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G.T. O’Kane shouts 'Timber!' with Volvo

G.T. O’Kane Timber has purchased a Volvo EC210C excavator and converted it to a bespoke, highly specified timber harvester for its thinning and clear fell contracts in and around Northumberland.

The new Volvo EC210C joins a venerable Akerman EC200 which has provided a stalwart service harvesting wood on the Duke of Northumberland’s estates for many years and was chosen after a close evaluation of the market by proprietor, Grahame O’Kane. “There’s no doubt the Volvo has a good pedigree and I cannot fault the after sales support I’ve experienced to date,” he said. And having looked at other Volvo excavators that had been converted and on third party recommendations his decision was to opt for the 21 tonne EC210C from Volvo.

Before the machine was to venture into the Northumbrian woods and plantations however, a major customisation of the chassis, superstructure and hydraulic system was required and for this Mr O’Kane turned to experts FMS Ltd of Hexham. The additional modifications included heavy duty bottom skid plates to support the tracks’ running gear; full cab and superstructure guarding – designed to blend in with the machine’s contours and featuring bolted sections which can easily be replaced if severely damaged; heavy duty 6mm thick belly plates and full side impact protection; a full, on board fire suppression system; reversible fan; two pump flow for the harvesting head, an additional oil cooler and mesh screen guards. At the business end a purpose made nose cone fitted to the dipper arm supports an AFM 60 harvesting head and all the hydraulic pipe work and connections are suitably protected against damage from falling trees and branches.

At the heart of the machine a 6 litre Tier III engine developing 150 nett hp operates in conjunction with an advanced mode control system ensuring the maximum possible hydraulic horsepower available is delivered at a constant engine speed under varying load conditions. There is plenty of power to provide a full, two pump flow for the needs of the AFM head and for tracking the machine in difficult undulating terrain.

The new recruit will be put to work on thinning and clear fell duties on and around the Northumberland estates as well as contracting duties on behalf of the Forestry Commission. It joins an Akerman EC200 and two Logset forwarders operated by G T O’Kane Timber. The company is headquartered at Harbottle, Northumberland.

Volvo Construction Equipment Division markets wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, graders, Volvo Compact Equipment and Volvo road machinery products in the U.K. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres and a network of compact equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.