New Zealand Logger
Quick way to lag yarder drums
OWNERS OF OLDER YARDERS WITH UNLAGGED DRUMS CAN NOW get them easily grooved so the wire rope spools better onto the drum.
And the retro-fitting service doesn’t involve splashing out on brand new drums.
Rotorua-based 3D Industrial Engineering has devised a method to create sleeves that fit around existing drums and the installation takes less than a day, thus reducing machine downtime.
Since the system, known as SpoolPro, was introduced a year ago more than 20 yarders have been converted and contractors say it has made a world of difference to their yarding operations.
The first contractor to put the SpoolPro to test on his yarder was Ian Harvey, who runs a Thunderbird 6355 and says he had been looking for some time to cure line wrap and fleeting issues.
“It’s a huge problem with older yarders, but you don’t want to go through the hassle and expense of changing your drums,” says Ian.
“PF Olsen told me about this and my ears pricked up when I realised it was just a case of fitting two halves of metal and welding them on. We’ve done the tail hold and rear main. The difference, well, you can’t compare. The rope wear is next to nothing and we’ve had them for over a year now.”
The SpoolPro business grew out of the development of winchassist harvesting equipment in New Zealand, says 3D Industrial Engineering Director Matt Field.
“We were doing the machining for winch-assist equipment and when the drums were being made we suggested they could be lagged,” says Matt.
“We did some trials with equipment that I put together and it worked really well, so I went out and invested in much bigger equipment and all the brand new drums we build for these winchassist machines and harvestlines are now produced with grooving from the start.
“Then we started to think about all the yarders out there in the forest that may not have lagged drums and we designed a grooved split sleeve and showed the idea to forest managers and contractors and they really liked it.”
SpoolPro’s unique groove pattern allows wire rope to wind straight onto the drum, parallel to flanges, making it safer for contractors as it eliminates tangles that can be difficult to unravel. Wire rope is spooled onto winch drums much faster and also reduces wear on rope, so they don’t require changing as often.
SpoolPro sleeves are custom-designed and built to fit to main, haulback and skyline drums. To date they have been fitted to a range of yarders, including Madill 122, 123 and 124 models, Thunderbird TSY 6355 and TTY 6170, and Pacific SY118.
Forest manager, PF Olsen, was impressed enough to enter SpoolPro into the SAFEGUARD Awards in the Collaboration category after pairing the product with one of their harvesting contractors and seeing the safety benefits and cost savings.
While safety is a key reason contractors are excited about the product, Matt Field says that extending the life of the rope has been a great bonus, adding that the drum itself should also last longer as it is better protected.
Contractors who have the sleeves fitted to their yarders say that the depth of the SpoolPro grooving means their machines can wind on wire rope at speed and that even at the 17th layer the wire rope is still winding on parallel with no rope tension.
Most modern yarders now come with lagged drums already fitted, but Matt explains that not all lagging is the same. He says the performance of SpoolPro’s unique groove pattern may prompt contractors to specify it in their order for new machines or swap out the default drum on imported machines before they are commissioned.
While the CNC lathe used to make SpoolPro Grooved Drums and Sleeves is the latest, state-of-the-art equipment, 3D Industrial Engineering staff still pay considerable attention to every detail of the machining to ensure a 100% result.
More information, including videos, can be seen on the www. spoolpro.nz website.