So far in this series, we have only mentioned CTL methods (Cut-To-Length). The dominating method in the World is however full tree handling, so we shouldn´t forget those machines. Also, handling of single logs is quite common, especially among private tree farmers. So, let´s talk about skidders!
Skidders for tree farmers
It´s obvious that a skidder could be the best alternative for a tree farmer that doesn´t handle big volumes of wood every year. To bring out wood from single windthrown, or otherwise damaged trees it must be perfect to use your ATV or tractor to go get it. Compared to grapple loaders and log trailers, the investment for a skidder in a corresponding size is small. Also, in terrain that is difficult to reach with an ordinary forest machine, an ATV could be right in order to avoid having to take down extra trees just to get there.
Manufacturers, brands and suppliers
For me, as not having too much experience with skidders, it was very interesting to look into this World. The forestry business is quite small compared to other businesses. Manufacturers of professional machinery could (almost) be counted on your fingers. But to figure out how many cable skidders, grapple skidders, logging arches, logging sleds and other skidding things there are for tree farmers, your fingers, toes or other body parts won´t be enough to count them all.
Here follows a number of manufacturers and suppliers of different kinds of skidding equipment. By clicking on the name, you will come to the respective website.
Skidding plates – cable skidders for tractors
Another type of skidder is the logging arch. It´s available in different sizes and versions, and even as DIY kits. Here are some examples:
Information and ideas – other useful links
When looking into this kind of equipment you stumble on information on and about this kind of equipment for tree farmers. At Logsplitterplans.com you will find ideas about how to build your own logging arch.
At Nova Scotia Woodlot Home study Program, you will find information about “What´s right for you?”
There is much more
It´s important to repeat that the equipment brands mentioned above are just some examples. At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that the number of options is endless, or at least close to.
I can´t let go of my fascination for this (for me) new theme. I have worked in the forest all my life with chainsaws and machines but never understood how big the market for this kind of small equipment is.
As an old forest machine operator, it seems to me that this kind of equipment is inefficient. Most of the small skidders can only take one or very few logs at a time. On the other hand, the prices of the simplest skidders are so low that it makes them interesting anyway. If you already have an ATV or a mini tractor, a small skidder could definitely be a very good option.
I have, by the way, already started looking for a suitable logging arch for my ATV. I´ll let you know if I buy one.
Forestry.com takes no responsibility for the contents in the above-linked websites.