Komatsu unveils new harvester head for demanding operations
When harvesting in rough forests, an operator can face several challenges. For example, trees that need to be cut from two directions, root flares that are too wide for the saw bar or rough limbs that need to be processed several times. The C164 is designed with these conditions in mind.
The Komatsu C164 is a brand-new model in the range of C heads and a perfect match for the Komatsu 951 harvester. The robust head is specially designed to handle large trees, big root flares and rough limbs. Still, it has a design that makes it smooth and easy to handle. The C164 design is inspired by the features of other C models, but it is a completely new head where many parts are optimized for the size and application of the head.
Constant Cut, the saw motor control that ensures that the head has a constant and efficient saw motor speed throughout the complete cutting cycle, is further developed for C164 to handle long saw bars and broad stems. The saw bar position is designed for optimal felling performance and the position of the saw bar is new compared to other C heads. This gives a better felling cut in the direction of the head, which in turn gives the saw bar better longevity whilst also reducing the risk of log splitting. For increased durability and service life, the chain tensioning of the saw bar has been improved, the saw bar mount has a more robust design, stronger saw bar clamp and increased bolt dimension to hold the saw bar.
The rotator has a stronger and more robust design as well as a new hydraulic motor and bigger slew bearings to cope with this type of demanding logging operations.
To make the head more fuel efficient, the C164 also has a new type of hydraulic control valve that can handle a high flow, which reduces energy losses.
The C164 is a “carry style” head, where the stem is carried by the feed wheels and the delimbing knives are mainly used for delimbing the stem. The head’s feed system allows good contact between head and stem, which reduces the clamping pressure and makes the feeding procedure energy efficient. The Komatsu C164 comes with the option of two different feed roller motors. The bigger motor is standard and gives a high traction force which improves the productivity of the head. The smaller motor is optional and gives a more aggressive feeding start, but with less force than with the bigger motor.
Upon customer request, the Komatsu C164 has a completely new tilt lock function, i.e., the ability to lock the tilt link at the desired angle, which facilitates access to difficult branches or tree forks. The Find End function makes it possible to reset length measuring without needing to make a first cut and lump a part of the log. This reduces forest residues and minimizes value loss. It is particularly useful when processing pre-felled trees.
The head has several features designed to minimize unplanned downtime and thereby improve productivity. The frame is designed and verified to stand the force from heavy operations. Components like the head unit are well protected under the hood. Cast iron is used for strategic components and ORFS couplings on hoses. Overall, the head with all its features, in combination with the Komatsu 951 harvester, is a useful tool for demanding operations.