Suspension Upgrades for British Columbia Logging Pickup Trucks

Pickups Have a Place for Logging in British Columbia

Normally, it takes large, heavy machinery to drag felled trees out of the forest to a landing where the logs can be loaded safely. But not all jobs require big, expensive log-skidding equipment. Smaller jobs aren’t cost-effective for that kind of thing, i.e., there is little to no profit left after the cost of using big, expensive machinery. Quite often, a full-size 4x4 pickup truck is all that’s required for smaller jobs.

Here are some questions we will answer as we consider how useful pickup trucks can be for the logging industry in British Columbia:

How are pickups useful in the logging industry?
Should every logging company use pickups?
What are the best pickups for B.C. logging?
What logging trailers are made for pickups?
How can you upgrade your truck for the extra load?

pile of logs moved by pickup

How are pickups useful in the B.C. logging industry?

Sometimes a small job can be cost-prohibitive to bring inexpensive log-skidding equipment. If there is a small thinning project, often there isn’t enough volume to cover the cost, let alone make a profit. Instead of letting the timber go to waste, there are less-costly alternatives to have felled trees moved to a landing area where they can be loaded onto a logging trailer. The process of moving logs to a landing is called skidding.

When it comes to skidding logs, many loggers don’t realize how much a full-size, 4x4 pickup truck can pull. In cases where there is only a load or two of logs, a pickup makes a great alternative log skidder. They can’t pull as much as traditional logging equipment, but they are low-cost to transport, operate and repair.

If adequate roads, skid trails and a self-loading log truck is in place, then a pickup, some cables, pulley blocks, and chokers may be all the equipment you need.  Skidding with a pickup is slow-going, but with lower operating costs we don’t need to produce as much volume.

heavy duty pickup truck skidding logs in BC

Should every logging company use pickups?

Pickup logging:  Skidding logs with a pickup truck is a much slower process. However, the high cost of transporting and using big, expensive equipment will eat up the potential profits of a small project. That is why small jobs are often overlooked by logging companies that need to take on large projects to cover their overhead costs.

Be that as it may, there is plenty of opportunity for small logging companies that carry far fewer overhead costs. ‘Pickup logging’ is how smaller companies can take on the small logging jobs and still turn a profit.

What are the best pickups for B.C. logging?

The best pickups are full-size (half, three-quarter, and one tonne) Ram, Ford, Chevy, and Sierra with a 4x4 transmission. Another thing to consider is using a heavy-duty log trailer equipped with a grapple loader to lift heavy logs onto the trailer. If you are planning to invest in a log trailer, a one-tonne pickup with a gooseneck hitch would be best. All-terrain tires are also a necessity because much of the work is done off-road.

log loader and goose neck log trailer for hd pickup

What logging trailers are made for pickups?

Kerr’s Trailers are made in Canada, offering top quality and reliability to handle hard work efficiently.

Among the many different types of trailers, their logging trailers come with 17- or 19.5-foot-long platforms. The forestry model is equipped with a long-reaching and wide-lifting hydraulic boom that provides a powerful lifting capacity. Forestry trailers offer a variety of axle configurations: Torsion axles ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 lbs or Leaf Spring axles ranging from 8000 to 10,000 lbs or 10,000 lbs; 12,000 lbs or 15,000 lbs.

Kerr Trailers will also design and build custom log trailers with or without a log grapple. Their log-picker trailers come equipped with an 8-foot-long gooseneck or a tag-along. Optional speed jacks ensure stable and secure loading and unloading.

Kerr Logging Trailers come with many safety-standard features as well as the following options: a ventilated box for the hydraulic unit, a ladder, hydraulic stabilizer legs for a wider base, and a seat and platform that can be attached to the loader.

Timbren rubber helper srping installed on hd pickup truck

How can you upgrade your truck for the extra load?

Work trucks need to maintain their stability if they are to keep their operators safe. In other words: Greater Stability = Increased Safety. A suspension upgrade can go a long way to helping maintain safety and stability in the B.C. logging industry.

There are several after-market upgrades available for suspensions on pickups. The most popular are:

  • Metal add-a leaf: Traditional steel helper springs from Hellwig and SuperSpring will add additional carrying capacity and help prevent broken leaf springs.
  • Air Bags: Air helper springs made by Firestone and AirLift allow you to adjust the pressure to compensate for different payload conditions.
  • Hollow Rubber Springs: Aeon® hollow rubber springs made by Timbren Industries replace the factory bump stops that usually sit between the frame and the axle.

To get the maximum bang for your buck, install a set of Timbren SES helper springs on your logging truck. At the heart of every SES product, is the Aeon® hollow rubber spring. To get the total package including extra capacity and maximum stability, choose Timbren SES.

With the proper accessories such as Timbren SES upgrades, pickup trucks have proven to be useful for smaller jobs in the B.C. logging industry.