IoG Saltex Preview - Greener, safer tree care

The latest kit is designed to protect the environment and the user, writes Maureen Keepin.

See the Predator 500 at Saltex 08 - photo: Predator Manufacturing
See the Predator 500 at Saltex 08 - photo: Predator Manufacturing

Reducing the green waste stream through on-site chipping is high on the agenda of most arborists. As a result, Echo Bear Cat is introducing the latest and largest addition to its professional chipper range. The CH1238DH is powered by a 99hp Kubota four-cylinder diesel engine and can reduce wood up to 30.5cm in diameter. A flow control valve adjusts the chipping speed from 0 to 44 board metres per minute. Four reversible 23cm-long steel chipper blades create fine chips and the 360 degs rotating chain-driven discharge chute, with 21.6cm opening, allows the operator to choose where the chips go. This chute extends to the end of the hitch for efficient loading of the chips into a truck. Secure when towing and stable during on-site operation, the machine is supplied on a twin axle with 38cm wheels.

With increased pressure on businesses to process their timber waste rather than burning it, the interest in small, economical machines has escalated - a market Greenmech is responding to with the introduction of its GMR-100.

This unit shares a lot of design principles to be found on larger machines, but it is a compact unit measuring just 72cm wide so it can access tight spaces to "chip on the spot". The in-feed chute is 55cm x 43.5cm, making the machine suitable for reducing armfuls of hedge and shrub trimmings while also being capable of taking timber up to 10cm in diameter.

Processing is via two reversible blades mounted on a steel drum, with power coming from a 14hp V-twin Vanguard engine. The machine can handle up to 5cu m of material per hour and can discharge into a trailer or bag, or direct onto the ground. Weighing less than 200kg, the GMR-100 can be transported in a van or trailer.

Introducing its latest stump grinder to Saltex, Hire Supply Company sales manager Dan Musson says: "If a tree surgeon is only using a stump grinder once a month they often prefer to hire a machine, so they do not have to worry about maintenance or storage."

Selling direct and to hire companies, the company has added a new Hawk Stump Grinder to its range. "At 30' (76cm) wide, this is narrower than our previous models," says Musson. "It also has the engine at an offset angle to the blade, allowing the machine to dig in deeper without tipping the engine to such an angle that it is starved of oil and seizes up."

Arborplant will show the Predator range of stump grinders. Conceived by stump grinder operators, this equipment is designed to meet European requirements for narrow, all-terrain machines.

The new Predator P75 stump grinder offers the contractor 75hp (56kW) of hydraulic power from the Hatz silent pack diesel engine and provides 60 tungsten tips of cutting power.

The P75 is said by the company to tackle even the biggest jobs with ease, whether in the forest, on railway sidings or uneven terrain. Its cutting depth is 66cm and it features an attached scoop for ground clearance. With its track in, the Predator 75 will fit through an 89cm gap.

Another model targeted at tree surgeons is the Predator P500. An all-round four-wheeled machine, it is manoeuvrable and light, yet powerful enough to tackle any stump. Featuring a 27hp Kohler air-cooled engine, this machine has been designed to cope with a 25 degs gradient.

Preparing for the autumn season, Stihl will be showing its new professional chainsaws, leaf blowers and vacuums. For clearing up after tree work in public places, there are four professional handheld leaf blowers and vacuums. These "86 class" models feature a new engine with stratified scavenging, long-life air filter system, anti-vibration system and simplified starting system.

Husqvarna is promoting its new chainsaws. The engines are fitted with an X-torq system and are claimed to be more efficient than previous models. This system means that less unburned fuel is released from the petrol engine. Husqvarna says the system cuts emissions by 60 per cent and boosts efficiency by 20 per cent. The firm will also be showing its range of chainsaws, clearing saws, tractors and portable products, such as hedgetrimmers and leaf blowers.

For secure off-ground work Planet Platforms Southern is the exclusive distributor of the PowerTower, a British designed and made manual push/pull battery- powered scissor lift, offering more than 5m of working height. This scaffold tower features simple basket controls and has a platform height of 3.1m. It is 0.78m wide, which lets it pass easily through standard doorways.

Acacia Rental will be at the show with details of its specialist rental service for arboriculture equipment. Offering high-quality products from reputable suppliers and a dedicated maintenance programme, rental periods can be on a long- or short-term basis to suit customers' requirements. Company representatives will be on hand at the show to advise on how to use the equipment safely and effectively.

Tree surgeons can pop on to the Health & Safety Executive's stand for advice and guidance on simple, cost-effective precautions arborists can take to help avoid accidents. Free literature will be available, along with helpful advice on the latest legislation and training requirements.

Amelia Williams will be talking on behalf of the Arboricultural Association (AA) at a free education presentation, which will give the latest advice on tree management.

The AA says one of the hottest ongoing topics within the industry is British Standard BS 8516:2008 Recommendations for Tree Safety Inspection. Currently in draft form, this document is still available for public consultation, as the deadline has been extended to 31 August because only a limited number within the industry were aware of the proposals

"This proposal is now attracting a huge amount of interest," says AA director Nick Eden. By visiting the AA website at, arborists can find a link via "Industry Consultation" to this proposed standard.

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