Hyundai's High Walker 210 with Keto head is delivering ample production, and power, for Nova Scotia contractor David Orr.
By Stephen Bornais
has run his own operation since leaving his job as district supervisor at
Scott Paper in 1989 and today cuts in many of the same areas he tended
while an employee. He is
working on a huge block of privately held land near Aylesford Lake.
The area was extensively burned about 80 years ago, allowing for a
fairly evenly-aged crop. The
block is so big Orr expects he’ll be there until he retires.
he’s cutting saw logs for mills across the province, as well as some
hardwood destined for chipping facilities in Sheet Harbour on the
province’s Eastern Shore. The
chips are then exported to Japan. Smaller
softwood logs are sent to a stud mill near Halifax.
He and his three employees run a 1989 Caterpillar 518
skidder—still going with 12,000 hours on the clock— and a Timberjack
230A forwarder, along with the new High Walker 210.
these pieces, Orr aims to average about 75 tonnes a day of cut wood based
on a five day week, 50 weeks a year.
He actually works six days a week, but feels budgeting for five
allows him to meet or exceed his targets most weeks while also allowing
for downtime. “Most of the
guys who have harvesters like to keep going year-round,” he says.
On a typical day, Orr arrives on site about 7 am and discusses with
operator Chris Lenihan where the day’s cut will take place.
Once that’s done, he heads off to run the forwarder.
Both men like to keep busy. “Chris
is ambitious and the finances keep me ambitious, so we’ll be running her
right ‘til about 5 or 5:30,” says Orr.
maximize their return on these expensive machines, some operators have
them equipped with lights to lengthen the working day.
It’s a practice Orr wants nothing to do with.
“We plan on working six days a week, and fairly good days, and
that’s all we plan on doing,” he says.
“Six days a week, 10,12, 14 hours a day, that’s going to be it
210 is his first new piece of equipment since 1992 when he bought an
earlier Hyundai, a machine that he feels didn’t quite live up to his
expectations. The reason for going with another Hyundai is simple: La Have
Equipment Ltd was the only dealer that would offer him a trade-in on his
older machine and with a $420,000 purchase price staring him in the face,
Orr said the deal was done.
dealers in the province were filled up with used equipment but La Have was
eager to get into the forestry business with its new line of Hyundai iron.
“They were about the only fellows who would say ‘okay, we’ll
give you so much for your machine, we want so much for that’ and away we
went,” says Orr. The new
machine is a huge capital outlay for Orr’s small business.
“That’s where the biggest payments are but so long as it cuts
all the wood, that’s no problem,” he says.
The 210 is financed over five years.
With a deliberate policy not to pile up a lot of hours on it or run
it rough, Orr hopes to be able to sell the machine for a retirement nest
Simmons, general manager at La Have in Truro, Nova Scotia says Orr’s
machine was the company’s first 210 sale since they became a Hyundai
dealer a year ago. There are
now four 210s in the woods, all equipped with either the Keto 500 or 525TS
heads. Simmons says the 210 is a good move for Orr, who is known as
a “precise and exact” contractor.
“It’s a fast, productive machine,” Simmons says.
210 is powered by a six-cylinder inline Cummins diesel, an engine that
both Orr and Lenihan say delivers more than
enough power to do the job. “This never labours and we never even run it at full
throttle. We only run it at
1,900 rpm and it does everything we want,” Lenihan said.
Once on site, Lenihan operates the machine and head via a pair of
pilot pressure operated joysticks, each equipped with fingertip controls.
high clearance Xleg type centre frame, which gives the High Walker its
name, is integrally welded with reinforced box-section track frames.
The design includes lubricated rollers, springs, idlers, track
adjusters with shock absorbing spring and sprockets and assembled
track-type tractor shoes with double grousers.
High Walkers come intact from Korea and are sent to the Meductic
Welding Shop in New Brunswick to complete the forestry package.
La Have’s Bridgewater shop then installs the head plus a fire
suppression system, as well as a heel boom.
Simmons said all sales come with an extensive training package and
210 arrived at Orr’s work site in late summer, at the height of a heat
wave in the Nova Scotia woods. Its
relatively trouble-free operation under those conditions was reassuring to
Orr, as he had overheating problems with his older Hyundai.
The man who actually runs the 210 calls it “an operator’s
nothing I can’t do. You’re
not limited,” says Lenihan. “It’s
got the reach, the head works well and basically all you have to do is
grease it and bring your lunch bucket .”
The 210 handles the site’s rocky terrain well, Lenihan
says, since with the High Walker there is almost nothing it can’t go
over or in to. “With the
reach, too, you don’t have to go in to the bad spots and you can put the
wood where you want .”
Lenihan and Orr were impressed with the ease with which adjustments in
operations could be made via the computerized controls.
Most changes to the 210’s control systems can be done on the
screen found in the cab. Operation
of the HyundaiKeto combination hasn’t been without its problems,
however. By the 250hour mark,
cracks appeared on the head’s track frames.
The frames were removed and reinforced.
Around 300 hours, Orr said one of the 210’s front idlers “went
to pieces”. That was
followed by trouble with an idler adjustment, which cracked and wouldn’t
hold pressure. Throughout the
problems, Orr says La Have was quick to act.
says he was somewhat surprised to see a problem in the 1999 model that
bedeviled him on the 1992 Hydundai. When
using ether to start the engine in cold weather, the engine races to full
throttle “just as soon as she starts out”.
While it is controllable, Orr says he is still awaiting an answer
as to why it happens. Simmons
said the first 210 meant a learning curve for everyone.
The three later machines don’t seem to be having the same
problems. “We know the guys have high payments and therefore must
work long hours and have very high availability.
Our service department is very attuned to this fact and reacts in a
hurry when a problem does develop,” he says.
In the end, Orr’s review of the High Walker 210 is positive. Despite minor problems, he would buy another one if needed. “There’s not too much wrong with the machine .”
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©1996-2007 Logging and Sawmilling
Journal (L&S J) and TimberWest Journal.
last modified on Tuesday, February 17, 2004