A big brother for the well-established GreenMech 150, the Arborist 190 soon has Ford reaching into his pockets. "If I had the money, I would buy it today," he declares.
There is a lot about this machine that impresses but, of course, with a 190mm capacity it is a bigger machine and records a towable weight of 1,260kg. Ford is quick to spot features that make it "towable".
"Look at the tailgate - it's epic," he exclaims. "When you tow behind different vehicles, you normally have to change everything over. All you have to do here is slot in the number plate. The adjustable drawbar makes hitching easy, so you can get to work quickly. The chassis looks strong and the lights are all nicely protected so they shouldn't get damaged when reversing in tight spaces."
But perhaps the biggest draw about the new 190 is its modular build. It is rigid, yet it is built in blocks. The chassis is a module, as are the mudguards and the drawbar. The engine is a module, so is the chipper box, so is the infeed. With laser cutting, GreenMech is "slotting and bolting" metal together rather than welding. It means that the various parts can be removed for easy maintenance or be replaced in the event of damage.
Maintenance has been simplified with a slide-out radiator and GreenMech's "turn and use again" disc blades. These are tolerant of contaminants and have a working life of up to 900 or 1,000 hours.
Operation has been kept simple. Ford presents the wood to the rollers and the chipper does the rest, leaving Ford to fetch the next branch. These are vertical-feed rollers and the timber seems to flow in. However, there is a "get-out-jail card"
- a clutch that can be disengaged so any jammed material can be backed out. We don't have to use it. Also, with there being no bottom bar, we experience no tripping.
We appreciate the low noise from the engine. An extra fan, employed for cooling the chamber, helps to remove the chips and means that the engine can be run at lower revs. Overall, Ford is impressed. "It's simple to use. I like the grab handles to help you haul the unit into place on site. It is a good loading angle and the feedability is fluid - it almost feeds itself."
Despite willow being a fibrous material, the quality of chips is good. Throw may be better on the Timberwolf, but certainly the chips would make it into the back of a lorry.
Capacity 190mm diameter (7.5in)
Engine 45hp Kubota diesel
Infeed throat opening 190x280mm
Infeed funnel opening 1.2x0.84m
Feed roller Twin vertical hydraulic
Number of blades Four disc cutters
Flywheel Disc blade
Rotor speed 1,500rpm
Power control No stress
Noise level (sound power) LWA: 116dB(A); LPA: 92dB(A)
Fuel capacity 27 litres
Transport length 3.99m
List price £21,750 + VAT
Tel GreenMech - 01789 400044
Tested This Issue
GreenMech Arborist 190
GreenMech ArbTrak 190
The Review Panel
Matthew Ford, arboricuture trainer and assessor, Broomfield Hall Campus, Derby College
Douglas Porter, former Derby College student
As a professional arborist you want to get the job done quickly and cleanly. So why spend time loading branches onto a lorry, lashing them down and making three or four trips back to the depot when you can chip the timber and reduce the volume for single-trip transportation or, better still, leave the chippings on site, blown back into woodland? The woodchipper has become indispensable for anyone involved in tree maintenance.
In this test we take three of the latest models - the Timberwolf TW230DHB sub-750kg and the GreenMech Arborist 190 as a road tow model and also self-propelled on tracks - to the Broomfield Hall Campus of Derby College.
There we ask Matthew Ford to put the machines through their paces. Before coming to the college as arboriculture trainer and assessor, Ford worked in the industry, where he used Jenson woodchippers. Having no previous experience of either GreenMech or Timberwolf, he is well placed to review the new models. We were also joined for part of the test by Douglas Porter, who having studied at Derby is now a tree surgeon.
The weather on the test days was dry and sunny. Willow timber was used through all three machines.