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EXECUTIVE REPORT


The Stihl MS 441 C-M has a sophisticated engine management system.


Forest fare


Alan Guthrie reports on the APF Exhibition, where a broad range of machinery was on show for diverse markets.


One of the most striking aspects of the APF (Association of Professional Foresters) international forestry exhibition, which was held at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire recently, was the sheer size of the Show. As well as a static exhibition area filled with stands, visitors also followed an adjoining ‘demo circuit’ skirting a large area of the forest, where exhibitors along its perimeter hold practical demonstrations. Also significant was the variety of equipment displayed at the biennial event, which appeals to professionals well beyond the sphere of forestry, including landscaping, grounds care and construction.


GreenMech’s dedicated chipper trailer facilitates loading and unloading.


Not surprisingly, several wood chipper manufacturers were present, including


GreenMech, whose stand


display included the new Quad Trak 150 self-propelled tracked machine, mounted on an optional dedicated trailer for safer loading and unloading. The 15cm-diameter capacity chipper can be used while on the trailer for maximum operational flexibility, and an optional turntable and tilt system facilitates work on sloping ground.


Considerable growth


Also displaying a large line-up of chippers was the specialist hirer Orange Plant, which offers Timberwolf equipment and has depots in Cannock and York in addition to its Newcastle headquarters. “We still see considerable growth in hire,” said MD Joanna Oxnard, “particularly in the current economic climate as people seek to reduce capital expenditure. The need to recycle is also driving interest, and we expect increasing demand for our Timberwolf S426 shredders, which enable users like councils and contractors to process materials as diverse as pallets, window frames and plastics, as well as green waste.”


Hardmet Landforce exhibited combination chipper/shredder machines that it is targeting at the hire industry, including the Duo 235, which can process logs of up to 235mm in diameter and also has a


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shredder inlet to accommodate material like branches and brash of up to 50mm. Both can be used simultaneously. Director Mike Driver told EHN, “hire is attractive for smaller tree surgeons and contractors who need a high-capacity machine only occasionally, but who require high work rates.”


Battery powered platform


Amongst several aerial platform suppliers exhibiting was CTE UK, which promoted the tracked Traccess 170 machine. It has a 17m maximum working height and 7.5m of outreach, with umbilical cord drive facilities for safer loading and unloading. Diesel or petrol engine options are available, and the unit can also be run from a mains electricity supply. Sales Manager Jonathan Wiseman also said that a new battery powered version of the machine, designated the 170 E, is being developed for use in indoor environments and in other locations where the emissions and noise are a potential hazard. Its Lithium-ion batteries are claimed to give five hours’ operation.


Powerlift UK’s stand line-up included the Easy Lift R160, a compact machine with a stowed width of 0.89m and which offers a 15.6m maximum working height. The platform has a 200kg capacity and can accommodate two people.The company says the product is proving popular for tree care and landscaping work in domestic gardens and areas with restricted access.


Stihl, which was the main sponsor of APF 2010, and also hosted a Stihl Timbersports display of lumberjack skills as part of its exhibit, highlighted the innovative engineering that has been used on its new MS 441 C-M chainsaw, including M-Tronic electronic ignition and fuel metering. This management system automatically adjusts the carburettor according to parameters like temperature and fuel quality, minimising the need for user intervention. The saw has the same 2-Mix engine used on the


CTE UK’s Traccess 170 offers a maximum 17m working height.


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