Log Rolling


Log rolling requires a two-person team to use a pointed tool with a hook attached, called a 'peavey', to maneuver a 12 foot long log that is between 16 and 18 inches diameter at the butt end down a course that is 60 feet long and 16 feet wide. Upon crossing the end line, competitors must switch directions and return the log back across the starting line. The quickest time wins, with various penalties assessed for touching the log with anything but a peavey, or for knocking down any of the boundary stakes that mark out the course at 5 foot intervals. Log rolling has been a Conclave event every year since at least 1960. Note that some lumberjack competitions call birling 'log rolling', which can create some confusion.


Log Rolling - 2016 Conclave

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Thanks to Kaitlyn Yates for shooting and providing this video of Chris Longman and Tyler Brady log rolling at the 59th Southern Forestry Conclave hosted by Clemson University.


Peaveys have wood or metal handles, with metal points and hooks. The handle is used as a lever, allowing a log roller to begin the rotation of the log using the hook. Once the log is moving, the point can be used to maintain its momentum on flat ground. The point also serves to anchor the peavey in the ground when it is used in concert with the teammate's peavey to re-orient the log as it gets too close to the course boundary. See the example video for a demonstration of some of these techniques. A number of different companies produce peaveys, including Stihl.


The peavey was first developed in 1857 by Joseph Peavey, the founder of Peavey Manufacturing of Eddington, Maine. Other similar tools, such as the cant hook, have been in usage for longer. The distinction between a peavey and a cant hook is the point at the tip. Peaveys (the plural form is also correctly spelled peavies) have been used to move logs anywhere that mechanical means or livestock are not available or would be impractical to perform this task. Several people each with a peavey may be required to move a log depending on its size and weight.

Photo Credit: http://peaveymfg.com/

Logging Tools Walkthrough with Wood-Mizer

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Photo Credit: A modern metal peavey produced by Stihl. http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/accessories/forestry-tools/peavey/

Photo Credit: A modern wooden handled peavey produced by BMR. http://www.bmr.co/en/forestry-equipment/019424-peavey-cant-hook.html

Handtools for Trail Work

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Log Rolling Example Layout

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