DC Equipment’s latest innovative product is here, with the Falcon Felling Carriage Prototype being released at HarvestTECH 2017 in Rotorua between 20-21 June.
The initial idea of the Falcon Felling Carriage was to attach a felling head to the Falcon Claw Carriage to trial the idea of mechanically harvesting on unsafe slopes. The trials, carried out on a converted Falcon Claw across three years, were a success which lead to the development of a completely new felling head, designed in-house at DC Equipment in Nelson.
The new felling head incorporates two saws; a smaller front saw that is to be used to make a front cut and a larger rear saw to do the main cut. Recently a hydraulic ram has been incorporated into the arm attaching to the felling head.
The ram also gives the operator much more control says DC’s New Zealand Operations Manager, Barry McIntosh.
“When the operator went to grab hold of a tree with the fixed arm, if he wanted to drop that grapple down, say 200mm, he would have to drop the skyline to do that, whereas it’s much easier with the ram to lower or raise the head and make fine adjustments. It gives a lot better control. A bit like having an excavator boom.”
Another positive, result of the trials was the ability of the Felling Carriage to safely cut and extract windthrow. “During testing, we were given the opportunity to cut some windthrow and it worked really well,” says Barry. “To be able to remotely cut windthrow from the safety of a cab 200-to-400 metres away is quite amazing.”
With more trials to come during this year and improvements to be made, the new Falcon Felling Carriage is planned to be in production and ready for sale in 2018.