New grapple saw with Total Tree Control

September 21, 2020

GMT Equipment, which is distributed and supported in South Africa by AfrEquip, has introduced a new, versatile grapple saw with more control.

Dutch manufacturer GMT Equipment is introducing a new product, the GMT TTC grapple saw, which gives the operator more control during the tree felling or dismantling process.

TTC stands for Total Tree Control. With the existing generation of GMT grapple saws (GMT035 and GMT050), the branch will always tilt down in a controlled manner after sawing. TTC gives the operator the ability to hold the tree section in position after sawing, so that it can be removed safely with total control. This unique ‘tilt-blocking’ method has been patented.

The new equipment will enter the market as GMT035 TTC and GMT050 TTC.

Working safer
The mechanical felling of trees with a felling grapple is gaining in popularity. The biggest advantage is that the system is safer and more efficient than traditional manual felling techniques. The new models of GMT Equipment's grapple saws have been specially developed to make it possible to hold tree parts after the moment of sawing. Not only is the tilt cylinder of the grapple blocked, but so is the movement in all directions in the cardanic suspension. There is no limit to the holding capacity of the sawn tree sections, but for safety reasons these are set at the factory to the maximum permitted loads of the crane on the load-bearing vehicle.

“We have fitted a double knee joint above the rotation section and the attachment to the crane or telescopic handler,” said Michel Gierkink of GMT Equipment. “Each knee joint has a hydraulic cylinder and a number of brake linings. These brake linings are clamped in place by the hydraulic cylinder pushing both suspension lugs toward each other. One push of a button suddenly transforms our pivoting grapple saw into a fixed grapple saw. This makes it possible to pick a branch from the tree exactly in the position in which it is attached, allowing the operator to work much cleaner and safer when picking apart and removing entire trees.”

The GMT Equipment team developed the new TTC saws to meet the needs of customers who require more control when removing branches. This creates more possibilities when felling sick or dead trees or when there is little or no room to manoeuvre, particularly when there are surrounding objects such as buildings or power lines.

The Total Tree Control system is available in two variants: a 16 inch (GMT035 TTC) and a 20 inch (GMT050 TTC) felling diameter.

This method of felling is ideal for felling trees in built-up areas, along roads, near high-voltage cables and in other places that are difficult to reach. GMT Equipment distinguishes itself from its competitors by the fact that the grapple saw is extremely robust and can be applied to any vehicle with a crane arm and gripping function without major intervention or electronic aids. The grapple saw can be applied to the tree or branch from all angles, contrary to other brands/types where the felling grapple is built-in and the positioning options are very limited.

Commented Brendan Moore of AfrEquip: “The GMT equipment is perfect for the contractor who is wanting to take the first step towards mechanising his operation without a massive capital investment. The GMT products are fully mechanical with no electronics on their standard GMT035 and GMT050, which can be fitted to most hydraulic carriers with the necessary hydraulic requirements. It is ideal for thinnings harvesting, bush clearing, urban tree felling or as a first step to mechanised felling.

“These units can be fitted to excavators, tractor or truck mounted cranes, even three wheeler loggers as long as the hydraulic requirements are met,” said Brendan.

For more info contact Brendan Moore: mobile 072 708 9091; email:

Related article: Big Tigercat wheeled harvester on the prowl

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