Sky­light opens up night work

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

A NEW LIGHT­ING SYS­TEM THAT HAS been spe­cially de­signed for forestry use turns night into day to al­low crews to pull wood in the dark.

It’s called the Sky­light and is the lat­est in­no­va­tion de­vel­oped by the team at Nel­son­based DC Equip­ment un­der their Fal­con Forestry Equip­ment brand.

The FFE Sky­light can be fixed to any grap­ple or car­riage to flood­light the work area where felled trees are on the ground, en­abling the hauler op­er­a­tor to eas­ily iden­tify and grab them.

Tests with in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors have shown that the il­lu­mi­na­tion pro­vides an even spread of light to the grap­ple line of sight and im­me­di­ate sur­round­ing area. The light also en­hances in­frared, as in­frared fo­cuses on a nar­row line of sight – by in­cor­po­rat­ing the Sky­light this al­lows wider range of view in low light.

“The feed­back we’ve had from the crews that have used the Sky­light has been fan­tas­tic – one said that it put out an as­ton­ish­ing amount of light and it was not dis­sim­i­lar to work­ing in nat­u­ral light con­di­tions,” says Frankie David­son, of DC Equip­ment.

DC Equip­ment has now es­tab­lished a de­sign de­part­ment team, staffed by 6 en­gi­neers/draughts­men, whose task is to de­velop prod­ucts from start to fin­ish, us­ing es­tab­lished de­sign pro­cesses.

“We’ve for­malised how we de­sign prod­ucts so that it fol­lows a set process that be­gins with the ques­tions ‘what is it that we are de­vel­op­ing, what is it go­ing to do and does it meet the re­quire­ments of the peo­ple we are de­sign­ing it for’ and from now, that’s how ev­ery­thing will be done,” says Frankie, who ad­mits that the pre­vi­ous method was too ad hoc.

“We con­stantly come up with ideas, how­ever the process of de­vel­op­ing them needed to be im­proved, and that’s what we’ve done, right down to mak­ing sure that even the nuts and bolts are prop­erly thought through.

“It will mean our prod­ucts are more stan­dard­ised, more re­li­able and per­form ex­actly the way they were de­signed”.

The FFE Sky­light is de­signed and built to work in the tough­est forestry en­vi­ron­ments. The shock-proof hous­ing is con­structed from high-ten­sile BIS 80 plate and the light com­po­nents are com­pletely wa­ter­proof.

In­side is a Hella LED light unit, con­sist­ing of 6 high-pow­ered bulbs. The unit comes with the same type of re-charge­able bat­tery (10.8V) that is used in the FFE Camera Sys­tem, so they are in­ter­change­able. With a full charge, it will pro­vide non-stop light­ing for up to 10 hours. A mount­ing plate is also sup­plied.

Frankie says: “This sim­ple light will help crews be­come more pro­duc­tive.

“We see them us­ing it to start work ear­lier so they can pull a full day’s ton­nage and then get their equip­ment ser­viced and main­tained in day­light hours. Dur­ing the fire sea­son, they can start even ear­lier in cooler tem­per­a­tures us­ing the Sky­light and knock off when it’s too hot and dry with­out miss­ing out on pro­duc­tion.”

The FFE Sky­light is on sale di­rectly from DC Equip­ment priced at $2950 (see www. dc­forestrye­quip­


Main: The FFE Sky­light turn night into day for grap­pling logs in the dark. In­sert: The FFE Sky­light uses a tough plate hous­ing that stands up to pu­n­ish­ment on the car­riage.

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