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Swing yarder in Western Oregon

A swing yarder is a mobile piece of heavy duty forestry equipment used for pulling logs from the woods to a logging road with cables. The swing yarder is also known as a grapple yarder.

In any logging operation, it is necessary to transport the harvested tree from the stump to a landing for transport to market (usually on a truck). If the ground is relatively flat it may be possible to transport the tree or logs cut from the tree on a wheeled or tracked machine. However if the ground is too steep for the operation of such machinery, it is common practice to rig some sort of a cable system for moving the wood. The swing yarder is one of several varieties of machines that have been used for this purpose.

The swing yarder has several drums to pull in the cables. The cables run up an angled boom and then to the far side of a setting. By using two cables set up like a clothes line, the rigging can be pulled out and logs can be pulled across a logging setting where the trees have been previously felled. This machine is most suitable for steep ground where it is difficult to access the logs with other machinery. Swing yarders can also be used in flatter areas with lighter loads.

While there are various rigging options, the most common one uses a grapple that can be lowered onto a logs and closed via the cable system. Using a grapple avoids the need for people in the setting to attach chokers to the log. Choker setting as a profession is a very dangerous occupation.

The main difference between a swing yarder and a tower yarder is that the upperworks is mounted on a large slewing bearing. This bearing permits the boom and cable system to be 'swung' across a setting without relocating the machine. An experienced operator uses timing and cable tension to swing the grapple to the desired location. In practice, however, the main benefit of a swinging machine is that once the logs are yarded up to the machine, they can be swung to the side and landed. This allows the machine to be positioned in a small area such as on a road, and to land (set down) the logs on the road behind (or in front of) the machine. By contrast a tower has no options on where to set the logs---so the tower has to be positioned back from the break of the hill so as to leave a landing area on the downhill side of the machine, the logs can only be pulled up to near the tower and then lowered to the ground making it necessary for a shovel (log loader) to also be present to remove the logs once landed. Implicitly a swing machine does not need to be as tall as a tower machine particularly in steep ground because the swing machine can be set right up to the 'edge' of the steep ground while the tower must be set back from the 'edge' to allow landing space.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_yarder — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

TimberLine Magazine
Tue, 03 Feb 2015 07:33:45 -0800

Among the yarders Levanen uses are a Skagit GT3 swing yarder and a West Coast Hawk. An ACME S24 carriage is being used with the Skagit and an ACME S28 carriage is being used with the West Coast Hawk. The two radio-controlled carriages are the ...
New Zealand Herald
Fri, 23 Aug 2013 10:33:44 -0700

We're standing in the mud beside a swing yarder machine with a towering gantry, one end of a flying fox-like arrangement across a valley strewn with fallen logs. Using a cable system, a large block and tackle runs along a "skyline" wire to workers on ...
Thu, 29 Nov 2012 11:11:48 -0800

English: Washington TL-6 swing yarder (grapple... (Photo credit: Wikipedia). -Pacific West v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center (also known as Decker v. NEDC) the justices will review a 2011 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that overturned ...
Nelson Mail
Thu, 29 Aug 2013 13:26:15 -0700

The ultimate in big boys' toys has staff at Brightwater Engineering excited, but for more than just its impressive stature. Brightwater Engineering is shipping two new 65-tonne Madill 124 Swing Yarders for use in the forestry industry, with the first ...
Campbell River Mirror
Thu, 21 Mar 2013 14:47:52 -0700

The recently released report identifies several steep slope areas where the swing yarder would be ideal for cost-effective logging. “With the price of fuel, you can imagine where heli-logging is at,” noted Lambert. Bell and his staff selected T-Mar to ...

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