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10 ton Lombard and sleds


Last year the Building trades students at the Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center
fabricated a set of heavy Lombard patent Logging sleds for the Maine Forest & Logging Museum using original
fittings and castings.

Yesterday we had our first opportunity to load them up with some logs and haul them with the museum's
1934, 10 ton Lombard tractor.To say it was a steep learning curve would be an understatement! It sounds
easy enough - roll some logs up onto the bunks and away you go. Not so!

Herb and I were joined in this adventure by Mike and Alissa Wetherbee. Alissa is a founding member of the
Axe Women Loggers of Maine and recently set a record as the first person to logroll across the Mississippi.
With their amazing perseverance, skills and help we actually managed to load two logs on the sled after a lot of trial and error.

Our first idea was to use the Celtrac to position the sleds, skid logs and as part of a cross-haul setup. However, that
little beast was not in a a mood to play with us so we ended up using the Lombard as a skidder. Let me tell you this -
trying to maneuver the big 10 ton Lombard around tight spaces is a workout! By the end of the day my arms
were ready to fall off and my clutch leg was getting a bit shaky.

After one aborted attempt to use the Lombard to cross-haul we had to give-up on that idea.
The problem with the cross-haul was that we didn't have enough chain to setup a parbuckle. So instead of
rolling the logs we were dragging them. We almost had it but the log started to go crooked and the whole
thing went sideways rather fast.

Anyway, we decided to skid the logs over to another log pile, roll them onto it to get them more level with the bunks.
This worked nearly perfect - especially with Mike and Alissa's skills with some really nice high tech peaveys.
In short order we had to 25 foot pine logs loaded. Now that's not much of a load but we were rather pleased that they
were on the sled at all! Back in the day a sled this size could hold upwards of 5,000-6,000 board feet.
Thankfully we were not being paid by the sled load.

Hopefully in the future we will have a elevated rollway to load from which will make life much easier!


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