tech update - winch assist systemsHSM 208F20 clambunk forwarder


HSM offers the 208F20 clambunk forwarder for difficult conditions, with a built-in winch system. The company says that its powerful 10 metre reach crane is able to handle large timber in very challenging terrain, adding that this type of unit is a key asset for many logging fleets, allowing loggers to access fibre in steeper ground. It is possible to mount a directional felling head on the forwarder and work as a combo. The winch has pulling force of 11 tonnes and 500 metres of wire rope. HSM says that the 60 per cent crane tilt angle provides all the swing power needed, even in the most challenging conditions. Within an hour, it is possible to swap the winch to the front or rear, making possible to skid in adverse conditions. Topdown Enterprises in Kamloops is the B.C. dealer.


HAAS MaschinebauHAAS Maschinebau

The steep slope logging industry has rapidly increased its pace of activity in recent years, and as a result of the uptick in demand, John Deere has continued to develop wheeled and tracked forestry equipment designed to integrate with winch-assist systems. From a wheeled machine perspective, the German-based HAAS Maschinebau winch-assist solution was developed exclusively for John Deere wheeled harvesters and forwarders. Winch-assist systems are installed on the front or rear of a machine, allowing customers to work above or below extraction roads, providing access to areas they have not been able to reach before. Additionally, these systems can be fitted with an optional straw-line winch, simplifying set-up.

John Deere tracked carriers can also be used with third-party winch-controlled traction-assist systems. These systems allow tracked feller bunchers or harvesters to be tethered together using a winch or cable system, helping with traction and increasing machine stability.


Summit Attachments and Machinery says it was the first to introduce steep slope winch assist to the forests of the Northwest U.S. With nearly three dozen ‘Made in the USA’ systems now at work, Summit offers a safe and dependable system that is both cost effective and productive, says the company.

Summit systems include: extreme duty LANTEC winch with 1950’ of 1” SUPERPAK wire rope, military-grade long range radio system, simple automatic operation using load cell-controlled automatic line tension with touch screen adjustment, tablet computer with live GPS harvest map and video allowing timber to be cut and piled directly under the skyline, and fuel consumption of under 38 litres per day while cutting. Whether tethered to a skidder or paired with a Summit Yoader and hydraulic grapple carriage, winch assist allows loggers to dramatically increase production. Summit says that it’s about safety, production and efficiency.


Canadian-based Inovforest offers the TIMBERMAX traction-winch system. It is described as robust, powerful and reliable. The compact spooling system makes it compatible with a wide range of different machines and configurations, each with their own operating limits. For contractors looking to access additional fibre in steep and difficult terrain, Inovforest says that the TIMBERMAX offers the simplest, least expensive and most versatile solution.

It improves productivity and reduces costs in areas where conventional forest machines reach their traction and stability limits, as well as in areas where yarders are too expensive and hand falling crews are not available. It also provides a tool to improve productivity and even to allow for logging in deeper snow, as well as the opportunity to extend the logging season, reduce soil disturbance in wet or sensitive areas or to continue logging in wet and/or steep ground conditions.

PONSSE SynchrowinchPONSSE Synchrowinch

The PONSSE Synchrowinch allows for effective logging in areas where previously only expensive and slow special logging methods have been used. It allows for operating the same machines in flat and steep sites with no need for additional machinery or methods.

Synchrowinch preserves soil from rutting and erosion, saves fuel and reduces stress in drive transmission components. It has traction assistance winch energy efficiency of approximately 80 per cent because of direct transmission of traction force to movement and no slip. The winch speed is automatically synchronized to machine driving speed so the operator doesn’t need to operate or adjust it during normal work. Cable tension can be set and the winch can be operated from a remote control unit, making it easy to hook the cable, for example, to a tree or a stump uphill. The optional tilt-able loader makes loader work efficient and easy. Synchrowinch is available for Ergo and Bear harvesters and Buffalo, Elephant and ElephantKing forwarders.

Falcon Winch AssistFalcon

The Falcon Winch Assist system can be fitted to any excavator over 27 tonnes. Its single drum 1 1/8-inch rope provides continuous traction support for felling and shoveling machines on slopes up to 50 degrees/110 degrees.

With the option of 500 to 650 metres of rope length, the Falcon Winch Assist can be designed to suit a logger’s specific requirements. Designed to be multi-purpose, the Falcon Winch Assist system can be used effectively for digging, loading and shoveling, says the company.

The felling machine operator only has to manage one rope when operating down the slope, reducing complexity and potential for snags. The winch system design features less mechanical and electrical complexity, reducing the opportunity for faults and breakdowns.

The Falcon winch assist has been designed and tested through thousands of operational hours in a wide range of slope and soil conditions, and features a number of safety feature alarms which give operators the safety and security to concentrate on the task at hand. These include: overspeed alarm triggering a rope management system in the winch, which automatically slows it down to prevent shock-loading: movement alarm to alert the operator if the winch machine experiences any movement; cab door tamper detection alarm; over-tension alarms; drum over-speed alarm/arrest; maximum rope pay out alarm/arrest; and live feed camera system.


The Ecoforst T-Winch was developed as a traction winch independent of the base machine. As a result, Ecoforst says that the machine to be secured can be changed in minutes without any effort. The T-Winch is also equipped with an easy-to-use remote control. Fixed winches have the disadvantage that they depend on the power of the base machine. When using the T-Winch, however, the overall system is expanded by 145 hp. Due to the extremely low fuel consumption of the T-Winch, about 4.5 litres per hour, the whole system consumes conceivably less fuel than without the use of a winch. There is no limiting factor in terms of cable length and diameter, so 1600’ of ¾˝ cable is available on the T-Winch. By using a running rope, the force is distributed over the entire cable length, which leads to longer cable life. Cable speed is about 4 kms/hour.


Technical Forest Solutions (TFS) is located in Kelso, Washington and represents EMS forestry products of New Zealand which includes the Tractionline winch assist system and the Harvestline mobile yarding system. The product is marketed in Canada through a number of dealers.

As the forest industry is demanding mechanization for sustainability, TFS says that contractors today require innovation and new technology to handle the changing marketplace. The company says it has the products for the next evolution. The industry is changing, moving forestry operations back onto steep ground and TFS says along with its dealers, it can provide loggers with the equipment, parts and support to handle this task. TFS is the Tractionline and Harvestline dealer for the western United States and provides product/parts distribution into Canada through a network of dealers.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
March/April 2018

On the Cover:
B.C. Interior logging company Wadlegger Logging and Construction Ltd. are deploying their leveling feller bunchers and the Tractionline winch-assist system to help their logging equipment work efficiently and safely up and down steep slopes. (Photo by Anthony Robinson)

New biofuel investment for Newfoundland
British-Based AEG is targeting Newfoundland for its first Canadian investment in its biofuel technology—and it is looking to re-start a business plan involving forestlands in Alberta.

Top Lumber Producers—Who's on Top?
Logging and Sawmilling Journal’s exclusive annual listing of Canada’s Top Lumber Producers, produced in co-operation with industry consultants, International WOOD MARKETS Group.

An outstanding logger...
The Canadian Woodlands Forum’s Atlantic Outstanding Logging Contractor Award has gone to veteran logging contractor Dana Day, who has been involved in forestry for more than 50 years.

Move over CLT—make room for DLT (Dowel Laminated Timber)
Mass Timber Products are a hot item these days, and B.C. is now home to a multi-million dollar production facility that is turning out a fairly new product to North America: Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT).

BC Saw Filers Convention coming up
Logging and Sawmilling Journal previews the upcoming BC Saw Filers Convention, to be held in Kamloops, B.C. April 26-28, which promises to be a great exhibition of all the latest in technology, products and services in saw filing.

Getting traction in the B.C. Interior
A Tractionline winch-assist system is meeting the multiple needs of B.C. Interior logging operation, Wadlegger Logging and Construction Ltd., including on steep slopes and tough ground conditions.

Going the distance...
Building logging road and bridges on the tough B.C. Coast requires equipment that can go the distance—and then some—and Powell River contractor Bob Marquis has found the right equipment that can take on some pretty punishing ground.

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates, Alberta Agriculture and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
The traditional lands decision from the Supreme Court of Canada is resulting in more dialogue and accommodation, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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