Ponsse Launches Speedy Bison Forwarder for North America, Celebrates 25 Years in the Market

New Ponsse Bison forwarder features a continuous variable transmission that enables the operator to use higher driving speeds without stopping and without changing gears. Ponsse says it is the fastest forwarder in the world.
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Ponsse conducted a webinar to launch its new Bison forwarder for the North American market. The company is hailing the new machine as the fastest forwarder in the world.
The Finland-based company, which manufactures cut-to-length logging machines, also used the occasion to mark the 25th anniversary of its North American subsidiary as well as the 50th year of the parent business. Ponsse now has over 1,500 machines operating in North

America and machines operating in almost every state of the U.S.
The company originally wanted to hold a celebration with customers at its North American headquarters in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, but it was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will seek to hold some type of event in the future when the pandemic has abated.

The webinar included remarks by Jarmo Vidgren, the company’s new chairman of the board of directors, Pekka Ruuskanen, CEO of Ponsse North America, and other company officials.
The new Bison forwarder has a continuous variable transmission. The CVT gearbox is used in earth moving equipment, company officials noted, but the application to a forwarder for forestry operations is new.

The Bison CVT gearbox is side by side with the mechanical and hydrostatic drive lines and automatically switches between them. The technology allows the engine to run at maximum RPM, and the operator can use higher driving speeds without stopping, without switching gears.

The Bison, powered by a Mercedes-Benz 286 hp diesel engine with Stage 4F emissions, can generate 47,000 pounds of pulling power, and it has that full power even from 0 mph. More of the engine power is converted to pulling power; power and speed are always available. Most of the power is transferred by mechanical transmission, which is more efficient and enables a significant improvement in fuel economy.

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The result is better productivity in hilly terrain, snow, and long hauling distances. The difference between a conventional hydrostatic transmission is even more noticeable on more even surfaces over longer distances.

The working hydraulics have been configured with two pumps and two valve blocks with two separate circuits for the loader and grapple. The system is optimized so only one pump works at a time as needed. It aids fuel economy and provides smooth, precise operation of the loader and grapple.

The CVT gearbox and pumps are located farther away from the cab for reduced levels of noise.

Active Frame, a standard feature, dramatically prevents the cabin, and the operator, from swaying. And the new Ponsse Seat is now available – the first seat designed specifically for forest machines.

The company already has Bisons operating around the world, and feedback from customers has been positive. The first Bison has been sold to a customer in the U.S. and will be operating in the woods soon.

Ponsse also is reintroducing its Cobra 8-wheel harvester, which is designed for thinning and small timber.

Company officials also discussed the newest version of Ponsse Manager, which adds forwarder production reporting to the software’s other features. The new version shows harvester and forwarder production relative to the total estimated volume of the timber harvest. Ponsse Manager features real-time monitoring and progress of operations, planning for machine transportation, tracking machine outputs, planning and managing maintenance, ordering for parts, and more. The program, available as a smart phone app, is free.

Ponsse used the opportunity to make several personnel announcements. Jarmo became chairman of the company’s board of directors in June; he previously served as a sales and marketing director and deputy CEO. He succeeds his brother, Juha, who will continue serving as a board member and be involved in human resources and public affairs.

Marko Mattila has been named director of sales and marketing, replacing Jarmo in a role that makes him part of the Ponsse management team; he previously was director of dealer network development. Jussi Hentunen, who has worked in sales and marketing, was named director of dealer development; he will be responsible for the development of the retail network in market areas, in which Ponsse has no subsidiary.

For more information about Ponsse or the new Bison or other Ponsse cut-to-length harvesters and forwarders, visit www.ponsse.com.