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TECH UPDATE: July/August


Compiled By Mel-Lynda Andersen
Copyright 1996. Contact publisher for permission to use.

    Pierce Pacific
The Pierce HTH14 Pan is a purpose-built hydraulic tree harvester engineered specifically for West Coast applications. Fixed-displacement feed roller motors provide over 3,300 lbs. of delimbing force, which makes this 800-lb. unit the most powerful harvester of its size, according to its man-ufacturers. A patented delimb arm design using four moving delimb arms provides maximum control and tree stability by automatically adjusting the positioning of the delimb arms to the size and taper of the tree.

This system eliminates the need for a soft clamp function. A cushioned-ball butt plate design uses rubber ball dampeners to cushion the shock exerted through the butt plate, thereby reducing the strength on the frame and other sub-structures. A compact hydraulic system also sits well protected on top of the frame for servicing accessibility.

Three different styles of feed rollers are available to suit all applications: rubber tires with chains, solid steel rollers with spikes and a third patented roller design for sensi-tive sorts, consisting of individual rubber-mounted steel grip sections. According to the manufacturer, these sections are long-wearing, inexpensive to replace and their rubber mounted design provides more sur-face contact and increased delimbing power with less damage to the trees.

Pierce’s new model HTH16-840 Pan features a patented sectioned feed roll design, as well as a patented automatic delimb arm positioning system, compact hydraulics, and a fully automated Logmate measuring system with 20 pre-programmable presets. Pierce also m a nu fa c t u re rs the HTH18 LogMax, a Scandinavian-style harvester head with variable displacement feed roller motors, the HTH 20 Harvester and the HTH 26 Bigwood Harvester.

The Inchworm
Sunny Corner Enterprises Inc. of Miramichi, New Brunswick manufactures the Inchworm, a 1,550-lb. processor that can adapt to a variety of carriers, including single-rack porters, double-rack porters, skidders, bombardiers and heavy-duty farm tractors. Able to process four to five stems simultaneously, the Inchworm has a cutting diameter of 20'' and a delimb-ing diameter of 18''.

The operator can select a variety of lengths and can process trees auto-matically while loading a forwarder. Production capacity is 5 to 7 CDS/hr. behind a feller buncher and 3 to 5 CDS/hr. processing at the stump. The Inchworm can be installed or removed from the carrier in a half hour.

Forest Technology (Fortec)
The Fortec 1850-TS Processor processes both hardwoods and softwoods. The two-speed track drive system provides feed rates up to 13'/sec. in high and double 13,000 lbs. of feed torque in low, according to the manufacturer. A 10'' stroke delimbing system aids the track drives in removing tougher limbs.

The controlled felling design of the 1850-TS allows the operator to place the tree where desired for processing, increasing skidder efficiency. All hydraulic valving is located on the processor, reducing the number of hydraulic lines running to the head, and minimizing their required maintenance. Rugged structural components are designed for durability and longer machine life. New options for the 1850 Series include lower arms and a roller drive system. According to Fortec, the 1850 or any of the processors in its growing product line can be configured to match site-specific applications.

Koehring Waterous
Koehring Waterous manufactures five disc saw felling heads for both wheeled and tracked feller bunchers. The 18'' sawhead is said to offer high production in small wood; it is designed for drive-through felling using smaller hydrostatic wheel feller bunchers.

The Koehring 18'' sawhead, for boom-through felling with smaller knuckle-boom tracked carriers, is effective in small to medium wood. The most popular sawheads in the company’s lineup are the 20'' saw-heads, for all-around performance in both drive-through and boom-through felling, according to the manufacturer.

New to the lineup is the company’s 24'' head, designed specifically for long stem control and boom-through felling of larger-diameter wood. Koehring offers two blade options: the new 4000NK (Narrow Kerf) blade and the 4000B (Full Kerf) blade. Both blades have full-thickness tooth-mounting lugs that require minimal maintenance.

Koehring Waterous harvesting heads fell, delimb, buck, top and pile in one continuous operation at the stump. They represent auto-mated delimbing and processing systems, producing logs to exact lengths. The 3,000-lb. 762B head mounts on carriers over 20 tonnes.

With its durable construction and easy servicing access, this unit is said to be well suited to cut-to-length harvesting. The 762B model weighs 2,200 lbs. and is mounted on carriers over 15 tonnes; it is primarily used for thinning and cutting in smaller timber.

Hahn Machinery Inc.
Small and light enough to mount on compact mini-excavators or three- and four-wheeled carriers, the HSG 140 Single Grip Harvester from Hahn is ideal for plantation thinning and select-cut operations. This harvesting head per-forms felling, delimbing, measuring and bucking functions, delivering excellent productivity at a very low cost per unit, according to the manufacturer.

This full-featured harvesting head is priced well below competing models. Some of its features include fingertip processing con-trols, electronic length measuring system, 3/4'' pitch felling/bucking saw, two-speed roller feed, automatic saw oiler, and alloy steel construction. Aggressive roller design, large drive motors and four delimb knives ensure quality delimbing in tough conditions. Heavy-duty guards protect the operator while a high-capacity oil cooler and added filtration protect the Jubota hydraulic system. This head also offers two roller speeds, electronic log length measurement with two presets, and fingertip processing controls.

Manufacturers of the Ultimate 5600 single-grip harvester claim this new head is “excellent” in roadside delimbing and blow-down timber applications. With delimbing arms that can work together or independently, the 5600 supports high-lead systems, performs log-loading functions, and does right-of-way thinning and selective cutting. The main saw, an intermittent, high-torque ring saw, has a 22'' cut diameter and features the Quad Tooth system, twin-drive motors and feed roll lock-out to prevent saw damage. Two hydraulically driven, canted feed rolls operate at a feeding speed of 13' per second. Delimbing features on this head include two main delimbing arms, one spring-loaded floating top knife, delimbing capacity from 22'' to 2'', and two grab arms with delimbing knives.

Quadco’s new lineup of saw heads now include one for every carrier size class and type on the market — wheeled or tracked. Three tilt options are offered on all centre tower models, as well as weld-on power link to retrofit non-linkage booms.

The new twin tower series offers the same features as the centre tower series (excluding tilt options); besides improved operator visibility, the manufacturers claim the portal design pro-vides maximum strength with a minimum of weight. The full-tilt options on the centre tower heads enable the operator to direct tree fall and bunch in all directions, in tight selec-tive cutting situations, during roadway cut-ting, and for laying matting material in sen-sitive or swampy conditions.

Because of its ability to make larger and fewer bunches at any angle from the trail, the full tilt minimizes damage to advanced growth and reduces feller buncher and skidder travel. Wide clamp arm spread and four independent clamp arm cylinders provide improved tree alignment and control, increased leverage, and reduced power loss from butt friction, according to the manufacturer.

AFM Harvesters
AFM Harvesters of Finland claim their new harvesting heads, the AFM Magnum and AFM 60, are built for the challenges of logging in the 21st century. While both heads are designed for final felling, they can also be used for thinning and roadside processing. Because of their heavy weight and construction, the company recommends the most suitable base machine for these heads is a tracked excavator.

At 2000 kg, the AFM Magnum is built for a 22- to 35-ton tracked excavator, and can fell and delimb stems ranging from 5 cm to 25 cm. Four separately controlled delimbing knives and three roller drivers provide feed speeds of up to 5 m per second. With the new patented AFM OptiCut sawing system, both the saw cover and the bar move according to the tree diam-eter into an optimal sawing position.

This system minimizes bar damage because felled trees never land on top of the bar; cut-ting is always done within the optimal cutting area. At 1150 kg, the AFM 60 can fell and delimb stems ranging from 5 cm to 60 cm. This head has a three-roller drive, as well as two optional hydraulically driven feeding rollers and one hydraulically driven track. A 15- to 25-ton excavator is the recommended base unit for this machine.

Both harvesting heads are available with steel or rubber rollers for softwood, or with eucalypt d eb a rking rollers. The Finnish Motomitt measuring and control system is equipped on all AFM saw heads, featuring automatic scaling, programmable and user-defined control and auxiliary keys, length and diameter calibration for every species, reporting capabilities, automatic colour marking and value scaling.

Produced by Ponsse Oy in Finland, the Ponsse H60 harvesting head is designed for both thinning and final felling operations. Constructed with high-strength steel, the H60 head is able to delimb large branches and is suitable for both clear cut-ting and thinning, says the company. The harvester head has a maximum feeding diameter of 64 cm with a feed speed of 4.5 m/sec.

Fully open, the harvester head is only 120 cm wide, making it easy to place at the trunk base. Steel rollers or chain tracks can be fitted to the tandem feeding axles. Tandem axles and 24 KN feeding power enable delimbing of even twisted trunks. The head can be fitted with a three-or five-knife delimber. The maximum cutting diameter ranges from 52 cm to 64 cm.

Denharco With the Denharco
DH550 harvester/pro-cessor, felling, delimbing, measuring and cross-cutting can be done in a single operation. Most effective in dense underbrush, this head works at roadside and as a processor in combination with a feller buncher.

The synchronization of the delimbing arms and the design of the feed roller system arms reduce the number of functions on the head. The delimbing arms reduce friction and are equipped with front and back knives that cut limbs growing in any direction. The front floating delimbing knife, combined with the delimber arms, surround the entire stem.

Three live feed rollers positioned in a triangular fashion on the DH550 provide better stem alignment and traction at a speed of up to 16' per second, according to the manufacturer. Two motors power the feed system: the first enhances speed and the sec-ond increases delimbing strength. The hydraulic system is integrated to the frame, simplifying installation on the carrier, and a high-performance chain saw with a saw stroke limiter ensure fast cuts and safe saw return, preventing bar bending. The Optilog system on the DH550 has been developed specifically for cut-to-length harvesting.

The 1996 lineup of Keto harvester heads, distributed by Hakmet, are suited to all types of logging found in Canadian forests. With five heads ranging in weight from 860 lbs. to 5,100 lbs., Keto harvesting heads can be mounted on a variety of wheeled and t ra cked carriers. All Keto harvester heads have built-in rotators, a feature exclusive to Keto. Keto heads can also process short-length wood when in the ‘“tilt-down” mode, which eliminates the need for a topping saw and ensures that no wood is lost.

Keto’s patented tracked feed system means no measuring wheel maintencance, which translates into improved production, according to the company. Single or double pre-cision- length measuring is another feature exclusive to Keto. Hakmet also boasts a sophisticated, easy-to-learn computer system with printer, 88 available presets, wheel or track length display, volume measuring, automatic and manual feeding and sawing, on-screen trouble shooting, and six onscreen languages. Optional two-wire con-trol system is also available.

Farr Installations
A prototype 6:1 harvester head has been designed by Farr Installations of Prince George, BC to provide reliable tooling to complete a variety of logging tasks using one prime mover. Functions have been con-figured into components, which can be added or subtracted depending on equipment needs, enabling greater ve rs atility and productivity, says the company.

This prototype harvester can stand upright to fell trees or lay down to harvest blowdown. It can also delimb felled trees, process trees to specified length and diameter, load log-hauling trucks and perform hoe chucking tasks. Other features of this 6,500-lb. head include 360� continuous rotation, two rotate motors and four process drive rollers , 10'/sec. process rate, Hultdins topping saw and a bl ow d ow n butt-saw.

Three head sizes are available: 16'', 20'' and 24''. The manufacturer announces future developments for this harvester head will include a quick-grab silvi rake, angle bucket attachments, clam bucket and clam rake attachments, pulp-wood grapple arms, and a two-speed feed rate.

The Hytec wood harvesting head can delimb softwood and aspen 10 times faster than hand cutters, according to its manufacturers. Available with 120� tilt options for planta-tion thinning and work on hillsides (providing enhanced visibility), this head also has strong jaws that can hold a tree up to 22'' in diameter and a flexible saw head, which eliminates any possible structural damage to the blade and chain in case the tree trunk moves while being cut and removed from the stump.

Other features on this head include mechanisms that are totally enclosed for protection, easy-to-read troubleshooting inspection panels, a maintenance design that enables servicing to be completed by the operator, lockout on both roller and stroke, automatic tension on upper jaws to accommodate tree diameter differences, and large-diameter stump capability at low ground height.

This saw head is compatible with all boom-operated feller-type machines, both swing and stationary and comes with optional computerized rollers/counters, and rollers with or without stroke operations.

Sisu Valmet
The Sisu Valmet 960-II is a heavy-duty, component-built harvesting head designed to speed up the harvesting process, reduce down time and simplify service, say its manufacturers. The 960-II is a directional harvesting head that gives operators com-plete control to process at the stump with the touch of a button.

Operators can fell, delimb, buck, top and pile precisely mea-sured logs up to 60 cm (23'') in diameter in one continous operation. The head is matched to the Sisu Cranab 1400 two-stage 9.3-m (30') telescopic boom for final felling and thinning operations. The Valmet 960- II features a “cam-curve” feed-roller sus-pension system which produces delimbing performance of up to 13'/sec. The cam-curve design requires less horsepower, minimizes friction with the delimbing knives, creates less stress on the head, extends roller life and ensures a tight, continuous grip which eliminates slip and potential fibre damage.

Five geometrically shaped delimbing knives follow the tree. Head knives and a spring-action, length-measuring wheel make up the Valmet VMM 1000 measuring system. VMM allows the operator to gain the optimum yield from each tree or log. The system can be programmed to record and sort trees by species, length and diameter class, coordinating the needs of the mill with the harvesting site.

VMM also provides information on trouble shooting. The 960-II head operates with three common hydraulic cylinders, reducing the need for extra fittings, hoses and valves. A separate cylinder controls the saw bar. The automatic cutting control of the saw bar is synchro-nized with the feed-roller system to mini-mize potential damage to the saw bar. The saw blade retracts the instant the cut is complete, avoiding damage to the chain.

Three years ago Gilbert introduced the 180� full-tilt system. The company claims their new 1255 disc saw felling head capitalizes on this concept, offering improved manoeuverability, reliability, productivity increase and environmental protection. The main features of this full-tilt felling head include a patented 180� tilt system, a solid frame specifically designed to withstand the requirements of a full-tilt system, increased cutting and accumulation capacities, and a saw design that produces high-quality cuts. According to the manufacturer, the 1255 is easily operated at any angle, allowing the operator to quickly and safely retrieve windthrown trees.

The full-tilt system also reduces feller- buncher travelling and increases stacking volumes by 50 to 150 per cent, allowing the skidder to be fully loaded every time it makes a trip. The tilt system also offers greater protection of the feller-buncher boom since torsion is controlled hydraulically, rather than mechanically.

The hydraulic motor on this head is also protected inside the saw’s drive system frame. The company claims the quality of its saw (1-3/4'' felling cuts) and the low cost of reve rs i ble teeth also contribute to reducing operating costs. A new hold-down arm system reduces equipment stress and prolongs the life of the arms.

The Pika 700, distributed by Second Growth Inc. of Aberdeen Washington, is designed for big timber, according to the manufacturer. Suitable for mounting onto excavators over 40,000 lbs., the Pika 700 is ideal for processing short or long logs and is available with a topping saw. Its four grapple arms hold the tree firmly and help simplify pile selection.

The Pika 600 can be matched with either Timberjack or Timbco machines for productive cut-to-length harvesting. The Pika 455 is suitable for thinning younger stands with base machines weighing 30,000 lbs. or less. On all of the above-mentioned harvesters, electronic valve controls eliminate electromechanical relay switches. An onboard computer can be programmed for up to 73 log lengths and three diameter sorts, and an optional printer outputs cubic volumes, piece and species counts.

A saw limit switch returns the saw after each cut, extending bar and chain life, and a top/bottom grapple combination offers high grip strength during felling and excellent manoeuverability, says the company. Second Growth, Inc. also offers customized engineering solutions for unique requirements.

Hultdins Inc
Hultdins Superfell directional felling heads are suitable for a wide range of multi-use applications, particularly for windfall operations, oversize trees, and right-of-way operations. The Hultdins Superfell 850, with a 34'' cut capacity, can be mounted on any size feller buncher or 20-ton and larger excavators. The light-weight 560 model has a cutting capacity of 24'' and is ideal for small excavator applications, according to the manufacturer.

Standard features include automatice chain tension, 360� rack and pinion rotator, automatic hydraulic braking system for controlled head positioning, and a saw bar limiter which restricts bar travel to tree diameter. The 850 weighs 3,000 lbs. (1360 kg) and the smaller 560 weighs 1,200 lbs. (545 kg).

After a year of field testing, Fabtek’s SG220 first production model Dangle Style 22'' harvesting head is now operating on a Timbco 445 with Pacific Logging in northern Washington. The measurement system on this new head features a second-generation, custom-built compact computer.

A ramp-up/ramp-down, computer-controlled hydraulic system provides soft starts and stops, resulting in less slippage, better accuracy, less system shock and longer hose life, according to Fabtek. Three measurement inputs allow the operator to select the best measurement option for wood size and con-ditions. The SG220 is fast, owner service-able and cheaper than its European counter-parts, says the company. Fabtek has also taken the best features of its two most popular four-roller processor heads and combined them in a new 18'' model.

This new controlled fell design head adds an independent measurement wheel and now gives up to four independent measurement inputs, including diameter. All sensors are interchangeable. The new Fabtek Series 2000 computer combined with the 3.3 version software provides accurate measurements. The series 2000 also has an optional independent keypad and display screen for the cab. As in the SG220, the operator can select the best measurement sensor for long-wood or short-wood processing.

Risley’s new lineup of Rotosaws includes the Rolly II, a single-grip harvester/double-grip processor/delimber. With modular components that are easily accessbile for scheduled maintenance and onboard control valving for all processor functions, the Rolly II is adaptable to a wide range of applications, including roadside, landing and processing at the stump, according to the manufacturer.

Twin planetary drives facilitate mounting bracket rotation and total tree control off the stump. A circular topping saw has a 7'' cut capacity, while the chain saw bar has a 12'' cut capacity; the head is also equipped with a floating delimbing knife. The unit is also manufac-tured with optional picker, accumu l at e r and holding arms. Bracket styles include 30� lateral tilt or nontilt, and 240� control-lable dual-motor rotation.

A Computer Optimized Measuring System (COMS) has also been installed for accurate cut-to-length or random lengths. The Risley Models S1818/S1821 Slingshots are designed for hardwood and softwood and represent “a new generation of feller bunchers and delimber proces-sors ,” says the company. The Slingshot harvesting head is a single-grip, stroke-type processor that combines felling, accumulating, bunching, delimbing and processign into one forest harvesting attachment.

A functional design has been incorporated with Risley’s hydraulic technology to produce a machine that makes operation and measuring fast and simple, says the company. The 5,000-lb. Slingshot is completely compatible with a wide range of carriers; cut capacity is 18'', side rotation is 220�, and delimbing power is 12,000 ft. lbs. at 8' per second. The Rotosaw I-2026T is a high-torque circular saw with dual motors for high-torque cutting and a variable piston motor that allows complete carrier adaptibility. Tree capacity is rated at 26''.

With two accumulator arms for multi-tree production and arms and deck designed for maximum accumulating capacity, this head is simple to operate and is designed to add safety and effi-ciency to logging operations, says the company. With the patented Roto Cut feed system, blade rotatation occurs only during tree cutting, and cutting speed is regulated by cut difficulty to prevent blade stall.

This head weighs 7,500 lbs. and has a complete hydraulic package and two tilt cylinders that tilt at a 15� angle. A gear motor flow divider gives power to the rung, as well as distributing and regulating oil to the extend blade.

Balderson’s 22'' and 18'' high-speed disc saws are said to increase the productivity of the Cat 300 series of feller bunchers . Features of this head include 15� tilt in either direction; extended tree guide for control when felling taller timber; extended clamp arms for grabbing trees that lean away from the machine; dual bypass accumulators for multi-tree gath-ering; and adjustable tree deck plate that allows adjustments for wear.

Oil bath saw drive bearings eliminate daily greasing, and a hydraulic brake stops the head’s disc with 20 seconds of saw switch cut-off. With the 18'' unit, there is a 2:1 drive ratio for better speed and respeed times, according to the manufacturer. Overall weight for the 18'' model is 4,500 lbs.; for t he 22' ' model is 6,750 lbs. Backcut capacity for the 22'' head is 36'' and 32''for the 18'' unit. Blade speed is rated at 1,250 rpm.

Loewen Tree Harvesting Equipment by Vanguard Cranes Inc. presents Loewen Highspeed feller bun her sawhead. According to the manufacturer, with the Loewen 340� full-tilt system, bunching trees becomes an advantage in conjunction with a processor. The 340� tilt system of the sawhead allows the operator to sort between pulpwood, sawlog or diffe re n t species at the stump and cut and accumu-late smaller stems at once, piling these stems into larger, neater piles by being able to rotate back to the piles that the sawhead has alread passed, eliminating the need for several small piles.

It can also directly pile logs in consistent piles ahead of the processor, making it easier and quicker to process or forward to roadside or landing, says the company. The operator can also position the head to pick wind-fall and dead-fall trees. The company also says the 340� tilt high-speed feller buncher sawhead is more productive because it eliminates wasted time swinging one tree at a time.

The Lako 650 is designed for big timber and heavy-duty conditions, and is one of the most powerful and robust harvesting heads in the world market, according to its manu fa c t u re rs in Finland. The most suitable base machine for this harvesting head is a hydraulic excavator between 16 and 30 tons with a minimum engine output of 90kW or 112 hp. Rubber-tired carriers with strong crane capacity over 90,000 lb.ft./120 kNm are also suitable for the Lako 650.

The Lako 550 is a medium-sized harvesting head used for thinning and clear cutting of small-size timber. Hydraulic excavators or rubber-tired carriers between 10 and 20 tons with a min-imum 75kW/102-hp engine power are recommended for the 550. The smallest Lako 450 model is designed for commercial thin-nings. The Lako 750 is the company’s newest, largest and most efficient harvesting head. It is designed for big timber and requires a carrier over 25 tons with an engine output of over 120 kW (163 hp). All Lako harvesting heads have been simply designed facilitate trouble-free maintenance, says the company. Modular part design and manufacture make serial fabrication eco-nomical and effective.

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