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Does anyone know anything about log chains?

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 10-08-2011 12:58 AM 2948 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


10-08-2011 12:58 AM

Some will recall a post I recently made introducing my new toy, a ‘49 John Deere A. It has great compression and is in great condition. I want to use it to pull out some fence posts and maybe a small tree stump. I believe it to have the pulling power. However, so far, it has only demonstrated an ability to break ropes.

I need a log chain (or cable). It really bothers me to buy something when I know virtually nothing about what I am buying. I see that chains given ratings like 70 or 80. I have no idea what that means and no idea about what I need.

Maybe a steel cable is a better idea – I have no idea.

My tractor weights about 5000 pounds and has incredible traction. It’s rated drawbar horsepower is 38, but that is not the critical statistic. The critical statistic is torque. On that, all I can say is that it has a LOT.

I want a chain (or cable) that is equal to the torque my tractor can generate but I don’t want to over do it. A chain that is stronger than I need is extra weight and extra expense.

I’m hoping there is someone out there that knows a little about this subject.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


13 replies so far

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#1 posted 10-08-2011 01:09 AM

FWIW – - I just saw on e-bay a grade 43 log chain that has a load capacity of 5400 pounds (whatever that means). Then I saw a grade 70 with a load capacity of 4700. It seems like a higher grade should have higher load capacity. I clearly don’t know anything about this.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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Towtruck

70 posts in 2069 days


#2 posted 10-08-2011 01:43 AM

If your tractor weighs 5400 lbs. and you leave some slack in the chain so it will jerk, you could stretch the links or break a 3/8 grade 43 chain. If you buy a 3/8 grade 7 or 8 and you jerk with too much slack, you will probably flip your tractor over.

-- I cut it off 3 times and it's still too short!

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TopamaxSurvivor

17654 posts in 3136 days


#3 posted 10-08-2011 03:02 AM

I have some 5/16 chain, not sure what the grade is. 3/8 gets to be a bit of a pain handling it. 1/4 is a bit light IMO. If you start leaving slack and jerking things, something will break or tip over. The 5/16 will hold everything my tractor can pull before the wheels start to slip or the hydraulics can lift.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#4 posted 10-08-2011 03:10 AM

Thanks for the input. Jerking the chain is something I had never thought about and would never deliberately do. The clutch on my tractor is amazingly strong and it is a hand clutch. I can ease it in effectively without any real fear of burning the clutch out. I’ve been doing that on an A since I was 5 (with about a 50 year break).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17654 posts in 3136 days


#5 posted 10-08-2011 03:12 AM

BTW, my diesel is about 30 hp, about the same as the old JD. Dad’s 50 was about 25 or 30 hp I think.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Howie

2656 posts in 2383 days


#6 posted 10-08-2011 03:38 AM

If you have a Tractor Supply Co. close to you,go there, talk to the manager(not some clerk) and he will fix you up with the proper weight chain. They sell it by the foot.

-- Life is good.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#7 posted 10-08-2011 04:22 AM

Rich, I have broken a lot of chains, flattened a lot of links, and I now use those nylon web tow lines instead of chain. Much lighter, easier to handle, and you can jerk on them with much less jolt as they have some stretch. Some people call these jet tow lines. I have also used the heavy cargo straps as tow lines with good results. Do be careful when pulling stumps as you can flip your tractor over backwards much easier than you think. If I’m going to jerk something REALLY hard, I hook on to the front of my tractor rather than the rear as I have had the ‘Rearing Up’ tractor experience. Be careful!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 2567 days


#8 posted 10-08-2011 05:00 AM

gfadvm + 1 Andy, I concur on the flip. Easy way to get crushed or killed.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2528 days


#9 posted 10-08-2011 05:38 AM

If you use cable, have a foot, (or so) of chain in it. Snapping a cable under a load isn’t a pretty sight. Think industrial scale weed whacker. With a chain, much of the energy gets dissipated as the links collapse and the cable doesn’t try to act like a bullwhip.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17654 posts in 3136 days


#10 posted 10-08-2011 07:29 AM

That is a good point. First thing i did to my 4×4xFord with Warn winch was put 5’ – 6’ of chain on the end of the cable. Makes a lot better hooking rather than the cable hook onto the cable and adds a margin of safety. The only time i ever broke anything, it just dropped to the ground.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#11 posted 10-08-2011 07:48 PM

Thanks to all. I certainly learned from you helpful comments.

This morning I stopped into Theisens (like Tractor Supply) and found a grade 70, 5/16” by 20’ chain on sale for $34.95 and bought it. I also bought a clevis. FYI – They had a grade 43, 5/16” by 14’ for the same price – go figure.

I came home and quite easily pulled out 3 fence posts. I have several more pull-em-out projects to do, but I want to spread the fun out.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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StumpyNubs

6852 posts in 2260 days


#12 posted 10-08-2011 10:46 PM

My uncle was a logger and a chain smoker… is that the same thing?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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ToddTurner

144 posts in 2783 days


#13 posted 10-09-2011 03:58 AM

Hey rich. I read your stuff all the time and i always look for a reason to respond to your posts. Well, here we are. I have a New Holland 8N. Its a 50 hp diesel. Basically, look for tensil stregnth in you chain. Go to a tractor store and get a logging chain. It will have hooks. You wont break it and more importantly you wont get hurt…..

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