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VR timber loading set to be a hit for Hiab

Like most exhibitors at trade shows, fairs and fixtures, Hiab will showcase some of its latest innovations and model upgrades. However, it is no outlandish bet that its biggest attraction will be the in real life (IRL) practical application of Virtual Reality (VR) technology in getting a loading or unloading job done from withinside the driver's cab using a pair of VR goggles and a joystick.

Hiab's HiVision VR application for timber hauliers is set to be a star attraction (photo courtesy Hiab).

Hiab’s HiVision VR application for timber hauliers is set to be a star attraction (photo courtesy Hiab).

Sweden-based forest crane and material handling specialists Hiab, part of Finland-headed Cargotec Oyj will showcase a selection of forestry crane models featuring some of its latest innovations and services under its Loglift and Jonsered brands present at the upcoming Elmia Wood.

The first Loglift/Jonsered forestry cranes were introduced more than 55 years ago. Since then we have developed and set the market standards, first by introducing the top seat, later the cabins and now moving operations to the truck cabin. We deliver the best solutions for our customers’ needs, with a special focus on safety, ergonomics, efficiency and sustainability of their businesses. We take great pleasure in meeting our customers and visitors, as well as media representatives, to discuss the future of timber handling and present our products and services at Elmia Wood, said Jon Lopez, Vice President, Forestry Cranes, Hiab.

VR crane operations a hit

All well and good but what will unquestionably attract the timber haulier and other loader crowds will be to experience a Loglift forestry crane equipped with HiVision which enables safe and comfortable crane operation from inside the truck cabin. There are four cameras on top of the forestry crane that provide the operator with a realistic 270-degree view.

This enables the crane operator to see the working area and operate the crane using Virtual Reality (VR) goggles instead of getting out of the driver’s cab and climbing into a dedicated loader cab or seat.

We will discuss and share our views about the future of timber handling and how we see this industry developing in the coming years. We strongly believe that digitalisation and connectivity will change this industry. Forests will be the same as today but the way logs are delivered from the forest to the sawmills and to other industries will definitely change as automated solutions and the use of big data develops rapidly, says Roland Sundén, President of Hiab.

It seems that Sundén is certainly not the only one to think so, the first HiVision deliveries took place at the beginning of this year in Sweden and Germany and according to Hiab, will continue in Finland and Japan, for example, with customers ranging from operators to educational institutions.

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