Jury-Rigged Log Loaders

When logs are too big to lift: Sawmillers share ideas for self-built, economical rigs to load logs onto a trailer. June 20, 2005

I am looking for plans to build a log loader, or looking to find one that would not cost an arm and a leg. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor S:
I easily load logs using the winch on the front of my truck. Basically, I hitch the trailer to a ball I have welded/bolted to the side of my winch carrier and run the cable through a snatch-block on the side of the trailer opposite the logs I want to load, then over the log and back to a chain that's hooked to the shackle holding the snatch-block. The log rolls right up the ramps (oak 5x5) on the side of the trailer. I've loaded logs up to 500 pounds this way.

From contributor M:
I have built a pair of A-frames that have legs made of 2" tubing that pivot at the top. There is a slot for a 2" x 12" plank that slides in and is held down by a cap with studs welded on either side of the slots. The legs are opened out after the plank is secured, and they are held in place with bolts and a cap. I lift it up and hang a chain hoist on it. I can pick up a ton with it, and I can move a trailer under it and lower the log onto the trailer. The tubing is reinforced at the top where the holes for the pivot bolt goes through. The legs are about 8' long. The whole thing is easy to assemble and take apart, and it fits into my van.

I also use it to move heavy logs by locking the legs spread out a little further apart than for straight-lifting, and set it forward to the center of the log, as the log will move forward when pulled with the hoist. The chain is around the middle of the log.

From contributor D:
Here's a way to roll logs up on to a trailer.

From contributor G:
I use a 16' 7k utility trailer with a front mounted 4 ton winch. I fabricated a quad pod that attaches to the rear of the trailer and it suspends a pulley about 5' above the trailer floor and 1' from the rear. I back the trailer to the big end of the log, run the cable through the pulley, and then attach it to the log about 1' from the near (big) end. Then I detach the truck and begin winching.

The trailer will rear up until the tail hits the ground, then the log and trailer will come together and the log will raise a couple of inches onto the trailer. I then remove the quad pod and re-attach it to the log a couple of times to bring the log farther onto the trailer. As the log is loaded, the trailer will come down slowly. Make sure to have the trailer chucked! This works really well and it’s pretty easy. I can haul up to a 34" 17' log.