I headed home and decided that a log arch was finally in the cards to help improve my ability to move trees around our property.
At first I stopped at the local metal fabricator and explained what I had in mind, hoping to give them the opportunity to craft something if they were interested. They weren't, and told me that if there was an "off the shelf" option, I should take that.
I investigated a number of possible options online before settling on the Norwood SkidLite. I called the Canadian distributor and was told that they had one left in stock and it would ship out the next day.
A week later I followed up with them as I was in town anyway, and thought perhaps it was waiting at the depot. Instead, I learned that they were incorrect, and that it was a model being discontinued, and that they would still make one up for me shortly and send it out.
A few days later I called back, but they hadn't begun making it yet. I suggested that maybe if they had a SkidMate in stock, I would be willing to upgrade to get it sooner. This seemed to meet with some acceptance, although it still took another week or two of calls before it finally shipped. This was a bit of a sour experience initially.
As an aside, the SkidLite is a slightly different setup for skidding logs, involving a smaller wheel base and not really an arch, more of a post with a winch mounted on the top that lifts logs off the ground where you lock them in place.
The SkidMate, on the other hand, is a true arch with beefier construction that can handle heavier, wider, longer logs. It has a neat setup whereby the forward motion of the ATV is what causes the shackled end of the log to ride up the arch until it is lifted off of the ground.
Finally, one Friday morning, a Canpar van pulled up the driveway, which was interesting in itself, as no other courier is willing to drive as far up the road as we are located. I helped him unload the two boxes that made up the arch, and braved the blackflies to begin assembling it.
Kenny helped out while Mama volunteered to take the occasional picture.
|Kenny was a super eager helper!|
|It came with a 2" hitch, I've been okay with how it fits on my 1 7/8" ball.|
|Thankfully, no butt shot here!|
|You can see the roller and hook here that travel up this bar as you pull forward.|
|Nuts! On the outside!|
|Seems to make Grandpa grin.|
|Coming back from the ravine with a long one!|
|Even willing to try two at once!|
|This is pretty big by my standards.|