Winches for Loading Logs

Bandmill operators discuss winches and trailers for moving logs. December 15, 2005

Does anyone load their trailer with a winch? If you do use a winch what size is it and how do you set it up?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
I would suggest going out and buying an old wrecker that isn’t expensive. It won’t take that much to get running and presto you are all set up. Mine below was equipped with a Ramsey 8000# winch which is amply big enough. That is a 3'x8' sycamore in the picture. I will post one more that shows how I strap the log to the truck to keep it from swinging when I drive with the log. I use this to go get my logs and to load them on the mill.

Click here for full size image

From contributor B:
Notice how there is a chain around each end of the log - they are attached to a hook welded to the back side of the truck to stabilize the log while moving it to the trailer or to the mill. This winch setup is mounted on a 3/8" plate of steel and undoing 4 bolts will allow the whole thing to slide out of the pick up bed.

Click here for full size image

From contributor B:

I also use the winch to turn the big logs on my mill. Just wrap the chain around the log twice and lift from the side

From contributor S:
I use a Harbor Freight portable winch to roll logs up several 4x4 ramps laid on the side of the trailer. Loop the cable over the top of the log and then back to the trailer. Even the 2000 lb capacity winch can move a log that is heavy enough.

From contributor G:
My trailer has 1/4" steel drive over fenders. I built a bracket for a two stage boat winch and roll logs over the side with ramps. I recently bought a rule, gas powered winch and I am happy with it so far.

From contributor D:
Like Contributor S said, use ramps and hook over and back if you have a trailer that will let a log over the side. That works well, but if you don't want to buy a winch you can do the same thing (with a little more effort) by pulling beside the log and unhooking the trailer. Back up to the other side and use the truck to roll the log up the ramps in the same manner. It just depends on how many you want to load and how often and where you are getting them.

From contributor R:
I'm about to go trailer and winch shopping so this is a very timely post for me. 2 questions: Is loading from the side the best? Also, anyone pull a log with a winch using the winch on the front of the trailer and pulling the log up the back ramp of a trailer? I was envisioning having a couple of rollers on the back ramp and doing it that way.

From contributor S:
I've tried to load from the back and pulling straight on, but it was much more work. When I was doing that, I was borrowing a better winch, but I had to use a 4x multiplier (pulleys) to get the log onto the trailer. Even then it was a struggle.