A revolutionary and much longed-for innovation. That was the general opinion expressed as visitors flocked to John Deere’s stand at Elmia Wood outside Jönköping to see the miraculous Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) with Crane Tip Control. High-tech computer software directs how and where the forwarder’s crane tip should move.
Swedish TV personality and car expert Bosse Andersson was on the spot the first day to try out the new innovation.
“Terrific! Nothing as big as this has happened for twenty years in this industry. Then I was working a bit as a mechanic on forest machines. It’s a revolution that a computer can now do the job – this is the future, for sure.”
The forest industry has been discussing crane tip control for thirty years. The system involves using a computer to calculate and control which hydraulic valves and cylinders should work and to what effect, instead of the operator first doing the calculations himself and then manually operating the joystick and levers in complex combinations to move the grapple from one position to another. Now that the system is finally here, many people took the opportunity to try out the forwarder and its new system in action.
“Interest is huge and there is constantly a line-up here of people wanting to test it,” says Dieter Reinisch, information officer at John Deere Forestry AB.
Bosse Andersson is not surprised it has taken so long for crane tip control to become a reality.
“That’s how it works with technology and ideas – sometimes they’re ahead of their time. Leonardo da Vinci invented many things that weren’t useable in his times. The technology has to catch up,” he says, laughing.
So far John Deere has only had its crane tip control in use for six months in two forwarders out in the Swedish forest. Two operators have been able to test and evaluate them. The results are so positive that the machines will soon be put into production. The price range for the new forwarder is now also becoming clearer.
“About 4,000 euros,” Reinisch says. “But anyone who buys the machine can recoup that money fairly quickly because the crane tip control significantly increases the machine’s capacity. And judging by the positive response shown here at Elmia Wood, there is certainly a lot of market interest in the machine.”