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Author Topic: Log Arch or Skidding Winch  (Read 1385 times)

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Offline jeepcj779

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Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« on: March 09, 2020, 11:35:13 PM »
 I am looking at getting the necessary equipment for woodlot maintenance and limited harvesting (cutting down trees and moving them to the trail), and also for moving logs to my sawmill in a controlled fashion. I want to avoid tearing up the trails, driveways and yard too much in the process. I am looking at both log arches and 3-point skidding winches. I would like to have both, but since I am not made of money I might have to get one or the other. I have a 46 hp tractor that will be used to run a winch if that is what I decide to get.
The log arch seems better for moving logs around without tearing anything up, especially over the couple road miles form one of my woodlots to the mill. The arch also has the advantage moving logs too big for the tractor's FEL to the mill from where ever they are in the yard.
The winch will be better for recovering logs from deeper in the woodlot where the tractor can't go. I also have a sizable tract up in WV where I may want to harvest logs from time to time. The winch will also be better for recovering logs up the hillsides to the trails than a log arch. Once on the trail, I can drag the logs with the winch, but they will rut the trail, and the winch is unsuitable for dragging logs down the paved county road.
I don't have the fabrication skills to make a log arch, so that is not a money saving option for me. I also have not had any luck finding a used log arch (like a Logrite T-36) or used 3-point winch.
My question is, which piece of equipment is the best tool for the stated purposes, and which is best overall? I'm leaning towards the winch, but I think I will still need a log arch. Since both have their shortcomings, is there a way I can make up for that?

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2020, 11:56:14 PM »
I would go for the arch so you can trans port on the road.  you can get cable and just pull stuff out with the tractor.  I have had one casualty with  my skid steer and grapple as I made sure to not hit the camper on the right, and took out a light pole on my left.  you could get a harbor freight 12 volt winch and mount it on the log arch or back of the tractor.  I got the 12 k one rated "best value"  by 4 wheeler mag.  about 100 feet of cable.  be sure and use the 20% coupon.  or if you get the winch you could find an old axle and wheels.  have a bracket made to secure under the log so it will pull like a trailer.  
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2020, 04:35:45 AM »
Go for the 3pt logging winch and stay out of your woods when its wet. You wont plow all that much if its dry or froze if you keep the butt end lifted and aren't making hundreds of trips down the same trail. Long trees cut into log length where you are pulling 3 logs vs one tree length can smooth a road and prevent turning damage. Chainsaw was probably the biggest labor saver ever invented for logging. Winch would be a close second unless you are a horse logger.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2020, 05:42:43 AM »
I have a 3 pt winch and I have been doing firewood here, for just me, for about 20 years here. I have been using some of the same trails for that long too. Not much damage at all and I am very, very fussy with how my land looks. To the untrained eye, all that really can be seen is a place about 6 feet wide that nothing grows on, my skidding trails. I would not be concerned about ruts. By the way I hate ruts. I do have some soft spots, rocks gets hauled on the way in to fill those spots up and wood get hauled out.
I can see how in your case an arch would be better. Need a way to gets the logs from your wood lot to the sawmill a few miles away. But that is a slow way to move logs, one at a time too.
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Offline g_man

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2020, 09:31:15 AM »
I agree with StaveBuyer and thecfarm. I would go with the winch. That still leaves you with the transporting logs on paved roads but to me using an arch for that if it is any distance at all is pretty time consuming and inefficient. Maybe a trailer ??

gg

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2020, 09:51:47 AM »
I started by logging hobby with a homemade arch (will be selling BTW) because my only hauler was a small dozer - no 3pt hitch. I purchased a Kubota 7060 last year and got a 3pt skidding winch this winter. Works much better, especially maneuvering in the woods.

 
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Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2020, 11:27:37 AM »
Myself I'd start with a winch. On frozen/snow covered ground it's faster and easier on everything. When warmer/soft ground I'll use a modified running gear. Cheap to find and adaptable. Weight rating, tires, and length are variable. Good on trails or local roads. Swivel front axle and no tongue weight. They can take a bit of practice backing up on trails. Or unhook and place it for loadig with your FEL.
If you know a local welder the frame can be customized to suit. Mine is pretty basic with 4 removable corner posts. Easy to load with FEL or grapple. The upper frame I made for a larger trailer but downsized to this for in the bush.

 
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Offline Rick Alger

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2020, 02:10:29 PM »
I'm retired now, but when I was logging with horses I occasionally pulled logs on the road to a local saw mill. I lifted the front of the hitch with my forecart. The back of the hitch I lifted with a logrite arch. It was slow, but it worked well. Other times for other mills when I didn't have enough wood to call a truck, I would load a utility trailer with my tractor - using forks, and put dunnage crosswise on the trailer floor so the crane bucket wouldn't rip my floor planks. Good luck.

Offline charles mann

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2020, 05:21:07 PM »
I use the arch method, mounted on my gooseneck. Its loaded 6000 lb logs for me, with a HF 12k winch. Downside, its really only useable for easy access (urban logging), as where when i fell trees in the woods, i have to drag them first either with a winch and batteries on a hand truck, then chain off to a tree and start yarding till i get to a spot where i can get my arch to it, or drag out with my tractor. Sometimes, dragging my tractor 3+ hrs to drag logs, then limited on logs i can load to stay around my gvwr, or coming back at a latter time to retrieve with the arch. Id say a 3pt drag winch would be better to get a clearing, then load onto a trailer, would be better suited for your application. 

I did just buy a special logging/sawmill addition, just gotta fab a mount or tag dolly that i can pull my gn with the toy. As long as i can get to within 250 of the tree/log and maybe a cant hook, i can pull 20,000 lbs of wood to load them, then wont need the arch. 
I think the rear winch has 350 of cable, but i gotta have a small winch to pay out that cable bc im not paying out a few ft, drag it, walk back, rinse and repeat for 300+
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2020, 09:28:31 PM »
I would start with the winch, no question. An arch is quite an inefficient way to transport logs over the road. Get a cheap trailer and you'll reduce the number of trips significantly.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline jeepcj779

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2020, 09:51:24 PM »
I looked at some winches that have either a 2 inch hitch mount or a tab style hay trailer mount. I suppose I could use FEL forks to load logs (but only up to about 2000 lbs), winch on the 3-point, and pull a modified hay trailer to haul the logs. I think that would enable most things I would need either a winch or a log arch for. Still want the log arch though.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2020, 10:15:39 PM »
I looked at some winches that have either a 2 inch hitch mount or a tab style hay trailer mount. I suppose I could use FEL forks to load logs (but only up to about 2000 lbs), winch on the 3-point, and pull a modified hay trailer to haul the logs. I think that would enable most things I would need either a winch or a log arch for. Still want the log arch though.
I'm not arguing that a log arch isn't useful, just that if I had to pick one, I'd go for the winch without hesitation. Sure, you can build a path to every tree you want to drag out, or use a chain on your tractor to get a bit of reach, but a good logging winch is a real game changer in the woods. I battery operated winch is a poor substitute for dragging logs out to the trail (but does have uses in loading logs, or moving them short distances - just make sure your tractor battery and electrical system are up to the task).
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline jeepcj779

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2020, 11:37:06 PM »
John Mc,
My "wants" will not trump practicality. I'm about 80% for the winch at this point. Lifting and moving logs weighing over about 2500 lbs in the yard is my main obstacle right now.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2020, 11:53:12 PM »
if your FEL cannot lift them outright, you can winch them onto a trailer or use the FEL to roll them up and over the sides with ramps.  I loaded a 12k stump with my skid loader by rolling it up a dirt hill/ramp and into my dump truck.  Cottonwood  .you will find a way with what you have, look for good deals and do not rush, unless you have to.  you can get into a bind.  I upgraded from a wheeled skid steer, to a track loader to put in our pool, and be able to drive on 3 feet of sand and not get buried.  went from 6k to 9k pounds.  needed a bigger trailer, as the car trailer is 7k gross.  gooseneck needed a 1 ton dually diesel.  ect. ect.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline John Mc

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2020, 08:34:41 AM »
John Mc,
My "wants" will not trump practicality. I'm about 80% for the winch at this point. Lifting and moving logs weighing over about 2500 lbs in the yard is my main obstacle right now.
My "neighbor" (1/2 mile as the crow flies, about 5.5 miles by road) has a sawmill and a small, older tractor. The loader on the tractor is far too limited in capacity to simply lift the stuff he saws onto his mill he uses ramps, peaveys and sometimes his tractor to push the logs up onto his mill. He has debated adding an electric winch to the mill so he can parbuckle logs up on to it, he just hasn't gotten around to it yet (Give him time... he and his brother have only owned the mill for about 25 years.)
As Doc Henderson mentioned "you will find a way with what you have".
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline jeepcj779

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2020, 04:24:18 PM »
Anyone use a skidding winch in conjunction with a buck arch or fetching arch to move logs over the road? I'm thinking with the skidding winch and a smaller arch to carry the tail of the log I can solve my dragging issues. Just don't know how it would handle in the turns or how it will track when going straight.

Offline Rhodemont

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2020, 03:38:44 PM »
I have a Norse winch on my tractor which is way more useful than an arch by it self.  I initially used an old pick up truck axle and wheels to put under the back end of the log if had to go down the road.  It did wander a bit but if pulled up tight against the winch and chained tight to the axle not a problem.  I have since built an arch, using the truck axle/wheels, which I occasionally use. I have a steel rod I can bolt on top of the arch that extends to and clips on the winch...tracks like a hitched trailer.
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Offline jeepcj779

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2020, 05:43:30 PM »
Rhodemont,
 Thanks for the reply. If you have any pictures of your setup, I would like to see them. It is good to know a smaller (and less expensive) log arch can be used for larger logs.
 I am looking at the Norse 450 and the Uniforest 45M right now.The Norse is less expensive (and unavailable right now), but the Uniforest seems to have more on-board storage and also has an integrated tab hitch. The Norse does not have a hitch, but it has the flip-up blade, so there is a potential to use the hitch on the tractor. I still have some research and comparing to do for which winch is better.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2020, 06:29:55 PM »
The 2 selling points on the Norse I bought was the flip up blade, can be locked into position as all other winches are. I just thought the flip up blade would be handy when I straddle rocks.
Than the higher pulley. We was hauling out pine that was over 3 feet across. We needed the extra height to get the butts off the ground.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Log Arch or Skidding Winch
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2020, 07:18:05 AM »
Go for the 3pt logging winch and stay out of your woods when its wet. You wont plow all that much if its dry or froze if you keep the butt end lifted and aren't making hundreds of trips down the same trail. Long trees cut into log length where you are pulling 3 logs vs one tree length can smooth a road and prevent turning damage. Chainsaw was probably the biggest labor saver ever invented for logging. Winch would be a close second unless you are a horse logger.
Second all of this, winch and cable are huge savers.  I wish our forwarder had a winch mounted, thinking of putting one on there.
Liking Walnut


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