A small, manoeuverable four-wheel-drive tractor allows woodlot owners to do more of their forest management work. This kind of tractor is mainly designed for agriculture, but modifications must be made to increase efficiency and safety before use. Keep reading to learn how to maximise the efficiency and functionality of your tractor:
Use a Winch
While forest owners can ski logs off the drawbar, a treuil performant greatly increases the tractor’s skidding capabilities. If you don’t use a winch, you will have to back up to every log for skidding, which may be impossible because of the location of the log. Also, driving to the butt of every log usually leads to residual stand damage. But, a winch lets operators snake logs between trees while keeping the tractor closer to the skid trail.
Use Counterweights and Loaders
To ensure your tractor has better traction and stability while working in the woods, you can add weight. When using a winch, you need a counterweight on the front of the tractor to preserve steering ability and traction. You can use suitcase weights for this or a front-end loader to serve as a counterweight. For more front-end weight, place some big rocks in the bucket loader. Just keep the load low to the ground to maintain stability.
If you have to skid small logs occasionally and cannot justify buying a winch, think about welding flat-backed hooks to the tractor bucket for light skidding. This way, you can lift one end of the log off the ground and skid in reverse. If you choose this route, add a counterweight to the back of the tractor, especially if the rear tires don’t have ballast.
Protect the Tyre Chains and Valves
You can invest in tyre chains to help increase traction in ice, snow, and mud. Conventional double-ring chains are made with overlapping cross chain rings to prevent the chain from falling in between the tread lugs of the tyre. They have self-cleaning actions and are durable.
Moreover, before using a tractor for woodwork, it is important to protect the tire valve stems. These parts are susceptible to damage from slash, rocks, and logs. If you don’t want to spend much money insurance, consider welding a short section of the pipe around the valve stem.
Add a Forestry Canopy
A forestry canopy can be added around the roll bar of the tractor to give the operator some protection. Full canopies include limb risers that defect trees and branches and with steel mesh screens on every side. You can also invest in underbody skid plates as they protect vulnerable components from rocks.