This is usually a busy time of year for land clearers thanks to the Endangered Species Act (1973)—the primary law in the United States for protecting threatened or endangered species. And if you’re looking to make hay while the sun don’t shine, feller buncher productivity is a huge part of that land-clearing effort. Much of that comes down to maximizing cutting efficiency through managing tooth condition on the blade. Here are five tips to help you meet your productivity goals:
Tooth sharpness: A sharp and properly-turned tooth is an efficient tooth. Each tooth has four tips and can cut on two sides. Flipping a tooth 180º when worn on one side allows you to not only optimize the cut but to get the most out of every tooth investment.
Tooth wear: A balanced disc is also key to maximizing productivity. Inspecting tooth wear—twice daily in busier periods or in tougher conditions—and monitoring for replacement is essential to maintaining a balanced disc. Balancing tip: If replacement of a whole set is not warranted, replace not only the worn teeth but those in the 180º, opposite position. Doing so will maintain disc balance.
Tooth cleaning: Muddy conditions can significantly increase wear on disc teeth. By cleaning/removing mud packed around the disc, you can decrease the wear rate, as well as improving the recovery time of the disc.
Air flow/cooling: While less of an issue in winter due to the lack of leaves, keeping the cooling package screens clean is key to optimizing air flow. This, in turn, improves engine function … and productivity.
Site traffic pattern: Establishing an efficient traffic pattern and conditions onsite is also key to overall project productivity. While sometimes difficult given the site terrain or conditions, working from easy-to-access landing areas optimizes flow. Also, bunching material neatly in large groups helps skidder operators move as much material as possible, in a time-efficient manner.
As you can see from above, tooth management is a key variable. Columbus Equipment Company carries two types of disc teeth—Quadco and Gator—to help you achieve this goal. Depending on your disc set up, either may prove the best solution. We’ll explain the differences in a future brief. Thanks for your time … and if you have any questions, feel free to call me, Forestry Product Specialist Garrett Bailey, at (513) 910-3869.