Thumb – Tree down


Around the start of fall before the boom busted on our excavator the thumb stopped holding pressure. The thumb would move but it lacked gripping or holding force. When the boom busted we sent the thumb’s hydraulic ram off to be rebuilt at Belfair hose and hydraulic. Rebuilding the ram did not repair the issue at all, which made me sad face. I’ve been using the machine for the past few months without any gripping force on the thumb. It’s not been horrible or super annoying because most of my work has been moving earth vs. picking things up. Today I wanted to move some trees and wanted a thumb. I was considering shopping for pressure gauges and such to do some testing of the hydraulics, but I did not have too.

Every day spent excavating starts with your preflight check list consisting of greasing the machine. While greasing the machine today I noticed a switch to control the fluid flow for attachments on the boom. Above the switch is a label, one direction the picture has a jack hammer. The other direction the picture shows a thumb or clam shell bucket. The lever was in the middle. Middle struck me as odd and wrong. I Flipped the lever to the thumb side, finished greasing the fitting, then tried the thumb. By gumbo, my thumb had full gripping force again. I’ve spent months worry about how to fix this thing and it was a bloody switch; super simple to fix. Sigh.

Pushing a Tree Over

There are a few more tree’s in the way of the next wing of the house and it was finally dry out today when I was home, plus I have a thumb now. Yeah, time to take some trees down. Two of the trees blocking progress are a bit bigger than my machine can push over with little effort. To push the large trees over you need to dig up about 2/3 of the stump then push in the correct direction. I could have cut the tree down the chain saw and dug the stump up later but it’s much simpler to take a stump out using the weight of tree, so I push them over.

Some pictures of the action

Tree down after about 20 minutes of fighting with it.

After a big tree hits the ground I walk it with the saw and remove the limbs, cut it into chunks and stack them a pile. The limbs I’ll chip once I put the chipper back together.

Maddex walked out the tree to check out what was going on.

Maddex climbing the stump

Then we built a bridge with some other small trees. He carried most of them some how

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