Sledge revels in rough going

18 July 1997

Sledge revels in rough going

A PROTOTYPE self-propelled trailer/sledge for extracting timber from farm woodlands is undergoing trials in Wales.

On the road, it is hauled by a tractor or 4×4 vehicle using a conventional ball hitch. Off road however, the mudguards are detached, and a front mounted petrol engine-driven winch is used to drag the 0.75t capacity log carrying trailer over rough terrain. The weight is taken either on the twin axles wheels, or on a pair of metal sled runners which can be lowered to remove weight from the road wheels.

Designed by the Forestry Authoritys technical development unit, the prototype was fabricated at Llysfasi College, Ruthin, Denbighshire, where it is being evaluated on 101ha (250 acres) of managed woodland. The European Agriculture Fund aided project is one of several involving the development of low cost scaled-down tackle suitable for small farm plantations.

"If the machine proves itself we hope to find a manufacturer who is willing to put it on the market," said forestry lecturer Simon Van Loock.n

Petrol engine-driven winch on this prototype timber trailer is used to pull the trailer through rough terrain. Load capacity is 0.75t.

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