Timber Jack

Object detail

Accession number
Production period
Timber jack, used to move felled Kauri logs.

"The jack was a simple,tough, mechanical device which enabled the bushmen to move logs easily by hand. The earliest bushmen did not have timber jacks. They moved logs by rolling them with ropes, or with wooden stakes called handspikes, which were thrust into the ground and levered against the log. The timber jack was a more sophisticated method of levering. The jack was placed at an angle between the ground and the log, and its spiked feet held it firmly in place. The bushman wourked the jack by winding two handles which raised a strong metal bar, called a spear, out from the body of the jack. The spear would push against the log and move it forward. Winding anit-clockwise lowered the spear."
"Timber jacks may have come into use as early as the 1840's, but were widely used by the late 1870's after a new design, suited to kauri bush work, was mass-produced in Thames. The bushmen liked the new jacks because they were strong enough to shift big logs and much lighter than their predecessors. Even so, the timber jacks weighted from 36-38 kilos."
"The bushmen would shift convoys of logs with jacks. This was done on a 'rolling road', which was a cleared track of up to a kilometer and a half, running down a hill or slope. Small trees were often laid lenghtwise along the road for the big logs to roll over. A fleet of big logs would be manoeuvred steadily down the road using timber jacks. The front log would be moved first, about two meters forward, and then braced. The other logs would then be given a push to roll them up to the first one."
Credit Line
Timber Jack, 1981.60.2. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


Public comments

So, who made it, and what number is it? No. should be near top of the front steel plate.. :-)

- Dave Nevin posted 4 years ago.

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