Brand New Drag
By Staff Report
March 31, 2013 - Despite the steady inroads made by CTL logging technology in many regions, the skidder remains a staple of logging operations across Canada. Those who rely on the machine need it to provide the power and versatility to combat the most challenging terrains and weather conditions, while meeting ground disturbance guidelines at the same time.
Here is our look at the companies producing forestry skidders:
Tigercat has recently launched the E-series skidder line-up. The Canadian manufacturer says the Tigercat E-series skidders have everything harvesting professionals have come to expect – advanced, electronic controlled hydrostatic drive technology, ergonomic, productivity-boosting Turnaround seat and incredible performance and pulling power. Tigercat FPT Tier 4 final engines deliver great fuel efficiency and the industry’s simplest and most reliable Tier 4 solution, the company says. The machine is also fully supported by Tigercat and the Tigercat dealer network.
The Cat D Series Wheel Skidder is designed to increase productivity while reducing operating cost, the manufacturer says. Its stability and agility gives the operator a smooth ride. Major improvements from the C Series include a six-speed transmission with more gears in the working zone, lock-up torque converter and independent front and rear differentials for more pulling power and control, high capacity cooling system with reversing fan, roomy operator station and tilting cab for servicing. Equipped with the 205 kW (275 HP) Cat C7.1 ACER engine, the 555D is the largest, most powerful in the line.
KMC/KOOTRAC is expanding to other industries with the production of a 3000 Series vehicle. Like the 1000 & 2000 Series of Track Logging Skidder, the 3000 Series features a steel track and torsion bar suspension. The 3000 Series,
however, is a flexible machine that can be adapted for a number of industries. The KMC Track Skidder combines the speed of a rubber-tired machine and the payload of a crawler tractor. Its speed, power-to-weight distribution, low centre of gravity, traction and stability, combined with a light flotation effect on the ground surface, are the characteristics offering the most potential benefits to the forest industry both in terms of safety and environmental concerns.
In addition to fuel-efficient features, John Deere Skidders recently gained a significant increase in performance with a new optional wheel weight package that will add 1,900 pounds to the front of the machines. The kit is compatible with the 640H Cable Skidder and 648H, 748H and 848H Grapple Skidders. This is a simple solution that increases machine capabilities to help John Deere’s customers become more productive on the job. Loggers will see a substantial difference in the load weight they are able to pull with the heavier set of wheels. The manufacturer has brand new skidder technology set to be released in April 2015.
The TG88E is one of the largest skidders available in the industry. It features a powerful 400 HP Cummins QSM11 Tier III engine. The TG88E comes equipped with a low maintenance hydrostatic drive system. It has extremely low ground pressure for minimum ground disturbance. The TG88E has excellent stability for safe steep slope forwarding (engine pan designed for 45 per cent slope).
Operators will find an ergonomic cab design and electro-proportional joystick handles (no oil in the cab). It is easy to service, the manufacturer says.
The unit is designed to more easily load and skid the large timber typically found in stands in Western Canada, and can push itself with its boom in difficult ground conditions. Tanguay also offers clambunk versions of its skidder,
currently popular in regions with soft soils and very long skids, such as northern Quebec.
For videos of the units operating in various conditions visit www.tanguay.cc.