Winching Big Logs

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Thoughts on the selection and use of winch equipment for moving and loading large, heavy logs. May 11, 2005

I move my logs on an 18 foot dual axel trailer. I have a few large cherry logs 40 inches x 8 feet. I need help loading them and getting them on the mill. I have about 600 bucks and figured a winch to be a reasonable start. Would like to hear which winch you use and what you can do with it.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
I have a similar setup. I have an 18' trailer. I welded a receiver on the front so I can attach my warn winch for loading. I also have a receiver on the front of my truck with a long set of cables so I can run the winch pretty much in any position. My winch is a Warn 9500# unit. I would highly recommend this winch to anyone.

A couple cautions, though: A log 40" by 8' is pretty heavy to dead drag onto the trailer. You should always double whip when dragging a load onto a trailer. You should also always lay a logging chain over the cable. If a cable snaps, the chain will absorb the energy and cause the cable to drop rather than to spring back and hit someone.

From contributor S:
I use an 8000lb Warn winch to parbuckle logs over the side. 2 5"x5" white oak ramps on either side of the trailer wheels, a snatch block between the wheels on the other side, the trailer on the ball on the front of the truck, winch line through snatch block then over log and back to shackle holding snatch block. Rolls 'em up just fine - biggest done this way: 40" diameter, 10' red oak (approx 4200 lbs).

From contributor K:
I use a warn 9.5 Ti. Don't go cheap on a winch or you will be out the whole amount on a lesser model.

From contributor B:
I use a Ramsey 2000 series. I have lifted logs of about 5500# with it so far. I think my limit is what keeps the front end on the ground. You gave a $600 price range and since I paid $200 for the truck/winch setup and about $400 to get the truck running, I figure this fits your criteria - just go find a deal like the Lord blessed me with. I can pick up logs almost anywhere, strap them to the back of the truck with chains hooked into blue chain hooks on the back of the truck, and I then haul the log to the trailer and deposit it, usually leaving the chain on so when I get to the mill I just pick it back up and set it on the mill. I can even turn the log with it by looping the chain around the log a second time and lifting. The winch mechanism is mounted permanently to a 3'x4' 3/8" plate that is bolted through the bed to the frame. Remove the bolts and slide it out if you need the P/u for regular use. This '82 ford F350 is my dedicated logging truck. This setup new would probably cost about $2000-2500.

From contributor W:
I bought a Lewis winch. Powered by a chainsaw powerhead. Rated at 4000 single line, 8000 doubled. You can go anywhere with it and pull from any direction. Best purchase I have made in a long time. Costs about 550 if you just buy the winch. You can put any powerhead on it that has an outboard drive gear.

From contributor L:
I've been wanting a Lewis winch but been trying to talk myself into it. They seem to be very universal. Also, they don't need a bat and a truck or tractor running to keep bat up. Most of my saws have an outboard clutch, which I like because they run cooler. Lewis didn't mention anything in there ad. Also the best price I got is around $600.

From contributor W:
You can use the saw with an outboard clutch, but you have to use an adapter that utilizes a shorted piece of bar and a chain with no cutters to drive the winch. It works but there is some flex in the system you may not like. I would advise changing the saw head or modifying it to an inboard clutch. The price you got is pretty good for just the winch. I bought the whole kit and caboodle for just under a grand with a new 029 powerhead. A lot of uses I found for itů Once last year I pulled up a nice buck I killed deep in a draw. With a truck mounted winch, you have to walk down and hook it up, then go back up and work the winch and go back down every time there is a snag. With the Lewis winch, you hook the dead end to the truck and go down with the power head and come back up one time with whatever you're pulling.

From contributor L:
I see you used a 029. I have a 024 and love it, but probably too small. I have 2 394 Husky's - probably too big. My 029 is outboard clutch and also 394's. I noticed the new stills are inboard. I suppose Lewis will give me the right info, seeing they want so much for their winch. Just got a new cat. from Baileys.

From contributor W:
You're welcome. Just remember - gravity can kill!