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Tigercat unveils new wheeled harvester prototype

As previously announced, Tigercat Inc., launched its LH822D tracked harvester at Elmia Wood in Sweden. But it also unveiled what is probably the world's largest wheeled harvester to date, the Tigercat 1185.

Getting a sense of scale with the LH822D.

Getting a sense of scale with the LH822D.

As previously announced, Canada-based forest machinery manufacturer Tigercat Inc., launched its LH822D tracked harvester at the Elmia Wood forestry trade show in Sweden. But it also unveiled, the Tigercat 1185, a new eight-wheeled prototype cut-to-length (CTL) harvester that came straight from the workshop in Brantford, Ontario to the show.

According to Tigercat’s product manager Jon Cooper, it was developed in response to customer demands in North America for a robust, powerful, high production harvester well suited to extreme duty clear fell applications, steep slopes and tough terrain.

They want to switch to the CTL method but they want bigger and more robust machines than the ones available on the market, said Cooper

Weighing in at 34 tonnes, the 308 hp (230 kW) eight-wheeler has been designed for low ground pressure and maximum accessibility. The entire machine was engineered and built by Tigercat. This includes the diesel engine, a Tigercat FPT N67 Tier 4f engine, the drivetrain components — including the pump drive, transmission and the hydraulically balanced bogie axles.

The 1185 8-wheeled harvester prototype came straight from the workshop in Canada (photo courtesy Elmia).

The 1185 8-wheeled harvester prototype came straight from the workshop in Canada (photo courtesy Elmia).

It also features advanced hydraulic circuits with dedicated pumps to power the drive, harvesting head, crane, fan and cooling circuit functions. In addition, a closed loop drive system provides performance and response on steep slopes. A pressure and flow controlled piston pump drives the cooling fan, maintaining optimal operating temperatures at the lowest possible fan speed. According to Tigercat, this all translates into high performance with fuel efficiency.

It’s an extremely robust machine suited to difficult conditions with steep terrain and large-diameter stems. It has separate hydraulic systems so that it can deliver maximum performance in every situation, said Cooper.

Unique crane design and patent pending windshield

The crane has a unique design, partly to give a perfect line of sight in all directions, and partly to give high performance even when the 11-metre reach boom is fully extended. At almost 9 metres boom extension, the harvesting head can handle up to 2.5 tonnes, and at 11 metres the limit is 1.8 tonnes. According to Tigercat, this lifting capacity makes CTL competitive in big wood stands.

Another innovative feature is that it is the first harvester to meet a new regulation in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC). The windshield of the operator cab must almost be “bulletproof” – able to withstand the impact of a link discharged from the harvester head sawbox in the event of saw chain breakage. The patent pending curved windshield is, says Tigercat, the first that can handle such a high-velocity impact.

Machines to Switzerland and Sweden

Although many of the machines showcased by Tigercat are primarily designed for markets dominated by large-diameter trees and tree-length harvesting systems, there is an interest for such machines in the Nordic and European markets.

We have customers here in Sweden, among other places, who appreciate extra stable machines, said a diplomatic Jon Cooper.

Tigercat's Chairman and CEO Ken MacDonald giving an interview during Elmia Wood.

Tigercat’s Chairman and CEO Ken MacDonald giving an interview during Elmia Wood.

In December 2016, Tigercat sold its first machine to Switzerland, a DW610E dual winch cable skidder with a Palfinger crane to Opplinger Bois, a company that supplies local district heating plants with woody biomass. In Sweden, Tigercat sold two 1085C forwarders during 2016. With a 25-tonne payload, it is a new heavyweight forwarder class.

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