Tales from the Wood

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Skidding and Hitching
There are lots of labour saving forestry devices out there, mostly petrol powered contraptions and mostly very, very expensive.

One of the more awkward tasks is dragging felled timber out of the woods (sometimes called skidding). Tractor-driven attachments designed for this type of work usually incorporate hydraulic claws and winches; but perhaps a bit ‘over the top’ for a 60 year old tractor.

The ‘Little Grey Fergie’ seems better suited to a more time-proven contrivance: a length of rope and a ‘Timber Hitch’. This elegantly simple hitch is easy to tie and more importantly, very easy to untie. It’s made fast onto the Fergie’s rear linkage so you can raise and lower it simply with the flick of a lever.

Perhaps not quite as ‘low-impact’ as using a working pony and tackle, or as speedy as a modern hydraulic implement - nevertheless, the humble ‘Timber Hitch’ gives you a certain sense of pride that you’re using the same knot that has served forest workers for centuries.