Wood Business

New Gear Harvesting New Gear
Equipment spotlight: Steep slope systems

June 5, 2018 - Canadian Forest Industries has compiled the newest equipment for working in on tough grades.

June 5, 2018  By Canadian Forestry Staff

The Log-Champ (LC) 650 swing yarder was built and developed in Canada to the highest engineering specifications. With 95,000 lbs. of pull, 1,800 feet of mainline capacity and 175,000 lbs. 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.

Pierce Pacific
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. 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.


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 lbs. 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 lbs. offers 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.

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 features give the KMC and Kootrac tracked vehicles higher traction, lower ground pressure, better speed and agility, and a more comfortable ride. The end result — a machine that combines larger payloads and higher speed than conventional equipment 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.

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.

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.

John Deere
John Deere equipment is designed to tackle steep slopes, with the M-Series tracked machines boasting a best-in-class levelling system that provides a 26-degree forward tilt angle without mechanical interference. Additionally, these tracked machines can be used with third-party tethering systems, increasing machine traction and stability. The G-Series wheeled machines, including the 1170G eight-wheeled harvester, offer loggers the stability and low surface pressure. For winch-assist solutions, the HAAS Maschinebau winch-assist system is available exclusively for John Deere wheeled harvesters and forwarders, allowing customers to work above or below the extraction roads, providing access to previously unreachable areas.

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, for example, 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.

Timbermax is presenting the Traction-Winch of the T Series. Robust and powerful, it is compatible with a wide range of applications. Its compact design makes it possible to mount it on skidders, harvesters, excavators and on the Timbermax Elevator, which is a self-propelled unit. It is also possible to mount on the excavator’s quick attach, minimizing installation costs. The winch pull force is from 10 to 20 tons, and its capacity is from 350 to 500 metres.

Summit Attachment and Machinery was the first to introduce steep slope winch assist to the forests of the Northwest U.S. With nearly three dozen made-in-the-U.S. systems now at work, Summit offers a safe and dependable system that is both cost effective and productive. Summit systems include: Extreme Duty LANTEC winch with 1,950-feet of 1-inch SUPERPAK wire rope, military grade long range radio system, simple automatic operation using load cell controlled automatic line tension w/touch screen adjustment, tablet computer with live GPS harvest map and video allowing timber to be cut and piled directly under the skyline, unmatched fuel consumption (under 10 gallons/day while cutting), and after-sale support.

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.

Remote-operated bulldozer (Rob)
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 US tons) a day. Safety features include a twin winch system, hydrostatic drive, bulldozer base, and automatic machine shutdown capability.

Tigercat’s 602 is available as a cable skidder suited to pockets of North America and other traditional winch skidder markets. The 602 cable skidder is ideal for high value selective hardwood logging and for retrieving timber from steep slopes and gullies. The 602 is equipped with the Tigercat FPT Tier N45 engine which provides full emissions compliance for Tier 2 and Tier 4f , along with excellent fuel economy. The machine has a fixed front axle with an oscillating centre section to achieve a very narrow overall width of 2.7 metres (106 inches). The agility of the 602 is ideal in selective felling applications. The machine can access high value timber in steep terrain, while minimizing damage to the residual stand. Maximum fuel efficiency is achieved by the use of Tigercat’s load sensing hydraulic system — only supplying the amount of oil that the various functions require for reduced engine load.

T-Mar Industries
The T-Mar Industries 100 per cent radio controlled Log Champ 250 Traction Winch allows logging equipment to operate safely in steep slope operations. It is not designed to pull equipment, its job is to deliver necessary added traction. Using a traction winch reduces soil disturbance and can save on fuel consumption and stress wear on machinery. It is equipped with a cupped anchor blade for anchoring in soil or behind stumps or rocks. The remotely adjustable constant tension drive operates at two per cent regardless of machine movement. The spring applied band emergency and parking brake mechanically applies if hydraulic pressure is lost, power is lost, engine stops or emergency stop is pressed on the radio and the machine shuts down if radio contact is lost.

Komatsu’s new 931XC (Xtreme Conditions) 8WD harvester delivers superior performance, productivity, operator comfort and convenience, and serviceability in steep, rough or soft terrain harvesting environments. The Komatsu 931XC has all the market-leading features found in Komatsu’s proven 931-6WD harvester platform, including the innovative, 3PS three-pump hydraulic system, best-in-class ergonomic cab, 4-way cab/crane levelling, and 360-degree cab/crane rotation. The 931XC drive system starts with Komatsu’s well-proven articulated frame joint, rear swing axle, with 16-degree left/right oscillation, and the high-oscillation Komatsu Comfort Bogie front axle.

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