VIDEO: Komatsu Introduces Smart Crane for Harvesters

Mon November 29, 2021

For a harvester operator, an easily operated crane is important for ensuring a productive working day. Every movement that can be simplified contributes to increased production and, ultimately, greater profitability.

With Komatsu Smart Crane for harvester, Komatsu Forest take crane control to the next level, where the crane is controlled with a single lever movement, from the main boom all the way to the tip of the telescopic arm. The result is a faster and more precise crane operation as well as a more relaxed and efficient operator, according to the manufacturer.

Komatsu Forest presented its first parallel crane for harvesters back in 1999. Its inventive design linked the main and outer booms, thereby simplifying crane control.

Smart Crane takes this development to the next level, with the crane moving as a single unit — from the main boom all the way out to the tip of the telescopic arm.

Precision and responsiveness are two of the greatest advantages of Smart Crane. The operator can easily steer the head where they want it in smooth, precise movements, contributing to a more relaxed way of working.

"The experience from operators who have tried Smart Crane is that it significantly reduces vibrations from the crane, something that also contributes to better operator ergonomics," Tobias Ettemo, product manager harvesters at Komatsu Forest, said.

Another Smart Crane advantage is the need for fewer lever movements. The automatic control of the telescopic arm makes it even easier to steer the crane exactly where you want it — a single lever movement brings the crane from full reach all the way back to the machine. This provides better ergonomics for the operator and also helps to retain the energy level throughout the day, according to the manufacturer.

"Another advantage of the simplified crane control is that it is easier for an inexperienced operator to quickly hone their crane operation skills," Ettemo said.

One area where Smart Crane is particularly useful is the thinning of dense stands, where the operator often works with the head far from the machine, making extensive use of the telescopic arm. The automatic control of the crane makes work both easier and more efficient. It also simplifies when the operator, for example, wants to quickly raise the crane to move the head over the wheels to the other side of the machine. Faster and more efficient thinning saves on valuable working hours and contributes to greater profitability.

Since crane operation takes up a fair share of a harvester operator's working day, there are great benefits to optimising this part of the job. Smart Crane offers the operator a crane that smoothly follows each lever movement with great precision — all the way out to the tip of the crane. Moreover, it also offers other advantages such as simpler crane operation, less physical strain and higher productivity.

"These are advantages that will be seen in both profitability and the operator's wellbeing," Ettemo concluded.