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Bowline on a bight pulling trees over

DBJR

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
7
Age
30
Location
Connecticut
Recently was cutting a 14" maple in a front yard. Was growing next to an oak and when I finished the back cut the crown moved two feet and got stuck on a thick dead oak branch I couldn't see through the leaves before. Luckily I had my throwline and 200' of 3 braid in my truck and was able to redirect to a big pine and snap the dead branch by pulling it with the truck.
So the question of all this is, since I had a limited space to pull forward I used a bowline on a bight to attach to the ball hitch on the truck. When I was pulling I was told that one of the eyes had slipped a bit. It held through the pull but was wondering if since I used it without the bitter end loaded that it might roll out like a clove hitch without being secured. Or would the eye cinch up? The next pull I used a alpine butterfly and worked perfectly but have heard they can jam if pulled to tight. Light pulls this time but want to know if I need to practice on my B.o.B for heavier pulls or if I'm worrying too much. Thanks for reading all this, just trying to paint a clear picture.
 
old CB

old CB

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
660
Location
CO
I used to tie the bowline on a bight quite often. Hardly find use for it anymore . . . though sometimes. The main thing I do when tying any bowline that will get loaded is to make sure to leave the part where the rabbit goes around the tree a little slack, because if it's cinched too tight, it can be a bear to untie. That second bight in the bowline, where the rabbit goes around the main part of the rope, is the key to loosening a bowline.

I pull a lot of trees on rope. For felling sometimes, but even more once they're on the ground I skid trees and tree parts to move them to processing area. I used to tie a bowline, or bowline on a bight, then hitch to the ball hitch on the truck (or to a come-along, which I use to pull trees over). But someone on this site pointed out that the bowline isn't necessary. Instead I use a girth hitch. For pulling over a tree, or skidding a tree, either one--I just girth hitch to the come-along or truck hitch. So much quicker and simpler than all the knot tying. And it won't come loose. In fact, when heavily loaded, the girth hitch can also be tough to undo. But it's always doable.

Try the girth hitch, and you'll like it.

I mostly tie a running bowline anymore when hitching to a tree or bundle of limbs to be moved on the ground.
 
old CB

old CB

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
660
Location
CO
Another thing I like about the girth hitch for pulling is you can lay the first bight on the ball hitch and pull the slack out before laying the second bight. That way there's no slack in the line. Sometimes important.
 

DBJR

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
7
Age
30
Location
Connecticut
In all honesty jefflovstrom in using the search function before I posted I believe I saw you recommended a bowline on a bight for the same application. Think it was when i was searching for how to use the "stick trick" to keep knots from binding. Might've been why I used it. While I believe old CB had some excellent points about using a girth hitch can you expand on why you prefer the bowline on a bight?
 
CT arborist

CT arborist

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
42
Age
30
Location
Ct
I've always used the BOB and never had it cinch up. When I want all slack gone I only make 4 or 5 or more X crossed wraps on the ball hitch if that makes sense.
 
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