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Thread: Building a komatik sled, need a towbar

  1. #1
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Default Building a komatik sled, need a towbar

    I just placed my order with Superslide for some UHMW Blue Iron. Will be crafting a komatik style of sled for hauling lumber and sheet goods to the property. Design will be very similar to that of SusitnaAK as shown at DooTalk.

    I find myself in need of a tow bar for the komatik. I don't have the time to hone my hobbyist welding skills, so am looking for one ready-made. Any suggestions for an off the shelf bar? Or should I just get in touch with one of the many talented builders and get a custom hitch?

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Didn't know that you could still find that thread cool, Some of those Guys just use bent rebar or 1/2 smooth roll for there tow bars, Cheap ,simple, works, for them. Couple 5-6 ft pc,s heat, couple bends on sled end, than bring together like long triangle than weld the tongue together with the end needed for your style hitch. You want this to the inside of rails. In the arctic, no hills, smooth trails, they just drag the thing around behind with a rope ,The Su and Yentna rivers we get lots of bumps and hills so I added the springs to get rid of sharp tug pull you have in the bumps.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Hey SustinaAk, thanks for stopping by. I take it that your komatik you built in that thread is holding up well?

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    Hey SustinaAk, thanks for stopping by. I take it that your komatik you built in that thread is holding up well?
    Oh yes, made many sleds over 40+ years this one is holding up the best to date, havn,'t changed or broken a thing on it. After hauling all materials for my shop,snowmachines , 6x6,s trees, it now has removable box on it and still makes every trip. If you need a hand let me know.Did you have kids? I also have a nice people sled windshield seat and such spring underneath smooth ride.I don't use anymore my kids all grown up, thinking selling it,This year with no snow the 4 skied freight sleds are good but very expensive 3000.00+ dollars. They do pull like a dream thru the bumps though.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Ya, my kids are in late teens and expect to be riding, not being towed.
    Just looking for something to get materials on site with a reasonable investment if time and money. Just got a call from Suoerslide and the $60 piece of UHMW will cost $85 to ship. Looks like a visit to local vendor is in order.


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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    Ya, my kids are in late teens and expect to be riding, not being towed.
    Just looking for something to get materials on site with a reasonable investment if time and money. Just got a call from Suoerslide and the $60 piece of UHMW will cost $85 to ship. Looks like a visit to local vendor is in order.


    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    Yes that is crazy shipping cost. Take it from a{ retired mailman} it can be done for much less! That stuff doesn't weigh that much and can be rolled into pretty small bundle. Some phone calls are in order. That stuff is expensive .Maybe could find some used from guys that changing out bottom of there air boats, long as it isn't cracked or brittle it doesn't like the sun, The very first one I built I used old down hill skis, bought at the second hand store, over lapped back to back for the runners, nothing fancy, counter sunk bunch sheet rock screws, on old used lumber,the hitch was attached with just some allthread side to side we called it the throw away model, LOL . I towed that thing around for 20 years finally rotted away, Spent most its life leaned up against a tree .It did look like Jed Clampett hillbilly built it LOL. but it tracked well and served its purpose.You can see a picture of it in that thread. Just a thought and some ideas,The more fancy it is the more it will cost.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I do in fact have some old downhill skis. Maybe I'll poorboy a sled with those. Can always redo with pretty shoes later

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ChugiakTinkerer;1529128]I do in fact have some old downhill skis. Maybe I'll poorboy a sled with those. Can always redo with pretty shoes later

    Yep

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    Here is one that I have been using for many years now:

    From light to heavy loads, smooth surface to very rough tundra, it pulls as sweet as can be. Rarely even know the sled is behind me.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I ended up finding a guy on Craigslist who welded up a tow bar using 1.5" square tube. My komatik-style sled is pictured here with the new tow bar.



    Materials and labor for the bar was $192. After a lame attempt to fabricate one myself, I am convinced it was well worth the price.

    The sled is crafted from cottonwood that was felled back in September. I milled it in October and stacked it until putting the sled together a couple weeks ago. My costs for the sled are (roughly): $120 for the UHMW, $25 for hardware, and $50 for structural screws, and $25 for two 2x10x10'.

    I switched over to a pintle hitch for this sled and am happy with that decision. I'm thinking of putting a pintle hitch on my wife's machine too.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Here's the biggest load yet. That's something in the ballpark of 2,000 lbs of plywood. Hauled it 10 miles to my property.


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    Anyone interested in details of the construction can check out this thread at DooTalk: http://www.dootalk.com/forums/topic/...for-a-komatik/

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Default this years' sled


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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Default sorry about the order of thses pictures paste from my face book page


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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Default upside down getting the runners on


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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    here's the link to the first thread, on Dootalk that C.T. referred to at beginning of this post. It is fun to see everybody ideas ,what they build to suit there needs. Good Job C.T. looks like it is working out good for you.
    http://www.dootalk.com/forums/topic/...ruction/page-4

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    I'm happier than a pig in slop. Although it is longer than I am used to, particularly with the long towbar. I was thinking about shortening the towbar, but after unleashing a hyper teenager with a chainsaw on the trail, I no longer have any concerns about making my turns.

    I might really put it to the test in the next week or two. I'll post here if conditions allow me to haul out my 25 hp tractor.

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    Here's my attempt at building one.












  19. #19
    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Longer is better! hyper teenager with chain saw thats a good thing.. i wish i could borrow him .. LOL. When i get to bad spots, or hill i can't make with those Big loads , i just stop and rope up to lead machine, using two to pull the load..

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    @Drifter
    Your build was one of my inspirations. Reminds me of a line I love to use... Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!

    @SusitnaAK
    I'm mindful of hills now. I'm hoping to put that teenager to work rerouting my trail to go around a hill rather than over it.

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