AFM heads on excavators
The excavator based harvester is a multi-functional and economical alternative for harvesting purposes. The fitting of harvester heads to excavator bases is standard practice throughout forestry. These machines are quite often just as sophisticated and capable as purpose built machines, but cost only a fraction of the price. AFM-Forest Ltd has developed special harvester heads for excavators. They adapt very well on excavators because of both their diversified hydraulic-steering system and a strong and also simple body structure. The frame of AFM heads is executed from high-strength steel, and as against heads of other manufacturers, it is monolithic which makes it highly durable and suitable for rough work on track based machines and excavators.
AFM harvester heads can be easily installed on a modern track-based hydraulic excavator between 10-40 tons weight with some modifications and extra protections for forest use. AFM is a well proven solution for easy and inexpensive transformation of your excavator into an efficient harvester or processor.
Advantages of Excavator Based Harvesters
One of the approaches towards economical harvesting is using an excavator with AFM harvester or processor head mounted on it. Following are the advantages of excavator-harvesters:
1. Economical harvesting
- Low investments costs. The price of an excavator-harvester is 30-50% lower than the price of a purpose built harvester.
- Productivity of excavator-based harvester is almost the same with productivity of purpose built harvester, but with the same money as for purpose built harvester you can buy two excavator-based harvesters.
- Lower maintenance and service costs compared to purpose built harvesters.
- Lower operating costs.
- Easier to sell. The excavator keeps high residual value even after several years of use.
2. High reliability and ease of use
- Excavators are serially manufactured and proved very well their high mechanical availability.
- Excavators are designed for tough work.
- Long-life. Excavators-harvesters work in "softer" conditions compared to excavators which work on construction site.
- Easier access to service supports and spare parts.
Excavator-harvester may be used the whole year regardless the cutting season. It may be used as a:
- harvester - for felling, delimbing and crosscutting trees
- processor - for delimbing and crosscutting (in tree-length and full-tree operations)
- loader - by mounting a grapple on it
- usual excavator - for digging operations, road construction and maintenance etc.
4. High working efficiency in the forest
- Excavator-harvester is a powerful machine for clearcuttings
- It is a highly productive processor at the roadside or at sawmills (at the sawmills especially wheel-based excavators due to their good mobility)
- Short base excavator with harvester head is an environmental friendly solution for thinnings
- Big trees can be harvested with crawler excavator-harvesters
- Excavator-harvesters have better mobility on swampy and steep areas.
- Less traffic in the stand due to the fact that the cabin of the excavator can turn 360 degrees giving the possibility to the operator to harvest all around the machine.
- Good visibility in all directions makes harvesting easier.
- Modern excavators are ergonomic machines with good comfortable environment in the cabin.
- The harvester head may be mounted in several ways on the excavator: using quick coupling, boom link, nose adaptor, telescopic boom, boom stick with bucket.