Parbuckle - Loading logs the easy way

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Blog entry by mart posted 03-17-2009 04:03 AM 22606 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this tip from a post of Daren Nelson’s some time back. I often haul logs to the sawmill to be milled and loading them can be a tough job without some assistance. I tried sliding them up a ramp onto the back of the trailer till I read about using a parbuckle. Basically one uses a rope anchored at two points and a power source (a 4 wheeler winch in this case) to roll the log up a set of ramps and on to the trailer. Works really slick. These pictures should help explain the process.

Hooking up the log
Hooking up the log Sliding the log to the trailer
The closer I get to the mid-century mark the more I appreciate the principle of leverage.
Parbuckle in place and ready to load.
Coming up the ramp.
Let the machine do the work.
Almost there.
On the trailer the easy way.
Trailer loaded and ready to go to the sawmill.

10 comments so far

View toolman409's profile


20 posts in 4417 days

#1 posted 03-17-2009 05:36 AM

I wonder if this method would work to get a log onto a portable bandsaw bed.  I know someone who has a rig that does not have a hydraulic lift to initially load the log.  The forces might tip the the whole bandsaw rig over????

-- Keith, NW Alabama

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 5256 days

#2 posted 03-17-2009 01:47 PM

I have used two ratchet straps (alternating) to pull logs on to a trailer. I have some walnut logs to move out of a gentleman’s yard, this gives me some different ideas for loading. Don’t have a 4 wheeler but we should be able to come up with something in this small town.

Thanks for posting

-- Joel Tille

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4917 days

#3 posted 03-17-2009 02:30 PM

Good job with the logs and the pictures. Parbuckling is cool !

View sw_iowa_sawyer's profile


39 posts in 4389 days

#4 posted 03-17-2009 04:35 PM

I have used something like this to load some real big logs on my manual mill. It has worked real well and has never even remotely affected the sawmill. It works good but somedays I dream of hydraulics and a bright new orange woodmizer with all the bells and whistles. Oh well it never hurts to dream.
Loading a log the old fashioned way.

View mart's profile


190 posts in 4636 days

#5 posted 03-17-2009 05:43 PM

Joe Tille,

You can use almost anything for a power source. A hand winch like swiowasawyer uses will work great or you can use a pickup or car if you have the room (go slow).


I think it would work fine on a small mill as long as the mill is stable; check out swiowasawyer’s set up. Looks pretty solid.

The parbuckle is a great tool when one doesn’t have big equipment or strong lads to help. It is the generosity of fellow woodworkers (like Daren Nelson) on the various woodworking websites, who are willing to share their knowledge, that got me started using this. I cannot say enough good about this site and others for sharing great information. Thanks to all those who freely share their skill and knowledge.

Those logs on the trailer are a shaker style traditional workbench in its early stages. They are going to be milled 8/4 by 4” for the top, legs and stretchers.


View mart's profile


190 posts in 4636 days

#6 posted 03-17-2009 07:59 PM

Two of the logs on that load came from this pile where Sadie the moose is having breakfast. The power company dropped the tree at my request due to it’s proximity to the power line. Sadie provides a branch clean up service.

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4917 days

#7 posted 03-18-2009 12:53 AM

I’d tame that moose…let her load the trailer ;)

View toolman409's profile


20 posts in 4417 days

#8 posted 03-18-2009 11:11 PM

These are great responses. Thanks. I really am pumped to try this method.

Parbuckle method, that is. We can’t depend on seeing a moose in north Alabama.

We do have baldeagles.

Sincerely, thanks

-- Keith, NW Alabama

View deeker's profile


43 posts in 4797 days

#9 posted 08-22-2009 07:45 AM

That is how I load my Norwood mill too. It is amazing at just how big of a log can be moved this way.

-- To those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected never know. Unknown, on an empty C-ration box. Khe Sahn 1968

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4589 days

#10 posted 08-22-2009 07:48 AM

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