- December 8, 2020 at 8:41 am #9830
What is actually new in the forest machine business? Was there any news at all since the one-grip harvester or the “Lillebror” harvester? It seems to me that what has been presented as “news” in the last 30 years only has been fine-tuning of existing concepts.
I recall asking a representative of a major machine manufacturer at the Elmia show in 2005 about their news. He claimed they had some 200 (or maybe it was 100) news to present at the fair. The biggest was the color of the machines. The rest was some new buttons and some software. The machines were still the same.
Nowadays, we see “new” 8-wheeled harvesters coming … New!?! What´s new about that?!
Where are the real news? Where are the inventors and their inventions? Does anybody know?
- January 8, 2021 at 1:36 pm #9924
Jack the LumberjackParticipant
It seems that we are stuck in a certain machine system, on a track that is hard to break. There are projects going on where engineers that have no clue about forestry are looking at new machine solutions for the forest. It could be interesting to see what they come up with.
- January 14, 2021 at 2:31 am #9940
I guess everything is relative….harvesters are still pretty new where I am atno matter what shape they come in. And it is interesting to see old systems coming back. For a long time we tried to make hand fallers, self loaders, clambunks (to name a few) disappear. Now all are being talked about as “needed” to achieve our timber supply these days. There is also a large submerged forest where I live and people are starting to talk about how to recover wood from under the water again. Lots of work, to varying levels of success, went into that 20-25 years ago but nothing since.
- January 19, 2021 at 3:33 pm #9971
Since the mid 1990s we have been contending with a large mountain pine beetle outbreak. The control and salvage effort meant huge areas of forest were clear cut. Very common to have openings that were (are still) thousands of hectares. Most of this ground wasn’t challenging; “pine flat” was the common descriptor. This meant a shift away from forest stands dominated by steep slopes, environmental constraints (selective cut) or other tree species. We couldn’t hope to salvage all the pine so effort was put to going after the “easiest” stuff every year. And the “going after” involved mostly ramping up the feller buncher, skid to road side system.
Post salvage effort has left us with a higher proportion of difficult stands: small patches, steep slopes, selective cut, low volumes etc. So that is why these other systems are coming back. But a whole industry has grown up, invested heavily in one dominant system – so difficult now to break that mould. There are examples but even something as worldly common as commercial thinning meets with institutional resistance.
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