Conversion of forwarders for forestry work

Nisula Forest Oy has long experience in converting forwarders for forestry work. In the course of years, we have converted dozens of forwarders into combi machines.

Combi machines can handle the two main phases of timber harvesting: felling and forwarding. In terms of machine and work techniques, combi machines are divided into two main types. With full-fledged combi machines, both the phases can be performed in one go without changes in the equipment. With other combi machines, the harvester head and the loading grapple are changed depending on the operation.

Equipping a forwarder for combined use offers the owner increased productivity compared with a normal forwarder. As a combi machine requires comparatively less capital than two separate machines, it is a much smaller risk to a contractor. A combi machine is a cost-effective “one-man-chain” for several different purposes. It offers a flexible way to complement the traditional timber harvesting chain or to cost-effectively perform contract work in which a harvesting chain with two machines would be an unnecessarily heavy and expensive solution.

Nisula’s equipment can also be used to convert a forwarder into an energy wood harvester. The hosing and the rotator with its adaptor are designed to allow quick and easy harvester head change. The NCU3 control system automatically recognises the 285E+ energy wood head. No changes or adjustments are needed in the control system, and work can start immediately. How much more versatile can one machine be? The answer is simple – no one machine can. The versatility of a combi machine allows it to be utilised round the year.

Benefits of a combi machine:

1 Increases the productivity of a forwarder.
2 One machine can be used to provide timber harvesting services from stump to roadside.
3 A harvesting area/ cubic volume that is too small for a harvesting chain can offer full-time work for a combi machine operator
4 Less risky: less capital tied to machinery than in a traditional chain.
5 Smaller transportation and maintenance costs compared with a chain.
6 More diversified operations.
7 Highly competitive at small sites, where the impact of transfer costs on the unit costs in timber harvesting is heaviest.
8 Possibility to convert both a new and an old forwarder into a versatile combi machine.

ALTERNATIVE 1

Combi machine in which both the work phases can be performed in one go without changes in the equipment

Nisula offers three different harvester heads for performing both the work phases in one go. Depending on the crane capacity, the 425C multi-purpose head is suitable for 12-ton and heavier forwarders. Nisula 425C is ideal for first and second thinning. Nisula 500C and 555C are multi-purpose heads designed for more extensive thinning operations. Depending on the crane capacity, 500C and 555C are suitable for 15-ton or heavier forwarders.

Base machine requirements, Nisula 425C:
  • 100 cm3 variable volume pump
  • welve-ton or heavier forwarder in which the minimum lifting capacity of the crane with full reach is 550 kg
  • Safety glazing
Base machine requirements, Nisula 500C:
  • 130 cm3 variable volume pump
  • Fifteen-ton or heavier base machine in which the minimum lifting capacity of the crane with full reach is 750 kg
  • Safety glazing
Base machine requirements, Nisula 555C:
  • 130 cm3 variable volume pump
  • Fifteen-ton or heavier base machine in which the minimum lifting capacity of the crane with full reach is 900 kg
  • Safety glazing

The customer’s requirements and thoughts concerning strip road opening are determined at the time of purchase. Depending on the model and make of the base machine, the strip road can be opened at the front over the cab or behind the loading space by reversing. The harvesting direction can be taken into consideration in equipping the forwarder.

Benefits to the customer:
  • Enables harvesting from stump to roadside without changes in the equipment
  • The integration of felling and loading increases operating efficiency
  • The harvester head can also be changed to an accumulating energy head (Nisula 285E+) or a traditional timber grapple

ALTERNATIVE 2

Forwarders equipped with a separate harvester head and a timber grapple

If the harvester head and the loading grapple are changed for the operation to be performed, a traditional timber grapple can also be used in harvesting. In this case, the requirements concerning the base machine equipment and the lifting capacity of the crane are not so high. This means that older and smaller forwarders can also be converted for combined use.

The harvester head alternatives are Nisula 325H designed for first thinning and delimbed energy wood harvesting, 425 series heads designed for first and second thinning, and 500 series heads designed for more extensive thinning operations.

Base machine requirements, Nisula 325H:
  • 71 cm3 variable volume pump
  • Ten-ton or heavier forwarder in which the minimum lifting capacity of the crane with full reach is 350 kg
  • Safety glazing
Base machine requirements, Nisula 425H/C:
  • 100 cm3 variable volume pump
  • Twelve-ton or heavier forwarder in which the minimum lifting capacity of the crane with full reach is 550 kg
  • Safety glazing
Base machine requirements, Nisula 500H/C:
  • 130 cm3 variable volume pump
  • Fifteen-ton or heavier forwarder in which the minimum lifting capacity of the crane with full reach is 750 kg
  • Safety glazing

Details that facilitate everyday work

Head/grapple changing facility

Nisula has designed the motorised hosing to be installed on the crane in such a way that the change of the harvester head to a timber grapple and vice versa is quick and easy. Quick couplers make it easy to disconnect the motorised hoses, and the hose brackets are also easy to dismantle from the boom assembly. The same dual swing damper and shaft rotator can be used for both the work phases. This reduces unnecessary investments.

The shaft rotator and the machined adapter flange designed for head change ensure fast head/grapple change. It normally takes 15-30 minutes to change a harvester head to a timber grapple and vice versa.

Nisula Syncro provides a traditional forwarder with the properties of a parallel crane.

Nisula has developed a Syncro function for vertical-post cranes. This ingenious solution provides a vertical-post crane with the functionality of a parallel crane when the crane is pulled inwards. This hydraulically implemented property increases energy efficiency and makes it easy to move the stem from the tree stump for processing.

The Syncro function improves felling and loading efficiency.

Harvester heads and grapples for forwarders

With Nisula harvester heads, you can convert your forwarder into a productive combi machine. C-model harvester heads turn your forwarder into a genuine combi machine with which you can perform all the work phases by using one and the same head. The H-model harvester heads also enable the conversion of smaller forwarders for timber harvesting. In this case, a traditional timber grapple is used in forwarding.

Nisula 425C
Weight, kg 425
Single cut Ø, mm 425
Most suitable stem diameter, mm 40-300
Read more
Nisula 500C
Weight, kg 650
Single cut Ø, mm 500
Most suitable stem diameter, mm 50-350
Read more
Nisula 555C
Weight, kg 810-840
Single cut Ø, mm 550
Most suitable stem diameter, mm 60-400
Read more
Nisula 325H
Weight, kg 285
Single cut Ø, mm 340
SMost suitable stem diameter, mm 30-250
Read more
Nisula 425H
Weight, kg 410
Single cut Ø, mm 425
Most suitable stem diameter, mm 40-300
Read more
Nisula 500H
Weight, kg 640
Single cut Ø, mm 500
Most suitable stem diameter, mm 50-350
Read more
Nisula 285E+
Weight, kg 330
Single cut Ø, mm (1 stem) 180-240
Read more

NISULA CONTROL SYSTEMS

Nisula NCU3 / NCU3i

Nisula NCU3 measuring device with a 5.4” screen is the result of four decades of experience in the industry. The new electronics generation has increased the computing capacity of the system; NCU3 controls the head precisely. The simple menu structure makes it easy for operators to find the settings they need.

The hydraulics control has been taken to a new level, allowing fast and accurate feed to the sawing window. Accuracy is excellent in all conditions. There is a separate fuse for the sensors to reduce the risk of damage to them. The NCU3i model is equipped with a larger 7” colour screen. The value scaling function improves work efficiency.

Nisula NCU3X

NCU3X is equipped with a larger 12.1” touch screen. The X-model is equipped with value scaling function and data transfer facility. Thanks to the new electronics generation and increased computing capacity, value scaling is accurate. The new advanced algorithm also maximises the efficiency.

As the PC used for reading mapping software and for data transfer is a separate system, the embedded solution guarantees reliability. Possible Windows/PC problems do not stop harvesting operations. The operations do not depend on the PC’s computing capacity, either. Therefore forestry companies’ software may contain extensive maps and other heavy-duty properties.

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