• Gallery Images: Title and Description Required

    Please read the new sticky announcement HERE for full details.

  • Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

Moving Large/Heavy Pieces of Wood

Joined
Mar 17, 2006
Messages
119
Likes
30
Location
Canton, Connecticut
I want to get large pieces of wood into the shop, and onto the lathe to do deep hollow forms (up to 24"). For anyone who's done this, how did you get the hunk of timber out of the woods (if it's not on the roadside), and into the bed of your truck? Thanks.
 
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
503
Likes
34
Location
Sonoma, CA
First thing is to not try and lift too much. Do not know how old you are......but never try and lift too much weight.
If you injure your back now.......it will bug you for the rest of your life. Ask me how I know that. So....be careful.
I have used a sheet of thick plywood as a ramp. Round chunks can be rolled up into the back of the truck.
Then, a friend recommended a motorcycle jack from Harbor Freight. That and a hand truck and you can move good sized chunks.
A "Tommy Lift" tailgate would be very nice. But, so would a fork lift.
A flat, low trailer with a winch on the front end to pull wood up onto the trailer would work really well.
But, most of all...........be careful. The end product is not worth you hurting your back.......ever.
 

Randy Anderson

Beta Tester
Beta Tester
Joined
May 25, 2019
Messages
355
Likes
293
Location
Eads, TN
Website
candrwoodworks.com
I almost always take my local turning partner with me. With a chain saw it's not a good idea to be alone climbing around a log pile He's also much better at visualizing the best way to cut things up on site with the chain saw to maximize the pieces we get and minimize the lifting there. Better to split or process what you can on site. That said, often not an option. A 2 wheel dolly for moving to the back of my truck and you may want to look at one of those crank lifts they make for lifting deer up in the field to dress them out. They fit into the receiver hitch of your truck and have a pole and cable with ratchet crank to lift heavy things up and swing into the bed. It's called a rack jack. Can get on Amazon. I got it to put the hitch for my 5th wheel into my truck but it's great for heavy logs as well.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
147
Likes
82
Location
Roulette, PA
Website
www.reallyruralwoodworks.com
If you injure your back now.......it will bug you for the rest of your life. Ask me how I know that.
Don't need to.. at 20 years old I was already plagued by back problems.. (2 falls directly onto my spine as a kid, plus an injury in wrestling team) at 30, had a bad slip that injured another section of spine.. then in 2010, compression fracture of lower back... Yup.. now barely even into my 50's and already can barely get around.. most of the time I end up looking like 30 years older than I am, can't lift anything any more and even just picking up a gallon jug without thinking, I end up in pain for weeks after...

So, yeah be careful.. Ramps are always good, consider one of those truck bed cranes - In fact I want to get one for use in the shop just to lift heavier logs (at the moment I am limited to not much more than a 16" diameter x maybe 20" long log to even be able to work with) if I had the bucks to put into it I'd buy a used Wheel Horse from the 1980's - 1990's and have a frame welded up that bolts up to the axle and carries one of those pickup cranes , for use around the shop & yard. since my lathe is a 12 inch swing, there isn't much that I *can't* lift onto it .. but if I ended up getting a bigger one that could handle bigger (16 inch) blanks then I'll probably invest in a material jack, or make one of those scissor lift tables - at least a half dozen designs on youtube for DIY'ers
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
98
Likes
96
Location
Ambridge, PA
Depending if your were planning to go full with that, one way to pull logs out of the woods would be with a winch. Need a tractor or someone with one. Here's an example.
winch2.jpg
winch3.jpg
winch4.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
871
Likes
698
Location
Ponsford, MN
113-1314_IMG.JPG
That is a large white pine retrieved from the woods using my home made logging arch pulled by an Artic Cat 300 ATV. The winch on the logging arch will lift anything that the wheels will straddle so you are not dragging since the log is completely off the ground. The ATV has a 3 range transmission so the mid range provides more than enough torque and the 4 wheel drive is full lock up.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
1,995
Likes
888
Location
Nebraska
A cable or rope winch can be used to pull logs from the woods.
You can use a cable winch and a log arch mounted on the back of a pickup truck or trailer to load and haul the logs.
If you have an extended boom mounted to a trailer or truck bed you can pick up and load heavy logs by yourself.
If you don't have a log arch or overhead boom you will need a ramp or tilt trailer to get bigger logs into a truck or trailer.
They do have hydraulic or winch boom lifts that mount on the back of a truck bed or trailer that can lift heavy items and rotate and drop them on the bed or trailer.
For a light duty truck or trailer you need to provide additional supports to the ground to pick up heavy pieces, the suspension is lacking on a 1./2 ton truck
or light duty trailer to handle a heavy load on the corner of a truck bed or trailer without addition supports to the bumper to the ground to support the weight.
An engine hoist can be used in your shop to move a large piece to your lathe if you have room.
An overhead steel beam and a trolley hoist can be used in your shop if you can support it from your rafters.
Another option is a portable material hoist on wheels that has a flat table that can be raised to any height needed, they make hydraulic and cable winch versions.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
788
Likes
541
Location
Jasper, Alabama
I've seen that some turners have a 360 degree winch installed on their trucks to hoist heavy timber. Most hoists are mounted in either corner of the truck bed at the tailgate.
 
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
503
Likes
34
Location
Sonoma, CA
I did something late last year that worked out really well. Arborist took down the big Claro Walnut tree. He had a fork lift on site. I hired a dump truck to haul the tree 100 miles to my driveway. He dropped them in the right spot. Best money I have spent in a long time. I got to cut them up on my time, into pieces that I could handle. Hand truck is the most handy tool around.
But, I do like a couple of the pictures that people have posted.
So......main idea with this thread I think is: Be careful on lifting heavy items.....always.
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,271
Likes
544
Location
Bozeman, MT
I use 2X10 ramps, probably 7' long. It's very hard to roll the logs up the ramp, and trying to pull the hand truck up doesn't work much better. A winch or come along in the bed of the truck will be my next move. When possible, I've found the two person lift to be an excellent solution. One of our club members has one of the truck bed hoists or 'Mules' and it works very well, though it's kinda slow.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
25
Likes
12
Location
Lodi, WI
I have a Stihl log carrier that allow two people to drag very heavy/long logs and two to lift rather large/heavy billets. As I recall two of us geezers carried a 25" diameter 36" inch long piece of wet Burr oak several hundred yards with relative ease and lifted it into a tall pick up. Not a one person show!
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
723
Likes
515
Location
Rockingham, Virginia
Here's my setup for heavy logs. It consists of a fabricated lifting arch, snatch block pulley, 3000 lb. winch and heavy duty log tongs. since my trailer only has a single 3500 lb. axle, I thought it best to limit my winch to a smaller one, and resist the temptation to overload it with really heavy logs. I can pull 9 ft. logs onto my trailer ramp and onto the bed without any problems. I have had the trailer maxed out a few times, but it works really well.

If I have a really big log come my way, I use a log weight calculator app on my iphone that the logging industry uses to calculate weight bt width, length, and species of wood. I want to do everything safely, and the last thing one needs is a broken axle due to overloading the trailer, and being broke down somewhere!


Log Haul Trailer setup 1.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
871
Likes
698
Location
Ponsford, MN
I've seen that some turners have a 360 degree winch installed on their trucks to hoist heavy timber. Most hoists are mounted in either corner of the truck bed at the tailgate.
DSC00898.JPG
Yup I have one of them too. Notice I braced the it to the side of the box, however about 2 years ago I needed to load a large maple crotch with the boom extended as far as it would go and it bent the side of the box so the tail gate would not latch. The left front fender had been crinkled previously so I found a local body shop that repaired all the problems and included reinforcing the boom mounting to the frame.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2006
Messages
119
Likes
30
Location
Canton, Connecticut
Thanks for all the replies. I've had back issues for many years, so I'm always cautious about what and how I lift.

@Randy Anderson - the receiver hitch for dressing deer is a great idea since I have one; never thought about using it for something other than processing deer.

I'm looking at an engine hoist or lift stacker for inside the shop.

Anyone know if a winch or come along would need to be permanently mounted to the bed of the truck?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,371
Likes
1,060
Location
Eugene, OR
Only time I had one out in the woods, I was able to cut it into rounds and roll them to the van. Fortunately I remembered to bring sledge and plastic wedges to free up the pinched chainsaw bar. Other than that, most of us 'will work for wood'.... The hand truck became an important piece of equipment to bring along. I have seen some with big double wheels that can carry far more than I can lift. Also, the hand truck lifts the piece up 6 to 8 inches. I have left smaller rounds on the ground, tipped bigger ones onto it, and then tipped it into the van. Now days, I have a guy who will deliver logs to my drive and roll them off his flat trailer. A couple of friends help me roll them into the shade with cant hooks. As I said, 'will work for wood'...

robo hippy
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
788
Likes
541
Location
Jasper, Alabama
View attachment 38812
Yup I have one of them too. Notice I braced the it to the side of the box, however about 2 years ago I needed to load a large maple crotch with the boom extended as far as it would go and it bent the side of the box so the tail gate would not latch. The left front fender had been crinkled previously so I found a local body shop that repaired all the problems and included reinforcing the boom mounting to the frame.
Very nice Don, that is exactly what I was posting about! That will sure save your back! Very nice indeed!
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
153
Likes
77
Location
Midland, MI
I've never moved anything from the deep woods. I always cut to the length I want (usually 14-16") where the log lies and roll it or move with a two wheel cart to my vehicle. Depending on the size, I may have to split the log thru the pith to make it small enough to move.

I also use the trick that Reed described of lifting the log in stages when putting into the back of my wife's van. Tip the blank so one end is leaning on a stable surface that's about half the height of the blank, then lift the other end until the blank is on top of the stable surface. You only have to use about half the force as dead lifting the blank directly. Repeat on to another stable surface if necessary before tipping into the vehicle. I use sections of logs or buckets flipped upside down, or whatever else is handy for the stable surface.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
382
Likes
144
Location
Lummi Island, WA
that Mike Peace solution is great - I'm making one of those. If you want something with a little more capacity, check out Matt Cremona's trailer with a log arch...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5YfmXOXZCw
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
1,995
Likes
888
Location
Nebraska
There is a woodturner on the West coast that collects logs that wash up on the Pacific ocean beaches in his area. He has rigged his pickup truck with a rack and an I-beam and trolley winch that extends past the tailgate of his truck. He can back up to a large log or trunk of a tree and winch it straight up and then roll the trolley into the bed of the truck and lower the log onto the truck bed. He has been doing this for years and this works extremely well for his large projects. A log arch can easily be retrofitted to a pickup truck bed to preform in a similar manor, the arch can be powered by a winch and works better then the single arm booms that lift from one side of a truck, the log arch balances the load evenly across the bed of the truck and provides more lifting power with the leverage of the arch, pivot point and winch working together.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
871
Likes
698
Location
Ponsford, MN
There is a woodturner on the West coast that collects logs that wash up on the Pacific ocean beaches in his area. He has rigged his pickup truck with a rack and an I-beam and trolley winch that extends past the tailgate of his truck. He can back up to a large log or trunk of a tree and winch it straight up and then roll the trolley into the bed of the truck and lower the log onto the truck bed. He has been doing this for years and this works extremely well for his large projects. A log arch can easily be retrofitted to a pickup truck bed to preform in a similar manor, the arch can be powered by a winch and works better then the single arm booms that lift from one side of a truck, the log arch balances the load evenly across the bed of the truck and provides more lifting power with the leverage of the arch, pivot point and winch working together.
There are a lot of possibility's that would work better then the bed lift but the bed lift does not dedicate the truck to a single usage other then eliminating the installation of a topper.
Perhaps a picture of the setup would help.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
723
Likes
515
Location
Rockingham, Virginia
Over the years, I have put some fairly large and some fairly heavy wood on my lathe(s). I suppose my largest piece was half a chestnut Oak Burl, that weighed 265 lbs. I lifted that all by myself onto the lathe. That was a chunk, no doubt. I made a very large hollowform from that, and still have the other half underneath my deck.

I've gotten to the point now, that I'm thinking, if its too heavy for me to lift to the bed of the lathe, I might need to re-think things a little. I am pretty healthy and strong for my age [shy of 70, by 3 years] but I still want to do larger items, which is the reason I have 2 large lathes. If it is too much for me, I'll get one of my strapping sons to assist with the lift, and putting the faceplate in alignment with the spindle. For the lone turner without anyone to assist, I like the option of an electric winch mounted to ceiling joists [or some such appropriate attachment arrangement]. A home built gantry crane is not a bad option either, if you have a place to roll it out of the way.chestnut oak burl.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,371
Likes
1,060
Location
Eugene, OR
Hmm, some cool toys. Once upon a time, I would have found them very handy to have. Not so much any more, but having access to some thing like these for a club would be great.

robo hippy
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
345
Likes
144
Location
Toronto, Ont, CA
Website
www.revolvingarts.ca
I have a strong hand cart. The axel was replaced, so that I could attach 14" OD lawn tractor tires (8" wide)
That moves the logs easily, up to about 300 lbs.

For drives, I rent a trailer from Uhaul, with a long back ramp. I just take a run at it, and the hand cart goes up NP.

Inside the shop, I use the hand cart again.

For mounting on the lathe, I use an overhead beam, with a trolley and a chain hoist. Easy, simple, slow and accurate.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,371
Likes
1,060
Location
Eugene, OR
I don't leave home for collecting logs without my hand truck, wedges, small sledge, saw, oil, gas, files, and cant hook/Peavey. Took a while to perfect that line up. Just got some nice pieces of big leaf maple from a site where I was part of a work crew. One good branch on the tree, and I ran home and got the big van and tools.....

robo hippy
 
Top