Tech review - feller bunchersCat Feller Buncher


Cat® track feller bunchers are designed with the best combination of lift capacity, swing torque, and tractive effort ratios to boost production. Purpose-built durability and low operating costs increase profitability.

The Cat 521 and 522 B Series machines are near-zero tail swing machines, which help reduce damage to the residual stand. The 521B is a non-leveling model best suited for plantation thinning, biomass harvesting, and medium-production select or clear-cut applications; the 522B is a leveling machine for select or clear-cut logging.

The Cat 541 Series 2 and the Cat 552 Series 2 are full tail swing machines designed for high-production clear-cutting or final felling in rough terrain. The 552 Series 2 is a leveling machine, and recent updates enhance operation on steep slopes.

These track machines are equipped with the Cat C9 ACERT™ 303 hp engine, which has a proven track record of reliability and durability. The closed center hydraulic system includes fully adjustable electric over hydraulic controls with two pumps for smoother multi-functioning.

Large structures are designed for longer life and durability. Tracks and all undercarriage rolling components are high grade to extend track life, reduce repair costs, and increase stability. The machines have excellent ground clearance and an open carbody design, increasing mobility by eliminating interference with obstacles.

The steep slope harvesting enhancements for the 552 Series 2 enable more efficient, productive, and reliable machine performance on steep terrain and also promote safety and comfort.


Purpose-built from the ground up to provide exceptional productivity and efficiency, the Barko 260B-F feller buncher incorporates extensive input from leading engineers, end users, and other forestry professionals.

The 260B-F is driven by a fuel-efficient 225 hp Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 Final diesel engine with SCR after treatment. It includes an extreme cooling engine package and a 36-inch-diameter Flexxaire auto reversing fan.

The feller buncher features a D7A undercarriage with 8-inch chain pitch for added stability with larger attachments in the 60,000-pound class machine size. It delivers exceptional drawbar pull (1.13 to 1 ratio) and provides 65,481 foot-pounds of tractive effort. Ground clearance is 29 inches.

Dual swing motors provide continuous rotation and high swing torque of 50,787 foot-pounds. The machine features a heavy-duty, oversized swing bearing and offers outstanding reach with any attachment.

Brute strength is complemented by responsive IQAN hydraulic controls specifically designed for Barko, featuring hydraulics tailored for feller buncher applications. Customized within Barko’s rigorous quality standards, IQAN provides infinite variable control for the hydraulic system, including programmable settings for different operators.

The state-of-the-art operator’s station provides optimum operator comfort and excellent visibility. A rearview camera with a 7-inch LED color display is optional.

The 260B-F comes with a 1.25-inch polycarbonate window, while an air knife system keeps the front and skylight windows clear of debris. A patented forward-sliding design allows the cab to move out 36 inches for easier serviceability. Additionally, a large, hydraulically-opening gull wing door offers direct access to the engine and components.

John Deere M-Series tracked feller bunchersJohn Deere

John Deere M-Series tracked feller bunchers are available in six models ranging from the 803M to the 959M. With various improvements over previous models, the 25 percent increase in horsepower and longer and wider undercarriage in this series provide customers maximum power and stability, even in the toughest terrain.

The 859M and 959M models feature a patented leveling system. This sensor technology maximizes the forward tilt angle (26 degrees forward), while electronically avoiding mechanical interference when also tilting to the side. Operator comfort and productivity are boosted through the optional tilt and leveling cabs — especially on steep slopes. Additionally, the M-Series machines provide up to 45 percent more tractive effort, enabling the machines to navigate extreme terrain.

M-Series cabs are known for their ergonomic controls including their adjustable armrests and air-conditioned seats, and the climate-controlled cab provides maximum comfort. Floor-to-ceiling front and side windows and an overhead skylight give 44 percent more visibility on the 800M machines and 22 percent more on the 900M machines.

Robust booms available in the M-Series feature thick plates and larger pins and bushings to ensure support and longer lifetime.

The M-Series machines are also available with TimberNavi™, an easy-to-use, integrated mapping solution. TimberNavi offers operators maximum visibility to the land they’re harvesting, improving operator efficiency and productivity in the woods. TimberNavi increases the operator’s spatial understanding of the jobsite, terrain information, harvesting areas, and points of interest on a map, which in turn helps enhance productivity, increase uptime, and deliver lower daily operating costs.

Komatsu XT-3Komatsu

Komatsu’s XT-3 Series features a modern forestry cab and control system with improved ergonomics. Combined with high-lift capacities, powerful swing torque, and robust Komatsu undercarriages, these XT-3 Series machines have proven to be easy to operate while providing high productivity, operator comfort, and reliability.

Komatsu’s pioneering 4-way leveling carrier with setback boom design and zero tail swing is highly maneuverable and maximizes lift capacity. The independent hydrostatic track drives maximize the multifunction travel, cut, and swing performance.

Models include the XT430-3 (non-leveling), XT430L-3, XT445L-3, and the XT460L-3 ranging in operating weight from 62,240 lbs. to 74,320 lbs. Each model features a 300 peak hp (224kW) Cummins 8.3-liter engine and 58,400 lb-ft of swing torque. All machines have a high-capacity cooling package with a thermostatically controlled auto-reversing fan to keep hydraulic oil cool under extreme work conditions.

The XT-3 features a cab designed with a focus on operator comfort and convenience. It is spacious, with large windows and bright LED lighting that provide for a commanding widescreen working view. The advanced IQAN-MD4 control features intuitive Komatsu programming making the system very easy to use. The 7-inch LED color touchscreen displays all system readings with all major information being only one or two touches away.

The XT-3 Series can be equipped to meet a wide range of customer needs. There are up to nine hydraulic system arrangements, two heavy-duty boom, and four heavy-duty arm options that accept a broad range of disc saw, bar saw, and processing head cutting attachments.

Technologies Element offers the ELTEC 220, 270Technologies Element PSW

Technologies Element offers the ELTEC 220, 270, and 310 series. The ELTEC 310 heavy-duty tracked feller buncher, powered by a 320 hp Cummins diesel engine, is designed and purpose-built to deliver high productivity for the demands of 24/7 final felling application.

The heart of the enhanced hydraulic system is the engine-driven, series-mounted, variable displacement axial piston pumps that provide high flow performance. A fifth dedicated hydraulic pump is added for feller buncher saw head operation.

The heavy-duty forestry boom and arm with dual boom main cylinders are designed and built to withstand the lifting and twisting forces of the toughest forestry harvesting operations.

Operator comfort and safety are highlights, as it features the newly-designed, extremely operator-friendly ELTEC Forestry Cab.

Timberpro TL765CTimberPro

The TimberPro TL765C is the largest of the C-Series purpose-built track machines. Designed exclusively for the forest industry, the TL765C was built to handle extreme terrain and severe climates.

The TL765C is a tail swing design that is offered with two different boom configurations to optimize its performance in a feller buncher, processing, or controlled felling application. The buncher has a maximum reach of 23’6” and a lift capacity of 15,000 lbs.

The 765C features a Cummins QSL9, delivering 342 hp. Two large swing drives with class leading swing torque make easy work of demanding uphill shoveling. A dedicated hydrostatic track drive system with massive final drives combines multifunctioning performance with extreme climbing power. The TL765C robust, yet simple, design allows for ease of maintenance and less down time.

The TL765C also offers a heated and cooled air ride seat, Bluetooth stereo, rear view camera, high output LED lighting, and Parker’s IQAN MD4 control system.

Tigercat LX870DTigercat

Tigercat X870D and LX870D track feller bunchers represent an important evolution of the 800 series machines in response to feedback from operators, owners, and technicians. From the ground up, the X870D and LX870D are new machines.

The D-series model has an enhanced cab with expanded sight lines to both the right and left sides. The cab interior finish is refined, and instrumentation has been thoughtfully placed to optimize ergonomics. The SkyVIEW and RearVIEW camera system provides a wide field of vision and can be toggled between front and rear with the push of a button.

Maintenance access is outstanding with a clamshell style retracting roof enclosure providing clear and easy access to the engine, valves, and cooling system components with a side platform for daily service access.

The Tigercat FPT C87 Tier 4f engine delivers 330 hp at 1,900 rpm, and a closed loop track drive system offers outstanding multi-functioning performance along with greater hydraulic efficiency.

The LX870D uses Tigercat’s patented super-duty leveling base featuring massive pins and cylinders, tapered roller bearings, and thick steel plate throughout. The new R7-163L track frames are 13 inches longer for increased stability on steep slopes.

This model comes optionally equipped with Tigercat’s telematics solution, RemoteLog, which has been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of loggers and features a robust satellite datalink and easy-to-use web portal. New machines equipped with this option come with a free one-year subscription.


TimberWest November/December 2013
November/December 2017

On the Cover
Photo taken by Andrea Watts of the Buck’s Logging operation.

Preparing for the Future and Adapting to the Times
With over 40 years in Southwest Washington, there aren’t many hills this family hasn’t logged.

Going Strong for Three Decades
Kurk Erickson came into the profession with his barn boots on.

New T-Winch Rocking the Steep Slopes
Recently delivered from Austria, EcoForst’s T-Winch is putting on a show across the steep slopes of Western Oregon’s Coast Range.

Taking Care of Your Rubber Track
Tips to help your company maintain and protect rubber track.

Firebreak Column — Mopping Up
Across the nation, more than 28,000 people were fighting wildfires at the peak. Now the nation deals with the aftermath.

Tech Review — Feller Bunchers
A review of the industry’s top feller bunchers.

Guest Column
Tooke to Take Charge


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