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Equipment spotlight: 2019 steep slope solutions

A roundup of the latest equipment advances for safely harvesting on challenging slopes.


February 11, 2019
By CFI staff report

Topics
Island Pacific Equipment

Island Pacific Equipment
Island Pacific is the exclusive distributor of the ROB system for North America. The company currently runs three ROB systems, which allow machines to work on slopes up to 45 degrees. By comparison, untethered machines become unstable on slopes of about 20 degrees. The ROB system the company employs comprises a John Deere 909MH Tracked Harvester tethered to a Deere 850J Dozer, which provides a solid anchor. Twin winches, each capable of supporting up to 21 tons, are mounted on each side at the rear of the dozer. Fairleads are mounted at each end of the dozer’s blade, giving the harvester a wide swath to work across. The dozer’s hydrostatic drive provides smooth, remote control of the winches by the operator from the harvesters can. The winch, with the movement of the machine, is working on the slope and maintains a constant tension in the cable. The system provides traction assistance to the harvester by helping keep the tracks flat on the ground. There is minimal site damage because of the increased traction of the felling machine. www.remotebulldozer.com

Tigercat
The LS855E shovel logger is an important evolution of the well-proven 855 series track carrier platform, making it a powerful solution for steep slope logging. It is a versatile levelling carrier suited to felling, pre-bunching and shovel logging in challenging terrain. Equipped with the Tigercat 5195 directional felling head, the machine is well-suited to steep slope felling, bunching and shovelling. The combination is an asset in large timber, avoiding the additional time, travel and repositioning required to double cut oversized trees with a fixed wrist felling head. The feller director configuration allows the machine to fell and extract independently or fell and bunch for a skidder or yarder. The introduction of the new switchable, three-mode ER boom control allows the operator to choose between ER, semi-ER and conventional. The new semi-ER function allows the operator to extend the boom on a horizontal plane using a single joystick, but retracts the boom with the increased power of both cylinders, doubling the pull force. www.tigercat.com

Olofsfors
EX Tracks from Olofsfors are designed for the toughest conditions where traction is the primary requirement. The cross member is shaped in such a way that it provides extreme traction in deep snow, steep slopes and rocky terrain. When equipped with EX Tracks, machines can operate in slopes unassisted or tethered with ease. EX Tracks provide superior grip and machine stability in any steep slope application. www.eco-tracks.com

Ponsse
Ponsse Synchrowinch allows effective logging in areas where previously only expensive and slow logging methods were used. The same machines can operate in flat and steep sites with no need for additional machinery. Syncrowinch preserves soil from rutting and erosion, saves fuel and reduces stress in drive transmission components. The winch speed is automatically synchronized to machine speed. The winch can be operated from a remote control unit, making it easy to hook the cable to a tree or a stump uphill. Optional tilt in loader makes working efficient and easy. Available for Bear, Cobra, Ergo, Elephant, ElephantKing and Buffalo. www.ponsse.com

John Deere
The 859M/MH and 959M/MH Tracked Feller Bunchers and Harvesters feature a best-in-class patented levelling control system that offers exceptional stability and reach, maximizing forward off-level efficiency. This enables the system to have 26 degrees of forward tilt while electronically controlling the levelling envelope boundaries, allowing for a smooth transition when approaching levelling limits. Spacious cabs and ergonomically-designed controls ensure productivity on challenging terrain. The John Deere 9.0L engine and robust undercarriage provide power, stability and tractive effort. The 859M/MH and 959M/MH are compatible with third-party winch-controlled traction-assist systems, improving traction and functionality in steep slope conditions. www.deere.com

T-Winch
The T-WINCH is a traction winch built by Ecoforst, a young Austrian company, that allows access to rough terrain while keeping safety as high as possible and minimizing damage to the soil. For Ecoforst, the T-WINCH 10.1 was a success worldwide, but a new generation was built in response to new safety and emission standards. The company improved its product with customer suggestions. The T-WINCH 10.1 was designed to allow access to rough terrain while taking into consideration all necessary ecological set-ups for a continued development of nature. In 2019, the company will introduce the T-WINCH 15.2, a 15t winch with a maximum line speed of 8km/hour. With the T-Winch, no undesirable rear weight and no structural alteration work on the basic machine is required. Independent steering along forest roads is also made possible by uncoupling the rope. www.woodlandeqiup.com

Waratah
Waratah’s versatile felling head, the FL85 Series-II, is ideal for work in the toughest steep-slope environments. The FL85 Series-II offers a high capacity design providing optimum weight distribution for maximum carrier stability for felling and especially hoe-chucking on steep slopes. The mid-range felling head also has a large cutting capacity with a 43.3-inch. maximum grapple opening and 36-inch. maximum sawing capacity. The efficient SuperCUT 300 saw unit provides fast cutting cyles allowing for more work to be done. www.waratah.com

Summit Attachments & Machinery
Summit Attachments and Machinery is pleased to announce the release of the Summit H100 all hydraulic yarder. This yarder was specially designed to operate along with a Summit grapple carriage. Used in conjunction with Summit’s winch assist systems, the entire logging side can be mechanized, thereby increasing safety and productivity. From cutting to yarding, the use of these systems together eliminates the need for traditional “boots on the ground.” Smaller yarding systems with grapple carriages are also being produced, changing the face of traditional logging operations in smaller settings. Steep slope logging continues to evolve in both innovation of machines and extraction process. www.summitattachments.com

Integral Equipment
B.C.-based Integral Equipment Ltd. supplies Alpine Shovel yarders and non-motorized grapple carriages. Alpine Shovel yarders double and triple-drum systems are capable of operation without needing guylines and the yarders can yard uphill and downhill. This highly mobile yarding system meets today’s demanding logging requirements combined with Alpine’s non-motorized grapple carriages, typically mated with their two or three drum mechanical interlock excavator-mounted yarder systems. The grapple’s open and rotate functions are hydraulically powered and controlled via remote electric signals. The grapple’s close function is controlled by the mainline. Hydraulic energy is stored in an accumulator and pressurized by a pump connected to one of the haulback/skyline sheaves as the carriage travels along the cable. www.integralequipment.ca