Ommelift enables bumper fir cone harvest
By Euan Youdale02 December 2013
The first 37 m crawler lift sold in Denmark has solved a unique working at height challenge for forestry workers.
This autumn, two foresters were tasked with harvesting 20000 litres of seed cones in just a fortnight, from six acres of giant fir trees. Almost 50 years old, the trees only produce cones on the top branches – and had grown to between 35 m and 40 m high.
Tonny Bang of T/M Lift hired in the Ommelift 3700 RBDJ from Danish rental company Ringsted Liftudlejning to help them achieve their objectives. “The last time we had trees bearing seed cones in this area was five years ago,” said Mr Bang.
“Unfortunately the trees had grown so tall, that the forest lifts we normally use for harvesting could no longer reach the cones. Giant firs bear cones only on the top whorls of the branches, so being able to reach the top is essential. In this situation, the 3700 RBDJ was our only option.”
The Ommelift 3700 RBDJ is designed to traverse soft or hilly terrain, as the crawler tracks disperse the machine's weight. It has a two-speed gearbox for efficient transit and the outriggers can be set up on slopes of up to 30%, making it suitable for operation on rugged ground. Elevation takes less than three minutes to extend the seven sections of the telescopic boom to full height.
The 3700 RBDJ has a 250 kg safe working load, suitable for two people with tools. It has a 37 m maximum platform height and outreach of up to 14 m. The 130° fly-jib facilitates working up and over obstacles and the 82° basket rotation enables efficient operation in narrow and awkward places.
The Giant Fir (Latin: “abies grandis”) is a fast-growing tree. Its branches are primarily used forcreating decorations such as Christmas wreaths. Seeds harvested from the cones are sold to nurseries for growing new plants. One sack of cones contains 60 litres, enough seeds to produce 10000 new trees.
“Harvesting cones is piece work, so it is crucial that the lift is quick and easy to set-up correctly to avoid any disruption of the work,” added Mr Bang.