Winching and Trees

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 19:54
ThreadID: 22268 Views:1987 Replies:10 FollowUps:18
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Friends, I've read and learnt a lot over the years about safe recovery while in the bush but I've seen next to nothing about the selection of a tree as an anchor point for safe winching. what size tree ? are some varities better than others..stronger or deeper rooted, how to tell a goodie from a dud, do I need a bigger tree in hard ground opposed to sand, are wet trees better than dry trees. Lots of questions. I rang Vic Parks and asked what trees they endorsed for winching, think I got written off as a loonie...haha. If you think I'm a loon you can say so too.

Unless someone can steer me in the right direction I'll just have to go out and do some testing but don't really want to start pulling trees down.
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Reply By: Joe - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 20:10

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 20:10
Hi Ray,
A chap I know really came unstuck recently with winching off a tree.
He own's a property in the Otway's and drove his ute down into a valley to get some wood. loaded the ute and then it started to rain, and could not get back up the track.
Not a problem, walked back to the home and got the 4wd with the winch. Manouvers the 4wd part way down the track and edges the bumper bar onto a large tree trunk. Out with the winch to the ute, starts winching looking good..... the tree snaps...4by takes off down the hill slippery hill and takes out the ute.
Very intersting insurance claim on how he and his wife ran into each other on the farm driveway.
Now if he knew how to identify a dodgy tree the incident may have been avoided.
So it's not a loonie idea.
Regards
Joe

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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:32

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:32
How long have you known Russell Coight, we'll have to get together one day...then again maybe not... hehe

Thanks for the story Joe, I didn't think I was a Loonie
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Reply By: Mark- Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 20:21

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 20:21
Provided you attach your tree strap as low down as possible on the tree I would be confident to attach to the base of most any healthy hardwood tree of about six inches diameter or more. Smaller for some pulls, depending on how heavily stuck you are. Maybe larger if really stuck. If the ground is really sandy or rocky it may reduce the holding capacity of the roots.
The higher you attach the strap on the tree, the stronger/larger tree you will need.

I think you'd be surprised how strong most trees are when the load is applied primarily in shear (low strap) and not bending (high strap)
AnswerID: 107718

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:35

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:35
Thanks Mark, selection is not too critical on level ground I presume but could be a catastrophe with poor selection on a slope..
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Reply By: The Explorer - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 21:54

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 21:54
With a handle like Mad Dog why would they think you were a loonie?
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Greg
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:36

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:36
but people here are smarter than that aren't they...love ya!
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Reply By: The Rambler - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:00

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:00
My answer to your question is that if you are in a genuine situation requireing a winch recovery you will have no choice except to use what is available whether it be tree ,spare wheel dug in or otherwise.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:37

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:37
yeah but stuff digging the spare in....sounds like hard work to me
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Follow Up By: Richard - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 09:38

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 09:38
it is... had to do it several times a couple of years back. nothing more frustrating than digging a hole in mud, attatching everything, then having the wheel pop up out the ground when you start winching. then its back out there and do it all again. after the fourth time of that happening, i gave up and waited until someone came along and pulled me out... 22 hrs later. you dont realise how big those wheels are until you have to dig a hole for one.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:05

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:05
Choice of Trees? in all the winching situations I have been in there has been pretty slim pickings and it has been a matter of using the sturdiest looking one and winching from the base
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:39

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:39
I noticed your rig pic looked fairly bare
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 01:50

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 01:50
Funny you should mention that after the photo I drove 20m and was bogged, Had to walk about a k back to the beach (Thomas River) and get a snatch by a Hilux. Most of my winching has been done at work bogged on the edge of saltlakes
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Reply By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:29

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:29
If you ever get stuck Ray, just give me a call. It would be a pleasure pulling you out with the Coaster : )

iMusty.

AnswerID: 107735

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:40

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:40
Just make sure that firewood you keep in the back doesn't come flying out James. Thanks for the offer, IF I ever need your help I'll call
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:59

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 22:59
Hey Ray take it from me Tasmanian Tea Trees don't support the weight of a Troopy. LOL.

I am glad I had a couple of winch extension straps to get to real trees.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:42

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 00:42
From experience eh John...sounds like another Coight eposide.

Tea trees have other uses though.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 01:02

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 01:02
"Tea trees have other uses though" Such as ????
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:06

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:06
The production of tea tree oil John. Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic, germicide, antibacterial, fungicide....best thing since baking soda
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 12:04

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 12:04
Thanks mate I knew that, But had in mind that you would come back with a use that only you could have thought up to boggle us all. LOL

They are pretty shallow rooted in the sand and don't take load well at all.

Just my luck stuck at the bottom of a wet slippery hill without my muddies to boot and in a state renowned for it's big trees I'm stuck on the only track with bloody tea trees.
I did find a few of something more substantial, hence lucky to have two 20 meter winch extension straps as the only way to reach them.
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Reply By: Wazza - (Vic) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 01:09

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 01:09
Buy the biggest one you can afford. :-b

Wazza.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:09

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:09
Which means I'd have to purchase roof racks.
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Reply By: MrBitchi - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:42

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:42
Back in my Army days, on exercise in ShoalWater bay, Studibaker wrecker bog to the eyeballs, winch (20tonne shear pin) connected to a 3ft diameter gum tree at ground level, pulled it clean out of the ground......:--O
Ended up needing a backhoe and 2 ACV's to get it out :--p
And no, I wasn't the driver.

Moral is you never can tell how big is big enough until you're safely out of the situation. Any size tree may let you down. A portable ground anchor is a safer more reliable winch point.

Cheers, John.
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Follow Up By: Richard - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 09:42

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 09:42
how do you get them out the ground for a second pull though
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 18:42

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 18:42
In most cases they are pulled out with a rope attached to the back of the things, that is pulled out by hand back out the hole they made them selves, of course I have only seen this in mud and sand
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 08:45

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 08:45
The only one I've used pulled out quite easily by hand. The design means they dig themselves in but the hole they leave means they're fairly easy to get out.
The three star pickets also works as an anchor but as you said you need heavy duty ones and they can be a real pain to get out again.

If it's really stuck use a shovel... :-)

Cheers, John.
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Reply By: mattandlana - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 10:16

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 10:16
We carry three star pickets wired under the roofrack. I've read several times that 3 in series makes a very strong anchor (knock them in on an angle, bottom towards the car, winch from bottom of first one, top of first one tied off ot bottom of second one, etc).

Never had to use them because we try not to get bogged thesedays. Anyone done so?

Could extract them with the hi-lift jack if necessary I guess.

matt
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Follow Up By: Richard - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 13:49

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 13:49
yeah. same trip as mentioned earlier, but earlier that day. worked a treat after a bit of fine tuning. i only had lightweight ones though, bent and mangled 3 and broke one, hence the reason i got stuck later... had no usable ones left, now carry 10 heavy duty ones. anyway i thought the reference was to those 'anchors' that look like a boat anchor, seen them advertised in mags etc. i asked someone once how do you get them out and was told 'with the vehicle pulling in opposite direction to winch pull', simple enough if you get out in one go.
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Follow Up By: Richard - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 13:54

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 13:54
'same as mentioned earlier' as in up the page a bit
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