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5 Ways to Use ATVs & UTVs in Forestry & Logging

5 Ways to Use ATVs & UTVs in Forestry & Logging

Logging has been a part of American society for literally hundreds of years. Dating back to the 1600s and the Jamestown settlers, loggers traveled deep into the woods to cut and fell trees for use in their communities. From then to today, logging allows our society to make anything from paper to building materials. One notable difference between the Jamestown settlers and today’s loggers: today’s loggers have access to modern machinery, including off-road vehicles, to make this process just a little easier. Here are 5 ways loggers can use ATVs and UTVs to get the job done.

1. Transportation 

Four-wheelers and side-by-sides are a great way to travel deep into the woods, large enough to handle the terrain and small enough to maneuver between trees. These machines can go an average speed of 50 mph, giving loggers a safe, efficient, and reliable mode of transportation. Plus, additional cargo room that comes with off-road vehicles makes it easy to transport any supplies you might need. Also, both ATVs and UTVs are designed to handle the dense forest roads that may be full of roots, holes, streams, and other tough topography.

2. Trail Clearing 

If you’re heading out onto a trail less traveled, four-wheelers and side-by-sides can help clear the way. Whether clearing debris, plowing snow, or grading a trail, there are a number of attachments for your unit that can help with the process. Since a big part of logging is moving the tree from the cut site, having a clear path is important to the skidding process (which we’ll discuss a little further down).

3. Winching

Oftentimes when a tree falls, it lands in a tight spot – potentially between other trees or set back from the trail. Since ATVs and UTVs are more compact than a full size truck, for instance, they are great machines to help move the log into position for skidding. Using a winch attachment, attach the cord to the log and let your unit do the rest.

4. Log Splitting

If you need to cut your logs down to size before moving them, there are portable log splitters that can tow behind your four-wheeler or side-by-side to the cut site. These attachments typically let you split the log either vertically or horizontally so you can get the logs sized down for transport.

5. Hauling & Skidding

Once a tree has been cut down, it has to be hauled out of the forest so it can be processed and used. Considering that ATVs can typically haul between 1,200 – 1,500 lbs and UTVs can typically handle around 2,500 lbs, these machines are a great tool for pulling logs out of the woods. There are a number of attachments available, from heavy-duty trailers to dedicated log haulers, designed to work with your machine and make the hauling and skidding process easy.

Conclusion: Logging is labor intensive, no question, but using an ATV or UTV for some of the most common tasks can make the work a little bit easier. As you consider your options, check out ATVTrader.com for the largest selection of new and used four-wheelers and side-by-sides across the country, and follow along here for more helpful tips and tricks. 

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Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith
is the Content Manager at Trader Interactive, managing marketing content development for ATV Trader, Commercial Truck Trader, Cycle Trader, Equipment Trader, RV Trader, and more. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to marketplace buyers and sellers.

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