Monday, September 21, 2009

Farmi logging winch blade

We bought a used Farmi logging winch blade this month. It's hard to describe, so I shot some quick video this weekend.
This winch attaches to the 3-point hitch on a small tractor. It's powered by the PTO driveline from the tractor. The housing has a winch inside, a blade on the bottom, and a block on the top that acts like an arch. The winch has a 160' wire rope (3/8" galvanized cable) with a grab hook.
You pull a rope to engage the winch, and stand back. It develops quite a bit of pull from the PTO of a 34 horse tractor. All of the winching in this video is done with the tractor at idle. Running the tractor faster will run the winch faster, but there's a limit. I've already had the experience of seeing the front tires of the tractor rise off the ground, and it would be easy to tip the tractor if you're not diligent.

I included a good example of the tractor and winch combination in action. When our roads get churned up it can be so loose that it's difficult to skid a turn of logs up steep sections. Instead of churning the road more, I positioned the tractor at the top of a steep bank, where I could winch the logs out of a pile and along the road, up the bank, to the tractor.
After I pull a couple more logs up, I hook the chain chokers into notches in the winch blade, lift the blade to raise the butts off the ground, and start skidding the logs toward the landing.

I position the logs in front of the decks, unhook the choker chains, buck the logs to length, and I'm ready to deck them using the log forks on the tractor's loader bucket.

I included another example, this time using a snatch block. We had some logs that were digging their butts into the road bank instead of riding up onto the road. When the load hangs up, the blade digs in, the logs tear up the road bank, and the winch eventually stops. We set up a snatch block to extract these logs without damaging the road.

We've tried a few other methods of yarding logs out of the woods and to the tractor for skidding, and this one holds the most promise. I'm looking forward to posting more of my success stories and pictures of the winch next season.


  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a dandy device. Is there anyone with a mill in your area?

  2. Mo: Several people have mills, but most of them don't seem to want to take in custom work.

    We used Shawn Brender in Peshastin in 2009. He and his father Louie operate a sawmill in Leavenworth WA. They picked up our logs, milled them, and delivered them stacked and stickered.

  3. Have you used the lumber yet? I'd be interested in how it turned out and what you used it for.

    I've been using a sawyer on Whidbey Island and I've been very pleased with the stock - I've made cabinets, trim and finish materials with it. Way better than what I could by at Home Depot.

  4. They milled house logs into cants, 7.325" square, all Douglas Fir from our land. They turned out looking great. We haven't built with them yet.

  5. I am looking at getting a small skidding winch for my tractor. Wondering if you had any more information on this one, or know where I can get some more information on it. Or if there is another winch you would suggest looking into. If someone could send me some information at it would be greatly apprecitated!

  6. Wayne, I bought mine used off Craigslist and it's been several years now. There are a few brands from Scandinavia, Farmi being one, that are worth checking out. Wallenstein, also well known, is from Canada.

    I would avoid buying anything homemade, on the basis that it will be unserviceable and probably badly engineered.

    Some have remote controls now. Think twice about it. They're costly and I can't imagine it's safe to winch that way.

    I hope a reader will be able to point you to the resources you need. Best of luck.


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