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Yard work and safe chain usage?

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by MattN03, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Nov 1, 2009 at 6:37 PM
    #1
    MattN03

    MattN03 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't sure where to post this topic, but figured many of the off-roaders would have good suggestions for my question. Mods, please move to appropriate area if necessary.

    I have been cleaning up our property and have cut down a few dead trees that are too close to our house. Recently, I cut down a 50' x 15" diameter oak. After cutting it down, I hooked up a logging chain to my Warn d-ring shackles and used the truck to pull the tree to more convenient location to finish cutting it up for firewood. I had the truck in 4lo/1st gear and other then slightly squatting when beginning the pull, the truck had no trouble moving the tree 100' further down the yard.

    However, this got me thinking-what if the chain was to break? I've read some horror stories on this site about chains going through the back glass and killing the driver. Should I reconsider using a logging chain for this or will putting a heavy coat over the chain work like when a winch is used? Would a strap be safer? Any safety suggestions when putting my truck to use like this? Obviously, there are no bystanders nearby when I'm doing this BTW.
     
  2. Nov 1, 2009 at 6:50 PM
    #2
    Afwrestler1986

    Afwrestler1986 Well-Known Member

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    If you have a good quality chain and are using it as stated with no tugging or snatching, you will be just fine. Hell, I have yanked on another truck with a chain and gave it hell and it didn't break. Use it for the working loads it was made for and don't jerk the dog piss out of it and you won't break a chain.
     
  3. Nov 1, 2009 at 6:53 PM
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    Veccster

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    I'm not qualified to answer this because I have no experience with it. BUT, if I was hauling something like that, I would hang something over the chain to help diffuse the recoil if it broke. You could use a towel or blanket.

    A longer chain would be a good idea but I don't know how long.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2009 at 6:53 PM
    #4
    TexasIslandBoy

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    X2 but i have seen a few truck with caved in tailgates from chains but a good tow strap can do the same thing but its not as heavy :D
     
  5. Nov 1, 2009 at 6:55 PM
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    Hoyal

    Hoyal Whiskey bent and hell bound.

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    I have pulled out multiple stumps using a chain just be sure to have someone watching from a safe angle to see if the chain is over working.
     
  6. Nov 1, 2009 at 7:07 PM
    #6
    Foster9091

    Foster9091 Well-Known Member

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    i have seen a chain break and it was a massive 4 wheel drive tractor pulling another pretty big tractor out of a swamp. we had trucks and another decent sized tractor pull on this thing and couldnt get it so we had to get a farmer down the road to come get it. and this chain was just an average one meant for trucks not this kind of hp. youll be fine just pulling a log. that isnt that much weight compared to trucks and stuff. but for the future if you think you are stressing the chain too much put a nice heave jacket or some similar over it to dampen it if it were to break.
     
  7. Nov 4, 2009 at 3:12 PM
    #7
    luni

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    A static load is where chains come in handy. If you were snatching or getting a running start I wouldn't even consider it. Recovery straps are a good thing to have regardless for various situations.

    Even for simple recoverys, like pulling Burgman out of 6 inches of slop because he was silly and didn't buy a truck with a front differential or pulling the same truck onto the road because he got buried in the sand on the shoulder (*ZING*), exercise caution and good safety techniques. The consequences are to big for what could have been prevented by a little extra effort.

    FYI, we were doing some trail maintenance and a tree had fallen over the trail at one point. A little work with an e-tool and we were halfway through the trunk, a snatch strap and 4 Lo and the top half of that tree was on its way down the trail to a clearing. These trucks can do work.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2009 at 3:24 PM
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    petersharp

    petersharp Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't hurt to have a jacket/blanket over the chain even if working within it's rated load. Another thing to do would be to put a wooden board over the back window, just in case it does break.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2009 at 3:35 PM
    #9
    Fire931

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    when using a chain as you described for pulling, NOT YANKING, it should hold up just fine. this is considering you are using a chain that is large enough in diameter to handle the load. the biggest concern when pulling a log is the chain slipping off the end not breaking.

    i've witnessed both a chain and a tow strap break when under loads, the jacket idea is good for a strap but would most likely do very little to a chain that breaks under tension. just always remember that a chain is designed for a static load (steady continual pull) not jerking or yanking on it...

    another thing to remember is if using hooks always insert the hook from the bottom so the open side is up. this way is the hook stretches open and fails it will be directed down into the ground versus slinging up in an arc.....
     
  10. Nov 4, 2009 at 3:58 PM
    #10
    sportnobadges

    sportnobadges Well-Known Member

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    could someone explain to me how the chain knows that it has a jacket, rug, blanket, or towel on it when it snaps and re-coils in any direction it sees fit?
    i agree that any properly sized chain used in a static pull and not a "clean and
    jerk" situation would preform reliably. as mentioned before, i would be more concerned with the chain slipping off the load if it is not properly hitched and causing damage than a chain of proper size and in good condition breaking under a static load.

    just my 2 cents
     
  11. Nov 4, 2009 at 4:01 PM
    #11
    luni

    luni Resident Gun-toting Hippie

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    The weight on top of the chain/strap/winch cable/shoe lace/etc directs the recoiling chain/strap/winch cable/shoe lace/etc into the dirt instead of "in any direction it sees fit." Recovery 101.
     
  12. Nov 4, 2009 at 4:02 PM
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    Afwrestler1986

    Afwrestler1986 Well-Known Member

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    the jacket or blanket works as a sort of harmonic dampener. Basically takes a good bit of the kinetic energy and disperses it into the jacket or blanket. or something like that, all i need to know is that it helps a lot.
     
  13. Nov 4, 2009 at 4:03 PM
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    Fire931

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    i totally agree with what your saying luni on that... however it will be way more effective with a strap or winch cable compared to a chain.. the weight of the chain is what will cause it to be less effective... you would have to apply alot more weight than you would to a winch cable...
     
  14. Nov 4, 2009 at 4:09 PM
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    luni

    luni Resident Gun-toting Hippie

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    Fire, agree 100%. But we're dangerously close to getting into a physics discussion, and I bagged out of physics class early on a regular basis cause it was on Friday nights and I was taggin a chick in the next state :thumbsup:
     
  15. Nov 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM
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    Fire931

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    blah... as soon as you start up a big discussion i'm gonna have to log off for the night :D i've done enough thinking for one day! haha


    i just remember seeing a chain pull off a log and sling straight up and over my uncles truck and smash down across the roof, windshield, and hood and i know a simple jacket wouldnt have done much good... now a bag with a spare chain in it for weight would have done a wonderful job of preventing that....
     
  16. Nov 4, 2009 at 4:39 PM
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    MattN03

    MattN03 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and experiences everyone. Fire931, I really appreciate this tip as I never thought of this scenery. I'll be hooking up the chain to the D-ring like this in the future.

    In general, everyone seems to agree that as long as I'm doing pull (within the chains working load limit) and not yanking, I should be good. I've got a couple large trees being taken down professionally this Saturday, so it looks like the Tacoma will be doing quite a bit more work since I'm doing the clean up once the pros drop the trees on the ground.
     
  17. Nov 5, 2009 at 6:09 AM
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    petersharp

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    That would work well, and the advatage of using a chain os that you can attach soemthing easily to the midpoint of the chain.

    It would also be easy to attach a strap to the midpoint of the chain then attach the other end to the log. That way if teh chain snaps the strap will 'catch' it.
     
  18. Nov 5, 2009 at 8:19 AM
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    RCBS

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    i've pulled many, many trees out of our woods using a 5/16 grade 43 chain. they are hooked to a 3800lb tractor with front wieght, and i can stand it up without breaking the chain. i have managed to break one of the chains before with a small dozer and a pretty good size log. when it broke, it simply fell to the ground, no whipping, no slapping off the back of the dozer or any real drama. just make sure your attachment points, and the hooks you are using are rated as high, or higher than the chain. when the attachment point has breakage, is when you will run into trouble. cables, nylon straps and ropes are more dangerous IMO as they tend to have a shackle or hook attached that becomes a projectile when the attachment point lets go or the part of the hook breaks. a wire line can store a tremendous amount of energy that is released when there is breakage. chain does not stretch, therefore cannot "store" kinetic energy like nylon or wire rope.
     
  19. Nov 5, 2009 at 8:23 AM
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    Agent475

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  20. Nov 5, 2009 at 9:08 PM
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    DanGer

    DanGer Avatar approved by 98tacomav6

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    Here is my very scientific view (but not from experience) that I have learned over my last two semesters in statics and deforms classes. A chain should not recoil if you are in a static situation since its elastic potential energy does not increase barely at all (as in the chain stretches at the molecular level, but barely at all). The way the strain and stresses are distributed in a chain would not cause it to rebound with much force.

    However if using a chain to yank, the story chances. Furthermore with a Recovery Strap, even static situation are extremely dangerous if it breaks. Since a recovery strap in in an much more elastic state, the potential energy increases by the SQUARE of the distance the strap is stretched. That is also the reason they work more effectively, however they are very dangerous if they do break.

    Sorry for the physics discussion :D
     
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