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.