LBX In the News

New Forestry Machines Target Pacific Northwest

Diesel Progress Magazine
April 2004
By: Dawn M. Geske

With the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. producing the majority of the continent’s hardwood supply, LBX Company LLC has targeted its four new forestry machines to the demands of that area’s forestry industry. Sold under its Link-Belt brand, the new 290 LX and 370 LX Timber Loaders and Road Builders are comprised of LBX’s purpose-built excavator carriers converted with a logging grapple attachment for the Timber Loaders and a bucket and thumb on the Road Builders.
370 LX Timber Loader

The Road Builders are typically used to build access roads for other equipment by clearing pathways, removing stumps and filling holes, all while compacting the ground. “It builds a road for logging trucks and support vehicles like fuel and maintenance trucks to travel back into the woods,” said Rob Brittain, marketing communication manager for LBX. “In rough terrain, it’s tough on forwarders to have to pull logs very far out of the woods to the timber loaders where they load the logging trucks. Without the access toads, most machines couldn’t get back into the terrain.

“Once the timber has been cut down and delimbed, forwarders drag it out of the woods to an access road. It is put into a pile and from the pile it will have to go onto a truck to be trucked to sawmills. The Timber Loaders load the logs on the trucks”

All four machines are equipped with six—cylinder, four—cycle, turbocharged and intercooled, liquid-cooled Isuzu diesel engines with electronic engine control. The 290 LX mode240 LX Timber Loaderls are equipped with Isuzu’s CC-6BGITC engine rated 177 hp at 2200 rpm while the larger 370 LX machines feature its AA_6HKIXQB diesel rated 247 hp at 2000 rpm. Both engines use dual element air cleaners, a front-mounted radiator and separate-mounted aluminum hydraulic coolers. “We use Isuzu engines which have an excellent reputation for being durable, reliable and quiet,” said Brittain. “We’ve used Isuzu engines for nearly 30 years.”

The two-speed independent hydrostatic travel is driven by two tandem-mounted Kawasaki variable piston pumps. Each pump supplies an axial piston motor on each track. The motors are coupled to a planetary reduction and track sprocket, amplifying the output torque to move the weight of the machine. Each motor also incorporates a built-in spring-applied, hydraulically released disc parking brake and a counterbalance valve for smooth starts and stops and over-speed prevention in inclines. Maximum travel speed is 2.5 mph with 61,820 lb. to 80,030 lb. of traction force, depending on model.

Hydraulic flow is controlled by a four-spool Kayaba valve and a five- spool Kayaba valve with auxiliary spool. Oil filtration is provided by LBX’s Nephron Filtration system.

Power to operate the auxiliary functions of the excavators is also driven off the tandem pumps with the swing, boom and bucket powered by the right pump and the arm and bucket powered by the left pump. The pumps supply fluid to two Kayaba cylinders for the boom, one for the arm and one for the bucket. An additional axial piston motor is used to drive the swing.

Each machine is equipped with Link-Belt’s Inte-LX Control System which includes; electronic engine control, five selectable working modes, one touch idling, automatic speed shifting, free swing, cushion attachment, swing anti-braking system and two safety lockout switches including gate lock. Additional cab features include a three-position tilting console with control levers, LCD service monitor with self-diagnostics and soft-touch switches.

A rear counterweight is placed at the back of each machine. The Timber Loader uses the added weight to balance the front load of a large tree often 6 ft. in diameter, while the Road Builder uses the tail weight as force for depth digging. “You have all this weight on the front so you need to have weight in the back otherwise it is going to get tippy,” said Brittain. “It balances the weight of the machine.”

The 290 LX and 390 LX excavators are the largest models in LBX’s forestry line with an operating weight ranging from 71,266 to 108,587 lb. depending on the model and how it is equipped.
290 LX Timber Loader

“There is an assortment of companies that buy them from small to large,” explained Brittain. “Companies in the logging industry warehouses that have tracts of land, tree farmers, mill operators or companies sub-hired to cut and replant plots of land. All types of companies that work in these types of applications vary from small to large.”

LBX was formed in 1998 through a joint partnership between CNH Global and Sumitomo Construction Machinery Co. It carries a line of earthmoving, forestry and material handling equipment, also sold under the Link—Belt brand, marketed to North and South America.

Reprinted with permission from Diesel Progress


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