Specialty hydraulics contribute to revolutionary forestry machine
A machine designed and built in Nelson is making harvesting the world’s four billion hectares of forestry land safer and more efficient.
The ClimbMAX Steep Slope Harvester provides a safe way to harvest trees from slopes up to 45 degrees. Around the world, the forestry industry is seeking ways to get workers off the slopes to increase safety. ClimbMAX is a huge step change on the way to achieving this.
Gary Allen of Fluid Power Solutions designed the hydraulics system on the machine. It is entirely self-monitoring and selfregulating.
On the ClimbMAX, the winch is an integral part of the machine. Fluid Power Solutions’ self-regulating hydraulics system ensures the tracks and winch always work in unison. It auto-corrects if the machine starts moving too fast and it has a blade that deploys if required to stop the machine. The entire system is self-monitoring, so the operator only has to set a few system parameters and can then concentrate on felling trees.
With the controls handled by Fluid Power Solutions’ hydraulics system, the machine has full f lexibility of movement on any slope. It can be on a steep hill in snow, rain, or cold temperatures. It hugs the terrain and can move side-to-side as well as up-and-down, maximising the cut area per shift. Last month the fifth ClimbMAX Steep Slope Harvester was shipped off to a logging company in Canada. In 2014, representatives from Chile, Canada, and three major logging companies in the USA visited Nelson to have a look at the next generation harvesting machine.
The machine is the creation of Nigel Kelly, owner of Kelly Logging, who had an idea nearly ten years ago. He wanted to find a safe way to get to those steeper slopes that didn’t involve putting his workers at serious risk. Kerry Hill and the team at Trinder Engineering took Nigel’s idea and transformed a traditional mechanical harvester into a winch-assisted machine with a lower centre of gravity for increased stability on steep slopes. Gary Allen and the hydraulics solution completed the trio who brought the vision to life.
Nigel Kelly says his machine is highly productive on the steepest of slopes and, as a single operator in a single machine, it’s quick and efficient to set up and going. “In today’s environment we have to be efficient, productive and safe and ClimbMAX ticks all the boxes for me,” says Nigel. • Each year the New Zealand forestry industry harvests about
43,000ha. • Each year NZ exports $4.7billion in forestry products. • Forestry product exports make up more than 10 percent of the
country’s total exports. • Around the world, there is a total forest area of four billion