Ponsse’s Elephant King flexes its muscles in Australia
Ponsse has always been renowned for building tough, reliable forestry machines. This point has been proven in Australia since the introduction of the 20T Elephant King Forwarder back in 2015.
Since then, a good number of Australian contractors and their operators testify that the Elephant King really does pull its weight in regard to quality, reliability, operator comfort and performance.
Starting inside the cabin, the layout is clean, quiet and ergonomic and provides the operator excellent visibility all around and above through the unique sloped rear screen. It has loads of storage space and enough room to comfortably accommodate two additional riders behind the operator. This space becomes particularly useful when training new operators. Fitted out with automatic climate control, handsfree telephone, bluetooth radio and a heated high back seat with neck and side rests, the cabin finish and comfort is likened to the quality of a luxury car.
The crane, manufactured by Ponsse is strong and powerful. It is controlled via mini levers which are easily fine-tuned to suit the operators needs on Ponsse’s OPTI touch screen control system. This control system also helps operators understand all critical onboard systems while they are in control of the machine.
Getting its immense power to the ground starts with a Tier 3 275hp Mercedes Benz, 6 cylinder engine. The use of this engine has helped Ponsse’s customers in nonEuropean Countries avoid the use of costly and troublesome Ad Blu and after treatment systems not required by Australian regulations. From there power is transferred through a hydrostatic transmission and German built NAF axles and bogies.
Ponsse pride themselves in manufacturing their own frames, cabins, cranes and electronic systems. Unlike many manufacturers today who outsource much of their manufacturing and then simply assemble components to make a machine, Ponsse, through their own manufacturing of major components and electrical systems have far greater control over the quality of their finished machine, and it shows!
Randalls Equipment Company, the Australian distributor for Ponsse are seeing growing interest in the Elephant King and the range of Ponsse machines in general.
“Not surprisingly, when a new brand such as Ponsse is introduced to the Australian market, some contractors like to stand back and see how both the machines and the dealer perform over the first couple of years in the Australian bush. With more than 20 machines now in Australia, I encourage contractors to seek testimony on the performance of PONSSE machines and in particular, the performance of Randalls in relation to our commitment to after sales customer support,” said Davin Frankel of Randalls Equipment Company.
“The Elephant King is a serious Forwarder that has all the comfort features that today’s professional operators want. Attracting and keeping operators is hard, so while keeping a lid on the price, we have put together a package that is very attractive to operators,” he said.
Based in Finland, Ponsse is the largest manufacturer of Forwarders and Wheel Harvesters in the world, with more than 70% of their machines exported outside Finland to countries such as USA, Russia, Brazil and China.
PONSSE 20T Elephant King standard inclusions for 2018
• Automatic fire suppression system
• Auto greasing system
• Electric hydraulic oil fill
• Electric tilting cabin and engine bonnet
• Engine side front guard
• LED high performance lighting
• Horizontal and vertical hydraulic load gate
• 700mm bunk extenders
• Handsfree bluetooth telephone
• Heated comfort seat with air brake
• Food heater and drinks fridge
• Full tool kit
• Compressor and air hose
Ricky Leeson (Leesons Logging) has given the thumbs up for his new Elephant King.
“We bought it because they had one available and we needed one, plus we had also been looking at the Ponsse equipment for some time and had dealt with Peter (Randalls) in the past and have always had a good relationship with him.
“Ponsse also has a good reputation in the industry,” he said.
“We bought it to work in pine thinnings but have since moved it to the pine clearfall. The benefit has been it’s narrow enough for thinnings but you can expand the bolsters and it’s more than capable in clearfall operations.
“It’s brought a different supplier into our orgainisation which has given us a chance to see what the support has been like and I must say I am very pleased. When we have needed parts or people Randalls have been great. Their main workshop is only 3.5 hours from us so it works well,” Ricky said.
He said the Elephant King had performed well in the bush doing the job expected.
“The operator thinks the vision and lighting set-up is better than anything he has driven before, along with the sliding headboard which is great for short wood. The cabin size is huge with him being able to stand upright at 6 feet tall.
“Access to everything is easy and majority of it’s from the ground which limits the amount you have to climb around the machines. It also has a lot of storage room for tools and spare hoses which sometime is difficult in other machines.
“Overall, we’re very happy with the machine and would definitely consider another Ponsse machine going forward,” Ricky said.
■ Ponsse Elephant King works well in the bush.
■ The Ponsse Elephant King's vision is first class.