Timberwolf understands that there are times when the terrain is rough - seriously off-road - and you need to get the chipper to the job, not bring the job to the chipper. That is why it developed the TW 280 TFTR. The tracked 8in machine has ground covering performance and the fixed track base is rugged, has wider tracks than the TW 190 and gives two speeds - up to 5kph when you can and 2.5kph for difficult ground and final positioning.
As 5kmph is a good walking pace, a fold-down operator platform is provided. The travel levers are comfortable to operate, requiring less pressure than some machines so your wrists and thumbs do not complain while tracking distances. In addition, the levers are progressive.
With good ground clearance, combined with smooth tracking, this machine should get you to work on time.
When it comes to the chipper itself, this is the business. It is built big and strong yet is still easy to use. It has an extra-wide feed funnel, bigger than on the TW 190, and open top section so you can see the feeding operation, and it has an 8.25x11in letterbox-style throat with twin horizontal Quad Force feed rollers that grip and crush the material down to fit the width.
There is easy access to the usual safety controls, though Timberwolf has moved them from the top on this model and repositioned them on the sides where there is less chance of them being knocked or damaged.
This model also features Timberwolf's legendary "no stress" auto-feed control for smoother operation, combined with a heavier rotor to give added inertia to get the job done faster. In fact, the rotor is 50 per cent heavier than on the TW 190. It is cast and gives the machine loads of chipping muscle.
Power comes from a 45hp Kubota diesel engine - no problem there then - and as you would expect from Timberwolf all components are easily accessible.
We like the fact that we only have to undo one bolt on each side to remove the sliding side panels that form the new-look sloping bonnet. That bolt also allows the chip screen on the radiator to be removed.
Another panel gives access to the blades through a cassette-style opening. The double-sided blades are easily removed for turning. The anvil is also easy to remove and turn for use on either edge.
All in all, Timberwolf has done an impressive job in designing and building this chipper. It is fast on its tracks and quick with its work. It is simple to use and easy to maintain. In short, the TW 280 TFTR has to be viewed and used to be appreciated, though you might want to turn the exhaust through 180 degs so it does not blow in your face while adjusting the discharge chute.
Max diameter material 8.25in (210mm)
Engine type Kubota four-cylinder turbo diesel
Maximum power 45hp
Roller feed Twin hydraulic motor, complete with Auto Feed control
Infeed throat size 8.25x11in
Processing capacity In excess of 6.5 tonnes per hour
Fuel capacity 36 litres
Blades Two 158mm blades, double-sided, fully hardened
Chip size 14.9mm
Dimensions (LxWxH) 2,740x1,410x2,320mm
Price £32,130 + VAT
Tel Timberwolf - 01449 765800
Reviewed - This Issue
- GreenMech Arborist 200
- Forst ST8
- Vermeer BC190XL
- Vermeer BC1000XL
- Timberwolf TW 160PH
- Timberwolf TW 280TFTR
Bridgwater College arborists: working in the industry on part-time study with lecturers and technicians
It is a practical day at Bridgwater College and the arborists have the task of removing a row of leylandii from Richard and Wendy Stirling's garden at Combwich. Work is underway and there are piles of material - just what we need to test the latest woodchippers.
Introduced this year, the GreenMech Arborist 200, Timberwolf TW 160PH and Vermeer BC190XL are road machines. The new Timberwolf TW 280TFTR is a tracked unit, ideal for use by utilities and those needing to cross rough ground. Updated is the Vermeer BC1000XL, a big machine with improvements. Forst is the youngster, a brand that is barely three years old.
After several hours' work on a sunny autumn day, some conclusions could be drawn. All the machines performed well. We had no blockages. All had good working heights and strong infeed chutes. Infeed was smooth for all units, with no testers reporting being whipped by the more slender material. Most testers were uncertain which they would buy. General comments were that all the machines took big timbers and were easy to control. The Timberwolf 160 was favoured by some for its towability and price.