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Logging and Sawmilling Journal March/April 2014

MaY 2014

On the Cover:
Millyards are busier than they’ve been in quite a while with the recovery in the forest industry now having a firm hold, with mills ramping up and starting up. You can read all about the start-up of the Carrier Group’s sawmill in Big River, Saskatchewan (Photo of Liebherr 934 sorting logs at a Tolko operation in the B.C. Interior by
Paul MacDonald).

Missed opportunity?
There’s an opportunity to deal with the growing volumes of greenhouse gas emissions in B.C.—with increased tree planting and restoration of the province’s forests—but it may be a missed opportunity, going by forecasted tree planting in B.C. and a provincial government focused on fossil fuel development.

Big sawmill news in Big River
The start-up of the sawmill in Big River, Saskatchewan—with its annual production target of 250 million board feet of lumber—is big news for the Carrier Group of Companies, and the community.

Diversifying after the downturn
Veteran Alberta logging contractor Herman Derksen—having survived the downturn and made some investments in new logging equipment—is thinking diversification is part of the path to maintaining a sustainable business.

Casting the line further with new tong thrower
A new tong thrower developed by young logger Eric Krume is proving to be productive and portable—it is self-contained and can easily be moved from machine to machine.

Ponsse batting 9,000
Logging equipment manufacturer Ponsse recently marked an impressive milestone, producing its 9,000th production machine, and the company continues to be known for its innovation. Just ask Quebec logging contractor Rejean Girard, who bought #9,000, an ElephantKing forwarder.

The Edge
Included in The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions, FPInnovations and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures.

Back in the bush
Mike and Lana Daniels, having exited from the forest industry a few years’ back, are now back, but this time around they are applying M and M Logging’s skills to “make things happen” in the fast-paced oil and gas industry in Alberta.

Innovator and ideas man
Nova Scotia’s Walter Rodler is a true wood products innovator, and his work has resulted in improvements in production and safety for equipment from chainsaw mills through to wood splitters— and he’s still working away on new innovations.

The Last Word
If the regulators can figure things out, loggers could be laying out cutblocks with the assistance of drones in the not-too-distant future, says Jim Stirling.


Tech Update: Mulchers and Vegetation Control Equipment




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TECH UPDATE - Mulchers and Vegetation Control Equipment

By Tony Kryzanowski


With over 20 years of experience in mulching, PRINOTH offers innovative products that the company says will exceed users’ expectations in productivity, reliability and safety.

The company’s mulching equipment is developed for the harshest conditions and the most difficult tasks: land clearing, right-of-way clearing, oil and gas exploration, vegetation management, seismic exploration, and site preparation where sub-soiling is necessary. PRINOTH offers a unique mechanical drive line and power belt system.

The patent pending power belt system provides up to 30 per cent more efficient power transfer compared to equivalent hydraulic systems, translating into more productivity and less fuel consumption. PRINOTH says the power belt system is very reliable and easy to maintain, providing lower overall operating costs.

Its vehicles undergo rigorous safety testing to ensure worry-free operation. The mulchers include safety features like certified ROPS/FOPS structures.

PRINOTH offers a full line of mulching equipment, including the RT 200 (173 hp), RAPTOR 500 (440 hp), the RAPTOR 800 (630 hp), soil rotovators, as well as biomass recovery vehicles with attachments.

Caterpillar 586CCaterpillar

The new Cat 586C site prep tractor is described as having the muscle to run power-hungry attachments, like the Cat HM825 mulcher and BR624 brushcutter. The 350 hp engine and oversized hydraulic system push more flow to the attachment for faster recovery without slowing other functions.

The high capacity cooling system and on-demand reversing fan keep the machine running cool. The oversized, hydraulically driven fan spins at a slower speed overall and only turns as fast as needed to maintain proper hydraulic and engine temperatures. The machine is segmented into pressurized compartments to prevent debris from entering. The pressurized airflow also keeps electronics, sensors and other key components cool.

Robust box section frames and a field-proven centre hitch with large dual-tapered roller bearings and 76.2 mm diameter pins provide a solid foundation. The tractor’s weight is distributed evenly over the axles for rock-solid stability, and the cab is positioned between the axles for a smooth ride.


PrimeTech offers four multi-purpose tracked carriers.

The smallest, the PT-175, is equipped with a Cummins engine producing 160 hp, and features a unique, fully tiltable engine hood for easy access and excellent serviceability.

The medium, low ground pressure PT-300 is powered by a John Deere engine with 275 hp. This flagship model underwent a recent major design overhaul. Key technical improvements included: a brand-new tiltable cab with more headroom; LED headlights; and a flat-faced front windshield instead of the curved windshield of previous models. Other changes include a new Berco-quality D4 oscillating undercarriage with ground clearance increased from 16” to 18” and better access to components for easier maintenance with swing out radiator guards and winch.

The PT-400 tracked carrier is for heavy duty applications, thanks to its 12.5 L Caterpillar C13 engine, producing 415 hp.

The PT-600 is a tracked carrier designed for the hardest and toughest jobs, and is equipped with a Cummins QSX15 turbocharged in-line six cylinder diesel engine producing 600 hp.


Tigercat recently added a new model to its line of mulcher carriers.

The track-driven 470 mulcher is equipped with the Tigercat FPT C87 Tier 4i 245 kW (328 hp) engine. It is narrow and agile with extremely low ground pressure, rated at 20.9 kPa (3 psi). The 470 is best suited to tough terrain and sensitive site right-of-way, pipeline maintenance and oil and gas exploration projects. Weighing just over 12,000 kgs, the machine is also easy to transport.

The 470 is equipped with an efficient, high capacity cooling system with a variable speed fan and automatic reversing cycle, a dedicated attachment pump and an efficient closed loop track drive system. Inside the cab, the operator has ergonomic electronic joystick steering and excellent sightlines.

The counter-rotate function (CRF) allows the 480 to pivot about its centre axis at the touch of a button for quick, effortless “on a dime” turns at the end of a row. The heavy duty steel engine enclosure and precleaner guard eliminates the requirement for a rear canopy. All structural components are designed for full time forest duty.


The CarbonBite tungsten carbide tooth is a heavy duty, long lasting tooth that is simple to maintain and easy to change thanks to the unique boltless, wedge lock mulching system between the tooth and holder.

The extra large tungsten carbide face offers maximum protection and provides superior durability, resulting in reduced downtime. Not only are they heavy duty and long lasting, but the teeth are simple to maintain and replace after serious wear and tear. With over 50,000 hours of intensive research, development, and field testing, CarbonBite can outfit its teeth on any carrier using its multiple holders to fit any application.

CMI MulchingC.M.I. Mulching

C.M.I. has added the new C 400L model to its product line. With its unique design in the mulcher carrier industry, the high drive system is said to provide the highest ground clearance (23’’/58 cm) and one of the lowest ground pressure (4.5 psi) of its category. The C 400L is at its best in the roughest ground conditions, says the company.

C.M.I. Mulching says the 400 hp John Deere 6090 Tier III engine combined with the four hydraulic pumps provide an unsurpassed mulching performance and tractive force for pipeline clearing, power line and lease vegetation control.

Its cabin offers comfort and ease of operation and regarding safety requirements, the company says it positions the operator for the best visibility on the market.

C.M.I. offers five more models ranging from 125 to 600 hp that are currently used in a variety of different mulching applications.

Davco SolutionsDAVCO Solutions

Choosing a brushcutter for compact equipment is an important business decision.

For efficiency and money making productivity, DAVCO says customers will want to make that selection based on what they will be cutting, the terrain, desired end results, and ultimately, the cost per acre cleared.

DAVCO brushcutters are well suited for clearing vegetation. These heavy-duty brush cutters are fast cutting, easily mounted and low maintenance. They use tremendous flywheel inertia generating torque and do not require a high rpm to give them their optimum cutting speed. This enables the brushcutters to compete with larger horsepower machines because they store the energy built up from their tremendous flywheel inertia. This design spreads out the weight for better floatation.

The DAVCO BC705HS, BC705SS and BC604SS brush cutters can be loader mounted with a quick attach to most skid steers with adequate hydraulic requirements.

They are rated for a 6” cut and have a 70” or 60” cut width. They consist of four reversible cutting knives and they are direct drive. These brush cutters are suited for use on power and pipeline right-of-ways as well as seismic applications.

PromacPro Mac Manufacturing

Pro Mac Manufacturing has introduced its new 62” skid steer unit for 80 hp to 120 hp units.

Its frame is rigid box-type construction. Its main arbor shaft has fixed teeth with choice of teeth, the drive system can be equipped with variable or fixed displacement motors, and it has optional dual drive for maximum torque and productivity.


The versatile KMC High Speed Steel Track (HSST) vehicle, which was originally designed to be a log skidder, has now been adapted to become a carrier for front or rear-mounted mulcher attachments.

The vehicle, when rigged with a rear-mounted mulcher attachment, can be used for fuel reduction, fire reclamation, vegetation clearing and fire guard construction.

The KMC Rear-Mounted Mulcher can have the same positive impact on fire suppression work by rapidly cutting fire lines and temporary access without the costly post-fire remediation commonly required. The vehicle can later be converted back to being a tracked log skidder.

The KMC tracked vehicle is capable of working on steep slopes as well as in sensitive soil conditions. One of the major benefits of KMC tracked vehicles, because of their torsion bar suspension system, has always been and continues to be their minimal environmental impact.

Rayco Mfg.Rayco Mfg.

Rayco says its new C100R forestry mulcher is the answer if companies are looking for a purpose-built mulcher but need the versatility of rubber tracks.

It says its customers demanded a mulcher that was capable of crossing roadways and sensitive turf but still had the power and in-woods characteristics of a dedicated forestry machine. The C100R answers that call, says the company.

It rides on a 17.7” wide steel-imbedded rubber track. A 99 hp Kubota diesel engine supplies power, while Rayco’s exclusive Super Flow, closed loop hydrostatic system delivers mulching power the company says is not found in ordinary compact track loaders.

Purpose-built for mulching, the C100R features a heavy duty rear door, hydraulic winch, and Rayco’s exclusive elevated cooling design, which places engine radiators in both the rear of the engine compartment and in the limb-riser for maximum cooling performance in the harshest climates. The cab is certified ROPS/OPS/FOPS with escape hatches in the roof and rear window.


The BRON Mulcher is the right machine to tackle jobs such as right of way clearing for seismic lines, pipelines, electric and hydro lines, clearing for commercial sites as well as forestry fireguards. The BRON Mulcher has wide tracks that provide stability plus lower ground pressure The BRON Mulcher is designed with an upfront cab, providing clear visibility with fingertip controls. Its Mulcher surrounds the operator in comfort with an ergonomic seat, climate controlled environment as well as easy to read gauges. The BRON Mulcher is available in many various models to suit each company’s unique needs.


Supertrak offers a product line of high performance power packs for excavators. It has launched a new line of Tier 4 power packs to fit tracked excavators from the 12 ton to 30 ton class. These power packs range from 140 hp to 450 hp depending on excavator base carriers.

Supertrak has been one of the pioneers in the vegetation management industry since 1986. It has developed several custom-built mulching tractors and wheeled product lines over the years and has evolved with the industry to offer maximum horsepower in small packages.

Supertrak’s new SK350PP is equipped with a Cat C9.3 Tier IV engine delivering 100 gpm @ 5500 psi.

Its cooling system features heavy duty hi-debris combination charge air, radiator, and oil cooler. Roof louvers get air out of the enclosure quickly. It has a large intake area with optional debris screens. With a track mounted power pack equipped with a mulcher it becomes a very high production land management machine. Depending on excavator reach, users can clear and maintain steep side slope of remote areas, ditch banks, power lines and gas lines. When the power pack is not in use, the excavator will perform all day to day functions as normal.

The Saint George Company E Series mulchersThe St. George Company

The St. George Company through its SGC attachments division is the distributor for the Seven E Series line of premium carbide hammer mulchers for hydraulic excavators.

The Seven E Series mulchers feature a close ratio carbide hammer configuration and replaceable internal counter blades, resulting in long hammer life, lower required horsepower and the production of fine “Class 1” mulch. The company says that being able to produce Class 1 mulch will allow the Seven E Series mulchers to meet the most demanding mulching specifications. Class 1 mulch gives good ground cover and returns to nature quicker.

The Seven E Series mulchers feature oversize, external loading main bearings, and a fully enclosed body of “Domex” steel with hydraulic operated gate and skid pads made from 20 mm thick Hardox steel giving the mulcher a long and productive life in the toughest of conditions.

There are four model ranges in the Seven E Series, fitting hydraulic excavators from 5 to 40 tonnes, with mulcher widths of 3’, 4’, 5’ and 6’. Wood material up to a maximum 10” can be mulched. Fixed and variable displacement hydraulic motors are offered.

The St. George Company has been distributing mulchers for over 25 years and was the first to install a mulcher on an excavator in Canada, says the company.

Gilbert GM-6 brushcutter-mowerGilbert

Gilbert now offers the new GM-6 brushcutter-mower. This new model is the latest addition to the Gilbert GM series brushcutter-mowers, which are recognized for their cost effectiveness in roadside vegetation management.

The GM-6 is mounted on a folding boom arm, which offers excellent manoeuvrability with a total reach of 16’. It is the ideal tool to brush cut ditches, back slopes and trim the trees as needed on forestry, municipal and secondary roads, says Gilbert. It cuts stems up to an 8” (20 cm) diameter easily at an average operating speed of six km per hour, thanks to the patented concept that cuts vegetation as opposed to mulching it.

According to an FPInnovations study, the GM Series is the most cost effective roadside maintenance equipment available on the market: it is up to four times faster than any other application at a cost per km many times lower, which results in very low operating costs, says the company. The head can be installed on most graders or carriers using the standard hydraulic and fixing points for easy fitting and removal.

Gyro-trac GT-30 (300 hp) and the GT-35 (350 hp)Gyro-Trac

For 2014, Gyro-Trac has expanded its product line to include updated and re-engineered mulchers with the addition of two new models, the GT-30 (300 hp) and the GT-35 (350 hp).

With the added horsepower and the proven features that operators loved from the GT-25XP, these Gyro-Trac machines include the Plus+1 compliant graphical display monitoring system and a re-designed cooling system. These new models are perfect for use in traditional forestry applications with the added benefit of being compatible with Gyro-Trac’s patent-pending Biomass Baling System (BBS), which collects mulch, resizes it, and packages it resulting in a bale weighing approximately one ton that can easily be transported to a location of choice.

Gyro-Trac has purpose-built mulchers for any situation from light-duty to heavy-duty with horsepower ranging from 140 hp to 400 hp. All Gyro-Trac mulchers have a low ground pressure Captive Track System and operate on a closed-loop hydraulic system. Cutting widths range from 64”/163 cm to 88”/224 cm depending on mulcher size.

With more than 20 years of product development and manufacturing, Gyro-Trac continues to offer purpose-built mulchers that are on the edge of emerging technology.


The FAE product line is recognized worldwide for its robustness and reliability, which provide efficiency and operational productivity, says the company.

Its wide range of products include wood mulchers, stone and asphalt crushers as well as soil stabilizers. All of FAE’s products are available with either the PTO system or with hydraulic drive.

The new multi-task machines ‘’MTM’’ or ‘’MTH’’ are designed to grind frozen ground in winter and grind asphalt or reclaiming gravel roads during summer time.

FAE mulchers are recognized as a premium product in domains such as agriculture, construction and forestry, says the company.

The versatility of FAE’s products reduces the operating costs while increasing the productivity.

Nokamic NKX1100vNOKAMIC

Nokamic offers excavator and front-mounted mulching heads.

The company’s unique hybrid rotor, which features either steel teeth or carbide hammer teeth, provides extreme mulching power.

Cutting tools, rotor rpm and torque can be selected for specific applications.

It offers two models for its excavator series, the NKX1100v for 12 to 20 ton excavators and NKX1500v for 20 to 30 ton excavators.

The NKX2600v2 mulching head is suitable for 200 hp to 350 hp mulchers, and is designed to fit most common twin track mulching carriers. It comes with a unique hydride rotor, equipped with carbide hammers or sharpe forged steel teeth that can be sharpened.

SeppiSeppi M.s.p.A.

Since 1939, Seppi M says it has produced among the world’s most innovative and productive vegetation control equipment. These include mulchers for wheeled and tracked prime movers and excavators, and machines for above and below ground work, stone crushers and soil stabilizers. It supplies purpose-built roadside mowers and mulchers that can be PTO or hydraulically powered, from 20 to over 550 hp.

Fecon FTX128LFecon

Fecon now offers the FTX128L mulching tractor as the newest member of its FTX tracked carrier line.

Built in their Lebanon, Ohio facility, this new tractor is strong on cutting power with 60 GPM to supply the Bull Hog forestry mulcher. The compact FTX128L features 20” tracks that work effortlessly while cutting up hill. The low ground pressure at 3.8 psi is said to be ideal for soft conditions resulting in minimal ground disturbance.

Serviceability is made easy with full access side doors and engine compartment roof. The Cummins QSB4.5 diesel engine running at 128 hp coupled with Fecon’s latest hydraulic technology allows the FTX128L to outperform machines with higher horsepower, says the company. Fuel consumption remains under 4.5 gallons per hour.