AfrEquip delivers the first Tigercat H-Series Skidder in Africa

The AfrEquip team has delivered a powerful Tigercat 625H 6-wheel skidder to Merensky Timber’s Weza operation as part of the group’s plans to update their timber harvesting equipment fleet to improve efficiencies, get better data insights towards precision forestry practice, and to minimise carbon emissions by deploying fuel efficient equipment.

This is the first H-Series Tigercat skidder to be deployed on the African continent. It was put to work immediately in Merensky's pine harvesting operations in Weza in southern KZN, to skid full tree lengths to road side for further processing. Merensky is an integrated forestry and sawmilling group.

A key motivating factor for choosing the Tigercat skidder was the level of support and backup that the AfrEquip team is able to provide. With premises in Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal), Ugie (Eastern Cape), Richards Bay (Zululand), Nelspruit and Piet Retief (Mpumalanga), AfrEquip is able to service all relevant forestry areas in the country.

Tigercat launched their H-series skidders recently, introducing a number of new features to these renowned workhorses which have benefited from over two decades of real world development in some of the most demanding timber extraction operations on the planet.

The 625H that the Merensky harvesting team has opted for is a high capacity 6-wheel drive machine best suited to steep slope operations and long distance skidding.

The new series 625H offers a number of key benefits, including:-

• Improved ergonomics, control and comfort for the operator with a 220 degree rotating seat which locks in any position with full access to all machine functions and drive controls. Bigger windows maximise operator visibility all around.
• The six-wheel drive configuration spreads the load and offers low ground pressure and incredible traction and power, which enables the skidder to perform optimally in rough and variable terrain, such as that found in Weza.
• Electronic controlled hydrostatic drive, known as EHS, offers excellent fuel efficiency and easy operation. The EHS drive provides extremely high tractive effort or very quick travel speeds as and when required. When operating conditions demand high tractive effort, both hydrostatic motors are working. When tractive effort requirements are reduced - for instance, when traveling empty or loaded on flat terrain - all of the pump flow is directed to one motor for higher travel speeds and improved efficiency. It all happens seamlessly with no operator input required. This feature enables the skidder to perform optimally in a wide variety of operating conditions.
• The 625H offers operators high capacity dual-cylinder Tigercat grapple options for handling timber of all sizes.
• The Tigercat H-series skidders are made up with robust, high quality components including a proven long-life centre section constructed with thick steel plate plus large diameter pins and tapered roller bearings, reinforced engine enclosure doors and large diameter cylinders for improved durability.
• Servicing and maintenance is made easy by convenient access to daily service points and a well designed layout of all major components.

The 625H skidder is 8,7 metres in length, weighs just under 22 950 kgs, is powered by a 195 kW Tigercat engine and has a top speed of 23 kmh.

Tigercat harvesting equipment is manufactured in Canada and distributed and supported in South Africa by the experienced team at AfrEquip. Their services include sales, maintenance and service support, as well as training for machine operators. They carry a huge inventory of spare parts and their highly skilled technical team is geared to support customers operating in any of the forestry growing areas in South Africa.

Premium brands distributed by AfrEquip in South Africa include Tigercat harvesting equipment, including skidders, forwarders, harvesters and mulchers, Log Max harvesting heads and Morbark grinders and chippers.

For more information contact Ryan Neumann (072 708 9091) or visit