The Badger

farmalla.jpg - 7.3 K
Badger Loader

In this writer's estimation, what you see here is one of the more forgettable log loaders that I have dealt with. Called a Badger, it was sort of a blend of a Farmall Tractor and a crane. The running gear and engine were essentially a Farmall tractor. From that they put tracks on it where the rear wheels belonged and put this swing boom behind it. Winch line with tongs lifted the logs and heeling them on the boom which could then be swung over the truck.

We were lucky enough never to own one of these, but there were a couple of them in the neighborhood. They had very dangerous pinch points near the boom base, and the machines were way too small to handle the size of logs that were common in the area. When in use, the loggers generally ended up spiking the engine end to the ground to help keep the machine right side up. This could be accomplished by parking the engine end over a stump and running a short cable from the stump to the frame. The cable would be spiked to the stump with railroad spikes to secure it. It was no accident that these machines became scrap metal before OSHA found them, which was just as well. If you see one, keep a safe distance

All the crane mechanism was powered from the tractor PTO. Structurally, the turntable on the bottom was steadied by the bearing up on top. The power came up through the center of the turntable via a bevel gear. The Swing was handled by classic counter-rotating frictions and a control lever. The Swing was limited to about 180 degrees. A small worm gear drive winch with a friction drive handled the boom hoist. A larger drum with 5/8th cable made up the lifting line. It had a foot pedal brake and a friction pull lever to engage. The operator sat on a Dishpan seat on the swinging portion of the machine and managed the swing with one hand and the load line with one hand and one foot.

To drive the machine, you turned the seat around, and locked the swing down. It was differential steered, meaning that you used the farm tractor steering brakes which had hand controls on them for steering as well as stopping and parking. The other features of the tractor part were typical of a farmall of the era because that is what it was. The engine was a 4 cylinder overhead valve engine with the magneto and sparkplugs on the right and the manifolds and carburetor on the left.

- - Updated 12/20/2012
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- - Updated 03/27/2008