Ubiquitous at sawmills, log decks are a component that does not make anyone money. A bad deck, however, costs its owners lots of money in downtime, as they can become a major source of unscheduled repair hours (not to mention cleanup). This occurs because they take a lot of abuse and, oftentimes, maintenance teams neglect them until something breaks. What makes maintenance intolerable is the difficulty that’s often involved: parts are large, expensive, and hard to access. Additional components like a metal detector or a flare reducer often get added after the initial installation, jamming up access.
Considering how these machines are normally maintained, how easily a deck can be repaired, and whether it can operate with a broken strand becomes incredibly important. Consider, too, these other common issues:
- There’s not enough surge area
- The loading is too high
- There are problems kicking logs out of the system
- Waste collects under the decks and is difficult to clean
- There is not a clear line of sight for both deck loader and debarker operator/ sawyer
Ultimately, issues come down to the design. Energy efficiency, downtime, and cost of repairs all stem from this. And its these very issues that we considered when designing our log deck.
Rather than powering the strands with a single motor, we power each strand individually. Not only does this increase efficiency (we can run the strands with ¾-hp motors rather than a single, 60-hp motor), but it enables the deck to function even when one of the strands has broken.
Other improvements we’ve made on our log decks include:
- Smaller bearings that crews can handle without a crane
- Smaller head shafts that can be easily removed
- No couplings to align
- Fast installation with bolt-together design and locking tabs
The result is a deck that can be installed faster and repaired quickly. Strand changes take only an hour and bearing replacements take only minutes.