The machine has pivotal flats (10), curved round the drums, which swivel towards the drum axis in the pick-up region (2) and out to the drum peripheries in the transfer region (3). Fixed entraining elements (1) fitted to the drums are closed off in the intervals between the elements by the flats. The flats swing in and out to drum axis and periphery respectively, have end-mounted rollers (5) and engage tensile springs (9) hinged to the drum cylinder shaft. The rollers associate with controlling cams (7) mounted in the main framework. The edges of the entraining drivers (11) should be profiled. As the drums rotate so the flats ride out via their rollers and the control cam to the drum periphery and back again so as to engage and grasp the gathered material, e.g. sawn timber, as against the compacting movement when the flats between the drums move steadily out to the periphery so as to produce a smooth faced drum system hence the timber etc. can be transferred to the offtaker belt etc.