It is quiet, easy to use and made bucking up the trees and trimming branches go quickly. I hired a backhoe operator to come in and dig trenches roughly on contour. The logs and trimmings were placed in the ~2foot deep beds and then recovered with topsoil. Our soil is a clay loam mix and I haven't seen any evident problems with the area recovering. Our fruit and nut trees are settling in nicely.
Toby Hemenway wrote:Ianto has nightmare stories to tell about heavy equipment, so he's aware of how much damage they can do. But the place he lives had backhoes come in to do a lot of the work (ask Chip). The key is to wait until the soil is dry--midsummer in Oregon, if that's where you are. Horse logging can actually do far more damage than rubber-tired vehicles, because the PSI of hooves is much more. But whatever work you do, Wwoofers, horses, or tractors, do it when the soil is good and dry.
Remember that the PSI of hooves will also vary with the breed of horse used. There is a big difference in hoof size between a breed like the Comtois which was traditionally used in France for logging and a Clydesdale which has feet like dinner plates. I speak from experience having been trodden on by both