BarkoTech Review - Processing Heads


The Barko CF18 single-grip fixed harvesting head provides optimal performance on a wide range of harvesting and processing applications. Featuring a patent-pending design equipped with an IQAN control system and onboard valving, the CF18 is precisely engineered for fast and efficient cutting and delimbing.

360-degree continuous rotation with center hose routing enhances maneuverability while protecting hoses from tangling or tearing, thereby reducing hose replacement costs. The CF18 has a maximum roller opening of 18.5 inches and provides feed force of up to 11,792 foot-pounds.


Caterpillar sells and supports the full line of SATCO harvesting attachments for cut-to-length and processing operations, robust attachments that fell and process trees at the stump or roadside. SATCO attachments are known for their durability and high performance.

In the northwestern U.S., a good choice would be the SAT323T, according to Glenn Brown, a Caterpillar product application specialist. The SAT323T, with a cutting capacity of 29 inches and topping saw capacity of 18 inches, features heavy-duty piston roller drives, larger roller arm cylinders, and the SATCO DEAD-LOCK pin retention system to provide maximum power and structural strength. SATCO’s robust ¾-inch base saw system delivers speed and dependability to tackle big wood.

The SAT323T features the SATCO TRI-KNIFE system, which improves measuring because it holds the tree in line with the measuring wheel better than two single knives. The TRI-KNIFE system “is more like a grapple,” said Brown, which makes it more adept at picking a log out of a pile and re-stacking cut logs.

Cat dealers provide support and stock genuine service and maintenance parts for the complete line of SATCO heads. All SATCO products are backed by Caterpillar warranties.


The Komatsu 398 Harvesting and Processing Head, built for big timber selective harvesting, clear-cut harvesting, and processing pre-felled timber, is designed for installation on track carriers 27 metric tons or larger. Its rugged design allows it to handle timber averaging up to 23” diameter. The powerful “carry style” feed system features four motors (2 x 1048 cc and 2 x 630 cc) and three driven rollers, which provide a firm 3-point grip while reducing friction for high feed power. A traction control system senses and controls roller spin for improved log quality. The five rugged delimbing knives have programmable proportional pressure control and deliver fast and effective delimbing results.

Cutting is handled by a well protected 31-inch capacity 3/4-inch pitch bottom saw for high performance large wood cutting, and an 18-inch capacity 0.404 pitch integral top saw for high processing efficiency. A patented measuring system, with constant measuring wheel contact and a find end photocell sensor system, provides exceptional measuring accuracy. Komatsu’s advanced MaxiXplorer smart control system, with intuitive graphical interface and large color screen, manages all aspects of head control and performance. All maintenance and service points are readily accessible for ease of service.

BarkoLog Max

For over 35 years, Log Max has engineered reliable and productive harvesting and processing heads. The Log Max design gives clients a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Many of their products can be installed on smaller equipment, allowing for decreased total package price and overall fuel savings without compromising performance or uptime. There are many applications in the forestry market from first commercial thinning to final harvesting and processing. Log Max offers a wide range of products from the Log Max 928, weighing in at 923 lbs., to the Log Max 12000XT, weighing in at 9,900 lbs. With a Log Max head and its advanced Log Mate 500 control system, you will receive top performance, uptime, and support.

BarkoPierce Pacific Manufacturing

The Pierce GP sorts, shovels, and loads like a grapple, and it delimbs, measures, and cuts like a processor.

The GP’s innovative design allows it to reposition long logs, handle bundles of short wood, and distribute brush. It can be used with both new and preexisting log loaders, making it economical as well as efficient.

Groundbreaking features include integral feed wheels that allow the GP to shovel logs farther with each turn and easily move or reposition logs without rehandling while loading or sorting.

The GP allows a single unit to accomplish tasks that normally tie up two machines, offering loggers significant savings in time, fuel, labor, and maintenance costs, not to mention radically improved equipment utilization. The GP also features a full scale measuring system for calculating log length and diameter, allowing the processing function to easily merchandise logs.

The state-of-the-art grapple arms also offer unprecedented versatility. They can handle big timber up to 52” in diameter and are ideal for picking individual stems as well as handling multiple logs without crisscrossing.


The new PONSSE H10 processing head offers unbeatable quality and productivity in a new size class. The PONSSE H10 is designed and built for heavy-duty processing work in hard conditions. Robust structure, strong grip, and powerful feeding guarantee high efficiency and a long service life.

The PONSSE H10 is specifically designed to work effectively as both harvesting head and processing head. Wide geometry of feed rollers and knives support even big trees from underneath, which enables lower pressures to be used — better feed with lower fuel consumption.

The PONSSE H10 weighs 5,732 pounds and has a 35.4” maximum opening of the front knives and a 36.6” maximum of the rear knives. Thanks to the Opti control system, the H10 is dimensionally very accurate. The product development work performed in cooperation with customers has focused on the easy controllability and maintenance of the harvester head.


Quadco offers a variety of harvesting processing heads, including the Ultimate 5660, which is basically the same as the original 5600, but with a different saw base imported from our 6000 model. The saw has a 24” cutting capacity and develops 60 percent more power.

Thanks to its new High Speed Hydraulics and Quad Tooth®, the saw’s fast cutting speed provides high production and quality cuts. The circular saw is more “forgiving” than bar and chain and practically trouble free. Operating benefits also include the capability of cleaning unwanted underbrush to enhance visibility resulting in high production, long tooth life and low stumps.

In comparison to other systems, the great durability of the teeth, low maintenance time required and superior availability are the main factors that will reduce the after-investment costs. In normal conditions, maintenance is limited to changing the 7 saw bearings annually 2000 hours.

BarkoSouthStar Equipment

SouthStar offer the QS450, QS500, QS600 and QS630 processors. Of the four, the The QS630 is designed for the toughest harvesting environments, for the largest sized stems with an optimum operating size of 24-32” in diameter. This heavy-duty processor has not compromised speed and is packed full of design features, such as the 4X4 extra wide feed rollers for increased surface contact with the log and large diameter wheels for increased speed.

The innovative parabolic spring drive arm timing link allows for variation in stem profile without loss of traction. And the wide chassis Structure provides improved structural strength and increased single and multi-tree processing capacity. It features a clean hose through design with Taimi swivel or 360 rotation option to better protect hoses and large diameter pins with taper lock collar design for decreased wear and increased life expectancy.

BarkoSP Distributing

The SP 761 LF is a compact, heavy duty, and high performance harvester head. It’s designed according to SP´s low friction principle for minimum friction and maximum productivity and is suited for working on large wheel-based harvesters as well as tracked harvesters and excavator carriers.

The high capacity in combination with the compact, protected, and heavy-duty design makes the SP 761 LF able to handle a variety of different demanding harvesting applications with great performance.

Key features include the extremely good routing and protection of hoses; the use of special expander pins for longest possible life and low maintenance, as well as the computer-controlled proportional pressures on knives; and feed rollers with different settings available for different species to provide maximum performance and productivity.

Equipped with the specially designed processing knives and a topping saw, the SP 761 LF becomes a dedicated processing head with great performance for processing decked wood out of a pile. The SP 761 LF is truly a compact and heavy duty all-rounder.

The SP 761 LF reaches top performance in stands with diameters between 10” and 20” bhd, but thanks to the LF principle, it can efficiently work larger tree sizes.


Tigercat harvesting heads are built to match the high performance capabilities of Tigercat track carriers and are well suited to a variety of jobs including at-the-stump harvesting, roadside processing, and debarking.

The new 570 is the latest addition to the lineup. It is a two-wheel drive harvesting head best suited to in-stand harvesting with an optimal range of 150-510 mm diameter. With optional hydraulically timed processor knives, the 570 can also be used for roadside processing.

The 575 is a heavy-duty three-wheel-drive harvesting head also best suited to in-stand harvesting in the 175-560 mm diameter range. It is very effective in tough applications like large limbed hardwood and crooked trees. With optional mechanically timed processor knives for easier picking, the 575 is also an excellent roadside processing head.

The 575 features Tigercat’s unique three-two drive system. When processing a tree, the head starts in three-wheel drive, maximizing feed force for faster acceleration and quickly powering through bigger trees. As the load drops, it automatically shifts to two-wheel drive, improving efficiency and increasing feed speed up to 30%.

Tigercat’s D5 control system combines field-proven hardware and bucking control with a simple and intuitive Tigercat-developed user interface.


Recently, Waratah introduced a new four roller, multi-stem-capable processing model in the Pacific Northwest, the HTH622C 4x4.

The HTH622C 4x4 features a new four-wheel-drive system for improving traction and feeding of large logs. It also permits productive processing of multiple smaller logs, including a shuffle feature that can align log ends automatically or manually, which minimizes saw log waste and operator processing time.

The productive and efficient TimberRite system responsively controls a new high-flow hydraulic valve for improved soft clamping, faster feeding, improved saw performance, and when coupled with the new 3/4 pitch auto-tension saw unit, adds extra operational efficiency.

The model comes standard with 360 continuous rotation for improved assortment piling and features new innovative maintenance updates based on customer input, which reduces servicing time and increases uptime.

Waratah also introduced a new smart phone application, WaratahMate, for all TimberRite measuring systems. This application assists with transferring production data, work statistics, or other information quickly and reliably when regular productivity data is required from logging sites.

The app easily transfers data from the onboard controller to the office using wireless and cellular technology in a simple interface, eliminating the need for USB flash drives.

TimberWest November/December 2013
May/June 2016

On the Cover
Starks Timber Processing out of Puyallup, Washington, operating
one of its Tigercat LS855Cs on steep slopes.

Marketing Expertise
Cedarland Forest Resources helps 
private landowners find their niche.

The Reality of Steep Slope Logging
Starks Timber Processing discusses the need for safety when it comes logging 
on steep slopes.

Transitioning to the Next Generation
After 35 years, R. L. Smith Logging has 
seen is all. The next challenge will be passing the torch.

Taking Control
Wood Castle Fine Hardwood Furniture mills wood to guarantee supply.

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Log Loader
How to make the most of your next purchase.

Climbing Steep Slopes with the ClimbMAX
B.C.’s Tolko Industries is the first operation in North America to use a winch-assist forestry machine—the ClimbMAX steep slope harvester.

Tech Review
A look at processing heads.


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