New Toy - Big Shot Throw Line Thrower

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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,538
SE North Carolina
Have you played with a potato gun yet?
I’m pretty sure on a particular trip to home depot the cashier knew exactly what all the PVC and piezoelectric igniter were going to be assembled into. And even at todays PVC prices probably cheaper than the Big Shot.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,687
Northern NH
I spent a couple of days over this weekend using the Big Shot. I am getting better. It definitely has a learning curve. The temptation is to launch it at a steep angle but that leads to overshooting up into the lightweight crown branches that are useless for pulling on. The better approach is shooting at a lower angle at lower large holes in the canopy. I can now aim for a much smaller window. The other issue is in the woods its real easy for the lightweight line to get caught up on junk on the ground. Sure I could probably rig up a reel to make the line pay out without getting caught, but I just put up with occasional misfires.

It does take awhile to do the rigging. Keeping two lines untangled and pulling the big line up into the tree can be a hassle with other trees nearby. It would be lot easier with a tree sitting in the middle of lawn but I am in the woods. The other aspect is with a leaning tree it takes quite a bit of tension to get it go in the right direction, I had a tall yellow birch with a decided lean. I cranked it quite tight but did not pull it vertical. My guess was there was enough tension to pull it the rest of the way but I was two blocked at that point so I made the final cut. The tree went sidewards 90 degrees to where I wanted. No harm no foul but a good learning moment. My guess is on trees like that I need a second come along to double my take up capability

So its another tool in the arsenal, I know in my case, without it I would not have cut 8 trees that were all leaning into the road. I have four other larger trees with even more lean that are going to have get trimmed and then topped by a guy with a bucket truck so when they go down they do not take out pile of utilities on the poles on the other side of the road. . I also have a very large amount of maple, beech, yellow and white birch on the ground that I will clean up later in the season. There definitely a years worth of wood on the ground. Once the four big ones get taken out I will be have couple of more years worth of wood.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,366
Western Washington
Just be careful of barber chair when pulling hardwoods. It takes a fast winch to pull them off they’re lean without them going sideways. The higher the purchase the slower your pull. On really bad ones I won’t make the back cut. Just a face and then pull them over works the best and they don’t chair
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,687
Northern NH
I have been expecting a barber chair but to date havent seen a trace. The woods are pretty dense so the trees are tall and with only a crown at top. Probably 5" to 10" DBH. I get the pulling line in place and snug it by hand, then cut a face notch. I then pull the tree slowly past vertical in the direction I want it to go then come at in from the side with the best escape route and then cut down at a 45 degree angle to intersect the face notch from the back side. I can see the tree start to lean more and then its a quick retreat.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,086
Downeast Maine
I have been expecting a barber chair but to date havent seen a trace. The woods are pretty dense so the trees are tall and with only a crown at top. Probably 5" to 10" DBH. I get the pulling line in place and snug it by hand, then cut a face notch. I then pull the tree slowly past vertical in the direction I want it to go then come at in from the side with the best escape route and then cut down at a 45 degree angle to intersect the face notch from the back side. I can see the tree start to lean more and then its a quick retreat.
I have my wife pull with the winch when I am cutting down questionable trees. Even with the winch they don't always go where I want.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,366
Western Washington
If you have enough pull strength, they will follow the face a lot better with no back cut and just breaking them over. This especially helps if not enough line speed. This also eliminates barber chair and no need to be by the tree. A wide enough face that it won’t close before it’s on a dedicated path. Deeper than normal 1/3 face ( make absolutely sure you have enough pull before hand) but enough wood for control ( takes a couple to dial in)
 

DonTee

Minister of Fire
Dec 1, 2021
659
Upstate NY
I have a dozen or so pine trees (I believe they’re scotch pine) along the road in front of my house that i want to take down. To let the hardwood trees grow up instead.

Some of the trees are leaning towards the road. I have an extension ladder, and a Farmi winch on my tractor. What I’ve done in the past is take a chain up as high as I can on the ladder, and then hook the winch cable to it. Like mentioned above, I’ll put some tension on the winch and then make the face cut. Sometimes I’ll put a little back cut in before pulling it over.

I’m wondering if I’d be better off pulling with a rope. The winch isn’t very fast. And sometimes it pulls too hard. I actually had one tree snap into 3 pieces, with only the middle piece coming towards me, and the top and bottom falling towards the road.

I’m so used to cutting trees in the woods. I’m wondering if there’s a better way to dropping these trees along the road. They’re 60-70’ tall, and about 15’ from the road. Road is rural, but moderately busy in the morning and evening.

Sorry for the thread jack. It’s funny that I’m working on this project right now and this thread shows up.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,366
Western Washington
Usually if they’re buckling it means they’re rotten or dead. It really helps to have 2 people if pulling trees around something with liability like a road or house. A rope isn’t going to speed things up but maybe putting the tractor in gear will work but shouldn’t need speed if there’s room left or right on conifers.
 

DonTee

Minister of Fire
Dec 1, 2021
659
Upstate NY
A few of them are dead or partially dead. In my situation I have room left, right, and towards me. Just not in the other direction towards the road.
The one that broke in half was kind of my fault. It for hung up on another tree and I didn’t see it.
My wife can either pull the winch rope or drive the tractor. I’m also thinking the higher up I can get the cable the better off I’ll be.

I was wondering about the road. I live out in the country, but I wonder if there are any laws saying I have to have a sign down the road, or cones or something. Just in case something like a limb lands in the road.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,366
Western Washington
Well from my experience no one ever slows down for timber falling ahead signs. It sounds like you’re getting plenty high enough if you’re able to pull so hard it’s buckling when trying to pull through. Definitely want to make sure to take the front ones first. I will have whatever is pulling give a hard pull before I touch the tree with the saw and watch to see if I have enough pull by watching it. For small trees like those pines if I know I have enough pull I will just put a little tension until I have things sawed up how I want them and then get myself clear, in your case I would step out into the road and stop any cars, then I’d have whoever pull the tree over. I have done jobs where I’ve had flaggers stop everything. I did a bigger job next to a freeway and train track where we had radios to the flaggers
 

DonTee

Minister of Fire
Dec 1, 2021
659
Upstate NY
Yeah you’re right about the signs. People around here barely slow down for the guys working on the side of the road. They have the full sign and flagger setup. Seems people are always in a hurry to get somewhere.

Maybe I’ll buy one of the orange flags and run out into the road right before the tree drops. I’ll have the wife stay at the tractor, and I’ll cut the tree, then run out into the road. That should work.

I appreciate your help.
 
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