Pon­sse’s Elephant King flexes its mus­cles in Aus­tralia

Australian Forests and Timber - - Forwarders -

Pon­sse has al­ways been renowned for build­ing tough, re­li­able forestry ma­chines. This point has been proven in Aus­tralia since the in­tro­duc­tion of the 20T Elephant King For­warder back in 2015.

Since then, a good num­ber of Aus­tralian con­trac­tors and their op­er­a­tors tes­tify that the Elephant King re­ally does pull its weight in re­gard to qual­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity, op­er­a­tor com­fort and per­for­mance.

Start­ing in­side the cabin, the lay­out is clean, quiet and er­gonomic and pro­vides the op­er­a­tor ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity all around and above through the unique sloped rear screen. It has loads of stor­age space and enough room to com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­date two ad­di­tional rid­ers be­hind the op­er­a­tor. This space be­comes par­tic­u­larly use­ful when train­ing new op­er­a­tors. Fit­ted out with au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol, hands­free tele­phone, blue­tooth ra­dio and a heated high back seat with neck and side rests, the cabin fin­ish and com­fort is likened to the qual­ity of a lux­ury car.

The crane, man­u­fac­tured by Pon­sse is strong and pow­er­ful. It is con­trolled via mini levers which are eas­ily fine-tuned to suit the op­er­a­tors needs on Pon­sse’s OPTI touch screen con­trol sys­tem. This con­trol sys­tem also helps op­er­a­tors un­der­stand all crit­i­cal on­board sys­tems while they are in con­trol of the ma­chine.

Get­ting its im­mense power to the ground starts with a Tier 3 275hp Mercedes Benz, 6 cylin­der en­gine. The use of this en­gine has helped Pon­sse’s cus­tomers in nonEuro­pean Coun­tries avoid the use of costly and trou­ble­some Ad Blu and af­ter treat­ment sys­tems not re­quired by Aus­tralian reg­u­la­tions. From there power is trans­ferred through a hy­dro­static trans­mis­sion and Ger­man built NAF axles and bo­gies.

Pon­sse pride them­selves in man­u­fac­tur­ing their own frames, cab­ins, cranes and elec­tronic sys­tems. Un­like many man­u­fac­tur­ers to­day who out­source much of their man­u­fac­tur­ing and then sim­ply as­sem­ble com­po­nents to make a ma­chine, Pon­sse, through their own man­u­fac­tur­ing of ma­jor com­po­nents and elec­tri­cal sys­tems have far greater con­trol over the qual­ity of their fin­ished ma­chine, and it shows!

Ran­dalls Equip­ment Com­pany, the Aus­tralian dis­trib­u­tor for Pon­sse are see­ing grow­ing in­ter­est in the Elephant King and the range of Pon­sse ma­chines in gen­eral.

“Not sur­pris­ingly, when a new brand such as Pon­sse is in­tro­duced to the Aus­tralian mar­ket, some con­trac­tors like to stand back and see how both the ma­chines and the dealer per­form over the first cou­ple of years in the Aus­tralian bush. With more than 20 ma­chines now in Aus­tralia, I en­cour­age con­trac­tors to seek tes­ti­mony on the per­for­mance of PON­SSE ma­chines and in par­tic­u­lar, the per­for­mance of Ran­dalls in re­la­tion to our com­mit­ment to af­ter sales cus­tomer sup­port,” said Davin Frankel of Ran­dalls Equip­ment Com­pany.

“The Elephant King is a se­ri­ous For­warder that has all the com­fort fea­tures that to­day’s pro­fes­sional op­er­a­tors want. At­tract­ing and keep­ing op­er­a­tors is hard, so while keep­ing a lid on the price, we have put to­gether a pack­age that is very at­trac­tive to op­er­a­tors,” he said.

Based in Fin­land, Pon­sse is the largest man­u­fac­turer of For­warders and Wheel Har­vesters in the world, with more than 70% of their ma­chines ex­ported out­side Fin­land to coun­tries such as USA, Rus­sia, Brazil and China.

PON­SSE 20T Elephant King stan­dard in­clu­sions for 2018

• Au­to­matic fire sup­pres­sion sys­tem

• Auto greas­ing sys­tem

• Elec­tric hy­draulic oil fill

• Elec­tric tilt­ing cabin and en­gine bon­net

• En­gine side front guard

• LED high per­for­mance light­ing

• Hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal hy­draulic load gate

• 700mm bunk ex­ten­ders

• Hands­free blue­tooth tele­phone

• Heated com­fort seat with air brake

• Food heater and drinks fridge

• Full tool kit

• Com­pres­sor and air hose

Ricky Lee­son (Leesons Log­ging) has given the thumbs up for his new Elephant King.

“We bought it be­cause they had one avail­able and we needed one, plus we had also been look­ing at the Pon­sse equip­ment for some time and had dealt with Peter (Ran­dalls) in the past and have al­ways had a good re­la­tion­ship with him.

“Pon­sse also has a good rep­u­ta­tion in the in­dus­try,” he said.

“We bought it to work in pine thin­nings but have since moved it to the pine clear­fall. The ben­e­fit has been it’s nar­row enough for thin­nings but you can ex­pand the bol­sters and it’s more than ca­pa­ble in clear­fall op­er­a­tions.

“It’s brought a dif­fer­ent sup­plier into our or­gain­i­sa­tion which has given us a chance to see what the sup­port has been like and I must say I am very pleased. When we have needed parts or peo­ple Ran­dalls have been great. Their main work­shop is only 3.5 hours from us so it works well,” Ricky said.

He said the Elephant King had per­formed well in the bush do­ing the job ex­pected.

“The op­er­a­tor thinks the vi­sion and light­ing set-up is bet­ter than any­thing he has driven be­fore, along with the slid­ing head­board which is great for short wood. The cabin size is huge with him be­ing able to stand up­right at 6 feet tall.

“Ac­cess to ev­ery­thing is easy and ma­jor­ity of it’s from the ground which lim­its the amount you have to climb around the ma­chines. It also has a lot of stor­age room for tools and spare hoses which some­time is dif­fi­cult in other ma­chines.

“Over­all, we’re very happy with the ma­chine and would def­i­nitely con­sider another Pon­sse ma­chine go­ing for­ward,” Ricky said.

■ Pon­sse Elephant King works well in the bush.

■ The Pon­sse Elephant King's vi­sion is first class.

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