Vimek 470 – a new, larger harvester from Vimek

For almost a year an unusual Vimek harvester has been operating somewhere in the north Swedish forest. Now, Vimek has decided to present the new machine to the market. The 4-wheeled harvester Vimek 470. A harvester that is planned to be a “perfect match” for the Vimek 870 forwarder. 

The sister-site visited to see the new harvester a few weeks ago. 

Vimek 470 harvester.

Vimek 470 – a notch bigger

The new 470 harvester is bigger than the, so far only in the Vimek range, the Vimek 404 T8 harvester. But it’s still a small machine, built partly on the same frame as the 870 forwarder. It has a larger harvester head, longer reach, and wider tires, but the same engine as the 870 forwarder and the 404 T8 harvester, a 55 kW, stage-5 CAT engine. The engine size is chosen to avoid the demand for Ad-Blue exhaust gas treatment. 

Mowi crane and a New Keto-head

The track-fed harvester head on the Vimek 470 is a Keto 42. It’s a new head, larger than the Keto-Forst head which the 404 T8 harvester is equipped with. The Max felling diameter is, logically 42 centimeters (16,5 in.). A Log Max 2000 would also be suitable. Like the smaller Vimek 404 T8, the 470 is also equipped with a Mowi crane, the larger Mowi P50. 

The harvester head is a prototype from Keto: Keto 42.

Works between the strip roads

Even though the Vimek 470 is bigger than the 404 8, it’s still small compared to most other harvesters. It’s meant to operate between the strip roads and place the timber close to the strip roads for the forwarder, just like the old “Lillebror” harvester. 

With 600-wheels, the 470 is 2,2 meters (7,2 ft.) wide. As it has double steering, both in the waist and on one axle, it is very maneuverable. The weight is 7 tons which is much more than the 404 T8’s 4,5 tons. 

The Vimek 470 is equipped with double steering. It has both waist- and axle steering which makes it smooth in dense stands and between the strip roads.

Vimek 470 + 870 = a dream team

Vimek’s aim with the new harvester is to form a dream team together with the Vimek 870 forwarder. Both machines have similar widths (dependent on tires) which means the harvester can make the strip roads suitable for itself, and it will also fit the forwarder. With one secondary strip road (only for the harvester) between each main strip road, you can easily have 20 meters (67 ft.) between the main strip roads, and a strip road width of 3 meters (10 ft.) is enough. 

Larger cabin

One of the main differences between the new Vimek 470 and the “old” 404 T8 harvesters is the cabin’s space and comfort. The cabin on the 470 is much larger and more comfortable. You can easily have a passenger behind the operator. Exactly how the interior details will be, will be revealed when serial production of the machine starts. 

The cab is spacious. You can easily ride along behind the operator, Olle in this case.

The same operator since March -23

The test operator, Olle, has operated this prototype since March 2023. Last winter the machine was tested in deep snow which turned out surprisingly well. Olle has never operated the smaller Vimek 404 T8 harvester but only bigger, strip road-going machines. Therefore he can’t compare the two Vimek harvesters other than the cabin size and crane reach. 

On the other hand, he has discovered that working between the strip roads is efficient as you operate the harvester head close to the cabin all the time. 20 meters between the main strip roads and one secondary strip road in between is optimal, according to Olle. If you increase the distance over 20 meters, meaning you must have two secondary strip roads, the efficiency will go down. Olle adds that the match between the 470 and the 870 is perfect. 

He also says that the Vimek 470 is steady also in full reach with the crane. That is with a functional waist lock of course. He feels that the stability is better with the standard 600-wheels than with the narrower “winter wheels”. There is no fluid in the tires as it’s not necessary.

Small engine

Most manufacturers of smaller forest machines have chosen small engines to stay within the 55-kW limit for the Ad-Blue exhaust gas treatment regulations. Vimek is no exception and uses the 55-kW cat engine on both the harvesters and the 870 forwarder. Terri 34.3 and Malwa 560H are two other machines that use that engine. According to operator Olle, the Vimek 470 has low fuel consumption thanks to the small engine. 

Specifications for hydraulics and transmission in the new 470 harvester, are still not official. We will have to come back to that when Vimek releases those figures. Also, the price is not yet set for the new machine. 

The 470 has a 55 kW CAT engine just like the 404 T8 harvester and the Vimek 870 forwarder.

Pre-series during Q2 2024

Vimek plans to produce a pre-series of the Vimek 470 in Q2 2024. The plan is to show the machine to interested customers before that and it’s desirable to get the first 470’s out to customers who use the Vimek 870 forwarder. 

It will be interesting to follow the development of the Vimek 470 and to see how the market will respond to it. One question is what will happen to the Vimek 404 T8 if the 470 becomes a success. 

More photos 

Here are a couple of more photos of the Vimek 470 harvester from Skogsforum’s visit: 

Vimek 470 with Mowi crane and Keto head.
The Vimek 470 is a 4-wheeled machine, here with 600-tires.


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