Greenmech first produced the tracked woodchipper in 1999, at the request of several customers who needed to work on slopes and other difficult sites. At the time, the company thought the market would be small. They were wrong. The SAFE-Trak has already become popular at home and inter-nationally, particularly for use on motorway embankments and for railway line-side clearance contracts.
In these situations, the operative can stand on the platform and drive the machine along the site, processing the timber where it has fallen rather than having to throw the material down the slope to the chipper. That’s definitely going to help with productivity. What’s more, the unit is capable of travelling at a good walking pace.
Another feature that keeps this machine in the premier division when it comes to a fast working rate is the large, letterbox-style infeed throat. It means less snedding is needed — again saving you time and letting you get on with the job. In fact, combined with a powerful, torquey 50hp diesel engine, this SAFE-Trak has a voracious appetite for all types of awkward brashy material.
But what makes this machine stand out from the crowd is its track extension system. Like a tripod, the legs adjust independently of each other to move the tracks outwards by up to 50cm. It also includes a pivoting telescopic arm that levels the machine to 30?. This means that on a 35? bank, the angle of the machine is only 5? and oil splash is maintained to the engine to ensure performance. With one track extended and the other closed, slopes up to 1-in-2 can be traversed and, with a roll-over angle of 60?, the machine is likely to slide down the slope long before it reaches an angle to topple it. Ground clearance is generous.
Like all Greenmech chippers, the SAFE-Trak is fitted with the company’s patented Disc-Blade system so it can process some contaminated material. Disc-Blades are noted for their increased life of up to 600 per cent and for reduced noise levels.
The SAFE-Trak is of typical Greenmech engineering. The construction is sound and with mechanical controls, rather than electronics, this machine is built for life in harsh outdoor conditions. There’s no-stress management of the power to the rollers.
We begin feeding conifer into the chipper and are keen to test it with a big 18cm piece of timber. But it’s not to be.
The engine dies, a little cloud of black smoke signalling the end of the test. So, after all that’s been said, is this a duff machine?
Greenmech’s representative investigates, but the unit has to be returned to the factory. Within days, the company gets back to us with details of the problem — and the solution. The SAFE-Trak is fitted with a blackbox that records hours of work but also shuts the engine down in the event of a problem such as overheating or low oil levels. The box fitted to our test machine is faulty. And actually it’s not been the first. Since the test in December, Greenmech has sourced a new supplier and assures us the problem is now rectified.
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletinsSign up now