Tech Update – Directional Fellers and Harvesting Heads

by | Dec 18, 2023 | 2023, Harvesting, Logging & Sawmilling Journal, November/December, Tech Update

Log Max

The Log Max 7000XT DISC is Quadco’s newest Log Max harvester/processor head. A disc takes the place of the bar and chain as the main saw. It is the same swing-out saw as found on Quadco’s Intermittent heads.

Quadco says that this easy to maintain saw is going to be the preferred choice for those not willing to cope with bent saw bars and the labour-intensive and costly task of grinding chains. The feller buncher-style fixed-mount and heavy duty rotator provide maximum tree control, and the disc quickly produces quality cuts. Like other Log Max heads, it features high processing speeds, precise and reliable measuring, and legendary serviceability. Other key features of this new model, common to other XT heads, are the standard top saw, and several other upgrades that make XT the option of choice for applications where large trees are common and tracked base carriers are used.

Quadco says that it has the industry’s largest selection of harvester-processor heads, thanks to its heavy duty 4WD Southstar series and its Log Max series.


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

The 570 is most productive working with trees 6” to 20” in diameter in softwood and hardwood stands. Although best-suited to the Tigercat H845 series, the 570 is designed to work with the H822, H855, or a 20 to 25 tonne forestry excavator.

The 575 is a heavy duty three-wheel drive harvesting head also best-suited to in-stand harvesting in the 6.5” to 22” diameter range. It is very effective in challenging stem profiles and large limbed hardwood.

The 575 features Tigercat’s unique three-two Autoshift 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 per cent.

The 568 harvesting head is a robust, high performance head designed for tracked carriers. It is best suited for roadside processing applications with trees in the 6” to 22” range.

With timed knife arms and triangulated wheel arms, the 568 picks quickly from the pile and maintains positive tree contact and control during processing.

The Tigercat 534 harvesting head is matched to Tigercat’s 1165 harvester and sized for optimal productivity in a 6” to 20” stem diameter range. The 534 is a locked three-wheel drive head with a triangulated wheel arm design to maintain positive tree contact and control.


The new Ponsse H8 harvester head enables faster, more efficient, and comprehensively economical harvesting even when there are plenty of large diameter trees to handle, says the company.

Thanks to the robust structure, great sawing power, excellent gripping geometry and agility, the new H8 allows for smooth production without unnecessary interruptions. Ponsse says that the new H8 boasts—especially in relation to its compact size—exceptional power and ability to perform. Even though the head’s agility enables smooth operations in all types of forests, the new H8 maintains its stability well. This results, for example, in efficient feeding and fast, yet flowing tilt function. The new H8 provides durability, excellent reliability, and lower lifecycle cost, also to the saw blade and chain. The company says that the more challenging the conditions, the better the new H8 stands out; the renewed saw box prevents snow from packing, and the completely new Active Speed function enables changing the feeding speed literally on the run.


Whether you’re in final felling or variable diameter late thinning in mixed stands, crooked hardwood or debarking applications, Waratah says that its H219X harvester head can handle it all.

Part of Waratah’s 200 Series line, the high capacity H219X delivers the durability, power and agility loggers need in the most demanding wood, says the company.

Primarily for tracked carrier applications, the H219X comes standard with a heavy duty tilt frame and SuperCut 100S saw unit for maximum productivity. The two- roller geometry design provides excellent handling of variable diameters and challenging tree forms up to 29.5” in diameter.

The length measuring arm provides ample travel and down pressure for more precise measurements, reducing measuring loss and reversals. Plus, servicing is quick and accessible, thanks to efficient hose routing and the hinged valve cover.

Axis Forestry

The Rebel T22HD is handcrafted, designed and manufactured in Canada by Axis Forestry. A tough and reliable frame design combined with powerful feeding and sawing makes this head a beast, says the company. Rebel heads are equipped with the Cypress Robotics measuring system which Axis Forestry says prioritizes the unique needs of the North American logger, with it’s simple user interface, dead-on measuring, and excellent customer support.

Weighing in at 5470 lbs, the Rebel T22HD can feed a 31” log and feels fast and nimble when swinging into a deck or harvesting. Axis Forestry spent years developing the Rebel T22HD by listening to logging contractors and integrating their ideas. The result, says the company, is the most up-to-date and current head on the market with new features such as a robust slip ring and easy-to-service electronics.

The Rebel is available through equipment dealers or direct to logger if no dealer present.


The Keto continuous 360-degree plus rotator for its harvesting heads is available with the Keto-51 LD3, Keto-100 Karate, Keto-150 and the largest Keto-600+ and Keto-800+ series heads.

This rotator provides significantly more rotational force of up to 1050 Nm at pressure of 100 bar. In forest thinning, this also increases efficiency.

The 360 degree plus rotator expedites felling work as well because the tree can be approached from any direction. The felling head can be rotated without limitations in both directions and there is no longer damage to hoses or trees.

This rotator also improves maintenance work because it is easier to access hoses and fittings. Cost savings are also achieved by increasing the service interval of the hoses because the hoses are no longer moving as much, and are shorter.

SP Maskiner

Canadian dealer for the SP Maskiner harvester head, IDM Canada, says that its product is an important innovation for the head market.

Its low friction concept comprises many innovations and solutions, each carefully designed to maximize production, optimize fuel and energy consumption, and drastically reduce maintenance costs.

The delimbing knives boast long, specially designed cutting edges, ensuring delimbing by cutting rather than snapping.

The LogHold system is a patented system and a further development of the proportional pressure solution that further minimizes friction.

The proportionally angled feed rollers ensure that the angle and carrying capacity of the feed rollers change in proportion to the stem diameter.

The multi-speed option combines the greatest tractive effort and feed speed compared to any other head, says IDM Canada.

The optimized hydraulics system drops the pressure and minimizes the size and design of each hydraulic component, such as the motors, valve blocks, couplings, and hoses.


Nisula Forest Oy is a company that manufactures harvesting heads, tree shears and other forestry equipment for all type of carriers, and has been doing so since 1978, in Finland. It specializes in equipment for forest thinning and fire mitigation operations, with the company saying that customer service and satisfaction is its main focus.

Canadian representatives include Top Down Enterprises in Kamloops, B.C., M-C Power Equipment Ltd in Lower Truro, Nova Scotia, and Equipement JYL Inc in Chicoutimi, Quebec.


AFM-Forest is a Finnish manufacturer of high quality logging equipment with over 30 years’ experience. It is said to have one of the broadest product lines in the market including seven harvesting heads in weight class from 700 kg to 3.5 tons, three felling heads and two new grapple saw models.

AFM-Forest products are in operation worldwide, from the Far East to South America, mounted on different kinds of base machines from purpose-built thinning machines to the biggest tracked bases. Dealers in Canada for AFM-Forest products are Les Equipements Marquis Inc, M-C Power Equipment Ltd, and True North Equipment Inc.


Southstar, part of the Quadco family since 2016, continues to be an industry leader in heavy duty 4WD harvester processors. Each of its models are carefully optimized for a specific tree size class from 18” to 25”. And each features 360-degree continuous rotator, ¾” butt saw, choice of harvester or grapple processor hanging bracket, multi-stemming capability, and Log Mate control system. Designed and assembled in New Zealand and Canada, Quadco says that Southstar is truly a world-class product. Thanks to progressive design thinking and listening to customers, says the company, the product line-up will continue to expand with new models designed to better respond to customer requirements, including a new 23” model which does not exist in the current mix. Also designed by Southstar is the FD750 directional felling head. With a cutting capacity of 43” and a powerful grapple, it is designed to handle the largest stems and shovel them uphill or downhill in a fast and efficient way.




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