Ponsse Scorpion – stings like a … scorpion

Ponsse Scorpion

Let´s stop talking about the forest for a moment, and just go there instead. It´s about time, so I decided to visit a Ponsse Scorpion in the woods. The Scorpion doesn´t look like the other harvesters, but it does the same job. It turned out, however, that this Scorpion wasn´t working in the woods this day, but in town. 

Ponsse Scorpion

The Scorpion was introduced by Ponsse in 2013. It has many interesting solutions that the competitors hasn´t which makes it interesting. It soon became a bestseller for Ponsse. Today there are two versions of it: Scorpion and Scorpion King. The latter is bigger and more suited for final felling. The one I visited, is a normal Scorpion that mainly operates in thinning.

Log Max Harvester Heads
Ponsse Scorpion
Ponsse Scorpion

The thinning I visited was special to say the least. The decisionmakers in town wanted to clear up a piece of forest close to a school and a kindergarten. Lots of hardwoods and all spruce trees should be removed to create a more park-like forest. Maple, oak, willow and cherry should be left to form the new forest. For this, a smooth and flexible machine was needed. The contractor Bodafors Skogstjänst AB took on the challenge with their Scorpion and the operator Torbjörn Alkeberg. Considering the conditions, both the machine and Torbjörn made a great job.

Stings like a scorpion

Ponsse calls the Scorpion “a beast of a harvester”. I don´t know if the machine actually stings, but its design reminds of a scorpion waving the tail over the head. This design offers a very good view over the harvester head as no crane is in the way.

Ponsse Scorpion
The Scorpion doesn’t look like other harvesters. The location of the crane reminds of a scorpion waving its tail over the head.

Good view from the cab

Also, the cab rotates with the crane meaning that the operator always is looking straight ahead towards the harvester head where the action is. This is especially suitable in thinning where it otherwise could be difficult to see and maneuver the head.

Ponsse Scorpion
The design, the rotating cab and the location of the crane gives the operator an excellent view of the harvester head.
Ponsse Scorpion
View from the cab. Nothing in the way.

Both EcoLog and Komatsu have cabs and cranes integrated, but their cranes are placed on the side of the cabs. With the Scorpion solution the operator has full view on both sides of the cab when the crane is in its upper position.

Critics point out, that when the Scorpion crane is lowered it blocks the sight on both sides of the cab. On the other hand, in this situation the harvester head will be further away from the cab and that´s where the operator should keep his or her eyes.

Another detail that makes the Scorpion unique is the double waist construction. There are three frames of the machine instead of the normal two. The cabin and the crane are attached to the center frame that has one rotating joint on each side. This, in combination with a hydraulically balanced cab, gives a good working environment for the operator. It also makes the machine very stable.

Ponsse Scorpion
The operator Torbjörn Alkeberg at Bodafors Skogstjänst AB and his Scorpion.

Facts & figures

This Ponsse Scorpion is a 2020-year model. This year, a new version is being launched, we will get back to that. As Ponsse already have the new version on their home-page, the figures below represent the new one.


Minimum weight               21.700 kg (47.840 lbs)

Typical weight                    22.700 kg (50.045 lbs)

Length                                8.020 mm (315,7 inches)

Width                                 2.630 – 3.085 mm (103,5 – 121,5 inches)

Ground clearance              655 mm (25,8 inches)

Transport height                3.720 mm (146,5 inches)


Model                                 C50

Slewing torque (gross)       57 kNm

Lifting moment (gross)       252 kNm

Tilt angle                             +/- 15, +/- 12

Turning angle                     280

Reach                                 10 or 11 meters (32,8 or 36 ft)


Name                                  MB OM936LA Tier 4*

Tractive force                     170 kN

Engine power                     210 kW

Engine torque                    1.150 Nm

Hydraulic system

Control system                   Ponsse Opti Control

Working pump                   210 cm3 (12,8 cubic inch)

Hydraulic oil tank volume  280l (74 US gallon)


Front tyres                          26.5”

Rear tyres                           26.5”

*Outside the EU and North America

Source: Ponsse.com

Film and more info

Here is a film from my visit:

Ponsse Scorpion in small wood thinning

Find out more on Ponsse’s home-page.

and here you can read previous articles about harvesters:

John Deere 1470G

Rottne H21D

Komatsu 951

Ponsse Bear

EcoLog 590F

Film and photos: Per Jonsson

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