A unique winch-assist machine that has no cab will be working in New Zealand forests early next year.

The European-designed and built T-WINCH stands out from winch-assist equipment developed by New Zealand manufacturers because it’s built from the ground up to be completely remote-controlled, without the need for an operator cab.


New Zealand-based high-tech harvesting company, FORCO, says it has forged a dealership agreement with ecoforst, an innovative Austrian company that produces the T-WINCH, to become the distributor of its products in both New Zealand and Australia.


The T-Winch was developed mainly to provide traction assistance for wheeled forwarders working on steep slopes in central European forests.


And that is one option that FORCO will be studying for use in the company’s own crew on the Coromandel, as well as tethering harvesting machines for felling and bunching duties.


“All the attention with these traction-assist machines here in New Zealand has been focused on felling, but there’s an opportunity to utilise the T-WINCH with forwarders or skidders for ground base crews to recover logs and stems on sites where traction can be an issue, particularly in winter,” says Ian Wilton, Business Director with FORCO, adding that further options to use a large wheeled harvester also exist.


His company became interested in the T-WINCH after reading about its development on line and Ian says the idea of a machine that’s designed specifically for its task and not based on an excavator or bulldozer appealed to him...


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