How to transport rounds from inaccessible area. Ideas?

redmanlcs

Member
Nov 20, 2017
141
West Virginia
I have an area that I would like to harvest some dead trees. The problem is that I can't get my wood hauler close enough to make this a worthwhile endeavor as far as I can see. This property in general is hard to harvest firewood from anyway you look at it and this area seems to be the most difficult, but also holds a lot of trees that are basically already seasoned. Most of the sapwood is punky, but the heartwood is still solid and burns great when left to dry out some. I am already way behind in my cutting and with winter slowly creeping up on me, I need to cut something that don't have to season for a year, hence my desire to get these trees out and into my stack.

The most versatile machine I have to transport rounds with is a 4x4 atv and trailer, but It don't get me any closer to the rounds than my S10 beater woodhauler would.

The area is around 400 yards from where I can park my atv. From there I walk up a creek-bed to cut the rounds. My feet gets soggy. My back gets sore. I spend all day packing rounds down this creek-bed just for a 1/2 a load in the pickup. This is just way too inefficient.

I have thought about using an old lawnmower handle, removed from the frame, and attaching it to each round and basically "rolling" the rounds to the truck as if I was mowing grass. This may work a little better for the larger rounds, but there are many smaller rounds that I would still have to pack out. There is a lot of wood to get up there! I hate to see all of it go to waste. I might could hook up a winch and winch out the logs but then they get full of mud and dirt which my saw chain does not like very well. Sharpening a chain every 4 rounds or so is very inefficient also. A pickaroon may be somewhat better as I can carry out the rounds without bending over so much but it would still be slow. I love the looks of powered wheel barrows, but they are way too costly. I have also looked at those firewood packing things that are basically a square piece of fabric with a handle. This may work for the smaller stuff as I could pack out 6-8 smaller pieces at a time and I might just make me something like that for the small stuff.

There is no way to get the atv anywhere near the wood, closer than say 400 yards. I'm still packing pieces out all the while looking for more dead wood to harvest that might be easier to get the vehicles to.

Does anyone have any tricks on how to pack rounds 400 yards through a stream without walking 10 miles for a 1/2 truckload of wood? I'm afraid im stuck with packing them out with my hands. What do you think of the lawnmower handle? Can I make a "backpack" like device where I can carry 1 on my back and pack another with a pickaroon? How can I carry more than 1 at a time? They really aren't that heavy, just big. My body tells me I can pack 2-3 rounds at a time and I may resort to cutting the logs in 3 piece sections and carry out the sections instead of the single rounds. This sounds like the best most logical way. Have I solved my own problem?
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
293
Erin, WI
100 yards I'd say a wheel barrow or hand dolly, but 400 yards I don't know. Hoping someone has a good idea for you. Will be following.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
572
Palmyra, WI
I have a somewhat similar situation. Glacial terrain, too steep for an atv, which means it's too steep for just about anything.
My idea is:
I have a peerless transaxle, small vert shaft engine, and could fabricate a fork dolly for the top. Cantilever the forks about the axle - tilt forward, scarf up a round, tilt it back and haul. May even be able to run it up onto the trailer. All terrain, steep grades, agile, 500lb axle capacity, small light 4hp engine. Would take minimal fabrication, doesn't need to be heavy and fancy, not much more than a dolly with an engine. Maybe this winter. The attached picture could be a concept, but doesn't need to be that heavily built just for rounds.
 

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redmanlcs

Member
Nov 20, 2017
141
West Virginia
Sawset, that is exactly what I was thinking that I needed... but I have no welder currently (one is on my wishlist).. or a spare engine or any metal to fab with... I have a hand dolly that might help me but its very rocky. I probably would spend more time lugging the dolly over the boulders than packing the rounds... I thought about opening up a trail but that would involve a lot of work and time.. If I could fab a normal wheel barrow, and use that one wheel as a drive wheel, that might work very well as I could move it around rocks and stuff... and use it other places... nice idea no less..
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,920
Downeast Maine
How about a hand winch? Either motorized or manual. Keep the logs long and skid them back to the trail.
 
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redmanlcs

Member
Nov 20, 2017
141
West Virginia
skidding logs make mud and debris collect on the log... then you cut through all that and have to sharpen your chain every 4-5 cuts.... plus I would have to have 400 yards of cable to reach the logs... so... how big of a winch can hold that much cable?? cost for all that?... nah.. packing rounds out 1 by 1 way better than a winch....
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,920
Downeast Maine
skidding logs make mud and debris collect on the log... then you cut through all that and have to sharpen your chain every 4-5 cuts.... plus I would have to have 400 yards of cable to reach the logs... so... how big of a winch can hold that much cable?? cost for all that?... nah.. packing rounds out 1 by 1 way better than a winch....
You don't winch the whole distance, and a skidding cone will prevent most of the dirt and debris. Ideally you would winch point to point since I doubt you would have 400 yards of straight line.
 
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Mike.O

Member
Dec 20, 2017
136
..
Long rope (Or shorter ropes tied together). Fasten to the truck and drag them out. Buck on flat ground. Hatchet off dirt at cut lines. My pops swears by this method (Minus the hatchet) and its growing on me. I rarely cut where the truck cant get within 20', always drag stuff out.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,022
Nova Scotia
Man, 400 yards. That is a looooong ways. How much wood are we talking here? IMO it would have to be either enough to make it worth cleaning out a small path for, or I would likely forget about it. And if it required dragging or rolling wood through dirt, that would turn me off even more.

If you can get even a little snake trail path going, you might be able to make a small gas powered round hauler out of an old snowblower. Replace the auger business with a place to roll/pile rounds on to. Maybe add an extra set of wheels out front a bit to carry the extra (maybe unbalanced) weight But there are tons of old snowblowers around the countryside. Some with wonky auger stuff but drive wheels still work.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,131
central pa
Can you just drive through the creek. I would get he atv or truck there or not cut it.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,022
Nova Scotia
Also wondering what kind of wood we're talking about here.

Because anything decent, that is big, is also going to be very heavy. So thinking that if you're not finding it particularly heavy for carrying it 400 yards, then it also might not be worth all the effort.

I know 'big' and 'heavy' are general relative terms, but for me to carry wood 400 yards, multiple times all day, there wouldn't be many BTUs in it.

I am getting kinda old though...
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,449
Marshall NC
The sap wood is rotten, and you are going to work your butt off to get this wood?
Find another source for firewood.
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,333
WI, Leroy
For a few jobs I motorized a 8cu ft wheel barrel ( 2 wheeler) worked pretty slick although my shoulders got a bit tired from picking up the back end . I could fill that bucket up with 10-15" dia rounds of beech and hit the go lever and go right up the 30 deg. incline that was apx 40 yards worth. It was a kit. common tools all that was needed to put together chain drive system. the snowblower back end is a good way to go but not one with a disc drive system needs to be either a belt drive or chain drive for the wheels. The kit I got was Motobarrow- just looked they are still around but now there many more options including electric. moved a lot of wood rounds and splits with this rig- beats carrying one piece at a time by a long shot. at 400 yards I would be more inclined to do point to point skidding with a winch of some type on longer pieces. a capstan winch - there is a conversion unit that fits on a chainsaw for power which is much easier on the wallet- length of pull only limited by length of rope / terrain / anchor points. beauty of this type is no fear of burning out electric motor which is the biggest limitation on those like you have on your atv/ truck. Just adding info to previous post on the winch idea.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,333
WI, Leroy
chainsaw conversion , Lewis winch & Simpson winch might be others besides
 
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If you can't cut a trail to it at least big enough for a quad, leave it. For the amount of effort required, you'd be better off to go do something that pays, then take that money and buy firewood. I understand how much it hurts to leave good wood, but this is just not worth it.
 
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Bushels20

Feeling the Heat
May 20, 2018
382
OH
All that work for a 1/2 truck load doesn’t sound worth it. Even if you are down on your cutting this year. I say you go hunt for another score somewhere more accessible. Hauling large rounds out 400 yards on your back sounds like a bad idea too. You may end up hurting your back ending your cutting for the year anyway.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
1,986
Lackawaxen PA
Easy for us to say, but find the low fruit. Is there anything that you can get to. Only thing I did with some big rounds, that I couldn't lift. I towed the splitter out to the tree. Had to split anyway, and it was easy to bring back to the house in the ATV trailer.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
572
Palmyra, WI
I was in West Virginia a decade ago. Near New River, then Seneca rock. It was a real eye opener. Now I know why New England waited so long to venture west. They couldn't get their pickups and atvs over all them hills. You really have an "uphill" battle. I feel for you. Time to hoof it. If your that serious about scarfing wood in the dangdest places, you'll need to figure out a burro vs a burrow.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
924
Northern Maine
Id let mother nature take care of it.