Trebuchet ‘r’ us

Posted by on Nov 7, 2011 in just for fun | 4 Comments

Pre-Ramble: Well, another Halloween has come and gone, and Rats — another year, caught with no trebuchet.

Last year, I promised myself that I would stay on top of things and be more proactive about pumpkin management preparedness.

Somehow, the whole thing got away from me.

If you weren’t an avid reader in 2009, you may have missed my post “Let it fly” (10/29/09) which discusses the “trebuchet” (example shown right) in the context of increasingly popular “punkin’ chuckin’“ events. You may know these Medieval machines as “catapults,” … either way, they are ridiculous looking contraptions that,

“… use the mechanical advantage principle of leverage to release a sling and arm mechanism to propel a stone or other projectile towards a target with great force.”

Well, so, in lieu of purchasing your own backyard trebuchet — which can involve a number of potentially problematic issues including general bulkiness and high costs of transport and materials, not to mention local zoning regulations — you will be relieved to know that there are rental opportunities:

Craigslist:  Surprisingly, no trebuchets listed here.

eBay:  77 results, mostly small wooden models (assembly required) … like the Tabletop Trebuchet  … Perfect for home or office. A steal at $24.99.

Independent company:  A Google search came back with Yankee Siege Rental located in “picturesque” Greenfield, New Hampshire. Yankee Siege rents a contraption that can throw a maximum 300 pound object close to 1000 ft. (?).  (The falling pumpkin effect on their home page is truly inspired.)

“ … We are now available to help “catapult” your business or product! … You bring the object, we’ll find a way to throw it! … Free consultation!”

Good news … On-site rental of the unit, including a 4-member crew, rigging, castle, etc., runs just $3000 per day.

The better news …  For an additional mileage and set-up cost, Yankee Siege can also travel to your site!  No fuss no muss; use it just when you need it.

And, more good news … Yankee Siege also has a giant 14 foot diameter Mace Ball weighing 10,000 pounds … “This ball can be lifted with our crane and dropped on the object of your choice.”

And, as if that weren’t enough, the fine folks at Yankee Siege go the distance, promoting their website as a public forum for information about all things trebuchet.

“I hope that there can be an open discussion of problems, solutions and new ideas.”

The Trebuchet Take-Away:  Ok, that’s a noble goal … I can certainly see where a discussion around problems that result in the world of the trebuchet are warranted.  But, really, the giant, crudely built implement has been around since Medieval times … are we actually going to see any meaningful innovation happening here?  … Go for it.

Best trebuchet-related quote:Catapults are similar to boats, in that you always want one that is just a few feet bigger.”  So true.

Best related item found:  A t-shirt featuring illustrated depictions of your most celebrated “Medieval Headwounds” … as inflicted by Axe, Cannon, Crossbow, Sword, Trebuchet, etc. Great holiday gift for the trebuchet enthusiast in your family. Black, 100% cotton, Beefy-T; $24.99 … free shipping. (You know you hope it comes flinging out of the FedEx truck into the side of your house.)


  1. k.
    November 8, 2011

    A Facebook note from friend and former colleague (ok, Boss … ) is too pertinent not to be shared:

    “A fine essay on a subject of great importance as we reach the mud-and-candidate-slinging​ portion of the upcoming 2012 election.”

    (I am envisioning the possibilities now … )

  2. Liz Ward
    November 8, 2011

    Ok fine. But how does this relate to the “Trebuchet” font choice on my Mac?

  3. k.
    November 8, 2011

    @Liz Ward – Clearly, this is the font to be used when slinging the aforementioned mud.

  4. k.
    November 8, 2011

    … Gives me a whole new respect for that font, btw.

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