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October 2000 - Volume 25 Number 10 


Broadfoot logging streamlines operation with the Timbco 820D Clam Bunk Broadfoot logging streamlines operation with the Timbco 820D Clam Bunk 

By: Tim Buckley 

16inch shear head accumulates up to seven slender tree's in one bunch. 

Broadfoot -  it's a good name for a logging company, conjuring up an image of toughness, a character with shoulders to match its broad feet. The name also implies endurance and the ability to tread softly when necessary. Mary Ann Warnock owns Broadfoot Logging. When her previous husband, Ron Broadfoot, was killed in a 1996 logging accident, Mary Ann picked up where he left off. She was named Oregon Logger of the Year in 1998 for perseverance and for her ability to succeed following the tragedy. While several family members have worked in the business, her son Bryan Broadfoot partnered up with her last November, and the Hermiston, Oregon, based company became Broadfoot Logging, LLC. Ron was in the process of mechanizing the company when he was killed. Mary Ann and Bryan have taken the idea a big step forward with their most recent purchase - a Timbco 820D Clam Bunk. 

The rear clam bunk on the Timbco 820D allows the Harvester to be its own skidder ******** 

Basically, the clam bunk setup allows a harvester to be its own skidder, thus eliminating one machine and one operator in some forest applications. "Broadfoot Logging was the first in the West to buy this particular harvesting configuration," says Kent Stevens, a territory manager for PBI Machinery, the Timbco dealer in the Northwest. "The manufacturer worked closely with the Broadfoots to adapt the clam bunk for a tree plantation application," Stevens continues. "It was one of the first few that Timbco had built for this purpose." As Bryan tells it, the eight wheel drive Timbco clam bunk was what he needed to successfully bid on a Potlatch contract to remove 960 acres of a hybrid poplar "Potlatch was looking for someone to harvest and chip the trees," he says. The five-year-old crop hadn't worked to Potlatch's satisfaction. 

"It got wind damaged and some infestation," says Broadfoot. He did some research on harvesters, found PBI Machinery and a video of the Timbco clam bunk at work in Georgia pine. Stevens called Timbco on Broadfoot's behalf to see what they might be able to put together. "I took an educated guess at the production numbers I'd need to be competitive and shot my ideas to Timbco," says Broadfoot. The VP of Timbco accompanied a demo in Oregon to run the hybrid machine through its paces for four days. Broadfoot was convinced; he successfully bid on the job and bought the Timbco. When rigged as a clam bunk, Timbco usually installs a Hultdin's Supergrip grapple on the end of the boom. But for the Potlatch plantation job, Broadfoot wanted to attach a cutting head instead. 

Timbco installed a heavier boom to allow more weight. They decided on a Ryan's 16inch shear head for three reasons, says Broadfoot. "One, because of the small diameter of the timber. Two, the shear head weighed less than 3,000 pounds, much less than other shear heads. But the key," he adds, "was having an accumulator arm," allowing the head to cut, grip and accumulate up to seven of these slender trees in one bunch before laying Ron Broadfoot with his partner/the bunch into the clam bunk." The clam bunk is mounted on the same bogie axle assembly as the cab and boom. Front and rear meet at an articulated coupling. A 260 hp Cummins provides the juice to power the eight wheel hydrostatic drive as well as the rest of the hydraulics. 

Ron Broadfoot discusses company operations with his partner/mother, Mary Ann Warnock

The value of the clam bunk for Broadfoot is its payload capacity (32 sq. ft.) - "probably four times that of a forwarder or a skidder," according to Stevens. "But the clam bunk wouldn't work with anything other than a Timbco," Stevens continues. "It's the only forest machine capable of 360 degree rotation. So it can work out front, to either side and then load to the rear." The hybrid poplar plantation is managed for a 10year rotation, for solid wood production, with ideal dimensions of: 14-16 inch diameter at the butt, 80-100 feet tall, with minimal branching and a small crown. 

Because Broadfoot is harvesting early, the dimensions are more like 6-8 inch diameter and 40-60 feet tall. The Timbco can cram about 90 of these trees into one clam bunk load. "We do between 30 and 35 turns a day with the Timbco," says Broadfoot, which amounts to between 2,800 and 3,200 trees. "A fellerbuncher working with two skidders might be able to do between 3,500 and 3,800 trees a day," he adds, "but look at the difference in equipment use and manpower." "Another nice feature of the Ryan's shear head is that the blade is at the bottom of the head," Stevens adds. "So the stump is left at ground level, even below the surface if the operator wants." With each cut, the accumulator arm guides the tree into a pocket, where it is held while another tree is cut. 

The boom's capacity was calculated so as to accommodate the weight of the head (less than 3,000 lbs.) plus a full load of trees - approximately another 2,000 pounds. The trees are being chipped on site. Timbco's production thus far has filled about 10 chip trucks per day, according to Broadfoot. As this is their first contract with Potlatch, Broadfoot is unsure of what the future may bring. But with good fortune smiling on them, the company is planning for additional contracts in their mature plantation trees. "This particular plantation is about 17,500 acres," Broadfoot says. "Future work would probably mean fitting a trailer behind the clam bunk," he continues, to accommodate the taller trees and to keep them from dragging. 

The Timbco 820D can cram up to 90 hybrid poplar stems into one clam bunk load 

Broadfoot says the Timbco clam bunk, with its forwarder style tires, is also kind on the plantation's soil. "There's less compaction with it," he says, "and there's not much debris left in the woods afterwards." With the stumps exposed at ground level, Potlatch kills the roots, then plants new starts in the spaces between old stumps. As the new trees grow to maturity - over a period of 8-10 years - Broadfoot says the stumps will be decomposing, adding nutrient value to the soil. Aside from their plantation work, Broadfoot also does contract logging for Boise Cascade and others. Typically, they'll work on shovel sides, supporting a fellerbuncher with two Ranger H67 skidders and a Cat D5H track skidder. Log loading and hauling is subcontracted. They also own a Cat 12S road grader and a D6C dozer used for brush or road building. If not working full time in plantation contracts, Broadfoot says the Timbco could easily be fitted with a hot saw and be put to work on a commercial thinning or harvest job. "The Timbco's versatility can't be matched," he adds. "With a working range of 360 degrees, we can use it as a processor or a loader, or both." 

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