Story: Bush trams and other log transport

Steam hauler

Steam hauler

In the early 1900s, steam-powered haulers largely replaced bullock teams. This typical New Zealand hauler weighed about 8 tonnes and was mounted on a portable wooden skid. It pulled logs from where they were felled to the bush trams. Haulers comprised a boiler to raise steam (right), a steam engine driving two drums (left), and steel cables. The larger drum skidded a log along the ground, then the smaller drum pulled the cable back out. Logs were hauled for up to 500 metres, attended by a ropey, who had a dirty and dangerous job. Above the driver is a rough shelter to protect him from the weather. The location is Gamman’s Mill, Mamaku, in 1928.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAQA 6394 L1561

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How to cite this page:

Paul Mahoney, 'Bush trams and other log transport - Skidding and hauling', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Paul Mahoney, published 24 Sep 2007