Unloading logs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Unloading logs

So I built myself a log arch on my trailer. The arch is a little short compared to most but it works alright, I've had no problems loading logs.


My question is about unloading. How do you guys normally unload? Typically I'll anchor to a tree or something and pull the log off with the winch or just drive out from underneath it, but yesterday I tried to unload without anchoring using just the trailer just to see if I could, and had no success. I guess I'm really asking, is there a fully self contained way to unload a trailer without an anchor point (say for some reason you needed a log in the middle of a field with no trees, or a homeowner didn't want you hooking a chain to his trees and scratching his bark)?

Nathan
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 10:43 AM
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a photo or two of your trailer rig with logs on it would help us
understand your predicament.

Edit: I have this portable 12volt, two ton winch from HF with a hefty
snatch block that I have used to winch cars onto and off of a 16ft utility trailer.
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have the winch at the front of the trailer.
a snatch block pulley at the rear - the cable hook will attach to the front
of the log(s) and can be winched off that way.

.

there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 06-10-2020 at 11:06 AM. Reason: added photo
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 11:37 AM
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There ae so many scenarios ....

Then logs on the trailer were loaded using the arch. Are they stacked on one another? OR are they level across?
You have two options, gravity and mechanical means, I.E. a winch as suggested above. The winch needs an anchor point at the rear, since nothing will work from the front. Trees can be protected using a strap, rather than a chain. A roller or short pipe under the log will help move it off. Off Road guys use a winch anchor which can be driven into softer soil. They are called "ground anchors":
https://www.google.com/search?client...d+winch+anchor

A DIY solution would be to carry some 12 ft to 16 ft long wood 4 X 4's which could form a "U" shaped frame off the rear to attach your winch to. Some creative engineering would be required, but I think very doable.



Another solution is to park the trailer, block the rear wheels, drive to the rear and pull them off with your towing vehicle, using the front tow hooks for the strap. Be aware of the balance point on a 2 axle trailer so the tongue won't fly up and injure anyone. A block under the rear of the trailer frame will support any additional load directly on the rear.



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-10-2020 at 11:51 AM.
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the setup, winch is mounted to the front of the trailer. I have a snatch block but I couldn't find a place to anchor it at the rear that worked. I tried chaining the arch to the ramps but it just ended up bending my ramps. What makes a good anchor point at the rear of a trailer, I'm sure what I was doing was wrong.
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Nathan
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 12:14 PM
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a couple of more photos showing your end gate configuration.
a "rigger" can always find a solution for a problem.
it can be done - and safely - if we can see more of your trailer
and its attachments.

.

there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
a couple of more photos showing your end gate configuration.
a "rigger" can always find a solution for a problem.
it can be done - and safely - if we can see more of your trailer
and its attachments.

.

Here is the back, I think maybe if I could find a better way to anchor the arch to the ramps where the ramps don't torque anything it may work.
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Nathan
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 12:26 PM
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this is my brother's solution :)

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post #8 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ogre View Post
this is my brother's solution :)


I would love one, if I ever got beyond hobby stage it would be on my list.

Nathan
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 12:43 PM
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You Call ~ We Haul

Nathan - this is how I handle cars - I have never used a rig
like you have. I would find different anchoring points that
are sturdy that would not damage your arch or the trailer.
you can figure it out !!

Unloading logs-hook.jpg

Edit:
I spent many, many miles going to pick up my daughters car(s)
when she broke down. doing this several times, I learned how
to do it safely and efficiently. using the rear anchored chain with
shackles and the snatch block with the hook to the car's front
axle, it was easily backed off the trailer.
sorry, this is all I have to offer.

Unloading logs-car-trailer.jpg

.

there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 06-10-2020 at 12:54 PM. Reason: added photo
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 01:31 PM
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How about something like this?
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
Nathan - this is how I handle cars - I have never used a rig
like you have. I would find different anchoring points that
are sturdy that would not damage your arch or the trailer.
you can figure it out !!

Attachment 390929


.

Something like this will work if the anchor line (red) is high enough for the log to go underneath it, otherwise the log will have to go over the top of it. I guess either would work but I'm thinking under would be better than over, it seem it would be easier to anchor down low though. Maybe I could anchor at both rear corners and double back with a second pulley.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 05:27 PM
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Run the winch line under the trailer bed.

Use a single pulley on a stand off at the rear of the bed OR a roller fair lead and run the pull line under the bed so it's out of the way. You can hook onto any log in the bed at the front, using log tongs and it will pull off the rear. Logging tongs are so much easier than chains or straps because you don't need to lift up the logs:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Logging+Tongs



You can find vintage ice tongs at the flea markets also:
https://www.google.com/search?channe...w=1920&bih=938

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-10-2020 at 05:31 PM.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-10-2020, 08:20 PM
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I watched this method when visiting my Aunt . The trailer had 12 logs on it. Pulled with a New Holland farm tractor.
A gantry was made like a childs swing set, A frame construction and set on 6x6" skids.
The legs were 4x4's , the head was a double 4x4 and looked like 1/4" thick steel gussets. A solid steel bar was hung under the head and trolley rollers rode on the bar. Electric hoist hung from the roller bracket for lifting. Two ropes and pulleys ,one on each end moved the hoist in position. Trailer was pulled under the gantry, tongs exactly like Woody shows in his post were hooked at approximate center. A log was lifted about 6" and a rope pulled the rollers with the log past the truck.
Log was set down, near the wheels but kept away with wooden chocks. All 12 logs were unloaded this way, truck pulled out The gantry was then pulled out and set up for another load.
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-11-2020, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
.....

Edit: I have this portable 12volt, two ton winch from HF with a hefty
snatch block that I have used to winch cars onto and off of a 16ft utility trailer.
Attachment 390923
....
.
I have that same HF winch, and no disrespect intended, is not powered enough for logs. It may be good for rolling stock, but for dragging 5' logs up a tilt bed, it stalls out several times.

I'd like to know the next step up with a little more power, but still affordable.
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-11-2020, 11:23 AM
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The next more powerful ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
I have that same HF winch, and no disrespect intended, is not powered enough for logs. It may be good for rolling stock, but for dragging 5' logs up a tilt bed, it stalls out several times.

I'd like to know the next step up with a little more power, but still affordable.

"Before":



"After":





I have several H-F winches including the 2000 lb rolling load, a 1500 lb ATV, a 3500 lb ATV and a 5500 lb truck winch. I would recommend the 3500 lb:
https://www.harborfreight.com/3500-l...ake-56259.html


But for "overkill" I'd go with this for $50.00 more:
https://www.harborfreight.com/5000-l...nch-56326.html

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-11-2020 at 11:31 AM.
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-11-2020, 12:24 PM
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I need to explain more again. I only have a single (2000#) axle 5' x 8' trailer made out of lightweight 2"x2"(?) angle iron so I don't overload it. I only load 5' or 6' logs 18" to 20" dia. onto the trailer. I block the tilt trailer in the tilted position so the rear of the bed touches the ground. Then with the winch chained to the tongue, I winch the log up the expanded metal bed. Motor cuts out several times. Maybe I'm expecting too much from the HF 2000# winch, but I only paid $40-50 for it.

On a budget, so what are your thoughts about this one:
https://www.harborfreight.com/2500-l...rol-56258.html

No better since only 500# more, so still under powered?

To the OP: sorry for hijacking your thread.
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-11-2020, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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No worries.


This is the winch I use https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Maybe it is a bit overkill but I use it for other things besides loading the trailer. If I was buying new I wouldn't get anything less than 5000#, I know its not 1:1 on weight for logging but I'm happy with it. I've had a few issues with my winch being overpowered (bending hooks, breaking thing that get in a bind, etc.), I've never had a problem being under powered.

Now the winch on my mill is the 2500# from hf and it has definitely been under powered, but that's a different story.

Nathan
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-11-2020, 03:42 PM
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I have a favorite tree in my yard that is big and well rooted. When faced with unloading heavy things, I usually tie them to this tree and then drive the trailer or truck out from under them. It's quick and easy, and doesn't require pulleys and cables. Once on the ground, it's usually easy to roll, push, or drag them to where I want them.

Charley
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-11-2020, 06:55 PM
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Same issue, same solution .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Water View Post
So I built myself a log arch on my trailer. The arch is a little short compared to most but it works alright, I've had no problems loading logs.


My question is about unloading. How do you guys normally unload? Typically I'll anchor to a tree or something and pull the log off with the winch or just drive out from underneath it, but yesterday I tried to unload without anchoring using just the trailer just to see if I could, and had no success. I guess I'm really asking, is there a fully self contained way to unload a trailer without an anchor point (say for some reason you needed a log in the middle of a field with no trees, or a homeowner didn't want you hooking a chain to his trees and scratching his bark)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
I have a favorite tree in my yard that is big and well rooted. When faced with unloading heavy things, I usually tie them to this tree and then drive the trailer or truck out from under them. It's quick and easy, and doesn't require pulleys and cables. Once on the ground, it's usually easy to roll, push, or drag them to where I want them.

Charley

Find a large tree, hook up the load and mash the go pedal! What ever happens can be fixed later. For logs it won't matter, for other heavy stuff like machines and tools it will. I've made gantrys, used tree limbs, A frames, chains hooked to the John Deere bucket, ramps with a tractor back up and they all will work for a particular situation.



A gantry attached to the house:



Tractor backup:

Using the John Deere with a chain:


The John Deere with forks and an 800 lb Powermatic table saw:


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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