer’s Answer.
trakman and smaller crawler - Youre right, backing up with a chain attached in downed timber is where your operator skills have to be paramount.

You literally have to have "eyes in the back of your head" to avoid those sticks that want to skewer you. Lose concentration for ten-fifteen seconds and youre skewered, or a part of the machine is.

Suprisingly, going forward in Mallee country is no different.
The Mallee limbs shatter easily and often fall towards you, necessitating avoidance moves .. or they spin and twist and get caught in other limbs and rotate towards you .. meaning you are keeping your wits about you, 100%.

Backing over the chain is an art, particularly when you need to turn while you are top of it. You watch carefully as the track comes up, to ensure you havent picked up the chain. You never turn sharp, while the end of the track is crossing the chain, or youre guaranteed to pick it up.

Picking up the chain with a track, just for half a sprocket rotation, will ensure you pop a shoe instantly (guillotine the bolts) .. come to a grinding halt, if caught the right way .. or even bust a final drive bull gear tooth, if you are going fast enough, and nothing else breaks first.

Chaining is the hardest work a crawler can do .. almost constant full power drawbar pull, constant sheet metal bashing by timber, resulting in a beaten look .. not to mention bent panels .. and if its anywhere near a warm day, the constant threat of engine compartment fires. Ive even had fires start from sticks laying across the top of the exhaust pipe for a few minutes. You clean out your rocker cover/manifold area at least twice a day .. more if you get time.

Animals get the hardest time with chaining .. their hidey holes get flattened, but they leave it to the last second to run .. you get possums jumping from tree to tree .. as the tree they are in, gets flattened, they jump to the next one, always inside the chain. We would often stop and grab them, if they were a bit stunned .. but you needed a big heavy jute sack wrapped around your hands, because they were as savage as hell, and would shred your unprotected hands with their needle sharp teeth and claws.

Kangaroos would get caught in the loop of the chain, and jump about in panic, rarely figuring out where to jump to escape .. and when they did, they would leap 8 high over the chain, causing us much mirth.

Birds were as bad .. parrots bite like crocodiles, and their beaks will go right through the thumb or finger of anyone unwary enough to not hold their head. Ducks had nests in hollow trees and we often smashed all the eggs, when the tree went down.
We caught eagles, which we always tried to save, even though they were a declared pest at the time.

One baby eagle we took home for a pet. We called him Samson, after the strongman .. and he kept all the household dogs and cats constantly in terror .. even though he was only just getting his feathers. Hed walk up and down the yard, against the wind, holding his massive wings out, testing them, ready to practise his flying .. causing great consternation and wonder to the array of visitors, travelling salesmen, et al ..

Then came the day he flew .. and he learnt to fly across the road and sit on the 3 diameter above-ground, water pipeline, surveying all, with a cold unblinking eye .. and causing passers-by in cars to stop and gaze in wonder.

Then one day, he took off for distant fields and never returned .. our job at raising him, deemed a success.

Snakes and other wildlife.
Hi, Folks.
Richard W, you raised the point about snakes as a hazard while clearing with a chain. Yer know, its a funny thing but I dont recollect ever seeing one and I did a few acres of it. I guess they decided the neighbours were a bit noisy and moved out. I would imagine they would have been going like crazy to get away from the noise and vibration of the dozers and many probably got caught in the middle of the chain for that reason. Also, we were sitting 4, 5, or 6 feet off the ground and not many of our Australian snakes are tree climbers.

I dont remember seeing a lot of animal life at all, maybe for the same reason. We did see a lot of bird life and I guess we destroyed a few nests too but I think its a bit like making an omolette -- yer caint do it without breaking some eggs.

I did see a VERY bleached emu egg once in light scrub and managed to jump off the Cat D7E, pick it up and get back on without stopping. Luckily for me, the egg had sprung a leak and dried out MANY years before or it mighta burst when I picked it up. Ill leave THAT to your imagination.

MadDog979, you asked about transporting the ball. THAT was one of the reasons it was done away with. Although they only weighed from around 4 to around 7 tons, they were a bit of a pain to transport. When it was found that using the chain without the ball broke less vegetation off, it didnt take long for a lotta contractors to lose their balls.

I never actually worked with a ball but the bloke who taught me gave me a bit of background on them. I dont really think I missed out on much.

Deas’s answer to ‘Turning it all around’
Hi, Trakman.
Sorry, I missed this query first time around but I see OzDozer answered it very well anyway. There are just a couple of points I would like to add.

When coming up to a corner in heavier scrub, mallee or timber, if on the inside, I always tried to clear my reversing path as I was travelling forward. I would try to knock any trees that I downed away at an angle to make them easier to back over and, where possible, to the inside of the chain so that they were less likely to have two chances at getting tangled up in the works.

I found a downed tree is usually less likely to get tangled up in the chain if the top or crown is facing toward the chain as the branches tend to break off and lift the chain over the trunk. If the butt, or roots, are facing the chain, the chain will almost invariably get caught by the root ball and you end up dragging that tree for some distance or, worse, having to go back and untangle it.

It is also good practice to do a bit weaving in and out amongst the trees as you travel so that you dont leave many exposed butts to get tangled in the chain or downed trees to back over.

One trick that I found worked well at corners where reversing was a VERY risky procedure was to travel 3 or 4 machine lengths clear of the standing scrub/timber, reverse until you could get across the chain, then turn right around and drive back into the scrub/timber face-first on a new track alongside where you had just come out. It took a few extra seconds but was a LOT safer than backing over the downed scrub/timber.

Another method I used was to push through with the blade low to the ground to crush and break the scrub as much as possible for easier reversing. In lighter scrub, this worked quite well, especially with bigger machines but there was always that BIG element of care needed to make sure you didnt spear your machine or yourself.

Also in lighter scrub, and especially if you have a ripper attached, you can often reverse into the scrub on a new path but you still have to travel far enough out into the clear to be able to get over the chain safely.

Another thing to bear in mind if you are the inside machine is that while you are backing up and trying to get enough slack to cross over the chain, the outside machine is still travelling forward and may be dragging your hard-won slack chain away from you about as fast as you are winning it. If this happens on a regular basis, it is simple good manners for the outside machine to stop while the inside one is doing his backing and turning. A little thought and consideration can go a LONG way in this sort of situation.

It is always easier for the outside machine to back up as his track has been cleared by the inside machine and all the scrub/timber has been pulled away from his track on an angle by the chain pulling it towards the middle of the run. For this reason, unless it is MUCH closer to the inside machine, it is usually the outside machine that goes back to clear any snags. The outside was ALWAYS for any learner that might be involved too.

I am posting a couple of photos of the sorts of protection canopies that many machines were fitted with for this sort of work.

That couple of points got a bit long-winded, didnt they?

End of collected posts.

Hope this helps give an idea of what is/was invovled in this sort of work

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:53 pm
by Lars-Gunnar
Thanks Deas!

It was a long and interesting discussion. As I understand this type of clearing land involve bushes, midsized trees, debris trees and even large trees as not can be wood IE. Transported to sawmills. I know eucalyptus trees grows down under. It is the food of Koala bear and they. Is there forest as have trees and what is the trees name. We have Pine, Spruce, Birch, Aspen, Red beech, Oak, Elm, Ash, Lime, Maple and so on. Nearly all of these kind of trees can be used of humans mostly for development of furniture’s. Birch is specially popular as fuel to fireplaces but also if one will make his own shaft to a axe. It is extremely hard.

This method cant be used here because our large forest. Perhaps as a cleaner after a large trees has been cut down as a stubble remover?

Lars-Gunnar :)

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:02 pm
by Deas Plant
Hi, Lars-Gunnar.
You might be surprised what trees a couple of D9Gs or Hs with 400 or 500 feet of 3" to 4" chain cutting about 50-60 feet wide can pull down, especially with a chaser dozer equipped with a tree pusher bar looking after the BIG ones. One thing that helps a bit is that the bigger the trees, the higher the chain rides on them, giving more leverage. Also, as mentioned above, this is a sport for the wetter periods of the year when the roots pull out of the ground a lot easier.

Sometimes, boggy ground can be a bit of a hassle but its not a real big issue cos you usually have the recovery tractor hooked to the other end of the chain. A lot of times, when you do get bogged, you dont even have to wait for the other tractor to come around behind you to pull you out. You just let him keep pulling where he is and hell pull you out as he pulls the chain around the trees. Once clear of the bog, you just pour on the coal again and take a different path past the wet spot.

Re chaser dozer equipped with tree pusher, here are a couple of photos of these beasts. Just in case you cant pick it, the treepusher is the long jigger poking forward above the blade. The one on the 14A D8 is a fairly respectable example but the biggest one I have ever seen was on a D9E dozer and was 32 feet long. Now that machine could push some pretty fair trees and yet there were plenty of trees were it lived and worked that even it could not take down.

Types of trees: In the South-west of Western Australia where I did most of my chaining, there were blue gums, salmon gums, white gums, karri, jarrah, red gum (marri), wandoo, tuart, mallee, paperbarks, various wattles, she-oaks, bull-oaks and other acacias. In South-eastern Queensland, where I live now, there are stringybark, bloodwood, messmate, blue gums, scribbly gums, ironbark, tallowood, paperbarks, various wattles, she-oaks, bull-oaks and other acacias, to name just a few. The South-west of Western Australia is where Australias heaviest trees grow. The biggest of these are the karri trees with tuart and wandoo fairly close behind.

The worlds tallest flowering plant is the Victorian mountain ash which will grow to over 300 feet tall but is a more slender tree than the karri or some of the other West Australian trees.

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:51 pm
by martyn williams
Some great pictures there Deas,the chain looks like it came off the Titanic!

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:59 pm
by Robban_C
Very interesting reading!
I´m quite impressed of the method.

I guess that the method is no god here because the woods are not that big except up in the north and theres probably to much stones (bigger ones) and to much hills and slopes.
And I´m not sure if it will work on spruce (tallskog) as the stumps usually are quite tough to dig up.

Those tree pushers are also impressing. And well constructed as some of the force from the tractor will increase the weight on the tracs giving even more traction and pushing force.

Has anyone seen a film about this on the Internet?

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:47 pm
by d4c24a
good read deas, have you any more pictures,i remember someone posting pictures of clearing with a ball useing terex machines but i cant remember where :dizzy:
thanks graham

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:55 pm
by Deas Plant
Hi, D4C24A,
Sorry, Mate. I dont have any photos of Terex or Euclid dozers engaged in chaining, with or without the ball. In all the chaining I did and saw done, I saw ONE pair of Kummagutsa dozers, D355As, and 2 other individual Kummagutsas paired with similar-sized Cat machines. I never actually saw any International dozers chaining but older operators told me in my younger days that some Inters were used just after WW2 - until Cats became more readily available. I also never saw any Allis Chalmers dozers chaining although that doesnt necessarily mean that none were used for this purpose. IH and A-C machines had a bit of a reputation for shredding final drives when used as dozers and chaining was/is one of the rougher dozer sports.

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:58 pm
by Holger
What a roof (last picture)!
Why are they protected like this?

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:29 pm
by Robban_C
Holger: Probably for protection against falling trees.

Deas, very interesting thread! :thumbs_up:
Any more pictures?
I´d really like to see this in real life but I will probably never have the opportunity.
What about that ball? I didn´t really understand that.
How old are those pictures? Is this a common method today?

Re: Using Dozers And A Chain For Clearing.

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:27 am
by Deas Plant
Hi, Holger.
Without those canopies, there would probably have been quite a few more headaches and probably a few less older operators too. Id guess that one reason there werent many earlier International dozers used for this work was that they were very difficult to mount an effective timber canopy on due to the lack of sufficiently strong mounting points.

With all the other things to watch when you are operating one of these tractors chaining, you dont have an awful lot of spare time to check out the top of every tree you pass under or push over. Since Australian gums and eucalypts are notorious for having dead or dying branches in their crowns, these canopies are a valuable insurance policy.

Robban_c, the original idea of the ball was to hold the chain off the ground to give it a bit of extra leverage against the bigger trees and to help crush those that it ran over. However, it was quickly found that using the ball to hold the chain up broke off more trees than chaining without the ball and its use died out. Another reason why the ball was dispensed with was that it was a bit of pain to load and chain down effectively on a float for transport

The ball itself was around 6 to 8 feet in diameter and weighed from 4 to 6 tons. It had 2 heavy swivels built into it, to which the inboard ends of the chains were shackled. The other ends of the chains were attached to the dozer drawbars.