Ponsse Traction Assist Winch works in harmony with other control systems
Factory-fitted system gives peace of mind
FOR YEARS now, rubber tyre cut-tolength harvesters and forwarders have proven to be very suitable for steep ground logging in many countries around the world. In these situations, traction assistance is becoming more widespread as contractors and forest owners search for lower costs and safer ways of logging steep slopes. Traction assistance is the term used for using a winch with a long cable to assist travelling up and down the slopes while working. A correctly set traction assistance winch coupled to the machine’s transmission control system enables slipfree moving of machines providing reduced ground disturbance, less stress to the drive transmission and parts, lower fuel consumption and of course a safer and more comfortable working platform for the operator.
The Ponsse Traction Assistance Winch is installed on harvesters and forwarders as new equipment from the factory. This provides peace of mind knowing the winch is factory approved and designed to work in harmony with other control systems in the machine and is covered by the same warranty as the rest of the machine. It can be installed on the largest machines that Ponsse manufacture, the 20t Elephant King Forwarder and the Bear Harvester as well as on smaller machines.
Winch speed is synchronized to the machine drive transmission so that it automatically spools the cable in or out according to driving controls. The operator tethers the machine to an anchoring point whether that be a stump, tree or heavy equipment by using the handheld remote control to operate the winch unit. After pretensioning the cable, he sets the desired tension values or pulling power for uphill and downhill and switches the winch to automatic mode. While driving, the cable tension is maintained automatically. To make operating on steep slopes effective and safe, the winch is not the only option required. Machines fitted with a winch also require tracks, a tilt crane pedestal, a levelling seat with fourpoint seat belt, camera systems and inclinometer. All of these options used together will improve the machine performance in steep terrain and add to the operator’s comfort and safety.
Even a small variation in operational slope and in terrain layout can be an obstacle for an ordinary machine. Equipping machines with the Ponsse Traction Assist Winch avoids the necessity and added costs of employing other steep slope logging methods, such as skyline yarding, hand falling and cable skidding along with their inherent safety risks. A traction assistance winch helps to mitigate productivity losses in forwarding, too. No more limited load sizes, long detours back to the hilltop or forwarding only downhill. Additionally, forwarding capability does not have to dictate log stack location and forwarding direction is free, uphill or downhill as required.
The Ponsse Traction Assistance Winch is being used already in numerous countries around the world, with the biggest markets being Central Europe, Brazil and Western USA. It has proven to be a reliable way to harvest challenging terrain effectively, profitably and with minimal ground disturbance.