Having bought a new wood stove with plans of heating our house with it, I will need lots of wood. Our property is 1.6 acres covered with trees. But our house is uphill from most of the trees. I don’t want to be just cutting down trees for the wood. We like our trees, and that is why we bought the property. But I am more than willing to cut down dead trees, or use fallen trees for firewood. The problem is getting the wood back up the hill which is kind of steep in most parts.
So far I have cut up the trees down the hill, and carried armloads of wood while climbing up the hill dumping them into a wheelbarrow, and when the wheel barrow was full, wheeled that around to where I stack the wood. All in all it is a lot of work compared to the resulting wood pile.
There has got to be an easier way to get the wood up the hill. I have considered some sort of winch that I could drag a whole log up the hill, and then cut into firewood at the top. Another thought is buying an ATV and drag the logs around the hill, and then up. But the cost of the ATV would be pricey, adn I would need a significant amount of would to offset the price, and the work involved. A buddy suggested something like an escalator type thing like they use to bring hay up into a barn.
Another source of free wood is the wood people cut up and leave on the side of the road. Having only Honda Civics, we couldn’t bring much of the wood home like this. And it would be hard on the cars. I considered buying a truck, but decided that the cost would probably not be merited. I can get cut, chopped, seasoned for $200 a cord. If I use 4 cords a year it would be $800. If I bought a used truck, there would be the cost of the truck, the maintenance, insurance, licensing, etc. And I would still have to do a lot of work. And I would still be depending on actually finding enough fee roadside wood to make it worthwhile. Plus with rising gas costs, how much could the truck carry, and how far before the cost made it now worthwhile?
Thus far, the best idea is the winch. I have glanced at winches, and they are not cheap. I would probably need to pay at least $100. Then what do I hook it to? I am not hooking it to the front of my Honda Civic. I suppose I could rig up soming to connect it to the trunh of a solid tree. Then I would have to have a winch with a long cable so that I could pull a log about 100 feet or so. It would need to be somewhat strong. Not sure how strong. A full cord weighs about 6000 pounds. I dought I would be dragging up anything so big in a single shot. But maybe a log big enough to make a face cord, or half that much, so 1000-2000 pounds. Then how is the winch to be powered? 12 volt dc? 115v ac with a long extention cord? I will have to do more research.
Maybe if I had an ATV at the top of the hill with a rope going down the hill to the log, I could drag the log up?
If anyone has a good idea how to do this, I would love to hear any comments!
Here is a side view picture of my property. My house is in the upper right corner.