Forestry Journal brings you a round-up of the latest news and offerings from the leading harvesting head manufacturers.

WITH technological advancements ushering in a new generation of harvesting heads, manufacturers are finding new and innovative ways to offer more to their customers.

You could be forgiven for having missed some of the leaps forward that have been taken in the last couple of years, but take a look around and you’ll find there’s lots going on...

Forestry Journal: The AFM 75.The AFM 75.

AFM (Forest Machine Services)

The latest harvesting head to be released from AFM is the AFM 75, a tough-built processing head with high feeding power and excellent geometry for the most demanding logging operations worldwide.

With its new HD frame and pins made from SSAB RUUKKI Scandinavian quality steel and nylon bushings it can fit on different tracked-base machines.

A wide tilt angle and the geometry of the front knives guarantees an efficient and ergonomic way to pick up logs on steep slopes. Having been designed in close cooperation with AMF customers, the new design of the AFM 75 offers easy access for daily maintenance and hydraulic hose replacement to maximise production.

The manufacturer says the optional feeding motors and rollers make the new AFM 75 a perfect tool for harvesting and debarking operations in the most difficult species of plantation-grown eucalyptus by offering good debarking results during the first feed. The AFM-Forest proportional saw system and saw control guarantee a fast and efficient sawing in all tree species.

With its modern geometry and optional top saw, Supercut saw system and 360-degree rotation, it can fell, feed, cross-cut and measure with precision in road side processing or in stump-to-stump operations with no compromises.

Forestry Journal: Eco Log has introduced its own range of harvester heads.Eco Log has introduced its own range of harvester heads.

Eco Log

Swedish manufacturer Eco Log has broadened its range with the introduction of its very own series of harvester heads.

Consisting of four models, the new range is intended to make the Swedish firm a ‘complete forest machine manufacturer’, offering machines and solutions for profitable and productive forestry.

The 461 LF is described as a versatile and rapid low-weight head that easily handles thinning, even in the most hard-to-reach areas.

The 561 LF is said to be a highly productive all-round head, capable of handling everything from thinning low-grade timber to basic final felling.

The 661 LF is described as a strong and versatile high-performance head for any kind of final felling.

The 761 LF is the largest head in the range. Described as powerful and reliable, it is intended to be used for the toughest final felling operations.

The heads have been equipped with Eco Log Saw Control, a patented system designed to optimise every cross-cut, regardless of conditions such as tree species and type of felling.

Forestry Journal: John Deere's new H425 head.John Deere's new H425 head.

John Deere

Earlier this year, John Deere launched three new harvester heads, suiting a range of requirements – from first thinnings to final fellings.

The H423 head has been designed for thinnings and small-size trees, offering a maximum cutting diameter of 580 mm. The more robust H425 and H425HD heads are designed for final fellings and big trees, offering a maximum cutting diameter of 710 mm. The H425HD model features HD motor guards, HD tilt handle and expander pins in the upper tilt cylinder, feed motor arms, and lower delimbing knives.

Feeding is described as efficient and fast, thanks to the harvester heads’ unique four-wheel drive and the mechanical locking of the differential. A firm grip, four-wheel feed and high-performance delimbing are said to ensure high productivity.

The PEVO valve improves the harvester head’s performance, adjustability, and economy compared to the predecessor model, while improved hose routing from the boom to the harvester head and from the valve block to feed motors improves hose durability. The new, hinged valve block cover makes daily maintenance easy.

These models are all equipped with the new SuperCut 100S saw unit, which offers automatic chain tensioning and mechanical bar locking.

The new harvester head models replace the previous H413, H415 and H415HD models.

Forestry Journal: The 14RH, the smallest harvester head in Kesla's range.The 14RH, the smallest harvester head in Kesla's range.


One of the latest innovations from Kesla is a new harvester head specifically designed for tractor use.

The 14RH is the smallest harvester head in Kesla’s range and is suitable for installation on tractors, thinning harvesters and excavators of up to approximately 5 tonnes.

Unlike larger Kesla heads, the 14RH head applies the traditional side-squeezing feed roller geometry, which is described as having the advantages of a very simple structure, lightness and efficiency in feeding small-diameter trees. Depending on the size of the traction motors selected, the head requires an oil supply of 120–150 l/min, said to make it ideal for the hydraulics of modern tractors.

Kesla also offers a PTO-driven auxiliary hydraulic supply package optimised for harvester use, which, in addition to additional output, has the advantage of separating the harvester head into its own hydraulic circuit, adding power to the use of the crane during harvesting.

The 14RH has three delimbing knives, which, together with the short head frame length, are said to make it especially agile and efficient in handling curved and branchy trees.

The harvester head features a strong two-cylinder tilt, making tree felling controlled and safe, Kesla says. The 14RH is said to work best with a tree diameter of less than 25 cm.

Forestry Journal:  A Kobelco SK 140 with a Keto 150HD harvesting head. A Kobelco SK 140 with a Keto 150HD harvesting head.


Jas P Wilson is the proud supplier of the Finnish-made Keto harvesting head range. Keto have specialised in the manufacture of quality heads since the 1980s and have established themselves across the world as suppliers of a robust, heavy-duty machine capable of an equally heavy-duty workload.

As of summer 2021, the Keto 150 remains the go-to model for a wide range of customers, due to its wide base machine suitability and cut capacity (up to 62 cm diameter). This four-knife model is a suitable unit for excavators and large forest machines.

As such, the Keto 150HD is an ideal head for many of Jas P Wilson’s HarvaDig units, which are typically based on a 14-tonne zero-tail-swing excavator. The HarvaDig system was first developed at Jas P Wilson some 13 years ago, and the current machines are a testament to a continual development and strive for innovation and efficiency.  

The unit pictured above  is a Kobelco SK 140 with a Keto 150HD harvesting head, controlled by an Epec Oy control package and Sure Grip Controls which deliver a responsive, fast and precise user interface.

This excavator has Jas P Wilson’s HarvaDig forestry guarding package including a heavy-duty but lightweight frame guarding, full-length track guides, lockable hinged steel protective doors, under-belly guarding, HarvaDig quick-release hose system, Margard window and a standard quick-hitch mount. The quick release hose system allows this forestry-guarded base unit to quickly swap duties, and work additional attachments such as a forestry mulcher, tree shear or timber grab for example.

For more information on Keto heads and HarvaDig units, please call Iain Wilson on 01556 612233.

Forestry Journal: The robust C164 from Komatsu.The robust C164 from Komatsu.


Early in 2021, machine manufacturer Komatsu unveiled a new harvesting head for handling tough challenges in the woods.

The Komatsu C164 is a robust new model in the range of C heads and an ideal match for the Komatsu 951 harvester, with a design that makes it smooth and easy to handle.

Constant Cut, the saw motor control that ensures that 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 whilst also reducing the risk of log splitting. For increased durability and service life, the chain tensioning of the saw bar has been improved, and the saw bar mount has a more robust design, stronger saw bar clamp and increased bolt dimension to hold the saw bar.

The rotator has a stronger design as well as a new hydraulic motor and bigger slew bearings to cope with these types of demanding logging operations. To make the head more fuel efficient, the C164 also has a new type of hydraulic control valve that can handle a high flow, which reduces energy losses.

Forestry Journal: The Log Max 6000V on an Eco Log harvester.The Log Max 6000V on an Eco Log harvester.

Log Max

Log Max (distributed in the UK through Treetop Forestry) has been designing and manufacturing machines for mechanized forestry operations since 1980 and celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Over the decades it has grown to become a highly regarded and much sought-after manufacturer of harvesting heads and control systems – and one of the largest in the world.

Its latest thinning heads are the V-series (V standing for ‘versatile’). The two heads, the 5000V and 6000V, are built around a new frame with an optimized saw box geometry and saw unit position. The length measurement improves on previous models as do the hydraulics, providing considerably more power and feed speed.

Both the 5000V and 6000V can be equipped with the saw unit Log Max 218 or 318 True/Cut. The difference between them is that the 318 comes with an automatic chain tensioning where the 218 has manual tensioning.

The key component of the True/Cut system is the intelligent saw motor with integrated valving solutions for saw motor speed and saw bar control. By continuously sensing the motor speed and adjusting the saw bar feed rate accordingly, the True/Cut maintains an almost constant chain speed of 40 m/s throughout the cutting cycle. This yields an impressive cutting performance – the True/Cut is up to 35 per cent faster than conventional saw units.

Forestry Journal: At Logset, testers control the head with the measuring system behind safety glass.At Logset, testers control the head with the measuring system behind safety glass.


During the spring of 2021, Logset made comprehensive investments in the harvester head assembly at its factory in Koivulahti, Finland. New harvester head assembly spaces have been built, increasing production capacity by 50 per cent. Next to the assembly there is a newly built testing place for the ready assembled heads. On the other side of the testing place there will be a packing area for loose harvester heads that will be mounted on excavators. This way the assembly, testing and packing create a clear and efficient line inside the factory.

Work safety of the testing place has been improved by building a safety glass cage around the whole test area. The doors are equipped with sensors. If someone were to walk inside the testing area while there is an active harvester head on the inside, the electricity is switched off and the harvester head stops. The test stand behind the safety glass carries the weight of all Logset harvester head models. One harvester head is tested at a time according to the specified test programme. To test and possibly pack one harvester head takes approximately one day.

Previously the harvester head final inspection was done in a separate building. The new test place right next to the assembly line makes cooperation with the production more flexible.

Forestry Journal: Ponsse's latest head for processing eucalyptus.Ponsse's latest head for processing eucalyptus.


Machinery manufacturer Ponsse has launched a new debarking harvester head for processing eucalyptus trees.

The H7 HD Euca harvesting head can be fitted to Ponsse’s Cobra, Scorpion King and Ergo harvesters, as well as to 16–22-tonne tracked base machines.

The frame of the H7 HD Euca harvester head is described as being capable of working in even the most extreme conditions. The geometry and technical solutions of the new head have been made to ensure maximum efficiency during debarking, feeding and sawing.

The development also focused on mechanical durability and ease of maintenance, Ponsse said.

Its feed rollers and debarking knives are said to guarantee first-rate debarking results, while the solid frame and robust tilt-frame give the harvester head the durability needed in debarking. Automated functions control saw movements according to the tree diameter and saw bar position and allow trees to be cut quickly.

The manufacturer has also recently launched extended protection for frames and cranes for forest machines with a Ponnse Active Care service agreement.

Forestry Journal: The SP 661 LF.The SP 661 LF.


The SP range (offered in the UK by Jas P Wilson) delivers a comprehensive cross-section of specifications. One of its flagship models is the SP 661 LF.

The SP 661 LF delivers a fast, versatile and reliable system. The SP 661 LF is a compact and strong high-performance harvester head, designed according to SP’s Low Friction principle for minimum friction and maximum productivity. The SP 661 LF is designed to be able to offer highest productivity in both small- and large-diameter harvesting.

In large-diameter harvesting, the proportional angled feed rollers, in combination with SP’s patented knife control system LogHold, allow for maximum capacity and productivity. When harvesting smaller-diameter trees, the compact and agile design is a great asset. Equipped with the optional Multi-tree-handling equipment, the SP 661 LF is able to reach highest productivity when harvesting very small tree dimensions.

The robust design, in combination with state-of-the-art hose routing, ensures highest reliability and uptime regardless of tree size and harvesting condition. The SP 661 LF can cut up to 70 cm diameter, and reaches top performance in stands with a diameter of 16–51 cm (6–20”), but  thanks to the LF principle it is also capable of efficiently working with larger tree sizes.

For more information call Iain Wilson on 01556 612233.

Forestry Journal: The new 568 from Tigercat.The new 568 from Tigercat.


Tigercat recently expanded its range of harvesting heads with the new 568, a robust, productive four-wheel-drive harvesting head for roadside processing.

Optimized harvester head hydraulics maximize performance and efficiency, while robust, high-quality components provide long-term reliability. Large-diameter hoses and large-capacity valves provide ample strength to match the greater hydraulic flow and power of Tigercat carriers.

Timed knife arms and triangulated wheel arms allow the operator to pick quickly from the pile and to maintain positive tree contact when feeding. The floating front knife and fixed back knife ensure good-quality delimbing. Single or dual-track measuring wheels with a horizontally pivoting trailing-arm design, along with priority-flow length measuring, provide superior length accuracy.

Tigercat’s patented Autoshift drive system provides extra power and positive grip when feeding large trees, fast speed in smaller trees, and full manual control when needed. The 568 starts in 4WD, maximizing feed force for faster acceleration and to quickly power through bigger trees. As the load drops, it automatically shifts to 2WD, improving efficiency and increasing feed speed. Tigercat says the system shifts back and forth seamlessly with no operator input required, all while maintaining precise and accurate length measurements.

Forestry Journal: The 650.3 is one of two new releases from Viking.The 650.3 is one of two new releases from Viking.


Viking harvester heads are known for their simple and robust construction, with few moving parts. The basic design, which has a large number of unique solutions, is based on more than 30 years of experience from previous models.

Available in the UK through SB Forestry, the Viking units are extremely well suited to installation on a large number of different base machines with different computer systems and are today active in several different markets.

The Viking 625.3 is a perfect combination head for mixed harvesting, thinning and clear cut, and functions extremely well on hardwood, due to its unique design. The head has solid knife arms, with four fixed knifes, and a floating, angled, feed roller linking system which gives the head its outstanding performance in bent and knotty timber. It also makes it possible for multi-stem cutting without any extra equipment installed. The saw cylinder is mounted on the top of the saw box and there is only one tiny hose for greasing to the saw unit.

The Viking 650.3 is a powerful unit for final felling in rough forests, where its ingenious construction is still easy to work with.

Forestry Journal: Waratah's new H425HD.Waratah's new H425HD.


Waratah Forestry Equipment recently announced the new H425, H425HD and H425X – described as a trio of rugged harvester heads built for tough jobs.

With a powerful control valve and four-roller feed arm geometry, each high-performance head is productive on wheeled or tracked carriers, says Waratah.

Optimising performance, productivity and delimbing, the H425 is said to excel in large-diameter regeneration harvesting. A powerful control valve and feed-roller arm geometry ensure a solid grip and agile harvester head control for all diameter classes.

Built to work on the toughest jobs, the H425HD features a heavy-duty tilt frame, feed motors and guarding to provide even more durability. With a powerful control valve and a top saw option, the high-performance head offers great productivity, especially for wheeled carrier applications, says Waratah.

The H425X features an extreme-duty main saw box with heavier steel plating, extra feed motor component guarding, heavy-duty tilt frame, hose protection and increased drive arm durability for demanding applications in mixed stand harvesting.

The H425 (1,360 kg), H425HD (1,390 kg) and H425X (1,426 kg) are described as offering increased reliability with new feed motor hosing routings and new covers. For quick and easy servicing, each head features a new hinged valve cover and improved access to greasing points.

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