A Tree Harvester is a type of Vehicle in Farming Simulator 17. This vehicle is capable of cutting down trees, removing the branches, and then chopping the resulting Logs precisely to a custom length. Tree Harvesters make the job of tree-cutting extremely quick and efficient.
The Tree Harvester is a crane-like machine, with a long hydraulic arm that can be controlled with great precision. At the end of the arm is a special tool that performs all of the functions of cutting trees and preparing them. The Tree Harvester is self-propelled, and can move around the forest to cut many trees, one after another, very rapidly.
Tree Harvesters save a lot of time and effort, but they are extremely expensive compared to other types of machines (Chainsaws and Tree Cutters) that can technically do the same job (though much less efficiently). Tree Harvesters should be purchased when planning to do a lot of Forestry work. They also work very well together with Wood Chippers.
The base game offers two models of Tree Harvesters. Both can perform the same functions, but the smaller (and cheaper) model can only work with smaller Trees. For heavy-duty Forestry, there's no competition between these two models.
List of Tree Harvesters Edit
Below is a list of both Tree Harvester models in the base game. They can both be found in the "Forestry" category at the store.
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To harvest a Tree, the Tree Harvester must first turn on its Cutting Head Tree Harvester: Turn OnDefault Buttons: B ?? ??. This will open up the head, exposing the cutting instruments inside.
Before proceeding to cut any trees, it's important to decide what length of Logs you need. The longer the logs you produce, the more money you'll get - but longer logs are more difficult to load into most Log Transports. You can set the desired Log length by hitting a special button Tree Harvester: Change Cut LengthDefault Buttons: Y ?? ??, increasing the desired length by increments of 1 meter each time. Different models of Tree Harvester have a different maximum tree length they can cut to.
Once the head is online and the desired cut length set, the hydraulic arm can be used to push the head against the side of the tree that needs to be cut. The orientation of the cutting head is important - its blades need to face the tree trunk. When the head is correctly placed this way, it will lightly "stick" to the tree. Make sure to place the head as low near the ground as possible, so that only a small Stump will remain after cutting.
At this point you'll have the option to cut the tree down Tree Harvester: Cut TreeDefault Buttons: X ?? ??. Pressing this button causes the head to latch onto the tree trunk, and immediately cut the tree. The cutting itself takes only a split second, and the tree will typically begin to fall over immediately. With some skill, you can pull the tree down in a desired direction at this point; This can be helpful when creating uniform Log Piles (see subsection below).
The cutting head will continue to hold on firmly to the fallen tree. It will only release the tree once it's been completely chopped into Logs, or once the head (or the harvester's engine) has been turned off Tree Harvester: Turn OffDefault Buttons: B ?? ??. Other machines (including your Chainsaw) can still interact with the fallen tree while it is being held by the Harvester, if there is any need to do so.
Note that if for any reason the cutting head lets go of the tree, it cannot pick it back up. Be very careful not to turn the head off accidentally!
Creating Logs Edit
While the head is still holding the fallen tree, hitting the Cut button again Tree Harvester: Cut TreeDefault Buttons: X ?? ?? will cause it to cut a section off the tree, stripping it of branches, and turning it into a Log. The length of the resulting log is equal to the harvester's Cut Length setting Tree Harvester: Change Cut LengthDefault Buttons: Y ?? ??, as explained above. You may freely change the cutting length between different section of the same tree, if you have any need to do so.
When the button is pressed, the tree is pulled through the cutting head, being stripped of branches as it goes. There is no need process the log afterwards with a Chainsaw to remove any branches. Once a given length of tree has passed through the cutting head, the tree will be cut again at that exact spot. The head continues to hold on to the rest of the tree, while the cleared and chopped section falls down on the ground.
This process takes a couple of second, and can be repeated immediately. Each cut Log will fall in roughly the same place and direction as the previous log, creating a pile. A large tree can be turned into several logs very rapidly this way.
Once there is no more tree left to be held onto, the head will release its grip and return to cutting mode. A Log Transport can then load these trees into its storage bay, for transportation elsewhere (or you can use a Log Fork to do so).
Alternatively, the Logs can be dumped immediately into a Wood Chipper, as explained further below.
Creating Piles Edit
When chopping a tree into Logs by continuously pressing the "Cut" button Tree Harvester: CutDefault Buttons: X ?? ??, each segment will fall in roughly the same place and the same direction, creating a pile of logs.
Log piles are not just a neater way to arrange logs (so as not to clutter the area with logs) - they actually have a benefit: When lifting logs with a Log Fork or a Log Transport's crane arm, a large enough claw can lift two or more trees from the pile simultaneously. When done properly, this can speed up the loading process considerably.
Take this into account before chopping a tree into logs. If you already have a log pile, try cutting the tree so that the logs will fall onto this pile. To accomplish this, drag the tree towards the log pile so that the tree is parallel to the pile, while its bottom (the edge held by the cutting head) is over the edge of the pile. Cutting like this will cause logs to fall on the pile reliably.
Filling Wood Chippers Edit
- Main article: Wood Chippers (Farming Simulator 17)
A Wood Chipper is a machine that turns Logs into Wood Chips. It has a conveyor belt leading into a grinding chamber, where the logs are chopped up. The product is then either loaded into a Container through another conveyor belt, dumped on the ground, or (with some models) sold immediately at the current market price.
A Tree Harvester is an excellent tool for feeding logs into a Wood Chipper. To do this, the Tree Harvester must chop the tree into small sections, dropping them on the Wood Chipper's input conveyor belt.
The size of the logs fed into the Wood Chipper is very important. Each Wood Chipper model has an optimal size based on the length of its conveyor belt. For the most part, it's best to chop the tree into 2.0 meter logs, as these will fit on any conveyor belt. Furthermore, if a 2.0 meter log falls off the belt or gets stuck at a bad angle, you can lift it by hand First Person Mode: Pick Up ObjectDefault Buttons: LMB ?? ?? in first person mode and place it back on the conveyor belt at the correct angle.
When feeding a Wood Chipper using a Tree Harvester, try to get the tree as parallel to the conveyor belt as possible before you start cutting, and place the cutting head right over the edge of the conveyor belt. This will cause each log to fall directly on the conveyor - at the correct angle - and get carried into the machine automatically.
Note: If the Wood Chipper model you're using doesn't sell the product immediately, make sure it has something to unload into, or that it is set to Manual Unloading. Otherwise, feeding more and more logs into the machine will cause it to reach its capacity, at which point it will start eating Logs without producing any more Wood Chips. Even when it is unloading, it's a good idea to wait a few seconds between each log, giving the machine time to empty itself before the next log is fed in.