2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5, Page #27[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Arch Hauls Big Logs Behind Small Tractor
“We’ve used the forklift for all kinds of things, even lifting up a cow that got stuck in the creek,” laughs Euart. “The boom is handy for all kinds of jobs, such as setting building trusses in place.”
Stripped of boom or forklift, the log arch gets used for hauling logs. Built with salvaged steel, the main steel beam on the log arch is about 5 ft. above the ground. It was fabricated from two 1 1/2 by 5 by 2 1/2-in. C-channels inverted and welded together to form a 12-ft. long, 4 by 5-in. tube. At the front, it angles down to end in a standard ball receiver hitch.
The arch at the end of the beam is made from more welded C-channel tubes and an angle iron frame. It rides on 2 wheels from an old Chevy truck axle. Euart cut the axle tubes off and machined them to fit bearings on the outside of the arch and flanges mounted to the inside of each leg.
“We wanted to be able to carry a 24-ft. log, so we designed it so only about 10 ft. would extend forward from the arch,” explains Euart. “That balances the weight over the wheels on the arch, not on our garden tractor.”
A 45-amp alternator added to the garden tractor provides extra power needed for 2 electric winches. A 2,500-lb. winch mounts to the angled portion of the main beam, while a 9,000-lb. winch is mounted to its top. The smaller winch lifts the end of the log into an inverted V on the underside of the beam. The V can be moved on the beam to adjust for logs from 10 to 20 ft. long. It stabilizes the log as it’s lifted into the arch by the larger winch and chained in place.
Jason ran across a set of forklift forks being sold for scrap. He and Chris fabricated a frame for them that hinges to a crossbar on wheels with a quick-tach pin. The large winch attaches to a pair of cables that raise and lower the cross bar with the wheels riding against the angle iron frame of the arch. The smaller winch is attached to the forklift frame and controls the angle of the forks. It can adjust the forklift from hanging vertical to having the tips angled 10 to 12 in. above level.
The boom also hinges to a crossbar on the angle iron framework of the arch. Made from 2-in. dia., heavy wall, steel tubing with an angle iron cross frame near the bottom, it stands 22 ft. tall when straight in the air. The large winch cable runs through a pulley on the arch to a pulley on the end of the boom to provide lift. The small winch attaches to the cross frame to tilt the boom. Support chains from the boom frame slip onto hooks on the arch to carry the load once the boom is in position.
Angle iron braces run from the crossbar and up about a third of the boom’s length to reinforce it side to side. A 1/2-in. dia. rod runs from the tip of the boom to the bottom. It has a 4-in. spread, providing bridge truss-like support under load.
“The more vertical the boom, the heavier the load you can lift,” says Euart.
The versatile arch has been used to transport large logs on public roads as well as out of the woodlot. The cable on the large winch can also be used to pull logs into position to be loaded by the arch or the forks.
“Now that we have it, we can’t imagine how we got along without it,” says Euart.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chris Euart, 240 Pop Stirewalt Rd., Salisbury, N.C. 28146 (ph 704 279-6793; email@example.com).
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