Bigger machines debut at Elmia Wood 2017
IT ONLY COMES AROUND ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS and often showcases upcoming trends, so anticipation for the Elmia Wood forestry show in Sweden is always high, and the 2017 edition held last month didn’t disappoint.
Attracting more than 50,000 visitors who come to see the latest international innovations displayed by 550 exhibitors from some 30 countries, Elmia Wood is Europe’s premier forestry event, with this year’s promising to be bigger and brighter than ever.
New Zealand contractors have tended to think of European forestry equipment as being mostly too small and too light for our requirements, and there is a fair amount of truth in that belief, but there has been a trend towards bigger machines in recent years.
Amongst the usual lightweight equipment on display last month, some genuinely interesting machines from a New Zealand perspective were on show in the forestry site south of Jönköping, in central Sweden.
Among them were a German-made log skidder, which put paid to the notion that Europeans are only interested in carrying cut-to-length wood. A company called HSM builds a range of forwarders that can also convert into very useful clam-bunk skidders, which sell well in Germany. On show at Elmia Wood was the latest 8-wheeler HSM 208F model, which is rated at around 19 tonnes and offers a 184kW (250hp) 6-cylinder Iveco diesel engine. Similar in concept to the Timber Pro 840
forwarder/clambunk, it can be used for dragging treelength stems or to forward cut logs. Interestingly, it can be equipped with a front-mounted winch to provide extra traction on steep slopes.
As if to emphasise the bigger-is-better message, Tigercat also debuted it new top-of-the-range wheeled harvester that has been designed for heavy-duty operations in “extreme terrain”.
The Tigercat 8-wheel drive 1185 harvester is a robust 34-tonne machine designed for high production clear fell applications on steep slopes.
Powered by a Tigercat FPT engine, rated at 230 KW (308hp) it features a cabin that rotates with the boom and has dedicated pumps to power the drive, harvesting head, boom, fan and cooling circuit functions. There are two stick boom options — fixed or telescopic.
Sometimes, size doesn’t cut it in the forest and you just need to keep the wood moving, so maybe the Swiss Tracked Forwarder, making its international debut at Elmia Wood, might work. Sure, it’s on the small side, but its tracked design is made to haul wood over any surface, as our photo shows.
For wood yards, the Liebherr L580 LogHandler XPOWER is a highly mobile machine that can stack logs higher than a traditional wheel loader. This 36-tonner has a newly developed driveline that combines hydrostatic drive and conventional forward drive to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30%. The special lift arm offers a maximum reach of almost four metres.
Lieberr also showed the smaller L518 equipped with front and rear steering axles for tighter turning circles for the first time.
In other news from Elmia Wood, Husqvarna premiered its newly developed X-CUT saw chain, which differs from comparable products by cutting faster with lower vibrations. It stays sharp longer than competing chains on the market and is supplied pre-stretched, so it can be used immediately and does not need filing so often.
And Finnish machinery manufacturer, Nisula, unveiled an excavator track frame that is moveable lengthways to provide 4WD-like articulation for improved travel over rough terrain. When the machine is stationary the track frames can be locked to provide the required stability for working.
The 8-wheel-drive HSM 208F can be used as a clam-bunk log skidder, as well as a forwarder.
1. The all-new Tigercat 1185 wheel harvester weighs in at 34 tonnes – it’s getting closer to a tracked harvester in clear-felling. 2. If the going really gets tough, the Swiss have an answer – the Swiss Tracked Forwarder.
3. Husqvarna debuted its new X-CUT saw chain at Elmia Wood 2017.
4. The high-stacking Liebherr L580 has a hydrostatic/conventional drive combo for much reduced fuel consumption.