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World Premiere: ZF Presents Continuously Variable Transmission for Forestry Equipment

  • Reduced fuel consumption and increased productivity
  • Technology engineered in Friedrichshafen, produced in Passau

ZF expands its product range for forestry equipment. The company unveiled its new cPower continuously variable transmission (CVT) for forwarders, at this year's FinnMetko, one of the world's largest forestry trade fairs, which takes place every two years in Jämsä, Finland, roughly 230 km north of Helsinki. The new transmission is produced at the ZF location in Passau, Germany.

For several years now, ZF has been a reliable provider of drive technology for skidders, i.e. special vehicles used in timber harvesting. Now the company expands its range for forestry applications with the new cPower transmission for so-called forwarders. A forwarder is a type of vehicle that loads felled logs that have been cut to length and carries them to forest pathways accessible to trucks. Typically, forwarders are equipped with hydrostatic transmissions. With the cPower transmission, ZF now offers the first continuously variable transmission for such applications worldwide.The continuously variable transmission ZF cPower is produced in Passau, Germany, and safes up to 35 percent fuel.


The CVT technology of the cPower offers an unprecedented level of productivity with low fuel consumption: the transmission adjusts the speed and engine load automatically to the given situation, thus allowing for low engine speeds. This results in fuel savings of up to 35 percent. Productivity increases by up to 25 percent compared to traditional hydrostatic transmissions. As gear changes are no longer required, the driver is free to concentrate fully on his work.

First customers have already been convinced of the advantages of the new ZF transmission: Finnish forestry machinery manufacturer Ponsse has opted for the ZF continuously variable drive solution in its brand new forwarder, the Bison Active Frame.

“Going forward, we want to establish ourselves in the forestry machinery sector. Thanks to our pilot project with Ponsse, one of the biggest manufacturers on the market, we have managed to successfully break into the market for forwarder vehicles”, explains Udo Kneitz, Head of ZF’s Business Unit Off-Highway Systems.

The new forwarder transmission is produced at the ZF location in Passau, Germany. Until now, continuously variable transmissions from the cPower series have mostly been used in construction machinery such as wheel loaders. More than 5,000 units have been sold to globally operating customers since production began.

Source: ZF Friedrichshafen AG