How To Skid Logs by Hand (Explained)

There are a few effective methods of skidding logs by hand. One is by creating a lever(using a big rock and a long metal stick) and the other is by using carts.

The Author

The problem with skidding logs by hand is the amount of time it takes to do so. If you have a lot of logs to skid, it can be a lonely, back-breaking job.

Not only are you wasting your time and energy, but you are also risking injury.

In this skid logging guide, we explain how to skid logs by hand and how to make the whole process a lot easier.

Key Notes

  • Make sure you have good-quality logs. They should be straight, round, and smooth.
  • Use as many people as possible. It will make the task quicker.
  • Don’t be afraid to use your feet and legs. They will help to steady the log.
How To Skid Logs by Hand

How To Skid logs by hand?

Using a Skidding Cone

A skidding cone is a tool that can be used to drag logs by hand. It is a cone-shaped device that is placed over the log, and a chain is attached to the cone. The chain is then pulled by hand to drag the log


So first up, we have the most basic of all the techniques herein which you just need to find a big rock and a long metal stick or a bar, or it can be any long bar as long as it is tough and won’t break easily.

The idea is to create a lever and move the log with its help.

A cart

This method of skidding a log by hand would require us to use our creativity to build machines that can then be used to skid the logs simply.

The idea is to attach two carts under one side of a solid base leaving the other side and attach a small rope to the cart so we can tie the logs once they are on the cart.

The side without the tires will be placed underneath the logs so that we can roll the logs on the cart.

Once the log is rolled up on the cart we will tie it and can move it around easily.

Make sure to take a bigger base and tires.

Using a Homemade Dolly

A homemade dolly can be used to skid logs cleanly. The dolly is made by attaching wheels to a piece of wood, and a chain is attached to the dolly. The chain is then used to drag the log by hand

Skidding Logs: The Definition

Skidding is a process involving the transportation of chopped trees out of the forest. Logs are the chopped trees.

Logging is a very important component of the forest management field.

Logs hold significant importance as they are a source of many valuable resources that our industries need.

But there is a vital step in between the successful completion of the logging process and reaping its benefits, and that’s skidding.

Well, today, the markets are full of heavy machinery, tools, and equipment that can be used to skid logs easily.

But using heavy machinery to skid the logs may not seem as easy as it sounds.

First of all, the movement of these types of heavy machinery is difficult, and we cannot take it into places that are congested and small.

Plus, imagine that you are stuck in a forest, and you don’t have many tools available at your disposal, or you are out on an adventure trip in a forest, you obviously won’t take a tractor with you to skid the logs.

So, in that case, we need to learn the best method to skid the logs with the help of our hands.

So we have mentioned two of the most effective methods to skid the logs with our helping hands.

Things you must do while skidding Logs

Apart from the obvious gain of the knowledge of how to skid a log by hand, which by the way is a useful tactic in the case that there is no tractor in sight on the site, skidding logs by hand is a wonderful way to exercise the body while simultaneously moving an intimidating log of wood from the point of felling(the point where the tree is cut) to its final destination.

Skidding a log by hand requires that you have a strong and resilient piece of rope and a strong will to not give up until that log is safely in the shelter place.

The whole process, as simple as it may seem, especially when being carried out by a professional doesn’t seem as tough as it is hence the importance of this article.

Firstly, it is invaluable to know exactly where to tie the rope onto the log.

Most skilled woodcutters tie the rope or twine to the heavier part of the log.

This is to tackle fatigue and unnecessary stress that will result from tugging at a piece of log with a deadweight at the other end of it.

It makes the whole process a whole lot more energy conserving.

Secondly, you want to clear and define the path through which the log would be dragged.

Stumps, uneven grounds and potholes on the ground will turn a simple task into a herculean mission.

Take your time to clear the path through which you will convey the log.

While skidding, you want to maintain a posture that will conserve energy and also prevent potential waist pain problems.

You want to pull the weight with your back muscles and not your waist.

Finally, always remember to raise the tied end above the ground to ease the job and prevent the accumulation of soil or debris.

Do this to prevent the accumulation of soil or debris which will increase friction and slow down your work.

DIY (Do it yourself):

It is best to make equipment such as utility lids and use them to drag down the logs especially doing the winters on the farmstead.

A plastic barrel can be used proportional to the timber or log that is to be skid, (a 10-inch diameter is apt for small logs and a 25-gallon cask is absolute for firewood).

Remove the barrel top, give it a U outline shape and a hole at the bottom side add in the choker chain diagonal to the bottom of the cone to be skid (a 2inch one preferably).

The forest will be less disturbed and eroded when the cone is not used to skid logs. This is called skidding low impact.

Skidding hand sulky:

The logs which are small-sized can be transported using the skidding sulkies instead of carrying them on shoulders inviting injuries.

Hand sulkies can be best used when the logs need to be transported downhill.

Only two or four wheels are required to build these sulkies, bigger skid logs can be connected to two sulkies, The logs’ rear part on the slopes need to be closely hanged towards the ground to expeditious breaking when required. 

Small timber tongs, sappies, and metal hooks are the tools that can be augmented locally to skid or lift logs for a short pace.

The sappies can be used to turn and pull the logs.

In the case of steep terrain, two sulkies can be used in conjunction with a cable to connect them conducted by two pulleys attached to a tree.

Timber or plastic chutes:

Crumb pieces or small logs of wood can be skimmed downhill with the help of timber chutes.

Plastic chutes are effortlessly accessible in the local markets with 5 m of length to take logs which are having up to 30 cm diameter.

Chutes can cover up to 150 m of distance and can easily carry logs under moderate slopes.

The manual tools can not only save the forest from soil abrasion but also save a lot of expenses on skidding consideration, the easy availability of skidding tools in the local markets.

These techniques are quick and require lesser manpower when used properly. 

Final Thought

So that’s it folks, how and what we can vouch for personally do wonders and makes the task of skidding the logs by hand way easier.

With the help of little physics, we can easily make use of simple machines to skid the logs by hand, without any hassle.

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