Skidding logs from 3ph: Tractor Implements  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Skidding logs from 3ph: Tractor Implements -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 07-29-2002, 07:07 Post: 40782
BillMullens

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 Skidding logs from 3ph

This link shows a 3ph frame with skidding tongs that is being sold to skid logs. Does it look safe? I would think that one could flip a tractor over quickly if the front of the log got snagged on something. Let me know what you think.
Bill






Link:   3ph log skidder on ebay 

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 07-29-2002, 14:39 Post: 40798
Art White



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 Skidding logs from 3ph

The nose of the log would not likely be dragging the way that they show it being built. But it would load the top and it might make it unstable. One of the toughest parts of logging is the ability to get to the log and that makes a winch nice.






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 07-30-2002, 05:33 Post: 40808
TomG

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 Skidding logs from 3ph

I think you're right. The design looks like quite a bit of the draft would distribute to the top-link and place it under tension. Operations of 3ph ground engaging implements place the top-link under compression. Snags, changes in grade, or anything that resulted in a sudden increase in draft could certainly flip the tractor.

Of course, tractor skidding really isn't safe no matter what is used. Especially with a compact, it's very easy for a log to outweigh the tractor. If a log takes off down a hill, the tractor goes with it. However, the e-bay thing probably is like many things. It could be useful but the limits for safe operation should be well understood.

Standalone arches and skid shoes are alternatives. If it's for fire wood, chain sawing in place and taking the section out may work better. Skidded logs have to be washed or they go through saw chain in a hurry. Pole trailers would be a Cadillac solution.






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 07-30-2002, 11:26 Post: 40818
DaveM



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 Skidding logs from 3ph

Hi guys. I'm no expert but I have been 'skidding' trees on a limited basis using the lower lifting arms of the 3 PT hitch. I've got a drawbar between them with a hook and rap a chain around the tree/log then lift the end of the log enough to 'skid' it over to a better area for cutting. It seems to work fine and I haven't had much trouble moving some good sized trees. The drawbar doesn't lift the end of the log to much so I don't think there is a CG problem. Does this put to much strain on the 3 PT Hitch?






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 07-30-2002, 13:36 Post: 40824
kay



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 Skidding logs from 3ph

I have been skidding logs out of the woods for almost 40 years with a similar (almost exact) arrangement, and have never flipped a tractor yet. The front end will get light and sometimes one must steer using the right and left brakes. But the tractor is usually in a low gear (higher gears do not have the power needed) so when the load is too great or the log gets caught on a stump (couldn't get all the limbs off close to the log), simply lowering the 3pt will keep the front end on the ground. Also, one can stop pulling and the front end will go back to the ground.
It is a very slick way to move logs. The logs get very little dirt on them, although I clean the bark off or at least the dirt off before sawing or bucking the logs after skidding.
This e-bay item seems a bit expensive, but the tongs (if they are good ones) are about $100, and the steel frame is probably another $100, so with labor and a bit of profit the price is in the ball park. Any good 3pt quick hitch will have the hook at the top and be open to hold a log, so all one needs is the tongs.
Yes, there is a danger here. But it isn't as some want to hypothesize it. In my experience, the FEL is much more dangerous and uncontrollable when the rear end gets light and the load is high. Nothing like that with the 3pt log lift. Just FYI. No one needs to try this because it works for me.






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 07-31-2002, 05:51 Post: 40854
TomG

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 Skidding logs from 3ph

I live in logging country and know that logging is one of the most dangerous of occupations even if I donít have much direct experience.

Felling and just being in the woods has its risks, but skiding also it's own dangers. Itís important to realize that a decent log outweighs whatever is pulling it. If a log takes off down a hill, there's no way a tractor is going to out-muscle it. Even log skidders can get dragged downhill by a log. Skidders are more stable than tractors and also have steel operator cages. Itís seems a really good idea to understand the risks that are accepted in skidding and any tractor operation.

As far as I know skidding from the 3ph has greater risk than from the drawbar. Of course, a drawbar doesn't lift the log head so something like a boat would be required. With a 3ph, draft is distributed between the lower arm pivot points, the rockshaft and the top-link bracket. The top-link bracket and rockshaft are above the axles. Tension on the top-link bracket and rockshaft tend to raise the front wheels.

Raising the 3ph increases the load on the top-link and rockshaft, and the draft load on the link arms is decreased. A high 3ph increases the risk of a tractor doing wheelies (I know, some people say that wheelies are no problem). And of course, the larger the log, the greater the risk and the higher the 3ph needs to be raised.

Suspended weight is another problem with 3ph skidding. Most people are aware that weight on the 3ph lightens the front end. Trouble with 3ph skidding is the weight on the 3ph is related to how much of the log is off the ground. If a tractor goes down a dip and then back up the other side, more of the log comes off the ground and weight on the 3ph can increase dramatically.

I'm sure that these risks can for the most part be managed, but it does take very the very educated perceptions from long experience to see what's being gotten into. Most of my uncles and friends didn't quite have 4-decades of experience on tractors since they started out with horses. Still, most of them retired after recovering from serious tractor accidents. It's good to think about these things.






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 07-31-2002, 10:11 Post: 40869
kay



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 Skidding logs from 3ph

I don't disagree with what Tom says, that in logging country there are slopes being logged that only skidders are used safely (and that can be argued too).
However, common sense must prevail in all situations, and I am assuming that will be the top priority when I say that the 3pt lift and logging tongs are a good way for the woods owner to easily get his(her) logs out of the woods. If the slopes are too steep, if the logs are too large, etc., then bigger equipment or winches will be the way to go. But I will still maintain that the 3pt lift arrangement is safer and easier to control when at the limits than the FEL (just to use a point of reference that most are likely familiar with).






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 08-01-2002, 05:53 Post: 40885
TomG

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 Skidding logs from 3ph

Sorry, I missed that the comparison was between pulling with a 3ph and with a loader. In terms of safety, I don't think it's a contest. Pulling with a loader is not good practice. Wouldn't work great either since lifting a log head would reduce rear wheel traction.

Guess I was still thinking about the design of the implement in the e-bay picture. From the pic, it seemed to be a frame that goes over the top of the link arms. Mounts for the tongs and the top-link were on the frame member across the top. I guess the mounted frame pivots on the lower link pins and is held in a vertical position by the top-link.

In such a design, I think that most of the weight is distributed to the rockshaft and a large part of the draft is distributed to the top-link. Tension on the top-link isnít the greatest thing for stability, but I think the implement probably is useful and fairly inexpensive if used with a bit of caution.

I was trying to think through a design that would work more like typical 3ph ground engaging implements where draft places the top-link in compression. Something like putting a pivot point and an arm on the top frame member. The tongs attach to the bottom of the arm and the top-link to the top. Draft on the tongs then puts the top-link in compression. However, the frame then would sort of float around rather than be held in a vertical position and the unit would have to be raised higher off the ground. I guess it's obvious that I haven't got the thing in mind yet.






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 08-01-2002, 06:58 Post: 40887
BillMullens

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 Skidding logs from 3ph

Thanks for the replies. Tom, what is a rockshaft?
The implement I need is one to drag logs for firewood a short distance. I'm sure the device shown on the ebay link would be fine for me; I could build it quick and cheap, and I already have a pair of tongs. But we discussed this last year, and at the time I designed an implement that would pull from the (fixed) drawbar rather than from the 3ph. Murf had mentioned at that time that he built and used something of that sort but I have yet to see pictures of it. My design would be a boom pole that rotates about a pivot bolted to the drawbar. The pivot is already in place on my tractor as I built it to restrain my 3ph backhoe. Then, a regular 3ph drawbar would be installed and the boom would set on top of it. With either tongs or a hydraulic thumb on the end of the boom, one could lift it up with the 3ph, grab the log, then lower the 3ph until it wasn't even touching the boom. That way you'd be pulling from the fixed drawbar. I believe that you could pick up the front of the log without being in much danger of picking up the front of the tractor because no tension is being appied to the top link; that is, the top link isn't attached to anything.
I'll draw it up and post a link to it in the next day or two, I'd like to hear comments on it.
Bill






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 08-01-2002, 07:40 Post: 40892
TomG

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 Skidding logs from 3ph

Bill: A rockshaft is the cross shaft above the 3ph. The lift arms attach to either end and the shaft is rotated by the lift-cylinder. It's sometimes called a rockshaft perhaps to avoid confusion with the rocker-arm in an engine--same idea though. My repair manual may call it a cross-shaft. The shaft is what hold up the lift arms, and a lot of weight carried on the 3ph is distributed to the shaft.

I seem to spend a bit of time visualizing 3ph geometry. It's almost turned into a hobby, and like most hobbies, I don't know if I'm any good at it. I'll look for your drawings.






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