A leading harvesting contractor operating in the Weza area has purchased the first Tigercat LH822D harvester in South Africa. The latest model leveling harvester to roll off the Canadian manufacturer’s factory floor is a powerful, zero tail-swing machine well suited to working in steep terrain.
SA Forestry accompanied the AfrEquip team to the handover and watched TimberTech’s experienced operations manager, Eugene Schoeman, put the LH822D through its paces.
The AfrEquip Service team, led by technical manager John Barbour worked closely with Eugene to familiarize him with the operation of the harvester and the Log Max head in a stand of mature pine.
Eugene has loads of experience operating logging machines around the world, and it was soon obvious that he was comfortable at the controls of the LH822D as it effortlessly felled and cross-cut some big pine sawlogs in a small but tricky sloped compartment.
The LH822D is a compact, powerful and stable leveling harvester, designed and built for high performance in plantation thinning and clear felling applications.
The LH822D takes the well known Tigercat durability and reliability to the next level, starting with the heavy duty undercarriage and large diameter swing bearing. The upper assembly is built on a thick, one-piece turntable. All weld mounts are fabricated from high quality steel to resist impact.
The leveling undercarriage has long track frames, a wide stance car body and super duty leveling components, resulting in rock-solid stability and operator comfort on steep slopes.
Α combination of high horsepower, and an efficient harvester head with optimized hydraulics provide the operator with responsive control, quick feed speed and powerful de-limbing capability for high performance productivity.
The machine delivered to TimberTech is equipped with a Log Max 7000 XT head designed for bigger timber. Both the Log Max and Tigercat are supplied in South Africa by AfrEquip, which ensures that dealership backup of the whole package comes from under one roof.
The debate that is ongoing in forestry circles is the one that pits purpose built harvesting equipment vs modified excavator based systems. Different contractors have different opinions, but when it comes to reliability and longevity, the purpose built machines undoubtedly have the edge.
The Tigercats in operation in South Africa have proved this again and again.
Tigercat units in SA
Tigercat’s International Sales Manager Gary Olsen reports that the first Tigercats shipped to AfrEquip in South Africa were a 720D wheeled feller-buncher and 630C grapple skidder. That was back in 2005.
Over the next two years the Tigercat population in South African forestry exploded to over 50 units.
Considering the initial cost of these machines – coupled with the unpredictable fluctuations of the Rand/Dollar exchange rate – it was and always will be imperative that these machines provide reliable service over many years.
And so it turned out to be. Gary says a 20 000 hour forwarder is a relative ‘baby’ in South Africa. Many of the Tigercats in operation in SA are approaching 40 000 hours. These are not standby machines – they are integral to their operations, and need to maintain 90%+ machine availability.
So longevity and reliability are everything when it comes to premium logging equipment. The LH822D is no exception to the rule.
Most harvesting contractors around the world will tell you that it is essential to have well-trained, skilled and responsible operators, as well as a good in-house mechanical team to do routine maintenance and day to day repairs. Plus, you need exceptional dealer back-up in terms of spare part availability, technical expertise and the ability to do major mechanical work when necessary.
In the case of Tigercat and Log Max, this comprehensive backup is provided by AfrEquip, a local company that has grown alongside the success of the equipment that they supply. AfrEquip now has five branches in South Africa, in Pietermaritzburg, Nelspruit, Piet Retief, Richards Bay and Ugie. These branches are on hand to make sure the Tigercat units – as well as the other leading brands they supply – are well supported throughout the country.
Brands distributed in Southern Africa by AfrEquip include Tigercat, Log Max, Morbark, Gierkink, Iggesund Forest and Nokian, covering a wide range of forestry and bio-energy equipment.
Key benefits of the LH822D:
• Tigercat FPT N67 engine with Tier 2 emissions compliance – clean, powerful, efficient and fully supported by Tigercat
• ER boom technology® improves fuel efficiency, reduces operator fatigue and increases productivity
• Super-duty Tigercat-built FH400 forestry undercarriage
• Extreme duty leveling system – massive pins and cylinders and thick steel plate throughout
• High capacity cooling system – automatic variable speed for improved fuel efficiency; automatic reversing cycle to purge dust and debris
• Large front-entry cab – floor to ceiling front windshield with side door access to expansive area behind the seat
• Excellent access to major components
Log Max 7000XT head
The Log Max 7000XT Top Saw head with its large, high-torque feed motors, provides up to 45kN / 5261 KG of feed force and delimbing power. High-flow hydraulics provide increased performance in any application and the toughest conditions.
The XT series has been developed to provide the logging industry with a productive and durable head for the most extreme applications and to produce timber at the lowest cost per tonne solution.
The Top Saw function allows for maximum utilization of harvested timber, giving you that little bit extra production off every log it processes.
The Log Max 7000XT’s most productive range is 16 to 50 cm. Maximum cutting diameter is 80 cm.
Brendan Moore, AfrEquip Business Development Manager. Tel: 033 386 5034; 072 708 9091
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.afrequip.co.za
*First published in SA Forestry magazine, March 2018