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Equipment Spotlight: Looking at log loaders

The latest machines on the market for handling Canadian wood

June 5, 2021  By Canadian Forest Industries Staff

Doosan DX380LL-5 log loaders are ideal for demanding logging and forestry applications. The DX380LL-5 weighs approximately 113,500 lbs. and has a 318-hp diesel engine. It is well-suited for shovel-logging, sorting and loading tasks. The DX380LL-5 log loader offers approximately 44 feet of reach at ground level. Each DX380LL-5 log loader comes with a log loader workgroup and a live heel. Powerful hydraulics provide the means to operate a variety of attachments. Doosan 360-degree rotating log grapples are commonly paired with the log loader’s live heel. The grapple-live heel combination efficiently lifts, rotates, moves and places logs.


Barko’s line of Merchandising Loaders (ML) offer a range of sizes and configurations to meet the demands of any job. Built with high-quality components from industry-leading suppliers, these heavy-duty loaders are each powered by a fuel-efficient 173-hp Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 Final diesel engine. A new hydrostatic hydraulic pump set-up improves the multi-function performance during operation while maintaining the same maximum swing torque as prior models. The operator cab was upgraded with a more ergonomic control layout, larger seven-inch touchscreen display, and improved HVAC system performance.



The Tigercat 865 is a 32,000-kilogram carrier that offers many advantages over excavator conversions, including better service access, stronger swing torque and superior operator visibility. The 865 logger can be configured as a loader with boom options for various grapple types, or as a high capacity processor. Dual swing drives provide ample torque and speed for high-performance loading or processing. Service access has been carefully thought out with the ability to step down into the centre of the machine for clear, unobstructed access to the engine and daily service points. Large enclosure doors and a spring assist side service platform provide a large, stable work area for performing maintenance on hydraulic components and changing filters. A large cast counterweight provides excellent stability with a swing-out door that allows access to the engine from the rear of the machine.


The latest series of pick and carry log loaders raise the roof of the yard to increase capacity and simplify inventory management. These high-stacking machines are purpose-built to operate between tight rows, with a compact footprint and slewing radius to minimize maneuvering time. Safely stack, pick and move loads up to 43,900 kilograms to heights over 11 metres. The 735 and 730 deliver the fastest loading cycles in CTL woodyards, outpacing traditional machines at infeed decks and magazines in OSB plants, pulp and paper mills, sawmills, sorting lines and biomass applications.

John Deere

The purpose-built G-Series Forestry Swing Machines are available in a log loader or forestry excavator configuration. The elevated rear-entry cab allows for convenient entry and exit, while a cab-forward riser option on the 2156G, 2656G, and 3156G moves the operator 17 inches forward. A longer track option on the 2656G and 2156G enhances stability. Larger lower rollers on the 2156G and 3156G help to reduce downtime and maintenance life. The larger models feature a powerful nine-litre engine, while the smaller machines boast a 6.8-litre engine. The increased tractive effort on the 2156G and 2656G helps with overcoming steep terrain.


Woodland Equipment sells and supports the complete line of Eltec Forestry machines made in Canada for the harshest working conditions. The Eltec 317 log loader is “built by loggers for loggers” and the quality shows in the design, reliability, and strength of the product. The new “A” series has upped the ante with new Stage V-compliant Cummins QSL9 power plants producing over 320-hp. The hydraulic system features Linde high-flow pumps and valves with components designed for long service life. The loaders feature top-of-class tractive effort, swing power, and cooling systems.


Pettibone’s Cary-Lift 254i is purpose-built to deliver numerous safety and performance benefits over other material handling alternatives. The machine features a unique overhead lift arm design, giving the operator full front visibility when lifting or transporting loads – a sharp contrast to the lift arms on wheel loaders, which are located directly in front of the vehicle. The 254i is powered by a 225-hp Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 diesel engine with DOC and SCR aftertreatment. The machine provides a maximum load capacity of 25,000 lbs. and max lift height of 16 feet. It offers four-wheel drive with two-wheel, four-wheel and crab hydraulic power steering modes. Unlike forward-reaching articulated loaders, the Cary-Lift’s heavy-duty, solid steel frame design allows it to take full loads into sharp turns without sacrificing load capacity or stability.

Tanguay Machinery Inc.

Based on over 50 years of experience, Tanguay electrical loaders are custom-built and designed with high-quality components and a proven record of reliability, low operating cost, and long service life. Replacing a diesel loader with a Tanguay electrical knuckle boom loader will generate huge energy savings, increase uptime and reduce maintenance and operating cost. Mounted on a rail trolley, the additional working range of a Tanguay electrical loader opens opportunities to reach further, unload directly to the mill, stockpile and increase productivity.


Depending on the operating requirement and reach, Liebherr material handlers can be combined with different equipment versions and attachments. The LH 22 M Industry Litronic can be combined with a Liebherr stick extension and Westtech Woodcracker C250 to reach up to 13.8 metres, or with a Westtech Woodcracker C350 to reach up to 11.8 metres. Liebherr’s newest combination is a LH 22 M Industry with a Westtech telescopic stage T 4000, the fully hydraulic Liebherr Likufix quick coupler, and Woodcracker CS510 crane. This gives the LH 22 M Industry a reach of up to 16.5 metres. With an operating weight of 23,700 kilograms, the material handler can reach far up into the trees and work on them. The hydraulically adjustable driver’s cab, which can be tilted in 30-degree increments, gives the machine operator an optimal view of the working area. Optional protective devices, such as robust protective guards on the driver’s cab and impact-resistant windows made of laminated safety glass, increase operator safety.


Weiler loaders are based on the industry benchmark for over 35 years. Sold and serviced exclusively through the Caterpillar dealer network, the loaders offer leading multi-functioning capability enabling operators to lift, swing, and rotate the grapple simultaneously without impairing performance. With smooth, fast hydraulics, an industry leading cab, and ground level service access, Weiler loaders are well-matched for production requirements in eastern Canada. With factory-installed circle saw hydraulics and live heel front options, machines are engineered for Canadian hardwood and softwood operations. Weiler loaders can be configured for truck mount, standard trailer with pull-through delimber, or self-propelled carrier installations.


Hyundai Forestry Equipment has been sold and supported in B.C. by Woodland Equipment since 1992. The new HX Series Hyundai log loaders are available in 22-, 26-, and 30-tonne versions. They are all powered by Cummins Final Tier 4 engines that offer excellent fuel economy along with ample power for the most demanding loading conditions. The 60-inch tip over cabs are designed for operator comfort and productivity with heated, air ride seats, exceptional visibility, comfortable controls, and an improved automatic climate control system that maintains even cab temperatures regardless of the conditions outside. All models are available with either butt-n-top or power grapple options.

Pierce Pacific

Pierce’s long history of high-lift Paralifts reaches back to the design’s inception, long before European loaders were even involved in log yards. Since then, Pierce has continued to improve on the original design, resulting in loaders that offer unsurpassed reliability and performance. The Paralifts have outstanding productivity and longevity; many have logged as many as 50,000 to 70,000 hours on the metre. Decades of experience with this product have led to the creation of countless purpose-built, high-lift Paralift loaders for handling shortwood – all designed to maintain high visibility for safe and efficient production. And with grapple options suitable for eight- to 16-foot lengths, Pierce Paralifts will likely meet just about any log yard requirement.


Madill’s purpose-built 3000 log loader represents the finest quality heavy-duty forestry machine available today. This 95,000-lbs. machine offers an excellent power to weight ratio for outstanding overall performance in any environment or condition. With its Volvo Tier 4 engine, the 3000 provides superior hydraulic flow for exceptional lift power, swing torque, and tractive effort, which results in high productivity capabilities.

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