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 02-26-2014, 21:40 Post: 189257
candoarms



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

Howdy folks,

I received word today that my neighbor is removing three miles of tree rows from along one side of his farm land. I have the opportunity to take as much of it as I want.

Since I heat my home with wood, I'm very interested in taking as much as I possibly can.

Having now seen what I'm up against, I believe a skidding winch would be the best tool for the job. The trees have already been uprooted by a large excavator, and are laying in long rows, piled atop one another.

It's a fairly dangerous place to work with a chainsaw. I don't believe I'd attempt to cut the trees while they're so precariously perched in those heaps. It's difficult to tell which way the logs would move, once cut from the root ball. I believe it would be a whole lot easier to pull the trees from the pile, one at a time, then cut them up when on safe ground.

Anybody out there with any experience with skidding winches? I'd like to hear your opinions on which skidding winches to stay away from and which ones to look for.

Thank you for any help you might be able to provide.

Joel






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 02-26-2014, 21:48 Post: 189258
Murf

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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

I've been warning folks about 3pth skidding winches for years.

The problem is one of pure science, the winch uses a high mounted pulley to lift and drag the log. That puts nearly 100% of the load on the upper mounting point. That point is designed to take very little load relative to the lower 2 points, the arms, or the drawbar.

Be very, very, VERY careful if you go this route.


Best of luck.






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 02-26-2014, 22:43 Post: 189259
candoarms



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

Murf,

Thank you for that.

I've been looking at a few skidding winches tonight, all of which have a very low pulling point. There are two pulleys on each skidding winch. One is mounted in line with the two lower link arms. The other is mounted higher.

The information I saw on the videos seems to suggest that most of the pulling force is applied to the lower pulley. The upper pulley forces the winch down on the dozer blade, which forces it to dig into the ground, serving as a brake.

I can see that there would be some torque applied to the upper link due to the dozer blade being buried, with the pivot point being the lower link arms -- but I'm wondering how much force would be applied to the upper link pin on the rear of the transmission housing?

There's no question that this could be a problem. I think if I come across a tree that won't budge from its resting place, I'd just move on to one that will. I sure as heck won't attempt to do anything that will put my tractor in the grave.

Maybe you have a better idea? I don't own an excavator, so my next best guess would be a hydraulic winch mounted on the front of my dump truck. This could be a cheaper solution, but the available cable length will be much, much shorter.

Thanks for the advice, my friend.

Joel






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 02-27-2014, 08:23 Post: 189266
Art White



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches


Joel, I'd just have a cable or chain to pull them apart from the pile. Skidding winches are normally used to bunch logs for skidding or in our area tops to make it easier to cut for firewood.

For us in this area the high winching point is often needed for getting over the bank with the cable so you can get the log out of a ravine.
I recommend you consider your tractor weight as the max for any skidding winch that you may buy. The skidding winches in this area when used have had a good resale when people wanted to get rid of them.
To drag or skid logs to far in the dirt is a problem for chain saws! When I was cutting I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I found I could get cull logs cheap if I hauled them and loaded them from the site. From skidding they were full of mud! About three logs and I'd be sharpening the chain! A friend had a 090 stihl, he set the thing to about 3500 rpm which you could do with the throttle linkage and he cut three loads for me without touching the chain!






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 02-27-2014, 10:20 Post: 189270
DennisCTB

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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

Hi Joel,

I hope the trees you are talking about are real small ones. I tried clearing some of the trees damaged by Hurricane Sandy and other dead trees this past fall. I felled quite few, it can be a bit scary.

Using an excavator to remove big trees is a very bad way to do the job and makes for danger for the next guy in the chain. I have found that even a 5 inch tree under unusual or unpredictable tension can offer the home owner impalement opportunities !

I wound up bringing in a land clearing crew with a log skidder like the one in the picture. Absolutely amazing how much work that thing can do in one day. And how it takes so so much of the danger out of the equation.

My neighbor was doing his own forest maintenance with his little Kubota until he wound up injured in the hospital. Wood is so damn heavy and a surprise can be very serious.





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 02-27-2014, 09:38 Post: 189272
stonehands



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

I had a fence row surrounding an old hay field that I cleared out. My buddy had a skidding winch and came over to help move trees and logs. After 1 day of several near mishaps, partly due to our inexperience, i told him thanks but no thanks.

I was using my bobcat skidsteer with a heavy duty grapple on the front. I used it to pick the logs and pull them out of the piles to cut and then clean up the brush to burn.

That skidding winch scared me a little. Be careful. When a log moves under that kind of pressure it moves quick and you never know the exact direction it will jump.






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 02-27-2014, 09:41 Post: 189273
Woodie



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

Cando- I can't speak from experinece on that large a project- worst situation was when a major windstorm hit our area and my brother , who heats with wood , was called to get some of his fellow church member out from their residence(house was okay)they could not get down their 1000' drive -trees' were piled and twisted on top of each other. What we found was one person cut and 3 others watching from various vantage points for movement -once cut the part was moved and repeat process. most was cut to moveable piece for one or two people as large equip couldn't get in. Was about a 4 day cutting event.
From what I seen in a "farm tinker's/ inventors" magazine (guys that repurpose stuff). One guy is using one of the older arch trailers that propane companies would use to deliver and set the tank. He modified it some-it's been a while since I came across that article. Seems that would take the weight issue from being direct on tractor 3ph and convert the ball hitch to one for the draw bar. Maybe a some farmer might have a hydrahoe or construction loader backhoe unit that isn't being used. - Wish you the best.






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 02-27-2014, 10:56 Post: 189278
candoarms



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

I should probably post a picture of the tree rows I'm working on.

I have 160 clear acres on each side of the tree rows. There's plenty of room to work once the crops have been harvested in late summer. I won't need to drag the trees very far.....in fact I'll only need to move them about 30 feet in order to get them down off the pile an onto level, clear ground.

I'll run out there and take some pictures......though I won't be able to get very close due to the heavy snow that won't begin melting for at least another month.

Having a picture of the situation might help develop a good plan of attack from the group.

Joel






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 02-27-2014, 12:36 Post: 189279
kthompson



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

Do you know a small logging crew they would go in and cut and load and haul the logs for you?

Woodie, what you describe sounds a lot like an old logging cart used here with animal crew to lift the front end of the log for ease of pulling.

How about a rough terrain front end loader to lift off of the pile or front end loaded with grapple on it?






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 02-27-2014, 14:02 Post: 189280
candoarms



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 Tractor Forestry Skidding Winches

KThompson,

I have no crew available. In fact, there aren't many people where I live. The entire county.....40 miles long, 30 miles wide....has less than 2000 people. There's a whole lot of room to do whatever I want....but not much in the way of help.

A tractor won't work. The tree piles are pretty wide and fairly tall, making the reach too long for a loader. The trees were stacked by an excavator with about a 30' reach, so as to allow for maximum tillable acreage available to the farmer after being piled.

I considered using an electric, truck mounted winch. That's not going to work. Electric winches draw hundreds of amps and get very hot in short order. If I use a truck mounted winch, it will likely be a hydraulic model.

Truck winches are SLOW. Skidding winches are much faster. I don't believe I'd ever need the pulling power I'd have available to me from the truck mounted winch. I just need to pull the top tree off the pile, down onto the ground where I can predict the outcome a whole lot better.

I'm on my way out there now to take a few pictures. Back shortly.

Joel






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