Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Working with Draft Animals › Project for tomorrow!!-Moving Very Large Red Oak Logs With Horses
- February 12, 2010 at 9:56 pm #41387
So, I was thinking of just cutting this off and hitching them up and see what they can do..
It measures 10′ in circumference… 38″ Dia. or so… butt log is 10′, then 2 8’s, but I’m not sure how sound it is as the roots were rotten enough to let her topple over. I’ve got to say it fell in just about as good a spot as you could hope for. Can’t take it downhill as there is a swamp at the bottom of the slope. We’ll probably have to parbuckle the bottom logs to the top of the slope with ropes and pullies, then load them on sleds to get them out. I’ll keep you posted.
CarlFebruary 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm #57621Traveling WoodsmanParticipant
Looks fun! Is this on your property? And what are you gonna do with it?February 12, 2010 at 10:36 pm #57622
carl, ouch. the miracle is i got the pictures on my dial-up computer, but i see what you mean. did you scale them? the old rule of thumb was 600′ to the cord, and the mill bought green hardwood for 5100 lb. per cord. if your butt log is 300′ and it ouight to be that, that’d be half a cord or 3/4 ton? is that log bigger than that? sure looks big. good luck, mitchFebruary 13, 2010 at 1:37 am #57596
By the looks of the leaves still being on it, that tree appears like it may have died before leaf drop, is that the case? No doubt there could be some rot in it, so finding out how much rot before grading the logs out would be good. That starts at the butt, which makes bucking it harder. We usually will mark the logs out then cut from the top down to release the forces as we buck out the logs which of course were measured from the butt up. When the soundness is suspect one may be better to buck from the bottom up so as to not be disappointed when more than a third of the overall diameter is rotten. Just thinking out loud about it as I would if standing there myself.
You can get her Carl, put those good horses on it, start with the smaller logs first to build their confidence at being able to come away with a load from that spot and about the third log or so take that 10′ butt on to the landing….
I’m certainly are not trying to tell an old hand like you how to do it, just running through the drill for the newer folks that might be following this post, I have total confidence that you will get it out one way or another.
What species is the tree? NRO? whatever it is, it is worst first….being horizontal is a major indicator of decline, humor attempt, serious humor…
Let us know how it works out.
~February 13, 2010 at 3:12 am #57602
The tree is Northern Red Oak. It went down during last summer. There is plenty of rot in several of the limbs, so I have serious questions about the quality of the logs. There are several large limbs that basically set up the bucking pattern that I mentioned above.
I plan to clean up the top first, working back down the trunk, mixing in the big logs. The butt log, being 10′ long, and probably at least 30″ will scale around 300-325bf, which at 11000#/MBF for NRO, should put it near 3500#, which should not be too hard to manage.
The only problem is where the log rests on the slope. I am not inclined to leave it up to pure power alone, as if it doesn’t come easy, or rolls back down slope, then it will be more difficult.
I expect my horses to be able to move it, but I take extra time to make sure I am making the situation as easy on them as possible, employing some mechanical advantage, or equipment, to ensure success.
The tree is not on my land. We are cleaning it up for a friend who runs a small farm on land she rents. The LO don’t want machines to clean it up. Jason I wish we had some of your snow. Their fancy driveway could definitely use a few inches. They will use the wood for heat, and if there is any usable lumber they will likely use it for some special projects in the old farm house.
CarlFebruary 13, 2010 at 4:29 am #57597
I’d love for y’all to have all this snow Carl. I thought that was where it was supposed to be ^ up north. Fortunately a woodsmen with a skid steer came and busted out 7 foot drifts today, not real sustainable but had to be done, don’t know how we would have done it that quick any other way. Another storm predicted for Monday…..
An arch really helps with a big log going up hill. I’d whittle on it to make it as smooth as possible too. We’ve put little rollers under them to get’em started before, once they’re going the horses will have more confidence about moving them.
If it is 30″ small end diameter that’s a big hardwood log for sure. That footage is on a Doyle scale?
It looks like it may just simply be over mature or died of old age? What da u think killed it?
~February 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm #57623
carl, you ain’t doin’ this alone, are ya? it got me to thinking. we have been slowly eliminating help by machine in all corners of work. fishing boats, farms, logging. one by one we keep replacing help with machines. now that we are thinking about doing things oldway we have to remember a logging crew 80 years ago had 9 men to a team. choppers, swampers, rollers on and off. your job was to drive, feed and clean your animals. teamsters never touched wood. i’m still trying to do it alone. you too? get some help if you need it. thats a big stick of wood. good luck with her. mitchFebruary 14, 2010 at 12:28 am #57613TBigLugParticipant
Well, how’d it go. I think your stout pair should do it just fine. But, I’m not a logger by any means so take that piece with a grain of salt. Keep us posted!February 14, 2010 at 1:21 am #57603
We used 1″ nylon rope to a block in a tree upslope. Rolled the logs up onto the “level”. Then we rolled them onto the bobsled and took them out that way.
The top-wood all went out behind the log cart, as well as the smallest of the logs. The lay of the land is still uphill from where we loaded the sled, through a swale, between rocks and trees, then on a moderate grade down to where we landed them. That log dragged so hard, cut in, and snubbed up so many times, even with a cradle hitch, that the time we took to load these big boys onto the sled was well worth it.
Once loaded, the team could handle them with confidence, putting them right where I wanted them. They did have to scramble a few times with the butt, pulling on knees etc., but we were logging right?
The 10′ butt measured 41″ across the big end long ways, and 38″ the short way, and 31″ across the small end long ways, and 28″ the short way. It was definitley a stout piece of wood. I figure 325 bf international 1/4″ rule. All logs were sound, by the way, and even with some large limbs, they will make good lumber.
I did have some help. A good man who came to “apprentice” with me this fall. Lots of experience with a saw, and woods work, Kevin keeps his cool, and can think on his feet. We broke the sled the first time(!!!) that we loaded the butt. We positioned it so that we could park the sed down hill from it, to make it easier for the horses to roll it on. Well it rolled pretty easily….right off the other side…even with a stake in the pocket. The log was so heavy that it snapped the end off of the bunk where I attached the rolling chain. Usually a log will stop once it gets on the sled becuase the chain snubs it, as that end it hooked into the stake pocket, but this log just hesitated and snapped a 4×8 pieace of hard maple. Anyway…. arrogant trees…. we just rolled it back on the other way… this time uphill so that it would get gravity on its side.
I got up at 4:30am with a splitting headache and nasea. Had the horses loaded by 7:30, arrived forty miles away by 9:00, and came out of the wood at 6:00pm (It stays light almost that late!), and had the horses back in the paddock by 7:30.
I’m going to bed.
Thanks for the encouragement.
CarlFebruary 14, 2010 at 1:50 am #57620minkParticipant
thats one big log, makes my back ache just looking at it….minkFebruary 14, 2010 at 3:09 am #57624
carl, you rule! good job.February 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm #57627RobernsonParticipant
Wow Carl that is some stick that you found yourself! No seriously, that is impressive…:D
~~RFebruary 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm #57598
Beautiful log and work Carl. I knew you would get it out.
Are you going to quarter saw that stick? It is surely big enough to make some nice stuff, that will reveal some lovely lateral rays, dry with less degrading and sell for more money. You know all that I’m sure. It is so big enough you might have to rip it to get it through a woodmizer, but it might be worth it.
Hope you are feeling better this morning. In the south at this point, any little bugs are being blamed on the snow…the wind and the next storm that brings more snow again….right now we are blaming every aliment on the snow, it really has this part of the country snowed under.
~February 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm #57604mink;15630 wrote:thats one big log, makes my back ache just looking at it….mink
No actually there was very little back work involved. Mink I appreciate your comment though, because that is exactly why I posted this thread.
There is no doubt that it is important to train our working animals to exert significant power when it is needed, but one of my strongest beliefs is that effective use of animal power involves finding ways to give the animals advantage over the power requirements.
Knowing what needs to happen, and bringing to that, experience with what can work, and what can go wrong… being able to “SEE” the physical requirements and having a bag of tricks and equipment that can be used to overcome the obstacles is a very creative and expressive process. It is what stimulates me to do this work.
This is what separates us from machine operators. Of course there are artists at the controls of some machines, and I know a couple, but in most cases it is like Mitch mentioned, we have just employed a power unit to overcome with brute engine power what used to take ingenuity.
We never touched this log with a peavey until we rolled it off at the landing. By using ropes and chains wrapped around the log we were able to roll the log with relatively little effort from the horses. And once on the sled, the load moved over the rough terrain in such a way that when I unharnessed there was only sweat under the collars.
This is why I can seriously consider doing this work day after day, and I know that my horses will be right there with me. There were a lot of potential confidence breakers for me and the horses through out this entire project, but by overcoming them with skillful communication, experience with equipment, and creative thought, we all came back to the trailer still ready to go another day!
I just want to add that I never hesitated to take on this job. It was one of the toughest projects that I have worked on, but I knew there was a way that I could make it work. I appreciate you folks encouraging me, and making suggestions, and even though I knew that things could go seriously wrong, this was not a situation in which I felt uncertain.
I really appreciate being able to share this with you though, because before the days of DAP and cell phone cameras, this would have been a personal experience with a very small audience. I know you all can appreciate this.
There is a brimming sense of accomplishment when watching over your shoulder as a huge log rolls up a skid onto your sled, and in front of you through long ribbons are these powerful beasts moving at just the right speed, in just the right direction, with just the right amount of power… stopping at the instant you command. There is an out of body experience of watching, and feeling, a scene unfold, in which you are the intellectual engine making it happen, by what seems to be by pure thought alone.
CarlFebruary 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm #57612OldKatParticipant
Holy smoke! That is one massive log. I had looked at the pictures of the tree laying on its side, but absent anything to give it some scale it just looked like a nice sized tree.
I thought the challenge was because it was down hill. It was down hill AND a behemoth. Very impressive accomplishment indeed.
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