Easy-to-install attachments can turn your excavator or mini-loader into performance-packed machines which make cutting jobs a breeze.
Many tree care businesses either have excavators or mini-loaders already within their equipment fleet, or at least have access to them via subcontractors.
It is a little-known fact, however, that these machines can also be quickly and easily utilised for some cutting tasks on the job site without necessarily needing bulky or difficult to install attachments.
Manufactured in Finland, the TMK Tree Shear is an attachment which has grown from a single model emerging on the market in 2010, to three models with a wide range of optional accessories which now cover base carriers such as 2 ton excavators and mini-loaders right through to 20 ton class excavators.
The TMK shears are compact and lightweight compared to many other shear type attachments, making light work of cutting timber at ground level where dirt and rocks can cause damage to chainsaws and grapple saw cutting systems. They can also be utilised as a more cost effective and lower maintenance alternative to grapple saw attachments for some clearing, sectional tree take-down and pruning tasks.
The simple design of the TMK shear incorporates a robust outer frame made from a single piece of Hardox steel, with the underside of the frame formed and sharpened into an angled cutting blade. To cut, a powerful single cylinder and grab arm draws the tree across the fixed blade, and due to its design, the shear can also be pushed by the machine to assist the cut if necessary, without the fear of damaging blade bolts.
After cutting, the stem is held firmly against a V-shaped pocket in the shear frame, allowing the operator to safely withdraw the cut piece from the work area and place material in the desired position on the ground or directly into a truck, all in a single pass.
Only one double-active hydraulic function is required on the base machine and attachment plates are bolted onto the shear frame, meaning easy changeover if required.
“The shear has been absolutely fantastic,” explains Corey Mather, referring to his 400mm capacity TMK400 model shear purchased from Australian dealer Forest Centre in mid-2018. “The blade is just as sharp now after pruning 2000 trees as the day we got it.”
Corey’s shear is the first TMK400 model in Australia, having quickly proven to be a productive combination pruning hardwood trees with his 13 ton excavator and tilting hitch.
Also fitted on Corey’s TMK400 is an optional multi-stem collector – often referred to as an accumulator on forestry attachments. The collector is a secondary grapple arm which works automatically on the TMK shear with every open-close function, until a whole bundle of smaller diameter timber needs to be dropped.
After the grab arm has closed fully on a cut tree, the hinged collector arm flicks out from behind the stem and then closes against it. When the operator opens the main grab arm once again the first tree is still secured in the shear frame – a second tree can be cut, and a third, until the shear pocket is full, or the operator wants to place the bunch down.
The collector release can be operated by either electric or hydraulic control.
Adding to the performance-pack options, this particular unit also has the patented “TMK Turbo” two stage telescopic grab cylinder factory-fitted.
This option is available on all TMK Tree Shears and further reduces cycle times, allowing fast operation without sacrificing power. The smaller cylinder always works first quickly, and when it runs out of power the larger cylinder starts working automatically. The TMK Turbo cylinder is particularly beneficial for fast cycle times on smaller machines that may not have high operating pressure capacity.
That’s not all when it comes to the optional equipment available, with extra reach capacity thanks to fixed and hydraulic/telescopic extension beams as well as a tilt linkage for machines without a tool cylinder, a delimber arm, splitting blade, support heel, and the range of cylinders including standard, HD and Turbo.
All options are available factory-fitted or as a later upgrade, ringing true to one of the company’s mottos “grow with your work”.
These options and the three different shear models, TMK200 with 200mm cut capacity, TMK300 with 300mm capacity and the earlier-mentioned TMK400 make TMK Tree Shear one of the most flexible shear attachments available today.
For more information on the TMK range as well as the rest of their European stable of tree handling and cutting attachment options contact Forest Centre on (02) 6947 2833 or online at www.forestcentre.com.au.