The new Prentice/Epsilon line of self-loaders is designed to provide speed and precision for applications requiring increased duty-cycles, while protecting components from damage in harsh environments.
The line is available through a marketing agreement entered into earlier this year by Caterpillar Forest Products and Palfinger Inc. The self-loaders are produced by Epsilon Kran GmbH, part of the Palfinger Group, and are marketed through select Caterpillar Forest Product distributors experienced with truck-mounted loaders. The Prentice 2124 self-loader is also still available through Prentice dealers.
The Prentice/Epsilon self-loader line features two configurations: the L-boom and the Z-boom. The L-boom is a standard boom, while the Z-boom allows the operator to fold and stow the loader during transport without disconnecting the attachment. Various boom lengths and capacities are available within each type.
Lift capacity and boom geometry are core advantages of these H-frame self-loaders. “What the Prentice/Epsilon self-loader can lift at ground level is the same as at 10 ft. off the ground. This provides the operator a smooth range of motion at a consistent speed eliminating the need to drag and pull the load,” explained Tom Zwickle, Epsilon sales and product manager. “Operators can pick a log, come straight up in the air, swing it over the bunks and put it down onto the truck bed all in one constant motion, thereby increasing speed and productivity.”
Light weight is another advantage of the Prentice/Epsilon self-loader. “You can carry more wood instead of giving up payload for the loader. Our customers are in the business of hauling wood not steel,” Zwickle said. “With the price of fuel continuing to rise this is a big benefit.”
The line also features patented solutions that increase efficiency and uptime. The extension system, EPSCOPE, features a high-speed chain drive and reach of up to 10.4 m (34 ft.). All components and hoses are mounted internally for maximum protection. The EPSLINK is a patented link-rotator combination featuring a robust four-eye link, which is a stronger, thicker link for the best performance and protection. “There are no external hoses and pipes along the outer boom all the way down to the grapple. By protecting these components, downtime is reduced which increases productivity and most importantly, profitability.” Zwickle said.
The robust structure is built to provide a long service life. The support column is one solid cast piece for greater strength. Instead of a turntable motor, a double rack slewing system controls rotation. Besides industry-leading swing torque, this system lasts longer and needs less servicing than a motor-driven system.
The paint finish on the Prentice/Epsilon loaders is a 16-step process used in the automotive industry. “Years later the loaders look the same as the day they were delivered,” Zwickle said. “But more importantly, the finish shields the loader from corrosion.”
A wide range of grapples is available with standard features that include bronze bushings with grease channels, sealed bearings and adjustable, chromium-plated bolts. The tines open extra wide to allow logs to roll up easily.
The marketing agreement for self-loaders is the second collaboration between Epsilon and Caterpillar Forest Products. Epsilon also produces the loader for the 20-ton Cat® 584HD forwarder and will continue to supply loaders for other Cat cut-to-length equipment.
Visit www.prenticeforestry.com for more information or contact authorized dealers Milton Cat in the Northeast United States (508-634-3400; www.miltoncat.com) or Shultz Equipment in Michigan (906-774-8900; www.schultzequipment.com).