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Arch Makes Log Retrieval Easy
Getting big bales and logs back to his farm was a hassle until Matt Eby rebuilt a flatbed trailer, adding an arch for logs.
    “We’ve hauled about 20 tons of logs and, with the arch removed, about 80 tons of hay,” says Eby. “I bought the trailer from a farmer and did a complete rebuild, adding new axles and later incorporating the arch.
    “I got the arch idea from a Matt Cremona YouTube video,” says Eby. “It lets me load big logs without my skid steer.”
    Eby mounted a 12,000-lb. winch at the front of the trailer. To protect it from the weather, he used a toolbox, cutting a slot in the back of it for the cable exit. He also added a battery box ahead of the winch.
    The arch mounts on bed brackets that fit into existing trailer pockets at the rear of the trailer. The brackets pin in place with conventional hitch pins.
    Each bracket top consists of a set of steel plates welded at the rear and drilled to create a pivot point for the arch. A piece of steel tubing welded to the plate ahead of the pivot point was opened up to create a short open track for the end of a spring shock to ride in. The other end of the shock is pinned to a bracket on the front side of the arch. A retainer made from steel channel iron also pins to the arch bracket, as well as to the forward end of the bed bracket. When pinned, it locks the arch in vertical position for transport.
    “The spring shocks prevent the arch from slamming forward and, with their 500-lb. lift, allow me to raise the arch into the vertical position with one arm before locking the retainer in place,” says Eby. “With the retainer removed, the arch has about 115 degrees of movement.”
    The arch stands 74 in. tall and 94 in. wide. It is fabricated out of 1/4-in. thick, 2 by 5-in. rectangular tubing. Gusset plates reinforce both angled corners to either side of the arch. A steel ring at the center of the arch is the anchor point for the winch hook. Two short lengths of steel tubing welded to the rear of the arch serve as bumpers between it and the trailer frame.
    To load logs, Eby connects the winch hook to the arch and removes the retainer, allowing the arch to angle to the rear as he lets out cable. With a log chained to the arch, Eby winches the arch upright and forward, pulling the log onto the trailer bed. He then repeats the process as needed until the log is in place.
    “The biggest log we’ve lifted yet is a 1,650-lb. white pine,” says Eby.
    To remove the arch, he simply pulls the pivot pins on the arch itself and then pulls the 2 pins holding each bracket in place.
    “I used about $100 of steel from a nearby scrap yard for the arch and spent about $100 on the load assist springs,” says Eby. “The winch setup cost about $600. The entire trailer cost about $1,000. I’ve seen ads for small trailers with a hydraulic boom selling for $25,000 or more.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matt Eby, 56641 Glenwood Rd., Cassopolis, Mich. 49031 (www.ebyfarmsllc.com; ebyfarmsllc@gmail.com).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3