Winch: Hydraulic vs. PTO?

Garrik

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Aug 7, 2019
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I want to install a winch on my MX6000, to be used primarily for skidding logs. I have remote hydraulics in both the front and the rear - the front circuit, which is rated at 9.5 gpm at 2560 PSI seems plenty powerful enough to drive a fairly big hydraulic winch (certainly something in the 15,000 lb class, and probably 20,000 lb). Seems like one could build a nice winch mount for the SSQA pretty easily.

But most (many?) of the commercial skidding winches seem to be PTO winches designed to be mounted on the 3 point hitch.

Setting aside, for the moment, the question of whether mounting a winch on the hitch or the SSQA would be stronger/better/more reliable, any thoughts on hydraulic drive vs. PTO drive? Positive and/or negative points on either one? The specs for commercial products would seem to suggest that more power is available from a hydraulic winch driven by the front aux circuit than from a PTO winch given my ~55 PTO HP - but that doesn't really make any sense to me...

Thanks much!
 

kkk

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As much as I like all the pto units...I'm spooked to hook one to my tractor.
If the winch was the "fuse" thats fine but I want no part of possible pto damage.
That said...Some apparently have slip clutches or the like to protect power unit.
I like the hydro option...hoses gotta be cheaper.
 

BAP

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Mounting a winch on the loader ssqa is bad idea at best. Good way to bend or destroy your loader if what you are pulling gets stuck, yet the winch has power enough to keep pulling. PTO winches work fine. In fact, if you run your tractor at an idle, like I do most of the time when winching, if something gets caught winching in, the tractor will stall. For many many years, winches on dozers, skidders, and tow trucks were pto driven winches with hydraulic activated clutches and brakes.
 

BigG

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This will show you both a hydro and pto driven winch. This design will allow the pull to be directed to the ground and not pulling on the tractor. Pulling on the rear linkage at an angle will add stress to the 3 point that the tractor is not designed to withstand.

In your question you talk about 15-20,000 pound winches. You do not want to spend the money on a winch that will damage your tractor. Your tractor weighs 4-5,000 pounds and I would not want to use anything to large or you can damage the tractor or pull it over.

The SSQA is not a good idea for the winch.

I am unable to go into the woods and work anymore but if I needed to I would look at one of the cathead type of winch that uses a "rope". Much easier to drag to the log and they give you outstanding control of the line.

 

North Idaho Wolfman

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I'm third in the camp of an SSQA Winch is a really BAD idea.
I'll had another caveat to it... think of what would happen if the cable broke on a winch attached like that... someone could become headless or brainless in a quick hurry! o_O :sick:
 
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Garrik

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Mounting a winch on the loader ssqa is bad idea at best. Good way to bend or destroy your loader if what you are pulling gets stuck, yet the winch has power enough to keep pulling.
Sorry, I should obviously have been more clear that I would build this winch assembly onto a blade as both the commercial PTO skidding winches and the commercial SSQA skidding winches do. Thus transferring the pulling force onto the ground, not the tractor. And of course in either case there would need to be a screen to protect the driver and the tractor.

Just really trying to think about power source differences between PTO and hydraulic. Either one could be mounted on the rear 3 point hitch by just running hydraulic lines back there from the front remote anyway...
 

Freeheeler

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With the newer synthetic ropes available and their much better safety profile, really no reason to go with steel rope anymore. With synthetic, you don't have to build any protection for driver or tractor.
 

BAP

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Sorry, I should obviously have been more clear that I would build this winch assembly onto a blade as both the commercial PTO skidding winches and the commercial SSQA skidding winches do. Thus transferring the pulling force onto the ground, not the tractor. And of course in either case there would need to be a screen to protect the driver and the tractor.

Just really trying to think about power source differences between PTO and hydraulic. Either one could be mounted on the rear 3 point hitch by just running hydraulic lines back there from the front remote anyway...
So are you putting this on the 3 pt hitch or on the loader? SSQA refers to the type of quick attach for loader attachments.
 

Garrik

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So are you putting this on the 3 pt hitch or on the loader? SSQA refers to the type of quick attach for loader attachments.
Commercial skidding winches are available that mount in either place. The SSQA mounted winches are all hydraulic, for some reason the 3 ph winches are all PTO (not sure why that is, but it is. Maybe peole just feel that is a hassle to run hydraulics back there, or maybe the PTO offers more HP).

I am neutral as to mounting location (although good arguments have been made for the 3ph), mostly am trying to to figure out power source for the winch.
 

GreensvilleJay

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I'd go hydraulic. Had a 20K PTO on my Willys 4WD pickup though. Find a real tow truck that ISN'T hydraulic ! There's lots of good reasons to go hydraulic,they did. As for location, real offroaders have winches front AND back. If you want to know why, go real offroad with only a front winch ....
Assuming you're skidding to a common pickup point, it probably doesn't matter front or back, for the skidding operation. It's what you do with the logs afterwards. If you skid from the front, you can use the 3ph to pull the 'log hauler' to get the logs back to the mill (or 'processing site').
 

BAP

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Real loggers don’t winch from the front. You winch from the rear, pull it up and drive away. Hydraulic winches, unless they have a free wheel position, stink for hookup because they take forever to drag out the cable. Ran a skidded and dozer logging for 20+ years, all were PTO driven winches and would pull more than sometimes you could keep the machine in place. Either will work fine for you, it all depends on how complicated you want to get, and how much money you want to spend on setting up a winch. Hydraulic components tend to be more expensive.
 

torch

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Before buying a hydraulic winch, I would carefully compare the required flow rate against what your tractor is spec'd to deliver. I was watching one of those do-it-yourself shows and they mounted a hydraulic winch to the rear of a tractor. The cable feed would best be measured in inches per minute -- the flow delivered by the tractor was far, far less than what the winch required.
 

GreensvilleJay

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hmm... another possible winch choice is electric. A lot depends on the 'logs'. Here's where size matters. You need a big winch to pull a large log. A 3' round, 10' log of black walnut can weigh in at 3500#, according to one website
 

UpNorthMI

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I do a lot of log winching and skidding with my MX5800, I use a rear mounted Farmi JL351P that is PTO driven but the winch is operated with an onboard clutch that is activated by a rope pull. I looked around in the market at different winches, here is a list of companies in the market:
Balfor
Erskine
Farmi
Fransgard
Hud-son
Norwood
Tajfun
Uniforest
Wallenstein

Farmi has a range of hydraulic winches that attach to the front of a tractor but these tend to be smaller as the structure is just not there on the loader.

Skidding from the front does not make sense, you winch the logs to the rear of the tractor, chain each log to the rear skid plate, winch in another log and repeat. The most useful accessory is the Farmi snatch block that automatically releases the line, this allows me to use my tractor on a narrow forestry track to pull trees out at an angle onto the track, you should never pull sideways or at an angle to the winch.

A commercial logging / skidding winch is an amazing piece of equipment for your tractor if you have a real use for it.

Good luck with your project.
 
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BAP

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Not all tractors are setup to run continuous flow hydraulics that a hydraulic motor needs. If it is not setup that way, then you can damage the hydraulic system of the tractor.
 
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ki4dog

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I'm no expert, so take it for what it's worth, but I'm betting the hydraulic winches are better suited to skid steers. Seems they are better designed for this type of hydraulic application.
 
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