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Equipment Spotlight: Skidders

Oct. 23, 2017 - CFI rounds up the latest skidder equipment availalbe for Canadian loggers.

October 23, 2017  By Canadian Forest Industries Staff

all weather track skidder has three unique features

KMC Kootrac
Kootrac’s all-terrain, all weather track skidder has three unique features: balance weight distribution, torsion bar sprung suspension and High Speed Steel Track. The Kootrac track skidder has the ability to skid logs on steep slopes, sensitive soils or wet areas where it is not feasible to operate expensive shovel logging, cable yarding systems or conventional rubber-tired ground skidding equipment. The Kootrac has the ability to skid logs adverse 40 per cent gradient and favourable slopes to 50 per cent (55 per cent with site specific risk assessment of the operation).  The Kootrac can also skid areas of environmental concern with less soil compaction or site disturbance than any other ground skidding equipment. The tracked skidder is designed to be more effective when integrated with existing equipment.  It will increase production while reducing operating cost of existing equipment by working the areas where those machines are not designed for, thus reducing the wear and tear on the equipment.

John Deere
The L-Series models from John Deere now have increased horsepower, a more impressive power-to-weight ratio, an improved engine aftertreatment system, and new grapple and boom options. Most notable are the upgrades to the engines to increase horsepower, offering customers more pulling power and faster multifunctioning capabilities. Enhancements to the 648L and 748L improve pulling power during skidding activities, and the 848L and 948L have better multifunctioning capabilities for increased handling performance. Designed for steep or uneven terrain, the longer booms increase lift height and improve rearward and downward reach. The new booms also reduce interference with the arch and fenders during turning and contact of tongs on tires and fenders when rotating the grapple. The L-Series skidders now offer 17.5 square foot (1.63 square metre) grapple option for all dual function models.

Cat D Series wheel skidders enable loggers to get to the landing faster, increase production, and reduce operating costs. They feature a six-speed transmission with more gears in the working zone, lock-up torque converter, and independent front and rear differentials for more pulling power and control. They also feature a high-capacity cooling system with reversing fan and high-performance hydraulics.
The High Rotation Seat offers 100 degrees of seat rotation and features the Cat Advanced Ride Management seat suspension for unparalleled ergonomics and comfort.


The 632E is the industry’s highest production four-wheel drive skidder, suited to the toughest jobs, the most demanding terrain, heavy loads and around-the-clock operations. Equipped with the largest grapple, a higher capacity Tigercat rear axle, stronger driveline components and an improved hydraulic system, the 632E boosts productivity and performance to new heights. The 632E uses a larger main hydraulic pump, valves for faster operation and better multifunctioning, and cylinder rod sizes have been increased by 25 per cent. A newly enhanced EHS transmission produces more torque with the same top speed as the previous generation of EHS. The new Tigercat OB20 rear axle provides 47 per cent more torque capacity and nearly twice the life on all bearings.

The Tanguay TG88E skidder is available as a clambunk or ‘’L Boom’’ grapple configuration with a huge payload capacity of 35 tons. Powered by a 400-hp engine, the TG88E comes with a choice of track width up to 60 inches for extremely low ground pressure. The reliable and proven 100 per cent hydrostatic drive provides incredible manoeuvrability and a perfect traction for minimum ground disturbance.  
The TG88E Clambunk and its powerful loader is the machine of choice for economically load and skid tree length to road side on long distances. The ‘’L Boom’’ grapple skidder has proven very productive on shorter distances and longer timber stands. Designed and manufactured in Canada, the TG88E is by far the world largest forwarder and a solution for year round operations.

HSM offers a wide range of skidders in different sizes and configurations. HSM skidders are powered with a 4 or 6 cylinder Volvo Tier 4f engine from 175 hp to 320 hp. HSM offers a six-speed power shift transmission with lockup converter or a high -speed drive (HSD) hydrostatic-mechanical transmission. With the central oscillation and the crane, our skidders are agile and increase productivity. The vehicles can be equipped with 10-ton single drum up to 16-ton double drum winches. For steeper grounds, the skidders can be equipped with the HSW-15 traction-assisted winch.

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