TESTED THIS WEEK
Hardmet Landforce Duo 235
Greenmech Arborist 13-23
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
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. 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.
As arborists upgrade to the latest version, we could see an influx of 220MXs on the second-hand market.
This is Noyce's favourite chipper and he makes sure it sees plenty of work.The 220MX is a high-performance trailed machine, driven by a Kubota four-cylinder 35hp diesel engine. It weighs 1,250kg but is easy to tow on its high-specification chassis with the table folding neatly across the funnel and the wide tyres limiting damage when manoeuvring across turf surfaces. With twin independently-driven hydraulic feed rollers, this model has a capacity of 160mm (6in). Best of all, the 220MX has a 270 degs turntable.
"We find the turntable invaluable," says Noyce. "We can go down a ride or track and just keep spinning the unit from side to side. It saves us walking around the machine or repositioning the unit every five minutes."
At the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (SHHG), the 220MX is used for a couple of hours most days. "It's heavy but so well engineered that it feels as though it was designed and built by people who use it," adds Noyce. "Everything is within your working area. The stop/start buttons are right in front of you, there's an indicator to show when the flywheel is still turning and a handy tool box on top that contains all the spanners you are likely to need. The display even has a smiley face to show everything is OK."
Bawcutt points out the benefits of the noise reduction blades. The V-blades or "Whisper Cut" blades give a 30 per cent noise reduction and ensure a 40 per cent longer life by ensuring that the timber is always fed to the middle.
If the 220MX has a fault, it is the problems it has at fuelling. "Diesel has to be trickled in slowly or it backs up, but it's a small detail," says Noyce. The age of the SHHG chipper is unknown, but only one feature has not stood the test of time.
Wear and tear on the drop part of the in-feed funnel meant it finally required attention.
The new 235MX is based on the 220MX and bears the same engine specification and gross weight but has increased capacity of up to 180mm and features to improve the output, efficiency and ease of transport, storage and maintenance of the machine.
Max capacity: 160mm?
Engine: Four-cylinder 35hp diesel?
Feed: Two independently-driven rollers
Hopper: 114cm wide by 96cm high?
Turntable: 270 degs?Chassis: 80kmph?
List price: Dependent on condition?
Contact: Schliesing UK & Ireland - 01189 816 588