Witnessed in Essex on 10 September 2008: the total decimation of an ash tree, approximately 18cm in diameter and more than 8m tall, in under five minutes. It had to be seen to be believed. The job was completed by the Bobcat Forestry Cutter attached to a high-flow tracked loader. With the attachment raised, the trunk of the tree was severed. Repeated plunges took the standing trunk down to ground level. All parts were mulched by running the kit back and forth across the fallen material.
The Bobcat Forestry Cutter is the latest attachment for use with the high-flow versions of the company's new T320 compact tracked and S330 skid-steer loaders, or the existing S300, T250, T300 and A300 models. The unit has 24 fixed carbide cutting-teeth over a working width of 1.52m. It is designed for continuous work on bushes and trees 10cm to 13cm in diameter, intermittent use for trees with trunks of 18cm to 23cm and occasional use on trees up to 30cm.
The flow rate required by the Forestry Cutter is 118 litres/min and the tip speed at this rate is 2,616m/min. A pressure gauge, visible from the cab, helps the operator to run the attachment at peak efficiency.
To ensure safe operation it is designed for use as part of a Forestry Applications Kit that protects the loader and operator from flying objects and debris. A safety feature stops the drum from turning in the event of the door being opened.
For work in confined spaces in woodland and forests, front- and rear-light guards are added and a hydraulic quick-coupler guard protects the couplers, hoses and wire harness from falling trees and branches. All functions of the Forestry Cutter can be fingertip-controlled from the operator seat.
Quick and effective, this kit should prove invaluable for site clearance and other jobs where there is no requirement for log or woodchip production.