Another busy week here at Forest Machine Magazine, the time seems to fly past, especially now as it is all about getting the content together for the April edition.
There was a lot of work getting the car unpacked after the Neuson demo, but I am really lucky as I have a magic hallway in my house. Whenever I unload the car I pile everything up in the hallway and I leave it there overnight, in the morning the hallway is clear and everything is back in its place! It might be magic but it also must be quite noisy putting all the stuff away because whenever this happens it disturbs my wife who is a light sleeper and she is always very tired and grumpy the next day!
Most of my time this week was spent on the computer, which I have to admit is not my favourite part of the magazine but it is an improvement on cutting and tightening band tracks in cold and wet conditions and I have the added benefit of a lot more skin on my knuckles.
The week was broken up with a trip to see a contractor working with a small low impact tracked skidder on a hardwood site that would normally be very difficult to extract by any other method. This is one of those sensitive sites where it is not about profit but about benefiting the remaining trees and the habitat who live there.
And now to plan the week ahead......
It has been an amazing week for us here at Forest Machine Magazine. Christian Richter and Franz Rosinger from Neuson Forest and operator Thomas Fischer from Leicher-Forst came over to the UK to demonstrate the Neuson Forest 103HVT harvester with a Logmax 4000 harvesting head. The first demo was up in Tentsmuir forest near Dundee on Tuesday and Wednesday: a flat first thinning site where we were removing about 50% of the crop (mainly pine and birch). It wasn't a huge turnout over the two days but the people who did attend were very impressed with this clever little harvester and one or two could be on the phone to their bank manager as we write this. Big thank you to Ava Sparreboom and Jimmy Swan for arranging the venue and for all their help during the demo.
We moved the harvester down to the Whinlatter Pass near Cockermouth on Thursday to get set up for the Friday and Saturday demos. This site was more of a challenge, first thinning of heavily branched Sitka Spruce on quite a steep site. The look on Thomas's face when we arrived spoke a thousand words, I don't think there is as much heavily branched spruce like this in Germany and then when I gave him a list of the six different sizes of products we were going to cut, his expression changed from astonishment to sheer horror. After promising him a steak dinner and free beer I eventually managed to persuade him into the harvester to open the bottom of the thinning racks ready for the demo. Euroforest are managing this site with Mark Hartnett as the forester in charge and once again it is unbelievable how much guys like this put themselves out to help us.
The Friday and Saturday were excellent demos with a great turnout both days and the little 13.5 tonne harvester fascinated both contractors, operators and forest companies with its manoeuvrability, ability to climb and it's excellent build quality.
It was with a heavy heart we said our farewells to Christian, Franz and Thomas as we have had a great demo week and a lot of fun with you guys.