MY LOG LOADER! Here's a load of wood that I loaded with the new version of my log loader! This load is mostly just one huge tree. The base was about 24 inches across and the tree was about 175 years old! This is probably about three tons of wood. I cut the logs to 12 feet in length so they fit in my sawmill. I have to be really carefull cutting trees. Dead trees can contain the pine beetle and transporting these infested trees from one area to another can spread this plague that wipes out the forests. Also, dead standing trees are called 'Window Makers' because the dead branches can fall when cutting the tree and have been known to kill people, thus making widows. I never cut dead or dying trees because of these reasons. Also, I never randomly cut trees without a specific purpose. Nearly all of the trees that I cut are from firebreaks and usually the government pays the land owner to cut a clear path across their property to stop wildfires. So it's a win-win situation, I cut the trees for free, help the people get money from the government, and help to contain wildfires. I also cut trees in the city, saving the owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tree removal service fees, and this is where I get most of my exotic hardwoods!
I welded an I beam to the front of the loader and bolted it to the trailer to stabilize it. I noticed on the old version that when I drove down the road it really bounced around.
The thing that concerned me the most is that it didn't have any support from front to back besides being attached to the trailer. So I was afraid that if I stopped real quick or hit something that it would come crashing down on the truck. This big I beam fixed that problem and made it a lot sturdier. I noticed a few problems with the log loader on first use. First it likes to break out my tail lights LOL. I need to weld up some steel guards for them. Also, if I lay a log up at an angle from the fender to the ground my fender is real flimsy and bends down to my wheel. I'm going to have to cut off my fenders and weld on some real strong ones. Also if I load a big log on a downhill slope it's tough to get the log to swing around uphill to load on the trailer. I may have to weld up a bracket for a removable boat winch so I have something to swing the big logs over if I'm on a slope. I also noticed that you have to grab the log right in the middle or else on side is too heavy to move. I found that I can lift a log about three inches, test the balance, and if it's off I can lower it and move the hook. Also, it's a lot easier to push down on the high side of the log to load it instead of trying to lift the low end of the log!
Here's the 'Old' version of my log loader without the support beam in front. Nearly all of the materials came from my 'scrap pile' using steel that I pick up here and there, all for free. The original 'C' channel was too flimsy and it was bending under the load so I reinforced it big time with a bunch of real heavy 'C' channel and thick steel plates. I just finished putting on a coat of black spray paint. Building this really helped me improve my welding / fabrication skills! This is the biggest thing I've ever welded up, it stands nearly seven feet high!
This is the hook and sectioned pipe I made to secure the arm in the forward position for transport. It works real nice!
There's a slight forward angle to the arm because the steel bar I used was slightly smaller than the pivot pipe that it rides in, but this isn't a problem because I wanted plenty of room in there so it spun freely and didn't bind up.
It lifts logs real easy with the 1 ton hoist. I'm thinking I should get a smaller hook so I can stack some smaller logs higher up on the trailer. With the big hook you can't get much lift and probably couldn't stack more than two logs high. Although two layers of big logs would max out my trailer LOL. Although for the upper layers I could probably take off the hook and just wrap the chain around the log, which is more of a hassle but would work.
This beast lifts this 18 foot monster log with no problems at all and I can move it around with hardly any effort - NICE!
I think it would be neat to put a spring scale between the hoist and tongs to see how much logs weigh as I move them.
I read on the Internet that logging is the most dangerous occupation in the USA, so I'm thinking of taking up something less dangerous like window cleaning. I'm looking for a good rope man, interested? LOL
Page Posted on April 27, 2008
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