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Caterpillar Forest Products has launched the new Cat® HF201B felling head with enhancements to improve performance and durability

Available with 40° partial or full 330° tilt, the HF201B has a cutting capacity of 22.5 in. (572 mm) and can be matched with Cat track feller bunchers.
“We redesigned the structure from top to bottom and went through four prototype iterations with field and strain gauge testing,” said Keith Hicks, product performance engineer.
“By redistributing the weight where it needs to be in the high stress areas, we were able to reduce the overall weight by 900 lb. (408 kg). The weight reduction and other structural improvements will extend the life of the head and the carrier and reduce operator fatigue. The head is more robust as a result of a stronger dual box section frame design, improved arm box structures, stronger pin retention and more use of abrasion resistant material on the saw base.”
Hydraulic plumbing has been simplified with a 42 per cent reduction in the number of hoses and a 52 per cent reduction in connection points.
The grab and accumulator arms were redesigned with single cylinders, reducing hydraulic flow demand on the carrier by about 40 per cent. The arms now have both base and rod end cylinder snubbers.
“When the arms are opening or closing, the hydraulic oil is dampened at the end of the stroke, cushioning the impact. Also, the new shape and reduced weight of the grab arm reduces the arm’s mass momentum 46 per cent, which also adds to durability.”
The HF201B can hold 7-8 stems 152 mm (6 in.) in diameter as compared to 4-6 with the previous model. The new designs for the grab and accumulator arms and the top tree yoke improve tree control. Changes in the saw base also contribute to the head’s performance. A 12 per cent larger throat opening makes it easier to position a tree and improves handling trees with butt swell.
Tapered saw housing improves discharge, reduces abrasive wear and snow build-up. A more open saw base bottom reduces debris build-up and saw stalling.