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Better performance and productivity

As the world’s largest producer of timber harvesting equipment, John Deere has focused on equipping its machines with the best in measurement, control, information management, and wireless data transfer technology. This includes the TimberLink™ performance and condition analysis system.
John Deere Forestry Oy

John Deere has been a pioneer in mechanising timber harvesting and timber handling for more than 50 years, and features such as balanced bogies, ergonomic cabs, and state-of-the-art control systems, such as Timbermatic™, have set the pace in the industry

Designed to increase productivity in the field, the Timbermatic™ system stores information on personal speed settings, type of harvesting, and ground conditions for up to seven operators, and ensures that a unit’s engine, hydrostatic transmission, boom, and auxiliary systems all respond automatically to operators’ preferences.

A world first

This type of innovation has been further extended with the TimberLink™ performance and condition analysis system – the first system from a forest machine manufacturer capable of providing this type of information,

TimberLink™ enables operators to monitor and optimise the performance of their machines to take account of local conditions. The same information is also now available to office-based personnel for more detailed productivity analysis and preventive maintenance planning.

TimberLink™ was developed in response to feedback from contractors, who wanted access to a wider range of productivity-, uptime-, and operating cost-related information. Using the system, operators can monitor machine performance during day-to-day logging operations and change settings as appropriate to optimise performance to take account of local conditions.

The same information can also now be accessed in the office – via email or a USB flash drive, for example – enabling contractors to monitor the operations of one or more machines and ensure that they are performing at their best and produce more detailed productivity analyses.

The TimberLink™ system has also been integrated into John Deere’s maintenance operations, where it can help optimise standard machine performance as part of routine servicing and monitor the ageing of components and schedule their replacement or adjustment.

Thanks to TimberLink™, forest machine contractors can achieve better productivity in the field, more overall uptime, and lower operating costs – all by knowing how machines are performing in more detail and better understanding why things like fuel consumption can sometimes increase unexpectedly.

The number of machines equipped with TimberLink™ is now well into the hundreds and rising, and customers and John Deere’s own product support and maintenance personnel are learning more about how to make the best use of the new data all the time.

First launched for wheeled harvesters, TimberLink™ is now being extended to forwarders and track-mounted harvesters.

> Timo Salomaa
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)