Tech Update - Harvesting and Directional Felling Heads

The Komatsu 398 harvesting and processing headKomatsu

The Komatsu 398 harvesting and processing head is built for big timber, selective harvesting, clearcut harvesting, and processing pre-felled timber.

Its rugged and robust design allows it to handle timber averaging up to a 23” diameter. It can be mounted on 28 to 40 tonne track carriers and is ideally suited for the Komatsu PC290LL-11 log loader. The powerful “carry style” feed system features four high performance motors and three heavy duty driven rollers which provide a firm three-point grip while reducing friction for high feed power.

Feed force is 9000 lbf (40 kN) and feed speed is up to 16.4 ft/sec (5 m/sec). Cutting is handled by a 31” capacity ¾” pitch bottom saw and an 18’ capacity .404 pitch integral top saw.

The rugged delimbing knife and accurate measurement systems provide highly efficient processing. The MaxiXplorer control system is user friendly with a large color screen, and integrates all head functions.

Pierce GP ProSeriesPierce Pacific

Pierce Pacific says that its new Pierce GP ProSeries is a revolutionary forestry tool that is changing the industry. It’s said to be the only one of its kind that shovels, sorts and loads like a grapple, and delimbs, measures and cuts like a processor.

It offers extreme durability, superior log quality and unmatched loading efficiency—all with one machine. According to the company, no other forestry tool makes a bigger impact on productivity than the GP ProSeries, adding that they are not only in the business of improving logger’s equipment, but they are also in the business of improving production.

Tigercat’s 5185 and 5195 felling sawsTigercat

Tigercat’s 5185 and 5195 felling saws are steadily increasing in popularity globally in large timber and steep slope operations.

Contractors in native hardwood and other oversize timber applications are seeing benefits from the 5195 coupled with the LS855E shovel logger due to its excellent shoveling performance on steep slopes.

With continuous rotation, the head is quickly and easily repositioned. Also, double cuts on steep slopes are performed quickly without moving the carrier.

The 5195 has full 360 degree rotation with through-the-link central hosing for enhanced hose protection and extended hose life. Oversized twin grapple cylinders deliver high performance and control when felling, cutting and shoveling. The fully fabricated chassis and grapple arms design provide strength and added longevity.

The 5185 shares the saw performance and strength and longevity characteristics of the 5195. Where the 5185 excels is in its ability to control falling and placement of high value trees, avoiding breakage. The 5185 can efficiently top the trees within the cut block. In timber stands with average diameters that are approaching or beyond the limitations of a disc saw, contractors are seeing excellent productivity with the 5185, says the company.


Ponsse heads are widely used in track and rubber tired harvesters in Canada. Ponsse has been designing and manufacturing harvester heads for 30 years. The long term experience and active listening of customer feedback shows in the products as every model is at the top of its class in productivity and reliability, according to the company. Well designed structures and highest quality steel ensure durability with lower weight. The saw is quick and precise, feeding fast and strong, making Ponsse heads productive. The company adds that the Ponsse Opti control system designed for Ponsse heads delivers more cubic metres per hectare.

JdeSouza MJ1000JdeSouza

The JdeSouza MJ1000 is described as an advanced directional felling head, with a 60 cc piston motor, ¾” chain tensioner and automatic lubrication.

What makes JdeSouza unique is not just power but reliability. JdeSouza is a leading brand in markets where companies work 24/7, and where machines must be robust and simple to maintain. Here is where the company says that JdeSouza stands its ground as one of the most desirable products in the woods.

Able to cut up to 3’ diameter timber with its 52” bar, the MJ1000 felling head is built with the most durable materials, certified steel with ASTM A-572 grade 50 and USIAR 450 steel with 450 HRB hardness and up to 1” thickness.

It has a reinforced structure, consisting of two stabilizer arms and two hydraulic cylinders with a 4” inner sleeve.

Tested with the hardest woods in the world, JdeSouza says that the MJ1000 is a tool that works for the toughest jobs.

Axis Forestry Inc offers a new Cypress Robotics computer system for processing headsAxis Forestry

Axis Forestry Inc offers a new Cypress Robotics computer system for processing heads.

A completely new invention from hardware to software, this award-winning innovative system operates from an industrial tablet and requires no head module or cabin module. All software and hardware are built, tested and supported in house.

Operators say this system is extremely easy to use and navigate, and responds much faster than normal. On board diagnostics and remote support assist the operator to troubleshoot issues in real time. Designed to replace aging computer systems on existing heads, Axis has kits available for several Waratah head models and other brands. The Cypress Robotics system is the standard issue computer system for all Axis Forestry re-manufactured heads and field installation time is generally one day.

Konrad Forsttechnik Woody harvesting headsKonrad Forsttechnik

Konrad Forsttechnik Woody harvesting heads are described as different from other common heads on the market. All have an integrated rotator and can rotate continuously. Therefore, there is no danger of damaging hydraulic hose pipes leading to the feed rollers, says the company.

The feeding rollers can be folded up to leave the grapple free. Therefore, the grapple can be used as a loading and sorting grapple. This makes it also easy to pick up trees arriving with a cable yarder.

The unique construction of the head allows crooked stems to pass through easily. Konrad Forsttechnik heads work well in both softwood and hardwood timber. The grapple also functions as delimbing knives. In addition to the grapple, there are still two more moving delimbing knives and one fixed delimbing knife.

Konrad Forsttechnik makes the following range of harvesting heads: Woody 41 for small timber; Woody 50 with top saw as option; Woody 60 with top saw as option; Woody 61 with automatic chain tensioner and top saw as option; and Woody 71 with automatic chain tensioner and top saw as option.

Southstar QS 450 4X4 harvester/processorSouthstar

The new Southstar QS 450 4X4 harvester/processor provides increased traction, torque, and delimbing force. It is ideal for harvesting, processing, thinning and debarking operations and is designed for small sized wood with an optimum operating size of 14” to 18” in diameter. Southstar says that the multi-tree processor is packed full of design features that set it apart from the competition—and as a member of the QUADSTAR harvester processor range, it is heavy duty and built to last.

The QS 450 4X4 head weighs 1941 kgs with a height in harvest position of 2280 mm. The maximum width with the arms open is 1731 mm.

Feed speed is 5.5 to 7.6 metres per second.

The standard control system is the Dasa5 with detailed production reports.

The recommended carrier size for this head is between 20,000-22,000 kgs.

Waratah H624C 4X4 harvester headWaratah

Born to perform with its effortless four-wheel drive and high torque feed motors, the Waratah H624C 4X4 harvester head provides unyielding delimbing power and responsive feed speeds.

Its productivity enhanced design is coupled with an extra capacity top saw with 360 rotation, and lower delimbing, emphasizing efficient and responsive log handling, precise placement, and control.

The head comes with Waratah’s accurate TimberRite measuring system, providing a wealth of data and information at the operator’s command, which means that owners can run their businesses smarter and more efficiently than ever before.

Perfectly suited for over 27 tonne machines, it is equally comfortable single stemming large logs or multi-stemming on demand. Known for exceptional agility and log handling for its size, a large cutting capacity and outstanding traction, the H624C 4X4 boosts productivity in demanding applications.

Log Max 7000XT processorLog Max

With its large, high torque feed motors, the Log Max 7000XT processor gives operators up to 45kN/11,600 lbf of feed force and delimbing power. High flow hydraulics provide increased performance in any application and the toughest conditions. It features a new 60 cc saw motor.

The new XTreme series from LogMax are heavy duty harvesting heads specifically designed for tracked carriers.

With a choice of harvester or dedicated processor configuration, the Log Max XTreme Series meets the demands of the toughest operations.

The XT Series has been developed to provide the logging industry with a productive and durable head for the most extreme applications, and to produce wood at the lowest cost per tonne possible.

Keto 873 processor headKeto

The Keto 873 processor head is all new. The dual track feed system ensures accurate measuring and zero fibre damage. It is recommended for a carrier in the 24 to 40 tonne range, with over 160 horsepower.

The Keto 873 comes with a 360 degree continuous rotator, and has a capacity of 22,680 kgs (50,000 lbs).

It features minimized head sway due to the head’s low height, and also comes equipped with the new ‘Max Power’ saw system. It has precision control for the bar position and motor power. The head also comes with an automatic chain tensioner.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
June/July 2019

On the Cover:
Tom Fisher Logging conducts selective harvesting in a forest that consists of several high-value wood species, which provides him with the opportunity to tap into a variety of markets for his wood products. Fisher very ably maintains good relations with inquisitive local cottage owners about the sound of logging equipment and resource road traffic as they enjoy their lake properties. (Cover shot of a Tigercat 822C feller buncher with a 22” hotsaw head by Tony Kryzanowski)

A win-win forest management plan
The First Nations-owned Agoke Development Corporation is working on a forest management plan that could revolutionize the economic structure of forest management in northwestern Ontario—and deliver benefits to First Nations communities and the forest industry.

Managing all the moving parts
Veteran Ontario logger Tom Fisher has plenty of experience at managing the many moving parts—including keeping local cottage owners in the know—that are involved in harvesting high value hardwood forests.

Bright future for fiberboard operation
With a steady source of residual wood supply from mill operations in the region, the MDF plant in Pembroke, Ontario is looking forward to a positive future under its new ownership, Roseburg Forest Products.

Taking their logging to a whole new level
Ontario’s Henry Petkau had modest goals when he started Henry’s Trucking—but with his son, Bob, joining the operation, they have now expanded, and added new Southstar processing equipment that has taken timber production to a whole new level.

Getting higher OSB production at High Prairie
With a $50 million capital investment, forest company Tolko Industries has re-opened and boosted the production capacity at its re-commissioned High Prairie oriented strand board plant in Alberta by 40 per cent.

Sorting it all out—log-wise
The Shoal Island logging sort in B.C. truly lives up to its name, doing upwards of up to 180 log sorts, but doing it all with the environment in mind.

B.C. FNFC launches new First Nations workforce strategy

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

The Last Word
Tony Kryzanowski says the Forest Machinery Connectivity project is a good investment in “What If” science.


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