High ro­ta­tion seat now in Cat D-se­ries skid­ders

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

GOUGH CAT HAS IN­TRO­DUCED THE HIGH RO­TA­TION SEAT TO THE new­est Cater­pil­lar D-se­ries skid­ders in New Zealand, with M J Fraser Log­ging’s lat­est 545D be­ing the first in the coun­try.

The High Ro­ta­tion Seat of­fers 100 de­grees of seat ro­ta­tion, in­stead of 30-de­grees in the pre­vi­ous seat, and also fea­tures the new Cat Ad­vanced Ride Man­age­ment (Cat ARM) seat sus­pen­sion for im­proved op­er­a­tor com­fort.

Wayne Baker, In­dus­try Sales Man­ager, Forestry, Waste & In­dus­trial for Gough Cat, says the abil­ity to ro­tate the seat 100 de­grees when pick­ing up bunches, work­ing and back­ing the skid­der around the deck or out to the cut-over will make a big dif­fer­ence for the op­er­a­tor.

Com­bined with the in­te­grated Cat ARM seat sus­pen­sion, a four­point seat belt and joy­stick steer­ing, the High Ro­ta­tion Seat re­duces op­er­a­tor fa­tigue and lifts the qual­ity of the ride, he says.

“Op­er­a­tors should see pro­duc­tiv­ity rise though faster cy­cle times, too,” adds Wayne.

The Cat High Ro­ta­tion Seat in­cor­po­rates an elec­tronic seat ro­ta­tion re­lease-lock, Cat com­fort seat and seat-mounted joy­stick steer­ing con­trols with in­te­grated trans­mis­sion con­trols.

A key safety ad­van­tage of the High Ro­ta­tion Seat is the util­i­sa­tion of the park brake to hold the ma­chine in place when the op­er­a­tor is ro­tat­ing the seat. The park brake is au­to­mat­i­cally ap­plied when the seat is re­leased, se­cur­ing the ma­chine, even on slopes. Once the seat locks into po­si­tion and the op­er­a­tor gets set to move, the park brake is re­leased au­to­mat­i­cally, fur­ther im­prov­ing safety.

Nu­mer­ous safety in­ter­locks en­sure the op­er­a­tor doesn’t ac­ci­den­tally re­lease the seat at high speed, and the throt­tle pedal in the op­po­site po­si­tion is dis­abled to en­sure there is no ac­ci­den­tal throt­tle com­mand.

The pow­er­shift and lock-up torque con­verter dis­tin­guishes Cat skid­ders since they do not utilise a hy­dro­static drive sys­tem nor hy­dro­static brak­ing to hold the ma­chine in place when the seat is ro­tated.

“Be­cause it has a park brake to hold the ma­chine in place when the op­er­a­tor ro­tates the seat, the skid­der will not ‘creep’ even if it is on a slope,” says Wayne.

The semi-ac­tive Cat ARM seat sus­pen­sion is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary de­vel­op­ment in seat sus­pen­sion tech­nol­ogy that Cater­pil­lar has used in other prod­ucts since 2013 and was in­tro­duced to skid­ders last year. The sus­pen­sion ad­justs the rate of damp­ing in real time in re­sponse to chang­ing ground con­di­tions. Along with the four-point seat belt, the Cat ARM seat sus­pen­sion ‘sta­bilises’ the op­er­a­tor and vir­tu­ally elim­i­nates end stop events for a smooth ride, re­duc­ing strain and fa­tigue.


M J Fraser Log­ging of Nel­son has taken de­liv­ery of the first Cat D-se­ries skid­der in New Zealand with the new High Ro­ta­tion Seat (in­set).

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