Saved by a steering wheel

   / Saved by a steering wheel #21  

Gord Baker

Silver Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2016
Messages
243
Location
Carlisle Ontario
Tractor
2355 JD, 4.75 New Holland
You are extremely fortunate to escape death or injury from that mishap.
Reflect on that often.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #22  

jgoodma1

Bronze Member
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
95
Location
Raleigh, NC
Tractor
Kubota L4060
I was pushing a downed tree with my grapple when it snapped back. The only thing that save me was it was stopped by the steering wheel

Lesson learned

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Glad you are OK. Could you please explain in a little more detail how this happened? The way I woiuld interpret your photos is that the tree had fallen. The trunk seems higher on the left side, where I presume the root ball is located. I'm thinking that you moved in to grab the trunk with your grapple with the intent of lifting it and then maybe cutting the trunk again to the left of the grapple to disconnect it from the remainder of the trunk and the root ball. Is that description, or something similar, correct? Please explain what occurred that the tree trunk jumped over the grapple (is that correct?) and ended up on the steering column. I have some pretty big down-fallen trees in a streambed behind my house that I want to cut up and haul out. I do not have a grapple but do have a heavy duty fork attachment that I'll be using. I want to be very sure I take all potential hazzards into account. I live in Raleigh, NC and back in 1996, Hurricane Fran blew through here and caused lot's of damage. An inexperienced homeowner nearby had a bunch of big fallen pines in his yard and he bought himself a chainsaw and was promptly killed when he cut off a fallen trunk and the tree stood back up and hit him. I have a good amount of experince with this type of job, but I want to make sure I'm not missing any safety issues I should be aware of. Thanks very much.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #24  

RalphVa

Super Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
Messages
7,745
Location
Charlottesville, VA, USA
Tractor
JD 2025R, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010 & JD 1025R
Fortunate. My wife wasn't so a week ago Sunday. She was taking down a dead tree and had cut a grape vine that went from it to a deer stand. She missed a small one in the canopy over to another tree. She cut it, and it immediately snapped back and broke her upper left leg. She lay there for a little over 2 hours before I went down supposedly for the two of us to take a hike. Had to go back to the house and to call 911. Then drove the tractor down to show them them the way.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #25  

4570Man

Super Star Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
16,502
Location
Crossville, TN
Tractor
Kubota M59, Kubota L3800, Grasshopper 428D, Topkick dump truck, 3500 dump truck, 10 ton trailer, more lighter trailers.
Trees are a lot more dangerous than most people realize. Ladders and chainsaws never go together and attempting to push trees with anything less than a 4 post canopy is really asking for trouble. Especially standing dead trees.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #26  

RidgeHiker

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
355
Location
Upper California
Tractor
Kioti DK5010 with KL5510 Loader & 72" Bucket.
Glad you are safe.
Seems like it generally would be safer to pull trees with the drawbar rather than pushing from the front. If you are creating tension it probably would snap back away from you plus you have the ROP between you and the tree. You also can be significantly further from the tree.
Of course one needs to be careful not to create a situation where a cable could not break or release and snap back at you. Also it requires attaching the cable to the tree which can have it's own risks in jumbled piles, etc.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #27  

Jchonline

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
2,644
Location
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Tractor
Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, X1100C, M62(S)
Thanks for sharing this Andy. Always good for us all to have a reminder. This stuff is dangerous and the forces at work snap bones like twigs.

Be safe out there everyone!
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #28  

RancherGuy

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
301
Location
Rosenberg, TX
Tractor
Kubota L3710; JD 5425, 6105R, 7130-P; IH 1086
Thanks for all the comments. Yes I was lucky. 50 plus years tractor experience and yes it was close

No more pushing big trees

I had no idea it was spring loaded

Andy
You said it right - bending wood is like bending a spring.

Once I was in my cab tractor on the outskirts of the woods with a batwing. One limb caught the loader arms. As the limb slipped over the arms, it slapped my side door/window, shattering it.

Another issue is that dead trees can fall apart.

I hired a D6 dozer to shape dirt for a few hours. When he was done, I asked him if he would down some dead but standing trees. I pointed out each, one by one. He approached one of them with his blade high, but the tree would not budge. When he backed up, the tree "whipped", sending down a big limb from the top. It landed on the solid steel sheet over his ROPS, creating a very loud bang, causing him to duck and wince. He signaled to me that he was done. I didn't blame him.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #29  

deere5105

Veteran Member
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
1,019
Location
South Mississippi
Tractor
2008 John Deere 5303 MFWD
Had the same thing happen to me mowing woods road except was using bucket. Was mowing along and came upon a small tree across road. Without even stopping, tilted bucket down and positioned it to contact tree and began pushing it around into the woods. Right when I was stopping I saw it coming over the bucket. It followed the loader arms across the hood. Threw my hands up to shield it and it hit the steering wheel and bent it over and pinned my legs. Was able to get out from under it. Was about $2500 repair if I remember correctly. Something I have done a thousand times. Got my attention for sure. Glad you weren’t hurt.
 
   / Saved by a steering wheel #30  

LS Tractor Owner

Super Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
6,255
Location
Edgewood, NM
Tractor
LS XG3025 TLB, Previously MT125 TLB, Craftsman GTS6500
Wow! Glad you are ok! Things happen fast.
 
 
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