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TimberPro Yarder/Processor Arrives in Germany
The yarder/processor shows great promise for small operations in the greater Northwest
TimberPro has come out with a new yarder/processor that shows great promise for small-scale loggers doing steep slope logging in the greater Northwest.
The brand new technology that has just hit the market isn't in operation in a Northwest forest yet. However, a logging crew in South Germany is putting the innovative processor through its paces.
We've translated a recent article by Dieter Biernath to show you first-hand how the yarder/processor is handling in mountainous terrain similar to the Northwest.
Near the town of Pfronten, in the south of Germany in the Allgau region, spruce trees must be gradually removed to introduce mountain pasture.
GS Forests from Obserstdorf took on the project with the use of a machine uniquely suited for this application -- a TimberPro TL735-B with a new SP 761 LF processor and equipped with a Dasa 4 processing computer. The TL735-B is really the first of its kind in Europe, with its new Caterpillar tracks, specifically modified for the German forest industry.
The TimberPro, though, is an American machine built in Shawano, Wis., by Pat Crawford, a pioneer of this type of machine. For more than 30 years, he has gained expertise designing forestry machines -- building forwarders and harvesters under the Timbco name.
Harvester with a Boom Winch System
GS Forests is using the TimberPro on relatively steep inclines. The TimberPro is positioned as far down the incline as possible. The chokers are set on spruce trees, pulled approximately 100 meters (328'), and then processed en route.
On the boom, a winch system sits behind a wheel, which the cable system runs through. The cable removal is handled with a pull out system, making it easier to handle the cable when the machine is in operation.
Helping to pull the cable out is a "single barrel grab winch” around a John Deere winch, with a pulling capacity of 13 tones (14 tons). When the winch is in operation, a worker below falls the trees. A second worker takes the cable down into the valley, attaches the cable to the felled trees. Once the trees are brought up, the cable is removed and the process is repeated. Meanwhile, the TimberPro operator moves the logs as close as possible to the road while simultaneously removing the branches and cutting the tree to the proper length.
Depending on the terrain and the proximity of the logging road to the machine, the machine can delimb the log during this operation. This application is perfect when the steepness of the hill makes it difficult to move the machine. During the retraction of the cable winch, the machine operator has the option to use a specifically designed built-in support foot, which can be retracted hydraulically.
To use the support foot, the harvesting head is rotated 180 degrees and pushes the support foot out. This is extremely advantageous because it allows the operator to hold the machine strongly on the edge of a drop off and fully utilize the power of the winch.
At the back of the machine, there is an auxiliary winch on the frame, handling up to 12 tons, 50 (164') meters in length, and 13 millimeters (1/2") in diameter. At the front is another support foot that stabilizes the machine in difficult terrain. This additional support foot is a specialized piece of equipment, in addition to the support winch system. A joystick attached to the seat in the control cab controls the winch.
A new feature on the TimberPro is the detachable rubber treads. These rubber treads not only provide a smooth ride in the forest, but they also allow the TimberPro machine to drive on both forest paths and asphalt roads. In the winter, these rubber treads can be replaced with 24" shoes that provide a better grip in ice and snow conditions.
The TimberPro D7 sized tracks can be ordered in a variety of widths and track lengths. For example, you can order one, two, or three treads per section and varying tread widths from 600 to 900 millimeters (2 to 3 feet). (In the photos the treads are 700 millimeters (2'3") wide with one tread per section.)
The leveling mechanisms of the control cab have also been modified. This four-way leveling mechanism is made possible by a three-hinged system. The machine can be leveled to the front, back, and both sides. At the front, the cab can be leveled up to 28 degrees, at the back up to 7 degrees, and at the two sides 24 degrees respectively.
The TimberPro is powered by a 300 horsepower, 8.3 liter Cummins engine. It has a 6.86 meter (22.5') reach, and there is also a telescopic arm, which can lengthen the reach to 9.6 meters (31.5'). The harvesting head, when fully extended, can lift nearly 4,000 kilograms (8,800 lbs.). When extended 6.1 meters (20'), the carrying capacity is over 6,000 kilograms (13,227 lbs.). This is extremely impressive because at that setting the harvesting head alone weighs 2200 kilograms (4,850 lbs.).
The motor, crane, and control cab, along with the other vital components, are all well protected in the upper rotating cabin. This particular arrangement is extremely useful in comparison to a fixed cabin system, says Erich Huetsch, owner of Eurologging, a dealer for the TimberPro product throughout most of Europe. The engine gullwing access door provides a convenient platform for maintenance work.
In short, the TimberPro is robust, yet isn't overly large like some American machines. You can feel the European influence.
The Power is also Important
After the log has been winched to the machine, it is moved to where it can be debarked/delimbed. Sometimes the machine operator simply runs the log through the processing head to delimb. It's the later that the new SP processing head has to offer.
A large tree with number of branches at the top requires a great deal of power to delimb. The SP 761 LF delivers. It's a completely new to Germany, designed specifically for large, heavily-limbed trees.
In the photo, you can get the sense of the power and speed required to delimb a tree, which can be 3 centimeters thick. The SP 761 LF should be installed on machines like the Timber Pro or large excavators.
The processing head fits like a hand in a glove. It not only demonstrates its delimbing capabilities, but also it capacity to accommodate large timber. In fact, it can handle logs up to 800 millimeters (2'7.5") and fell logs up to 900 millimeters (2'11.5") in diameter, and delimb at six meters (19'8") a second.
It's definitely a new option for steep-slope logging.
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