Tires for the various forest industries around the world

When you are looking for cut to length forestry tires, then you have a few tires to select between. Cut to length is the main method in Europe, while North America uses mainly full tree technology for forestry. The difference is where the trees are cut and de-limbed, where the cut to length is all done at the same time as the tree is felled, where the harvester fell the tree and de-limb it and cut it into specific length logs. In full tree, you instead fell the tree and drag it through the forest to the landing. This is a bit more time consuming and require more equipment and it can be hard on the top soil that gets disrupted as you drag heavy trees through the forest.

With cut to length, you have some benefit of leaving the branches that can add nutrients and protect the top layer. You can also use your forwarder to carry more trees out of the forest to the landing and you can manage with two machines to work in pair and clear the forest. In the vast forests in the Nordics, it has seen to be the best and most productive method to do it.

Nokian Tyres, which is a Finnish tire company, have become a global market leader supplying forest tires to the forest industry, where they have worked closely with the Nordic customers and the equipment manufacturer’s to develop the best tires that can perform in those challenging conditions. They have also worked with other markets and have developed world-class tires for also full tree forestry. Working with equipment manufacturer and customers have been the key to solve the challenges that they had working in harsh conditions, to develop tires that can provide traction in challenging conditions. The range today of harvester tires, forwarder tires and even a range for skidders.

They even have great truck tires for timber trucks, which will need tires that can reach the landing, where it can be muddy and also they have to be protected from sharp branches and rocks available there. Therefore the tires need to have great properties for on and off road use. Nokian Tyres have developed a range of on and off road tires for this and similar purposes.

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Forestry improvements over the years

Forestry has seen a lot of improvements over the year and the biggest improvements into the efficiency is the introduction of machines. Today all the work can be done via machines, so you have barely anything done with an axe or even a chainsaw. Today’s equipment can fell the tree and get them to the landing without any manual work, except the driving and controlling the vehicle. This means that a lot more trees can be cut and fewer people will be involved. With the improved productivity you are of course more reliant on that the equipment will not fail you.

Tire failure can if you select the wrong forest tires, be the biggest reason for problems. The tires have to endure a lot when driving in the forest and they have to provide excellent grip in very difficult terrain. You have everything from tree stumps, bogs, muds, slippery rocks and even challenging weather conditions making it impossible to master without the correct tire selection. The different vehicles also have some different characteristics, so you will need to have different tires with its own features to provide the best tire when it comes to grip, performance and trouble free service time.

A forest tire must be able to get your equipment far into the forest without failing you. They have to overcome all the challenges with the terrain, providing good grip regardless if it is mud or slippery rocks and steep slopes. They also have to be able to withstand the heavy loads and be very resistant to cracks and cut, so that you don’t end up with punctures tires deep in the forest. You don’t want to end up with problems deep in the forest, so the better equipment that you have that is able to give you long trouble free service life, the more productive your business will be.

When selecting the best forest tires, be it your harvester tires, logger tires, forwarder tires or you skidder tires, the technical tire manual will be able to assist and guide you in your selection process. It will make sure that you can select a tire that will get the job done regardless of conditions and still having excellent grip both with our without chains that can be used with the forest tires if you need that extra grip.

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Skidder tires that can help pull the biggest trees

Skidders are used in forestry to drag the trees that have been felled to the landing where they can be delimbed and cut to length and put on a truck for transportation to a saw or paper mill. The forest is a tricky environment where driving any type of vehicle will be very challenging. In additions a full tree is extremely heavy, so you need massive equipment to be able to withstand the loads of the trees and forestry tires that can withstand the combined load and to have the traction to be able to drag the trees to the landing.

As you can imagine there is a lot that these forest tires have to withstand. They are not only challenged by the slippery stones and steep hills, but also by sharp rocks and stubs that easily can damage the most durable tires. Then you have the heavy loads combined with having to drag a tree through this rough terrain, without loosing any grip. As you can see there are easily a lot of things that can go wrong. To improve the grip you can use over the tire tracks or chains in addition that the skidder tires are designed for ultimate grip in the forest with a tread design that has been optimized to deal with these conditions. To withstand the load and impacts, very durable rubber compound is used. They are reinforced to prevent cut and cracks.

Avoiding problems in the forest either if it is equipment failure or tire failure should be a key focus. It becomes very costly if you have unscheduled maintenance and if it happens deep in the forest it can be very costly and time consuming. The best ways to avoid problems is to invest in high quality equipment and tires and make sure that the maintenance is adequate and of high class. Identifying problems before they grow into failures can save a lot of money, so it should be done on a regular basis. Easy steps like daily cleaning of the equipment and tires can easily reveal any minor damages. If you notice some problems make sure to address them immediately.

By having the right foundation for a successful operation and the right processes in place will make the work smoother and more productive, with less downtime.

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Forest tires that will not let you down

Forest work will always involve harsh environment and conditions. So you will need both to have state of the art equipment that will not break down in the middle of the forest and combine that with ultra durable forest tires that will ensure that you don’t get stuck or have tire problems. If you get stuck you will need another machine that is able to pull you loose, which puts even more pressure on that machine’s tires to have sufficient grip for this, this is why you need proper forest tires so that you will have sufficient trip and traction for the conditions that you will work in.

In the forest you will face slippery rocks and hills covered in moss making them very slippery, this is why you will need tires that can also use tracks or chains to increase the grip when needed. Regardless if you need skidder tires or harvester tires, you will need them to be extremely durable, so that they don’t cut or crack under the pressure of the heavy loads or the steel fortified carcass to ensure that the rocks or stubs don’t puncture the tires. The tread design is also optimized to be self-cleaning and high load bearing capacity.

You should always aim to have long trouble free service life, to both save costs and increase productivity. When you work with only a harvester and a forwarder using the cut-to-length method you will only need 2 persons working in the woods, so despite higher investment costs and higher skill level, you tend to save money due to lower labor costs, as you need less people working. The workers tend to also be safer as they are in protected cabs while working.

When it comes to harvester tires, you should consider the Nokian Forest King F, which is a perfect choice when you will need tracks, but the tire also has excellent grip without tracks. The wide area also limits the contact pressure, which makes it gentle on the environment. When you will need to attach chains or tracks they fit easily and provide extra grip to the tires, so that you can reach trees even on the steepest hills even if they are very slippery. This is a tire that focuses on stability and productivity in demanding forestry use.

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Effective Forestry

To achieve effective forestry, you need to make sure that you optimize your operations. To make it most effective you will need the best heavy equipment for the conditions that you will work in. You also need to have the best possible tires to match the conditions. Equipment with tires vs tracks have the benefit that you can change the tires to fit the conditions, to achieve that you have the best grip for the circumstances. You can also put winter tires on the equipment.

commercial Winter tires will ensure that you have excellent grip and stability even in the harshest winter conditions. Winter tires should be put on all wheels and also should include trailers. Normally, a tire that is approved for winter use will have a marking with 3 peak mountain with a snow flake (3PMSF). The acronym 3PMSF is often used to describe the symbol for approved tires. However, the symbol is not used in forestry tires.

Forest tires in general need to be very cut and crack resistant to ensure that you have as little downtime as possible. Often in forestry operations you only have two vehicles operating, so a tire failure can set you back a lot in terms of timing and you are in a remote area. Avoiding downtime both for your equipment and your tires is key in ensuring that you run it efficiently and economically. Forestry tires are relatively expensive but avoiding downtime is more important from an efficiency point of view. This is why a lot of effort goes into finding the best and most durable equipment and tires for these conditions.

For the tires the tread is designed to offer the best possible traction for the most common conditions. For extra durability the tires are steel fortified to avoid punctures. There are also tires specially designed for Over the Tire tracks, to ensure that you have the best track grip. The traction between the tire and the track has been improved by a larger straight section between the grooves and the ribs. The tracks don’t have to be so tensed due to this which lowers the stress on the tires and bogies.

Tire selection might not be the easiest but it is a very important decision, one that can impact the profitability of your whole operation.

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