About the project

A unique collaboration

Managed forests are the Swedish forest industry’s contribution to climate action and a sustainable society. 2019 saw the beginnings of a unique project with several Swedish forest companies working together with the forest machine manufacturer Komatsu Forest to investigate a new forest machine concept for lower impact forestry.


Forest industry challenges

The forest industry faces several major challenges, one of which is stagnating productivity. Productivity has remained high but essentially unchanged for several years while costs and even demands on the forest industry have increased. More profitable forestry requires greater innovation to meet the needs of modern, low impact forestry.

Another challenge is to minimise the industry’s impact on the forest floor. Today’s machines are not fully designed with this in mind, and a technological shift is required to make a real difference.

Then there is the challenge of making the forest industry attractive to operators. The machine comprises the operator’s work environment, and although operator ergonomics are a major focus in today’s machines, there is much to be gained by thinking anew.
Centipede concept machine

A technological shift towards sustainability

The project team agreed that adapting the harvesting of timber to both current and future environmental requirements would require something completely new. Through this project, the companies have fundamentally challenged today’s technology and stepped into the future – resulting in the Centipede concept machine.

Within the bounds of the project, the team also wants to take responsibility for edging development towards sustainability. Such a focus will not only reduce damage to the forest floor, but also have a positive influence on both forests and the forest industry in the longer term. 
Centipede forwarder

The aim of the Centipede project

The aim of the project has been to develop a next-generation forest machine fulfilling a range of strict criteria for low impact forestry.

– Reduce ground pressure for considerably less impact on the forest floor.
– Reduce fuel consumption in soft terrain.
– Improved operator comfort through reduced whole-body vibration.
– Increased productivity and a more even timber supply to sawmills over the year.

As a reference point for comparisons and evaluating goals, the project has used a conventional wheeled forwarder, a Komatsu 855, as a baseline.
Centipede forwarder

Thorough testing awaits

The Centipede is a concept machine, which means that the machine concept will be thoroughly tested and evaluated before deciding whether the machine will go into serial production.
Project logotypes

Project participants

The Centipede project is a collaboration between:

Komatsu Forest
Norra Skog
Stora Enso