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Double drum winch set up Glentress Forest
Forestry Memories
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No: 4165   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1974
Double drum winch set up Glentress Forest

The photographs are courtesy of Stuart Mitchell, Peebles area, who formerly worked at Glentress Forest.

This is a more distant view of the cable crane and tractor and a closer view is in the attached PDF. The third image is that of the men in the previous image on this website Record No 4164.

The cable crane unit FC62893 is a little unusual as the tower indicates manufacture and assembly by Forestry Commission Chapelhall Workshops but initially the tractor units they used were Ferguson then British Leyland. The other unusual feature is the actual set up of the cables, no skyline cable drum on the tractor wheel but it could all be in the process of being dismantled to move another site.

The tower anchor system was normally two separate ropes directly onto the tower to allow for setting up of accurate opposing forces to the haul in rope and often offset haul back rope. Here they have no trees to anchor onto and will have had to use ground anchors quite some distance back down the slope. They have used a single tower anchor main rope dividing into two short strops to fit to the two anchor rings on the tower. A second tower anchor rope is hanging loose on the system and may also have been attached to ground anchors in the same area as the first.

This could of course just be a high lead set up but the large volume of timber at roadside would seem to indicate a longer haul distance more indicative of a skyline.

Does anyone know the purpose of the light coloured box like structure at the rear of the tractor just below the bottom of the tower?
Picture added on 14 August 2018 at 16:38
add commentComments:
Jim Christie Comments:
The short answer to your question is -Yes, Chapelhall was using Ford Tractors as a base machine for the skylines when I took over the manager's job in 1978 after working as a Senior Design Engineer for Leyland Tractors at Bathgate.

At that time John Drummond was 'el-supremo' on Skylines and was adamant that since other companies (e.g. Jones of Larbert) were using Tractors which could send the empty carriage outwards much faster than the Ford based machines that the Commission was currently using.( This faster speed was the result of the Ford's two speed p.t.o.s,)John reckoned that our choice of base Machine should be reconsidered if we wanted to remain competitive in the out-put stakes.
While at Leyland I had been involved in re-vamping their middle range 344 tractor and also in the design of a new 100 hp tractor (Leyland 2100) which had a two-speed p.t.o.

By combining parts from both the 344 and the 2100 models I was able to write a specification for a "not for production" model that resulted in a more powerful version of the standard recently re-vamped 344 but with a 2 speed pto.

I approached Leyland and they agreed to build us these 'Specials." (This all happened in stages with cable crane tractor versions along the way and will write it up at at later stage.)

On delivery to Chapellhall workshop an adapter plate had to be built-in. This was manufactured by Chapehall and required the removal of the rear-end of the gear box in order to fit it.

One other change had to be made by Chapelhall and was required to make the tower power up and down. This simply involved in putting a diverter valve in to the power-steering circuit to supply the necessary pressure to the lift ram, and since there would never be an occasion when both these functions would be required at the same time this presented no problems.


Added by on 24 August 2018.
There was also a Ford 3000 Selectomatic model used as a base for an Igland winch. A lever low down on the side of the gearbox transferred the 10 gears of the tractor to the PTO shaft.
This made for some interesting speeds but there were rules regarding which gears could be used. The lower gears 1-4, I think, could exert too much power to the winch and severely strain the whole system from the winch gears right through to the rigging, the ropes and the spar and anchor trees. We were not allowed to use these gears for that reason.
I think 6th gear was the highest we could use as the higher ones were too fast and not powerful enough to haul wood. That didn't stop us using the higher ones to send the carriage back empty although it was so fast it was hard to control properly. We measured the speed at over 40mph at one point.
That little lever at the side moved on one occasion and the drive transferred from the PTO to the wheels and shot the tractor down the bank.
Another effect of this arrangement was that a debate ensued one day asserting that you could bump start the tractor by dropping a load from the carriage and engaging the haul in clutch to restart the tractor.
The theory proved correct but we had to put the drive chain jockey wheel back in its rightful place.

Added by Andy MacNicol on 24 August 2018.
Oh! Thank you for sharing the "bump start" scenario Andy. ;) I can just hear the debate and then see the event, with the 'naughty schoolboy' glee at the result and repairing the damage, so that nobody of concern would be any the wiser. Mind you Jim Christie will probably be having a 'hairy canary' at the thought of the mechanical mayhem. Good health, Bill

Added by Bill Rayner on 26 August 2018.
Crazy idea the engine would be turning the wrong way!

Added by Robert hannah on 27 August 2018.
I forgot to add that as it was a Selectomatic, reverse gear was used for the bump start.

Added by Andy MacNicol on 27 August 2018.
You're right it would work, I remember you could put the winch in reverse with the selectomatic, never tried it right enough.

Added by Robert hannah on 29 August 2018.
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