Family tree for forestry

With half a century of forestry expertise, Swedish company Nitta Rundvirke is keen to increase its fleet of machines powered by Volvo Penta.

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After five decades in the industry, the family which runs Nitta Rundvirke has plenty of experience in forestry management. They know that speed, efficiency and durability of equipment are vital across all terrains and climatic conditions. The company has several harvesters and forwarders made by equipment manufacturer, Eco Log, including the 580E harvester which is powered by an 8-liter Volvo Penta engine. The Eco Log 580E has a pendulum jib for versatile reach capabilities, which is fitted with a Log Max 5000D harvester-head, and is used for both final felling and thinning.

“I have chosen Eco Log machinery because of the reliability, low maintenance costs and the efficiency of their equipment,” says Frans Spetz, co-owner of Nitta Rundvirke. “This machine is the first prototype that we, together with Volvo Penta and Eco Log, tested during the development of our new harvester series, and we were so satisfied with the engine and how it performed compared with other engine manufacturers, as well as the positive response we had from all the people at Volvo Penta.

“It is fast, really fast, and at the same time incredibly stable with low fuel consumption and low noise. When you drive a machine that performs very well with low noise and a fast response, you don’t get tired and so the driver can keep up a higher production, which means healthier employees and better profitability.” He adds: “But it’s the engine’s stable rpm and fast response that makes this engine the best I have ever tried. It’s because of that that I have taken into consideration to replace some of my older machinery earlier than I expected.”

Optimum power in milliseconds
Nitta Rundvirke was started in 1967 by Frans’ father, Rune Spetz, and is based in Hökerum, Sweden. The company carries out all forestry management services including tree planting, felling and cutting, and purchase and transportation of wood for delivery to customers. The Eco Log harvesters are used for felling trees, delimbing branches, and cutting the timber to the specific size, as ordered. The cab and suspension arm can rotate 350° and the pendulum design enables the machine to tilt 25° sideways and 17° to the front or rear — allowing it to work in hilly environments. The units are equipped with five pumps: two for the transmission; one for the suspension arm; one to operate the harvester-head; and one for the recirculation pump, which together with the vertically oriented coolers, optimizes the cooling capacity during the harvester operation. The Volvo Penta engine provides power to the pumps, running at a low rpm, and can easily handle all work without overloading the engine.

“The difficulty with forest machinery is the environment we work in,” says Spetz. “It is sometimes very rough terrain, with snow in winter, and heat and dust in the summer. Despite this the engine must deliver power extremely fast so that we can keep up production levels - we talk in terms of milliseconds. When we push the saw button, the saw must start immediately and cut the log very quickly otherwise there will be cracks in the log and the sawmill will not accept it.”

The machinery is usually operated five days a week. Eco Log’s forwarders gather the branches and cut logs, and transport them to the required destination. Nitta Rundvirke has ordered a new Eco Log 574E forwarder unit to add to the fleet, powered by an 8-liter Volvo Penta engine.

“When I found out it has a Volvo Penta engine, I ordered a brand new machine,” says Spetz. “Volvo Penta can deliver spare parts in 24 hours and they have a big service organization that can help me to keep downtime on the machines to a minimum.” He adds: “Forestry management is very important in Sweden and because of that we need to live up to high expectations to protect the environment. Volvo Penta is doing a great job with the engines regarding emissions levels because they keep testing and getting the engines to produce lower levels all the time.”

Going forward
Volvo Penta’s TAD872VE engine powers Eco Log’s 580E harvester, and the TAD871VE powers the 574E forwarder; they operate at 286 hp and 252 hp, respectively. Both engines are powerful, compact and reliable off-road diesel engines, that provide world-class fuel efficiency and comply with EU Stage IV/Tier 4 Final emissions legislation. Maximum power and torque are available at low rpm; and low noise and smooth operation are also features of these 8-liter engines.

“Our engines are proving to be very successful in forestry equipment,” says Giorgio Paris, Volvo Penta’s head of the industrial segment. “We design them to provide excellent performance, along with low fuel consumption and low emissions, so that they provide great functional capabilities as well as being appropriate for environmental care. To hear that Nitta Rundvirke is so pleased with the machine they have with a Volvo Penta engine, that they have quickly ordered a new Eco Log unit, is a testament to the collaboration between all three of our companies.”

Volvo Penta will be at Elmia Wood forestry fair in Sweden from June 7-10, at stand 1065.

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