SP heads gaining ground in SA and Brazil

September 13, 2013

SP has signed its largest single order ever – for 30 units of the SP 591 LX G2 harvester heads. These heads are specially designed and developed for harvesting and debarking plantation- grown eucalyptus. The heads were extensively field tested in South African conditions, with local distributors Logmech providing key inputs during the research and development phase.

Leon van Eeden of Logmech with the trusty SP 591 LX.

The SP 591 LX G2 is a further development of its predecessor, the SP 591 LX, and offers a variety of important improvements affecting the debarking efficiency and productivity, as well as its reliability and running costs.

SP received the order via its Brazilian dealer Tracbel, who is one of the largest and most successful heavy equipment dealers in Brazil. Besides SP, Tracbel also represents renowned brands such as Volvo CE and Tigercat. The company purchasing the SP 591 LX G2 harvester heads is Suzano Papel e Celulose, one of the largest producers of eucalyptus pulp in the world.

The SP 591 LX G2 harvester heads will be installed on Tigercat H845C base machines. The harvesting units will be used to supply the raw material for a completely new pulp mill currently being built by Suzano, located in the northern state of Maranhão in Brazil. The mill will need a monthly supply of 300 000m3 of raw material during the first phase in 2013. In 2014, the monthly need will increase to 500 000 m3. At present, around 10 000 workers are busy completing the pulp mill, which is expected to be started up at the end of 2013. The mill will have an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tons of eucalyptus pulp.

"For SP, the order is strategically very important as it is a great opportunity to establish our brand as well as to reach substantial future sales in the large and very important Brazilian market," said Anders Gannerud, Export Manager for SP Maskiner.

The success of the SP 591 heads in Brazil is a feather in the cap of South African distributors Logmech, which was responsible for introducing the SP 591 heads into South Africa several years ago.

According to Leon van Eeden, the original SP heads were designed in Sweden for local Swedish conditions. However, the SP 591 series was SP Maskiner's first purpose-built eucalyptus harvesting head and was extensively tested by the Van Eeden's contracting business, Iningi, in the tough South African conditions, which are quite similar to conditions in Brazil.

"We played a big role in the research and development phase, using it on 20-ton excavators operating in Zululand," said Leon. "It is a much more energy efficient machine, and perfectly suited to the 20-ton excavator."

"It was designed with typical Swedish finesse. They responded to our feedback and suggestions to boost the head's strength and reliability, and pay incredible attention to detail," continued Leon.

He said the head is based on a modular design which allows for greater flexibility and reduces stress, which makes it simple to maintain. "We needed to get reliability into it, increasing the structural strength so it doesn't crack. Plus we increased all the pin sizes, with much wider 80ml bushes, also standardising the hydraulic cylinders for ease of maintenance."

The 591 is Logmech's biggest seller, with 45 units currently in use in South Africa.

The head weighs two tons – which is big for the typically small diameter trees in South African pulp plantations – but Leon says it works well because it is robust enough to cope with high productivity levels, which is a key factor in its effectiveness.

Leon says the SP 591 works well in gum and wattle, and with small modifications to the rollers it harvests pine as well. The bigger SP 861 is also being used as a dedicated pine head in the Piet Retief area.

He said Logmech has had excellent support from the SP Maskiner technical team in Sweden, with technicians visiting South Africa three or four times a year. This enables the Logmech team to provide a reliable support service to their South African clients.

The Logmech team, which also distributes TimberPro purpose-built forestry machines in South Africa, has recently delivered a TimberPro TF840B wheeled harvester to a contractor harvesting pine sawlogs in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

One of the key advantages of the TimberPro forestry machines is that they are dual purpose and can be used as harvesters and/or forwarders. However, this machine will be used exclusively for high productivity harvesting, and has undergone some modifications to optimise its performance.

The number of TimberPros running in South Africa is increasing. KLF recently acquired one which they are using as a forwarder in Mpumalanga, specifically to handle large size timber. It is paired with Tigercat harvesters equipped with Log Max heads.

There are another six TimberPros at work in KZN, three of them operated by Iningi Contractors.

Leon describes the TimberPros as 'simple, no-nonsense machines' which are renowned for their reliability. They have plenty of power, can load timber from all around the cab, uphill or downhill, and are 'proper 20-ton forwarders'.

TimberPro machines, designed and built in the US, are also used extensively around the world in the mining industry, as well as civil construction applications such as laying pipelines.

Contact details
For more info please contact Leon van Eeden: cell 082 455 9207; email leon@logmech.co.za

timber pro
The versatile TimberPro forwarder working in a KLF plantation, Mpumalanga.

Published in June 2013

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