Tough, uncomplicated TimberPro does the job

October 27, 2011

The Preen family, who are no strangers to mechanised timber harvesting operations, have opted for a TimberPro forwarder to extract timber from in-field for a Mondi contract in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

Quinton Preen with TimberPro operator TimberPro heading for the depot
Quinton Preen with one of the TimberPro operators,
Mbuso Mnguni. Mbuso is a member of the Employee
Trust which owns 30% of the contracting business.
The TimberPro heading for the depot with a full load.
The cab of the TimberPro swivels 360 degrees TimberPro loading timber
The cab of the TimberPro swivels through 3600 so the operator is always facing the task, whether it is in front of or behind the vehicle.


SA Forestry magazine met up with Quinton Preen in a Mondi plantation just outside New Hanover, where their company, Cintasign, has a four-year contract to harvest R106 000 tonnes of timber a year. Cintasign is a new company set up by the Preens specifically for this contract. DS Preen Contractors owns 70% of Cintasign, while the balance of 30% is owned by an Employee Trust. The 12 members of the Trust have been working with the Preens for years, and they are all key members of the Cintasign contracting team. 

Felling and processing
The felling and processing of timber is handled by two 20 tonne Hitachi excavators equipped with SP 591 harvesting heads. The TimberPro forwarder, manufactured in the USA and distributed in South Africa by Zululand-based Logmech, has notched up 1 000 hours extracting the timber to a roadside depot, with an average lead distance of around 800 metres. A skidder is used just for mopping up in steep and awkward areas. Timbernology is the long-haul transport contractor.

Tough, uncomplicated and reliable
Quinton is very happy with the TimberPro’s performance so far. He says they opted for this machine ahead of other forwarders on the market because it is tough, uncomplicated and reliable, and of course the price was right. Another plus is the rotating operator cab that enables the operator to work comfortably all around the vehicle for loading and offloading.

“It was designed by timber contractors for timber contractors, so it’s the right machine for the job,” said Quinton.

The TimberPro works two 10-hour shifts a day and under normal operating conditions, easily keeps up with the two harvesters, so timber is not left lying around in-field. This system delivers around 8 500 to 9 000 tonnes of timber a month to the roadside depot. When SA Forestry magazine visited, however, there was a bit of a backlog of timber in-field as the heavy winter rains had made it impossible to do extraction work for several days.

Quinton says the TimberPro, which has just had its 1 000 hour service, is greased every shift and refuelled once a day. It is one of two TimberPro forwarders currently operating in South Africa. The other machine is working in Zululand for Iningi Harvesting Contractors, run by Tickey and Leon van Eeden.

Published in August 2011

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