Picking up a Big Elm Log

October 30, 2019

It was Monday morning and I was in the mood for getting out and doing something.  I jumped on craigslist to see if there were any large logs that I could pick up.  I found this listing for an elm log that looked promising.

From the posting, here is the picture of the trunk of the tree.  From the leaves still attached on the side, I could tell it was probably an elm log.  Unfortunately there was a chainsaw cut through one of the crotches but it looked like a pretty big log.

Once I have the pick up address, I can use Street View to get an idea of the terrain and to get a better idea of how big the log is by comparing the tree against the house behind it.

I load up with my gear which I may need during the pick up.  I have a chainsaw in case I need to make a cut on the log, 3 chains which I’ll use for loading the log and for use with the chain binders for securing the log during transport, the log tongs in case I need to lift a log to get a chain under it, a 5′ peavey, 6.5′ cant hook, prybar, hilift jack, a couple bottle jacks and some wood which I’ll use as a base under the support jacks and to make going over the curb at the pick up easier.

When I arrived, I could see the pile of small logs would need to be moved so I could get my trailer to the log.  Good thing I brought my peavey.

There was this one larger log with multiple crotches which made it difficult to roll.  I used the HiLift jack to roll/push the log aside.

With the small logs out of the way, I could back my trailer onto the lawn and start loading the trunk.  The first lift is a bit experimental.  It provides an opportunity to see what the log wants to do.  It’s more unpredictable in this case since it is sitting on some smaller logs.  The log pivoted past the stump and lined up nicely with the trailer so I went ahead and did the first lift.

This first lift sets the end of the log onto the back of the trailer.  This log went surprisingly gracefully given it’s odd shape.

The chain can be shifted back and the lifting process can be repeated to further scoot the log onto the trailer.

The chain can be scooted back once again and the log can be further pulled onto the trailer.

And now one last resetting of the chain to finalize the loading.

The log is now fully onto the bed of the trailer.  I pulled out of the yard and onto the street.  Before chaining down the log, I hooked the winch directly to the log to pull it all the way forward on the trailer.

It was a pretty uneventful drive home and then I could unload the log into the sawmill. I place skis under the crotch limbs and use the winch on the saw to pull the log off the trailer and onto the sawmill bed.

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