Ponsse launches toughened up eucalyptus head

Ponsse has launched its latest debarking head – the H7 HD Euca – which follows the release of the Ponsse H8 HD Euca. This new powerful harvester head joins an impressive line-up of harvester heads manufactured by Ponsse of Finland.

One of these new H7 HD Euca heads has already been delivered to a leading South African harvesting contractor, Quinton Preen, for use in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

The Ponsse design engineers said they rely heavily on feedback from key customers to design and manufacture heads that maximise productivity and minimise downtime, and this is the case with the Ponsse H7 HD Euca.

Quinton featured prominently in the recent ‘digital’ launch of the head. He was being interviewed by Chris Odendaal of MTS Parts, who is distributing and supporting all Ponsse forestry equipment in South Africa.
Quinton joined his father’s harvesting contracting business in the 1990s, which was originally doing motor-manual felling and debarking. Quinton says they started mechanising their harvesting operations in 2000, and are now working extensively in the Midlands and Zululand coastal areas.

Two years ago they switched to the H7 Euca heads in order to do one-pass harvesting as required by Mondi Forests. Quinton says the H7 Euca was a smaller head and at first he was a bit concerned about its durability. But now two years later he says they are running well and he had no hesitation in acquiring the upgraded H7 HD Euca, which is a toughened, upgraded version of the H7 Euca.

A year ago Quinton said he changed to the casted knife sets on the H7s as they wear better – especially in Zululand where the sandy soils take their toll on harvesting equipment.

“The majority of our inland customers prefer the welded knives in one-pass operations, but in coastal regions where there is a lot of sand with abrasive properties, the special material used in the casted knives is a better option,” said MTS Parts’ Chris Odendaal. “They last an incredibly long time in very tough conditions.  

“The H7 HD is really a toughened up head and you can appreciate how sturdy it is built just by looking at it. The engineering was really thought out very well on this head,” said Chris.

He said the upgrades on the H7 HD include a toughened saw box, extra tilt frame support, and a new, heavy duty bearing design.

Other small improvements include the fixed knife pins and other components that have been strengthened.  

“Overall we are looking at a head that will be very durable in tough conditions, giving our customers more mechanical availability and that is what our market needs at the moment. These HD heads have been tested extensively in Brazil and we've had nothing but positive feedback,” said Chris.

The Ponsse heads are known to be fast and agile, and Chris says they put very little stress on the carrier machine.

Commented Janne Loponen, harvester head product manager at Ponsse: “This new harvester head has been developed together with our customers, based on their feedback. We wanted to introduce an even more powerful and productive harvester head for Eucalyptus processing that withstands even the most extreme conditions, and we succeeded in this with the H7 HD Euca harvester head.”

It can be fitted onto the Ponsse Cobra, Scorpion King and Ergo harvesters, but it can also be installed on 16–22-ton track-based excavators.

The geometry and technical solutions of the new harvester head have been made to ensure maximum efficiency during debarking, feeding and sawing. The development of the harvester head has also focused on mechanical durability and the ease of maintenance.

Automated functions control saw movements according to the tree diameter and saw bar position, and allow trees to be cut quickly.

Janne said that all Ponsse heads have simple and solid structures which is why they can be used in various harvesting applications, ranging from harvesters to track-based solutions.

All Ponsse harvester heads are manufactured and designed at the Ponsse factory in Vieremä, Finland.
Ponsse equipment is distributed and fully supported in South Africa by MTS Parts, with branches in Piet Retief and Nelspruit/Mbombela.

For more info, visit www.mtsparts.co.za