RJ Fukes Forestry Services hosted a demonstration, early November, of the Doherty Group’s Logset 6HP GTE/TH65 harvester near Port Laoise in Southern Ireland.
The Doherty Group was formed in 2004 and has been expanding annually. The company operates from two sites in Omagh (six acre and four acre), which affords the business the opportunity to garage all machines on site and store materials/stock.
The Doherty Group was formed from a group of individual companies which identified a gap in the market – in particular in the timber harvesting and transport sectors – for a specialised, reliable service, and has continued to grow and expand through constant investment in new machinery and bycontinuing to provide a reliable service to the increasing customer base. With over 50 highly trained and skilled staff operating a fleet of 18 trucks, six harvesters and four forwarders, the Doherty Group will continue to grow and expand into new markets and territories.
I first saw this Logset 6HP GTE/TH65 harvester in February 2018, leaving the production line at the Logset factory in Koivulahti Finland before being tested in a nearby forest prior to shipping. We visited Logset with John Fukes and joining us on the trip was Richard Doherty, who would be operating the harvester in Ireland.
It was going to be interesting to see how it was performing and to discover what he thought of the harvester now he had been using it for a few months.
Our trip to Ireland involved an early ferry from Cairnryan to Larne (in quite heavy seas) on the Saturday, with a return trip scheduled for the Sunday afternoon. We hoped to be at the demonstration for around lunchtime but there was a sticky moment not far into our journey. As per usual, I decided I knew better than my sat-nav and the lady who lives in my dashboard threw a hissy fit and stopped all communications (including the radio) when I wouldn’t listen to her instructions; we ended up heading West instead of South.
Fortunately, John and Sue had the event well signposted from the main roads and we arrived just a little over our scheduled ETA.
Entering the demo site we first saw Sue and Jade Wynne who were manning the Logset tent and we were grateful for a nice hot cuppa before walking the short distance to the demonstration area.
There was a fairly large crowd present and I spotted Marc Mimeau, sales manager for Logset in the UK, Germany, France and Spain. It is always a pleasure to catch up with Marc and he was pleased with the excellent turnout. Wendy and Darren Smith had made the journey over from Wiveliscombe in Somerset, both have their own machines working in the forest: Darren harvests the timber with a Logset 5H and Wendy forwards it out with a Komatsu 855.1. Both were interested in viewing the larger Logset harvester.
I eventually managed to catch up with John, who was very much in demand from the many visitors attending and getting bombarded with technical questions. He was overwhelmed with the way the demo had been received so far. The Logset received an excellent reception from the onlookers and Richard operated the harvester in a cool, professional manner. It is easy to make simple mistakes when there are a lot of fellow professionals observing your every move.
The Logset was working in Sitka Spruce,with a tree size of approximately .3m³ and a lot of windblown trees throughout the crop. They had blown down in different directions at different times, making it a bit more awkward for Richard to harvest. However, this demonstrated how capable and powerful the Logset is at dealing with interlocked blown trees. I got the chance to speak with Richard Doherty to find out how he found the Logset:
“The vision from the cab is fantastic; some of the people at the demo today have sat in the cab and have been impressed by how good the vision actually is.
Most of the timber I cut averages between .0 to .3m³ and I usually cut around 200m³ each day, using about 13 ltrs of diesel per hour. The rollers are amazing as no matter how heavily branched the timber is there is no slip and they make a brilliant job of de-limbing the timber. The build quality is excellent and it has a strong robust chassis.
I am delighted with the Logset 6HP GTE – the cab is spacious, comfortable and well laid out with all the extras you have come to expect of a good quality machine.
We choose Logset not just because they are a good reliable product but because RJ Fukes have well trained, skilled engineers offering top quality mechanical backup when required.”
The Logset was masterly to watch harvesting the timber and many of the visitors were surprised at just how efficient and capable it was.
After visiting the Logset factory in February, I came away thoroughly impressed with their set up. It was immediately clear that Logset are focused on the quality of the equipment they manufacture rather than the quantity.
Logset are a forward thinking company who have been hugely successful in manufacturing the first hybrid harvester, which has been recognised by the Bavarian State Forest Management Company (BAYSF) as a “huge step in the right direction”. BAYSF see the Logset 12H GTE Hybrid as one of the ways forward for efficient and responsible timber harvesting.
All their machines and harvesting heads are extremely well made using the best components available to give a long, reliable and profitable service life.
The general murmur from the people we saw at the demonstration was hugely positive towards the Logset 6HP GTE, and many of the visitors had never actually seen one working.
I have to admit that the best way to showcase a machine is by having it working properly in its natural habitat. Potential customers get the chance to chat to the operators and get a real, unbiased opinion as to the performance, economy and reliability of the machine on demonstration.
There was a bonus on this trip as at the other end of the coupe was a Neuson Forest 243 HVT levelling tracked harvester fitted with a Logset TH75 harvesting head. RJ Fukes have recently added the complete range of Neuson tracked harvesters to their portfolio and this Neuson was the first in the UK and Ireland to be fitted with a Logset head.
Neuson Forest is an Austrian manufacturer based in Linz and they manufacture a range of tracked, purpose built harvesters with a cab and crane levelling system for steep ground.
The tracked harvesters are capable of tackling all sizes of timber on both steep and boggy ground. The smallest is the 104 HVT thinning harvester, which weighs just 13.5 tonnes, has a minimal tail swing and is just 2.5m wide. It is fitted with a telescopic 9.3m reach crane and will work comfortably on slopes up to 30° (58%). The largest model is the 243 HVT 24.7 tonne final thinning/clearfelling machine, which has crane options of up to a maximum 13.1m reach.
The 243HVT on display had a 9.1m reach crane as the Logset TH75 is a large harvesting head. It weighs 1,300kg and is capable of felling 800mm (31”) stems with a feeding speed of up to 5.6m/sec.
I asked John how much work is involved in fitting the Logset head to the Neuson base and he replied that it is a relatively simple process, taking one and a half days to fit the head and wire in the computer system. The Neuson/Logset harvester combination comes with a 12 month/2,000 hr warranty guaranteed by RJ Fukes and any spare parts required are readily available.
The Neuson machines will be a welcome addition to the harvesting equipment used in the UK and Ireland. As opposed to an excavator conversion, these units are purpose built timber harvesters designed to work efficiently in challenging forestry conditions. These tracked machines are an excellent option for wet, boggy sites due to their low impact nature. The longer reach crane option provides the ability to harvest a wider swathe, which creates a denser brash mat. This is a win-win situation as it greatly improves the efficiency of the forwarder while reducing the impact on the environment.
The 243 HVT was demonstrated by Andrew Doherty and for someone with very little experience of operating a Neuson he did an excellent job of showing just how capable this harvester was.
Forest Machine Magazine is written and edited by a forest professional with over 40 years hands on experience. We are dedicated to keeping you informed with all the latest news, views and reviews from our industry.
To support us you can subscribe to our bi-monthly magazine which is delivered to your door from only £30 per year.