The logging industry relies heavily on specialized equipment to move heavy logs, timber, and other forest products. Forest cranes are one of the essential tools in this industry, designed to work in rugged and challenging conditions.
From knuckle boom cranes to yarder cranes, the options for forest cranes are numerous, and each type has unique features that make it ideal for specific tasks. In this article, we will explore the five different types of forest cranes and their unique features, helping you understand which type of crane best suits your needs.
1) Knuckle Boom Crane
A knuckle boom forest crane is a heavy-duty piece of machinery designed for forestry applications. Its name derives from the jointed arm that forms its main component, known as the knuckle boom.
This boom is articulated in several sections, allowing it to reach deep into forests and make precise movements. Its design allows it to be operated from a remote station, giving it a large reach without needing a lot of ground clearance. This makes it ideal for moving trees, logs, and other heavy materials.
The arm of the knuckle boom crane can be extended and rotated, allowing it to reach high into the trees to pick up logs, making it ideal for harvesting operations. The crane is powered by a hydraulic system, providing precise and smooth control over the arm.
2) Grapple Crane
A grapple crane is a type of forest crane used in forestry and wood harvesting operations. Grapple cranes can be mounted on a truck or trailer, allowing for ease of transport from one location to another. Some models can also be fitted with a rotating cab, allowing the operator to reach different angles. This type of forest crane is designed to lift larger loads and is commonly found in logging yards, lumber mills, and other areas where large amounts of timber are harvested.
The grapple crane can be equipped with a boom or winch for increased reach and power. Its long arms and powerful gripping mechanism allow for quick and efficient loading and unloading of large loads of timber from the forest to the truck or mill. With its strength and efficiency, a grapple crane is an invaluable tool for the timber industry.
3) Clamshell Crane
A clamshell crane is a type of crane that uses a large, scoop-like bucket to lift and transport heavy materials. These machines are designed to move large objects quickly and are extremely useful for loading and unloading logs from trucks or railcars. They can also move tree stumps, heavy branches, and other large items. Clamshell cranes are usually powered by either diesel or electric motors.
Clamshell cranes are equipped with two curved metal arms, known as buckets, connected by a cable. The buckets can open and close, allowing the crane to pick up and drop off materials. The crane is operated by a remote control unit and can be mounted on trucks or tracks for increased mobility.
Due to their size and strength, clamshell cranes are an essential tool for forestry and logging operations. They provide a safe and efficient way to move materials in the forest and make it easier for workers to do their jobs more effectively. Clamshell cranes can be customized to meet specific needs, such as using a different type of bucket or adding additional hydraulic systems for greater lifting capacity.
4) Forwarder crane
A forwarder crane, also known as a yarder crane or a skidder crane, is a forest crane used to harvest and transport trees. It is typically mounted on rubber tires and has two booms that allow it to move quickly over forest terrain.
The design of the forwarder crane allows it to have multiple configurations, allowing it to be adapted to different jobs, including felling trees, loading logs onto trucks, and clearing roads. They can also load and unload logs from water sources like rivers and lakes.
The forwarder crane is particularly useful in steep terrain and wet conditions, where other types of cranes cannot access the area. It also has a boom system that can reach up to 10 feet, making it useful for reaching high into trees. In addition, it can carry loads up to 8 tons, making it ideal for moving large logs.
5) Yarder Crane
A yarder crane, also known as a skyline crane, is used in the logging industry to move logs from steep or inaccessible areas to a landing area. The crane consists of a drum and cable system mounted on a tower and used to pull logs up the slope and into a landing area. The yarder crane is mounted on two rails connected by a beam at the top.
The yarder crane can be operated either manually or with a power winch. Its powerful boom allows it to reach high into the trees and provides great leverage for harvesting timber from hard-to-reach areas. Yarder cranes are equipped with a hydraulic control system, which provides precise control over the drum and cable system.
Additionally, they are designed to have a lower environmental impact since they require less travel time when compared to other types of forest cranes.
The five different types of forest cranes, including knuckle boom cranes, grapple cranes, forwarder cranes, yarder cranes, and clamshell cranes, offer unique features each that make them well-suited for different tasks and environments.
Whether you’re involved in harvesting operations, transporting logs from the forest, or stacking logs in an orderly manner, the forest crane is a valuable tool that can help you get the job done efficiently and effectively. Each of the five types of forest cranes has been designed to work in rugged and challenging conditions, ensuring that they are durable and long-lasting, making them a great investment.