Multi Function Woods Tool

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  After years of using a team for all of our work in the woods, we have recently started using a single horse. The method of dragging logs on the ground is simple and efficient but results in dirty logs, a more quickly tired horse due to friction and greater ground disruption than seen with the small, traceless wheeled wagon and arch system that European and Scandinavian loggers utilize. This has inspired the system we have designed.

 

The idea is basic- A set of shafts that also function as traces are pinned to a set of short tugs at the junction of the girth and saddle strap. At the base of the shafts is a small diameter wheel with a skid plate and wedge shaped bumper where the arch or bunks attach via a simple receiver and tube. Simply choose the attachment and slide it in. The utilization of wheels and skid plates allows almost friction free maneuvering over the roughest terrain.

 

Most of the work we do is on smaller woodlots (5-20 acres) or in portions of larger parcels where the material being harvested is of a smaller diameter and does not require the tractive power of a team. The single horse arch is more than adequate however, for moving larger timber as well. It allows the teamster to completely lift the end of a log off the ground and move most of the weight onto the arches two wheels. This greatly reduces the amount of horsepower required. This system would also be efficient in the situation that the landowner has prescribed narrow roads.

 

After hitching to the log it may be advantageous to further raise the log off the ground. Doing so with the arch is easy ; simply drive over any obstacle that raises it to the desired height, back up, take up the slack in the chain and drive off. A unique feature of the single horse arch is the quick release chain bar allowing the raised log to be dropped to the ground by lifting the release handle.

 

Management of some stands requires the removal of many small diameter logs or pulp wood. The Multi-Function Woods Tool facilitates this by converting to a wagon capable of carrying ½ of a cord or more of 8' round wood over and around most obstacles. The front and rear sections articulate, allowing the load to be supported by all four wheels continually. The front steering section has the ability to turn 300 degrees on its pivot allowing extremely tight turning capabilities, in fact it can almost turn around in place! Its low height allows logs to be loaded easily with a pivot.  By removing the reach pin and extending the pole rearward the length of the wagon is increased allowing carriage of 12-16 foot logs. The arch used in conjunction with the wagon allows many smaller stems to be "pre-bunched" or piled along the woods road for later pick up, increasing the haul distance without decreasing production.

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