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TECH UPDATE - Tracked feller bunchers
Multi-functioning, maneuverability, lift capacity and quick saw recovery are key advantages of the Caterpillar track feller buncher.
The Cat 500 series climbs steep slopes while operating the boom, stick and tool functions simultaneously, increasing productivity. Zero and full tail swing models, several with leveling systems, are available. The rugged undercarriage travels through wet lowlands or climbs steep, rocky terrain. Ground clearance is 30" to 35" depending on the model.
Improved hydraulic flow management regulates the distribution of hydraulic oil between functions to increase speed and smoothness. A new hydraulic oil level sensor makes it easy to ensure the tank contains the required amount. Another upgrade improves machine start-up when the engine is cold. The redesigned hood simplifies service access and a new cooling package improves airflow. The cab also has been updated recently to improve operator comfort and visibility.
The manufacturing of Valmet track bunchers moved to Komatsu's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility in late-2009 bringing Komatsu's world class engineering, quality control and manufacturing processes into the FX-series machines.
Ranging from 220 to 330 hp, the non-leveling 415FX, 430FX and leveling 430FXL, 445FXL and 450FXL are available in seven hydraulic configurations, two boom and three arm options to easily adapt these machines for processing, harvesting, or felling applications.
All models have Komatsu-designed undercarriages re-engineered for woods applications, Komatsu components and large Komatsu-designed final drives, heavy duty recoil springs, idlers and full length track support skis. A larger leveling system used on the 450FXL has significantly larger components for severe duty applications. All Valmet bunchers have updated boom and arm designs.
Temperature controlled auto-reversing fans improve engine and hydraulic cooling performance, reduce maintenance and improve fuel economy.
Tigercat has an extensive feller buncher offering for every conceivable Canadian bunching application.
The 845C is well suited to most high cycle boreal applications across the country with tri-track undercarriage options for extremely rocky conditions.
For tougher terrain and larger timber, the FH400-based 870C provides the extra track power, stability, boom reach and lift required to maintain the highest levels of production.
For steep slope and western coastal applications, Tigercat offers both the zero tail swing LX830C with fast, efficient closed loop track drives, and the full-size L870C. Both machines are equipped with the new and improved R7150L-2 (FH400) leveling undercarriage and are extremely stable and capable in steep slope and large timber applications.
An important advantage common and unique to Tigercat feller bunchers is ER boom technology. ER provides markedly increased production especially in high cycle applications compared with conventional boom systems.
Tigercat feller bunchers are well known for extremely long service life, high machine availability rates, thoughtful component arrangement and service access, the clear operator sightlines and high capacity variable flow cooling.
The John Deere 900 K-series tracked feller bunchers pack plenty of power: the 953K and the 959K come standard with an industry-first 330 hp engine, while the 903K and 909K have dual power options at 300 hp and 330 hp, respectively.
The 900 machines feature a larger displacement Tier III
The 900 K-series feller bunchers have noticeably superior hydraulic multi-functioning, including swing torque, boom performance and tracking, and a power management system that makes sure no power is wasted.
These machines are designed with productivity boosting features: a quick-recovery saw, best-in-class felling head accumulation that picks up more trees at once and high-tractive effort-to-weight ratio with low ground pressure for smooth operation.
The K-Series' best-in-class leveling system keeps the upper frame level, even when the tracks are climbing or tilting on tough slopes.
TimberPro is now building a D6 and D7 size, zero swing feller buncher with either leveling or non-leveling. The patented leveling system gives 28 degrees and 7 degrees of leveling to the front and back and 24 degrees to both sides. This leveling system is very unique in that it gives maximum degrees of leveling, leaves good access for maintenance, is very robust and because it is very simple and is reasonably priced, according to the company.
The standard engine is a 300 hp Cummins with gull wing access to all the major service points for both the engine and hydraulics. The standard boom reach is 23.5' from centre of rotation to end of boom with good extended lift power. The weight of a standard TL735 is less than 60,000 lbs not including attachments for a very quick and manoeuvrable machine.
Tanguay machinery, a division of Quadco Equipment Inc., manufactures three models of feller bunchers.
The 900 and 700 series are large tail swing machines designed for long boom reaches and heavy payload applications. The compact 300 series has a limited tail swing with a robust carbody, track frames and reliable and proven dual swing motor gear boxes.
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