25th November 2019
Tigercat representatives along with an Australian customer group made the trek to Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan in August to have a look at the prototype 568 harvesting head purchased and currently being tested by Brander Enterprises.
Tigercat representatives along with an Australian customer group made the trek to Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan in August to have a look at the prototype 568 harvesting head purchased and currently being tested by Brander Enterprises. Allan Brander and sons Kris and Jamie have been trialing the machine throughout the summer in close collaboration with Tigercat and Tigercat dealer Redhead Equipment.
The head is operating primarily in aspen and heavily limbed spruce, providing a good arena for testing the head’s delimbing effectiveness, measuring quality and hardwood multi-stemming abilities. The Tigercat 568 is designed to be a robust, high-performance harvesting head for tracked carriers. It is ideally suited to roadside processing applications, particularly in tall, straight softwood or hardwood with few limbs. Timed knife arms and triangulated wheel arms allow the operator to pick quickly from the pile and to maintain positive tree contact when feeding. The floating front knife and fixed back knife ensure good quality delimbing. Single or dual-track measuring wheels with a horizontally pivoting trailing-arm design, along with priority-flow length measuring, provide for superior length accuracy.
The Brander family was an ideal candidate for the trial, based not only on the varied and difficult processing applications that they face on a daily basis, but also in their willingness to work with Tigercat engineering and product support staff and to provide invaluable feedback.
Brander’s harvesting system is typical in Saskatchewan. The felling stage is performed with a track feller buncher. Full stems are skidded to the roadside where processing takes place using single grip harvesters. Due to the difficult stem form and mix of hardwood and softwood, Tigercat 575 harvesting heads have excelled in the application for many years and the Branders operate several units equipped on 855 series carriers.
The Australian visitors included Ricky Leeson (managing director) and Dean Gardiner (harvesting manager), Leesons Logging & Cartage; Matthew Thomson (infield supervisor) and Peter van den Hoogen (training officer), LV Dohnt & Co; and Hendrik Visser, Onetrak regional manager in Western Australia. Everyone involved including the Tigercat representatives and Chuck Miles, forestry sales specialist for Redhead Equipment in Saskatchewan, appreciated the exchange of information and ideas that took place over the two-day Saskatchewan trip.
As a highly innovative harvesting contractor, Brander Enterprises does not shy away from new ideas. One of the highlights of the field visit day for Peter van den Hoogen was the opportunity to cut the first trees with Redhead Equipment’s new 855E demo feller buncher equipped with a 5300 dual post bunching saw. Brander currently owns an 845D feller buncher equipped with the 5300 head – the first to have been sold in the country. With a large amount of small-diameter timber present in Saskatchewan’s mixed stands, the extra accumulating ability has boosted production over Brander’s 5702 (single post saw) equipped 870 series bunchers.
Interestingly, we learned that Peter ran a Koehring 620 feller buncher, likely the first in Australia, back in the 1980s. The 620 was built in Brantford, Ontario and Tigercat president, Grant Somerville led the original design team. As the first purpose-built track feller buncher, this was a game-changer for the industry and precursor of great things to come.