Wood Business

Features Harvesting Transportation
Cat track feller bunchers and harvesters upgraded

June 29, 2015 - Cat’s track feller bunchers and track harvesters have recently been upgraded to boost efficiency, performance and productivity in the woods. Four models, which can be configured as feller bunchers or harvesters, are available to suit diverse logging applications and environments around the world.

All models have been upgraded with the new Cat PRO (Parallel Reach Operation) System, which gives operators the ability to complete a smoother, more fluid harvesting motion. One joystick either extends or retracts the work tool by combining both the main and stick boom functions. For feller buncher configurations, the head is kept level as well. By combining these functions in one joystick, the operator can efficiently move the head in a planar, parallel motion relative to the ground.

“The Cat PRO System makes operation much easier, especially for new and less experienced operators. They can learn the machine more quickly and boost their speed and productivity because of the simplified joystick movements needed to fell a tree,” said Jared Dunn, product application specialist for Caterpillar Forest Products. “The simplified movements also can increase efficiency for seasoned operators and lessen operator fatigue. The system can be turned on and off easily with a button on one of the joysticks or a button on the display.”

The Cat PRO System is adjustable for differing applications and varying slopes. Through a few minor adjustments, the trajectory of the boom and the head tilt on a feller buncher configuration can be modified for applications on steeper slopes.

The machines also have new enhanced power management software tailored for the unique engine-hydraulic interactions in a forestry application. “This software delivers a higher level of machine performance in the track feller buncher and harvester product lines,” Dunn said. “Operators tell us performance and therefore efficiency has greatly improved.”

LED lights as standard equipment is another upgrade to the full line. 

“LED lights perform better than halogen in night time operations and are favored by customers around the world,” Dunn explained. “They are more energy efficient, have a longer life span and greatly improve visibility at night.”

The line consists of two near-zero tail swing feller bunchers, the Cat 521B and 522B, and two full tail swing machines, the Cat 541 Series 2 and Cat 552 Series 2. The 522B and 552 Series 2 are levelling machines. As part of the upgrades, the 541 Series 2 has been reengineered to increase hydraulic flow to the stick and main boom cylinders to boost the speed and overall productivity of the machine. On average, cycle times are now 18 per cent faster, while maintaining excellent lift performance. 

“The 541 Series 2 — especially with this update — is well-suited for harvesting lodgepole pine in western Canada and working in high-production eucalyptus plantations where boom speed is critical,” Dunn said.

The Series 2 and B Series machines are equipped with the 226 kW (303 hp) Cat C9 ACERT engine. The C9 is a common engine design with a proven track record of reliability and durability in the woods. A high capacity cooling system and on-demand reversing fan help to optimize performance, durability and fuel efficiency. 

Two or three hydraulic pumps, depending on the configuration, power the hydraulics to give loggers the performance they need. 

“The strong hydraulics and the combination of swing and lift capacity helps increase production, while the machine’s balance between lift and tipping load capacity provides for excellent stability,” Dunn said. “The strong swing torque also gives the operator the ability to swing large loads uphill.”  

Large structures such as swing bearings and booms have been designed for longer life and durability. The tracks and all undercarriage rolling components are high-grade to extend track life, cut repair costs and increase stability. The 552 Series 2 features 345 excavator-size chain for increased durability on steep slopes. Other models have 330 track chain and rolling components. All machine models are offered with the option of star carrier rollers, which help with track retention and debris shedding in uneven terrain.

Both the B Series and Series 2 machines have a full 889 mm (35 in.) of ground clearance from front to back. “Strong drawbar pull, along with this ground clearance and the ‘open tunnel’ undercarriage design, makes for a highly maneuverable machine that easily climbs steep slopes and clears obstacles such as large stumps and rocks,” Dunn said. 

Both leveling models also feature a unique three cylinder leveling system, which is the only one in the industry that provides two way simultaneous function throughout the full range of motion. The design of this system reduces stress loads into the carbody and roller frames.

For more information visit www.cat.com.

Machine Specifications

521/522 B Series

541/552 Series 2

Gross Power @ 1,800 rpm

226 kW (303 hp)

226 kW (303 hp)

Lift capacity @ X reach

6,100 kg @ 6.2m*

(13,500 lbs @ 20.5 ft*)

9,400 kg @ 6.6 m*

(20,700 lbs @ 21.5 ft*)

Swing torque

87 kNm (64,500 ftlbs)

100 kNm (74,000 ftlbs)

Tractive effort ratios

1:1.19 - 1:1.21

1:1.1 – 1:1.3

Track Pitch

216 mm (8.5 in)

216 mm (8.5 in)

Ground clearance

889 mm (35 in)

889 mm (35 in)

Fuel tank size

856 L (226 gal)

1181 L (312 gal)

*Feller buncher configurations only

Caterpillar Forest Products is a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of timber harvesting, millyard, road-building and land management equipment. Products are marketed under the Cat, Prentice and CTR brand names through a global independent dealer network. Caterpillar Forest Products is a division of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com.

June 29, 2015  By Caterpillar Forest Products

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