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HSM presents a combined forwarder-skidder

While the cut-to-length (CTL) harvester and forwarder system for logging and extraction totally dominates in the Nordics, tree-length logging, whereby felled trees are extracted using winches or skidders is widely used in other parts of the world. Many times though, a combined approach is what is needed and that is exactly what forest machinery manufacturer HSM is proposing with its combined forwarder-skidder.

The 8-wheeled 208F is a forwarder in the 12 tonne capacity and one of three models that can function as a skidder (photo courtesy HSM).

The 8-wheeled 208F is a forwarder in the 12 tonne capacity and one of three models that can function as a skidder (photo courtesy HSM).

German forest machinery manufacturer Hohenloher Spezial-Maschinenbau GmbH (HSM) has recognised the gap in the market and will be showcasing a combined forwarder-skidder at the upcoming Elmia Wood.

– In German forestry we do both CTL and tree-length logging, partly because industry needs vary and partly because we fell more large-diametre hardwoods, said Patrick Preusch of HSM.

The company is no newcomer having manufactured forestry machines for half a century. Its last appearance in Sweden was at Elmia Wood in 2013, when it exhibited conventional CTL harvesters and forwarders.

Plenty of options

According to Preusch, the combination forwarder-skidder comes in three basic types: HSM 208, 805 and 904. Each comes in various versions, including with four or six wheels. In all the versions the bunk space can be quickly adapted to turn the forwarder into a skidder. The crane also has a quick-release attachment so the operator can switch between a grapple and a harvester head. In other words, it is three machines in one.

The crane also has a quick-release attachment so the operator can switch between a grapple and a harvester head. In other words, it is three machines in one.

The machines also come with two types of winches for front or rear mounting, with a tractive force of 7 or 15 tonnes. The winches are designed for felling on steep slopes, where the logs must be winched out before a forwarder or skidder can take them out to the road.

One unique design solution is that the width of the wheel axles is less than on equivalent machines. The advantage is that this allows space for 900 mm wide tires without exceeding the maximum permitted 3 m width of the machine for driving on public roads.

While the combined forwarder-skidder may be a foreign machine in the Nordics, in countries like Germany it offers the forest contractor job site flexibility and a wider variety of contracting jobs.

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