KOMATSU Forest has introduced the Smart Crane for its forwarders, designed to reduce the physical toll on the operator when performing crane movements and to optimise operation.

The crane is said to react to the operator’s slightest movements, translating them into smooth and efficient crane operation.

Smart Crane is described as offering advantages that include a reduced physical burden on the operator, enabling them to maintain high production throughout the day. This is made possible by the crane’s precision and smooth movement patterns, which with less sway and vibration removes stress from the operator.

Smart Crane also simplifies crane control. With just three joystick movements, the operator can easily control the grapple with great precision.

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“The telescopic boom extension is controlled automatically, meaning one less thing for the operator to think about. Fewer joystick movements make the job easier – even for an experienced operator – and mean better operator ergonomics. Another advantage is that it is much easier for an inexperienced operator to quickly hone their crane operation skills,” Daniel Grabbe, forwarder product manager, explained.

Smart Crane alters its behaviour depending on which stage of the crane cycle the grapple is at. This means that the crane behaves differently depending on whether the operator is gathering timber from the ground, loading it into the load space or stacking it at the roadside. This is seen, for example, in how Smart Crane prioritises the telescopic boom extension over the main boom, saving both time and fuel.

Grabbe added: “Our Smart Crane technology builds on SmartFlow, our intelligent crane control that includes an intelligent crane valve to ensure that the right pressure and flow are supplied to the crane at all times, regardless of the load. With its active crane damping, it also ensures impressive responsiveness and great precision in all crane movements. The crane quite simply feels like an extension of your own arm.”

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