Monday, October 29, 2018

Reviewing Timber Tuff Skidding Tongs

Now with the sawmill no longer in the mix, I'm focused on trying to make my firewood production as simple as possible.  With that in mind, I tried to take to heart the parts of the job that are messiest, as well as most frustrating.  One of these annoyances occurs out in the bush, trying to thread a chain under the end of a log in the mud or brush before my log arch can pick it up.  To that end, I decided to try out a skidding tong.

Hitting up Amazon proved to be the most economical option, so I waited patiently for it to arrive.  Once it did, I at first tried to use a short chain between the tong's hook, and the hook on my arch.  The tong hangs down a fair distance though, so I realized that every change to shorten the chain would help in lifting the logs higher off the ground.  To that end, I eventually removed the hook from the arch, and simply bolted the chain directly to the roller on the arch.

One can see how low the hooks hang here.  In this photo I have already bolted the chain directly to the roller, and the tongs can be hooked on to the best position for the situation.
Since then, the tongs have worked in an acceptable manner.  They aren't quite as trouble free as I would have liked - small diameter logs don't easily get picked up by them, and require some nursing before I can drive off with confidence.

Occasionally, a log does shake free of the points - of course, this could happen with the chain too.

This is a pretty decent sized log for our property, and it fits onto the tongs well.
A fairly significant shortcoming is that it really can only carry a single log at a time.  I will perhaps try to experiment with ways of getting it to hold more, but for now, it seems a limitation.  Not a huge one, as I'm currently trying to bring in larger logs anyway - but it could be frustrating.  I may consider only using it for larger logs, and just chaining smaller ones together in my original manner.

I'm not sure if I would consider purchasing it in the future - perhaps once I see it pick up some nicer sized logs that I'd have had to muck about to retrieve, but for now, it's not a whole lot better than a simple chain and slip hook have been.

Lots of brush under this log, it would have been a mixed bag to thread a chain around it in the bush.

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