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Tech Update — FORWARDERS

By Tony Kryzanowski

Komatsu Forest has upgraded its Valmet 840 and 860 forwarders  with many new “dot 4” features representing significant  developments for what the company says are two of the most  productive forwarders on the market.
They feature Valmet’s new “comfort bogie” design, providing  better maneuverability and faster transport to enhance profitability.  The design increases climbing ability in steep terrain and  on side slopes, and retains good maneuverability on soft ground.  It also provides consistent ground pressure, a smoother ride, and  increased stability, the company says.

Other improvements include the new and more powerful  integrated software suite, MaxiForwarder 4.7.  The optional LoadFlex bunk allows the operator to hydraulically  adjust bunk height and width to make work faster and  safer. A new optimized crane valve improves lift capacity and  handling. The axle spacing has been adjusted to make more  room for tire chains.

The company’s 20-ton capacity, Valmet 890.3 remains one  of Canada’s most popular machines, says Komatsu Forest. 

Caterpillar forwarders feature new engines that bring additional  torque to an already proven powerhouse. The line  includes the six-wheel Cat 564, the eight-wheel Cat 574 and two  new smaller forwarders, the four-wheel Cat 534 and six-wheel  544.

  The engine in the 564 and 574 models is the 173 hp Cat  C6.6 with ACERT technology; the 534 and 544 models are  equipped with the 125 hp C4.4 engine. Both engines meet Tier  III emissions regulations.

 The C6.6 engine generates eight per cent more torque and  the C4.4 generates 18 per cent more torque over previous engines  in the 1,400 to 1,800 rpm working range. This additional  torque provides more power at lower rpms for increased fuel  efficiency and more power to the torque converted power shift  transmission for increased tractive effort. It also maintains higher  hydraulic flow for faster loader speeds.

 The forwarders are constructed with heavy frames, purposebuilt  blades with wear-resistant front cutting edge, large engine  side covers for excellent service access and adjustable log bunks  with floating cam stakes. Full 40-degree articulation and 250-  degree loader rotation provide high maneuverability and work  range. 

Tigercat’s extreme duty forwarder line has been redesigned  with the operator in mind. The first B-series model to hit the  market is the 1075B, Tigercat’s extreme duty 20-tonne capacity  machine.

  Most of the B-series changes have taken place in the cab,  and operators will immediately notice increased comfort levels  and reduced fatigue over long shifts, the company says. The cabin  interior finish has been significantly upgraded with improved  ergonomics and an automotive style finish. The joystick pods are  easier to operate with only one function per control. The potentiometer  (controlling maximum speed) is helpful in tough terrain.  Visibility has been enhanced by reducing the width and moving  the structural door post forward.

 In-cab sound levels have been reduced by approximately five  to 10 decibels (depending on engine rpm) with initial testing producing  levels under 66 decibels at full 2,200 rpm engine speed.

Unlike any other forwarder, the company says, the stability  of the 1075B allows the operator to comfortably reach the boom  over the side of the machine to pick logs while traveling for improved  productivity. 

TimberPro manufactures an extremely versatile forwarder.  With its continuous swing and ability to work over the front, the  machine can be used as a harvester with a 10-minute attachment  changeover, has boom strength to handle tree-length logs,  can be converted to a clambunk or grapple tree-length skidder,  and has capacity to haul bigger loads.

  Maintenance is made easier with gullwing access to all major  engine and hydraulic components. Fuel consumption is low  considering the capacity of the machine, and the company says  operator comfort is excellent with low sound level, AC/heater,  XM radio, filtered/pressurized cab and operator friendly IQAN  controls. 

John Deere 
John Deere’s D series forwarders are a fuel-efficient solution  to moving the big loads day after day, regardless of distance.  The 810D is said to be the ideal choice for logging in dense thinning  areas, is available in an eight-wheel configuration and has a  tight turning radius.

  Lower initial cost makes the 1010D John Deere forwarder  a practical solution for many mechanized and hand-felling cutto-  length loggers, according to the company. The loader control  system (LCS) can be set to operator preferences for fast and accurate  loading.

If loggers want the highest level of automation and on-board  diagnostics offered by the total machine control (TMC) system,  they’ll be fired-up by the 1110D. Easy-to-operate, low maintenance,  and available in either six- or eight-wheel versions, the  1110D includes three boom configurations and two wood bunk  lengths.

 The 1410D forwarder rides smoothly on balanced bogies,  making it a choice for average to long distance hauls of random  length or two tiers of 10’ (3 m) wood.

 The largest John Deere forwarder, the 1710D, is made for  large-scale fully mechanized operations and is a perfect choice  for high-volume, long-haul, round-the-clock operations, says the  company. 

With load capacities ranging from 16,000 to 32,000 lbs,  Prentice forwarders feature electric power shift transmissions, full  load, high reach booms and 40-degree turning articulation. The  line includes four-, six- and eight-wheel drive units.  Fully proportional loader controls provide precision and  speed for quick loading and unloading. The robust rack and  pinion four-cylinder swing system delivers high torque and swing  speed. Boom geometry is designed for easy reach and placement  of logs.

 Prentice forwarders feature large, high visibility cabs. The  new ergonomically designed interior provides a comfortable environment  for long, productive days. Designed to be low maintenance,  the cab tilts hydraulically for complete system access. A  heavy-duty front grill and canopy design protects the engine and  cooling system.

  Various load deck lengths are available to meet loggers’  operational styles. An optional clam bunk attachment provides  increased functionality for the larger models. 

K2 Manufacturing 
The K2 940 forwarder is powered by a fuel efficient Cummins  130 hp diesel engine. The extra rugged centre section oscillates  40 degrees side to side. The Dana axles and powershift  transmission provide dependable power and traction where operators  need it. The K2 940 uses the Parker IQAN control system  to tune in the Kesla F500 crane and other hydraulic functions.

The 940 has an overall  height of 134”, a width of  102” and ground clearance of  23”. Its dimensions were engineered  to offer optimum maneuverability,  mobility, and  transportability. The K2 940 is  equipped with an extra roomy  ergonomic cab, electronic  controls and is said to be easy  to service. The loading is handled by the Kesla 500 crane with an F29  bypass grapple.
K2 Manufacturing currently designs and manufactures cut-tolength  harvesters, utilizing the Kesla parallel cranes and harvesting  heads, and a 12- to 14-ton class, six-wheel drive forwarder. 

The new Ponsse Elephant 18-ton forwarder offers size, speed  and transport efficiency. The tractive force and torque of this  powerful forwarder have been designed for extreme demands  and conditions. It demonstrates superior performance on steep  slopes, deep snow, and soft terrain, says the company.  The forwarder’s moveable 6.25 cubic metre bunk, efficient  drive transmission and powerful crane ensure loads will be  transported to roadside quickly and safely, regardless of the site  conditions. The efficient hydraulic system operates the Ponsse  Elephant’s fast and flexible crane.

One of the superior features of the Elephant forwarder is its  unique engine efficiency. It operates up to 200-250 rpm’s lower  than most competitive forwarders in the same size category,  and it still achieves needed engine power and greater hydraulic  power, according to the company. This means, among other  things, cost savings through reduced fuel consumption, less noise  and more comfortable operating conditions.