2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3, Page #30[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
“Log-Claw” Arch Lifts Both Ends Of Log
Hollmen operates a sawmill and hauls a lot of big logs out of the woods. Some of the logs weigh up to 1,500 lbs. He looked at the log haulers on the market, but then decided the best way to do the job was to build his own. His 2-wheeled model is equipped with an adjustable ball-type trailer hitch on front, and operated by a remote-controlled winch.
“With most commercial log haulers there’s no way to lift the front end of the log off the ground, and no way to secure the log without using chains. My Log-Claw lifts the entire log off the ground, and it works fast,” says Hollmen. “I can pick up the log and head out of the woods in just 30 to 40 seconds.
“I use my Deere 4100 4-WD, 20 hp tractor to pull it. It’ll lift logs up to 24 in. dia. by 12 ft. long with no problem.”
The arch is equipped with a battery-operated winch, a big claw on the back, and a pair of steel lift prongs up front. The winch cable runs around a double pulley system on back of the machine and then forward to the lift prongs.
The claw is fitted with a pair of metal bars that pivot at the middle and are connected, forming an overcentered cam. As the claw is lowered the bars contact the log and pivot upward, causing the claw to grasp the log. At the same time, the cable drops the front lift so the prongs can pivot under the front end of the log.
“The cable doubles around at the tongs and then goes up over a pulley and on toward the front, where it goes around another pulley and down to the lift prongs,” says Hollmen. “As a result there’s twice as much pulling power on back as on front, which is necessary because the back end of the log is raised first and requires the most lifting power.”
The log arch has a sliding support in the center, so if the log is too short to reach the lift prongs on front a chain can be used to steady it. If Hollmen wants he can also wrap a safety chain around the log, hooking the chain onto slots cut into the back part of the machine’s frame to secure the log for long distance transport.
Hollmen spent about $700 to build the log arch and cut all the parts on his home-built CNC plasma table. He says he plans to build a longer hitch that will let him also use his truck to pull the log arch.
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