Pulling down trees: Tractor Projects  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Pulling down trees: Tractor Projects -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 06-08-2000, 17:46 Post: 17037
Bob A.



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 Pulling down trees

I want to remove a tree that's down on my propery and it's 79 ft away on a hillside. The tree top is in a shallow stream and the root is on the hillside amongst other trees. So, I need a chain, tow line, cable or something that's around 100 ft. I can get a 5/16" chain that's 92 ft long. Will reach and says it's got 1200 lb capacity (FWIW).My question is how much to tree weight? How do I estimate? If I do screw up and break the chain will it become a leathal projectile? Any other suggestions on what to use instead of a chain?Thanks,Bob A.






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 06-08-2000, 18:22 Post: 17041
Murf



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 Pulling down trees

Bob, the short answer is that a chain will NEVER 'fly' if it breaks....you however, may be a little unstable after it lets go, depending on how much pull you are applying, and how much 'stick'um' it is trying to give back..... Without making it complicated, I would not try it, that tree propably weighs many tons, never mind the 'rolling resistance' of the stump, etc. Best of luck.






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 06-08-2000, 20:46 Post: 17044
dave piper



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 Pulling down trees

Bob. If you can tell us what kind of a tree, it's length and diameter I would bet we can come up with an approximate weight. Also, are you sure that chain is only rated for 1200#. Sounds low for 5/16". Dave.






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 06-08-2000, 21:05 Post: 17045
David Paul



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 Pulling down trees

You don't say what size tree or what size tractor you are planning to use, but from the sounds of it this has all the makings for "An America's Funniest Home Video" segment. 5/16" chain is a joke if you are trying to drag logs. The chain can and will snap back if it is under enough tension. (the stored energy in the chain has to go somewhere) In all likely hood if the tree is large and the tractor is small and the traction is good a broken chain or a tractor wheelie will be the result. Cut the tree up in small pieces and then drag out the small pieces. This will proably be much safer.






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 06-08-2000, 23:27 Post: 17050
turfman



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 Pulling down trees

I know for a fact that broken chains snap back. I would post the picture of a guy my friend worked on in Indianapolis with his head caved in and the mind of the stump he was trying to pull. This guy never even had the chance to turn his head a little. The dent left in the side of his head in the picture I saw was enough for me to always wear a helmet when pulling anything with a chain. I have had chains break, they fly. The same with cable. David is right, it's physics at work. my two cents






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 00-00-0000, 00:00 Post: 17055
Eric Edwards



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 Pulling down trees

I don't see any harm in a little testing. I use 7/16" cable on a farmi winch and it will continuously pull 3.5 tons without fear of breaking. Even so, you can bet I'm not standing in direct line of fire and I always wear my helmet and faceshield. Anyways, If you have chain, try it. Go slow with plenty of rpms and maybe have someone watching the tree while you concentrate on driving. If you are concerned with the chain snapping, temporarily C-clamp a half sheet of 3/4" plywood to your ROPS to protect you. You will lose visibility and will need a friend for feedback but you will be safe. In low gear tipping etc shouldn't happen so fast that you can't react. Don't try this without a ROPS in place and make a straight away haul. Also if branches are stuck in the ground mud etc you will probably have to do some limbing before you're successful. If the tree is 20" in diam with a full crown you'll have to cut it up good and the butt ends are bound to get hung up. A skid made from a vwbug hood is an old remedy. My 2 1/2 cents






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 06-09-2000, 07:50 Post: 17061
TomG

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 Pulling down trees

If it's a sizable tree and already down, I guess leaving it where it is isn't an option. Transporting it off the property as a log would be a big deal. Burning it as a log also would be a big deal.

If the tree is of any size, I'd buzz it up into small sections with a chain saw. It's easier and safer that way. A chain saw probably is going to be needed anyway to limb it, because it won't skid well or safely with limbs on it. Unless the idea is to move a log intact from one place on the property to another, it probably is going to end up buzzed anyway. It's better to buzz it in place even if the idea is to use for firewood. A skidded log is full of dirt and is real hard on chain saws. People around here sometimes scrub skidded logs.

Maybe the tree being in a stream is the problem both for leaving it there and for buzzing it in place. Even so, it might be easier to move the log enough to work on it rather than skid it any distance. Keep in mind that a log of any size probably weighs more than the tractor. If the log is on a slope, the tractor goes where the log goes, or it goes where the tractor is. Either possibility isn't real desirable.

For skidding logs, a choker and something to keep the butt end from digging in are good things to have.
The chain used for towing things with tractors often is transport chain (grade 70 or higher). It's a lot stronger than hardware store chain.






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 06-09-2000, 09:05 Post: 17064
Bob A.



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 Pulling down trees

Thanks for the advice everyone.

The tree is an oak (white oak I believe). It's not gigantic but large. I can cut the trunk at mid section with a 16" chain saw. I'd estimate it's about 40 ft long from root to tip. I have every intention of cutting it up before moving. My question is more along the lines of how do I estimate weight to determine the size of the cuts and if there's any rules of thumb, etc, that more experienced people use. My tractor is a Kubota L3010 rated at 32 hp. I also have a loader and blasted the tires which might help offset flipping if it gets away from me.

Thanks again for all the advice. It really helps.

Bob A.






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 06-09-2000, 11:21 Post: 17067
dave piper



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 Pulling down trees

Bob. Air-dried white oak weighs 48# per cubic foot. If my math is correct, and I suspect it is not, that tree should weigh around 4300# but I wlll let you do your own math. One other point. Grade 7 5/16" chain has a breaking point of close to 5000# so I would suggest you buy this as you will break the hardware store variety. The number 7 or G7 will be stamped on the links. Good luck. Been there, done that. Dave






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 06-09-2000, 12:16 Post: 17071
Murf



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 Pulling down trees

I would VERY MUCH like to see the pictures...... As a Licensed Professional Engineer I know just a little about physics, 'flying' chain would require two things to happen first, one that the chain had stretched prior breaking, second, and MOST imortantly, that it had elastic properties, enabling it to recoil when released by breaking. Since a cable stretches proportionately along its ENTIRE loaded length (which is many CONTINOUS pieces of steel) it recoils the same way, along its whole length. Chain cannot act this way, if anyone has ever stretched a low quality chain they will know that when the load is removed it does NOT return to it's ORIGINAL shape, or even close to it. Further, the fact that each link is a seperate piece reduces this tendancy even further by allowing each individual piece to 'relax' once the energy (pull) is reduced or eliminated. In fact, if you use a section of chain at the end of a steel cable you can almost entirely stop the ability of the cable to 'fly' if it snaps since the chain absorbs the energy first. Buy a hunk of 'cheap' chain & try it some time, I'll gladly stand next to it..........






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