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Author Topic: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill  (Read 1454 times)

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Offline wernerbrandes

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Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« on: May 14, 2022, 02:20:36 PM »
Bought an historic 1900 home a year ago about 50 miles west of Chicago. 2 acres total, maybe a quarter of which is wooded. Dozens of mature hardwoods around: black walnut, white oak and sugar maple, with tons of black locust (invasive) throughout. This past week we did some major work around the property, including felling some dead/dying mature trees that were too close to the house, a few that were threatening power lines, etc.

The back half of the property slopes down toward a river, maybe 200' of slope between the top and where the bottom levels out. It's a decent little bluff. There's a 40 foot section that is probably 30 or so, the rest of it more shallow. My challenge is, I now have a beautiful piece of white oak that I need to get UP the hill and onto a trailer to take to my local sawmill. Here's the log:



 

 

It is 13 feet long and about 44" at its widest. A really beautiful piece of wood. But now I've got to get it up a hill and have no idea what would make the most sense. Do I rent a winch in a bag and slowly pull it up the hill using smaller logs underneath as rollers? Do I rent a skid steer for a day with a fork attachment? Do I back a trailer down the hill with an F150 or something (would still need to move the log obviously). My neighbor has a John Deere 1 series loader but I don't think it can handle something like this.

I've been looking for someone with a portable mill, no dice. I'm new to this what would you do? The clock is ticking :)

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2022, 03:33:18 PM »
Well there are a few portable sawyers not all that far away.  The issue is most won't be able to handle the log.  

What are you going to do with it?  Sell it?  Saw it for your own use?  

Going to be a very heavy log.  If you have a friend with a decent truck and a good equipment trailer (the sort that can haul a skid steer), you could parbuckle the log onto the trailer with a winch.  Basically winching it over the side of the trailer.  

Perhaps the easiest without local farmer is a rollback tow truck with a winch and some rollers.  Dig under it, put a few boards for a base, put a little jack, jack it up.  Install a second jack the same way but a bit higher up, jack it up some more and get a couple of rollers under it.  Have enough room to get a chain around it, winch it up the back of a rollback truck.  Logs going to be heavy, if you see the icons/ads on the left here and scroll all the way down there is an icon of a little red toolbox, click on that ...it is our toolbox and you will find a weight estimator.  

Good luck, sounds like a nice homesite.

Liking Walnut

Offline Oddman

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 06:05:09 PM »
Find somebody with a chainsaw mill?

Offline Don P

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 06:16:20 PM »
This wasn't that big, only about 3' at the butt, but we needed the entire 60' stick up the hill in one piece on a relatively level roadbed to set up the chainsaw mill.  We strapped the loader to a tree to secure the winch, ran through a snatchblock about center of the tree, wrapped it and came back across the road and secured the cable to a strap around a large tree. Hit the winch and parbuckled it right up the hill.





If you have a trailer there alongside with ramps to get the log up over the wheels it'll climb right up and drop in the bed.
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 07:20:33 PM »
^^^^ What Don P said
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 07:23:36 PM »
https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=115999.0

And here is a video on parbuckling. Others are in my playlist. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline red

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 07:32:35 PM »
It's only 7900 lbs 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 07:48:19 PM »
I ask, "why is it cut 13' long" ??

A reason, or just happened? 

A good length for sawing and for lumber, IMO is 8'6". 

Easier to move the log, easier to stack the lumber for drying, and covers most uses for the lumber. 
south central Wisconsin
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 07:50:43 PM »
Or you can forgo moving the log at all if you can find a Peterson or Lucas mill operator locally. Assuming you want lumber. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline wernerbrandes

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2022, 08:09:46 AM »
Thanks to everyone who's replied so far. I'm (obviously?) newer to this forum and to working with lumber. We all have to start somewhere!

Or you can forgo moving the log at all if you can find a Peterson or Lucas mill operator locally. Assuming you want lumber.
This. This is what I was thinking. I searched the Wood-Mizer directory and came up empty. My local lumber mill doesn't do mobile services. Nothing doing around the Chicagoland area but I never heard of Peterson so I'll check those out. Was hoping maybe I'd find a friend on the forum with a portable mill ;)...

This wasn't that big, only about 3' at the butt, but we needed the entire 60' stick up the hill in one piece on a relatively level roadbed to set up the chainsaw mill.  We strapped the loader to a tree to secure the winch, ran through a snatchblock about center of the tree, wrapped it and came back across the road and secured the cable to a strap around a large tree. Hit the winch and parbuckled it right up the hill.

If you have a trailer there alongside with ramps to get the log up over the wheels it'll climb right up and drop in the bed.
Thanks Don P ... I'm wondering, if I don't have a loader with a winch, I can either rent or buy a winch and just lash it to a tree ... right?

I ask, "why is it cut 13' long" ??

A reason, or just happened?

A good length for sawing and for lumber, IMO is 8'6".

Easier to move the log, easier to stack the lumber for drying, and covers most uses for the lumber.
Good question. I can definitely cut it shorter, the tree service that did our work will be back and I can have them cut it down to 8'6". The story with this particular white oak is that the entire upper part of the tree including canopy was missing it was just a lone trunk sticking up about 20' and starting to decay at the top where (presumably) it had broken off. There are several white oaks on our property that are north of 200 years old.

^^^^ What Don P said



Offline WDH

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 08:38:42 AM »
Black locust is a native species, not invasive.
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Offline chet

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 08:57:05 AM »

If you have a trailer there alongside with ramps to get the log up over the wheels it'll climb right up and drop in the bed.
If the logs are very heavy, lay a couple 6x6's across the trailer bed so the log doesn't have so far to drop and to distribute the shock across the bed when it hits.  I say this as the proud owner of a rebuilt trailer deck.  :D
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline wernerbrandes

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 09:03:43 AM »
Black locust is a native species, not invasive.
Huh well I guess maybe its considered invasive in this particular area. I had our IDNR District Forester out on the property and he said as much. It is literally everywhere.

Offline Don P

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 09:28:14 AM »
Its a native invasive and a useful one.
 
What Chet said, makes it easier to unload as well, they will probably have forks.

All you need is to be able to pull a cable. I've slooowly loaded big stuff with nothing but chains and a pair of come-alongs.

Actually as I looked at that picture above again... that wasn't a true parbuckle. I simply wrapped cable and lagged the end to the log, then pulled on the cable "unrolling" the log. If there's a big bump the log can spin without moving so a true parbuckle pulling a loop of cable is more secure. 

Sit there and think the problem and especially think of where you will be so you don't get hurt if things go sideways, and in a single line parbuckle the log can go sideways. Cables and chains can break, that winch blew its seals a year or two later... never trust the equipment, it'll fail. Point being, you are entering the world of being a bug, don't get smushed. I got greedy early on and had a Dodge pickup to pull a large white pine log up the driveway to the mill. 3 u joints later we arrived 4' shorter  :D
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Offline dougtrr2

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2022, 09:41:42 AM »
If it is down a slope, you may not find a portable sawmill willing to go down that slope either.  Setup could be problematic.

Trimming it to a shorter length is probably the way to go.  What does the other end look like?  The end you show looks like it could have some rot starting.  I would trim off that end until I got good wood and then select the clearest portion for my shorter final piece.  

Probably wouldn't hurt to paint the ends once you get it to length.  If you drag it up the hill the sawyer would probable appreciate you removing the bark.  The less dirt you get embedded the happier the sawyer will be.  It might save you on blade changes if he ruins blades in the process.

I had a large walnut log to move up a pretty steep hill. I considered several options using my forestry winch and what I now know is parbuckling.  I didn't have a good feeling about it so I was able to strike a deal with  a neighbor with a skid steer and grapple.  It was just barely within in his capability.  It got pretty light on the rear wheels it a few places.  

Good luck, keep up posted.

Doug in SW IA

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 09:47:04 AM »
I did it once with a big white pine, it was down a hill. We just could not get it to the trail to get the 3pt winch on it. 
I put the chain down low and we rolled it up the hill. Slow, oh yea, but it worked. Good thing the way out was level and almost all down hill. 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 09:54:04 AM »
The log appears to be lying on a spot that's flatter than anywhere in sight on my place? ;D or my county, or even in my end of KY? :D 

Seriously, it does look pretty flat other than a slight incline down to the railroad track cut. 

A trailer rental will be lots cheaper than paying a tree service, that's for certain! 

Before you move or chop up the log, develop a plan for where and how you'll use it and dry it. 
Is the river large enough to float it, or shallow enough to allow moving it with a farm tractor in the river channel to a loading point? I suspect there's some seriously large tractors near the property. When I lived in KS nobody owned a log skidder in the area but plenty of dozers and large tractors. 
Having remaining large trees near the log makes for useful pull points.
Chains that break-I got several of those. Even a heavy duty hand winch like a Red Devil will break a cable. I borrowed my FIL and his oil field Red Devil winch to move a BIG rock from our (water source) spring and the broken cable slammed into his butt! With the cheapo winches the tool itself breaks. Cast alu teeth break easily, I'll never buy or use another one of those! 

 
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2022, 12:43:00 PM »
Go to the nearest RR crossing ,drive down the tracks,parbuckle the log onto a trailer,go down to the next crossing and go home.
Sorry,that RR track looks to promising.
Mick
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2022, 02:14:05 PM »
47
My thoughts too.. 
or maybe rigging up a small trolley to fit the tracks, and do a midnight rendezvous; loading and escaping down the tracks. 
south central Wisconsin
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Help! I have to move a massive log up a hill
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2022, 02:50:21 PM »
beenthere,

Good thing we are not neighbors ! :D
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.


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