Anyone who owns large machinery for logging, excavating, or any other business that demands the use of such equipment understands how expensive it can be to maintain. Company owners worry – especially when money is tight – about the cost of repairs and, especially, the cost of replacement when machinery has gotten old and just isn’t working well or is no longer efficient.

Repairing or replacing a boom on your logging equipment (or any other type of machinery) can be a huge expense, so it’s important to consult someone who knows their stuff before making any decisions.

Booms and Yarders

Yarders are sold with one of two types of booms:  a swinging boom or a fixed boom. As a rule, most swinging booms have a limited height of about 30 feet to 60 feet. Conversely, fixed boom yarders often have towers that can reach as high as 100 feet.

What’s the difference and why choose one over the other?

Well, swinging booms permit a wider skyline corridor and thereby reduce the number of times that you need to move the yarder.. This is a big advantage when grapple yarding.

In addition, a swing boom yarder will provide more deflection for those involved in uphill yarding than would a fixed tower of the same height if the fixed tower has to set a log length back of the fill slope.

On the other hand, fixed towers are usually taller than the booms on swing boom yarders, which may be an advantage in some scenarios.

In general, towers are usually made of steel and are tubular. You might also find some so-called “lattice towers”, which are much lighter but can certainly be damaged more easily. Regardless of material, each tower is designed for a specific cable size, so the operator must adhere to that size.

Fixing boom issues

While yarder owners do their best to keep their machinery in tip-top working condition, problems do occur. Issues happen due to user error, accidents, or simply because the equipment is old and has suffered a good deal of wear and tear. Sometimes, companies that regularly use their yarders seek not only repairs but also look for a system upgrade of some sort so that the boom on their yarders (or the entire machine) works better and more efficiently.

At Wheeler Equipment, we are experts at boom fabrication and repair. We bring to the table collective decades of expertise and understanding of yarders and booms of all types. Our staff has worked on all the major brands in the industry including giants like Washington and Madill but also Skagit, Sierra, American, Manitowoc, Sennebogen, and more.

We’re eager to help our clients figure out the best way to address any problems they may be having with their swing booms and/or towers and are happy to offer on-site inspections that save our customers both time and money. We understand that time and dollars are closely related when it comes to business, so we do our best to get you back up and running in as timely a manner as possible.

Of course, our expertise with boom fabrication and repair isn’t limited to just yarders. We’ll work on your crane booms as well. Just contact us about the problem and we’ll meet you for a no-obligation consultation, which includes discussion about the best course of action for repairs, keeping your budget in mind at all times.


Washington Yarders

Washington Cable Systems


Madill Repair

Materials Handlers



Boom Fabrication & Repairs

Back Spar



Parts Fabrication

Rigging Shack