I've been working on clearing a ditchbank on a 210-acre farm and have come across a 32ft flatbed 5th wheel trailer that I have purchased to haul logs back to my house with. It's been cut shorter and has had one of the three axles removed, so it's now a tandem axle. The lower deck is 24ft and the upper is 8ft, with stake pockets all around on both decks. I've paid for it but am currently awaiting my 5th wheel hitch to come in so I can go pick it up.
I'm planning on dragging logs onto the deck using a combination of snatchblocks, aircraft cable, and my four wheeler (~600lbs dry weight, ~850 with oil, gas, rider, gear). I've been looking at log weights online and figured if I can keep the logs to about 16' long it should keep the log weights under 2000lbs. Most of the logs I'll be hauling are under 18" diameter and vary in species. I'll have temporary access to a loader but on the days I don't all I have is my fourwheeler.
I've been thinking of a few ways to rig. The first would be running a choker from the log to a snatchblock mounted to the top deck and then pulling the tag line with my fourwheeler straight back from the rear of the trailer. I believe that would double the pulling force of the fourwheeler.
Second would have the cable anchored to the top deck, back through a snatchblock fixed to a choker on the log, back to a snatchblock mounted next to the anchor on the top deck, then pulling the tag line with my four wheeler. If I pulled straight back from the rear of the trailer it would triple the pulling force of the fourwheeler.
Third, I could parbuckle them up from the side. I would have to build some ramps but that's not a big deal. I'd mount a snatchblock to a reinforced stake and be able to transfer it to either side of the trailer for convenience in loading. Cables would be anchored to the side of the trailer in 2 places and would meet a single cable which would be ran to the stake-mounted snatchblock then the tag line of the cable would be pulled with my four wheeler. I'm not sure how this technique would multiply the pulling force.
eBay has some 10-ton snatchblocks for ~$40 each. If I keep log weights under 2k and straight pull them up the rear of the trailer, I figured max tension on the blocks and cable would be 6000lbs, and that's with perfect traction with my four wheeler, which I won't have, so I don't think I'll come close to that. I plan on running 3/8" aircraft cable. If I parbuckle them up I don't think I'll see near what I would straight pulling them up since the logs will be used as a pulley in the system. I might have to use a combination of the techniques as not all logs are going to be straight so they won't be as easy to parbuckle as others.
Am I on the right track here with doing what I can with what I have? Any recommendations? I definately want to over-do it as safety is important to me since I'll be out there along much of the time and will be doing this alone.