Log Max E6 shows versatility in eucs and wattle
There has been a lot of interest in the new Log Max E6 harvesting head, which has already been put through its paces in South Africa in both eucalyptus and wattle, and has come out with flying colours.
The Log Max E6, mounted on a 20 ton excavator, processing wattle in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
The head design is based largely on work done in Brazil, where conditions are very similar to South Africa. It was designed primarily for eucalyptus harvesting, but has proved to be equally well adapted to harvesting wattle.
The head, distributed and backed up in South Africa by AfrEquip, is being used by PG Bison in Ugie to harvest eucalyptus, mounted on a Tigercat LH 830 tracked carrier. The E6's track record in eucalyptus is proven, but the real surprise has been its effectiveness in wattle. This makes it a versatile tool for any harvesting contractor.
The head was recently demo'd in wattle by Anthony Crookes of AC Logging, who has a harvesting contract with Sappi in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands near Greytown. Wattle is not the easiest timber to process as the branches are tough and the stems are not always straight, but the Log Max E6, mounted on a 20-ton Hitachi excavator, appeared to be more than equal to the task at hand.
The stems were run through the head just once to de-limb and loosen the bark, before being cross-cut and dropped in neat stacks. A follow-up de-barking team was able to complete the de-barking by hand with relative ease as the bark had been loosened on the stems, with little visible damage. The bark is bundled and sold to the NTE bark factory in Dalton, while the timber is sent to the Sappi Saiccor mill.
The E6 is built on the same principle as all Log Max heads, and is designed to operate in the toughest conditions and features both a cast felling link and upper knife.
According to the manufacturers, the structural design and build of the frame minimises stress concentration and weight for increased durability, thanks to modern welding techniques and high quality steel. The frame also features two wear plates that can easily be replaced to maximise the lifetime of the head.
Equipped with angled wheel arms and five custom built delimbing knives, this head delivers fast debarking for increased production. The patented knife control system increases productivity by minimising feed friction, while the compound curve debarking knife profile provides maximum stem coverage and increased log quality.
The hydraulically driven saw motor is positioned to minimise the risk of splitting the log when cutting.
The head is at its most productive in stems ranging from 4 cm to 30 cm.
Published in April 2012