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Farmi JL501 skidding winch and PV-2 Pete skidding winch

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The Farmi JL501 winch has an adjustable lower snatchblock.  The winch is used so that one pulls in the logs to the tractor through the upper pulley.  Attempting to move the logs when the cable is hanging from the upper pulley makes the front end of the tractor light, increases the risk of turning over the tractor, and makes the tractor difficult to steer.  The Farmi winch, therefore, has a lower snatchblock throughwhich one can run the cable, lowering the center of gravity, and allowing larger loads to be carried out.  If one runs into terrain where the tractor might get stuck, the operator can drop the load, drive forward until he is on hard ground again, and winch in the load again.  All this can be done without leaving the tractor seat.


There is no lower snatchblock present on the PV2 Pete winch.  The winch must therefore be used so that the individual logs must be hooked to the notched beam one at a time.  Because the logs are not centered on the winch, they will start cranking the tractor around, and make turning difficult.

When one gets stuck, all the chains tend to be tight.  It will be difficult to pry the chains from the notches one at a time when the butt end of the log tightens the chain.  Unhitching the load is again difficult because every log has to be unhooked from the notched beam. 

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The snatchblock on the Farmi winch can be moved up and down.  One can therefore optimize the weight transfer to the rear wheels for maximum traction.  The Farmi winches have an open snatchblock, so the cable is easy to place into the snatchblock, and, the design is such that the cable will stay within the snatchblock during transport.  Removing the logs off of the cable is easy, because the whole load can be dropped to the ground, and there is no tension on the chains.

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The Farmi winch comes with three keyhole sliders and a hook.  It is therefore possible to hook up four logs per hitch.   The optional skidding chains that are used with a Farmi winch have a pin on them, which enables the chain to be pushed under the log with less difficulty.

The pulley of the Farmi winch has a large diameter.  This enables heavier cable diameters to be used.

The Pete winch does not have any keyhole sliders to which one could hook multiple logs.  The end of the cable has a thimble loop, which is supposed to be pushed underneath the load, and then hooked into a hook on the cable.  This limits the operator to winching in one tree at a time.  The winch is produced in a former Soviet Republic, with the design, apparently, reflecting the efficiency of that market system.  Any experienced logger realizes the difficulty in getting a fat thimble pushed underneath a log.  The operator must carry with him tools to do this.

The pulley on the Pete winch has a small diameter.  Heavy cables can therefore not be used on this winch because wrapping a heavy cable around a small diameter pulley will cause heavy wear.

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When operating the clutch or the brake on a Farmi winch, the operator can stand on either side of the winch, away from the cable.   The brake and the clutch are rope operated, so that if the skid chain or cable breaks, the cable will fly towards the upper pully of the winch, while the operator is standing safely to the side.  This also enhances safety, because if the operator can not see from one side, he can move over to the other side. The handle in the center of the picture operates the break on the PETE winch.  To engage the brake, the operator must stand right next to the winch.  If the chain or cable breaks, there is risk of injury to the operator.  It is also very time consuming for the operator to have to go to one side of the winch every time when the break is to be engaged.

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In order to prevent tangling of the cable on the drum, the Farmi winch is equipped with a coiling device, which is shown in the top center of the picture.  The cable runs through a roller, on a lever.  The coiling device senses when the cable is being pulled out, or is being winched in.  It releases the drum brake, so that the cable pulls out easily.  As soon as the motion on the cable has stopped, the coiling device engages the brake, which stops the drum from turning, thus preventing tangle on the drum. No coiling device present.  There is a brake that pushes on the drum to stop it from turning.  The brake is engaged at all times, so the operator must not only overcome the weight of the cable when pulling it out, but also overcome the friction of the brake, which is constantly on.