Andy, your cracking me up! You know the gear-head syndrome! OK, in about 20 minutes it can be converted back into a skidder.
I was looking for the real figures but can not find them. Something like this; let us say one log can be flat dragged on the ground. If the front of the log is lifted three logs can be dragged, all the logs are the same size. Now if the logs are hauled, six logs can be moved (brakes would be nice). Trying to do more with less. Also, there are a lot of small stems that I would rather just hand load.
I kind of understand your easy loader/un-loader. Another idea would be to slide the axle forward, with the winch if needed, for loading and un-loading. If stuck the rear brakes (if there were any) could be locked then the rear axle winched back. I think the problem would be that the spine (the tube that the axle would slide on, would catch the ground. I’m not sure how to handle the problem.
If I have the time I might switch to a capstan winch. Also go back to a belt clutch.