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Homeowner winch - clear old logs

Discussion in 'Tools' started by murbot, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. murbot

    murbot OPE Member

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    Hi,
    I've got a few 50-70' tall trees I felled 3 years ago before injuring myself (unrelated). They had to fall down a hill into the woods away from the house (15-20° slope). I want to cut/drag/clean this mess up, but my come-along will take forever. Some are cut into 15-20" diam x 16" tall blocks so they aren't that heavy, but some others are likely up to 200-400lbs. Can cut if needed.

    What's an appropriate winch (or winch type) to drag these up my hill about 50-70'? If possible, something that can connect to a 120v outlet would be best. Otherwise, I'll also need to get a generator. I don't know if the 120v stuff I'm looking at that's around $200-300 is overkill, likely to break after 3 pulls, or perfect for my needs.

    Thanks for any help or suggestions. Maybe I'm missing some simple obvious solution.

    -Steve
     
  2. Dub11

    Dub11 Saw R skeery GoldMember

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    Harbor freight has some hoists for an overhead crane you could make work. Or I would go with a winch mounted on a receiver hitch plate. I have one and it makes traveling a lot easier as long as you can get your truck in there.
     
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  3. davidwyby

    davidwyby Desert beaver GoldMember

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    Do you have a truck/4x4? Rope and snatch blocks…
     
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  4. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme saw whoreder

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    If these are rounds why not just put them on a hand truck and bring them up the hill? Given how small they are winching each piece will take forever.
     
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  5. chiselbit

    chiselbit Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Wait until winter and utilize the bonfire method. Then find some trees on the uphill side of the house to use for your firewood needs
     
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  6. ElevatorGuy

    ElevatorGuy It’s up and down ;)

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    The duty cycle on a cheaper winch is very low, Keep that in mind.
     
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  7. CR888

    CR888 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Lewis make a chainsaw winch which is well regarded. Capstan makes a similar one that uses rope instead of metal cable.
     
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  8. JB-PlantHeirloom

    JB-PlantHeirloom Super OPE Member

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    I have been winching 4-8 foot long logs, dumped into a five foot tall pile, with my 5000# Harbor Freight winch so I could get at them out to cut them into rounds and to move them 40 feet closer, before cutting them, so I could split them with my 37 ton log splitter. I only had to use my pulley block once, though I did have to add some extra 1/4" cable to reach some of the logs. I was parked sideways on a hill doing it, see pictures.

    Three ways I choke these:

    #1 with a custom 1/4" cable choker I made
    #2 with a 6 foot tow strap
    #3 with a modified 3" web strap made from a 10000# ratchet strap

    I do NOT choke the cable or strap onto itself, I use a pin shackle. So, when I am finished winching, I just undo the shackle, remove it, and pull the choker from under the log. A pin shackle goes to the winch hook. I winch with my hood up to protect my windshield and I stand 6+ feet off to the side of the winch in case something breaks, standing behind the front tire is not a bad idea.

    Home made hook, on the bumper so I am not reaching under logs (cotton mouths, rattle snakes, black widows, BROWN RECLUSE, scorpions, etc.) to grab the chokers risking a bite or being squished by a log. It helps grab a light log to move it if need be without the five foot peavey.

    If I were you, I would buy a swivel pulley block, attach to a tree at the top of the hill, high enough so the cable clears the ground and the rounds or logs do not submarine into a rock or stump, and pull the logs up to the top of the hill. Note that there is a big difference between a pulley block for a 1/2" rope and a pulley block for 1/4"-3/8" "wire" rope.

    Ideally you would be 90 degrees to the log path (270 degrees if log is 12 you would be 3 or 9) so you can winch it up, but, be able to look down the hill to see how the log is doing. Winch to the top of the hill a few pieces, then winch them from the edge to where you need them.

    I usually use the winch constantly until I get tired and it has not over heated because it gets a break while I choke the logs. My SOP is put my small 4x4 into 4 LO, in reverse (manual transmission - if auto then chock wheels and set parking brake so you do not destroy parking pawl) , wheels locked to one side, winch until battery voltage is 12.48 or so, then I run the vehicle 10 or so minutes while I take a break to cool off (been 90-95+ degrees) to charge the battery, which helps the winch cool off with the air being sucked over it. I make sure it reads 13.5+ volts when shut off, then start winching again.

    HF 5000# winch

    deep cell battery
    Duracell SLI24MDC Group 24 12V Deep Cycle
    https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/battery/marine-and-boat/default/default/sli24mdc
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. murbot

    murbot OPE Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Been out of town and handling some family medical issues.

    We're the last house in a 4 home shared driveway. Even if I manage to squeeze my 350 past the side of my house, my back yard is sloped down toward where I need to pull from and the grass slips out easily just walking across. Back yard is always a little damp (part of why we want some trees removed).

    Would something like this be too weak? I mean, I know ya'll can't know the weight of my tree logs, but I'm looking at 2'-6' sections of 10"-20" diameter oak blocks.
    Or am I better off getting something much stronger, ie HF 5000 # winch?
    Thanks !!

    Warn® PullzAll™ 120V AC Electric Portable Pulling & Lifting Tool 885000
    upload_2022-10-27_13-19-22.png
    upload_2022-10-27_13-21-48.png



    Disclaimer: I'm responsible for my choices regardless of anyone telling me if something is strong enough to handle a job.
     
  10. davidwyby

    davidwyby Desert beaver GoldMember

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    What you need is a lot of duty cycle. You can use pulleys and rigging to increase the force but some electric winches have a very limited run time (duty cycle)
     
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  11. JB-PlantHeirloom

    JB-PlantHeirloom Super OPE Member

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    #1000 is usually for a rolling load, dragging a dead load or even worse a dead load up an incline requires much more power. If what you are pulling is 500#, then figure at least 4 times that. The other thing is how it is rated, most winches are rated for the first wrap, the amount it is able to pull on the 2nd-5th wrap goes down dramatically from that. Go check out the manuals for the HF winches for that info. The WARN is probably rated 1000# the 1st wrap and the last wrap probably ends up 400# or something,

    I have mounted a HF 2500# ATV on my trailer for loading heavy logs sideways on my trailer. I will let you know how it holds up. I will be using a 650 CCA marine battery for it along with a pulley block.

    You can always put the 12v winch and battery on a rolling cart (with trailer axles), tow it out there, chain to a tree to get the pulling done, then once done, use a log arch to move them by hand or cut them up right there. Do not skid the logs while attached to the winch, you will snap the shaft/drum. I made that mistake once with a boat winch I had in the bed of my truck.

    I just moved 4 logs from the back of someone's property, down a narrow driveway just barely big enough so my small 4x4 mirrors did not hit, to their front lawn so the sawyer could pick the logs up. If you have a good enough angle and a spotter, you could probably pull them up with 1/4" cable using your pickup truck. I just skidded the logs over a rough cement driveway using 1/4" cable and one of the white oak logs was 26" diameter and over 11 feet long. So, your short logs will be no problem pulling over dirt using 1/4" cable. Using a tree to redirect a cable usually does not hurt the tree as long as you do not girdle it or dig in for more then a few inches. Though you can use pulleys too.
     
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  12. Kerfed

    Kerfed Super OPE Member

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    We use a capstan “Portable Winch” which is awesome. Depends how often you’ll use it in the future to justify the cost.
     
  13. murbot

    murbot OPE Member

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    Thanks.

    I think I’d need 300’ of rope + a daisy chain/snatch block type of set up get around my house and pull out with my truck on the driveway to get traction.

    You gave the info I was looking for, but wasn’t really sure what it was till I read it. Dead log weight info plus the 1st - last wrap strength loss is crucial.

    Back to the books to figure if it’s worth doing slowly myself and buying some new small equipment vs renting vs hiring the regular crew to bring in the big stuff. They’ve told me before they don’t have much interest in dealing with this situation. So it would be $$.

    Appreciate everyone’s input, suggestions and especially the know how.
     
  14. JB-PlantHeirloom

    JB-PlantHeirloom Super OPE Member

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    You are welcome, I was looking for some new pulley blocks and I came across this website for towing that pretty much explains it all with formulas.

    Be safe out there Part 2: How to calculate resistance for towing and recovery

    https://certifiedtowtraining.wreckmaster.com/blog/how-to-calculate-resistance-for-towing-recovery

    So, yours would be:

    #1 500# round?
    x
    #2 TOTAL WEIGHT x 1.5 = "BODY MIRE" RESISTANCE (not a rolling load going uphill unless you angle the ground contact edge it can become a plow)
    +
    #3 TOTAL WEIGHT x 0.50 = RESISTANCE AT GRADIENT OF 30°

    = 1,125# of force needed to move the log.

    I think 300 feet of cheap 1/2" anchor rope from Sportsman Guide will do it pulling it with the truck. For a winch, a 2500# ATV winch with block if doing it fairly close to the edge.

    I bet if you bought a cheap lawn mower tractor with a manual transaxle (Peerless 205 series), locked the axle (maybe), put ATV deep lug tires on it ($110), put a rope on an anchor tree beyond the ridge, a 3-4" pulley on the the log, and attached the other end of the rope to the lawn tractor, you could probably pull them up if you kept it to 400# logs. I am building a pulling tractor and off road cart for myself for the same sort of purpose.
     
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