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Little Feller - Equipment Profile

Madill’s new smaller 2200 feller buncher is delivering performance and reliability for Newland Enterprises in the BC Interior
By By Jim Stirling

It was an ideal block for the little feller buncher, with the mixed spruce and lodgepole pine stand on level terrain yielding 0.5 cubic metres a stem. The Madill 2200 feller buncher was quick on its tracks, able to accumulate two and three of the smaller trees and bunch them in an easy, fluid motion. Across the road was another example of why Newland Enterprises Ltd. became the first logging contractor to acquire a Madill 2200. The machine had just completed working in a 30-metre-wide riparian zone protecting the back of the cut block. From a distance, the regularly spaced, narrow access trails blend imperceptibly into the forest stand. They were about the width of a Timberjack 660 skidder’s tires. This was not production work, but essential to meet the zone specification for keeping as many residual stems as possible and maintaining the prescribed requirement that 25 centimetre diameter at breast height and up timber be left standing. “The 2200 does a real nice job in riparian zones with its short tail swing,” states Steve Willick. He and brother Mark are partners in Newland Enterprises, a company formed by their father, Roy Willick, in 1968. Newland Enterprises is a stump to dump contractor for Canadian Forest Products’ Fort St. James Division in central British Columbia. The company keeps up to 15 people busy during an eight to nine month active logging year. Madill developed the 2200 to give it a presence in the 60,000-pound machine category and to respond to what logging contractors, operators and mechanics expect from a feller buncher. That turned out to be an amalgam of simplicity, reliability and performance. Newland Enterprises’ 2200 machine is a flatbottomed model, but a 10-degree left/right tilting version is also available. “The 2200 has performed up to expectations for us,” says Willick. “We did our shopping around and one of the factors was that the price was right.”

 

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Steve Willick (left) and operator Danny Willick with Newland Enterprises’ Madill 2200
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“The 2200 does a real nice job in riparian zones with its short tail swing,” said Steve. “It has performed up to expectations for us.”


The 2200’s cut and bunch abilities in small wood and the tight quarters of selective logging applications has proven a good fit with the rest of the company’s equipment fleet. It complements Newland’s larger Madill 3200B buncher. “I really like having the mix of big and little machines,” adds Willick. It varies, but Newland typically harvests between 150,000 and 170,000 cubic metres of timber annually for Canfor. The largest volumes are harvested in winter when the spruce/balsam stands can range from 20-cm butts to 102-cm oversize. Summer ground is usually occupied by smaller pine ranging from 15-cm to 61- cm butt diameters. The 2200 is most efficient in smaller wood and riparian zones but it can and does work in larger wood and in stands containing a variety of tree sizes. It is fitted with a 50-cm Koehring rotating saw cutting head and has a Cummins 225 hp power plant. By comparison, the 3200B is fitted with a 61-cm Koehring head and the engine generates about 275 hp. Willick says his 2200 has demonstrated consistently good track and swing power, manoeuvres better than its larger cousin and can climb well when required. Newland was able to double shift the 2200 during parts of the 1999 summer logging season, but the main operator for most of the machine’s nearly 3,000 hours of operating time has been Danny Willick, Steve’s cousin, who says the machine has proved reliable and comfortable to operate. The lack of tail swing and ability to keep the boom close up to the machine was instrumental in keeping access trails narrow when harvesting selected stems from either side, he adds. It also resulted in less damage to residuals. The improved wriggle-room factor has allowed the 2200 to walk into the back of some blocks without touching anything, then falling and bunching its way back out. The machine has a D6-size undercarriage and what Steve Willick describes as a pretty beefy Rotek bearing and motor. Both Willicks concur the hydraulic flow and valving system gets the job done and the machine’s availability has been good. Madill engineers were quick off the mark to solve an early overheating problem. In small wood and reasonable terrain, an experienced operator like Danny Willick has no problem falling and bunching around 1,200 trees in a 12-hour shift. Newland Enterprises operates a Madill 3800 butt’n’top log loader along with the two Madill bunchers.

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Newland Enterprises operates a Madill 3800 butt’n’top log loader along with two Madill bunchers. Skidding chores are assigned to a couple of Timberjack 660 grapple machines, one owned by Newland, the other under contract.

The company used to run a couple of 618s, which Willick says were very good machines. “We thought we needed something a little bigger when it came time to replace them,” he recalls. Processing is accomplished at roadside by two John Deere tracked carriers, an 892 fitted with a 2200B Limmit delimber/ processor and a 792 with a 2200 Limmit. “They’re some of the most important machines in the bush. The operators have to make a lot of judgements,” says Willick. Canfor’s contractors have to comply with a log quality assurance program or risk incurring cash penalties if the delivered wood fails to meet the demanding list of standards. The mill wants clean, top quality, shatter-free logs in specified lengths. For instance, cutting short lengths is taboo, as is failing to adequately remove log defects. The processors are also responsible for sorting duties. These typically include separating the readily identifiable pulp logs and balsam stems from the spruce. And there’s a nine-metre undersort piled for transport to mill yard by hayracks. It varies year to year with Canfor’s plans but Newland Enterprises generally builds eight to 12 kilometres of road during the summer and five to six kilometres of winter roads. Helping achieve that is a Cat D8K with a ripper and two Hyundai hoes. The excavators are also deployed for silvicultural work, piling and roadside debris piling. Willick says Newland is considering adding a clam shell grapple to one of the hoes to work with the skidders as well as do pile brush and ditch. The company runs a Western Star highway logging truck which has available an off-highway bunk. Utilizing reliable, easy-to-service equipment like the Madill 2200 feller buncher is most important to Newland Enterprises. Fort St. James is a small community, 160 kilometres northwest of the regional centre of Prince George, and Canfor’s operating areas spread more than that distance north of Fort St. James into remote lakeside country. “All parts have to be freighted in and that’s why downtime is such a big thing.” CARBOTECH 1/2 VERTICAL 4C Madill developed the 2200 to give it a presence in the 60,000-pound machine category and to respond to what logging contractors, operators and mechanics expect from a feller buncher. That turned out to be an amalgam of simplicity, reliability and performance.


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