Feb. 26, 2018 - Steven Freeman recalls the trials and deliberations that led his family to purchase a Sennebogen 830 M‑T log-handler four years ago. “The decision for our second Sennebogen was a lot simpler than the first,” he says. “Our yard is tough: it’s rock, and wood debris, and some mud, and the stud yard is up the hill, 300 to 400 yards from the mill. It’s a cruel environment for a machine.”
Steven represents the sixth generation of his family to manage Harry Freeman and Son Limited, located about 100 miles south of Halifax, N.S., in the midst of Nova Scotia’s white pine forests where they process spruce and eastern white pine. Operating since 1832, the Freeman mill has always taken pride in progressively updating its equipment and processes. Sennebogen designed the 830 M-T specifically for this kind of work, combining excellent reach and lifting efficiency with rugged all-wheel drive trailer-pulling capacity.
Dealing with downtime
Their first 830 was put to work forwarding wood for the stud mill processing 8’ - 10’ (2.5 -3.0 m) logs. Meanwhile, the random wood mill relied on a wheel loader fitted with a log grapple to bring in mostly 16’ (4.9 m) and 12’ (3.7 m) logs. “But whenever the 830 had to come out for scheduled maintenance, it was very disruptive to our production,” Freeman says. “Today, production levels are maintained using our new 830 M-T.”
“We did try another make of log-handler before we bought our first Sennebogen but it wasn’t built as heavy and couldn’t withstand the application.”
Keeping up with mill throughput
The Freeman mill produces approximately 100 million board feet (30,480,000 m) of lumber per year. As Freeman notes, with a staff of more than 150 over two shifts, having a whole crew standing around, waiting for wood, is not a good thing.
“It used to be that before we put the 830 in maintenance, we’d have to lower the tiers for the wheel loader to handle the studs and the log stacks. Our back-up plan wasn’t pretty either — we’d have to hire self-loading trucks to forward the studs from up the hill. They couldn’t keep up with it; it left the mill starved for wood.”
The family conducted its due diligence before ordering another 830 M-T to take over duties in the random yard. Consideration was given to buying a pick and carry machine instead, but the decision moved quickly to adding a second Sennebogen trailer pulling log loader equipped with a Rotobec F1250 HD rotator grapple capable of handling over 1.5 yds (1.15 m) of 16’ (4.9 m) logs.
“First, we knew what we’re getting,” Freeman explains. “Getting the same machine again means we have the same equipment to service and same parts to stock. Our support from Strongco, our Sennebogen dealer, has been excellent. Standardizing on the Cummins engines are helpful. There’s nothing exotic about them for us to maintain. Plus, the 830 gives us the extra flexibility of two machines that can feed the mill, as well as forward the wood.
“With the two 830s working together, we have more than enough capacity now. Our ability to move wood is not a bottleneck anymore and together these two machines have replaced the need for three pieces of mobile equipment required to meet our ongoing production needs.”
Removing the bottleneck at Nova Scotia’s Harry Freeman and Son
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