Subscribe Archives Calendar ContactTimberWestMadison's Lumber DirectoryAdvertiseMedia Kit LSJ Home Forestnet

 
Untitled Document

Logging and Sawmilling Journal March/April 2014

MaY 2014

On the Cover:
Millyards are busier than they’ve been in quite a while with the recovery in the forest industry now having a firm hold, with mills ramping up and starting up. You can read all about the start-up of the Carrier Group’s sawmill in Big River, Saskatchewan (Photo of Liebherr 934 sorting logs at a Tolko operation in the B.C. Interior by
Paul MacDonald).

Missed opportunity?
There’s an opportunity to deal with the growing volumes of greenhouse gas emissions in B.C.—with increased tree planting and restoration of the province’s forests—but it may be a missed opportunity, going by forecasted tree planting in B.C. and a provincial government focused on fossil fuel development.

Big sawmill news in Big River
The start-up of the sawmill in Big River, Saskatchewan—with its annual production target of 250 million board feet of lumber—is big news for the Carrier Group of Companies, and the community.

Diversifying after the downturn
Veteran Alberta logging contractor Herman Derksen—having survived the downturn and made some investments in new logging equipment—is thinking diversification is part of the path to maintaining a sustainable business.

Casting the line further with new tong thrower
A new tong thrower developed by young logger Eric Krume is proving to be productive and portable—it is self-contained and can easily be moved from machine to machine.

Ponsse batting 9,000
Logging equipment manufacturer Ponsse recently marked an impressive milestone, producing its 9,000th production machine, and the company continues to be known for its innovation. Just ask Quebec logging contractor Rejean Girard, who bought #9,000, an ElephantKing forwarder.

The Edge
Included in The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions, FPInnovations and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures.

Back in the bush
Mike and Lana Daniels, having exited from the forest industry a few years’ back, are now back, but this time around they are applying M and M Logging’s skills to “make things happen” in the fast-paced oil and gas industry in Alberta.

Innovator and ideas man
Nova Scotia’s Walter Rodler is a true wood products innovator, and his work has resulted in improvements in production and safety for equipment from chainsaw mills through to wood splitters— and he’s still working away on new innovations.

The Last Word
If the regulators can figure things out, loggers could be laying out cutblocks with the assistance of drones in the not-too-distant future, says Jim Stirling.

DEPARTMENTS

Tech Update: Mulchers and Vegetation Control Equipment

Suppliernewsline

 

 

 CLICK to download a pdf of this article

Casting the line further with new tong throwerCasting the line further with new tong thrower

A new tong thrower developed by young logger Eric Krume is proving to be productive and portable—it is self-contained and can easily be moved from machine to machine. The distance from the drum to the slack kicker is also much shorter, which means that the kicker doesn’t have to work as hard and can throw the line farther.

By Bob Bruce

Apparently there’s no such thing as retiring from the logging industry. At least that’s the way Bruce Skurdahl of Summit Machinery in Sherwood, Oregon, tells it.

“I’ve been in the winch business since about 1981,” he says. “I helped start Allied Power Products in Beaverton, Oregon, and was there for most of 15 years. Then I left and went to work at Jewell Attachments in Portland where I was sales manager for close to 10 years.”

The thing is he also owns a farm in Sherwood, Oregon, that has been in the family for nearly 100 years. They raise hazelnuts and cider apples, and Skurdahl has always spent part of his time running the farm—along with everything else.

When he decided to work the family farm full time, he soon discovered that 20 years of work in the timber industry wasn’t going to let go of him that easily.“People kept calling me up and saying ‘Help me with my winches.’”

One of those people was Eric Krume, owner of Krume Logging & Excavation out of Castle Rock, Washington. Krume called Skurdahl, asking him to help design a different kind of tong thrower. Actually, it wasn’t the first time Krume had made such a request.

Standing on the left side of the TH300 is Eric Krume, owner of Krume Logging & Excavation, and on the right is Bruce Skurdahl of Summit Machinery.Standing on the left side of the TH300 is Eric Krume, owner of Krume Logging & Excavation, and on the right is Bruce Skurdahl of Summit Machinery.

“When I was at Jewell, Eric had approached us to build a new kind of tong thrower, but the ones we were doing worked just fine so we figured why mess with success?”

The “traditional” type tong thrower that Jewell had come up with back in the day was developed primarily for loggers in Idaho, according to Skurdahl.

“They called them jammers back then,” he says. “They had the winch mounted on the boom, and the cable kind of fair-leaded over the back of the main and the stick.”

All in all it was a good design, but Krume’s idea looked like it might work even better. Instead of the winch being an integral part of the machine, it is now a pin-on attachment, which means it is portable from one machine to the next.

Also, the distance from the drum to the slack kicker is much shorter, which according to Skurdahl, means that the kicker doesn’t have to work as hard and can throw the line farther. “If a guy is a pretty decent machine operator, he can pick up throwing tongs in one or two hours and be pretty darn proficient within a week,” says Skurdahl. “The control scheme is very simple, and it’s very responsive and easy to operate.

“The big disadvantage to the older jammers based on line machines is that they are limited to sitting on the road,” he added. “They are flat track, chain drive cranes, and they can’t get off the road and go boonie bashing. But with an excavator-based tong thrower, you can go anywhere you want to go.”

Skurdahl is also a strong believer in the efficiency of a tong thrower for close-in situations. “Over in Idaho around the Boise basin, tong throwers are often the preferred way to log,” he says. “They use them mostly in designated skid trail bunching situations as grapple skidders. Over here in western Washington, Oregon, and California, you see them working around landings, in the corners, and the draws where the wood isn’t worth setting up the big tower or even bringing in a two-drum yarder.

“Where these machines do best is in the zero-to-300-foot range roadside gullies,” he says, “the deep stuff where you would work your shovel logger too hard and tear the ground up.

“With a tong thrower, it’s very common to skid a log a minute,” he continues.“When used efficiently, there is nothing that’s going to get logs faster—they’re the cheapest logs you’ll get as opposed to doing it with a typical yarding system. I know a lot of guys on the landing don’t want to hear that, but the other way is you’ve got this big machine and six or eight guys standing around not doing anything.

Bruce SkurdahlBruce Skurdahl says of the attachment, “If you have a conventional tong thrower on your machine and you want to sell the machine and move the thrower from your old machine to a new one, it will cost you. With our design, you can take the heel rack assembly off Machine A and put it on Machine B in just a day or two.”

“With one guy in the machine and a hooker on the ground, you can skid those logs in just as fast or faster. That’s especially the case in thinning or selective logging where you’ve got a lot more rig-up time because you’ve got corridors you’re dealing with and you’ve got to go sideways and things.

“With a tong thrower you do that first couple hundred feet, and before you know it, you’ve got it all skidded out, and then when you start your corridor work you’ve got wide open country to deal with.”

If there is one thing that really sets Krume’s design apart from others that Skurdahl has engineered and brought to market, it is the fact that it is essentially self-contained and can easily be moved from machine to machine, rather than turning the machine into a purpose-built device good only for tong throwing.

“If you have a conventional tong thrower on your machine,” says Skurdahl, “and you want to sell the machine and move the thrower from your old machine to a new one, it will cost you a good solid $30,000 to pull off the equipment and transfer it. With our design, you can take the heel rack assembly off Machine A and put it on Machine B in just a day or two.”

It also makes sense for the occasional job, Skurdahl says. “Let’s say you’ve just got two or three days of tong throwing on a particular job. If you have to move an entire machine in and out for just three day’s work, who makes money on it? The lowboy guy, that’s who. With this you can haul it out on a car trailer or the back of a log truck, set it on the ground, swap it over, use it, and then bring it back and put it in the barn.”

He continues, “You might not use it for another three weeks or three months, but meanwhile the heel rack just sits there ready to go, and your shovel goes back to being a shovel.”

The Summit Attachment and Machinery tong thrower are ideal for a 22-ton carrier like a 324 type or 260 class machine. “Hydraulic winches like horsepower,” he says, “and more horsepower is more performance and more speed.”

 

 

 

Untitled Document