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Equipment Spotlight: Steep solutions

Dec. 12, 2017 - Here's a look at CFI's latest equipment spotlight all about steep slopes!

December 12, 2017  By Canadian Forest Industries Staff

dynamic rope system based around a bulldozer.

Remote operated bulldozer
Rob is state-of-the-art forestry machinery that uses a winch-assisted, dynamic rope system based around a bulldozer. Why use a bulldozer as the base? Bulldozers have a low centre of gravity plus the blade makes an ideal anchor. The tethered logging machinery is extremely safe. Bulldozers give the tethered machine a wider scope than an excavator, as the fairleads go up to 45 degrees either side of the bulldozer. Whereas untethered machines are unstable on slopes up to 20 degrees (36 per cent), Rob allows tethered machines to work safely on slopes up to 45 degrees (100 per cent). A single operator can cut an average of 700 tonnes (771 U.S. tons) a day – usually the work of three or four men. Safety features include a twin winch system, hydrostatic drive, bulldozer base, and automatic machine shutdown capability.

Levelling system provides slope stability
Tigercat’s patented forestry-duty, leveling undercarriage provides exceptional stability on steep slopes. It uses two massive hydraulic cylinders and heavy steel sections for a solution that is simple, robust and reliable. The Tigercat leveling system leans into the hill when leveling to the side, which further improves machine stability and operator comfort. To further enhance the ability of Tigercat’s track machines to work on slopes, an optional tether hook attachment plate has been developed. The tether anchor bolts firmly to the main carbody structure of the undercarriage and allows either single or double cable tethers to be attached to the track machine.


Mobile traction winch
The T-Winch 10.1 mobile traction winch from Ecoforst can be moved to any position in the chosen terrain the help of the compact radio system. It is built with an IVECO S30 ENT diesel engine with a power output of 107 kW. Working hydraulic system Traction drive (1 x 80 cm³), the winch has a maximum pulling force of eight tonnes and a maximum speed of four kilometres per hour. A 2,220-mm plate provides stability in addition to anchoring, and 500 metres of high tensile strength, 18.5-mm diameter rope promotes long operating life.

Tracks designed for stability
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.  

Steep slope forwarder
With the 208F model series, HSM offers forwarders from the nine-ton class up to the 20-ton class that can be customized according to the customer’s exact needs. Strong cranes, flexible bunks systems, tiltable crane pillars, bogie lifts, cable winches and much more are available directly from the manufacturer. The HSW-15 traction-assisted winch with the SYNCRO-Drive control system has a 500m capacity with a constant pull up to 12 tons. The forwarders are powered with a Tier 4f, 6-cylinder, up to 320-hp Volvo engine. They are offered with loading capacities upwards of 20 tons, have a crane reach of 8 m to 10 m, a lifting torque of 70 kNm to 173 kNm. The HSM Steep Slope Forwarder is Robust, reliable and productive. Let’s go Uphill!

Traction winch for forwarders and harvesters
The Synchrowinch line of traction winches is designed and built by Herzog Forsttechnik AG in Switzerland. Herzog Forsttechnik has built traction winches since 1999 and was among the first to develop this technology for forestry use. Since 2008 the Synchrowinch is sold as an attachment solution for machines from Ponsse Oyj of Finland.  As a Ponsse exclusive attachment the Synchrowinch traction winch for forwarders and harvesters is now distributed around the world. Its low maintenance costs, sophisticated technology and ease of use have been proven in year-long operation.

Harvesting enhancements
Caterpillar offers steep slope harvesting enhancements for the Cat 552 Series 2 track feller buncher and track harvester. They enable more efficient, productive, and reliable machine performance and also promote operator safety and comfort on steep terrain. Extended track roller frames, with 11 bottom rollers, increase overall machine stability and lift capacity and also reduce ground pressure. An optimized cable assist mount is available for winch assist applications, and upgrades available for engine and hydraulic systems enhance the durability and reliability of 552 Series 2 components in steep terrain.  

Winch matches driving speed
PONSSE Synchrowinch allows effective logging in areas where previously only expensive and slow special logging methods have been used. The winch speed is automatically synchronized to machine driving speed so the operator doesn’t need to operate or adjust it during normal work. Cable tension can be set and the winch can be operated from a remote control unit, making it easy to hook the cable to e.g. a tree or a stump uphill. Optional tiltable loader makes loader working efficient and easy. Synchrowinch is available for Ergo and Bear harvesters and Buffalo, Elephant and ElephantKing forwarders.

Feller buncher booms operate with tethering
Pierce’s family of steep slope feller buncher booms are clearing the way to the extreme slopes of West Coast forests. Pierce boom configurations operate in conjunction with a tethering system that allows you to virtually eliminate dangerous and costly hand cutting. Whereas traditional logging equipment reaches only a portion of the job site, steep slope equipment can reach a significantly greater segment, representing a substantial increase in worker safety and productivity. The Pierce family of steep slope feller buncher booms are currently available in live heel for steep slope directional felling, live heel for levelling shovel logging, and a two-piece configuration, also for directional felling. All three can shovel/hoe chuck logs directly to the landing, where the Pierce GP (Grapple Processor) processes and loads, completing the job with one efficient landing machine.

Constant tension control
The Tractionline system is a steep slope winch assist system with industry leading constant tension control to be used for tethering mechanical felling machines and skidders. With two winch lines and multiple redundancies, Tractionline is the safest system on the market. The system is fully integrated with the tether machine resulting in a fully “automatic” control system. The operator selects a tension setting and the system automatically maintains that tension setting at all times, the lines are always under tension making a very stable operating platform on the steepest of slopes. The Tractionline system allows additional machines to be connected to one winch base for as little as $3,000 per machine.

Tracked and wheeled steep slope solutions
John Deere offers both tracked and wheeled solutions that provide superior steep slope performance. The 900 M-Series tracked machines feature best-in-class leveling systems, incorporating patented leveling control systems that allow for an increased leveling envelope, including 26-degree forward tilt without mechanical interference. The G-Series wheeled harvesters and forwarders feature Deere’s patented balanced bogie system that has lead the industry in tractive effort for nearly two decades For traction-assist applications, John Deere tracked machines can be equipped to work with various third-party tethering systems worldwide, particularly in New Zealand and the Western areas of U.S. and Canada. On wheeled machines, the HAAS winch system, exclusive to John Deere machines, offers a proven steep slope solution. 

High payload, high speed
KMC high-speed tracked vehicles have three major design advantages over conventional machines: balanced weight distribution, torsion bar sprung suspension, and high speed “live” steel track. These three design features give the KMC and Kootrac tracked vehicles higher traction, lower ground pressure, better speed & agility, and a more comfortable ride. The end result: a machine that combines larger payloads and higher speed than conventional equipment and that handles rough, steep or swampy/wet terrain with ease while minimizing site degradation and soil disturbance. The remanufactured KMC and new Kootrac skidders are now available in both planetary gear or hydrostatic drive systems.

Built in canada
The Log-Champ (LC) 650 swing yarder was built and developed in Canada to the highest engineering specifications. With 95,000 pounds of pull, 1,800 feet of mainline capacity and 175,000 pounds of swing torque, it is designed to move wood safely and efficiently. It is powered by a Cat C15 475 HP engine and has a Cat CX31 transmission and regenerative braking. The dual piston pump and valving provide flow for travel, swing, boom hoist and guy lines. The self-folding boom, gantry and power tilting cab make for easy relocation. As the exclusive Log-Champ dealer, Finning provides customers with the convenience of one-source for all of their forestry product, service, parts and equipment needs.

Logset tests the T-Winch
In South America, Logset has tested a separate winch on forwarders with great results. The T-Winch makes the machine more versatile, because the cable can be either attached to the front or rear of the chassis. The T-Winch can also easily be transferred to another pulling spot by remote control. Logset delivered 12F GT forwarders with clambunk configuration to Biofor in Chile in mid-2016. Their work sites are exclusively clear fells. On the hills, the weight distribution among the eight wheels is uneven and therefore the T-Winch is of a great assistance. The synchronized T-Winch is automatically connected to the operating machine through radio control. For example, if the driver of the machine stops, the T-Winch also stops. This way the cable always stays tight and secure.

Steep slope specific tilt design
Whether you’re tethered on steep slope, or just looking for a heavy-duty felling head, the Waratah FL Series offers the industry’s two best solutions. The FL-85 Series-2 at 3,851 pounds is perfectly weighted and matched for heel boom use for steep slope felling, shovel logging, and storm damage applications. The FL-95 at 5,776 pounds offers you best in class cutting capacity, a steep slope specific tilt design for increased chassis rotation, a 62 inch (1,580 mm) grapple opening with the industry’s first fully retractable saw box – the FL-95 is truly purpose built for steep slope tethered carriers.   www.waratah.com

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