Tigercat Develops ER Boom System
Published on: Friday 4th January 2002
PARIS, ON, January 4, 2002 – Tigercat has developed a new boom system called ER that promises to bring revolutionary improvements to tree harvesting not seen since the invention of the high-speed disc saw 20 years ago.
Important advantages of the ER boom system include improved fuel efficiency, increased production and reduced operator fatigue. Also, training for new operators is a far less daunting task.
Conventional boom systems are fundamentally inefficient at felling because they must mix two arcing motion functions to get the desired reaching motion.
Conversely, the patent pending ER boom system allows the machine operator to extend and retract the boom on a horizontal plane smoothly and quickly using a single joystick. The stick boom or “reach” joystick controls both the main and stick booms simultaneously, resulting in the attachment moving either away from or toward the operator. The main boom and tilt functions operate in the traditional manner to adjust the height and angle of the attachment.
“The operator no longer has the mentally tiring job of simultaneously working the boom and stick controls to manipulate the attachment in and out in a smooth manner, ” comments Grant Somerville, head of Tigercat’s track carrier engineering group. “We have been testing the ER boom for over a year now and find the operators adapt almost immediately to the ER, even in cases where we hadn’t explained to them that the boom operates differently.”
Key to this technology is reduced energy consumption. The ER system transfers energy back and forth between the main and the stick boom functions, reducing the total energy needed to move the boom system. This translates to reduced demands for power, pump flow and system cooling.
Operators who have spent time on ER machines comment on the speed, ease of operation and smoothness of the boom as well as the extra horsepower available for other functions and faster saw recovery.
“Give someone five minutes on an ER felling machine and he will never again choose a conventional one,” says John Kurelek, veteran forestry equipment designer. “We old time logging machine designers now have to apologize to loggers. For lack of this innovation, we have kept them using energy wasteful and difficult to run booms.”
The ER boom will soon be standard equipment on all Tigercat track feller bunchers and harvesters.
Tigercat Industries designs and manufactures premium quality forestry and off-road equipment with manufacturing facilities in Canada and Sweden. The diverse forestry line includes complete full-tree and cut-to-length harvesting systems.