How should I pull down trees?
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Thread: How should I pull down trees?

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    danwolfgang's Avatar
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    How should I pull down trees?

    This year we started burning wood in our wood stove from some of the downed trees on our property. I was working near the edge of the woods, cutting stuff to length and tossing it into the loader bucket to carry it out to stack and split. Now I need to get a little deeper into the wooded property to get at the down trees. The other day I didn't feel like pulling out the chainsaw and figured I could just drag some wood over to the firewood area to cut later. I have hooks on the loader and choke a log then hook it onto both hooks (so I'm not pulling on just one side) then drive backwards to drag it out. It worked well.

    ...but, that's not a good idea, is it? The loader isn't meant to be pulled that way, I imagine. Could it cause some bending or warping? I'm guessing, potentially, yes. The tractor really wasn't working too hard and I had no trouble pulling anything out, but there must be a more "correct" way to do this, right?

    I'm guessing the three point hitch is what I should be using, because it's meant for pulling. The lift the loader gives is a great mechanical advantage; can the limited cat 1 3PH lift high enough to help? I suppose it depends upon terrain and how tightly I place the choker. Something to try, I guess.
    1025R TLB with the 53" loader bucket and 12" backhoe bucket, 54" mower deck (no AutoConnect!), 54" snowblower, 647 tiller, and a ballast box. Fitted an RIO override, added several KBOGH products (a pair of hooks on the loader bucket, a clevis mount to the backhoe, and the diff lock pedal), a GoPro mount on top of the ROPS, R2 Manufacturing 2x 4" Edge Tamers and Edge Extenders. What next?

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    Cut the wood where it drops,,,
    Dragging will push dirt into the bark,,, kiss your chainsaw chain goodbye.

    You can try to lift the log,,, but, at some point, you will go over a grade.
    Going over a grade will make the log hit the ground.

    Anyways,,, who wants all that sawdust in the yard,, killing the grass??
    etcallhome, JKR and UnionSchnauzer like this.

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    The ideal way to do it would be with a logging arch. You'd cut the tree down, slide the arch over it, lift and tow it out.

    Short of that, you can either use a cable or winch to drag it out. It's easier to drag it if you're driving forward and it's easy enough to use the swinging drawbar or a trailer hitch on the back end of your tractor. (Either keeps the attaching point on the tractor low - below the axle height - so that you don't increase the risk of pulling your front wheels up off the ground and completely flipping it over on top of yourself.) It also helps to put a "skidding cone" on the nose of the log so the front edge isn't digging into the ground as you drag it.

    If your wooded area is fairly open, you could also put a grapple (like the one Artillian sells) on your loader, cut the logs to 6' - 8' lengths, pick them up and carry them out with your loader.
    Last edited by JimR; 03-11-2016 at 08:56 PM.
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    You could spend $300 on this,,,

    https://roanoke.craigslist.org/grd/5475472879.html

    or whip up one out of scraps for free,,,
    BigJim55 likes this.

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    mdgilbreath's Avatar
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    I have a tooth bar on mine and I use it to trim trees by racking down on the branches, I use my loader pretty hard. Digging out large rocks and moving them.
    Kind Regards
    mdgilbreath




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    JKR
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    I would cut the tree were it lays. The pick it up and carry it back on a flat bed landscaping trailer. Or get a larger tractor with a grapple. Then you can pick up large parts of the tree and carry it back for cutting and splitting.
    That what I did. Traded in my 1025R for a 3033R with a grapple.
    3033R, HST, 3SVC, 60" heavy bucket with replaceable blade, H165 loader, Trans and engine heater, 60" tow behind mower.
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    I think a lot of this will depend on how big your trees are. You questioned whether the 3 pt hitch could lift the logs high enough. The answer is yes but part of this equation is what attachment are you using. I have seen pics of guys using the middle hook on an Imatch with a log choked closely or simply use log tongs. The issue is with bigger weight you are not going to want to pull from that high up. The draw bar is the perfect place to pull from. I am way out of my league on pulling positions, but with weight I think you could be asking for trouble especially with hilly terrain. Having said that if you had smaller logs or shorter pieces, I believe you would be fine. If you getter heavier pieces you could put weight in your bucket for an added safety measure. I have seen pictures of folks using a 3 point boom or 3 point receiver draw bars with a chain hook welded up high. Again all options, but I defer to those who are more qualified to address the load height.

    In any event sounds like tons of fun and I am sure you will come up with something. I also look for ways to reduce the number of times I have to touch a piece of wood. Every time you have to touch the wood you are wasting time and energy imo. I have seen great examples of guys reducing the handling time of wood. Gives you more time to spend on other projects or with your family.

    If you do a search on GTT for hauling wood you will get a wealth of information. Lots of fantastic pics and tips for anything firewood related.

    Greg
    Last edited by Gebada22; 03-12-2016 at 06:52 AM.
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    rtgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gebada22 View Post
    I have seen pics of guys using the middle hook on an Imatch with a log choked closely. The issue is with bigger weight you are not going to want to pull from that high up. The draw bar is the perfect place to pull from.
    My opinion is the drawbar is the place to pull from.

    You can lift it with the 3pt / iMatch hook, but then connect a short choker from the log to the drawbar. This way the drawbar is doing the pulling.

    It takes a little time to hook up, but in the long term it is worth it, at least to me.

    Cut a couple bigger pieces that will fit in you bucket and you have some front ballast as well.


    There are lots of ways to do it. Just remember to take your time and enjoy the project. Getting in a hurry working with logs, chainsaws & tractors isn't a good thing.

    Sounds like a fun project.
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    I've seen tongs used on a tool bar attached to the 2 lower lift arms to slightly lift the end of the log so it wont dig into the dirt. Back up to the log, lower the tongs over it (you'll probably have to get off the tractor to insure proper positioning), pick up the end of the log and away you go.
    If you keep doing it the you have been with front end loader I really dont see a problem with that other than you're constantly having to back up. Keep it low enough to just clear the ground. If you get in trouble with the opposite end of the tractor wanting to leave the ground then simply lower the load and re-group. More ballast will help.

    Most of the videos I looked at show the tongs used to simply drag the log without picking it up but thats not what I'm talking about.
    Timber Tuff Swivel Grab Skidding Tongs, 25 in. - For Life Out Here
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    Manomet's Avatar
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    Yesterday I tempted fate and took the snowblower off and switched to my most used implement, Artillian 2300 Lb John Deere QA Pallet Fork Sets Buy a set of these and you can move multiple logs at once. I cut a tree into 80" to 100" lengths and limb it. Then using fewer trips transport everything to where it belongs. You can transport piles of brush that hide your tractor as well as all the things that have challenged you up till now.
    Last edited by Manomet; 03-12-2016 at 11:24 AM.
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