SP turned felling upside down

In 1981 SP Maskin presented the world’s first single-grip harvester head at Elmia’s forestry fair. At SkogsElmia 2019 the company showed off its latest creation, the SP 661 LF, designed for final felling.

Back in its day, the original SP21 model met with a mixed reception. The professionals’ verdict was that a single-grip harvester might be all right for thinning but would never be an option for final felling.

How wrong they were. Today, the single-grip harvester head is the global standard and SP is still constantly developing new models, the latest being the SP 661 LF.

“Here in Sweden it’s used mainly for final felling but abroad we sell other versions,” explains Anders Johansson, who is in charge of design engineering.

The harvester head is a sturdy object with a weight of 1,450 kg and upwards depending on the version selected. The basic model can handle trees that are 70 cm at the root collar and just over 50 cm at breast height. It also comes in a version with a longer saw bar to cope with e.g. the root collar, in a North American version where the saw unit sits above the delimbing knives, and in a eucalyptus version that also debarks the stems.

Forty years after its original launch at Elmia, SP has proven that its former thinning head copes splendidly with final felling and even does tasks – like debarking eucalyptus – that were never imagined back then.

Published
6/7/2019
Images
Anders Johansson with the latest harvester head from SP Maskin, the company that developed the world’s first single-grip head almost 40 years ago.
Anders Johansson with the latest harvester head from SP Maskin, the company that developed the world’s first single-grip head almost 40 years ago.