VISITORS to Forestry Expo were among the first in the UK to see the new and improved 2020 models from Komatsu Forest in action.

“The product range for 2020 is being upgraded quite heavily,” Komatsu Forest MD Per Annemalm told Forestry Journal, standing by the brand-new 931XC harvester in front of the manufacturer’s impressive marquee in the harvesting area.

“For example, the 931XC, which is our biggest seller in the UK, has much more tractive force, which is good for Scotland in particular, being very hilly. It has new engines to meet Stage V emission requirements and is more service-friendly. 

“There is a new control system, which gives more reliability with a mini electronic steering wheel. It’s better ergonomically and more precise.”

The 2020 harvester range is said to offer improved off-road manoeuvrability and greater user-friendliness, with features including sealed drive axles and sealed articulated joint; improved front bogie mount; and improved rear axle mount and greater breakover angle for higher ground clearance. The new MaxiXT control system – which Komatsu is billing as the control and information system of the future – is said to increase productivity, for example through the optional battery status monitoring, while improved in-cab storage and more lights in storage spaces improve operator comfort. Automatic central lubrication is now integrated with MaxiXT, with the option to double the grease tank volume.

The 2020 forwarder range looks to further improve operator comfort and productivity. New features include matte paint on the FlexGate, to reduce reflections from working lights; improved storage; new LED headlamps (option); and longer wiper blades on side windows to improve wet-weather visibility. Overspeed protection stops components such as the diesel engine and hydro-stat from over- revving (option); updated front blade design is described as offering improved wear protection; and the 895 model features reinforced bogie bearings.

The compact 835 and 845 models have received a host of improvements such as new crane scales; upgraded engine software; new hoses and clamps to improve reliability of the AdBlue system; and a reinforced steel rear frame.

Also new to the UK market is Komatsu’s new hydraulic crane control, which Per said functions much more smoothly for the operator. He explained: “We let the customers try the machine to get the feel for it and they usually see the difference right away. The precision when picking up a log is much better with this active crane suspension. As a bonus, there is four per cent less fuel consumption. Investment in this option pays back quite fast.”

Forestry Expo also provided the ideal opportunity to showcase a brand-new service, MaxiVision, launched as part of MaxiFleet.

MaxiVision helps the operator to visualise the current state and conditions of the forest. Different map views provide the operator with data about ground conditions and the rest of the team’s production, enabling them to plan their work as efficiently as possible and with minimal forest impact.

Since the service is cloud-based, updates occur in real time and any changes are immediately seen on-screen in the cab.