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The Wood Duck: A New Tree Falling Tool

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This article reports the development and preliminary testing of a new tool for falling trees (the Wood duck). The Wood duck is a version of scissor jack that uses a ball screw to separate the jaws. Using a ball screw reduces driveline friction to the point where a commercially available battery-powered drill driver is able to produce an 89-kN separation force. Previous research developed a cutting pattern that holds the tree stationary while the faller is making the cuts and then used a remotely actuated hydraulic flange spreader to initiate falling. Using the Wood duck with the previously designed cutting pattern increased the success rate from 78 to 91%, where success is defined as a tree that did not begin to fall before the Wood duck was actuated. Further improvements to the Wood duck are also discussed.
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Keywords: ball screw; mechanical design; scissor jack

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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