Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forum › Equipment Category › Equipment Fabrication › cradle hitch with a DAPNet hook
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- September 29, 2014 at 7:04 pm #84090
In the last couple weeks I have finally been getting a chance to use the hook DAPNet made this year. Last week working with 15 beginning teamsters the hook showed how well it accomplished it first goal. Easy to pick up and hook a chain to for a beginnning teamster. It did great. I used four hooks at one time. Now my friends that were helping to teach want to get one!
This week just for fun I tried a cradle hitch to use both the slots on the hook. For those not familiar with the cradle hitch, it uses two chains on one log to get a lower hitch point. After hooking one chain and sliding it down low on one side a second chin is added on the other side at the same low level. The cradle hitch is usually used with an arch that has slots for multiple chains and only when the log is extra big (bigger than the arch!)and a lower hitch point will aid in picking up the front end. Here I an ground skidding a log that is not super big, but it does demonstrate how the DAPNet hook can easily be used with a cradle hitch for more lift. It was easy and worked great. The log did have a good tendency to roll but that was not a problem on this slightly sloping trail were I had already protected the base of a few trees.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.October 2, 2014 at 10:03 am #84100
I have often thought about the advantage of rigging a cradle hitch while ground skidding and have never gotten around to figuring out a system. Although you don’t get quite the same advantage employing a cradle hitch behind a logging cart, I do think it would be advantageous with larger logs in order to avoid the “plowing” effect (like in the photo below).
I also will employ 2 chains on occasion and think the second slot useful in that situation as well. I will sometimes back the horses perpendicular to the junction of two logs from a recently bucked tree and pull both at the same time.
Keep up the good work and thanks for the update!
GeorgeOctober 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm #84103
George, Sounds to me like you need a DAPNet Hook!October 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm #84104
So…. while I have yet to employ the DAPNet hook, this discussion reminds me that no one tool will do everything we need.
For ground-skidding large logs, tongs or grabs are hard to beat…. lower the draft, and much faster than manipulating two chains.
Also one needn’t use two chains to hitch two logs laid end to end. The choker end on the end of one log, and a half hitch on the other log will roll together smoothly with forward pull…..
October 3, 2014 at 10:36 am #84106
- This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Carl Russell.
Picture from The Draft Horse Primer, by Maurice Telleen, showing hitching two logs with one chain. I have used this method easily and effectively for many years, and it has saved me needing to carry two chains when ground skidding.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.October 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm #84108
Thanks for posting those pictures. I have used several of those configurations, but rarely have enough chain for configuration “H”. I use 9′ chains which seems the ideal balance (for me) between big enough to get the job done without having to haul extra chain. What is your prefered length for a skid chain?
Most of my ground skidding happens from a bobsled, scoot, or arch where I always have an extra chain (or two). If I need an extra chain for a particular hitch, I will grab it from the implement and return it when done so as not to have to carry it around.
GeorgeOctober 4, 2014 at 5:12 am #84111
I use standard length chokers…. 8 feet -ish. Haven’t had too many instances where that wasn’t enogh chain that I couldn’t make the extra trip with just one stick.
Every situation is different, I just wanted to mention this method as it can be very helpful.
Again, in these cases in the woods, or anywhere really, but in the woods in particular, I will make felling, skid lay out, and bucking choices all based on how I intend to handle the logs. My standard is a single chain and a hook when ground skidding, and that is where I start, so that during that work I rarely find a situation where I might change that standard midstream.
If a choice arises that might lead to considering a different hitching method, then I am apt to change other components before I change how I choke and hook. The way my brain works, this consistency gives me a baseline that directs all other choices.
This all may have risen from not having a good and easy way to use more than one chain, when I started out, and I have just developed a habit ….. So it will be good to try this hook.
CarlOctober 4, 2014 at 10:15 am #84112
Hi Carl, Thanks for all the discussion. Like you, I like to keep all my ground skidding simple. Bigger logs definitely benifit from the use of arches and other methods to reduce drag and impact. I really tried this just to see how the DAPNet hook increased these types of possibilities. I would not normally have that second chain in hand either.
Having said that it went on quick and easy and functioned just like a cradle hitch would. I have had mixed results with tongs. I think my lack of experience with them, plus some factors based on tree species, and age (bark!), and perhaps tong quality have all made me not want to work on that specific tool.
I first learned of the cradle hitch while skidding a few logs with Jason Rutledge that were so big (3 feet plus) that even with the arch there is a big benefit using this simple hitch. With the arch there is almost always an extra chain, and at lest one might have a grab hook. Usually one end of a longer chain. For an arch I use the one I made for snow and it really isn’t very tall. I don’t think an arch really needs to be so tall if you just know how to use the cradle hitch on a few logs that are bigger than your average.
I posted here partly to talk about the hook, but also just to see if folks were familiar with this handy hitch. Combined with short heel chains it really does a good job of lifting logs.
Usually for ground skidding I take a single chain with a slip hook and a poker on the other end. But I could work with a single chain with a grab hook on one end and a slip hook on the other, and I could use a cradle hitch whenever I felt like it just by using that other end as my second chain.
The funnest thing I am doing right now is taking the two year old mule out in the woods and getting her to pull her first logs. Yesterday I was working with a beginnning teamster and the beginning mule. The hook played it’s part perfectly. great fun.
Two quick observations from another week with the hook. First, the handle and the ability to pick it up or hook a chain are all I wanted them to be. Second, I am really happy with the quality of these hooks, but if you bend that one let me know, as I will send you a 2.0. They might be even stronger on the handle. Talk to you soon, DonnNovember 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm #84276
Donn and others-
Had the hook out with Bob’s team last week, and sorry to say that the bolt snapped after only several hitches. As I mentioned, the weak point is the grade 5 bolt that connects the handle to the hook bracket. It needs to be stronger!! On the good side, the hook functions nicely – easy to hitch and handle with the lines in your hand. Hope we can make some improvements as it could be a nice tool…
-BradNovember 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm #84279
Hi Brad, That is a bummer. I wish they had used a stronger bolt from the beginning. I think I was led a stray on the first one made with the idea that they were going to be hardened. Unfortunately case hardening doesn’t really strengthen anything. Yes, I think we can make improvements. I think I would make two changes. Welding in a better bolt and using a single slot instead of two. The single slot would reach to the center of the hook and reduce the torque on the bolt head. Brad, did it break at or near the head? I will replace any hooks that break.
At this point Brad, I think you might want to wait for me to make a new prototype! Anyone else with a problem with a hook please let me know. DonnNovember 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm #84282
Instead of the two bolts and piece of flat bar bent into a U how about just drilling a hole in the dapnet hook and using a shackle? Strong, cheap and easily replaceable if need be.
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