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 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm #57628vthorseloggerParticipant
That is amazing. I can only hope that I can be half that good at some point.I love working my horses. It truly is a wonderful thing, and I can hear myself think the hole time and not much exhaust to smog you out. Your horses look great. Keep up the good work. And thanks for sharing.
TravisFebruary 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm #57616Tim HarriganParticipantCarl Russell;15654 wrote: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.
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.
Thanks, Carl, for sharing this challenge. And, thanks for taking the time to articulate the meaningful relationship that you share with your team. I, also, find the greatest satisfaction in finding new ways to bring my team to their greatest advantage, and not just by hooking on to big loads and grunting it out. You are perceptive in describing the need to “see the physical requirements” of a task and with that respecting your team enough to bring your experience and patience to bear to ask no more of their physical effort than needed to get the job done. Most folks will find that the trust that their team has in them will grow as they demonstrate their trustworthiness to their team in just the way you so nicely described.
We share that perception and it is exactly why I have made an effort to study and evaluate the forces required in moving loads and the nature of the forces transmitted to the team in the process. My interest has never been how much can a team pull, rather how can we transform their willingness to pull to the greatest advantage. You demonstrated that nicely with your ability to amplify the effort with simple machines like levers, inclined planes and the translation of skidding to less intensive rotational conveyance.
Thanks again for reminding us why there is magic in this work.February 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm #57614Ed ThayerParticipant
Very impressive work Carl,
It gives the rest of us inspiration in our own smaller endeavers.
The photos are great. Hard to comprehend the work through words sometimes.February 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm #57625mitchmaineParticipant
hey carl, wondering if you could share some of the economics about your days work with us? i’m not asking how much money you made, but rather how you made it? the reason i’m asking is i had an oak similar to yours though not as large. it scaled 230′ for a 16′ butt log (or first cut anyway) and 115′ for a 10′ 2nd log and a 115′ 12′ top log. not great wood and down a while. so i got it out and chose to cut it for firewood.(should have done it in the woodlot, would have made the job alot easier). i could have gotten about $350 per thousand or $160. for logs or $80. for 2/3 cord green hardwood. if i had tried to sell the logs, some trucker would swing in, pick up 3 logs, charge me full trucking, and give me $80. which i could use to buy firewood and probably get maple instead of oak. see where i’m going? what do you do with a half a truckload of wood? it works good on paper until you have to actually sell you wood. any thoughts?February 17, 2010 at 12:29 am #57605
Hey Mitch, I myself made money by charging $50/hour to clean up the logs. The owner was never interested in selling the logs, as she wanted to use the wood for firewood and lumber if it was sound.
As it turns out, I went down there today to pick up my sled and was talking to her about getting a wood mizer in there to saw it up for her. She is an artist, potter, woodworker, cheese maker, and homestead farmer. She is seriously thinking about splitting it into planks and making riven furniture.
The tree was 150 years old. Probably started growing the year they finished building the stone wall where it grew, so the lumber will have some historical significance on her farm. She paid us about $700 for about 800bf of good quality red oak logs and a couple of cords good wood.
On another note though, it is difficult to sell less than a full truck load for just the reasons you mention. We have a few concentration yards around here, so sometimes we will load a few logs onto a trailer and take them down there, or to a local small saw mill. Portable milling is most often a way that we use for the LO to get the lumber directly. I’ve talked with a lumber broker who would like to get some special horse-drawn lumber to fill a niche, but talk is cheap.
A few more pics showing my sled damage, the age counting experts, and some of the terrain we skidded over.
CarlFebruary 17, 2010 at 12:34 am #57606
A few more pics of terrain.February 17, 2010 at 12:46 am #57599Gabe AyersKeymaster
The photo of the very capable ring counters shows some stain that suggest there was a fence nailed to that tree about x number of years ago. Is that going to be an issue?
When we deal with big trees like this that we are going to saw, it is nice to have a band sawmill, because even if there is hardware inside, it is only a 20.00 blade as opposed to the damage being to a commercial sawmill blade.
The hardware bluing would stop this log from being bought by most sawmills.
I am sure you noticed this too.
~February 17, 2010 at 1:25 am #57607
Yes I cut the log off above the fence, otherwise it would have been a twelve.
CarlFebruary 17, 2010 at 2:55 am #57609Rick AlgerParticipant
I’m not Carl, but I run into the problem you asked about quite often. Usually it’s the leavings that the truck doesn’t get when it cleans up a yard- couple cords of pulp or four/five hundred feet of logs.
When i’m too far from a concentration yard, I haul it to the next job and start the new pile with that wood. (Haven’t had any issues over stumpage yet.)
If it has turned or stained badly I bring it home to a pile I’m building for the chipper guy to deal with later.February 17, 2010 at 3:22 am #57626mitchmaineParticipant
hey rick, don’t know where your from but i wonder if this “problem” covers more geography than i realize. thirty years ago (i try not to be one of the back in the days guys), a one ton truck was a legitimate truckload of four foot pulp, or a thousand feet of logs. the trucks get bigger each year, leaving hosses further behind each year. no one wants to handle eight foot wood anymore. it seems to be treelength and you deal with the tops. soon it will be chipwood only. i can see it coming. i have wood blowing down and rotting in my woodlot faster than i can cut it cause i can’t sell it. and wood is moving off this road six trucks a day in chip vans. really ****** me off.
carl, great ring countin’ crew. wonder what their future holds? hoping things change for the better. mitchFebruary 17, 2010 at 3:26 am #57611near horseParticipant
Carl – You da man!
Some guys out here got a wild hair and wanted to use some cull trees coming out of one of our local parks – about 100 yr old elm with dutch elm starting to take its toll. They got the contracted tree removal guy to set this thing on their 20 ft flatbed w/ his loader. Neither one thought about getting it off the trailer!!
They hooked onto the butt (over 30 inch dia and not even close to round) with a chain and Dodge 4×4 and tried to pull it off – nothing. Then, had the 4×4 that was attached to the trailer pull forward while the pickup yanked the chain going the other direction – no good. I suggested that they try and not pulll straight away on the log but get a bight and pull/roll it – a couple of those and she was on the ground – and the milled it right there rather than back at the shop. That was one heavy booger – at least for us soft wood guys out west!February 17, 2010 at 4:08 am #57610Rick AlgerParticipant
I agree it’s best to forget about back in the day, but I’ll admit to handloading four foot wood on those six wheel three cord trucks.
I’m from Milan, NH. It’s between Berlin and Errol. Used to be able to drive up to the Brown Company scale shack with a pickup load of wood and drive away with a check for $14.
You are right about chippers if this area is any indication. The big boys are knifing the woods at an incredible rate. But no contracts for the little guys.
By the way, you can chip blowdowns and punky stuff. I have a friend with a chipper operation who has chipped for me several times and is planning to do so again. He has chipped 8 foot stuff and treelength. There is a government program that is paying him extra for biomass fuel. Might be worth talking to the guy up the road especially if he’s going to pass right by when he moves out. My guy said he thinks he’ll be able to pay $13 a ton if I have it all in one tight pile. He needs around 35 tons for a load. Pathetic money, but a way to market junk and pulp without a contract.March 23, 2010 at 1:37 am #57615Tim HarriganParticipant
Carl: I was looking this over again and calculated that the butt log was close to 2 tons. Nice job wrestling that one out! Can you describe the block you use, 2 part line?March 23, 2010 at 1:51 am #57600
Yeah, we figured at least 3500#. It broke the bunk on my sled without hesitating, and kept on rolling.
But using the ropes and chains to roll it, and the sled to haul it out, it really took more time than effort.
CarlMarch 23, 2010 at 2:07 am #57601Tim Harrigan;16935 wrote:C Can you describe the block you use, 2 part line?
I have climbing gear that I use for take-down so I have a snatch block that I hooked onto a tree using a choker chain.
I doubled over my 1″ nylon mooring line (200′ long) and ran the lines down the hill from the block, over and around each end of the log (single wrap to prevent sliding sideways) and then back up to the same tree where the block is chained. By having the bitter ends of the rope on this side of the log I could adjust the slack at the tree where we used a “cow hitch” to attach the rope ends.
The block that we used that day is just a cast snatch block that will take a rope up to an inch. It is on a swivel. We used a 3/4″ bull rope to attach to the end of the doubled over 1″rope, and fed it through the block. We had another one in case we needed to double up the advantage, but that would eat up a huge amount of rope, and it was un-necessary as the log rolled reasonably easily.
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