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Customer Stories

MTU Powers North America’s First Tier 4 Final Log Stacker

A 50-year legacy of building innovation in its log stackers continues for Komatsu, which recently unveiled its newest version, the 45 Series electric log stacker that becomes the first in North America to use a Tier 4 engine.

Letourneau Inc., a subsidiary of Komatsu, built two log stackers that are using MTU Series 6R1300 EPA Tier 4 engines after consulting with our industrial engine team. The MTU engine is hitting performance and environmental marks logging companies demand of the machinery being used in the field.

Gary Schroeder, Timber Manager for C&D Lumber in Riddle, Oregon, recited numerous reasons why his crew is impressed with the new machine, including how it’s much quieter than previous versions and delivering impressive power to the wheel motors.

“The guys would never give up this new machine now that they have it,” Schroder said.

Customers Demand Higher Environmental Standards

The new log stacker is an ideal match for C&D Lumber’s environmental initiatives. The company, which has been family owned for six generations, has a strong commitment to sustainable practices, buying lumber only from forests grown and harvested in an environmentally friendly manner.

“The environmental impact is front and center for our customers today,” said Ian Wanner, general manager-forestry at Komatsu, owner of the LeTourneau brand. “The equipment needs to be sensitive to pollution and noise levels. Our log stackers have been an environmentally friendly design for decades. The electric drive is simple and efficient, with no hydraulic cylinders that could leak and pollute groundwater. And with new Tier 4 engines, the machines are greener and more efficient than ever.”

First Wave of MTU Tier 4 Engine

The MTU engine ups the 45 Series environmental benchmarks. The 6-cylinder engine generates 482 hp to power the generator that creates the electricity to power the log stacker.

The Tier 4-certified Series 1300 engine removes more than 90 percent of the nitrogen oxides from the exhaust gas, along with significantly reducing particulate emissions. The engine doesn’t require a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which needs to periodically regenerate at temperatures that can reach 1000° F. This not only causes extra fuel costs and downtime, the incinerated ash is a safety hazard in dry areas.

“It’s a less complicated system that doesn’t require regeneration like a DPF,” said Joe Grycko of our industrial engine team. “It burns clean with the new MTU internal combustion technology without the need for a diesel particulate filter.”

Proving it in the Field

The log stacker resembles a giant forklift the does the heavy lifting at lumberyards and mills. These versatile machines work around the clock, tackling tough jobs such as truck loading, mill feeding and log sorting.

Known for their rugged design and longevity, LeTourneau log stackers set the standard in the forestry industry. The first 45 Series was dispatched to C&D Lumber Co. The log stacker is capable of unloading up to 45 tons of logs from a truck and placing it in the yard for sorting.

The MTU engine runs at 1,800 rpm, down from 2,100 used in previous lower EPA Tier stackers. The reduced engine speed greatly reduces noise and vibration, significantly improving the operator environment.

The combination of the highly efficient LeTourneau electric drive technology and the MTU 6R1300 results in low fuel consumption. Initial testing indicates the engine is sipping seven gallons of diesel fuel an hour.

LeTourneau Legacy

The durability of the MTU engine is matched by the ruggedness of the LeTourneau design. The company has been building logging equipment since 1955 and it’s not uncommon for a machine to still be running 30 years after entering the field.

That confidence is key given that log stackers are the linchpin in a logging company’s operations. A stacker sitting idle because of a maintenance issue threatens to cost a company thousands of dollars an hour.