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Author Topic: What is the smallest logging rig you use?  (Read 2696 times)

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Offline driftlessinwi

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What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« on: February 13, 2021, 10:47:14 AM »
I know this may be counterintuitive to most, but I am curious what small rigs people use out there.  As someone who does forestry and logging on my own land, sometimes I like to use the smallest thing possible to get the job done, especially in hard to reach areas and places I don't want to do a lot of damage.

I will go first :)  My smallest rig (if you exclude an ATV and a log arch, with a portable capstain winch) is a Gehl RT105, with forks that have a custom fabricated grapple arm and a 12K lb electric winch, with a pull behind log arch that I also custom fabricated.  I had to use forks with my own custom grapple in order to keep the weight down since the RT105 only has about 1,500 to 2,000 lbs of usable lift (tipping is 3000 lbs).  I thought I could make a much beefier log arch at a fraction of the price using steel I already had.  It is made of 2" steel square tube that has 1/4" thick walls.  I used 1/4" steel plate to gusset the arch, and I put on forklift tires that have a double rim (the tires and hubs are usually the weak points on the commercial arches one can buy).  The hitch on the arch is a rotating one so it won't flip me over or bend the tubing if I get in trouble.  The grapple arm and winch are removable so I am able to go back to using the forks alone whenever I need to. 

I am able to skid one full hardwood tree in about the 20-25" range.  I put the butt log in the arch and carry the top logs on the forks.  It works pretty well...the arch can carry up to about a 38" tree, but I haven't pushed it past a 10' long 30" red oak before. The best part of this rig is that the width is 48", so I can go anywhere my four wheelers can go to get to the trees (I usually harvest wind blown trees).

Please share what you have/use! 

One of these days I will get a video up on my YT channel using this setup once our polar vortex goes back up north...in the meantime here are some pictures.

 

 

 

Online Tacotodd

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2021, 11:26:17 AM »
Im just using my doorless Tacoma ATM. That and my vehicle mounted 8274 Warn, and up to 3 snatch blocks and chain and straps. Nothing special. BTW, what brand orange winch is that?
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Don P

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2021, 11:39:24 AM »
I've used my little Gehl 3825 with forks when grabbing trees right beside the driveway. I like that grapple, that is a unique design. So far I've just carried short 10' or under logs on the forks down to the mill with it and loaded onto a trailer anything longer. Without a grapple I've had to go chase down a few  :D. I think I'd wipe out that winch in that location in short order though, was there insufficient room to stick it somewhere behind the rack?
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Offline driftlessinwi

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2021, 11:52:55 AM »
The winch is a cheap knockoff, Zesuper. I don't use it much so I was ok with something cheap. I have a portable capstan winch and another hydraulic winch on the bigger skid steer for big stuff. 

The winch is removable and plugs into a receiver on the arch when not in use, so it is out of the way. I made the grapple that way to be able to open wide to grab brush piles, it does a good job holding logs too, but it isn't super strong.  Have to be more gentle using the small rig :)

The best part of this setup is I can tow it behind my half ton pickup (the main reason for the tiny skidsteer).


Offline driftlessinwi

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2021, 12:01:15 PM »
@Tacotodd how do you skid logs with that setup? Do you have an arch?

@Don_P yeah,  no room behind,  it is super tight as it is getting in and out of it :) I found it tricky to load logs with the forks without the grapple,  I always seemed to let them roll off too fast and crash into the mill,  a big part of reason for building that grapple

Offline JuanChair

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2021, 03:09:34 PM »
Interesting topic and right up my alley.   We have a very large acreage thats very rough hilly terrain (Sierra) and difficult to access in many places.  I have to drive 40 minuets to get to the gate then once inside the earth roads only take us so far.   I need to find a way to haul equipment up there, get further access into the tress, cut the tress and transport them back down the hill to the vehicle and trailer.  Our trees are rather small so they are not large growth trees.  Id say the larger trees are probably 1 1/2  to 2 feet in diameter and mostly Pine trees. 

What kind of equipment is needed for such work

Offline driftlessinwi

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2021, 04:44:25 PM »
A log arch is your best friend for tough to access areas.  You can pull them with just about anything, if you use an ATV get a big one (over 600 cc if possible) and don't get something with a CVT transmission, you will want all the engine braking you can get.  Also, the rotating hitch is a must lest you be flipped over when your arch decides to tip.  Pine trees are lightweight so you shouldn't have many issues.  

Another thing about a log arch is you can use it with a winch to pull logs down from high places, or pull them up from low places...pull the arch with the winch to an area where you can hook up to your tow vehicle and you are good to go.  I have a lot of hills and I typically just park skid steer at the bottom of a hillside, winch the arch up to the log I need using a portable winch, then use the portable winch or the one on my skidsteer to pull the log down the hill with the arch.

Hope that helps!

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2021, 05:07:36 PM »
I know this may be counterintuitive to most, but I am curious what small rigs people use out there.  As someone who does forestry and logging on my own land, sometimes I like to use the smallest thing possible to get the job done, especially in hard to reach areas and places I don't want to do a lot of damage.

I will go first :)  My smallest rig (if you exclude an ATV and a log arch, with a portable capstain winch) is a Gehl RT105, with forks that have a custom fabricated grapple arm and a 12K lb electric winch, with a pull behind log arch that I also custom fabricated.  I had to use forks with my own custom grapple in order to keep the weight down since the RT105 only has about 1,500 to 2,000 lbs of usable lift (tipping is 3000 lbs).  I thought I could make a much beefier log arch at a fraction of the price using steel I already had.  It is made of 2" steel square tube that has 1/4" thick walls.  I used 1/4" steel plate to gusset the arch, and I put on forklift tires that have a double rim (the tires and hubs are usually the weak points on the commercial arches one can buy).  The hitch on the arch is a rotating one so it won't flip me over or bend the tubing if I get in trouble.  The grapple arm and winch are removable so I am able to go back to using the forks alone whenever I need to.

I am able to skid one full hardwood tree in about the 20-25" range.  I put the butt log in the arch and carry the top logs on the forks.  It works pretty well...the arch can carry up to about a 38" tree, but I haven't pushed it past a 10' long 30" red oak before. The best part of this rig is that the width is 48", so I can go anywhere my four wheelers can go to get to the trees (I usually harvest wind blown trees).

Please share what you have/use!

One of these days I will get a video up on my YT channel using this setup once our polar vortex goes back up north...in the meantime here are some pictures.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Pretty awesome 👍. You said it best in this first part.   I like to use the smallest thing possible to get the job done, especially in hard to reach areas and places I don't want to do a lot of damage. 

Same here if I wanted to rip the woods up I could call my friend up and get his big excavator, track loader or dozer over here. Sure big stuff can get stuff done but there is something to be said for low impact. Now if it was in some vast areas serious logging in vast areas like some of the guys do then the low impact stuff would be a little ridiculous

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2021, 05:20:20 PM »
A log arch is your best friend for tough to access areas.  You can pull them with just about anything, if you use an ATV get a big one (over 600 cc if possible) and don't get something with a CVT transmission, you will want all the engine braking you can get.  Also, the rotating hitch is a must lest you be flipped over when your arch decides to tip.  Pine trees are lightweight so you shouldn't have many issues.  

Another thing about a log arch is you can use it with a winch to pull logs down from high places, or pull them up from low places...pull the arch with the winch to an area where you can hook up to your tow vehicle and you are good to go.  I have a lot of hills and I typically just park skid steer at the bottom of a hillside, winch the arch up to the log I need using a portable winch, then use the portable winch or the one on my skidsteer to pull the log down the hill with the arch.

Hope that helps!
Ill put my Polaris General 1000 with 99 hp up against any other side by side or atv. In low range its a animal. Then I could pass you going down the road 70 mph 😂. Its got engine breaking. Your right the transmission type are very good 👍

Offline driftlessinwi

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2021, 06:19:29 PM »
As long as you have engine braking :) my polaris Ace 570 doesn't and it is a pain going downhill.  My Hondas on the other hand have amazing transmissions :)  You may run circles around my Pioneer 800, but you may remember how the tortoise and the hare story ends :) jk , but seriously my Hondas are about as bullet proof as you can get from a reliability standpoint. 

Online Tacotodd

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2021, 07:08:09 PM »
@driftlessinwi I only skid some firewood from time to time. Its not so much the winch, but the truck. 30 at the butt and 20 long are doable on fair-dry ground. Its just a 99 Taco (Tacoma, hence the name) V-6 4X4 manual transmission 2sp t-case 35 tires. Its a decent tractor    :o   

Its also got a short bed and toolbox but still allows me to carry 3 saws and stuff. My full floating Dana 60 (narrowed) and Dana 44 are in the works for transplantation. 5.89 gears and Detroit for both. Full hydro steering at that time. The strange part, Ive had this truck since brand new and made EVERY payment on it  ;)  22yr long build up is how Im looking at it. Its taken a while just to accumulate the parts for doing something like this.

Its a very good and useful all around off pavement buggy. Ive never broken anything so far, but only because I dont want to try to stupidly find its limitations.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2021, 07:35:06 PM »
As long as you have engine braking :) my polaris Ace 570 doesn't and it is a pain going downhill.  My Hondas on the other hand have amazing transmissions :)  You may run circles around my Pioneer 800, but you may remember how the tortoise and the hare story ends :) jk , but seriously my Hondas are about as bullet proof as you can get from a reliability standpoint.
The Pioneer 1000-5 is a awesome machine and I do like that dual transmission. I was going to get that one but when it came down to dealing they wouldnt budge on price. There is a lot of features that are pretty nice on it

Offline mike_belben

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2021, 11:19:42 PM »
Well, i guess this is a pictorial of my lifes work in progress.  Im building a little redneck engineer at my industrial homeschool. 

 i started him at the beginning.  How much wood can ya move flat dragging with 7hp and 2wd?  Here ya go kiddo. Go find out. 






Then it was how much with a winch, 16hp and a front counterweight?










What is 4wd worth?












How about on a trailer with bratty counterweights?













How about a 2wd diesel?





What can the bobcat do?










Lets try a bigger 2wd diesel



















Lets try a trailer.  Go load it with the bobcat and dont get hurt boy. 















Bobcat with trailer?








Dozer?






Revelation 3:20

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2021, 11:24:21 PM »
I think you definitely win on the smallest rig for sure on the first pic Mike

Offline driftlessinwi

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2021, 11:28:18 PM »
Nice post @mike_belben ! Definitely have me beat for smallest rig! Looks like you guys have a great time,  fun way for your kids to grow up.  Thanks for sharing!

Offline mike_belben

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2021, 11:29:13 PM »
Well if i could only build them as fast as he's growin up, boy ill tell ya. I cant keep pace.  Many more machines to come i hope. 





Revelation 3:20

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2021, 07:04:32 AM »
Mike, I think you are on to something with that industrial home school.
What is the age limit ?
You might get a few takers from the Forum.
Good to see your son is keeping his Father busy.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2021, 08:38:32 AM »
What is the age limit ?

For as long as I live and he still shows up to class.  I hope the Lord gives us enough time together to build the 8x8, which is our masters project.  Weve got a dozen other machines before starting that one.  When he graduates, theyre his to earn a living with, but his sister owns the business.  Theyve got to work together or buy each other out after i depart. 


its been the biggest lotto ticket of my life.  I just wish i could find the pause button.





















Revelation 3:20

Offline thecfarm

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2021, 08:48:16 AM »
Nice pictures of your family!!!!
I use a 40hp tractor with a 3 pt winch. Years ago we had a 1954 NAA Ford and we would bring out wood on a trailer. Slow and lots of work, but only wheel tracks in the woods. Wife has a 30 hp tractor. A few times I have put that in the woods with a trailer behind it. Can't really tell I went through the woods with it.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline snowstorm

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Re: What is the smallest logging rig you use?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2021, 09:51:01 AM »
no power trailer yet? truck rear end drive line and trans then power shaft to the pto. there used to be a bunch of them here 40 yrs ago


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