«Previous    Next»
Labor-Saving Firewood Handling System
“I’m a machinist by trade and use an outdoor wood burning furnace to heat our home. I wanted an easier way to handle our firewood, so I built this labor-saving collection of equipment for less than $2,000,” says Wes Newman, Beaver County, Alberta.
  He uses his Deere 318 garden tractor to pull the equipment, which starts with a wagon running gear with uprights on each side. It’s followed by a 2-wheeled swiveling crane, which was fashioned out of a commercial crane originally designed to fit in the bed of a 1/2-ton pickup. The crane is equipped with 4 big telescoping outriggers and has a 5-ft. reach that can swing a piece of wood in a 360° arc. A hand-cranked bottle jack is used to raise or lower the boom.
  Newman pulls the equipment to the woods and cuts logs into 8 to 9-ft. lengths, then uses the crane to load them onto the wagon. Once 4 or 5 logs are loaded on the wagon, he uses the crane at home to unload the logs onto a big home-built steel sawhorse, where he cuts the logs into 16-in. lengths. He rolls the pieces onto a nearby wood splitter, with his wife running the controls.
  “It’s an inexpensive system that almost makes handling firewood a fun job again,” says Newman. “We had been cutting logs in our woods into 16-in. long pieces. We had to load them by hand onto a trailer, then drive home and split them. Now we hardly have to pick up anything. I crank the winch handle to raise or lower the boom, and release it to swing the boom around by hand.”
  The crane rides on new 15-in. wheels and an axle that Newman shortened to 4 ft. “The tractor, wagon, and crane are all the same width, which makes it easy to maneuver them through the woods,” he says.
  The crane swivels on a round 3/4-in. thick plate which Newman bought at a scrap yard for $200. “The plate just happened to be the right size,” says Newman.
  A short, telescoping hitch that he mounted on front of the crane keeps the end of the boom positioned over the center of the wagon. “By extending the hitch I can use the tractor to tow the crane separately,” says Newman.
  He used 4 and 3 1/2-in. square tubing to build the telescoping outriggers and then built an understructure to support them. Each outrigger is fitted with a pair of big screws that are used to adjust the outrigger’s height.
  “The number and location of the outriggers I use depends on what I’m doing,” says Newman. “When loading logs, I keep the front two outriggers in the extended position and the back two in the collapsed position. The outriggers can be adjusted up to 4 ft. horizontally and 20 in. vertically in case the ground is uneven.”
  He bought the wagon at Princess Auto for $300. “I bought the crane on sale for about $300, and paid $49 for the axle and $40 apiece for the wheels,” notes Newman.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wes Newman, No. 20, 52210 Range Road 192, Beaver County, Alberta Canada T0B 4J5 (ph 780 993-2094; wesnew@live.com).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4