Recently, one of the pioneers in the development of forest machinery, Lars Bruun, passed away. According to many, he was the man behind the modern forwarder. His VSA forwarder from the early 60’s is still the role model for forwarders. Lars’ major success was the Mini-Bruunett that was launched in 1978, but he did so much more. We tracked down two, less known, Bruun machines from the past.
Bruun machines – Bruunett Maxi 858F
The first one is a real rarity – the Maxi Bruunett. It seems this is the only Bruunett Maxi 858F still running in Sweden, or maybe the World? Please let me know if you know of any other Maxi’s out there. I may be wrong. (And by the way – this one is for sale.)
The one I visited has serial number 3 and is used on a farm in south Sweden to handle firewood, and sometimes to remove brush from field edges. It was purchased by the farm owner after a vast storm in 2005 to take out windthrown wood. The hurricane “Gudrun” emptied all yards containing old forest machines, and even museums, in 2005.
As mentioned above, the Maxi is nowadays mainly used for firewood handling and to keep field edges clean from brush. The operator, and the owner’s son in law, Lukas Axelsson who demonstrated the machine for us, means that a good log-trailer would suit their requirements better.
Let´s explain the name “Bruunett”. It has nothing to do with hair color. The machine is simply named after its father, Lars Bruun. “Ett” is “one” (1) in Swedish so, “Bruunett” / “Bruun one”, was one of the first machines that Lars Bruun designed (I think it was the second one, after the VSA forwarder). Lars Bruun used the name Bruunett for his machines until he sold that company. After that, his machines were called “Bruun”, like the one described later in this article.
The Brunnett Maxi was a follow up to the big success Bruunett Mini which was the first modern 8-wheeled forwarder for thinning. The Maxi was launched in 1981 as a forwarder for clear-cuts, “with possibility to be used also in thinning”. It´s interesting that an 11-ton forwarder was launched as a clear-cut forwarder. Many of today’s thinning forwarders have a payload of 11 tons but weigh more. The Maxi had the same weight and payload …
Many “modern” features
There were many modern features on the Bruunett Maxi: Hydrostatic transmission, 8-wheel drive with four boogies, the waist in the middle for good tracking, load sensing hydraulics, a “silent” turbo-engine with 116 hp, tiltable cabin, and more … Compared to many other machines in the early 80’s, it was a complicated machine, or maybe advanced is a better term. Therefore, it got a reputation of breaking down often. “The modern technology wasn´t ready for the forest” some said. Well, everything has a start, today the features mentioned above are standard equipment on most forest machines, and it works!
Here is a film of the Bruunett Maxi 858F:
The second Bruun machine that I visited is not much more common, if at all. According to the owner of this machine, only six were made. The reason should have been high production costs. I haven´t checked that out, but in any case, very few were made.
The King gives a sturdy impression even though the design is a bit odd. The tractor part is turned the other way around – the engine is placed between the cabin and the loading area. This means that the operator sits some four meters from the gate which is a long distance if you ask me. The owner of this machine, Andreas Johansson, pointed out the benefit that you can open the door (in the front) and have a look at the ground just in front of the machine, to check for obstacles. He also claims that you get used to sit far away from the loading area.
A hobby project
Andreas bought the machine because he wanted something sturdier than the tractor and log-trailer that he was used to operate. The Bruun King was not completely ready to go when he bought it. E.g., the hydraulic pump had to be replaced before he could start using the machine. He didn´t mind, however, as he loves repairing and restoring machines of all kinds. The result of his work is a machine that looks as good as new.
The Bruun King has a 6,6-liter, 160 hp Ford turbodiesel. The transmission is an electronical controlled hydrostat. The front axle is a pendulum axle that, together with the boogie, gives the operator a good working environment.
The crane has a double telescope and reaches 9,3 meters. The weight of the machine is 13 tons, and the loading capacity is 11 tons.
Here is a film of the Bruun King:
Films and photos: Per Jonsson