What are they doing here?
This is a loading ramp. Note the horse team and skid road they
just brought the logs down off the hill on. Unhitched from the load,
the logs will now be rolled across the ramp and onto the truck and
bogie, secured as a load and taken to the mill pond or log dump
along a slough or other venue, for rafting to the mill. They might
even load them onto railcars in a similar fashion to get them to the
Looks like Martin Parry wood cab.
This TT looks fairly new with glossy paint and no dents in the front fenders. Maybe first day on the job.
That is one nice looking team but i can't seem to see some of the harness? I see no back pad,no straps down to the tugs,and no brichen? Bud in frozen Wheeler.
Kenneth, no need for a back pad, driver works from the ground. The tugs (or traces) run through a surcingle, no need for britching, they aren't going to back up with the logs, nor hold them back. It is a fine looking team !!
(and a pretty, shiny, new TT !!)
Rich,It's been almost 60 years but if that TT is ever stuck you might not want to hook that team to it!! Bud.
What are those, Percherons ?
Could be Burger, Percherons were popular in the era. Thing is, horses don't look the same today as they did 100 years ago. Shortly after this picture was taken was a "high water" mark in the population of draft horses in the USA, which soon declined to the point that work horses were almost extinct by the 1950s.
Bud, I see what you mean, but have faith ! That TT won't need a pull - will it ? ;- )
Rich,I guess i have never talked to anyone in your like of work! Your not the fellow in the movie Big Jake who John Wayne buy's the sheep from are you?? My grand dad had his team until he passed in about 1960.Bud.
Along about 1980 I was heading up a valley to a point we'd be hunting
an old telephone line. I was probably going about 25mph as we were all
looking for signs of the line when this team of six horses came out of the
woods and onto the road in front of us in a big cloud of dust, pulling a
drag of logs out to a loading point. The driver could have fallen straight
out of 1890, judging by his clothes and looks. It was a sight to see !
There is a guy north of Spokane about 30 miles that works all his fields
with horses. It is really neat to see him out there on his equipment as if
the 20th century never happened.
The old timers I grew up around in Maine claimed Percherons were valued here during the depression because they could/would work harder on short rations than other breeds, and had better feet. Most of the farms were mechanized after WWII, but horses were commonly seen in the woods well into the 1970s...I guess loggers were slower to see the sense in accepting the big debt that seemed to come with big machines!
Logging with horses is still a popular method for small logging outfits because a team will cause less stand damage in a selective cut. They will snake logs between standing future timber and brush that an operator on a forwarder will simply drive over or through, to say nothing of soil compaction and erosion causing ruts heavy machinery leaves behind
If you want to selectively open up an area by removing older mature trees to let the smaller understory trees grow, and aren't doing a massive clear-cut, a couple of teams with experienced teamsters is still a viable option, especially if you are harvesting on privately held land that you may want to be invited to return to.
Like Model Ts, guys with big drafters work their teams as a hobby. It's always a thrill for me to see a team at work, and it's nice that selective logging practices favor the use of teams where that's practical. I've often wondered how the Amish can subsist farming with horsepower, when around here, the "small" operators farm 7 or 8 sections with equipment that's now so wide they take up the entire road width, both lanes. An eye-opener, last spring I plowed up a half-acre plot with a 2-bottom one-way plow, and thought it would take the rest of my life ! The old rule of thumb going over the ground was an acre a day per horse . . . go figure !
A farmer friend used to sell shelled corn to the Amish and told me of getting his tandum axle truck stuck in the snow! He said it took them a little time but they came with a 6 horse hitch and pulled the truck out with 500+ bushel of shelled corn on it!! Bud.
I am just old enough to remember seeing team's pull a sled at the fair in ohio. as a kid that was an awesome sight. Raw power. fun thread.
??? They don't have horse-pulling contests at fairs in Ohio any more ?? Shame on them !
A curiosity, in the mid 1970's. Bingham County Idaho was the draft horse capital of the U.S. There were more draft horses here at that time than anywhere in the country. Tops I'd ever seen pulled to a win was 7500# dead drag on a stone-boat. When you figure Bud's friend's truck on wheels, with a 12 ton load pulled by a six-horse hitch, you can see how it was a reasonable task for the horses. Power, positive tractive effort, horses at work are a sight to behold.
We still have horse-pulling contest here in Taxachusetts. Our small town fair also has oxen pulls. Great to watch these animals respond to their handlers.
Tom, now that's something I'd really like to see. I have never been around oxen, or seen them worked. Most people don't realize that through most of the 19th century, oxen were the preferred heavy draft animals. Most of the wagon trains of the emigrant era were ox-powered. "Fancy" draft horses such as the Shires, Clydesdales, Percherons and Belgians were in their hey-day from around 1890 through the early 1920s.
When you add in stuck in snow and the weight of the truck& load legal 48,000 but i have seen it at 60,000 many times! One would wanted to be very careful where they hooked a team to the TT pictured! Bud,It's cold here!
Bud, did you ever see a movie with Steve McQueen called "The Reivers" ? puts me in mind of the old boy with the mule team who tells McQueen's character to hitch "to the part you want to come out of that mud-hole" !! ;- )
Rich,Sorry to say i might not have but i did see Earthworm Tractor with Joe E Brown! I miss the smell of horses! Bud.
!!! Bud, I never saw that one, but it sounds like a short story I read about a feller named Davy Crockett Suggs who was trying to get a "big bull gear" for his Earthworm Tractor - he was in the house-moving business. When all was said and done, come to find out his tractor was really a "Steel Elephant".
The story was in a little red book, one of several volumes in a set that was published in 1927. It belonged to my great-grandfather . . .
(I love the smell of horses too . . . guess we're a little weird ?)
It was my job growing up to tend the horses. Keep the barn squared
away, stalls fresh, corral clean, and fences mended. We rotated 3 pastures
and I had to walk whichever one was in use every day to check the fences.
We traded haying labor for hay and guess who was in charge of that operation.
Strangely, I like the keeping of horses more than I ever cared for the riding
of horses. I am that way with steam locomotives too. Everyone else wants
to run them. I want to wrench on them and then work on the track, preferring
to see them in action that be on top where I can't enjoy the magic.