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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #2, Page #40
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Do-It-Yourself "Sulky" Makes Logs Easy To Move

Moving logs is easy with this nifty do-it-yourself hand sulky, says Ben Hoffman, forester and retired forestry professor at the University of Maine. It has two wheels connected by a frame with a long handle. Tipping the sulky back lowers the frame to the log which is then chained in place. Tipping the sulky forward lifts the log so it can be more easily dragged through the woods.
"I first thought about making one years ago when skidding pine logs for a pole barn," says Hoffman. "I thought it would be a handy way to get firewood out of my woodlot."
While teaching at the University of Maine, he read about sulkies being used in Tanzania. With the assistance of a faculty member and a student in engineering, Hoffman came up with his simple design. It called for wheels from 24 to 28 in. in dia. and a reach of about 36 in. between the wheels. The handle was 72 in. long, but it could be made to be extended. The longer the handle is, the greater the leverage to pick up the logs.
"We built the prototype using a pair of small motorcycle wheels and mounted them on a pair of stub axles," says Hoffman. "We used an I-beam for the frame connecting the two wheels and angle iron for the wheel yokes."
That first prototype could easily handle 300-lb. loads. Hoffman says maximum load is mainly dependent on the wheels selected.
His prototype had a notched bar at the center of the frame sized to fit choker chains used to secure the logs. The closer to the center of the logs the chains were placed, the less the drag. Hoffman points out that when pulling logs down hill, additional drag acts as a brake.
Since Hoffman first built his hand sulky in 1977, several commercial units have come on the market. One of the most ergonomic and efficient, he says, is produced by Future Forestry Products, Inc. (ph 888 258-1445; www.futureforestry.com).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ben Hoffman, 103 Storer Rd., Bradford, Maine 04410 (ph 207 327-1064; bennmeh@earthlink.net).
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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #2