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BTB 37: Brazil’s Expoforest 2014

Tigercat debuts a new bunching saw and exiting new options for the 1075B forwarder.

An aerial view of EXPOFOREST 2014

It may not be the biggest event in Brazil for 2014, but the second Expoforest show in Mogi Guaçu, São Paulo did attract large crowds and international attention. With the event taking place a mere month before the start of FIFA World Cup, some foreign visitors did benefit from the sparkly new terminal at Guarulhos International in São Paulo, even though the paint was still tacky, construction crews worked frantically among passengers and the roof leaked during afternoon rain showers. If Brazil as a whole did not seem to be in a complete state of readiness for the upcoming tournament, the Expoforest organizers certainly were well prepared for their event on every level.

Compared to Expoforest 2011, Tigercat upped the ante, demonstrating not only a complete full-tree system, but also a cut-to-length (CTL) system. Tigercat’s Brazil dealer, Tracbel, hosted an excellent show and the Tigercat-Tracbel booth attracted forestry professionals from throughout Brazil as well as Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico, Canada, the United States and South Africa.


The Tigercat-Tracbel stand attracted crowds from throughout South and Central America and around the world.

The Tigercat-Tracbel stand attracted crowds from throughout South and Central America and around the world.

The event was hosted by International Paper and all of the harvesting activity took place on the company’s commercial plantations. Demonstration sites were generously sized, giving the feel of a real-life operation as opposed to the constricted and contrived ‘shows’ that many of us have become accustomed to over the years. The Tigercat-Tracebel stand averaged 0,18 m3 per stem at 1,100 stems per hectare.

In late 2013 Tigercat released some exciting new options and improvements for the Tigercat 1075B. The new crane and grapple designs have been working in a grueling double shift forwarding application on the operation of Dalfey S.A. in Northern Uruguay since last November (see BTB, Hot and Heavy, March 2014). The heavy duty F195T85 crane, designed and built by Tigercat, is capable of lifting 20 to 30% heavier loads at the same reach compared with any other forwarder crane on the market. In addition, the crane has 22 to 66% more slew torque than any competing crane. It is the only crane that can handle a 0,53 m2 grapple, a great advantage in smaller diameter log applications. Since an average of 50% of the forwarder duty cycle is spent loading and unloading, increasing the number of logs per crane cycle can vastly improve overall machine productivity. The crane geometry is optimized for quick loading and unloading cycles with excellent grapple clearance above the load.

Closeup of the Tigercat F195T85 crane and the new high capacity 530 series grapple on a 1075B forwarder.

The 1075B was equipped with the new Tigercat F195T85 crane and the new high capacity 530 series grapple.

The new 430 and 530 series Tigercat grapples compliment the heavy duty crane with larger load area capacities at 0,43 m2 ( 4.6 ft2) and 0,53 m2 (5.7 ft2) respectively. The grapples are fitted with thick walled bushings for extended service life. The link has a patent pending hose routing design to better protect the hoses and the swing dampener has been designed for heavy duty applications.

The 1075B was partnered with the H845C harvester which was equipped with the SP 591 LX G2 head, purpose built for harvesting and debarking plantation eucalyptus in the range of 100 to 350 mm (4-14 in). The H845C is proving to be an excellent carrier for smaller diameter harvesting and processing applications in both hemispheres. In the demo stand, the harvester was felling, processing and debarking about 120 trees or 22 m3 (approximately 23 tn) per hour. With a 250 m (820 ft) lead distance, the 1075B achieved three loads or 66 m3 per hour. In a real operation typically two H845C harvesters would be paired with one 1075B.

The H845C with the SP591 head amongst tall thin trees as it processes at-the-stump.

The H845C with the SP591 head felled, processed and debarked at a rate of 120 trees per hour.

The Brazilian customer base — while conscious of capital costs — has high expectations in terms of the base carrier for harvesting heads. Special requirements include vacuum pumps, ground level water tanks for operators to wash their hands, fire suppression systems, automatic greasing systems, ISO certified operator cabs, window blinds, specialized seating, camera systems, telematics, HID or LED working lights and toolboxes. Typically the harvester carrier of choice is a 20tonne excavator modified to the hilt to meet just some of these expectations (ISO certified cab not included). The Tigercat H845C comes woods-ready and includes all of these features as standard or optional equipment available to any Tigercat customer in the world. Running cooler, more reliably and more efficiently than excavator conversions, the H845C delivers the lowest cost per tonne by far.

The full-tree eucalyptus system

The full-tree system was comprised of a Tigercat 860C feller buncher, 635D skidder and a T250B loader equipped with a grapple saw for slashing at roadside. The grapple saw is a combined effort built by Rotobec and Brazilian company, MSU.

Although most are now familiar with the massive productivity rates of the 635D, the 860C drew a lot of attention due it being equipped with the new 5300 bunching saw. According to attachment product manager Duane Barlow, “Demand for the 5300 came from Brazil. The customer, International Paper, asked for an extra two trees per bunch cycle. The 5600 bunching saw would have accomplished this and more but would have added too much weight to the end of the boom and we could not effectively gain the extra accumulation with the existing 5000 design.”

The ER equipped 860C with a bunch of trees gathered in the new 5300 attachment saw

The ER equipped 860C with the new 5300 saw, specially designed for optional bunching capacity in high cycle plantation applications. The buncher easily fells 800-1,000 trees per hour.

In order to combat the track wear and stability issues sure to arise as a result of the extra head weight and additional trees that can be packed into it, the 5300, along with the high torque 340 degree wrist, was mated to an 860C feller buncher with the R7-150 undercarriage. The R7-150 is more stable and robust with longer track frames and stronger FH400 components, compared to the F6-140, F6-155 (F8 sized) undercarriages normally specified for the 860C. Essentially the machine is an 870C without the extra fuel capacity. International factory sales representative, Gary Olsen, expects that the 870C will likely replace the 860C as the standard full tail-swing offering for the export market. A similar shift has already occurred in Canada, where the F8 sized undercarriage has been deemed insufficient as the capabilities and performance of these carriers have incrementally increased over the years.

A 635D with a large grapple full of eucalyptus trees, an 860C feller buncher bunches trees in the background. Tall eucalyptus trees fill the background.

A 635D and 860C feller buncher on the full-tree side.

System productivity in the 0,18m3 piece sized eucalyptus, including slashing to 6 m (20 ft) lengths (no debarking), works out to approximately 100 m3 per hour. The 860C can fell and bunch at a rate of 144 m3 per hour. However with lead distances of 200 m (660 ft), the 635D was only hauling 100 m3 per hour. To address the imbalance, typically the buncher operator will spend more time building larger skidder bunches.

The 250B equipped with a Rotobec – MSU grapple saw for roadside slashing to 6 m (19.69 ft) lengths and loading.

The 250B equipped with a Rotobec – MSU grapple saw for roadside slashing to 6 m (19.69 ft) lengths and loading.

Quick facts on the new Tigercat F195T85

The F195T85 is the only crane with standard end-of-position dampening sensors on the stick boom to prevent impact loads. The tapered roller bearing in the slew base is designed to last the life of the machine, a vast improvement over the plain bearing and spherical rollers used in other cranes. In addition, the telescopic cylinder is cushioned. It is also the only crane with swivels on the pillar hoses for extended hose life with thick walled bushings used at all pivots.

Gross lift: 195 kNm (143,825 lbf-ft)
Gross slew: 55 kNm (40,565 lbf-ft)
Maximum reach: 8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)

About the SP 591 LX G2

The SP 591 LX G2 is purpose built for harvesting and debarking plantation grown eucalyptus. It is an extremely durable harvesting head, designed according to the LX principle for maximum reliability and productivity even under the toughest conditions. The uncompromising design is to be found throughout the head, from large components like frame and knives down to pins and seals. In spite of its brute and tough appearance, the SP 591 LX G2 does not only offer strength and reliability. Smart solutions like proportional pressures, in combination with unprecedented debarking efficiency, make the SP 591 LX G2 an extremely fast, productive and fuel-efficient harvesting head.

Weight: 1 850 kg (4,080 lb)
Max cutting: 600 mm (24 in)
Feed roller opening: 630 mm (25 in)
Optimum debarking diameter: 100-350 mm (4-14 in)

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