Earlier this year, forest machine manufacturer Komatsu unveiled the C164, a new harvesting head for handling tough challenges in the woods. Recently, product manager Tobias Ettemo paid a visit to a customer who has been testing the new head, to find out what he thought.

TOMAS Samuelsson of ATS Logging has been operating in the forests in the south of Sweden, in an area that is known for its spruce and pine trees.

This fact makes it an ideal place to test out the Komatsu C164, a robust new model in the range of C heads and an ideal match for the Komatsu 951 harvester.

When harvesting in rough forests, operators can face issues like trees that need to be cut from two directions, root flares that are too wide for the saw bar or rough limbs that need to be processed several times. The C164 is designed with these conditions in mind.

Forestry Journal: The C164’s feed system allows good contact between head and stem, which reduces the clamping pressure and makes the feeding procedure energy efficient.The C164’s feed system allows good contact between head and stem, which reduces the clamping pressure and makes the feeding procedure energy efficient.

“The C164 has been designed for handling big root flares, large trees, and rough limbs in CTL,” said Komatsu Forest product manager Tobias Ettemo. “It is not uncommon in this type of logging to run into the problem of having to work with a harvesting head in an ‘unnatural’ way, meaning for instance making two cuts instead of one.”

The C164 is a ‘carry’ style head, where the stem is carried by the feed rollers and the delimbing knives are mainly used for delimbing the stem. The feed system ensures good contact between the head and stem, allowing users to reduce the clamping pressure for an energy-efficient feed.

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Constant Cut, the saw motor control that ensures the head has a constant and efficient saw motor speed throughout the complete cutting cycle, is further developed for the C164 to handle long saw bars and broad stems. The saw bar position is designed for optimal felling performance and the position of the saw bar is new compared to other C heads. This gives a better felling cut in the direction of the head, which in turn gives the saw bar better longevity while also reducing the risk of log splitting. For increased durability and service life, the chain tensioning of the saw bar has been improved, the saw bar mount has a more robust design, stronger saw bar clamp and increased bolt dimension to hold it in place. The head can be equipped with a 90 cm or 97 cm saw bar.

Offering his own feedback, Tomas Samuelsson said: “The saw box design means that the bar follows a different path so you almost never fell the stem over the top of the bar. That saves a lot of material and time.”

Forestry Journal: Tomas Samuelsson finds it easy to top up lubrication of the C164.Tomas Samuelsson finds it easy to top up lubrication of the C164.

Find End simplifies length measuring without butt cut, to reduce forest residues and to minimise value loss – this is especially practical when using the head for processing or pre-felled trees. There are also optional integrated work lights that increase productivity by making it easier for the operator to position the head against the tree as well as judge the quality of the stems. The lights also reduce the risk of sawing stones or other obstacles in the forest, helping to minimise unnecessary downtime. There are other ways to customise the C164 head, such as options regarding colour marking and stump treatment.

The head has a number of features designed to minimise downtime and improve productivity. Both hosing and head computer are well protected and the head has a service-friendly design where all daily service can be carried out without repositioning the head. It also has centralised lubrication points.

“We have received great customer feedback on the C164, with high scores on performance,” Tobias added. “One of the comments mentioned was: ‘it feels like the C164 is a perfect match for the Komatsu 951; the two really become one’. By that we feel that we are right on track with what we aimed for when we initiated the development of the head.”

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