Log Max E6 proves its mettle in KZN

April 30, 2013

The Log Max E6 harvesting head is proving to be a rugged and reliable piece of equipment that is more than equal to the task of harvesting hardwoods in tough South African conditions.

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Operator Michael Gumede changing the saw chain on the E6 after his shift.

The SA Forestry magazine team visited a contractor harvesting eucalyptus for the pulp market in Seven Oaks in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands who has recently purchased a Log Max E6, and he was very please with the performance of the head which has met all his expectations.

"I'm very happy with the productivity of the E6, and the support I've had from AfrEquip has been excellent," commented Justin Lourens. He said that the E6 is tough and reliable with an uptime of 95%, and he assured me that he was hitting his targets comfortably.

He's had the head since November last year, and is most impressed with the service he's had from AfrEquip, who even came out in the middle of the night on one occasion to deliver a spare part that needed replacing.

The E6 is mounted on a Hitachi excavator, and when SA Forestry magazine team visited was working in a sloping compartment with decent size trees. Underfoot conditions were extremely wet and muddy due to excellent rainfall throughout the summer. Head and carrier appeared to be working in harmony, felling, de-barking and cross-cutting the timber with ease.

Operator Michael Gumede was impressed with the head's efficiency and was happy to be meeting his daily targets. The machine was parked off on the edge of the compartment for its daily grease, checkup and re-fuelling before the second shift took over.

Justin said his fuel consumption on the Hitachi is around 14 litres/hour which has resulted in good savings on diesel costs.

One of the safety features is that the saw cuts away from the operator, yet visibility is still good.

The SA Forestry magazine team has also seen this head working at NECF in Ugie, mounted on a purpose-built Tigercat harvester, and in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands harvesting wattle. It appears to be very versatile and copes well in varying conditions.

The head was designed primarily for eucalyptus harvesting and was extensively tested in Brazil, which has similar conditions to those in South Africa.

According to the manufacturers the structural design and build of the frame minimizes stress concentration and weight for increased durability, thanks to modern welding techniques and high quality steel. It is equipped with angled wheel arms and five custom built delimbing knives which maximise productivity and durability.

The head is at its most productive in stems ranging from 4cm to 30cm.

The Log Max heads are distributed in South Africa by AfrEquip, with branches in Pietermaritzburg and Nelspruit.

AfrEquip's national sales manager, Flip Breytenbach said that after-sales service is a critical factor in ensuring maximum mechanical availability and prolonging the life of the head. He said the AfrEquip team has trained technicians who are able to optimise the productivity of the head, and will transfer technical know-how to the client to ensure that he 'can be in control of his own destiny'.

In terms of part availability, Flip said the spare part hit rate is above 95% as most parts are inter-changeable between the various Log Max models.

"We understand the unique pressure that contractors are working under and so our team is on 24-hour standby whether the client needs parts or technical assistance," concluded Flip.

For more info contact Flip Breytenbach at tel
033 386 5034; email flip@afrequip.co.za.

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The E6 working in wattle in the KZN midlands last year. Above and below: The Hitachi with LogMax E6 head harvesting timber in Seven Oaks.
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Published in Feb 2013

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