Hardmet Landforce Duo 235

In this review, we put the Hardmet Landforce Duo 235 through its paces to see whether chipping and shredding really can be done by one, industrial-sized machine.

Hardmet Landforce Duo 235 - image: HW
Hardmet Landforce Duo 235 - image: HW

TESTED THIS WEEK
Hardmet Landforce Duo 235
Schliesing 220MX
Vermeer BC160XL
Greenmech Arborist 13-23
Timberwolf TW350TDHB(t)

THE REVIEW PANEL
- Ian Bawcutt, deputy-head gardener, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
- Tom Dewey, junior arborist, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
- Matt Noyce, senior arborist, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

We look at the Schliesing 220MX - a machine you may want to look for on the used-machinery market. We also see whether the BC160XL from Vermeer is what the European market expects.

The machines were tested by the arborists and deputy-head gardener at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (SHHG) near Romsey in Hampshire. The gardens, established in 1953 by distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier and set in 73ha, hold one of the most important plant collections in the world. There are more than 42,000 plants from around the world, including 12 national plant collections and 300 champion trees. Conditions on the test day were cool but dry and sunny.

From the plant collections at SHHG to the magnificent trees at Westonbirt - we move sites to let the arboretum team test two of the latest models from Greenmech and Timberwolf. The Arborist 13-23 is Greenmech's lightest chipper to date and the TW350TDHB(t) is Timberwolf's biggest. Conditions here were also dry on test day.

HARDMET LANDFORCE DUO 235

The Hardmet Duo 235 is British-built and a bit of a brute. The engine has been upgraded from 54hp to a 61hp Deutz diesel and now almost has too much grunt. While Noyce and Dewey admit it would not be their first choice for pure arboriculture work, we reckon that if you do a lot of shrub pruning, and certainly if you undertake land clearance work, you may want to inspect this one further.

This is a combined chipper/shredder and is designed to cater for everything that you are likely to meet on site. Having a 235mm (9.5in) chipper with nine cutters on the flywheel at the business end, plus a 420x50mm-capacity shredder with 18 blades on the side, the Duo will chop or mince its way through most things.

It is a solidly built machine that should have a long life. It has a galvanised chassis and weighs in at 1,560kg. Not being on a turntable, it takes a few minutes to position the chipper/shredder for work and because it does not have very wide tyres, we had to be careful travelling over the grassed areas. Wider tyres would help compensate for the unit's weight.

The discharge chute is rotatable and easily turns through 360 degs to fire material accurately into the trailer.
Safety is built into the Duo. There are micro-switches to ensure the engine cannot be started with any of the hoods up and the machine must be in the work position, with transport pins removed, before the horizontal variable-speed feed-rollers will turn. The controls are simple and work with each other and there are two main control panels for feeding.

Dual rollers take timber into the chipper at the rear.

Hardmet Landforce is looking at putting teeth onto the top roller, a suggestion we would back. "The rollers grab the timber but there doesn't seem to be a lot of pressure," says Dewey. We agree that a curtain might be a good idea to prevent pieces firing backwards.

If you are not used to a combined chipper/shredder of this style then you may find the in-feed funnel a bit on the high side for shredding. "I was struggling to see where I was putting the material," says Dewey. On the positive side, the material produced by the shredder is very fine and uniform.

There is no denying the power from the engine on the Duo 235 and there are some nice finishing touches. There is a spare wheel on top of the feed hopper and wheel chocks are stowed on the mudguards. We are also impressed with the protection around the controls.

SPECIFICATIONS

Max capacity: Chipper 235mm/Shredder 50mm
Chipping mechanism: Nine blades/flywheel?
Shredding mechanism: 18 blades/helical flight shredder
Engine: Four-cylinder 61hp Deutz diesel?Feed Two hydraulic rollers on chipper?
Weight: 1,560kg?List price: £18,335 + VAT?
Contact: Hardmet Landforce - 01386 834813


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