Equipment spotlight: Harvesting and processing heads in 2020
A look at the newest heads for cutting Canadian wood
March 11, 2020 By CFI staff
CFI takes a detailed look at the newest harvesting and processing attachments available in Canada in 2020.
Tigercat harvesting heads are built to match the high-performance capabilities of Tigercat track and wheel carriers. The 570 is a powerful two-wheel drive harvesting head best suited to in-stand harvesting with an optimal range of six to 20 inches in diameter. The 575 is a heavy-duty three-wheel drive head suited to in-stand harvesting in the seven- to 22-inch diameter range. The new 568 is a robust, high-performance four-wheel drive head best suited to harvesting and roadside processing in the six- to 22-inch diameter range. The Tigercat D5 control system comes standard with all Tigercat harvesting heads. The system allows the operator to monitor lengths, diameters and species in real-time to ensure maximum productivity, with a simple.
The SP 661 LF is a compact and strong high-performance harvester head designed according to SP’s low friction principle for minimum friction and maximum productivity. The SP 661 LF is designed to offer the highest productivity in both small and large diameter harvesting of softwood as well as hardwood. It weighs 1,480 kilograms, with a feed roller opening of 64 centimeters and a maximum cutting diameter of 70 or 81 centimeters. Thanks to the state-of-the-art hose routing and high-quality components, it offers high reliability and uptime. Optional equipment includes a top saw, processing knives, a ¾-inch saw, multi tree equipment, and three-speed feeding.
The Komatsu 398 harvesting and processing head is built for big timber selective harvesting, clear-cutting and processing pre-felled timber. The rugged, robust design allows it to handle timber averaging up to 23 inches in diameter and it can be mounted on 28-40 metric tonne track carriers such as the Komatsu PC290LL-11. The powerful “carry style” feed system features four motors and three driven rollers which provide a firm three-point grip while reducing friction for high feed power. Cutting is handled by a 31-inch capacity, 0.75-inch pitch bottom saw and an 18-inch capacity 0.404 pitch integral top saw.
Waratah Forestry Equipment has released a new felling head model: the FL100. The large directional felling head, designed for 30-plus metric tonne carriers, improves productivity, increases durability and extends uptime for steep slope, shovelling and traditional felling applications. The FL100 also features extra-long, continuously curved opposing arms for enhanced grapple capacity and picking capability and a 57.8-inch opening and 0.78m2 payload capacity. The new head also features a valve-in-head design and the new TimberRite X-20 control system, simplifying installation.
The new model Log Max 6000V has finally arrived to North America. With over 20 updates, the 6000V is sure to make the logger’s life easier and more enjoyable through production efficiencies and increased uptime. Changes include an updated measuring wheel system and an improved hydraulic circuit. As well, the 318 True Cut system is the smartest and fastest auto-tensioning saw unit offered on the 6000V. The unit can also be delivered with a manual saw tensioner if desired. Replaceable pins for the felling link cylinder are now standard equipment.
Ponsse heads are widely used in track and rubber-tired harvesters in Canada. Ponsse has designed heavy-duty (HD) versions of the H8 and H7 especially for Canadian logging operations. HD is designed for the hard use in tracked machines, featuring a reinforced frame and tilt arm. Strong grip, powerful feeding and fast sawing are packed in a robust and reliable package. The Ponsse Opti-control system designed for Ponsse heads gives more cubic metre per hectare. With Ponsse heads you burn less fuel and produce more.
The revolutionary forestry tool that changed the industry is changing it again. The new Pierce GP ProSeries offers extreme durability, superior log quality and unmatched loading efficiency. It’s the only one of its kind that shovels, sorts and loads like a grapple, and delimbs, measures and cuts like a processor. From more precise measuring with its new measuring wheel design to the advanced control technology of the new Forester Control System, the GP ProSeries arrives with several significant upgrades.
The John Deere H413 and H415 harvesting heads offer a solution for a variety of logging operations. The H413 was designed to carry out a range of jobs, optimizing delimbing coverage and quality. When paired with multi-tree-handling equipment, the H413’s powerful saw unit masters fast and precise felling and crosscutting. Boasting strength and stamina for large timber, the H415 combines large timber cutting power with excellent delimbing quality, offering unprecedented tree-processing performance. Feeding is effective with the H415 due to the location of the delimbing knives and its strong grip and trunk handling features.
The AFM 65 is a strong, reliable and highly productive harvesting head especially made for hardwood operations. The AFM 65 is an efficient tool for clearcuttings, big thinnings and processing operations. Four movable knives on the AFM 65 allow for smooth and accurate delimbing of even big trees with heavy branches. The stem is constantly centered in the head with four feeding rollers ensuring precise length and diameter measuring. Proportional adjustments of pressures on rollers and knives according to the stem diameter considerably increase the effectiveness of feeding and delimbing. The AFM 65 can work with a variety of measuring systems and is perfectly suited for 20- to 25-tonne excavators, wheeled and tracked harvesters.
Pro Pac offers three felling head models: the 22R, 24R and 22X. All three are fitted with a Rexroth variable displacement saw motor, a reinforced tooth holder one-piece saw blade, and one hydraulic cylinder per grab arm. This gives it an excellent grip on large diameter trees. The 22X from Pro Pac is equipped with excavator teeth on its rear skirt, which facilitates climbing steep slopes, carrying out light excavation works such as developing skidding trails, digging trenches to prevent soil erosion and repairing ruts caused by skidders or forwarders, without sacrificing the performance of its felling function.
Kesla has the market’s most extensive range of harvester heads, covering all CTL logging from thinnings to final fellings. The recently renewed series of L-segment heads weighing from 1,300 to 1,800 kilograms contains suitable models for heavy rubber wheelers (the 27RH-II and 28RH-II) as well as for tracked harvesters and excavators (the 29RH-II and 30RH-II). The maximum cutting capacity is 780 millimeters and the max delimbing force is up to 8,100 pounds. The 28RH-II and 30RH-II with four knives are optionally driven by two or four feeding motors, while the 27RH-II and 29RH-II with three knives feature two feed motors.
Quadco has a broad range of harvesting-processing heads including the Ultimate 5660, similar to the original Quadco 5600 but with a different saw base imported from the 6000 model. The saw has a 24-inch cutting capacity and provides 60 per cent more power. Incorporating new high-speed hydraulics and Quad Tooth, the saw’s fast cutting speed provides high production and quality cuts. The circular saw is more forgiving than bart and chain and is practically trouble-free. It also able to clean unwanted underbrush to enhance visibility, resulting in high production, long tooth life and low stumps. The great durability of the teeth, low maintenance time, and superior availability are the main factors that reduce the after-investment costs.
Offered on the market for nearly 30 years, Gilbert felling heads are known for their unparalleled accumulation and reliability. Designed and proven for a wide range of forestry applications, they are available in 18-, 22-, 24- and 28-inch cutting sizes equipped with the industry’s most recognized high rotation wrists. More recently, Gilbert has introduced the 3018 model, which is suitable on 18- to 25-tonne excavators. The 3018 runs off the hydraulic pump of the excavator using a control system that allows for a simple installation, making it an ideal tool to optimize the use of the excavator in specific applications.
Logset manufactures the TH-series harvester heads in six different sizes: TH45, TH55, TH65, TH75, TH85 and TH95, and the product range contains nine different heads. The TH-series was updated during 2018-2019. The feeding capacity of the TH55-TH85 harvester heads, which include a feed roller in the frame, has been improved by providing a steel disc-type roller with an excellent grip. Many improvements in cabling and sensors have also been made. This makes the harvester heads’ electrical system more reliable. Also, the harvester head diameter sensor now has a waterproof unit and the technology utilizes a magnetic sensor.
The latest Southstar Grapple Processor 505/605/635 models are built for production processing and log handling, and feature a powerful tilt locking system with float for heeling logs and handling. A 4×4 drive system provides amplified torque in large wood when processing while increasing productivity, with the ability to multi-stem small wood. The QS500, QS600 and QS650 are four-roller processors with multi-stemming capabilities. With robust design and high feed speeds, they are just as productive in large diameter tree stands. Other unique Southstar features include hydraulic traction control for feeding large diameter trees; side stepping, and hose-through-design from stick to head, helping prevent snagging exposed or hanging hoses.
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