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.
It is the biggest machine the company makes and is a serious piece of kit. At Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, we take down a tree to test it.
One look at the TW350TDHB(t) and you realise this is a machine aimed at the top end of the professional market. If size matters, this machine will impress - though it is not meant for the back-garden boys and its width means you will need to park it carefully on the side of the road. It has a 23x35.5cm (9x14in) letter box-style in-feed and is powered by a 64hp Hatz turbo-charged diesel engine. Timberwolf says the throughput is up to 12 tonnes per hour. This is a massively strong chipper and its total weight is around 2.2 tonnes.
Thank goodness then that the TW350TDHB(t) is on a turntable. Although it is mounted on a single axle to aid manoeuvrability, the weight of this unit means it is not one you are going to want or be able to continually shift to find the most convenient loading position. But the turntable removes that dilemma. This chipper is on a slew ring - - like that of a two-tonne digger - and gracefully spins through 360 degs with remarkable ease. The adjustable-height tow hitch will also be appreciated by those who want to alternate between a pickup and a lorry.
Despite its size and obvious technologies, the construction of this Timberwolf is relatively simple, making it easy to maintain. Belt tension should not be a problem and there are two remote grease nipples for the rollers. The rotor is a twin-disc type and is rigid and strong. At 250kg, it is believed to be the heaviest rotor in any chipper of this capacity in the world and it uses that weight and mass to create the inertia needed to keep the chipper up to speed. There are also four reversible blades, positioned to make the most of the momentum of the machine, and massive external bearings.
We find the new auto-feeding system takes a little getting used to. When it comes across an awkward timber, the system automatically backs off the rollers and tries again without letting go.
The Westonbirt team also finds the height of the in-feed hopper awkward for really big timbers. One tester says: "It's a long way to lift the material, which by the very nature of this machine is going to be large to make the best use of the unit." But we are surprised at the quietness of this big machine.
Max capacity: 230mm (9in)?
Engine: Four-cylinder 64hp diesel turbo?
Feed: Two independently-driven rollers
Turntable: 360 degs?
Chassis: Single axle?
List price: Price on application?
Contact: Timberwolf - 01449 765809
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