Feller Buncher and Felling Head Wrap-Up
Rapid changes in technology mean purpose-built feller bunchers, and felling heads for use with a variety of carriers, are constantly being updated by manufacturers. Following is a review of what’s available in today’s marketplace. This information was supplied by the manufacturers and more details can be found at their respective websites, which are shown at the end of each listing. The first section covers purpose-built feller bunchers, while part two of this report lists a number of felling heads that are available.
By Trina Dillon
Multi-functioning, maneuverability, lift capacity and quick saw recovery are key advantages of the Cat® track feller buncher. The Cat 500 Series can climb steep slopes while the boom, stick and tools function simultaneously, increasing productivity. Zero and full tail swing models, several with leveling systems, are available. The rugged undercarriage travels through wet lowlands or climbs steep, rocky terrain. Ground clearance is 30-35-in. (762-889 mm) depending on the model. Improved hydraulic flow management regulates the distribution of hydraulic oil between functions to increase speed and smoothness. A new hydraulic oil level sensor makes it easy to ensure the tank contains the required amount. Another upgrade improves machine start-up when the engine is cold. The cab also has been updated recently to improve operator comfort and visibility. Wheel feller bunchers are also offered.
New 900K Series from Deere
The John Deere 900 K-Series Tracked Feller Bunchers pack plenty of power. The largest, the 953K and the 959K, come with an industry-first 330-hp engine as standard equipment, while the 903K and 909K have dual power options at 300 hp and 330 hp, respectively.
The 900s feature a larger displacement Tier 3 PowerTech Plus™ 9.0L engine and the lowest daily fuel cost in the industry, while a 295-gallon fuel tank lets you get more done between fill-ups.
Designed with a quick-recovery saw that never slows down, best-in-class felling head accumulation that picks up more trees at once, and high-tractive effort-to-weight ratio with low ground pressure for smooth operation, the 900 K-Series makes the most of an operator’s time. The K-Series’ leveling system keeps the upper frame level, even when the tracks are climbing or tilting on tough slopes.
Cab enhancements include better visibility, a powerful HVAC system, brighter cab interior lighting, a deluxe
air-ride seat option, and much more.
Tanguay Machinery, a division of Quadco Equipment Inc., manufactures three models of feller bunchers. The 700 and 900 series are large tail swing machines designed for long boom reaches and heavy payload applications. The compact 300 series is a limited tail swing machine with a robust carbody, track frames and reliable and proven dual swing motor gear boxes.
The Tanguay bunchers are built without compromise. They utilize quality components, high tensile steel and offer oversized cooling equipment. Optional tropical cooling is also available for high production felling in the warmest environments. An optional two cylinders and a four side tilt mechanism provide up to a 55% forward tilt for steep slope logging.
The Tanguay feller bunchers are custom built and available with feller buncher or dangle harvester booms with a reach of up to 11.5 metres.
Tigercat 870C feller buncher
The Tigercat 870C feller buncher is a high production machine suited to steep, rocky, soft or otherwise challenging terrain. Field proven at both temperature extremes, the 870C provides around the clock performance in the most hostile clear fell applications in the world. The 870C series has undergone a host of improvements, furthering efficiency, performance and productivity.
Although there have been dozens of changes and enhancements, most notable is the new twin swing drive system which increases swing torque by 44% while reducing pinion loads for extended swing system life. Included with this update are new swing drive gearboxes with larger capacity bearings and a stronger gear train as well as a new swing system valve that significantly improves efficiency.
The L870C leveling feller buncher is now equipped with the new R7150-2 leveling undercarriage with improved hose routing for more convenient service. Both the standard 870C and L870C use durable FH400 track components.
Further information on a host of other improvements can be found on the Tigercat website.
TimberPro is now building a D6 and D7 sized, zero swing feller buncher with either leveling or non-leveling functions. The patented leveling system gives 28 degrees and 7 degrees of leveling to the front and back and 24 degrees to both sides. This leveling system is very unique in that it gives maximum degrees of leveling, leaves good access to the rotary manifold, is very robust, and because it is very simple, it is reasonably priced.
The standard engine in these machines is a 300 hp Cummins with gullwing access to all the major service points for both the engine and hydraulics. The standard boom reach is 23.5 ft from center of rotation to end of boom with good extended lift power. The weight of a standard TL735 is less than 60,000 lbs not including attachment, making for a very quick and maneuverable machine.
Valmet FX-Series Full-Tree Feller Bunchers
Valmet forest machines are manufactured at Komatsu’s world-class facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Two non-leveling and three leveling models have base weights ranging from 2023 to 3152 kg and offer Cummins Tier 3 engines from 164 kW to 246kW (220-330 hp). With seven hydraulic configurations, and two boom and three arm options, these machines can easily be fine tuned for processing, harvesting, or felling applications.
Komatsu-designed undercarriages re-engineered for woods applications, and Komatsu components, ensure more track is on the ground. A larger leveling system is used on the 450FXL for more severe duty applications, while new boom and arm designs are enhanced for saw heads with full lateral tilt.
All models have higher capacity cooling packages with temperature controlled auto-reversing fans for improved engine and hydraulic cooling performance.
The HF 201 and HF 221 felling heads feature the new Cat one-piece saw disc with 2.25-in. (57.2 mm) kerf replaceable saw teeth. The one-piece saw disc, as compared to a segmented disc design, improves saw recovery time and increases the cut capacity about ½-in. (12.7 mm). The HF201 has a cutting capacity of 22.5-in. (572 mm) and is matched with Cat zero tail swing track feller buncher models. With a cutting capacity of 24.4-in. (620 mm), the HF 221 is superior in larger tree sizes and maximizes performance of the larger Cat full tail swing track feller buncher models. Both heads are available in partial or full tilt configurations. The box section frame design, thick plating and reinforcements in high stress areas give the felling heads the durability needed for working in big wood.
Gilbert 3000L Productivity
The Gilbert 3000L Series Felling Heads are high performance units oriented towards productivity. They are built without compromise in order to help you increase the profitability of your operations. Available with a 350 degree high rotation wrist, they are recognized in the industry for reliability and performance. Loggers can choose between a fixed felling head, and one with a 40 degree rotation wrist.
Models available offer 22, 24 or 28-inch cutting capacities. The Gilbert felling heads are effective in all types of operations and they have the a high accumulation capacity for multiple tree gathering. They control the stems for a perfect grouping without any crossing. The sturdiness of the Glibert units allows the same felling head to shine equally in the harvesting of hardwood in eastern Canada and in stands of huge softwood trees on the West Coast.
GN Roy 5000 Series
GN Roy builds felling heads that meet the durability and production requirements of today’s loggers. In 2008, the company introduced its new 5000 Series, which features a redesigned 360-degree rotation system that offers optimum vision. The 5300 (22-in.) and 5600 (24-in.) models feature heavy-duty motors and can be equipped with an optional 40 degree wrist.
In May 2010, GN Roy introduced the 18-in. and 20-in. models with 40 or 360 degree rotation. Productivity was increased by 10% and all heads are now equipped with high quality disks and teeth. GN Roy heads are ideal for all types of production and for all species of wood. A felling head you can count on with easy maintenance and low operating costs. GN Roy: strength, reliability and agility.
JD Accumulation Doubles
John Deere Forestry’s FR24B and FR22B felling heads offer several unique advantages that double the accumulation capacity of past models to increase productivity: 20% larger accumulation area, an offset accumulation pocket, new arm geometry, wider arm spacing, and horn design.
The FR24B, which is compatible with the 953K and 959K Tracked Feller Bunchers, handles medium to large trees up to 622 mm (24.5-in.) butt diameter.
The FR22B, which is compatible with the 903K and 909K Track Feller Bunchers, can handle thinning to final cut, up to 559 mm (22.0-in.), in softwood or hardwoods.
Both heads feature high-rotation, bolt-on wrists. The FR24B with 310 degrees of rotation, and the FR22B with 312 degrees of rotation, resulting in enhanced tree control and reduced swing and travel cycles.
The Loewen High Rotation Wrist Feller Buncher enables much greater versatility and productivity for all purpose-built mechanical harvesters. It allows loggers to cut standing trees and wind fell trees, and place them in bigger bunches at any angle with a lot less movement of the carrier, which provides greatly increased skidder efficiency.
The new ROT8 high rotation wrist model now uses your existing stick adapter. It also features two hydraulic motors on a 6-1 gear ratio to deliver a powerful 360 degree rotation. Other key features include: a heavy-duty ball bearing rotate gear; easy access to manifolds and motors; and hoses that go through the rotator for better protection. Models are available for any buncher/sawhead combination.
Heavy Duty PBS
The PBS3440 is a heavy-duty bar saw built to cut big timber and built to last. A heavy-duty frame consisting of a strong, simple structure eliminates the need for reconditioning. And, you can forget about needing structural reinforcements prior to your first cut. This saw is ready to work right out of the box.
A 3-ft. single pass cutting capacity, reverse cutting and no recovery time make the PBS3440 an optimum felling attachment for big timber and steep slope felling. Contact us now at 800.760.3270 or visit our website to learn more.
Quadco offers a full line of forestry attachments from felling to delimbing.
Quadco disc saws are offered for wheeled or track feller bunchers with sizes from 18-in. to 28-in. maximum cutting capacity. Quadco 360 degree rotation or 40 degree tilts are offered on all models, and come standard with the Quadco Tooth & Disk System.
Intermittent felling heads range from 24-in. to 29-in. cutting capacity, with a powerful swing saw, and come standard with the Quadco 360 degree rotation.
The 5660 controlled-fall harvester has a 24-inch maximum cutting capacity (swing out saw) and 22-in. processing capacity. It is designed to withstand hardwood CTL /TL harvesting applications.
Quadco is the exclusive distributor for the Keto processing heads in North & South America, offering five different models. All models are equipped with Keto’s unique track feeding system offering excellent traction on the logs and better measurement accuracy.
The high speed Continuous RotoSaw is built with high strength steel and quality hydraulic components. Designed to match any feller buncher on the market, the RotoSaw features a 90 degree tilt and up to 30 disk. The hot saw ensures a quality cut every time. www.risleyequipment.com
Tigercat’s line of patented felling heads is the most productive in the industry. Felling heads that can cut a greater number of trees and hold them in tight parallel alignment will improve the productivity of the entire harvesting system. It improves buncher productivity by reducing swing and travel. Skidder productivity increases because the bunches can be more easily optimized for the skidder.
The Tigercat 5702 felling saw is best suited to large trees, natural stands, mixed stands and blow down applications and is well matched to the Tigercat 870C feller buncher. Large diameter trees are centered in the pocket for optimal lateral stability.
Strength to weight optimized, the 5702 has a 2,625 kg (5,790 lb) base weight – lighter than competitive heads without compromising structural integrity.
Wrist options range from 30 to 340 degrees of rotation. The 5702 has a 585 mm (23-in.) single cut capacity and a massive 1,3 m (52-in.) throat opening. The head can accumulate and store about 8-10 15 cm (6-in.) diameter trees.
Waratah FL85 Solution
Waratah Forestry Attachments’ versatile FL85 Directional Felling Head provides loggers with a single-source solution for multiple logging tasks: felling, piling, crosscutting, trimming, topping and shovel logging.
The continuous-rotation FL85, which features a unique upper boom link system, can be easily mounted on a shovel logger, excavator or tracked feller buncher. It is ideal for harvesting large trees, selective cutting of valuable species, salvaging storm-damaged timber, right-of-way clearing, and interchangeability with a bucket and thumb.
Its SuperCut 300 saw unit, with automatic chain tensioning offers fast cutting cycles, a maximum felling diameter of 850 millimeters (33.5-in.) and reduced maintenance time. The product’s hydraulic snubber provides increased control, while the grab arm’s high closing force safely grips the largest of trees.