Grap­ple pro­ces­sors set to be­come more pop­u­lar, says Souths­tar

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

AS LAND­INGS AND SKID SITES BE­COME smaller, pro­ces­sors will need to be­come multi-taskers, able to load and shovel as well as pro­duce logs.

What if you could com­bine the ver­sa­til­lity of a grap­ple and the fuc­tion­al­ity of a pro­ces­sor into one ef­fec­tive ma­chine?

To meet the fu­ture de­mand, South-Star has de­cided to of­fer grap­ple op­tions on all its pro­cess­ing heads, from the small QS505 right up to the QS635.

“It’s very suited to steep slope sites where ac­cess is an is­sue, and the abil­ity to have one ma­chine that can process logs and load is a strong ad­van­tage,” says Jeremy Disher, Direc­tor of Souths­tar Equip­ment.

A grap­ple pro­cess­ing head would not only be suited to steep slope tower op­er­a­tions but also ideal for smaller op­er­a­tions, par­tic­u­larly those in wood­lots, he points out.

The short hang­ing bracket has been de­signed specif­i­cally to al­low this ma­chine to sort and load with­out the need for an adi­tional heel at­tache­ment (some­thing a coven­tional hang­ing bracket can’t do).

Like­wise, the op­tional grap­ple de-limb arms are de­signed to sit at the top of the head, where they won’t in­ter­fere with the nor­mal roller ac­tion and can be called into op­er­a­tion when load­ing mul­ti­ple stems is re­quired, max­imis­ing the ef­fi­ciency of the head. When not in use, the unique drive arm de­sign en­ables them to be folded away.

With a pro­ces­sor that can also carry out load­ing, it re­duces the amount of equip­ment and cap­i­tal out­lay for a con­trac­tor, as well as re­duc­ing fuel, main­te­nance, trans­port and labour costs.

This pro­ces­sor-plus-grap­ple abil­ity has been pop­u­lar in parts of North Amer­ica, par­tic­u­larly western Canada where mul­ti­task­ing equip­ment is a must, due to long dis­tances in­volved in mov­ing ma­chines around.

The Cana­di­ans have seen the ad­van­tages of a multi-pur­pose head on the skid site and the com­pact QS605, which fea­tures both a short hang­ing bracket and grap­ple arms has al­ready chalked up 60 sales.

There is an op­por­tu­nity for this head to do well here, says SouthS­tar, and it’s now ac­tively mar­ket­ing the com­pact QS605 pro­ces­sor in New Zealand.

The height of the QS605 is just 2,018mm, in­clud­ing the ro­ta­tor and top link, which is one me­tre less than a tra­di­tional long hang­ing bracket pro­ces­sor.

The shorter hang­ing bracket also has other ad­van­tages, ac­cord­ing to Mr Disher: “This head per­forms very well as a high pro­duc­tion pro­ces­sor with less swing­ing ac­tion when pick­ing from a stack, re­sult­ing in de­creased cy­cle times. A lot of our North Amer­i­can op­er­a­tors are now prefer­ing this head over a con­ven­tional style pro­ces­sor.”

The SouthS­tar QS605 grap­ple 4x4 pro­ces­sor can sort, shovel and load like a grap­ple and process, mea­sure and cut with all the ad­van­tages of a stan­dard pro­ces­sor. It’s de­signed for medium-to-large size wood with an op­ti­mum op­er­at­ing size of 22-26” in di­am­e­ter for 25-to-30-tonne ma­chines.

Fea­tures in­clude a pow­er­ful tilt lock sys­tem ac­ti­vated with twin cylin­ders to al­low it to op­er­ate with­out a heel at­tached.

It also has in­no­va­tive tilt lev­el­ling soft­ware to con­trol logs when load­ing from the back of a trailer or han­dling wood off cen­tre.

For pro­cess­ing, the QS605 uses its pow­er­ful dual ro­tate mo­tor drive so the op­er­a­tor can ro­tate logs up steep slopes and when load­ing trucks on un­even ground.

It also has the in­no­va­tive Side Step­ping drive fea­ture, al­low­ing for in­de­pen­dent con­trol of two stems at the same time, which proves very handy when load­ing.

The QS605 is con­trolled by the proven DASA com­puter sys­tem with full op­ti­mi­sa­tion com­bined with SouthS­tar’s unique Startrax Satel­lite Com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem (SCS).

Mr Disher says SouthS­tar al­ready has con­trac­tors in New Zealand in­ter­ested in us­ing the QS605 here.

• An­other in­no­va­tion that Souths­tar is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing is an In­ter­mit­tent disk saw felling head. The idea com­bines the re­li­a­bil­ity of a hot saw sys­tem with the ver­sa­til­ity of a dan­gle head. The FD2900, as it has been named, is cur­rently in the con­cept stage with tri­als to be con­ducted in the north­ern hemiesphere.


SouthS­tar is now mar­ket­ing the QS605 grap­ple pro­cess­ing head in New Zealand.

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