Telehandler-mounted tree cutter brings benefits

Taking individual trees out of difficult places can be an arduous task, but Kellands’ KTC 320 telehandler-mounted tree cutter aims to remedy this. Emily Padfield went to have a look

Want to see the KTC320 in action? See our video

Designed to take dead elms out of hedgelines cheaply and quickly, the KTC320 almost came about as an accident, saysthe company’s Kevin Norman.

The original prototype, developed in 1999, was made of simple farm scrap with two rams operating the grab and another two on the blade itself. It’s taken until now to get CE approval, says Mr Norman.

“On the finished model there’s just one ram for each application, making it a lot simpler. Everything’s operated from one hydraulic service,” he adds.

The KTC320 can cut trees up to 320mm in diameter.Once they’re clamped, the steel alloy bladethen closes around the trunk

“We tried to use a wear-resistant steel, but this wasn’t flexible enough and shattered under stress. So the guillotine is now made of high density steel.

“Before the blade can be operated, the clamp has to be closed and under 210bar pressure, which is safeguarded by a check valve.” For safety, if any of the valves develop a fault, the hydraulic system will lock to ensure the tree can’t fall and instead remains firmly secured.

The machine has one double-acting service pump and needs 100 litres/minute to run at full capacity. As the attachment has to be able to lay down the tree completely before releasing it, the machine it’s mounted on needs to weigh a considerable 8t or more.

“We’ve had one out on test for about three years now, and it’s made more than 30,000 cuts with one blade,” adds Mr Norman.

“It cuts both hard and soft woods and generally if it fits in the jaws it can cope with it,” he reckons. Since all moving parts are protected, it’s robust enough to be thrust into wooded areas without fear of being damaged, he adds. “It can even work underwater, so is ideal for working in ditches.” The machine is priced from £8500.

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