Tech Update - Swing-to-Tree Feller Bunchers
By Diane Mettler
Whether the work required is plantation thinning, select cutting or clearcutting of large diameter timber, Cat bunchers utilize proven components for the most rugged forestry applications. Four zero-tail swing (ZTS) models, 511/521/522/532, and three full-tail swing (FTS) models, 541/551/552, are available with standard felling, harvesting or long felling (FTS only) linkage fronts. In addition, the 522/532/552 models are said to have the most robust durable leveling system in the industry, which provides stability and productivity, even on the steepest slopes, according to the company.
For the highest performance, Caterpillar track feller bunchers can be matched with a new enhanced series Cat HF felling head. Saw head models come with a standard 40-degree partial lateral tilt (PLT) or with an optional 220-degree full lateral tilt (FLT). Cutting capacities range from 20” to 24” for the ZTS track feller bunchers, and 22” to 24” for FTS models. The smaller HF181 felling head (20” cut capacity) is available as an option on the FTS machines when a long reach feller buncher linkage is selected. www.forestpro.com.
Key among the improvements is the hydraulic system, with an increased hydraulic flow of 26 per cent for better productivity. The system is also able to prioritize so that each hydraulic function is capable of full torque or effort all the time, resulting in a significant boost in power.
In 2006, the company introduced the 909J and 959J track feller bunchers that provided a new level of performance with their four-way leveling system and increased operator control. Leveling is possible up to 26 degrees forward, 7 degrees rearward and 14 degrees from side-to-side. Both models feature a total machine control system that enables operators to set the speed and acceleration of the tilt to match the application, terrain and capabilities, while providing constant position feedback.
In addition, John Deere offers the 853J, 903J and 953J tracked feller bunchers, which feature an impressive 294-hp engine. The highlight of the 6081H diesel engine is the power bulge that automatically accesses extra power for enhanced multi-functioning, faster cycle times and improved saw speed recovery.
Matched to the 853J and 903J is the outstanding highaccumulation FS22B and FR22B felling heads, while the 953J comes standard with the larger FR24B. The heads give logger-specified performance, durability and serviceability, with patented features that deliver extraordinary tree handling, according to Deere. www.deere.com
Madill’s deck layout isolates the engine, hydraulics and electrical components into three separate areas, creating easy service access. Power is supplied by a 285 hp Isuzu 6HK in the 1200 and by a 305 hp Cummins QSL in the 2200C. Both engines are Tier III emission certified.
The main hydraulic pumps are directly driven high-pressure piston pumps featuring load sensing and hp regulation to increase efficiency. Load sensing valves have independent speed and pressure control to optimize individual function speeds. The hydraulically driven cooling fan features temperature regulated speed control and a venturi shroud to improve efficiency. The cabs come with a wide variety of amenities, and their designplus large scratch resistant polycarbonate windows provide excellent visibility.
Heavy-duty boom sets provide a wide working range. An elevated boom foot provides exceptional visibility to the right side while improving cutting efficiency. The 1200 and 2200C are also available in harvester configurations with custom boom sets and hydraulic controls optimized for harvesting and processing applications. www.madillequipment.com
The zero tail swing machinesnon-tilting 2290 and 2390, and tilting 2391 and 2491lift 17,000 lbs at 20’. Swing torque is 61,000 ft/lb with tractive effort of up to 80,482 lbs. The 2590, a full tail swing machine, has a felling range of 12’ to 28’1” and lifts 20,000 lbs at full reach. Swing torque is 72,000 ft/lb with up to 75,500 lbs of tractive effort. www.blount-fied.com
The clamshell style retracting roof enclosure provides excellent access to the engine house. A swing-out door on the right side of the machine allows the operator to easily access daily engine service points. The hydraulic pumps are separated from the engine enclosure and easily accessed at working height from ground level. It has 27” ground clearance, a tail swing (over the side) of 40” and weighs 56,210 lbs without the head. The ER boom system is highly productive in small stem accumulating applications, where multiple boom cycles are required. It has a maximum cutting radius of 26.4” and a bare pin lift capacity of 11,000 lbs.
Equipped with an efficient Mercedes 906 Tier III engine, the 845C feller buncher has the power and stability for larger timber and tough final felling.
The operator’s station is large and quiet with excellent visibility. The full-length front window serves as the primary entry/exit. It also comes with optional HID lightingreal visibility out the right-side cab window. Options include power-link, various counter weights, high rotation wrists (110 and 340 degrees) and a bolt-on toolbox. www.tigercat.com
The TimberPro wheeled harvester and feller buncher machines have demonstrated they can increase production, especially when operating in rough terrain or in scattered timber. The TimberPro line of machines comes standard with 360- degree continuous rotation, which enables the operator to always face his task. This feature also gives the operator the ability to harvest timber 360-degrees around the machine. The gull wing design of the engine compartment cover completely shields the engine from hydraulics in order to help prevent fires, and the engine exhaust is insulated for further fire protection and to reduce noise.
The TimberPro TB 830 and TB 630 come standard with a Cummins 250 hp electronic engine while a Cummins 300 hp electronic engine is available as an option. Other standard features include auto-reversing hydraulic-controlled radiator fan, hydrostatic two-speed transmission, mechanical locking differentials, and more. Options include leveling front frame, 6’ squirt boom for added reach, quick-change stick boom adapter, feller-buncher booms, among others. www.timberpro.com
Valmet’s independent closed loop track hydraulics deliver awesome climbing power, says the company, with simultaneous rotation, reaching, and head function. New upper reinforcements match to a double-row swing bearing for added reliability.
Its unique setback boom design means operators can work closer to the tracks than other brands. It also provides added stability, which translates into more production. Clamshell service access makes maintenance a snap.
The company advises loggers to watch for more product news in 2008 as Komatsu Forest continues product development. www.komtasuforest.com