Good news: I have a sawmill. Bad news: I don’t have a forklift. The platform for the sawmill is about 36 inches above the ground. If I were using the sawmill all the time, I might invest in a forklift or a front end loader, but since I only use the Logosol mill every once in a while, I can’t justify the investment. Instead, I’ll do the work with a cant hook and a pickaroon.
PSA: Logs Are Heavy!
Be very careful moving logs. They’re incredibly heavy. Log to lumber conversion should be done while the log is still green (wet), so you’re moving a lot of water when you move the log. For instance, a 16” diameter red oak log weighs 88 pounds per lineal foot. That adds up fast. I’d advise looking up a green log weight chart if you want to see the weights of various species in green log form.
Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’
There’s no way to lift a heavy log without equipment, but two Rs work well: rolling and ramps. Use your cant hook to grab the log and roll it. Since logs are rarely perfectly round, they roll okay but not great, so the cant hook gives you the leverage you need.
When You Gotta Turn
The pickaroon is one of the most useful tools I’ve found for log handling. When you need to get the log turned in another direction hook your pickaroon into the end grain and give a pull. It’ll spin easier if you roll it up onto a two-by-four first. Easy peasy.