John Deere rolled out its first H Series wheeled cut-to-length forest machines at an extravagant event in Finland last month. Forestry Journal was present to gather the details about the firm’s next generation.

AS announcements go, it was a long time coming. For years, contractors and operators across the industry have been aware that work was underway on the new H Series from John Deere Forestry. However, details of those new designs and features were kept a closely guarded secret – until last month.

The Aino Arena in Helsinki was the venue for the grand unveiling. Over 400 guests, including customers, dealers, industry representatives, influencers and press from countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, the US and Canada, made the long journey to get their first look at the machines in person.

John Deere Forestry’s managing director in Finland, Jari Mennala, welcomed guests by telling them: “The development of the H Series has been a journey of dedication to customer value creation and hard work, with rumours circulating about our upcoming machine series for some time now. As a result, the anticipation among our global customer base has been extraordinary.

“These machines and systems redefine productivity, elevate joy of work and enhance serviceability. The new level of productivity is enabled by the in-built power, force and size, while the joy of work is the result of the nimble ease of performance, ergonomics and the feedback these machines provide for the operator. Enhanced serviceability reduces the time and effort needed for daily maintenance.”

What followed was the unveiling of a completely new production system, comprising harvesters, forwarders and digital products, with each machine offering higher productivity with lower fuel consumption, better stability and improved operator ergonomics, compared to those in the G Series.

The H Series includes the 1270H and 1470H harvesters, as well as the H216 harvester head. The forwarder size class is new and includes the 20-tonne load-capacity 2010H and the 25-tonne load-capacity 2510H.

Over the course of a lively evening, guests were treated to a wealth of information on the new models and complementary products, and seized the chance to lay their hands on the models inside the arena.


Forestry Journal: The new 1270H has been thoroughly tested in winter and summer conditions.The new 1270H has been thoroughly tested in winter and summer conditions. (Image: Supplied)

For most visiting from the UK, the launches of most interest were the new harvester models, promising improved stability, power and visibility. 

The high-performance engine of the new H Series harvesters boasts 10 per cent more power and torque than the G Series. New hydraulics with three dedicated pumps offer more hydraulic power and higher work pressure for feeding.

Product marketing manager for harvesters, Sakari Suuriniemi, said: “It’s a fact that operators want to work as effectively as possible. The new hydraulics in our harvesters improve the parallel usage of harvester head, boom and drive. The new system gives 15 per cent more hydraulic power, 10 per cent more engine power and torque, and the system is optimised and ensures balanced fuel economy.”

The new Active Frame Lock brings more stability, whether working on steep slopes or flat ground. This makes it easier to work when the boom is sideways and gives the operator a larger working area.

Compared to the G Series, H Series harvesters enable significantly increased productivity and remarkably lower fuel consumption per harvested cubic metre. 

John Deere collaborated with BMW Design Works on a new rear chassis for the machines, while the engine has been relocated, with great benefits for operators.

Sakari explained: “In both harvester models the engine has been turned 180 degrees. The hydraulic oil, fuel tanks and pumps are located in the front of the engine, and cooler and fan at the rear. These changes make the cabin very quiet and serviceability is improved.

Forestry Journal: In terms of power, the new 1270H is said to be equal to the 1470G.In terms of power, the new 1270H is said to be equal to the 1470G. (Image: FJ)

“At the same time, the machine’s rear has been lowered to significantly improve visibility. The interior of the new cabin has been designed to optimise visibility in the working area. Also the design of the new boom is slimmer and the slew cylinders are located longitudinally, making visibility much better.

“We have increased the rotation of the H Series cabin by 30 degrees in both directions. Now the cabin turns 220 degrees. It’s very useful when reversing in thinning or running the machine to the transportation trailer.”

Two new harvester booms have been introduced. The H7 boom for harvesters offers approximately 10 per cent more lift power and slewing torque. The new H9 boom also has the same 10 per cent increase in lift power, and the slewing torque is five per cent more than in the previous model. Intelligent Boom Control, a popular technology since its introduction as an optional extra in 2013, has been made a standard feature in H Series harvesters.


A new two-roller harvester head, designed for hardwood and softwood applications, was introduced alongside the machines. Replacing the previous H270 head, the H216 includes a top-saw option, long processing knives, HD-tilt, standard tilt, a find end laser sensor, and multi-speed feed motors. The saw unit enables the use of wider, less vibrating, and longer saw bars for large trees. The new head is available for the 1270H harvester with 8.6- and 10-metre boom reaches, and for the 1470H harvester with 8.6-, 10-, and 11-metre reaches.

Addressing the new TimberMatic H automation, Sakari said: “Automation is a key topic. TimberMatic automation is completely redesigned. Base-machine controls like wipers and lights are now positioned in the secondary display. The main screen focuses on actual production work. For different operators there are three different user levels.

“To improve the operator experience, TimberMatic Maps is now seamlessly integrated into TimberMatic H Automation. No more switching between two softwares. During work, all data is saved to the cloud, so the operator knows exactly the location to go and what kind of timber there is.

Forestry Journal: Product marketing manager for forwarders and automation Niko Solopuro, product marketing manager for harvesters Sakari Suuriniemi, and product marketing manager for software and aftermarket solutions Sami Törmä are interviewed at the launch event.Product marketing manager for forwarders and automation Niko Solopuro, product marketing manager for harvesters Sakari Suuriniemi, and product marketing manager for software and aftermarket solutions Sami Törmä are interviewed at the launch event. (Image: FJ)

“We have improved daily serviceability in H Series harvesters. Now the engine oil level can be checked from the cabin. All daily service points are centralised and very easy to access, like the liquid inlets in the rear.”

He added that, with the H Series, John Deere can now offer the longest service interval in the market – up to 1,000 hours with the new John Deere Protect service agreement (an announcement greeted with some excitement in the arena).


Forestry Journal: The new 20-tonne and 25-tonne forwarders in the H Series offer 25-per-cent more load capacity.The new 20-tonne and 25-tonne forwarders in the H Series offer 25-per-cent more load capacity. (Image: Supplied)

John Deere said the machines in its new forwarder size class have been optimised for working in challenging conditions, with increased load capacity and reduced fuel consumption.

The 2010H and 2510H offer 25 per cent more load capacity, with the new twin motor driveline in the 2510H forwarder offering a 50 per cent faster driving speed.

The twin-motor driveline is also an available option for the 2010H forwarder.

The new booms, F9 and F10, offer more power and longer reach. The F10 has a new longer reach of 10.2 metres, while the corresponding longer reach in the F9 boom is 10.7 metres, while the hydraulic hosing and hose routings have been improved. John Deere said the new F10 is the strongest forwarder boom in the market.

With the 40 per cent increased boom lift torque and 22 per cent higher slewing torque, larger grapple options are now available. The new F9 boom has 13 per cent more boom lift torque and 10 per cent more slewing torque.

The new geometry of the booms, five joint connections between the main boom and jib boom, provide better controllability and load-handling accuracy, and a more constant speed for the whole loading cycle.

In its press and marketing materials, John Deere described the H Series as ‘the new standard’ and ‘the future of logging’; claims backed up by a range of solutions and services designed to make harvesting more enjoyable and affordable, as well as the testimony of those who have tried the machines for themselves.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Sakari Suuriniemi added: “During my long forestry career, reducing the total harvesting cost has always been a driving force to our customers’ business. Our customers want to get the timber harvested and transported from the stand to the roadside with the lowest total harvesting cost.

"Our approach in this challenge was to create a production system where harvester, forwarder and the cloud solutions work seamlessly together.

“We strongly believe the H Series production system is the best investment for our customers.”