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First major scrounge - how to get wood up hills with no motorized vehicles?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by BrianK, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Hi folks,
    Now that I have a stove and I need wood, I'm noticing downed wood all around me.

    There is an 8 acre tract of land directly behind my office bordered on 2 sides by power lines, with a lot of trees the power company has cut and left to rot. The tract itself is owned by a local coal company. I contacted them last week and requested permission to remove downed wood, and they sent me a form with permission to remove only downed wood, only on that 8 acres, and no motorized vehicles are permitted.

    I can haul out the wood directly behind my office with a lawn cart I picked up last week specifically for that purpose.

    However, there is a lot of good wood at the back of the coal company property along and at the bottom of a large steep hill, several hundred yards downhill from my office. See the attached photos.

    Question: how can I get this wood up the hill without using motorized vehicles. I'll kill myself trying to haul it up in the yard cart (I've already had triple bypass, I simply can't do that kind of work any more.) My 15 year old son is willing to help, but even between the two of us this is more than we can accomplish.

    Is there any way to winch it up using portable winches? Any other ideas?

    Attached Files:

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would just cherry pick it( easy stuff only).....Then move on!
  3. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    One of the local old timers told me to get a horse and drag it out...its not motorized! (I'm seriously considering asking around to "hire" one for a day.)

    This is the closest source of good free wood I have available. I park my trailer in my office parking lot, so its just a matter of getting the wood out of the tract and then bucking and splitting it at my leisure in my own parking lot before taking it home. So I'd like to get as much of it as reasonably possible.
  4. baratta930

    baratta930 New Member

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    Two of the mules at a local stables we volunteer were used for logging up until recently. If you've never handled a horse or mule before you don't want the hassle :) (assuming someone will let you hire one for a day)

    What about splitting it on site and then just cart out smaller loads?
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Moving wood is the most expensive thing about this whole game. Once the money starts flowing its very hard to stop, and your in it more than if you just bought it. (Lots of easy scores out there)
    I will not touch any job my trailer and splitter can not be with in a foot of the wood.
    LEES WOOD-CO likes this.
  6. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    That's likely the best/cheapest option.

    I was looking online at chainsaw capstan winches last night, but with the $$$ I'd spend on that and enough skidding rope to do the task, I could buy an awful of of seasoned split wood.
  7. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Hmmm...sound advice, thanks.

    Right after snapping these photos, one of my patients offered me a maple on their property that the utility company just cut down this week. (I put up a "WANTED: Firewood" sign in my office last week.)
    Backwoods Savage and smokinj like this.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    This stuff is hard enough when everything is perfect......Always cherry pick and take the easist first. If someone else comes along after you make there work the hardest!
  9. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    When I was a teenager we heated my parents' house for twelve years with a wood boiler. Our primary source of wood was from acreage owned by my dad's coworkers that had already been logged. We were primarily harvesting all the tops and limbs that were left behind.

    None of that wood was "easy" but it was all free and a lot of it didn't need split. But that's the kind of work that's still in my head when I think of cutting firewood - a lot of ground covered in every day, and a lot of moving the hauling equipment to the next area of tops and limbs.

    I had hoped to avoid this kind of work altogether, but the kiln dried hardwood ends I got from the local oak products manufacturer has dried up. They're slow and have not had any more available the last 8 weeks, and don't know when they will.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea thats kinda why there is lots of wood out there that just isnt worth the effort. Put more effort into the right wood and it will be easier and less time and money spent. This one bigger than I like but I can drive on top of the job. There out there just look hard at first then the phone does not stop. Walk away from the bad ones! :cool: q1.jpg
  11. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    That does indeed seem to be the case. I went for another walk to the end of my street and found the stack of wood below. It was cleared for a gas or water line for the new building across the street. I asked the owner of the adjacent lot if I could park in his lot to access this stack and he gave me his full permission and blessing. This is a veritable gold mine for my needs. I'll need to move it with the yard cart about 30 feet across the grassy area, but I'll have my 15 year old son do that while I cut.:

    Attached Files:

  12. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

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    As others have said, if it is too much work pass on it. This is just a thought, but there is a chance if you could talk to someone and explain your situatiion they many give you an answer like "I can't give you permission to use a motorized vehicle but I can tell you that no one will be our there looking next weekend.".
    Snotrocket likes this.
  13. RORY12553

    RORY12553 Minister of Fire

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    I could not agree more with this statement. I used to take everything from a scrounge but now I work the easy stuff especially being I don't have a hydro splitter and don't want to deal with HUGE rounds.
  14. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    If I was going to try for that wood at the bottom of the 8 acre property I'd cut rounds where the logs are laying, then carry light loads in the cart. I find it easier to make a lot of trips with easy loads than try to pull fewer heavy loads up a hill. However, I think I would not bother with that stuff. It is too much work. I don't mind exercise, but for the same effort I could obtain a lot more wood in other places.
  15. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Thats one thing Ive learned after scrounging for a while now, leave the hard stuff, there will be plenty of easy wood for the taking if your patient.
    Hills Hoard and smokinj like this.
  16. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    After searching for the last year, I finally found an affordable used capstan winch within driving distance.

    The owner didn't know much about it, said it was given to him. Apparently these are made for the utility industry by AB Chance. They're considerably slower than the Simpson and Portable brand capstan winches but are industrial grade and rated at 1500lbs lifting and 3000lb pulling.

    Attached Files:

  17. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Are you going to hook it up to a truck?
  18. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    The mount with it is used to attach it to a phone pole. I figured I'd just use a tree. But I have a cargo holder for my trailer hitch receiver that might be able to support it when I can get the Expedition close enough.

    Here is a similar unit from the same manufacturer:
    Backwoods Savage and nate379 like this.
  19. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

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    I rekon you need to pick your fights, and this scrounge isn't worth it. As you said, there is wood all around you so why over work yourself on this wood.

    I've walked away from some amazing hoards because they were too hard or illegal or not worth the stress. There is always more wood, and you dont need another heart bypass!!!

    ;)
  20. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    This pile is about 60 feet from a parking lot (my original guestimate was ~30 feet). I figure its enough wood for me for two seasons or more. Its been down for about 3- 4 years now, its free, and I have permission to use the parking lot and to take the pile (but I'm not permitted to use a motorized vehicle in the grassy area). I can winch it over next to the lot with the winch quite easily. That's worth it to me (or at least its a good excuse to buy a winch I probably don't really need.)

    [​IMG][​IMG]
  21. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

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    I can see why you are tempted!! :eek: ..
    BrianK likes this.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  23. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    60 ft is not that far, I would definitely get that wood.
    It might be faster to hook on a line and pull it with truck, if parking lot is not that big, just pull it part way shorten the line, and do it again
    Backwoods Savage and BrianK like this.
  24. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I downloaded the plans and dimensions for one of those from one of the members here. A friend who used to work in a welding and fabricating shop is going to put one together for me. I already have the axle with rims and tires from an old utility trailer and a big set of Dixie skidding tongs for the build but I don't think he's going to get around to it soon. So I'm looking at other options so I can get this big pile done this spring. But once I have both the log arch and the capstan winch with 300' of rope it's no longer out of the question to bring logs up out of the deep gully behind my office in the first photos in my original post. I've seen videos where they used a log arch with a capstan winch to bring logs up some steep inclines, and that combo was pretty slick.
  25. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I'd use a pulley chained up in a tree by the parking lot.
    Good rope. One end to the log, one end to the truck, & back up.

    I got some log up a 150' hill, went pretty smooth.
    60 feet should be no problem.

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