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Winch Helps Mini Excavator Remove Trees
Mark Yax figured jerking logs out of the woods with a 6-ton winch on his 5-ton CAT mini excavator would be a piece of cake. Mounting the winch on the excavator house was an afterthought that just made sense. Of course, doing so created complications of its own.
    “I’ve lost many ash trees to the emerald ash borer, and they either are fallen or hung up in the surrounding canopy,” says Yax. “I figured adding a winch to my mini excavator would allow me to pull these trees down and out. It rotates 360 degrees with the cab to locate and pull out logs.”
    Yax’s only concern was clearance. There was only about 2 in. of clearance between the bottom of the house and the tracks. There was even less clearance between the house and the bracket for the cylinder that lifts the front blade.
    “It was tight but doable,” says Yax. “I made a winch mount that was offset and kept the mounting part less than 1 3/4 in. high.”
    He used 18-in. long, 8-in. channel iron. He removed one 2-in. flange, leaving it about 6 in. wide. It would be bolted to the underside of the house’s baseplate.
    Yax fashioned two sets of 4-in. wide, 3/8-in. thick steel legs with about 1 1/2 in. of the width extending under and welded to the channel iron. They formed the frame for mounting the winch. He added steel round stock between the sets of legs for added strength and welded right-angle winch mounting plates between the leg pairs.
    He drilled four holes in the horizontal part of the plates to mount the winch and two in the vertical part for winch guide rollers. He added 3/8-in. thick gussets out between the leg pairs and the vertical legs.
    “I wanted to keep the control box out of the weather, so I mounted it behind the front panel,” says Yax. “I did have to move the horn out of the way for the needed clearance.”
    Another change Yax realized he had to make was to remove a guard over the front blade cylinder that would have been in the way of the winch mount. He also turned the lift cylinder piston 180 degrees so the grease fitting would clear.
    “It would have interfered with my winch bracket when the blade was in the full upright position,” explains Yax. “I also added some disconnects to the battery when hooking up the cables, so the winch will only be powered when needed.”
    “Aside from pulling out logs, if the machine should ever break down, I could disconnect the final drives and winch its way back for repairs or onto a trailer,” says Yax. “I figured that if I had to run the cable to a snatch block and back to the machine, I could hook it to the round bar.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark S. Yax, 36755 Pettibone Rd., Solon, Ohio 44139 (ph 440-668-6296; valmarktool@aol.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #3