Rope Puller Recommendations

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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
I am interested in buying a rope puller and a rope (no more than 100', maybe only 50'). I have seen them on tv or in youtube videos and fell like using a standard cable come along now is a pain. It will be used for assisting in dropping trees in safe directions. Nothing overly large (largest tree maybe 20-24" and 50-75' tall). I usually use a standard 2000lb wire come along that works but only has a short cable length.
It will only be used a few times a year so I don't want to buy anything too expensive. What are your recommendations?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,455
Northern NH
Do you means a gas powered capstan winch?. I have the Simpson version which has a Honda GX engine on it. It does what I need it to. The trade off is in order to make it small and light, the unit sits on the gas tank, there is no base while other brands are a bit larger and heavier and more expensive but have a robust base.

It does not magically get rid of the laws of physics. Get a skidder cone or a good helper, if the end of the log catches on a rock or a root, its unlikely to power through. What I do is have a few choker straps and snatch blocks so if I am near an obstruction I just rig in up a snatch block on nearby tree to pick up the end of the log past the obstruction.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
I wish I could afford one of those lol. I'm just looking for recommendations on the come alongs that use a full length of braided rope rather than a cable that wraps up on a spool.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I wish I could afford one of those lol. I'm just looking for recommendations on the come alongs that use a full length of braided rope rather than a cable that wraps up on a spool.
I know what you mean. There are two types. Good quality ones that are expensive, and crappy ones that are considerably cheaper. The crappy cheap ones will probably work, but expect a crappy experience, stuff will bend, and components may fail under load. The expensive ones are heavy, with thick, strong components. If you can afford this tool to fail on you, take this into consideration. It all depends on where and how you are using it.

And you want at least 100' of rope. If a tree is small enough to only require 50', you probably don't really need it. Plus, you'll be in the line of fire when using it.

Either way, they are slow, just like a come-along.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,273
Palmyra, WI
If I remember, "Maasdam rope puller" is highly recommended for these types of situations.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
I think that is what I am looking for. There seem to be a lot of options for places to buy them from so pricing may be good too.
 

Nate R

Member
Nov 5, 2015
84
Wisconsin
I think that is what I am looking for. There seem to be a lot of options for places to buy them from so pricing may be good too.
I bought a Maasdam rope puller kit with rope and sling. 200 feet of rope. I paid $160 for that. Only used it a couple times so far for pulling 75' red pines (within a plantation, so not getting them hung up in other trees can be a real trick), but been very happy with it so far.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
I think I might go with a 50' rope. I have a throw weight and string I get up into the tree and use that to pull a 100' long 1" nylon rope that does not have any hooks on it. It's very easy to get setup. I don't know how easy it would be to get the puller rope with the hooks already attached up through tree crooks and branches. 50' on the puller would still give me a lot to work with on the end of my 1" rope.
 
You know we want pics and what you think when you do get it ..
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I think I might go with a 50' rope. I have a throw weight and string I get up into the tree and use that to pull a 100' long 1" nylon rope that does not have any hooks on it. It's very easy to get setup. I don't know how easy it would be to get the puller rope with the hooks already attached up through tree crooks and branches. 50' on the puller would still give me a lot to work with on the end of my 1" rope.
I hadn't thought that you could just tie to another rope, duh! So long as it doesn't have to pass through the winch.

Curious, what kind of knot will be in order? I'm thinking that kind of pull could really cinch a knot down tight.
 
;)
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,455
Northern NH
My universal knot is the bowline. It holds with most difficult rope and usually can be untied.

I do have a hank of 5/8" Aramid (Kevlar rope) that is stronger than steel cable. It really does not like knots . Its why I do not use it very often.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,594
07462
I hadn't thought that you could just tie to another rope, duh! So long as it doesn't have to pass through the winch.

Curious, what kind of knot will be in order? I'm thinking that kind of pull could really cinch a knot down tight.
I'd do a figure 8 on a bite and then bowline to the figure 8
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I'd do a figure 8 on a bite and then bowline to the figure 8
Sounds like you must be an eagle scout. I really enjoy rope work, but have to consult google for everything other than the granny, square, cinch, and I almost have the tautline hitch memorized, as it comes in real handy for tying down all those damn leaky tarps over the stacks. Almost.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,594
07462
Sounds like you must be an eagle scout. I really enjoy rope work, but have to consult google for everything other than the granny, square, cinch, and I almost have the tautline hitch memorized, as it comes in real handy for tying down all those damn leaky tarps over the stacks. Almost.
Ahh the trucker's hitch, not an eagle scout, just a electric utility guy and firefighter
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,288
Western Washington
It may sound un professional but I’ve talked with a couple other guys in the industry who don’t mess with fancy knots. It only takes once for a knot to fail to determine what’s best
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,594
07462
It may sound un professional but I’ve talked with a couple other guys in the industry who don’t mess with fancy knots. It only takes once for a knot to fail to determine what’s best
Fancy knots? I'm not casting any stones and certainly dont want to change how you work but many knots serve a purpose, most adopted knots in emergency services or in utility line construction are made for specific strains because an improper knot can lead to premature failure of the rope in the knot area, ever tie a knot in a rope and not be able to untie it? Thats a sign of over stress which could lead to a part in the rope. If forget the exact ratio but an over hand granny knot while it looks stout weakens the rope if think by a 1/3 of its rating or something to that effect,
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,288
Western Washington
Fancy knots? I'm not casting any stones and certainly dont want to change how you work but many knots serve a purpose, most adopted knots in emergency services or in utility line construction are made for specific strains because an improper knot can lead to premature failure of the rope in the knot area, ever tie a knot in a rope and not be able to untie it? Thats a sign of over stress which could lead to a part in the rope. If forget the exact ratio but an over hand granny knot while it looks stout weakens the rope if think by a 1/3 of its rating or something to that effect,
It’s fine, I’m not offended at all. I was actually surprised talking with a couple other tree guys that have been in the industry a long time that they too stayed with a few knots that are a biatch to untie. Lowered some big heavy tops and repel a lot( cus I’m old and weak) and I trust the simple knots I tie. A good friend of mine in pacwood Washington had a knot come untied while repelling down. Maybe it’s that the knot wasn’t tied perfectly or the rope wasn’t the right type. I don’t know. I’m just under way too much pressure when I’m doing tree work to try new things that may be fine if all things are perfect
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,455
Northern NH
I also use a timber hitch when I am dragging logs out of the woods. Hard to screw up and the harder its pulled the harder it hold yet drops right off when its not under tension.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
I have used a bowline to make a slip to slide a rope up a tree. I usually use a modified 2 half hitch. I add an extra wrap outside of the main loop so I can use it to untie the knot.