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4-WD Articulated Log Skidder
“It works great to drag logs out of the woods. Great traction and it floats over even the roughest ground,” says Gerald Sundberg, Duluth, Minn., about his home-built 4-WD articulated log skidder.
    He built it out of 2 Farmall F12 rear ends and an Allis Chalmers WC engine and transmission. It’s equipped with a 7-ft. wide “pusher blade” on front and an 8,000-lb. electric winch on back with 150 ft. of 3/8-in. cable.
    The skidder’s engine is coupled to both rear ends by No. 100 roller chain at a 1 to 1 ratio. The machine steers by bending in the middle via an orbital steering valve and 2 hydraulic cylinders. The 2 halves of the skidder are independent of each other so all wheels stay on the ground.
    The 2 Farmall rear ends face each other and are connected by a shaft that’s held in place by a pair of bearings. Double U-joints are located between the shaft and the skidder’s back end.
    To make the articulation joint, Sundberg used a torch to cut out a 3/4-in. thick round steel plate and welded it on between the rear ends. He machined holes in the plate and installed needle bearings, then welded a pair of hinge pins into the center of the plate - one on top and one on the bottom. He also machined a 6-in. long pipe to fit the bearings, which support a shaft that connects both rear ends.
    “It operates much like a big articulated 4-WD tractor. I built it about half the size of a factory-built log skidder because it’s easier to get around our woods and trails with a smaller machine,” says Sundberg. “My wife and I use it to cut our own firewood, about 10 to 12 cords every year. With the winch we don’t have to drive up to the log to hook up. We just pull the log out to the trail and go. We also use the skidder to pto-drive our wood processor.”
    The steering wheel is off a Simplicity riding mower. “It steers so easy that I can use just one finger. The steering wheel won’t jerk out of my hands, no matter how rough the ground is,” says Sundberg.
    The pusher blade is raised and lowered by a pair of hydraulic cylinders. “After we winch about 10 trees in from the woods, I use the blade to push them into a pile and then cut them to length,” he says.
    Sundberg has displayed the skidder at several antique threshing shows and says many people tell him it looks factory built.
    “I spent almost 3 years collecting all the parts I needed to build it. I spent about $4,000 to build it and used only high quality parts because I wanted to do the job right.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gerald Sundberg, 2507 Lauren Rd., Duluth, Minn. 55804 (ph 218 525-4133; geraldsundberg911@yahoo.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4