The online newspaper for the forest products industry including loggers, sawmills, remanufacturers and secondary wood processors.
 
Rockland Mfg. Offers New Felling Option

Rockland XL25 Tree Saw(TM) attaches to front of dozer, converts it to a feller buncher

By Peter Hildebrandt
Date Posted: 11/1/2004


Rockland Manufacturing has developed a new dozer attachment of interest to the logging industry. The company’s new XL25 Tree Saw™ is the first feller-buncher ever made for a bulldozer. The XL25 gets its name from its ability to cut a 25-inch diameter tree.

        The Rockland XL25 Tree Saw is designed for any dozer with a minimum of 85 hp. The John Deere 650, 750, Cat D5, and Cat D6 can all be retro-fitted with the XL25 Tree Saw.

        “Efficient felling can be achieved without having to buy a $400,000 single purpose machine,” Rockland  says in a production description on the company’s Web site. “Now, you can harvest timber with a machine that can also make roads, clear land, and skid timber after you’re done cutting.”

        The company has plans to later offer both larger and smaller versions of the XL25 that will cut trees anywhere from 15-35 inches in diameter and be available to fit dozers less than 85 hp.

 

Patented Tilting Tower

        The Rockland XL25 Tree Saw features a patented angling and tilting tower that tilts independently from its base and the tractor. This feature helps to eliminate bar pinch, a common problem with traditional bar saw felling heads. It is the only felling head on the market with such a design, according to Rockland.

        When cutting, the Rockland XL25 clamps grip the tree, the tower is tilted back, and the tree is cut. By tilting the tower back and away from the base, weight is taken off the base of the XL25, and the cut is opened as the saw cuts through the tree. This significantly reduces the tendency to pinch the bar and enables the XL25 to cut a 25-inch hardwood tree in under four seconds.

        The XL25 Tree Saw tower configuration also enables an operator to make cuts that are parallel to the ground  - even on steep slopes. In pulpwood harvesting operations, cutting parallel to the ground on slopes generates more wood per acre than a conventional felling head with a fixed tower. The ability to cut parallel to the ground also eliminates protruding stumps that can contribute to machine roll-over.

 

Additional Features

        The Rockland XL25 Tree Saw comes equipped with a Hultdins bar saw unit, bar position indicator lights and hydraulic package. The XL25 Tree saw is also designed for use with the Rockland DZ Dozer Coupler.

        The Hultdins bar saw unit features a 30-inch bar saw, hydraulic chain tensioner, automatic chain oiling, and chain catcher. Chain replacement and routine maintenance can be easily done in the field with a few common tools. Complete chain and bar replacement takes about 10 minutes.

        The bar indicator lights keep the dozer operator informed about what position the bar is in. This helps to avoid damaging the saw unit and improves safety. The indicator lights are mounted on the dashboard of the dozer.

        The hydraulic power pack is unique to each dozer make and model. The power pack is assembled completely from off-the-shelf parts for easy replacement.

        Full installation of the XL25, DZ Dozer Coupler, and extra hydraulics takes one week. Each Tree Saw package is engineered and manufactured by Rockland and may be installed at the factory or by an authorized Rockland dealer.

        When equipped with the DZ Dozer Coupler, the XL25 Tree Saw can be removed from the front of a dozer in five minutes. The dozer then can be quickly switched to blade or rake and perform
other tasks.

        The entire package, which consists of the XL25, hydraulic power pack, and DZ Dozer Coupler, weighs about 7,000 pounds. The hydraulics to run the XL25 do not interfere with the original dozer hydraulics and will not void tractor warranty.

 

XL25 Tree Saw Development

        The XL25 Tree Saw was conceived, built, trial-tested, and developed by a Pennsylvania logger three years ago. He wanted to be able to do more with his dozer and increase his productivity.

        His rubber-tired skidder was too big to maneuver in select cutting applications and could not handle steep terrain. Skidding logs out of steep places without damaging surrounding trees was tough, slow going.

        The logger knew his dozer could handle steep terrain, easily get into tight places, and skid timber. What if he could adapt it to fell trees, too? He went to work, and the result was the XL25 Tree Saw.

        Equipped with the XL25 Tree Saw on his dozer, the logger could now cut trees and move them without damaging surrounding trees, skid them with the aid of the dozer winch, grade, clear land and make roads — all with one machine.

        Using the XL25, the logger quickly found that cutting and carrying trees to a site that could be easily accessed by a skidder was an ideal way to increase productivity. After arriving at the site, he stacked the trees in the same direction to make it easier on the skidder operator. Using the dozer with the XL25 this way dramatically increased his production.

        After two years of field experimentation, the logger approached Rockland Manufacturing in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Rockland Manufacturing has been building attachments for the construction industry for over 50 years and was located just a few hours away.

        After watching the XL25 in action, Rockland decided to build it. After nine  months of additional development and field testing, Rockland introduced the XL25 Tree Saw at the East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Exposition, also known as the Richmond Expo, in the spring of 2004.

        “The original Tree Saw was very close to what the XL25 is today,” said Bo Pratt, Rockland’s marketing manager. “Our primary expertise is in the design of construction attachments. While developing the XL25, we worked closely with the inventor and other local loggers, adding our attachment knowledge to their logging experience. The result has been a big win for everyone. The response from the market has been tremendous.”

        Several other loggers tested the XL25 Tree Saw and gave feedback to Rockland. “The loggers who helped us field test the XL25 were a tremendous help,” said Bo. “Without their input, we would not have been able to develop a Tree Saw system that works so well for small logging operations. They’re the folks that have to use our equipment everyday. We needed their input before releasing the XL25 to the market.”

        Rockland has finished the last field tests. The XL25 Tree Saw has been on the market since September.

 

Benefits of XL25 Tree Saw

        One of the chief benefits of the XL25 is that it keeps a man off the ground. Loggers pay high worker’s compensation insurance premiums when they have a man doing work on the ground. When put into the cab of a dozer, the worker on the ground becomes an ‘operator,’ significantly reducing insurance costs. In some states, worker’s compensation insurance costs a logging contractor up to $98 for every $100 in wages paid to employees. This can be reduced to around $25-$35 per $100 of pay if an employee is in a machine working safely from inside the cab.

        Another major benefit of the XL25 is that it gives loggers the ability to take one piece of equipment that most of them already have — a dozer — and equip it to perform timber harvesting tasks. By adding an XL25 Tree Saw and a DZ Dozer Coupler, a logger can utilize his dozer all day long and in multiple applications.

        “The more that you can do with one machine, the better,” noted Bo. “With machine prices being what they are, it’s hard for some owners to justify the purchase of a single purpose machine. With the XL25 and the DZ Dozer Coupler, a logger can get a return on his dozer investment much faster than ever before and may be able to forgo buying more expensive, single use machines.”

        Rockland notes that the XL25 is not designed to compete directly with harvesting heads that cost $350,000 to $500,000. “The XL25 is certainly not going to out-produce an expensive, high production unit,” said Bo. “Until now, there hasn’t been a happy medium in the logging industry. Either you’re in the cab of a $400,000 machine or you’re on the ground with a chain saw, paying very high insurance premiums. The XL25 attached to a dozer fills the niche in between. It’s a productive, cost-effective and maneuverable machine that can also be used in other aspects of the logging operation.”

 

Replaces Man on Ground

        “The main purpose of this tool,” said Rockland sales manager Tim Davis, “is to replace a man on the ground cutting trees. This will not provide a 100 percent replacement. There will always be a need for that. But for the majority of applications, the XL25 will replace someone on the ground with a chain saw.”

        The Rockland XL25 Tree Saw can run all the time — in rain, snow, cold or heat. “Aside from the savings that logging companies will gain from having fewer men on the ground,” added Tim, “these are tough times to find workers, and this tool will save loggers from having to hire more people.

        “Logging has been one of the hardest hit industries,” Tim continued. “Anything that enables them to both save money and do more is a huge benefit. Most of these people already own a small dozer. They have already made the major capital investment. What this tool does is adapt the dozer. A dozer is mostly used to maintain roads, grade platforms, and clear land. It usually sits the rest of the time. With the Rockland XL25 Tree Saw, you take that same piece of equipment and use it every day. You get much more from your investment. From what we are hearing, owners are thrilled to be able to have more people in the cab than on the ground.”

        “The Rockland XL25 Tree Saw is perfect for the small logger out there cutting by hand in hardwood forests of high-grade timber in hilly terrain,” said Tim. “This saw is particularly well suited for the entire Appalachian region. It is also especially good for the selective forester as well as land-clearing contractors.”

        “A logger may have a small dozer and a skidder,” Tim added. “He cuts trees down and skids them out. The XL25 Tree Saw can now get him mechanized. He is now in a cab with ROPS (roll over protective structure) and screens, protected while he cuts timber. With our tree saw, he is able to cut the trees, carry them a short distance, and put them in stacks. Skidding is greatly simplified and overall productivity is better.”

 

Available from Dealers

        Rockland Manufacturing sells its construction tool products through construction machinery dealers. The Rockland XL25 Tree Saw will be no different. The XL25 and DZ Dozer Coupler are available at local construction machinery dealers.

        Rockland Manufacturing is marketing the new attachment, and news of the XL25 also is spreading by word of mouth through the dealers. Rockland has been busy exhibiting the XL25 at trade shows. In addition to the Richmond Expo, the company displayed the XL25 at the Kentucky Wood Expo and the Paul Bunyan Show in Ohio. “Logging and land-clearing outfits visiting these events will be our primary target for sales,” said Tim.

        For more information about the XL25 Tree Saw, call Rockland Manufacturing at (800) 458-3773.

        Visit the company’s Web site at www.rocklandmfg.com. On the right side of the home page, click on ‘Dozers.’ On
the next page, on the right side, click on ‘Dozer Equipment.’ Click on XL25 Tree Saw listed under ‘Dozer Equipment’ on the next page.




 






Do you want reprints or a copyright license for this article?   Click here


Research and connect with suppliers mentioned in this article using our FREE ZIP Online service.


© Copyright 2014, IndustrialReporting, Inc.
10244 Timber Ridge Dr., Ashland, VA 23005
Phone: (804) 550-0323 or FAX (804) 550-2181
Terms of Use     Contact our Staff