Quick Cou­pler ready for the for­est

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Growers Research -

THE LAT­EST IN­NO­VA­TION FROM THE Steep­land Har­vest­ing re­search pro­gramme is al­most ready to hit the for­est.

Keith Ray­mond, who has led the For­est Grow­ers Re­search Steep­land Har­vest­ing project for the past five years, says work on the Quick Cou­pler be­ing de­vel­oped by Do­herty En­gi­neered At­tach­ments in the Bay of Plenty is com­plete.

With fund­ing made avail­able through the govern­ment’s Pri­mary Growth Part­ner­ship pro­gramme, the Quick Cou­pler is a de­vice that fits onto a boom that en­ables switch­ing be­tween a grap­ple pro­cess­ing head and a log load­ing grap­ple in around ten sec­onds, without the op­er­a­tor need­ing to leave the cab.

Mr Ray­mond says this will save con­trac­tors re­quir­ing two ma­chines, as one tracked base can do both tasks. It will also save time when switch­ing be­tween roles.

Sim­i­lar sys­tems have been de­vel­oped over­seas, but these are not suit­able for the equip­ment used in New Zealand, lead­ing to the lo­cal project. The first unit has al­ready been com­pleted and is await­ing com­mis­sion­ing with a FOMS crews in Wan­ganui in the New Year.

Mr Ray­mond says the Quick Cou­pler is ideal for crews pro­duc­ing up to 220 tonnes per day and he ex­pects sav­ings of around $2.86 per cu­bic me­tre, with a pos­si­ble pay­back on in­vest­ment in just four months.

Col­lec­tively, the in­no­va­tions over­seen by the FGR Steep­land Har­vest­ing pro­gramme have added up to more than $151 mil­lion for the forestry in­dus­try, with op­er­a­tional sav­ings of $71 mil­lion and sales of new equip­ment cre­at­ing in ex­cess of $80 mil­lion of busi­ness, mostly in over­seas ex­ports of winch-as­sist sys­tems.


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