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November/December 2023 | Muedanyi Ramantswana

Using the TimberMAX traction-winch assist in land clearing operations

Site Preparation

Residue management

Traction winch assist systems are becoming more common in forest operations and more recently being used with silviculture equipment. The principle behind this technology is that a cable, that is kept under tension, is attached to a ground-based machine to counteract the forces of gravity and this prevents slippage, increasing the tethered machine’s stability on slopes.

What is it?
TimberMAX is a high-performance traction-winch system which enables a variety of different machines to operate efficiently on steeper terrain. The T-Series winch attachment is versatile, as it can be mounted on a wide range of carriers from 18 tons and up. According to TimberMAX, the system delivers the lowest traction-winch cost per hour for a full-service solution.

How it functions?
The TimberMAX winch is fitted to a base carrier and uses the hydraulic system of this base carrier to provide a constant tension to the tethered unit. The tethered unit has full control of the tethering functions and can increase or decrease the line tension from the unit on the slope. The TimberMAX winch assist can be used with any machines with the weight of 4.5t to 54t and has a maximum line speed of up to 9km/h, the maximum rope length is 540m.

Benefits of using the TimberMAX traction assist technology
TimberMAX commonly tethers full size mulchers, small to large bulldozers, leveling feller bunchers, and small to large excavators.

• In the land clearing applications, the TimberMAX can facilitate improved productivity and enhance worker safety by stabilizing the mulcher. The rope is attached lower than the center of gravity of the tethered unit and this completely changes the handling in all areas of reduced traction. This characteristic coupled with the available rope speed, means that popular and efficient wheeled mulchers (image below) can be used in these more difficult to access applications.

• In a silvicultural application the TimberMAX can tether large forwarders in residue reduction applications and can be used in a steep slope discing application.

• When using the TimberMAX technology one can expect to achieve lower ground disturbance in inclement weather conditions, improved safety and productivity on steep slope by providing a constant pulling tension. Additionally, using this winch assist technology allows forestry contractors or grower companies to achieve more working days in a year in spite of adverse weather conditions.

• The traction-assist unit can be mounted as an attachment on any equipment, such as excavators, harvesters, mulchers and basically any unit available. A TimberMAX T20 winch is seen fitted to an excavator below.

• When the operator needs to use the equipment for another application, they can swap their TimberMAX to a different attachment in less than 20 minutes.

For technical specifications of the traction-winch assist units from TimberMAX, see the attached documents.


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