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Author Topic: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.  (Read 8855 times)

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Online Jim_Rogers

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Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« on: January 31, 2012, 10:48:52 pm »
In another thread here on the Forestry Forum, I advised another user to build himself a sled to haul logs out of the woods to the landing.

Here is that story again:

When we were logging back in the 80's we didn't have anything but a tractor with a front bucket. Just a "snow" bucket not a dirt digging front bucket.
If you've seen my forklift attachment in any of my pictures you've seen my front bucket.
And as this machine was bought, just to plow and lift snow back in 1968, we just had a set of heavy arms on the back which we set a large concrete block onto, that attached to our top link, as we did have removable three point hitch arms. We had a mower and a York rake to do yard work with in the summer time.
But back to logging.
When my logger wanted to build his house, a log cabin out of stacked oak beams, he went to a woodlot and cut down 300 trees over two weeks. And cut these trees into 360 logs, leaving the tops basically untouched.
He worked in a factory full time then and only did this work on nights and weekends.
I was in the firewood business then and I work on these tops and cut them up for firewood.
When we started pulling out his logs from his lot, he got a real long cable and one pulley to use to attach to the log and snake them out of the lot to the skid trail.
This was a lot of work pulling the cable by hand out to the log and then rolling the log onto the choker and then pulling it out around other trees and stumps.
We did this the first day, as this was what he wanted to do.
He didn't understand that with a little work, you could drive right up to every log and pick it up.
While he was at work one day, I did this and I would move his logs out of the way, and get to the tops. I created a small off skid trail path to every log/tree/top.
Back then we were selling 4' lengths and we'd cut the tops into four footers and load them into the bucket and drive to the truck at the street. Sometimes we'd stack the four foot tops pieces into the bucket so we could just drive to the truck, with no tailgate on and set the load into the back of the truck. Thus, no hand stacking to load the truck.
With large pieces we may have to hand stack.

So the sawyer showed up one day to pick up the first load of oak logs from his site. He was mad as Hell-o when he saw how dirty these logs were from them being dragged with the cable.
He ran an old Lane #1 circular sawmill with no de-barker.

He suggested we build a sled to haul the oak logs on to prevent them from getting dirty.
He showed us some pictures he had and we made one according to his ideas/pictures/drawings and sketches. He called it a scoot.

It had hook spots on each end. You dragged it into the woods by the back end. Then you unhooked your tractor from it and then lifted the logs from where the fell and carried them a few feet over to the scoot.
After you had several on the scoot you'd attach the pull chain to the front end. And you'd pull the scoot to the landing.
We did this for the entire lot, and the sawyer was very happy.

We used this scoot for many years.

I'm sorry I don't have a drawing of one that we used. Or pictures of one that we used, but I did build something similar for a fellow who wanted to move some large granite stones at a retreat.
And I built two of these for him. A large one and a small one. Both were basically the same design as a logging scoot except that they had more cross timbers. And these cross timbers were very large.

They worked for the project he wanted them for and I don't know if they every were used again or not.

I did photograph the entire project of building them. And I was present when they used them to move the large stones at the retreat.

My advice to you, is to save your money, and just build a scoot for hauling your logs.
I can make up a plan for you, and you can build your own for short money and you can do the same thing, as we did. Which was what they did years and years ago before skidders and grapples.

end quote from that story.

Ok, so let's begin.

Back in 2001 I didn't have this fancy drawing program that I have now. I had a cheap or free floor plan drawing program and I was just able to draw some timbers to show the client what the sled/scoot idea would look like.

This is that picture:



Because this drawing program was so restricted to just doing floor plans I wasn't able to show how the long pieces on the bottom, called runners, are truly shaped.

They are cut at an angle on the bottom so that they don't just have a square end to dig into the ground.

When we build our first scoot the old sawyer told us to just have two runners and two cross beams. One at the front and one at the back. And to just make some maple "shoes" for the bottom of the runners. He suggested maple as that's what they did way back in the 30's and 40's when they made scoots.

We made maple "shoes" which were basically just another timber lag bolted to the bottom of the oak runner. But after a while we wore these maple runners out and right down to the oak, and broke off the bolts and we had to repair it and do it all over again.

So the second time we put the maple shoes on, we added some strips of steel to the bottom for the scoot to slide on.

The old sawyer warned us that these steel shoes would rub against rocks in the wood trails and make a spark. And that this could start a forest fire. So this is an important fact that anyone who makes a scoot and puts on steel shoes had to be aware of. You have to look behind yourself as you haul out your logs and see if you started a fire or not.
We'd walk the trail often, picking up and tossing out stones and rocks so that the scoot wouldn't start a forest fire, especially when it was dry.

Now to the new "rock" sleds that I have pictures of.

I don't actually remember how this customer found me, maybe through a tree service or something, but he wanted some oak timbers for these two sleds he wanted to build. He was going to build them and he needed this done by a certain date and as he was very busy with everything else in his life, I suggested he just let me build them for him. You see he didn't have any experience with large timbers, or woodworking tools.

He agreed and we began the process.

The first step was I had to go to get some logs:



Here is a picture of me driving my truck to Mr. Barker's wood pile way out on the other side of this field. This is where I got the logs for this project.

Here is a shot of the logs in the back of my truck parked next to my off-road log truck, next to my mill:



Sometime around this time, I went to the logging equipment show in Bangor Maine and saw someone there had a set of plans for a scoot. And this set of plans included some drawings of the steel pieces that you bolt to the runners for the chains to hook to. We bought a set of these plans and used the drawings to have the steel fabricating shop around the corner from me, to make up four pull plates and four backing plates for the two scoots.

Here is a shot of a pull plate on the side of one of the runners:



My picture label says these are called "draw irons".
And you can see how the bottom of the tip of the runner is cut up on an angle so that you can pull this along and it will not dig into the ground.

It was hot that summer and it rained a lot so I built a temporary roof over an area in my yard where I could work on these timbers out of the sun and rain:



This client wanted to move these large granite rocks at this retreat on these two sleds. So, he hired an engineer who I later met, to design the cross timbers large enough to hold up the rocks. The cross rails ended up being 8x8 red oak timbers. And lots of them:



Here is a shot of the short sled's runners before we put the cross beams on:



You can see the two draw irons on the inside of the rails and one of the backing plates on the outside of the right hand runner.
I bored holes through the runners and through the cross rails/beams so that I could put in some threaded rods to bolt these together. You can just barely see the holes bored in the runners.

Now in order to do this, I had the steel shop weld the nut onto the end of the threaded rod as once the rod was put through the runner I wouldn't have any way to hold it while tightening up the top nut.



Above is a shot of the runners with the threaded rod through the holes and ready for the cross beams.

More next post.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Online Jim_Rogers

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 11:15:08 pm »
Part two:

Next I set the 8x8 oak cross rails/beams onto the runners the the treaded rods up through the holes I bored through the cross rails:







The last shot above shows the cross rails on the short scoot/sled and the ends of the cross rails have been coated with anchorseal.

Here is a shot of the top of the threaded rod, down in the recessed hole:



To do this and keep everything safe for everyone, I rounded over the edges and ends of every timber with my router round over bit. Even the holes. This removed all sharp edges to the oak timbers.
I bored the large hole first with a power drill and the bored the through hole with my boring machine.

I remember doing this as I broke the shear pin in the boring machine on one of the first holes, and boy was I scared that I wasn't going to be able to finish the job on time. But luckily I got a replacement shear pin in and could continue working.

Here is a shot of the short sled with the pull chain and ring:



I had to move this out of the way so I pulled it down my driveway to get some more room to assemble the bigger one:



Side view:



Here is a shot of assembling the long sled:



Here is a shot of the two sleds upside down ready for the steel shoes to be attached:



Here you can see how I had the threaded rod end welded and how I kept it from spinning in the hole as I tightened up the top nut:



I just jambed in a piece of oak sticker.

Here is one shot of the steel shoe on the runner:



Here is the long sled with both shoes on:



This picture shows the bend in the shoe and how it lined up with the angle cut on the bottom of the runner:



Shoes on the short sled:



Here they both are on the client trailer with some extra lumber he wanted for the bed for the rollers:



Here is a shot of the client leaving my yard, one fine summer day:



And yes, I said rollers.

You see he thought he was going to the planks on the ground and then some rollers and then have these large stones put onto the two sleds and then pull these sleds on the rollers on the planks by hand with 50 or 60 people, like the way the Egyptians did.

Well that idea didn't work out quite like he wanted it to.

But that's another story about moving the stones......

Well that's it, about the stone sleds.

Now to make one of these for hauling logs you'd just use two cross rails on one the front and one on the back and add some brackets on the side for stakes to go into.
We put stakes on so that the logs wouldn't roll off the side as we pull them scoot out to the landing.

We made these stakes about 12 to 18" tall and they were easily removable, as sometimes we'd have to roll the log onto or off of the sled/scoot. Some oak logs are very heavy, and we couldn't lift them up completely to get them on or off. But we could roll them with the front bucket of my tractor/backhoe.

So what do you think?

Jim Rogers 

PS. in making one for a log scoot you wouldn't want the cross beam to hang over the side rail as far as I did in these pictures.
And the brackets for the stakes go onto the outside of the runners between the cross rails.
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline Piston

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 06:53:51 am »
Looks great Jim. 

I can picture it well behind something like Marcels old pics of "King"




Seems like you could pile a large load of logs on there.  I like the idea of adding stakes on the sides so you wouldn't have to chain down every load. 
-Matt
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Offline dlabrie

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 07:00:42 am »
Wow, that is one heavy duty sled! Thanks for posting all the pictures and info.
David in NH

Online Peter Drouin

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 07:02:05 am »
Nice job Jim But I think the sled would rack out of square if one of the runners hit something because the 8x8s are on top of the runners are not notch in to stop it from racking. thats how grandfather ,dad and I do it. and the steel runners would have loops on the front. so when you pull, it would be on the steel and not the wood .you did ask what we thought :) :)
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 07:08:25 am »
A nice job Jim. I would of like to see them used for granite.My Father stacked alot of four foot wood on a scoot. I noticed in marcel's pictures too,they could not had many rocks to go over or stumps. The runners were kinda low to the ground. Guess they were always on a packed trail.But easier to roll logs on and off too.
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 07:40:09 am »
Reminds me of the old steel pulpwood drays people used to use with their old farm tractors back in the day, you could get a lot more wood out using one than just skidding on the ground. Nice craftsmanship on your build!
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 07:43:05 am »
Couldn't help but think that would make an awesome base for an ice fishing shack.  :) Nice job...

Offline Lud

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2012, 08:11:02 am »
Stout work, Jim!
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2012, 10:36:43 am »
Thanks for all your comments.
And I will post some pictures of the sleds with the stones on it at the retreat, tonight after dark.
I got a busy day today.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline Dave VH

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2012, 10:57:09 am »
That's a cool idea.  It's got my mind going on how I can tweek it to work for what I need.  Thanks for the great documentation of the project.
I cut it twice and it's still too short

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2012, 11:13:19 am »
Reminds me of the days when i help my father build a dray for the horse, cutting the bolt holes with the t handle, 2" hand drill. The last one he built he sawed the runners out of a big birch with the chainsaw [ 7-19 Homey ].
He build it to hold 1/3 cord, we had 1 horse Ole King , about 1300 lbs.
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 05:22:26 pm »
Thanks Jim for the story and pictures. I know it takes a while to put that aLL together (your post) but I really enjoyed it. You did a really nice job on the scoots. I hope they were used many times after the rocks were moved, it would be a shame if they just sat outside and rotted.

Ralph

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 08:11:17 pm »
Nice work Jim.
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 08:41:50 pm »
That looks great! I milled some 2" white oak to rebuild my stoneboat. Not near as good as your setup, but may work ok for one or two logs. At least it will keep them out of the dirt when we have no snow.

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 08:47:04 pm »
Very informative.  It would seem like that it would be important to keep the scoot's weight to a minimum without sacrificing integrity to be able to haul really heavy logs.  Smaller tractors might have a hard time pulling the loaded scoot.
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2012, 09:23:48 pm »
Nicework Jim


 I have found the hood off a 1973-79 Ford (inverted) to be perfect, the front edge creates a great "surfing" action you just gotta reinforce the attachment points you make.

 Ironwood
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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2012, 10:17:39 pm »
Smaller tractors might have a hard time pulling the loaded scoot.

I ran into that problem many times. I'd load up two or three logs and then find out I couldn't pull the scoot.
and have to off load one or more to get it so I could.
After a while you get to understand what's too heavy and what you can move.

Also, I never mentioned dimensions but your scoot shouldn't be any wider then your tractor's rear wheels. This helps to get it narrow enough to fit through your woods trails.

My logger scoot was actually made with metal cross rails bolted between the runners. He worked in warehouse and got some "pallet rack" stock to use between the runners. This kept the top of the cross rails and the runners at the same height.
The problem with that is that these metal cross rails would sometimes get caught on stuff in the middle of the trail.
Ground clearance is a very important thing to remember in your design.

Also, someone mentioned that the runners should be chained separately to the pulling tractor. Well this is the way the old sawyer told us to do it. That way when the tractor turn a corner the pull chain pulls the outside runner more and this helps to steer it around the corner.
But my logger didn't understand this and we made the scoot with fixed cross rails.

Having the metal cross rails made it easy for me to move the scoot from job to job.

I used to use the front bucket of my tractor to lift the logs up and move them with my set up where I had the lifting tongs hanging from the bucket:



I would just drive up to the log and drop the tongs over the log and then roll the bucket back to get them to attach:





And when the log was hooked this way you could lift if and carry it:







For many years we would haul logs out to the landing by loading the scoot with this method. Drag it out, and then unload it. Rehook the chains to the back end of the scoot and drag it back into the woods.

The old sawyer was really happy to saw our logs as they were always clean.
He would tell us of sawing other's logs, what he would call "idiot choppers" and how dirty their logs were.

He told us he could saw thousands of bdft of lumber without having to stop and sharpen his saw blade. And with these other loggers he'd have to sharpen two or three times a day.

We learned by listening to him tell us stories about how they did it back "in the day" as they say.
And if it worked for them then we made sure it could work for us.

I used to yard logs for other sawmills as well. And they liked it that the logs were clean.
I could load the scoot into the back of my dump truck by picking it up with these logging tongs and carrying it up the trailer as I loaded the backhoe onto my trailer. And setting it into the back of my truck up and over the tailgate. Release the tongs and back up a bit and set the bucket down onto the trailer nose, without every getting of the driver's seat.

Unloading just about the same way.

I really enjoyed logging and carrying logs with my tractor.

I'll have to find the pictures in my mother's house of me and this tractor the day it was delivered to us in 1968. My father let me drive it off the delivery trailer before he even drove it.

Jim Rogers
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Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2012, 10:20:23 pm »
I just loaded up some more photos to my sawmill album showing how to hook up your logging tongs to the front bucket of your tractor.
And how to use them to lift and carry logs.

Here is the link to my album: http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=2617

Jim Rogers

PS. I thought I had uploaded these before but I couldn't find them in my sawmill album.
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Offline Tdawg

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Re: Scoot for hauling logs from woods to landing with pictures.
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2012, 11:01:10 pm »
We had a rig like that when I was a kid on the farm, we used it for loading up rocks we picked from the fields. We called it a stone boat.

Jim that tongs and bucket setup is freaking brilliant!!! If it wasn't so late, I'd go fire up the welder right now :D :D :D