When I discuss with others about forestry, I have noticed a dilemma that many people are dealing with. This dilemma revolves around the choice of vehicle a person needs to skid logs. Let me tell you more about using an ATV for skidding logs.
Some people prefer skidding logs with a tractor. Which is absolutely fine. But let me explain in detail the difference between both so you can make the decision yourself. However, the decision is hugely dependent on the amount of work you need to do.
Choosing the vehicle is an important step before you begin to skid logs. Installing winches and arches is possible with both tractors and ATVs. All that is left is the pulling part, which is easily doable.
Selecting the Right Vehicle for Skidding Logs
Back in the day, people used to use horses for logging, or even doing handy logging. But that is history right now. These days, we have other alternatives that are much easier and save a ton of energy. These alternative methods include different types of vehicles like tractors and ATVs and other automotive.
If you’re reading this, you’re most probably someone inquiring about the use of different types of vehicles in skidding logs. The most common vehicles used that frustrate people when making the decision between them are, ATV for skidding logs and tractors.
Choosing a suitable vehicle is a frustrating decision, but with the use of the correct information, you’ll be able to make your mind in no time. On the off chance that you have already made a decision and want to switch it, there’s always room for switching to another vehicle. Simply wait for a good opportunity to seize.
Factors to Consider
However, your decision is dependent on many criteria. First, one to consider is your current situation. Are you living in a place where ATVs or tractors are more accessible? Second, the amount of money you are willing to pay on a vehicle. Third, the amount of work you are planning to do. Fourth, the amount of time you’re planning on using this vehicle. Fifth, what size are the logs you plan to work with.
Regarding the budget you have already put, if you don’t want to spend a lot, definitely go for an ATV for skidding logs. For projects that take a huge amount of time, using a tractor is a wiser choice. Since that ATVs aren’t sustainable in the long term. With prolonged and excess usage, they tend to diminish in performance. Hence, choosing a tractor for long-term projects is a better option.
You’ve probably heard that if you’re using heavy loads, then a tractor is the better option. Wrong. As a matter of fact, tractors need specific techniques and attachments to be able to load heavy logs. On the other hand, a four-wheel-drive ATV is capable of pulling the same amount of load without any difficulties. However, if the tractor is big, it will also do the job with no difficulties.
ATV For Skidding Logs
Not all ATV vehicles are the same. Just like any other vehicle, there are different models and sizes. Hence, different powers. Depending on the size of the logs you are planning to work with, you can choose a suitable ATV.
Also, there are other things to consider when using an ATV for skidding logs. The thing to consider is the tools you will use in holding up the logs while skidding. There are two main tools used in holding up logs while skidding which are log winches and arches. Let’s get into details about the usage of these two tools.
Using Log Arches
The first tool to discuss is the use of log arches. Log arches give you the opportunity to hold up your log in a frame supported with two axles. People practice this method to decrease the stress put on the vehicle used. Also, to lessen the weight dragged on the ground. For as dragging logs on the ground requires a lot of power from the vehicle. Therefore, you need to use tools to keep the logs off the ground.
These aren’t the only advantages of using log arches. Another perk is that using log arches makes your vehicle safer. Since that dragging logs on the ground give the driver less control over the vehicle. With log arches, the driver will be able to steer with better control. As well as decreasing the risk of exposure to a rollover accident. To cut it short, dragging logs on the ground is an extremely bad option to consider. Using log arches will save you a ton of hazards.
The second tool used with an ATV for skidding logs is log skidding winches. Let me stir up your imagination a bit. You’re currently in the process of skidding logs. However, your logs are in a patch of timbers. Maybe even at the bottom of a gorge. It’s almost an impossible job to reach trees that are in a trail with log arches. In a situation like this one, you’ll thank yourself a million times for choosing to buy a log skidding winch.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation like this one, all you have to do is to hook up the winch to your chainsaw and start by pulling the log in the direction of your ATV vehicle. One of the perks of having the log skidding winch includes having the winch frame carry the entire pulling force. Allowing the chainsaw to remain under no stress whatsoever.
There is even an option to purchase winches that operate with remote control. These log skidding winches don’t involve you roaming between the vehicle and the log to perfectly adjust it.
You probably know that even with the right tools and vehicle, using an ATV for skidding log isn’t an easy task and you might be exposed to several safety hazards. After you have made the decision on which vehicle to purchase and the different tools needed, you need to learn how to safely use them.
Not only will utilizing these tips make the process of skidding logs less dangerous, but also easier. The first is to make sure that your logs have been cut properly in a way that makes them easy to carry. The second is to understand the capabilities of your ATV vehicle. Don’t load logs heavier than the recommended weight for this specific vehicle. The third is to purchase ATVs that come with four-wheel drive and a reverse option.
The fourth is to make sure you add some weight to the front of the vehicle to avoid rollover accidents that are very common among ATV vehicles. The fifth is to never forget to put on safety accessories like protective eyeglasses, gloves, and a helmet. The sixth is to ensure that your engine is liquid-cooled. Since that engines that are liquid-cooled manage to stay for longer periods of time. The seventh is to fuel your ATV’s tires with water which helps in better stability. The ratio of liquid to air that needs to be maintained should be 1:1.
I hope I provided you with beneficial information regarding choosing a vehicle for skidding logs, the right tools to use, and how to safely utilize the vehicle and tools you chose.