Great Lakes forestry professionals have put Barko harvesters and feller bunchers on the map in a big way in the past two and a half years. Barko has sold more than 40 units into the marketplace over that time period, and the demand continues to grow as Barko launches its “B” Series generation of these incredibly productive machines.
“Our harvesters are 100-percent purpose built from the ground up,” said Bruce “Sparky” Enstrom, director of forestry sales and marketing for Barko. “The original machines were based on extensive research and input coming directly from customers, engineers and other forestry experts who understand exactly what it takes to be productive in harvesting applications. We could have simply modified to account for Tier 4 emissions and called it a day, but we really looked at this as an opportunity to take a successful product and make some valuable enhancements.”
Barko Tier 4 Harvesters
The new 240B harvester/feller buncher is powered by a 225-horsepower Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 Final engine with SCR after treatment. Added horsepower from the Tier 3 design has increased the peak torque by 10 percent, continuing the Barko legacy of delivering exceptional performance on tough jobs, along with optimal fuel efficiency for reduced operating costs.
To withstand the stress of extreme environments, the machine is equipped with a heavy-duty, extreme cooling engine package. A 36-inch-diameter Flexxaire auto reversing fan includes automatic temperature control to optimize engine efficiency. The optional Proheat system can also be added to warm the engine, fuel tank and hydraulics in winter weather. The engineering of the machine results in impressive performance specifications, including a maximum tractive effort of 65,833 foot-pounds, and a superior drawbar pull –better than 1.3 to 1 ratio – to handle steep hills and rough terrain with ease.
The pure power of the 240B is complemented by a new generation of IQAN hydraulic controls. Users who were impressed with the responsiveness of the 240 have reported that the 240B is possibly even smoother running than the original model. The control system is specifically designed for Barko, featuring hydraulics tailored for harvester or feller buncher applications.
Completely customized with Barko’s rigorous quality standards in mind, IQAN provides infinite variable control for the machine’s hydraulic system. This even includes programmable settings for different operators who use the machine.
All information on system hydraulics is available from the cab on a convenient Parker IQAN-MD4 display. Additional improvements to the hydraulics include a new electric fill pump for the hydraulic tank and an improved internal hydraulic bypass for more consistent temperature in all weather conditions.
In an industry where safety is critical, the state-of-the-art operator’s station is arranged to provide optimum operator comfort and excellent visibility around the entire working area. Users can further enhance visibility by adding an optional rearview camera with a cab-mounted 7-inch LED display.
Concerns about debris obstructing the view are swatted away by an air knife system that keeps the front and skylight windows clear. Additionally, a redesigned intake system is now located completely beneath the shrouding to eliminate any chance of damage from falling limbs.
The 240B comes with a 1 1/4-inch polycarbonate window for added safety in both harvesting and feller bunching applications. Other standard cab features include a large access door, exterior LED lighting, sliding rear window, and a heated, air-ride seat.
Another advantageous feature of the operator’s station is a patent pending, forward-sliding cab design that provides enhanced serviceability. With the cab able to slide forward 36 inches, combined with a hydraulically opening gull wing door, January 2016 www.gltpa.org 57routine maintenance tasks have never been so easy.
On top of offering direct access to the engine and components, the large gull wing also serves as a highly convenient working platform that spans nearly the full length of the machine. The walking surface of the platform has been modified on the 240B to provide further resistance against possible slipping.
Several other maintenance features are also incorporated to keep the 240B running at peak efficiency. IQAN controls provide machine diagnostics and straightforward troubleshooting. A hydraulic tank vacuum pump is standard. Exclusive to the industry, an on-board air compressor provides immediate work tool capability. The machine is also designed with built-in tool storage areas under the cab and track frames.
Dual swing motors provide continuous rotation and high swing torque of 50,787 pounds at 3,770 psi. The unit features a heavy-duty, oversized swing bearing (53.5-inch outside diameter) and offers an outstanding reach of 21 feet, 2 inches. The D-5 undercarriage on the Barko 240B features high ground clearance of 26.2 inches and a compact track width (9 feet, 4 inches) and length (13 feet, 1 inch) for enhanced maneuverability. Ground pressure is 7.63 psi when equipped with 600-millimeter width shoes and 6.54 psi with 700-millimeter shoes, and the maximum travel speed is 2.47 miles per hour.
Joining the 240B model is Barko’s 260B harvester, which offers many of the same performance specifications but comes with a wider D-6 undercarriage for added stability with larger attachments. Weighing 6,000 pounds more than the 240B, the 260B maintains exceptional drawbar pull (1.13 to 1 ratio) and provides 65,481 foot-pounds of tractive effort. Ground clearance is 29 inches, ground pressure is 8.25 psi with 600-millimeter shoes, and maximum travel speed is 2.1 miles per hour.
Boom plumbing on both models has been enhanced. Dual planetary gear rotate motors have been refined to facilitate efficient 360-degree continuous rotation of the attachment. For users who are more accustomed to pedal operation for rotating the head, a foot control option is available as an alternative to the standard handle button.
A high pressure hydraulic filter between the carrier and the attachment is now offered as an option to provide added protection for the head. Additional options include a bar and chain grease system, herbicide stump spray system, and five counterweights ranging from 1,000 to 5,500 pounds to handle heavier heads.
CF22 Fixed Harvesting Head
The most popular head of choice for the Barko 240 and 240B to date has been Barko’s own CF18 single grip fixed harvesting head. In recent months, Barko launched the new CF22 – compatible with the Barko 260 and 260B – to handle larger diameter trees.
The CF22 has an official capacity of 22 inches, along with a larger saw bottom to improve controllability of larger diameter wood and longer tree lengths. Despite the added capability, the compact design of the 5,800-pound head is just 1 3/4 inches taller than the CF18.
Scott Pinney, owner of Northwoods Logging and Tree Service in East Jordan, Michigan, routinely encounter big diameter hardwood. In November 2015, exactly one year after purchasing a Barko 240 with CF 18 harvesting head, Pinney added to his crew with a Barko 260 and became one of the first users of the CF22.
“We run into a lot of bigger trees with type of cutting we do,” said Pinney. “With the CF22 we can cut all the wood without having to bring out a hand cutter or run a hot saw out in front. We’re able to cut up to 25-inch-diameter trees with it.”
According to Pinney, the fixed head allows him to hold a tree and cut it clean off the stump without splintering. He also said he’s able to position a tree in exact spots and create less damage in the woods.
“Both Barko heads have the power to feed a pretty good sized hard maple down it, and it will shear the limbs off after one or two hits – and you’re talking a 6- to 8-inch diameter limb,” said Pinney. “With our previous unit you sat there and beat on it a while and eventually had to cut the limb off.”
Pinney was originally sold on the 240 after viewing a headto- head demonstration with his old machine. “The Barko just out-did our other one,” said Pinney. “I can cut beech, hard maple, oak, it doesn’t matter. Often you can even swing a tree and pull it up the hill. When you grab a hold of a big tree, it’s just amazing the amount of power these machines have.”
Like its predecessor, the CF22 features a patent-pending design that includes 360-degree continuous rotation with center hose routing. Now only does this configuration greatly enhance maneuverability when cutting, but some users have also reported reduced horse replacement costs due to the hoses being protected.
One customer in particular, who just had his first new Barko harvester delivered, noted that with each of his three previous harvesting machines, he was spending thousands of dollars a year to replace hoses on each head. The alignment of the Barko head has removed that cost as a monthly maintenance expense.
The success of the Barko fixed harvesting heads is spurring additional investment in the product line. J.P. Skidmore, former owners of FabTek and the manufacturer of the CF 18 and CF22 heads, is partnering with Barko to open a new product support center in Gaylord, Michigan. The new venture will be up and running in the first quarter of 2016.