Tractor Logging Winch
For safe and efficient farm logging
Available from Rowan Reid
Logging winches - a means of achieving safe small scale logging
Tajfun logging winches range from 3 to 10 ton of pulling power. They come with either Mechanical or Hydralic mechanisms with an option to run the Hydraulic winches by remote control. From watching the online videos it was clear to me that the 3 ton winch wasn't going to pull my 6m long 60cm diameter pruned logs and my 45 hHP Zetor tractor wasn't going to manage the 10 ton winch so I set my sits on the 5 ton model.
The Mechanical winches are controlled using short ropes attached to the levers. The Hydraulic winches use the tractor's electric system so the operator can control the winch using a simple switch. This allows for the optional extra (although not cheap) of upgrading to a remote control system.
I use a 5 t Hydraulic winch with a remote control and I love it. If I have any concerns about being able to safely fall a tree I attach the cable to a point about 8 feet up (higher if I need more leverage). I then cut the scarf and add a little tension before making the back cut. Rather than use wedges I then stand well back and pull the tree over. If it saves just one life (being my own) it will more than pay for itself!
Once on the ground I remove the chain, cut the log to length, and pull it up to the tractor. With the remote I can walk beside the log (it moves at between 2 and 4 km/hour) and ensure it doesn't get caught on fences or damage other trees on the way. I've also found the winch to be the safest option of harvesting dead trees for firewood - I just pull the whole tree over, roots and all, then pull it out to where I can easily process the firewood.
I see the winch as an ideal tool for selective harvesting of sensitive areas. On a recent tour I ran for a group from one of the regional catchment management authorities, I demonstrated how you can set up a pulley system to directional fall a tree into the creek (away from the tractor) then pull it back, cut off the butt log and leave the head in the water for biodiversity. It was all done in a matter of minutes and it seemed to quash any concerns they had about the environmental impact of small scale logging.
My winch comes with an 11 mm cable that is 80m long. It gets a little hard to pull out when working up-hill from the tractor. Tajfun now make a hydraulic powered upper pulley that feeds out the cable. This would make is easier to pull and would probably be worth it for those using the winch professionally.
A lot of farm equipment sits in the shed for 11 month a year and only comes out at harvest time. A logging winch is the sort of implement that stays on the 3-piont linkage year round. I use it for cleaning up before the fire season and pulling fallen tree branches away from roads and building. I'm even trying to think up ways of using it to debark logs. Now, as we move into winter I'm expecting my neighbours will be calling me up to pull their tractor out of a bog or their cows out of the dam. I might even get some work pulling out logs.
I can introduce you to the Australian agent and help you decide whether this is an implement you should have.