Skidding Extra-Heavy Logs
My 60 hp 2 wheel drive tractor just can't do it safely. I've looked at the Bailey's arch and I don't see it handling the size logs I am felling. I would appreciate any recommendations or advice on how to skid logs in this size range safely, economically, and repeatedly.
From contributor M:
Warren, do you have steep grades? Chains on your tractor will help up to a point. I've used them on my 57 hp 2 wd IH 3ph drawbar, and I chain one end up and go - if you have a grade problem, I don't think the arch will help.
A snatch block up another tree will help too. Run a cable through it, keep the tractor on good ground, cable to the log and pull that way. Add front weight if you have to to offset drawbar weight. For a few long logs, it seems like there's got to be a way other than buying new equipment.
From contributor D:
I think you might want to contract someone to skid for you. If you start pulling larger logs around steep hills or even on flat surfaces with a tractor you should be very careful. They have been known to flip over backwards and when you least expect it - be very careful.
From the original questioner:
I have the steel and I just need the stub axles. Michael, I'm having problems even on flat ground. Traction is not a problem. But even with 600 lbs of factory weights on the front, the front end is coming up as soon as I apply a little up lift on the log and let out the clutch. As a former EMT in a couple rural counties, I have no interest in pushing the envelope till I break myself or the tractor.
From contributor P:
Warren, another trick with chain pulling on a tractor is to change the underneath chain attach point to a anchor point in front of the rear axle. You can also pull a log with the tractor reversed; this is ok for shorter distances. Rotational physics can really fight you on the larger heavy logs.
From contributor B:
You might build yourself a custom dolley (known as a grasshopper) like is used on pipeline work. Actually I don't see why you could not build one roughly double the wheel spread and give it a hitch compatible with your prime mover be it a tractor drawbar, 4x4 P/U with a Reese hitch, or pintle hook. You could then move 36" diameter logs up to 20 ft long without dragging them on the ground.
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