Tech review - Grapple CarriagesAcme Manufacturing

Acme Manufacturing

Acme offers the Acme Hydraulic grapple carriage with a 360-degree rotation. It features rugged T-1 steel construction, low-pressure hydraulics, single solenoid valves, and a patented skyline clamp with replaceable aluminum jaws.

It weighs in at only 1,800 pounds with grapple, and the grapples come in multiple sizes. The carriage is powered by an air-cooled Kohler or Hatz diesel engine and includes Talkie Tooter digital radio controls and an integrated wireless camera system. The ability to slack the mainline on the way out and drop turns down on the way in is also offered on select models.

Bereuter MaschinenbauBereuter Maschinenbau

Bereuter offers the MGW 3045 grapple carriage with 3-ton lifting capacity and a 45 hp Kubota 4-stroke engine. Two integrated cameras allow one-man operation from the cab of the yarder or excavator. One camera gives a good overview, the second provides optimal view to the grapple.

The carriage is operated either from the cab of the yarder or by moveable radio-controlled operation stand. The whole chassis of the carriage, including rotator and grapple, is lowered to grab the logs—just the bar including buggy drive rolls remains on the skyline. Lifting and uphill drive on the skyline can be done at the same time. Depending on the situation at the landing, the logs can be dropped without lowering the carriage. Uphill/downhill and lift/lower movements can be done at the same time to reduce cycle time and increase productivity.

Furthermore, the self-propelled lifting carriage MLW 4100 features 4-ton lifting capacity, 100 hp engine power, and 443-foot cable capacity for lifting logs. The advantage of this carriage is the speed of lifting and lowering and the horizontal movement at the same time, which assures high production.

Falcon Forestry EquipmentFalcon Forestry Equipment

Developed in 2011 by DC Equipment, there are now over 70 Falcon Claws in operation around the world. In its third generation, the reliable and robust ‘Falcon Claw 1750’ is ideally suited to both tower and swing yarder operation. Equipped with a 360-degree rotating hydraulic log bunching style grapple, the Falcon Claw has a dependable communication system providing operators with consistency and reliability. 

The Falcon Claw is fitted with GPS, remote radio control and video feedback which provides an efficient and modern operating platform. This also lends itself to fast cycle times with an average of 2.5 – 3 minutes over a 2,000-foot distance. It is also fitted with lights and an infrared camera allowing it to perform in all-weather conditions including darkness and mist. 

Most importantly, the Falcon Claw has improved industry safety and best practices. With over 360,000 operational hours and zero incidents to workers either downhill or on the landing, the Falcon Claw allows logging crews to mechanize log extraction and reduce harm.

Eagle CarriageEagle Carriage

The HG74 grapple carriage features 75 inches of buncher style grapples, with 360-degree continuous rotation and reverse rotation. It has automatic pressure compensation gripping of grapples on logs, with double-click-on sure-grip control. With the sure-grip control, you can start the engine, stop the engine, rotate right or left, and open or close the grapple.

The grapple is equipped with a Hatz 11 hp diesel engine. The engine does not rev to auto grip or rotate grapples.

It features Logtek monitor and controls in the yarder cab with on-screen diagnostics. The on-screen display has valuable information such as pressures, RPMs, voltage, history, and the distance the grapple unit has traveled from the yarder. For protection of the unit, the screen also provides hydraulic level monitoring and tells the operator if the unit has low oil pressure. Grapples open or close in three seconds and burn less than 1.5 gallons of fuel per day. Additional features include Aarcomm radio controls, high-definition wireless camera, full-color screen, and an optional 2-camera system for up or downlogging.

The grapple is made with T-1 construction of all components and built with the well-known Eagle Carriage durability and customer service. The company has over 40 years of experience in carriage manufacturing with the latest technology.

Gator GrapplesGater Grapples

Gater Grapples presents the “Jaws” line of self-contained high-lead grapple units for yarding operation. Powered by a 9 hp Kubota engine (Tier Four compliant, no DEF), Jaws is a 1,250 lb. grapple equipped with 1,100-foot ranged radio controls, arms that open to ten feet and close to four inches, and continuous rotation. Log selection and manipulation is easier than ever.

Jaws Junior is a 1,000 lb. grapple, developed for smaller yarders also with radio controls ranged to 1,100 feet. Powered by a 6 hp Kubota engine (Tier Four, no DEF),this unit has arms that open to six feet and close to four inches, and continuous rotation. Both models feature load sense variable displacement piston pump for speed of operation and efficiency. Jaws and Jaws Junior also include low oil pressure shut down, low oil level shut down, and radio-controlled engine start and stop as standard equipment.

Additional upgrades to the base models of Jaws and Jaws Junior include real-time stand-alone camera systems with either 1,500-foot range or 3,000-foot range, as well as radio control option ranged to 3,000 feet.

Integral EquipmentIntegral Equipment

Integral Equipment supplies the Alpine Shovel Yarder and Alpine grapple carriage to North America. Although new to North America, the Alpine product line has been thoroughly tested globally.

Alpine grapples are typically mated with their two drum mechanical interlock excavator mounted yarders, but can also be utilized with other yarders.

The grapple open and rotate functions are hydraulically powered and controlled via remote electric signals. The grapple close function is controlled by the mainline. Hydraulic energy is stored in accumulators and pressurized by a pump connected to one of the haulback/skyline sheaves, as the carriage travels along the cable. Operating is made more efficient by multiple cameras mounted on the grapple.

Advantages of the Alpine grapple carriages include larger grapple with less weight, low maintenance costs, easy to use, fast cycle times, no lift required for closing of grapple, and 360-degree rotation.

Summit AttachmentsSummit Attachments & Machinery

Summit offers three motorized grapple carriages — the SG80, SG100, and SG160. The three grapple sizes available are 80”, 100”, and 160” and are powered by heavy-duty diesel engines.

The 80” and 100” grapple carriages are powered by an air cooled Hatz 21hp 2-cylinder diesel engine and utilize the same body.

All feature joystick style controls in open, close, and rotate; grapple strength and holding power to grab and securely hold logs; full 360-degree rotation; and exclusive swing arm design for increased grapple mobility and accuracy. An HD Camera system allows precision operation when retrieving logs, and the infrared capabilities allow for night-time operations. Due to the rugged conditions and terrain in which grapple carriages are utilized, Summit provides a military grade radio system for NLOS (non-line-of-sight) communication and video.

The carriages feature a quick coupler system that ensures clean fuel and hydraulic oil and T-1 Steel construction for durability. All components are North American sourced.

Technical Forest SolutionsTechnical Forest Solutions

Technical Forest Solutions (TFS) offers the Hawkeye, a new hydraulic grapple with industry leading clamping force. It features an auto clamping system on grapple close for better log retention. It has a 68” grapple opening, two grapple options to suit all timber types, and 360-degree rotation with open/close on the fly.

The grapple has three cameras offering the operator full field of view and a high-quality camera image. In addition to an air-cooled diesel engine and four LED lights for low-light situations, it also has a single wireless link for cameras, control, and monitoring.

The Hawkeye has easy service and grease point access, is built with high tensile steel and weighs in at 1.5 tons.


Teleforest’s system features a remote-controlled carriage system that includes a remote-controlled cart with a 75 hp turbo diesel engine, hydraulic emergency braking, and a unique system with full traction on the cable.

The 100 percent electric battery remote-controlled grapple with rotor has an easy exchange between grapple and choker.

The radio set comes with cameras. It has a setup circuit that allows each worker to control their work area safely. The camera is set up on both car and grapple
for visual accuracy, and it’s easy to use, requiring only a
smartphone to operate.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal

On the Cover:
In terms of operations and equipment, the status quo does not work for Andrew Johnson of Wolf Lake Logging and A&K Timber—he’s all about constantly improving his logging operations on B.C.’s Vancouver Island. The latest example of the constant improvements is now at work: the John Deere 959ML tilting hoe chucker/shovel logger (Cover photo by Paul MacDonald).

New forest management standards for FSC
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has launched a new national forest management standard, and it includes new or changed requirements in areas such as aboriginal rights and woodland caribou recovery.

New Deere hoe chucker gets coastal workout
Andrew Johnson of Wolf Lake Logging and A&K Timber is all about constantly improving his logging operations on Vancouver Island, and the latest example of the constant improvements was recently put to work: the John Deere 959ML tilting hoe chucker.

Small sawmill prepares for big investment
Ontario’s Papasay sawmill is preparing for some significant equipment investments as they continue the move into value-added wood products.

Hoe chucking in the Rockies—with Chucky
Alberta’s Caber Logging works in some very high elevation areas in the Rockies—where mountain goats call home—and they are using some specialized equipment, including their own home-built hoe chucker, nicknamed “Chucky”.

Fibre win all the way around
A new program in the B.C. Interior is providing jobs in the bush, improving wood fibre utilization and includes delivering fibre to a pulp mill on Vancouver Island—a win all the way around.

Getting the forestry-related digital help you need—now
B.C.-based Tolko Industries has partnered with Epilogue Systems, a developer of a digital adoption platform called Opus, to centralize and standardize documentation, giving employees access to an easy-to-use, single-source portal to quickly obtain information.

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.

Tech Update
We take a look at the latest equipment in Hydraulic Grapple Carriages.

The Last Word
The new B.C.-based federal Environment Minister must seek a balance with natural resources, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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