Tractor Skidding Winch Build

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OH_Varmntr

Burner of stored sunlight
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
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Location
NW Ohio
After a solid month of planning and amassing parts, then leaving the project to collect dust for the last 9 months, I've decided to pick it up again and actually get my winch built. My tractor is a 4x4 John Deere 4600 hydro with 43 engine hp and somewhere around 34 PTO hp. This build is based off the winch in this video. I will not be initially incorporating any sort of drum holding mechanism like a ratcheting pawl or brake. Plans are to use 3/8" or 7/16" cable and the spool will be built to hold up to 300 feet if I decide to go that route.


The main frame structure is built from 2x6x3/16" tubing, 48" tall, 30" wide. I began by mocking the frame up, getting my height set up for the PTO.
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Decided I liked where things were and got it tacked up. Mocked up the main cross member that will hold the 4140 shaft in place. The drum barrel is 3.5" pipe that has been bored to accept steel reducer bushings that hold bronze bushings that will be plug welded in place. I have some 1/2" thick, 13" diameter plates being made for the drum flanges. The 60 tooth 60 pitch sprocket pictured will have friction material attached. The plan is to use a length of 1.5" Acme rod and nut to apply pressure to the outer drum flange to press the inner drum flange against the driven sprocket to engage the drum. Again, just like the above video.
20221216_195224.jpg

The shaft will be fixed in place with a pin block and I plan on center drilling it and drilling grease ports at each bushing point so I can grease the bushings from a single zero at the end of the shaft. I haven't put calipers on the flat plate crossmember yet but it's 5/8" if not 3/4" thick. She's going to be plenty heavy.
20221217_024431.jpg
So at this point, I'll be mocking up the upper hoop that will hold the block and getting the 3pt attachment points in place so I have a way to move this beast around as it continues to get too heavy to move by hand.
 
I ordered the last of the parts I need including 250' of 7/16" cable, 3/8" x 8' choker chain assemblies, cable slide assemblies and a ferrule/wedge assembly (sticker shock!).

If anyone is looking, I looked all over and found the best prices from North American Supply and they had free shipping over $500 which saved me a bunch of money there.

Also placed an order with McMaster for components to build my rotating upper sheave assembly. Hopefully getting some more work done this week.
 
Driven sprocket/clutch assembly.
20221224_201318.jpg

Framework a bit more complete. There will be 3/4" plates across the lower front for bumpstops.
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This is the engagement mechanism for forcing the drum into the driven sprocket. The video in the first post has a 1 piece shaft whereas mine is multiple pieces that I'll weld together.

The big nut is a 1.5" ACME and the other is 1". The 1" nut will be used to hold a brace plate in place. The thrust bearings are between the ACME nut and the winch drum.
20221231_012332.jpg
 
Looking good!
One thing I found using my setup was that the large sprocket and the large plate was there was too much give/flex in them. I never did get around to doing it but if you weld another 3/8" disk to the sprocket and one to the plate it will be about 4 times stronger. Also my drum was too long, should have made it about 5" or less instead of the 7.5" that it was.
Keep the progress posts coming.
 
Thanks. The sprocket and drum flanges are 1/2" thick. I'll keep an eye on them when I get it fired up.

My drum is 8" long. I really had no reasoning other than spool capacity. I wanted to be able to reach anywhere in my woods to pull logs out. I'm hoping my cable and chokers will be here early this coming week. I've got everything pretty much made at this point so I just need to assemble and weld everything out.
 
A pic of mine I built some 25 years ago. When first built, I had a hyd. motor runnng it. Too slow, no power. I changed it over to pto, the oak log in the pic. is 9 ft long, about 40" diameter. The bank is steep enough it's really hard to walk without pulling yourself up it. The only thing you have to watch is to not pull a load up so tight you can't back up & let the tension off, as theres no release. The winch is a Tulsa off an old wrecker, and the worm drives tend to self lock, they won't pay out on their own. The drum has a free wheel lever, but under tension, you can't let it off. coak6.jpg
 
A pic of mine I built some 25 years ago. When first built, I had a hyd. motor runnng it. Too slow, no power. I changed it over to pto, the oak log in the pic. is 9 ft long, about 40" diameter. The bank is steep enough it's really hard to walk without pulling yourself up it. The only thing you have to watch is to not pull a load up so tight you can't back up & let the tension off, as theres no release. The winch is a Braden off an old wrecker, and the worm drives tend to self lock, they won't pay out on their own. The drum has a free wheel lever, but under tension, you can't let it off. View attachment 1045599
Looks stout!
 
I to am using a PTO Wrecker winch now, same scenario, has a lever to disengage it but you cannot do that under any pressure so you have to push the clutch in on the tractor and shut the PTO off. I geared it up with the sprockets, it's still a tad slow but works great. I have 200' of cable on it. This reminds me, I noticed the gear oil leaking out the bottom through the threads on a plug, I have to take that out and put some teflon tape on it and re oil it.
 

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Getting real close. It appears one of my PTO shaft bearings has a cracked housing so I need to get a new one prior to putting this under power.
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The piece I'm pointing to is a collar that just fits over the 1.5" ACME nut. I machined the ridges off between each nut flat so there are now 12 flats that I can lock the collar down on with set screws. This way I can index the collar as the clutch wears instead of pulling apart to shim the thrust bearings for clutch wear. I don't have the engagement lever welded to this collar yet.
20230108_230741.jpg
 
Looking good!
How far does the collar have to turn for positive engagement?
I tried using those little thrust bearings on my first build, ended up with just some washers and grease, the bearings just turned to mush.
I wish I had machining skills.
The ACME threads are 5 TPI so very coarse. I don't have it under power yet so I'm not sure about engagement. I'll have to wait to find that out exactly as playing by hand won't exactly give me an accurate feel.

Did you use the hardened and ground washers with your bearings? I wasn't sure on them either but they're quick to swap to something else if need be.

I wish I had machining skills too, I can make some junk parts in a hurry 🤣
 
The ACME threads are 5 TPI so very coarse. I don't have it under power yet so I'm not sure about engagement. I'll have to wait to find that out exactly as playing by hand won't exactly give me an accurate feel.

Did you use the hardened and ground washers with your bearings? I wasn't sure on them either but they're quick to swap to something else if need be.

I wish I had machining skills too, I can make some junk parts in a hurry 🤣
I did use the hardened washers. Worked fine without it. I just slathered it with grease.
 
Well if I'm good at anything, it's making mistakes!

When I mocked up the main crossbrace where the offset hole for the drum shaft is, I knew it didn't seem right. I couldn't rectify the issue in my mind and proceeded with the build.

Well the plate was backwards so my drum was offset to the wrong side of the upper block. This means the cable spools up on the opposite side of the drum so the wrap angle is too great. This will sideload the upper block which is a no go.

Here you can see how it would wind up if I ran it like it is. The drum spins clockwise.
20230112_191112.jpg

This is how it was supposed to be. Had I offset the drum correctly, it would still be wrapping on the right side of the drum but the angle would be like this.
20230112_191133.jpg

So rather than cut everything apart, I'm installing fixed idlers on either side of the drive sprocket. The chain will ride over the sprocket rather than under it, effectively reversing the chain rotation. The sprockets and 4140 shafting will be here today, I was able to build the mounting tabs ahead of time.
20230112_213406.jpg

Put my new (to me) plasma cutter to use. It's rated for 1/2" plate which is what this is. Not bad for having worn out consumables.
20230112_202131.jpgThis is the detail of the fastening pin for the drum shaft.
20230112_184533.jpg
 
Well if I'm good at anything, it's making mistakes!

When I mocked up the main crossbrace where the offset hole for the drum shaft is, I knew it didn't seem right. I couldn't rectify the issue in my mind and proceeded with the build.

Well the plate was backwards so my drum was offset to the wrong side of the upper block. This means the cable spools up on the opposite side of the drum so the wrap angle is too great. This will sideload the upper block which is a no go.

Here you can see how it would wind up if I ran it like it is. The drum spins clockwise.
View attachment 1048394

This is how it was supposed to be. Had I offset the drum correctly, it would still be wrapping on the right side of the drum but the angle would be like this.
View attachment 1048385

So rather than cut everything apart, I'm installing fixed idlers on either side of the drive sprocket. The chain will ride over the sprocket rather than under it, effectively reversing the chain rotation. The sprockets and 4140 shafting will be here today, I was able to build the mounting tabs ahead of time.
View attachment 1048388

Put my new (to me) plasma cutter to use. It's rated for 1/2" plate which is what this is. Not bad for having worn out consumables.
View attachment 1048393This is the detail of the fastening pin for the drum shaft.
View attachment 1048386
Looking good, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Nice work man!
 
Well if I'm good at anything, it's making mistakes!

When I mocked up the main crossbrace where the offset hole for the drum shaft is, I knew it didn't seem right. I couldn't rectify the issue in my mind and proceeded with the build.

Well the plate was backwards so my drum was offset to the wrong side of the upper block. This means the cable spools up on the opposite side of the drum so the wrap angle is too great. This will sideload the upper block which is a no go.

Here you can see how it would wind up if I ran it like it is. The drum spins clockwise.
View attachment 1048394

This is how it was supposed to be. Had I offset the drum correctly, it would still be wrapping on the right side of the drum but the angle would be like this.
View attachment 1048385

So rather than cut everything apart, I'm installing fixed idlers on either side of the drive sprocket. The chain will ride over the sprocket rather than under it, effectively reversing the chain rotation. The sprockets and 4140 shafting will be here today, I was able to build the mounting tabs ahead of time.
View attachment 1048388

Put my new (to me) plasma cutter to use. It's rated for 1/2" plate which is what this is. Not bad for having worn out consumables.
View attachment 1048393This is the detail of the fastening pin for the drum shaft.
View attachment 1048386

Well if I'm good at anything, it's making mistakes!

When I mocked up the main crossbrace where the offset hole for the drum shaft is, I knew it didn't seem right. I couldn't rectify the issue in my mind and proceeded with the build.

Well the plate was backwards so my drum was offset to the wrong side of the upper block. This means the cable spools up on the opposite side of the drum so the wrap angle is too great. This will sideload the upper block which is a no go.

Here you can see how it would wind up if I ran it like it is. The drum spins clockwise.
View attachment 1048394

This is how it was supposed to be. Had I offset the drum correctly, it would still be wrapping on the right side of the drum but the angle would be like this.
View attachment 1048385

So rather than cut everything apart, I'm installing fixed idlers on either side of the drive sprocket. The chain will ride over the sprocket rather than under it, effectively reversing the chain rotation. The sprockets and 4140 shafting will be here today, I was able to build the mounting tabs ahead of time.
View attachment 1048388

Put my new (to me) plasma cutter to use. It's rated for 1/2" plate which is what this is. Not bad for having worn out consumables.
View attachment 1048393This is the detail of the fastening pin for the drum shaft.
View attachment 1048386
Are you planning on changing the plate where the cable goes to the top pulley ?? If not you might be needing more cable to replace the worn out ones. A set of top rollers and side rollers rather than a hole in the plate would be preferred IMO. Just asking.
 

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