Hybrid drive saves fuel and increases speed

Woodtiger is a different kind of hybrid forwarder. The machine has two types of transmission: hydrostatic and mechanical.

“On road the forwarder functions like a normal tractor and can be driven at 30 kilometres an hour,” says Åke Johansson, its designer and owner of Woodtiger AB.


The forwarder has normal hydrostatic drive, which functions better off road. The disadvantage is that such machines travel slowly on road and have a risk of overheating. Woodtiger has therefore also installed mechanical transmission, which only drives the front wheels. In the forest the machine has six-wheel drive.

“The engineering design is simple and I believe it will be found on other machines within a few years,” Johansson says. “The mechanical transmission also reduces fuel consumption significantly and means the forwarder can also be used for other tasks.”

Johansson is also the man behind Kranman, which was a sensation at Elmia 2001 with a hydraulic crane for ATVs. The crane was a success and Kranman went on to develop more equipment along the same theme for do-it-yourself forest owners. The latest addition is the Bison mini-forwarder.

“Woodtiger is a professional forwarder for the DIY forest owner on a larger scale,” he explains.

Woodtiger’s basic concept was launched a few years ago but the market was not ready for the machine at that time. Since then it has been further developed, including with the unique hybrid drive. As the market for smaller professional forest machines is now expanding, development of the Woodtiger was resumed and at this year’s SkogsElmia the result was presented: the world’s first forwarder with hybrid drive.

The machine also features more innovations. The load space is dimensioned for pulpwood in lengths up to five metres. Capacity is about 2.5 metres solid volume under bark.

“We’ve increased the load capacity by choosing a smaller crane,” Johansson says.

Loading takes a little longer with a smaller crane but that is compensated for by the reduced weight of the crane: 400 kilos compared with the normal 750 to 800. The saved weight can be used to carry more load, saving the need for one journey in six.