Built to Log
If Hitachi has its way, you’ll be seeing a whole lot more orange in the forest. The excavator and forestry carrier supplier has four new Zaxis Dash-3 Foresters ready for the woods: the ZX210F-3, ZX240F-3, ZX290F-3, and ZX370F-3.
For over 30 years, Hitachi has been actively involved in the logging industry. During that time, they have become known for supplying base machines with smooth hydraulic controls, long-lasting engines, and high-end components. Unlike retrofitted excavators patched together for working in the woods, Hitachi Foresters are built from the ground up in a forestry-oriented manufacturing facility.
By Cheryl Quinn
The Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products’ (DHSP) 105,000 ft2 plant is in Langley, BC, the heart of western Canada’s logging industry, and uses a modern production system that allows it to build each Forester to order. Hitachi says this assures quality all the way from the undercarriage to whatever kind and brand of attachment is requested. It also means each Forester has a total Hitachi factory warranty covering all machine parts, taking the risk out of customizing your forestry machine.
Each Dash-3 Forester model features an improved purpose-built main frame with a strengthened boom tower, heavy-duty track and chain, a powerful swing system sized with larger bearings for extended life, and external debris management features that maximize uptime. The purpose-built processing front eliminates common weak points found in aftermarket solutions. The cooling package is laid out side by side by side with a swing-out fuel cooler and condenser for easy servicing. A reversing option helps keep even more debris out.
The roomy cabs offer visibility designed for woods applications, for increased safety and productivity. Cabs are available in SAE-, OSHA-, and BC/WCB-approved side and rear-entry configurations. Multiple riser options are also available.
The side-entry cab has integral vertical bars and polycarbonate windows, meeting all safety requirements for forestry applications, while maximizing visibility. To complement great forward visibility, sight lines have been verified using 3-D modeling to maximize worksite visibility.
The rear-entry option offers external guards combined with polycarbonate windows to ensure operator safety. These cabs are much larger for added comfort and storage, and they provide improved access whether you’re coming in or exiting. The rear-entry steps are integrated.
The Isuzu Tier-3-certified engine boasts excellent fuel economy with high torque at low rpm the manufacturer says. The high-capacity fuel tank, which is integrated into the counterweight, holds 277 gallons (1,049 liters). This engine-fuel tank combination keeps the Dash-3 machines running longer, improving productivity.
This power is channeled through a robust design targeted to rugged logging applications. This includes next-class-up swing and travel systems, strengthened rugged upper structure, and heavy-duty undercarriage. Each front has been redesigned and built tougher, while the purpose-built processing front eliminates the need for a boom-tip adapter and hoist cylinder adaptors.
A new Debris Management System is integrated in the left-side guarding, a smart system that keeps materials and debris from entering the cooling-package area. The improved design pulls the air entering the cooling system through fine screens — filtering out particles too large to pass through. This prevents the system from clogging and helps keep the components operating efficiently.
Hitachi Foresters also feature one of the most aggressive guarding packages offered. It includes heavy duty side and upper deck panels all supported with reinforced bulkheads, guards to protect the hydraulic-oil filler cap and exhaust stack, and a heavier pump door with support bracket, sealed underdecking panels, and a tough three-piece purpose-built engine enclosure. The Forester also comes standard with rock guards, belly pan, travel motor guards, and a log deflector. Vital components on the underside of the undercarriage are protected with solid panels. Optional cylinder guards are also available.
While countless standard features prepare these machines for logging, the manufacturing allows plenty of order-specific customization. In fact everything is built to order in Langley using the Demand Flow Technology Manufacturing System. Once an order is received, the needed parts are pulled from inventory and the assembly process begins.
Collaborating with Hitachi Japan, the DHSP team designs then builds and ships these Foresters to logging customers across North America. The result is machines that incorporate the newest innovations from Hitachi with the vast forestry experience from the Forester team. These purpose-built machines can be configured from the factory for specific applications and meet the very rugged demands of the logging industry. The factory is a 50-50 joint venture of John Deere and Hitachi.
Hitachi forestry carriers are available in Canada through Wajax Industries.