A Ponsse Ergo harvester fitted with a Black Bruin RH3016 rotator is clearing spruce forest near Jyväskylä in Finland. Operators Mikko Rajala and Raimo Saavalainen confirm that the feel of the rotator is strong and precise even after 3000 hours of use.

Metsä-Multia Oy performs thinnings, clear cutting and forest maintenance in a 130-kilometre radius in Central Finland. The company’s fleet includes 45 Ponsse and 2 Nisula forest machines, 4 excavators and 5 flatbed trucks, and it has 90 employees. Most of the softwood goes to the nearby Äänekoski pulp mill, which is in fact the largest pulp mill in the entire northern hemisphere following the recent modernisation.

“The most important features of a rotator are reliability and precision. With Black Bruin’s radial piston motor design, rotator remains powerful throughout its service life, generally 8000 to 13,000 hours, whereas rotators powered by vane motors tend to get looser over time,” says Aki Laaja, Managing Director of Metsä-Multia.

Raimo Saavalainen, Aki Laaja and Mikko Rajala of Finnish forestry company Metsä-Multia Oy agree that reliability and precision are the most important features of a rotator.

The need of swing damping divides opinions among operators. Aki Laaja, Mikko Rajala and Raimo Saavalainen of Metsä-Multia are not interested in adjustable brakes. In their new machine, brakes are not adjusted but allowed to get looser over time instead.

“In my opinion, the brakes could be stronger: the lower brake is good, but the upper brake could have more torque. The Black Bruin rotator itself is powerful and precise,” says Juha Reinikainen, a forest machine operator with Koneteko Pitkänen Oy. Reinikainen is currently clearing a beetle infested forest in Central Germany, using a John Deere 1270G harvester with intelligent boom control (IBC).

Eino Piironen, COO at Finnharvest Oy, sums up the debate over whether a swing damping is needed or not.

“Each operator has a different opinion about brakes and how they like them. Some don’t want them at all, while others prefer two or even four. Some tighten them, others loosen them. Everyone has their own handwriting, so to speak. Whenever operators have the tools they like, both job satisfaction and performance improves,” Piironen says.

Finnharvest operates in Eastern Finland with a fleet of 38 Ponsse harvesters and forwarders using different rotators.

“We use a wide range of equipment to obtain information about machines and then make our future decisions based on our experiences. Black Bruin rotators have proven to be easy to maintain and long lasting, and their feel remains nice and tight throughout their service life,” Piironen adds.

A Ponsse Ergo AF harvester clearing a spruce forest north of Jyväskylä in Central Finland. This Black Bruin RH3016 rotator equipped with a TR swing damper has been used for 3000 hours already. The rotator functions are still strong and precise.

Metsä-Multia Oy performs thinnings, clear cutting and forest maintenance in a 130-kilometre radius in Central Finland. The company’s fleet includes 45 Ponsse and 2 Nisula forest machines, 4 excavators and 5 flatbed trucks, and it has 90 employees.

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