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Thread: Moving logs

  1. #1

    Default Moving logs

    I will be cutting the logs for my small 14x16 cabin on my property this november/december and need some input on the following ideas:

    1. Is cutting the logs (white spruce) to around 18-20 foot lengths (14x16 cabin) and then dragging them to the sight with a come-along realistic?

    2. I know green logs are HEAVY, but cut into 18-20 foot lengths, am I fooling myself if I think I can drag them myself over snow?

    3. If I can't move them, I thought I could cut the branches off the top side, but leave them on the bottom side to keep them off the ground while they dry. Then move them when they are dry and I can bring my brother out there to help. Any thoughts?

    Basically, I have the opportunity to begin working on a dream this winter. I have the property, the time off, and the energy. Here's my plan, someone tell me if I'm crazy and maybe offer some suggestions

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    That is going to essentially depend on the size of the logs. But even with small logs you aren't moving them very far by yourself. Suggest if you are going to try it, cut uphill from your site and construct a sledge of some sort you can roll them up onto. Dragging spruce tree bark through the snow is darn near impossible, so get it up off the ground. The best system I've used was two sets of heavy timber "skis" that you could roll the log onto. Used one set under each end, strapped it down, and them moved them via a snowmachine hitch on the front one.

    If you are going to use a come-along, buy one of the rope versions. That way you aren't limited to the length of the cable. They are much handier for moving logs around and don't freeze up as readily in the winter.

    A chainsaw winch would be better yet, and of course if you can beg, borrow, or steal a snowmachine that would be ideal. If you have to do it by hand, then do like the smart old timers did and use all the mechanical advantage you can. Bring lots of rope, come-alongs, and block and tackle and cut levers when you need to. I've moved some big logs and timbers without power, and the key is to save your back when you can and use your head.

    Rather than leaving the branches on, if you can't move them that far then try and stage several trees together, cut them to length and deck them off the ground using some shorter poles. That way when you go back you will minimize the number of trails you will be making from the decks to the cabin site when you do move them.

    Be careful out there. Working with trees in the winter by yourself is a very very good way to not come back.

    Yk

  3. #3
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    You obviously need something with which to yard logs. It's hard to say what you need with out writing a book since I don't know where your trees are or what the access is like or what your budget is.
    A 14x16 cabin still requires a substantial number of logs. It's preferable to get the skin off the trees before they dry. There are ways to yard trees . It always seems to boil down to money or effort. Usually any means you adopt to decrease one will increase the other.

  4. #4
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Snowmobile is the best way. Spend time building trails and making them solid and you can actually drag 30' logs with a Tundra.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  5. #5

    Default portable/hasty log sled

    I forgot to mention, I will be without a snowmobile...

    I think my best course of action will be to fell them, cut the best 16-20 foot section out, limb them, and stack them in small piles where I fell them.

    If I need to move any a short distance, I will use a small skid/sled and a come-along to move them.

    Any ideas on a portable skid that I can bring along or build out there?

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I have moved logs in the 12' long range, 10" in diameter, by people power using skids made of old downhill skis..one for the back, one for the front, towed by one person. A guy on snowshoes can move them pretty well that way.

    The sleds were simply two skis set about a foot apart with 3/4" plywood screwed to the top of them. Screw a couple screw eyes into them so you can tie the log to it. Simple, cheap and disposable.

    Trail preparation is the key. Lots and lots of passes on your snowshoes to build at least a 4' wide trail. In some cases, depending on the weather, it might take days for it to set up really hard. The rig above will want to track straight so you need to plan for that. It's hard to steer and basically you need to drag the front end around the corner and get going straight again.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  7. #7
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I've found that the old army Okio's, (not sure if thats how you spell it) are a great tool., and will take a beating. Much better than ski's. ( no offence AKDoug,) But they are light and serve two purpose's. You haul your stuff in, and then use them for work details, and haul your stuff out. One guy can slide one of these along pretty easy.

  8. #8

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    Doug,
    Sounds like a good idea, thanks. As I was writing that post, I was doing a mental inventory of the garage and the shed trying to remember if I still have a pair of skis out there. I'll have to go check.

    Thanks for the info

    Not sure what OKios are

  9. #9
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Found the right spelling,lol Akio

    Heres a guy that is in love with a "Jet Sled"

    www.nabble.com/Pulk---td11803516.html

  10. #10
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    The akio is a fiberglass sled used by the military back in the day. It is a fiberglass sled that is about 7' long and only about 4" high. They used to have a harness that they slipped into and drug them behind while walking on snowshoes, thus no need for the pack. I believe they made a couple differant sizes. These sleds are tough and you would be hard pressed to break one. They slide very easily and track well.

    The reason I brought these up was you were talking about winching these trees out, and you could easliy stick 3 logs on one of these and cut your work in thirds.

    Good luck.

  11. #11

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    Rock skipper, thanks for the idea, where can I find one? Ever see them at the surplus stores?

  12. #12

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    Try Northern Sled Works online.

  13. #13
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Those are pretty nice sleds, a little spendy but nice. Maybe you could have them make you one with a couple of half moons in each end for the logs to sit in.

    As far as the akio's go, keep an eye out on www.govliqudation.com

  14. #14

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    i like the ski idea,but your talking clear path,if you can afford a bit of machination(!hey did I make that up?),theres an item called a "Nova Jack".I believe Jackovich tractor is the ak dealer,also i think i remember them selling a knock-off.Ive wanted one for several years now for yarding out firewood logs,to spare the wear n tear on the 'ole 88 1/2 ton's running gear.
    come along is fantasticly slow,even the "Maasdam pull thru" which is what someone was refering to.

  15. #15
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    I would think you could make a better sled out of 2x4ís and plywood to hall your logs. Put uhmw on the bottom of the plywood to keep it from sticking and the wider the plywood the better the flotation. If you made the front skis turn, I think it would be to your advantage.

  16. #16

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    Thanks for all the help fellas. I will post some pics of how it goes this winter.

  17. #17
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    I knew a guy that hauld all his logs from his property to the cabin site.
    He was a old timer and had no snow machines or anything to haul with.
    what he did have was a hand cable winch like the ones you pull your boat up on your boat trailor with. It was bigger and had about a hundred foot of cable on it. It was smaller cable but it worked great he attached a pully about 10 foot up in a tree ran the cable thrue it and attached it to the log. the winch was also cabled to a tree. the logs were about 20 ft
    long freshly cut spruce. he could move them about 75 ft at a time with no problem. This was in the fall, no snow.
    If you used the same set up in the winter and put some kind of sled under the rear end of the log it would be alot less work than in the fall.
    He then used the same hand winch made a boom and set all of the logs in place after they were peeld dried and notched.

  18. #18
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Is there a reason you are not going to get a snowmachine? You can get a decent one for under $1000. Then when you are done hauling logs you can sell it and use the money to buy the materials for decking and roof material. I know it sounds obvious but you are going to spend more than a thousand on the roof, foundation, and misc. hardware. If you don't have that kind-of dough than you might question whether you will have enough money to finish the cabin.

    You might even be able to rent one for a few weekends. I'm not sure how much that would cost you though.

    Also I don't know if your planning to go out there yourself to drop these trees. You should really at least have someone out there with you to be able to call for help if anything happens.
    That's what she said...

  19. #19

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    Eventually I will get out there by snowmachine, but I can get in there with a cub on skis sooner than I can get in there by snowmachine (waiting for the rivers to freeze). And, I don't know if I will have the time in the feb/march time frame when the rivers are frozen, but I do have the time at the end of november.

    Weird timing I know, but the sooner I get the trees on the ground, the sooner they start drying. In the meantime, I can make plans to head out there and do the next step, whatever that may be.

    I've seen those hand winches. Any guess on what a 20' green white spruce log will weigh? I few pulleys will also come in handy I think.

  20. #20
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    Take a look at the skid cone about 3/4 of the way down the page.

    http://ext.nrs.wsu.edu/handtools/too...logs/index.htm

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