Watch a historic 1929 commercial working Steam Donkey log transporter in action as this powerful machine moves heavy logs. It still moves just as it did back in the 30s, when log transporting was the most efficient means of moving timber up and downhill to a rail line.
Many of these Steam Donkeys have been rescued from forest work sites in the last few decades and engineers have worked to rebuild and preserve what was once the backbone of the logging industry. However, the particular Steam Donkey featured in the video is the only Steam Donkey in Canada that’s still up and running in a semi-commercial setting.
According to the Alberni Valley Museum in British Columbia, it was built by Washington Iron Works of Seattle, Washington in 1929. It features a 9 x 10 ¼’ Washington yarder, has an operating pressure of 150 lbs and runs up to 58 horsepower. Some restoration work has been performed on the Steam Donkey, including replacement of 21 staybolts in 2008, and retubing in 2014. It is block rigged at 65’, has 1,700 feet of 7/8” main line, and 6 – 7/8” guy lines.
The Steam Donkey was first restored in 1986 and demonstrated for the 1986 Expo. It has been further preserved and demonstrated on some occasions since and can be seen at the Alberni Valley Museum in Port Alberni, BC, Canada.
If you’re a fan of vintage sawmill machinery, check out the video below, and SHARE for others to see it too!