“IT has taken us about eight months to negotiate the harvesting contract on the site here at Little Clyde. Finding a suitable area of timber in a convenient location may be the limiting factor in future.”

Before moving on to extol the attributes of Tigercat forestry machines and Log Max harvesting heads, Treetop Forestry’s Chris Quincey was keen to talk about the potential for more events such as Forestry Expo Scotland 2019.

“It seems to be the one opportunity we find where we can gather together as a forest industry community,” he said. “People have remarked on the growth of the event and it would be nice to see it grow arms and legs if the constraints can be overcome. We are getting the right people through the doors at Forestry Expo and we would like to keep it that way.”

The event allowed customers from as far away as Russia and South Africa to meet the people from the Tigercat factory in Brantford, Ontario and also those from the Log Max facility in Grangärde, Sweden. The site was not the most challenging for the tracked Tigercat harvesters, but arrangements were made for potential domestic customers to see the machines working to the limit at a later date. As Chris pointed out, Treetop Forestry’s speciality business remains that of harvesting large timber in places hard to reach.

Sales in the UK tend to concentrate in Scotland and Wales, though one harvester has recently been delivered to Yorkshire. It is creating a bit of interest down there, apparently. Across the Atlantic the full range of Tigercat forestry machines remains hugely popular but when loyal customers now add to their fleets they will notice a dramatic improvement in operator comfort.

In response to customer demands, the new E-series cabins provide a substantial reduction in noise levels for the operator. Many other ergonomic improvements have also been included in the new design. The long working life of Tigercat forestry machines is highly praised in Canada and the US.

“Longevity, reliability, low maintenance and high performance are the main selling pitch of Tigercat forest machines,” said Chris Quincey. “Built to last and built for hard work, many contractors in the UK are now coming to appreciate their true value. Treetop Forestry handles a lot of big trees and clears huge amounts of windthrown timber, and they are superb machines for the job.

“By the way, Tigercat harvesters have virtually no tail-swing so they are totally at home where the bigger wheeled harvesters can cut medium- to large-diameter stems. The power available and the Log Max harvesting heads ensure they are not left behind in terms of production.”

Robert Archibald, product manager – forwarders, in Brantford, Ontario, was in attendance at the show, where he got to speak to several operators and potential customers and enlighten them on the company’s design process.

Standing in front of the Tigercat 1075, he was asked what he had specifically contributed to the design of the new forwarder. He replied that a slight curve at the base of the outer dipper (or outer boom, in British terminology) was his solution to a problem he had been made aware of on the Canadian/US forestry show circuit. Three times, loggers told him the Tigercat forwarder was fantastic, but for some reason, swinging back in with an empty grapple for the next lift often led to the loader striking ‘the bars’. Robert spent some time on his 3D engineering software and became aware that a small redesign in the boom construction – that slight curve below the knuckle – would eliminate the problem. 

Stateside forwarder operators new to cut-to-length operation notified him of another problem, this time with the timber grapple. When the operators picked up a grabload of hardwood billets or conifer smallwood, they would invariably open the grapple to tighten the load before it was delivered to the bunk of the forwarder. Sometimes a billet fell back onto the forest floor.

Robert took up the challenge and was instrumental in the development of the Tigercat timber grapple. The new geometry allows the jaws to close immediately to prevent any loss of logs or billets, but material is still able to settle itself within the grapple before full pressure is applied.

Having been informed and entertained by Robert’s account, visitors were able to see for themselves how smoothly and precisely the 1075 operates out in the field.