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Tech Update - Harvesting/Processing Heads

By Joan Cronk

Cat Forest Products offers a full range of processing heads for hardwood and softwood that can be mounted on both purpose-built harvesters and excavators. Several high-speed or high-torque motor sizes are available. Feed roller styles include spiked, thumbnail, and rubber with chain. Saws have automatic chain tensioning. All processing heads are simple to operate and maintain. Major functions are controlled from the cab, and the hydraulic and electrical components are easy to access.

The PF-48 and PD-57 are especially suited for harvesting conditions in the Northwest. The PF-48 is a fixed 4-roller head with a 24-inch maximum cutting diameter and feed speed of 16 ft./sec. It is ideal for select thinning or where more control of the head is required. The valve body is mounted on the carrier, so it does not receive the shock load of those that are mounted on the head. The PD-57 is the largest processing head in the line with a 26-inch maximum cutting diameter and feed speed of 16 ft./sec. It’s built to handle big hardwood and process trees with lots of limbs. The PD-57 is a dangle head and has specially designed, extended delimbing arms, which allow for easy log selection from a pile.

John Deere
John Deere, with over a dozen Waratah harvesting/processing head combinations, has a solution for nearly every harvesting application. One of the most popular, the HTH624C, can be factory integrated on John Deere Tracked Harvester Models 853JH, 903JH, and 909JH, as well as on the Forestry Swing Model 2954 — providing a perfect carrier-head combination for stump-to-stump or roadside operations.

The workhorse of harvesting heads, the HTH624C is most productive in wood 20 inches and consistently larger. The HTH624C top saw-cut capacity has been increased from 16 inches to 20 inches to provide greater access to larger trees, while a new C design sawbox improves harvesting applications, and a stronger tilt bracket and delimb knives boost strength and reliability.

Hahn Machinery
Hahn Machinery, Inc. continues to offer the HSG140 and HSG160 single-grip harvester heads. These simple and compact heads are intended to fell, delimb, and buck small timber and have been used extensively in thinning operations.

In 2006, Hahn began offering the new, high-performance version of its HSG series harvester heads. The all-new “B” models feature digitally controlled, proportional, hydraulic valves with high pressure/high flow capability. The new hydraulic system enables the HSG “B” series to take full advantage of most modern excavator hydraulic systems and dramatically improves felling, delimbing, and bucking performance.

Hakmet USA
Arbro harvesting heads are particularly designed for thinning and reforestation projects, allowing the use of lighter and less expensive carriers, such as small excavators. It’s reasonably priced and provides a good return for a logger of small-to-medium size timber.

Arbro harvesting heads can fell, delimb, and cut to length, making them time and cost-effective tools for smalltimber operations. The Arbro 400 handles trees up to 14 inches and the Arbro 1000 can handle up to 18 inches.

The harvesters have an automatic stroke with a length of 29.5” versus 26”, and a tree can be delimbed by pressing a single button. Eight differentpre-selectedlengths may be programmed in. Any length can be chosen at any time. The delimbing and grip knives will open separately. (A free video is available.)

Valmet’s line-up of high-speed heads work at the stump or process at the landing. Heads include the 360.2 and 370.2 for wheeled harvesters. For track harvesters, the hearty 370E handles the difficult jobs and is controlled by the Valmet MaxiHead system. Added to the North American line-up is the Valmet 350, with 3 feed wheels and 4 feed motors.

Valmet heads handle large diameters and work fast in limby wood. The heads deliver superior clamping and delimbing capabilities, fast working speeds, auto-chain tensioning, and feature component-coordinated design. The control system maximizes operator productivity and reduces costs. Valmet’s Maxi control system is well known for outstanding measurement accuracy and allows operators to adjust settings and trouble-shoot without leaving the cab. Valmet also offers an economical bar-saw felling head with fast cycling and big-tree directional felling capability (up to 33”).

Log Max
Loggers and dealers will be excited to know that the new Log Max 10000XT has joined the XTreme series of heads. The Log Max 10000XT was released in early 2008 and has given dealers and customers a new choice for rugged processing and harvesting applications.

The 10000XT was designed as a 25-inch processing head with powerful 1404cc wheel motors, integrated topsaw, and high performance saw motors. Sticking to the Log Max philosophy, the 10000XT was engineered to fit on smaller carriers, which decreases total package price while increasing efficiency and productivity. The design gives you a rugged frame structure without packing on the weight. This combination leads to all around savings without compromising durability.

Pierce Pacific
Locally and independently owned, Pierce Pacific Manufacturing offers processors with speed, power, and innovative design features.

An additional valve section provides more flow to the Titan 22’s drive system for greater speed and feed power, as well as to the butt saw for faster, cleaner cuts. A swing-away top saw location provides easy access to saw components. Servicing the Pierce Titan 22’s hydraulic and electrical systems is fast and easy with the hinge-away electrical platform. Structurally, the heavy-duty frame has been designed to reduce and evenly distribute stress loads, while providing extra support. In addition, the Titan’s heavy-duty hanging bracket features single-piece construction for greater durability.

Shared on all Pierce and Denharco delimbers and processing heads, the Titan 22 is powered by the Windows-based Intellitec Measuring System, with color touch screen, real-time diagnostics and troubleshooting, and e-mail, internet, topographical mapping, and more.

For larger timber, there’s the Titan 23 for 25-35 metric ton machines. The Titan 23 is designed to process 90-95 percent of what a 24” sized head is capable of, without the added investment in head and machine.

PONSSE H7 is superior in its efficient feeding and fast delimbing. The PONSSE H7 harvester head provides enough feed power to handle larger trees. The maximum feed roller opening is 650 mm and its unique grip geometry makes the handling of large stems easy. The firm grip on trunks and the highly powerful feeding work hand in hand with the feed rollers and blade grip pressure, which can be freely adjusted during operation.

It also includes many other innovative features, such as reliable radial piston motors, adjustable grip pressure for initial feed stages, lock connection of feed motors, ingenious control functions for front and rear delimbing blades and feed rollers, controlled feed acceleration and deceleration reducing feed damage. The PONSSE H7 harvester head has a short frame compared to its size and it handles curved trees skillfully.

Quadco offers a full line of felling and harvesting heads with five different product lines to answer your needs and applications. HIGH-SPEED heads are available in 20”, 22”, 24”, and 28” maximum cut capacity, with a unique reversible tooth system. All models can be ordered with a 40 or 360-degree tilt system.

Intermittent models range from 22” to 29” maximum cut capacity and have a powerful swing saw. Heads also have either 40 or 360-degree tilt system.

Controlled-fall 5660 Harvesters provide a maximum capacity of up to 24” cut and 22” processing. A swing sawcomes standard on this model, designed for CTL/TL harvesting and roadside processing.

Quadco is the exclusive distributor for KETO heads in both North and South America. Keto offers 5 models — K 51, K 100, K 150, K 600TS, and K 825TS. All Keto heads feature a unique track feeding system offering excellent grips on logs and better accuracy for measuring. Their light-weight robust design cannot be overlooked.

Quadco’s new addition, the 32” BAR SAW head, is available witha40 or 360-degree tilt system, as well as being available as a fixed-mount to suit your application.

Tigercat’s TH575 harvesting head is specifically designed to match the high performance capabilities of the Tigercat track carriers in harvesting, processing, and debarking applications.
It has a heavy-duty steel structure for high-duty cycles and features isolation mounted valve assemblies and clean hose routings for maximum uptime. Its unique three-wheel drive system is designed for faster feed speed and superior feeding power — 8,670 lb/f. The large diameter measuring wheel improves accuracy.

The TH575 features a Motomit IT computer system, which is programmable for up to eight species and has 100 preset selections per species. The TH575 also has a cutting capacity of 27.5” and an optional 31.5”. And it’s fast, with a feed speed of 19.7 ft/sec. The head also comes with a variety of options, including top saw, a variety of feed rollers and measuring wheels, floating top knife, and more.

Waratah HTH600 Series harvesting/processing heads offer four choices, depending on the wood being worked. Features of the 600-Series include a heavy-duty front plate for the most extreme conditions, heavy-duty covers on the head for maximum protection, and heavy-duty delimb knives for easy log selection and pickup. Top saws are available on all 600-Series.

The HTH626 has large synchronized feed rollers, superior drive power, precise delimbing pressure, and superior grab arm and body design, making it ideal for processing decked wood, tree length falling, and CTL applications. It handles up to 34-inch decked wood and trees 26 inches and larger.

Waratah says the HTH624C has more hours of reliable continuous harvesting of larger, second-growth timber than all competing heads. It is most productive on wood 20 inches and consistently larger and proven in final felling of wood up to 30 inches.

The HTH622B, a popular head for 20- to 25-ton carrier classes, can fell up to 22-inch trees and process from decked or piled wood.

The HTH616 is perfect for harvesting plantation operations, with superior thinning and CTL capabilities and final felling of wood up to 16 inches.

Felling Heads

Caterpillar offers a line of disc saw attachments for wheel and track feller bunchers to meet all felling needs from plantation thinning to select cut of large diameter wood. Single and dual post models are available with cutting capacity from 20” to 22”. All saws are designed to allow maximum visibility of the cutting area and have high-pressure hydraulics for faster saw recovery and quick arm speed.

Recent enhancements to the Cat® HF201 for track feller bunchers have improved the saw’s durability and performance. The head is more robust as a result of structural changes, including a box section frame design, thicker plating, and reinforcement plates in high stress areas. A larger saw base heel provides better protection of the saw disc and teeth when moving debris or heeling the machine with the boom. A new saw drive shaft system boosts the bearing and shaft load capacity 50 percent and improves component service life.

Other enhancements improve tree handling. A larger, flatter surface improves the head’s contact with the tree for better support and control of large trees and to prevent stem breakage. A redesigned grab arm also helps to improve tree control and reduce stem damage. Maintenance is easier now through a side access panel to the hydraulics and the saw motor.

Gilbert Products, Inc.
The Gilbert 3000 felling heads are high performance units designed to increase productivity. The new L Series, offering a 350-degree high rotation wrist, has been introduced in 2008. Gilbert felling heads offer an above-standard accumulation and control the stems for an impeccable grouping without any crossing.

Available in 22”, 24”, and 28” cutting size, the new L Series has been designed specifically for western conditions: more power, stronger frame, and better access and protection of the hydraulic components. Each head model is equipped with Gilbert saw blades (one piece disc, bolt-on, or welded segments) and is also available with 40 or 220-degree lateral rotation.