Ever since Eco Log took over the harvester head manufacturer SP-Maskiner by the end of 2020 the goal has been to develop a new harvester head for the Eco Log harvesters. Now the time has come. The first Eco Log harvester head 661LF will be the first to enter the market. Does the model sound familiar? Maybe that´s because it´s identical with the SP-661LF head.
Eco Log launches new harvester head
The hardware, the head itself, may be the same as the SP original but a lot of effort has been put into developing the software to make the head work optimal on Eco Log´s harvesters. The control systems for the base unit and the head have been adapted. Also, the hydraulics have been modified for the new combination.
Eco Log Saw Control
The new Eco Log heads will be delivered with a control system called Eco Log Saw Control. It´s a optimization of the hydraulic pressure for the cutting saw to make it cut at max capacity independent of tree species and diameter. According to the test operator, Magnus Sjöström, the cutting function is much quicker compared to the machine that he normally operates.
The first head tested on an Eco Log 590F harvester
The first Eco Log head has been tested in mid Sweden during a few weeks. The sister site Skogsforum.se got the chance to have a look at it and to talk to have a chat with Magnus, the operator. Magnus normally operates a Eco Log 590E with another head, but now he has had the chance to try this new combination.
Eco Log 661LF is a harvester head for clear cuts. It´s meant to be mounted at the crane tip of the large Eco Log 590F harvesters in first hand. However, it could also be mounted on the smaller 580F harvester.
Four Eco Log heads
Apart from the 661LF head, Eco Log will have 461LF, 561LF and the sturdy 761LF heads in their range. The smallest head suits the thinning harvesters 550 T-Pro and 1058F. The 561 head suits the Eco Log harvesters 560F and 688F. The big ones, of course goes well with the 590F harvester that is top of the line in the Eco Log harvester range.
Manufacturing of the new heads will start during autumn 2021. From the start, the three heads 461LF, 561LF and 661LF will be produced. Later, also the 761 head will come in Eco Log colors. A eucalyptus-kit with EUC delimbing knives and wider measuring wheel will be offered as option to the two larger heads. Later, a pure eucalyptus version of the 661 head will turn up.
That Eco Log now have their own harvester heads doesn´t mean that customers can´t chose other heads for their Eco Log harvesters. LogMax and Warratah will still be offered as options for those who want that.
Creating a forest machine group
Eco Log has had an intensive development for some years now. New owners 2017 (Accent Equity) and a new CEO in 2018 (Anders Gustafsson). The Swedish sales organization was purchased in 2019 and in 2020 the company merged with the competing manufacturer Gremo. The Gremo machines went from green to yellow and the production was moved to the Eco Log factory. By the end of 2020 the consolidation was completed with the purchase of SP-Maskiner that earlier was in the same group as Gremo. The previous main owner of SP and Gremo, Weland, are however part owners in the present group.
Independent operator on the harvester head market
As many of their colleagues, Eco Log now has their own head manufacturer with its own free market. Just like LogMax, owned by Komatsu Forest, and Warratah, owned by John Deere Forestry SP-Maskiner will continue as a free company. Manufacturing and sales stay under the brand SP and in its own sales organization. Simultaneously, SP-Maskiner will produce harvester heads for Eco Log, in Eco Log colors, in the SP factory.
Back to normal after the corona-dip
Last year was tough for most forest machine manufacturers due to the outbreak of the corona pandemic. The market was more or less dead for months after the outbreak but recovered in late summer 2020. According to the Eco Log CEO Anders Gustafsson, Eco Log have had good sales since August 2020. The “calm” period in spring and summer 2020 could be used to integrate the Gremo products into the Eco Log program and move the production to the Eco Log factory in Söderhamn.
This year the market has been strong and many of the export markets has strongly come back. Anders Gustafsson counts on full recovery during 2021, meaning that sales and growth will go as planned.
Film and photos
Here is a film from the visit:
and some photos:
Film and photos: Torbjörn Johnsen