STORY Industrial

Stacking wood ecologically

Posted on July 06, 2020 by Bryan Mangum, Images by LeTourneau

Oregon-based lumber company commissions first North American Tier 4 log stacker
Everybody knows forklifts that load a truck, for example. Only very few people are familiar with log stackers. They are the forklifts of timber warehouses and sawmills, load trucks with timber, feed sawmills and sort logs. A log stacker from the U.S. manufacturer LeTourneau is now setting new standards in terms of climate friendliness: it is the first in North America to be powered by an mtu engine from the new Series 1300, which complies with the U.S. EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations.

“LeTourneau has been our customer for many years, using Series 60 engines,” says Joe Grycko, Pacific Power Group, who helped LeTourneau transition from Series 60 to Series 1300. "The new 1300 Series not only meets the Tier 4 emissions standard. The lower engine speeds also reduce the noise level".

A log stacker from the American manufacturer LeTourneau sets standards in terms of climate friendliness with mtu Series 1300 engines.

Ecology is a central theme

The 45 Series log stacker is now in operation at C&D Lumber Company in southern Oregon. It replaces a LeTourneau log stacker that has been in the field for 33 years. This kind of longevity is typical for LeTourneau equipment. The new log stacker is an ideal match for C&D Lumber’s environmental initiatives. Family owned for six generations, C&D Lumber has a strong commitment to sustainable practices, buying lumber only from forests grown and harvested in an environmentally friendly manner.

“Environmental impact is front and center for our customers today. Their equipment needs to be sensitive to pollution and noise levels,” says Ian Wanner, general manager, forestry at Komatsu, owner of the LeTourneau brand. “Our log stackers have been an environmentally friendly design for decades. Their electric drive is simple and efficient, with no hydraulic cylinders that could leak and pollute groundwater. And with new Tier 4 engines, they’re greener and more efficient than ever.”

The Tier 4-certified Series 1300 engine significantly reduces emissions, capable of removing more than 90 percent of the nitrogen oxides from the exhaust gas, along with significantly reducing particulate emissions. The Series 1300 doesn’t require a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which needs to periodically regenerate at temperatures that can reach 1000°F. This not only causes extra fuel costs and downtime, its incinerated ash is a safety hazard in dry areas.

Advantage extended

Lifecycle costs are a primary concern for logging operations when considering new equipment. When the forestry markets are strong, fleets work long shifts and the value of lower overall costs accumulates quickly. Previous models of LeTourneau log stackers offered the lowest fuel consumption of any comparably sized machines. Now, it’s even better.

The new machine has generated high praise from C&D Lumber’s team. “Our guys would never give up this new machine, now that it’s here,” says Gary Schroeder, timber manager, C&D Lumber Company. “Our operators have told us that the Series 1300 is quieter, accelerates to top speed very quickly and delivers more power.”

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