"With just a little effort and some imagination, you can build a whole
miniature logging operation- purely for fun and demonstration...."
When Michael Belenski was in the mood to do some logging on the family tree-farm near Castle Rock, Washington, he wasn't sure where to start. Like so many other loggers before him, he looked around the place and decided just to use good machinery he already had. Though his Tonka T-9 tractor was older and already had thousands of hours in the dirt, it was still in plenty good shape to use as a yarder/tower carrier. Michael selected a Hyster triple-drum winch and the 90' six-guyline 'Porta-Tower' setup to go with it. After a few hours in the shop with torch and welder, the dozer emerged with fully-funtioning yarder and tower mounted, tested, and ready to log- and log she does! No issues there, and she'll pull big wood too. Everything works just like it should, and the spar-raising winch and guyline winches are fully functional and very stout indeed.
For rigging on this side, Michael has butt-rigging, rider-block, and shotgun carriages for use depending on the terrain.
For loading duties on this highlead side, Michael opted to use his older Nylint Michigan crane. It was plenty sturdy yet and only needed minimal modifications. With a 1960's era Young heel-boom, updated outriggers, adding of one drum, and some additional guarding, this machine looks and acts just like it was built to do this type of work from the factory. Again, everything works and funtions just like it was designed to do. On this day, Michael was swinging a Young grapple, but he has the ability (and Talent) to build/use any grapple he wants or needs, and has tongs too if the job requires to get those out. The side is complemented with a full spread of support equipment too, including skidder and log trucks, most all with custom add-ons.
I know Michael and his dad Keith well, and I believe it's safe to say we will see this operation grow and grow in the future!
I can hardy wait to see what the next piece of Belenski Tree Farm ground will require in terms of machinery.....
There's a Ford LTL9000 long-logger in the shop now, and I heard a rumor a Washington 208 might be on it's way.
Hyster Highlead Side works steeper ground on Belenski Family Tree Farm
Above and either side:
Michael's Hyster Porta-Tower on Tonka T-9 Tractor, seen with some vintage advertising.
Good overall view of the drum arrangement and older-style Young heel-boom on the Nylint Michigan crane carrier.
Editor's Note: My hope is to write short story every month for each subject in the wesite. Here's my 'April, 2012 Toys and Hobbies' entry. Each article (complete and with pics) will be 'archived with a link' as we progress, so you'll always be able to go back and find previous material for reference or fun at home. If you have a cool project like this one cooking, PLEASE drop me a note!
Thank to Michael and Keith Belenski for sharing thier little logging show with me. All of the pictures in this
article were supplied by the Belenski family and will be enjoyed and appreciated by many people over these next months!
Michael Belenski is a young welder/fabricator and builds these fantastic conversions himself in his dad's shop.
- Text and story by EWC, April 14, 2012 -
- The Rusty Grapple - PO Box 21158 - Juneau, Alaska 99802 - All Rights Reserved -