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Moving Logs

ATV Arch
ATV arch
Photo courtesy of Future Forestry Products Inc
.Mini Skidder
Photo courtesy of Bailey's
This arch mounts to a four-wheel drive ATV and is a fast and maneuverable way to move logs. The arch pictured to the left can carry logs up to 24" in diameter and one ton in weight. Smaller logs can be suspended from the arch and larger logs can be drug. To facilitate use of the arch behind an ATV, chain up the rear wheels of the ATV.  One can fill tubeless tires with a water-antifreeze mix for weight to increase traction.  A steel plate bolted to the front of the ATV will help keep the front end on the ground.  Be aware that added weight on the front makes steering more difficult.  Attach front end weight so that it mounts and dismounts easily.  Take off the weight when using the ATV for other than skidding.  ATV skidding works best on level ground or downhill.  Safety notes:  1. ATV skidding is not for steep ground.  2. It is best to stay on prepared skid trails with the ATV and use cable to move logs out of the steep or brushy areas.  Roll cages are made for ATV logging but are of marginal utility.  If you use a roll cage, you should belt yourself on to the ATV.  3. Always wear head and eye protection. 2004 price range: $870-$1550.
   
Cable
Cable
Photo courtesy of E-Rigging.com
Cable is often made of stainless steel, coated stainless steel or other materials and is useful for a number of jobs, including winching and skidding. With ATV's and other low power machines, 3/8 inch diameter is usually sufficient strength for skidding logs up to 14 inches butt end.  Cable length depends on the site.  75 or 100 feet works well on most sites.  A typical rigging for cabling small logs consists of: cable with an eye on both ends, skid cone or chokers to secure the log(s), a snatch block or break-away block to change the direction of the cable, and a cargo strap (with eyes on both ends) to attach the block to a tree.  Do not use chain to attach the block because it can wound the tree.  Safety notes: 1. Keep choker setters on the ground well away from the cable when pulling.  2. Pulling with more force than the cable is designed for will cause the cable to snap and can result in serious injury or death if it hits someone. 2004 price range: Cable is usually sold by the foot and cost/foot can vary widely (from $0.18/foot - $2/foot) depending on the quality of the cable.
   
Cable Tongs
Cable tongs
Photo courtesy of Construction Safety Products
These tongs attach to a cable and have sharp points for a solid hold on logs and poles. Used for dragging and skidding. 2004 price range: $40-$300.
   
Cant Hook
Cant hook
Photo courtesy of Bailey's
Used for rolling and positioning logs. 2004 price range: $40-$100.
   
Chokers
Choker
Photo courtesy of Bailey's
Chokers attach to cable by means of a ferrule and have an 'eye' for attachment of another cable, hook or chain. 3/8 inch diameter X 8 feet long is adequate for most small log applications.  Chain chokers have a rod on one end to make it easier to poke the choker under the log. 2004 price range: choker alone usually runs $5-$20.
   
Hand Arch
Hand arch
Photo courtesy of Future Forestry Products Inc.
A fast and maneuverable way to move logs, especially in tight stands. Useful to bunch small logs and to move small logs short distances. 2004 cost range: $400-$500.
   
Hand Tongs
Hand tongs
Photo courtesy of Construction Safety Products
This tool is a real back saver!  One needn't bend down so far to handle firewood and smaller logs you can safely lift.  A few hours of lifting wood and this tool pays for itself.  In the woods, it is easier to keep track of tongs if you have a holster or other way to clip the tool to your belt when not in use.  Safety notes: 1. Don't try to lift more than your body is capable of handling.  2. Be sure the tong points are secure in the wood so that the piece doesn't slip out and land on your foot.  2004 price range: $20-$55.
   
Hookeroon
Hookeroon
Photo courtesy of Bailey's
Used for moving firewood or small logs. 2004 price range: $20-$30.
   
Log Jack
Log Jack
Photo Courtesy of Tom Brannon

The log jack is a handy tool when bucking long logs on the ground.  It helps keep the saw chain out of the dirt and rocks when cutting, which saves a lot of saw sharpening.  Position the jack at about the balance point on the log, grip the log with the cant hook portion and tip the log up onto the "T" bar.  Note: The jack in the picture is painted with fluorescent orange so that it is more visible in the woods.  It helps to keep track of tools and you don't run over them quite so often. 2004 price range $55-$65.
   
Mini Skidder

Used for skidding logs. A log is held by means of a cable or rope, attached to a manual winch, and rests on the curved frame. The skidder is pulled by an ATV or auto. 2004 price range: $800-$850. Not currently available.
   
Peavey
Peavey
Photo courtesy of Bailey's
Similar to a cant hook with a spiked point and hinged hook, this long-handled tool is used to roll logs. 2004 price range: $40-$70.
   
Skid Cone
Skid cone
Skid cone in use
Photos courtesy of NovaJack
This cone is put on the leading end of a skid log to prevent the log from being hung up on stumps or roots and to prevent damage to surrounding trees and structures. 2004 price range: $100 - $150.
   
Snatch Block
Snatch block
Photo courtesy of Tom Brannon
A block is another name for a pulley.  A snatch block is a block in which the eye of the block opens so that a line (cable) can be laid in the sheave of the block.  Both ends of your cable will have loops or other attachments which will prevent you from threading the cable end into the block.  When selecting the block, match the size of the sheave groove to the diameter of the cable you will be using. 2004 price range: $10-$100.
   
Timber Carrier
Timber carrier
Photo courtesy of Bailey's
Much like a hand- or cable-hook, this tool is used for moving logs and has an extended handle. It is designed to allow two people to lift and move a log. 2004 price range: $75-$95.
   
Tractor-mounted Winch
Tractor mounted winch
Photo courtesty of Hud-Son Forest Equipment
These are powerful machine drive winches for heavy skidding and log moving. They can be operated from the relative safety of the tractor 'cab'. Many come with multi-purpose dozer plates as seen in the picture at left. 2004 price range: $2,300-$12,000.
   
Tractor-mounted Processor
Tractor processor
Photo courtesty of Hud-Son Forest Equipment
Used for onsite splitting and cutting of logs. Many cut 2-, 4- or 6-way, or more for more expensive models. 2004 price range: $11,000 -$50,000.


 
                         
 

Forestry Hand Tools: handtool@wsu.edu 509-663-6400 (voice & fax) | Accessibility | Copyright | Policies
Tom Brannon, Washington State University, Cooperative Extension, 8774 Colockum Rd., Malaga, WA, 98828 USA
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