Our cover photo for this issue is of a Logset 12H GTE Hybrid harvester and 6F Forwarder which was submitted by Darren and Wendy Smith.
Darren and Wendy Smith are a husband-and-wife forestry contracting team who work in the Somerset and Devon areas. Darren operates the harvester and Wendy the forwarder. Both machines are just over two years old but this is the fourth Logset harvester Darren has owned. Wendy was happy to provide a brief insight regarding their work.
Which areas do you work in and what type of work do you carry out?
“We work throughout Somerset and Devon harvesting and extracting timber on all types of terrain. Our contracts vary in size from 500 tonne up to 10,000 tonne. Although the Logset 12H GTE Hybrid Harvester is a big machine it is surprisingly nimble and is capable of all types of work from first thinnings to mature clear cuts. The type of ground we work on varies from flat to quite steep – we have an excavator winch for skidding timber off very steep ground that is unsafe to harvest with machines.”
What made you decide on Logset machines?
“Many years ago, Darren had a harvester (not a Logset) with a problem that no one was able to repair. We decided to contact John from RJ Fukes Forestry Services to see if he would come out and have a look. It took him 10 minutes to find and repair the problem, need I say more 😊
Are you pleased with the Hybrid?
“It’s a good all-round machine with loads of power but still fuel efficient. The TH75 harvesting head and 10m reach powerful crane work well together, if the tree fits in the head it will process it. When harvesting large trees on steep downhills the crane has no problem pulling them back up towards the harvester. It’s very stable even when harvesting on steep ground. The harvester had a minor teething problem when new which John was quick to remedy, since then it has proved to be reliable and productive.”
And your forwarder?
“I operate the 6F forwarder, this is a 14- tonne load capacity forwarder with a Stage V 230hp Agco engine. My forwarder has been great from day one, it starts every morning and extracts timber all day long, week in week out. What more could you ask for!
“I opted for the smooth ride Cabin suspension; this is well worth the extra cost as it just makes your day so much better with a comfortable ride when manoeuvring over rough terrain. It has a good-sized bunk with an excellent payload and the vision out of the cab for picking up wood and loading lorries (which we do a lot of) is excellent.”
Have you and Darren always worked in forestry?
“Darren has worked in the woods from leaving school, he started out as a timber faller with a chainsaw working alongside his family. He progressed onto processors and then harvesters before setting up on his own. I started forwarding about 9 years ago and I’ve never looked back.”
Do you have to travel far for work?
“Our maximum travelling distance is about one hour from home, if we work further than that we stay on site in our RV. We both thoroughly enjoy timber harvesting and I couldn’t see us doing anything else.”
RJ Fukes Forestry Services
RJ Fukes Forestry Services are the UK sales and service distributers for Logset harvesting equipment, Timbermax Traction Winches, Neuson Forest, TST Forestry and Ludwig Chokers. They also offer Welding and Fabrication, Plasma Cutting, Line Boring, Milling and Custom Winch Builds.
Fukes cover the UK and Ireland from their workshops in Llandovery and Carlisle and have mobile engineers with fully equipped service vehicles for carrying out on-site servicing and repairs.
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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.
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