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Skidding Logs With A Lawn Mower For The Sawmill

Skidding Logs With A Lawn Mower For The Sawmill

You can skid logs with a lawn mower (garden tractor) if you take it easy. I have skidded logs with my garden tractor for years and it is still going strong. It mows the lawn, does chores on the property and skids logs as needed quite often.

Skidding Logs With Lawn Mower
Skidding Logs With A Garden Tractor

The most important thing to remember when skidding logs with a lawn mower is not to jerk the transmission. When skidding, ease the clutch out slowly and take up the slack in the chain nice and easy. Once there is some tension on the chain, let the clutch go all the way and let the mower pull the log off your truck or trailer.

I keep the tractor in low to medium speed, or gear, and have the engine speed relatively low. Again you do not want to stress your transmission by jerking or pulling too hard or suddenly.

I have also skidded logs out of the forest with my garden tractor but I keep that limited to average to small pine logs. I would not pull a huge pine or a heavy oak out of the woods with it. And I only skid one log at a time.

My Garden Tractor
The Garden Tractor I Use

I use the Earth Works logging tongs for skidding logs. I have had these for years and they can handle some real work. There is a lot of garbage out there so save yourself some trouble and get one of these if you are in the market for a new one: Earth Works Logging Tongs

 

 

 

 

How To Skid Logs

In the video, link below, you can see me pulling some 7 and 8 ft poplar logs off my trailer with the lawn mower. I also unloaded the truck off camera in the same way.

I first back up the lawn mower and connect a chain to the rear frame of the mower. If you have a hitch, use that. Otherwise find a strong part of the frame. Most mowers have a reinforced area for pulling loads.

Preparing To Skid Logs
Getting Ready To Skid Logs

I connect the chain to the skidding tongs and then tap the points of the tongs into the log a little bit. If you have a helper they can hold tension on the tongs until you get the slack out of the chain.

Then I move forward very slowly until all the slack is out of the chain. Next I let the clutch out all the way gently and just let the tractor pull the log off your trailer or truck. Slow and steady is the way to go here.

If the log hangs, do not force it. Check for knots or branches that may be sticking. I once burnt out my favorite winch because a tree had a branch stuck in the ground that I did not see. I always roll a log over and check it for snags if there is any pressure now.

When skidding off the back of the truck, I pull until one end of the log hits the ground then I stop. I push the log up and over the rest of the way by hand to reduce the amount of dirt build up on the log. Dirt dulls the sawmill blade.

 

 

 

 

If you always take it easy and your garden tractor is powerful enough, you should be able to skid logs one day and mow the lawn the next with no problems. I do.

Note: skid logs with your garden tractor at your own risk. This article and video are for informational and entertainment purposes only. Damage or personal injury can occur if you do not take the necessary precautions when skidding logs. Make sure your mower can handle the load before trying this.

 

 

You can watch the video here:

 

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Troy Reid

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