How are you guys "skidding" with your skidding winches

   #1  

namesray

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Might seem like a silly question, but I am serious about this. Here's my story and how I came to ask.

I have a fransgard v3507 3ph winch. Owned it for about 8 years. It has 7000lb + pull rating with a 5/16 cable. There are sliders on the cable, with a hook at the end. It also has a "tow bar" on top of the dozer blade for hitching the log to for skidding logs. So my winch is built like most 3pt winches out there, wallenstein, farmi, norse, etc.

The book says "to never skid logs directly on the cable... always hook them to the tow bar for skidding" this is to lower the center of gravity and "to prevent serious damage to the winch." Ok, I get it. Be safe, be smart. (I have done well over a thousand face cord of firewood in the 8 years I have had this winch.

ok, so what's the problem now you maybe asking.

I am getting tired of mud on the logs and rutting up the roads by skidding on the tow bar. Book says to "hook chains to tow bar so log ends are lifted off ground when 3pt is raised, but leave enough slack so they won't bind when turning."

Well I am here to tell you, I can not find tht happy medium. It is either hook the chains so tight, they will lift, but if I come to a turn they bind, bad! Or I give it some slack I can turn, but they won't lift. You get the picture.

I have tried adjusting top link of 3pt in or out to try different angles. Also tried just leaving the logs on the cable, which does keep logs up out of mud and saves the ruts in road, but my production goes down as I can't seem to skid as many or as much off the cable as I can on the tow bar.

is there something I am missing???!!!

I have lookes at many threads on here and pictures and its about half and half on who uses the tow bar and who leaves it on the cable.

I ask how do you guys "skid" your logs and how do you fair? How much mud on your logs?

I am also looking for how much you are skidding in one hitch. I am about 2 to 3 face cords per hitch on tow bar, but only one about if I leave logs on cable.

I am operating on very steep hills here in north Pennsylvania, with sharp switch backs (sharper then 90' turns at times) with water bars in logging roads. I also need to do this all seasons, so I guess I got the worst of all scenarios.

For you guys that do skid off the tow bar, whats your situation?
 
   #2  

Sawyer Rob

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What kind of brake does your winch have? Band type??

My winch has a ratchet type, and it's absolutely positive! There's NO problem skidding off the cable and I do much of the time, even when skidding big logs!

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SR
 
   #3  

andy1981

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I skid from the winch, to me it's to time consuming to re hook to the tow bar and they never seem to get off the ground enough like you say
 
   #4  

Citydude

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I use the tow bar and experience the same thing from time to time. I've never had things bind up to where I was overly concerned. I don't have real sharp corners to navigate however.
 
   #5  

Leejohn

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The book says "to never skid logs directly on the cable... always hook them to the tow bar for skidding" this is to lower the center of gravity

I think that is telling you, you don't have to unhook just hook a chain to tow bar and log so the chain is doing the pulling not the cable.
 
   #6  

Everhard

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I don't have a skidding winch but do have a lot of experience with the typical winches you see on Jeeps/trucks - all of those you should only winch with. (in other words your vehicle is stationary, don't drive pulling something on the end of the cable.) Presumably the shock loads you can put onto the winch mechanism is not something those winches are designed for.
Having said that I would expect a skidding winch would be designed differently such that dragging with it wouldn't be an issue. Unless it's a small light duty unit. Food for thought.

E.
 
   #7  

andy1981

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Like Sawyer Rob said if it has a positive locking mechanism for the drum it's not going to hurt the clutch. And if you got a big hitch and a bad spot or a big hill to get up you can free spool the cable drive through what ever obstacle you have and then winch the hitch back in to you and not get off the tractor. With that being said it is probably going to be harder on your winch line always pulling on it and not hooking to the tow bar.
 
   #8  

CobyRupert

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Most of my skidding has been clearing a pine stand, so I'd grab (4)- 24' or 32' logs and drag them with the cable (from the top pulley) to get them up in the air as much as possible so:
1) they stay out of dirt/mud,
2) They're easier to cut into 8' lengths at my pile the higher I can raise them when they're still connected to the winch.
3) Easier to get slack in cable/ choker chain to unhitch.
4) Like Andy said, I too don't want to spend the time taking extra steps to hitch them to the bar.

...but these were just 8"-12" diameter pine logs of (relatively) little weight, I might reconsider this if I had heavy hardwoods, but I can't see where pulling stresses the cable or top pulley any more than winching. (Hey, why else would they give you a ratchet type brake? ) Granted, pulling from cable does put more force on top link and makes tractor front end lighter and more likely to rear up.

Sometimes I'd bundle 4 logs in one chain and tow them from the bar and at same time go grab another 4 logs with the cable, but things get a little too busy at the pile trying to cut them to length and unhitch.

As far as turning tight corners, I don't know of any good solutions. Can only say if you hang your saw on the side hooks of the winch (like I do with a Wallenstein) make sure it's on the opposite side than your corners. I had a close call (learning lesson) when I hung my saw on the wrong side of the winch and a log butt or two rolls around the side of the winch when cornering and wants to crush / smash the saw. That was one of those "better lucky than good" situations. Whew!
 
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   #9  

CobyRupert

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p.s.
Would a sunken pole at inside bend of corners help?

At my tightest turn, there is a standing dead tree "bumper" that I find useful as it limits the angle that the logs skew in comparison to the winch. That is, as the tractor passes by and is turning and the middle of the log tries to "cut the corner", the logs runs against it and the angle is limited. The far end of log then has to be able to kick or roll out.

Though I think the logs are still "twisting" on each other, just in the opposite direction (caused by the pole/tree instead of the turn, if that makes sense). What having a pole does by limiting the max angle is reduce the chance of the log butt coming around the side of the winch (when pulling from the cable).

Only other thing is cut logs shorter.

I have a spot on property where logs have to run between my barn and the property line and take a 90 bend at corner of barn. Think I'm going to drill a 6' hole and sink a post a barn corner and cut logs 16' instead of 24' or 32'.

I could talk about winches all day, but will stop now....
 
   #10  

Sawyer Rob

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I'd have to look again, but I believe on my Wallenstein, they say there's no problem skidding on the cable...

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I wouldn't want a winch that doesn't allow this and I'm "guessing" it's because of the brake design.

SR
 
 
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