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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    253
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    IH2444 & 1949 Farmall Cub

    Default Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I don't know if this should be listed as things not to do in the safety form or have a new listing under stupid human tricks.

    My son and I were cutting large dead oak trees around the place(some over 100 years old) and had one that was not only dead but leaning toward a shed. I tied a 200' cable into the top of the tree and attached it to the tractor that my son was driving. He pulled out the slack and applied tension in the correct direction and then set the brake while I cut the tree. Got all my cuts made but the leaning tree still pinched my saw blade so I hollered at my son to try and pull the tree some more so I could free the chain saw. Unfortunately he kicks off the brake before engaging the clutch and suddenly finds himself being dragged backward by the tree. I see what is happening and abandon the saw. As I am running out from under the tree I see my son dump the clutch and nail the throttle all in one motion. With the engine screaming and dirt flying out from under the tires he gets the tree moving in the correct direction again and it falls safely in the right place.

    I decided this method was not a good idea and got the backhoe which did a much better job.


    Backhoe Pushing Down Large Oak Tree.


    TBAR





  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,167
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Tractor
    BX 2200

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    You did good.
    You demonstrated exactly why you never cut through the "hinge" when felling a tree. The hinge is the only thing that keeps everything under control (and the tree landing where you want it).

    When I used to do logging work, we'd sometimes be taking trees off of a hillside (They usually naturally all want to fall downhill). If you're skidding them out downhill, you want the tops to fall uphill.

    We'd locate the skidder near the bottom and snake out the 100' mainline and choker 10 trees while they were standing. Then you'd do the exact opposite with the saw cuts. You'd make the back cut first and then cut the notch (pointing uphill), leaving a stout hinge. (the tree would lean and pinch the back cut closed). You'd aim the notches so the first tree would fall into the second, second into the third etc (like dominoes). Once you had all the trees notched, you'd jump on the skidder and back the tall winch arch into the first tree and push it over, starting the domino process. Once they all fell, you'd winch them in and drive off with them.

    I've seen lots of people get into trouble when they cut the hinge.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,150
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    Sounds like an exciting day [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    Your method with backhoe is exactly how I've done a bunch of pine trees. Cut my notch, started the back cut, left a decent hinge, hopped onto backhoe (which was pre-positioned on tree, ready to "flex") and commenced to push tree over, using hoe to break the hinge. Break might be wrong word, but the hoe was used to initiate the felling of the tree [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. Something else about this method, it seemed to me that I had "some" sense of direction as I was pushing the tree, meaning, as the tree seemed to lean in direction "X", I could use the hoe to try to skew the fall of the tree a few degrees left or right of "X"....however might best benefit missing that sapling in the way that I preferred to not crush.

    so far, my casualites have been few

    Richard


  4. #4
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    7,676
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I am glad nobody got hurt using the method you described. Last spring I decided to take down two large (50 foot) box elder trees alongside my driveway. They had 7 large trunks and were within falling distance of both my house and garage, one estimate to fell them was over $1000 so I decided to do it myself. I hooked a chain about 15 feet up on each trunk, connected 75 feet of chain and used my 4X4 Yukon to tension the chain in the direction I wanted it to fall. Then I cut a wedge out of the trunk in the felling direction, elevated the FEL on my JD to full height and put pressure on the trunk on the opposite side of the wedge, pulled a little harder on the chain with the Yukon and made a small cut opposite the wedge. Once the trunk began to move I shut off the saw and used the JD to shove the trunk over. I was fortunate that I had enough room to use this method, and enough time to do it safely.

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    22,820
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I think I'd rather be 200 feet away from that tree than 15 feet away and pushing on it with a backhoe and sitting under that shed with that little tiny roll bar and two people on the tractor... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    253
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    IH2444 & 1949 Farmall Cub

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I didn't want to be that close either. This was a last act of desperation. Read the text under the picture.


    TBAR



  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,580
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    Hopefully you won't get yourself into that predicament again. The frightening part was the description under the picture.

    Wedges in the backcut are your first defense to avoiding trouble. Secure lines and enough "power" to move the tree is the next line of defense. Getting a $20k backhoe in the path of a falling tree is for sure a last resort. Glad you survived with life and limb, and with the tree down.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    213
    Location
    Cazenovia, NY (25 miles SE of Syracuse)
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I could be classified as a safety nut, however, I would NEVER put my tractor within striking distance of a tree I was felling. There are many devices on the market that will solve the problem without endangering yourself or your tractor. I like the Norwood Timbertool which can be seen at this link: timbertool It allows you to pressure the tree in the direction desired while precluding saw binding in the backcut without putting yourself or your equipment in danger.
    Bill

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,144
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I have been doing some tractor assisted felling recently. It was using a 9000 lb or so tractor on trees about 16" in diameter.

    Drive up and place the bucket as high as possible on the tree. Cut the notch then backcut, go to tractor and lower bucket. Over it goes, no commotion.

    This weekend I was working without the tractor and had one tip back after I had the saw out. Ended up getting the comealong and a snatch block to tip the thing.

    Yesterday I bought some wedges, I think they should save some frustration.

    Ken

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,070
    Location
    Western Washington
    Tractor
    5300 JD 4X4

    Default Re: Pulling Trees Down With The Tractor

    I have to agree. A fellow that had worked his lifetime logging was clearing some trees in his backyard with a large excavator. One slipped off the boom coming across the cab crushing him.
    When I pull trees, I hang a block-pulley so that the direction of pull is changed, and it also gives me twice the advantage over a straight line pull.

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