The differences are in the detail
Marc Figueras uses two of the largest JENZ HEM chippers
L'Escala (Spain) (ehe). Marc Figueras is a man who knows a lot about timber. In 2013 he founded his own company, Lignia Biomassa SL, and nowadays he uses two JENZ coarse chippers in the AGM 821 series.
"I grew up in the timber sector, because both my parents were self-employed in this industry" explained Marc Figueras. "My brother then took the family company over and I became self-employed." The young company is located where other people take their holidays: L'Escala is on the Costa Brava, around 120 km north of Barcelona. From here, Marc Figueras offers a range of services. These include forestry preservation work and sales of whole trunks to sawmills in addition to the production and sales of woodchippings for district heating plants. In this way he has remained true to his original business idea. "We haven't really changed our business model at all. We have simply grown and have incorporated timber harvesting, woodchipping production and transport in our range of services." In the meantime the company employs 15 full-time workers and 10 others on an hourly basis. Of course a suitable vehicle fleet is very important. "We have two excavators with woodcrackers, John Deere Forwarders and Manitou telescopic loaders, and of course the two JENZ chippers." These two are really something: Mr Figueras can call two of the largest JENZ LKW chippers his own at the same time. At first he ordered a HEM 821 DQ Truck hybrid in 2015, and a HEM 821 DQ Cobra hybrid followed two years later. He made his decision for JENZ after a lot of consideration. "I tested a lot of machines and decided to buy the machine with the highest productivity. That was JENZ."
Differences in chassis, cabins and engine technology
Both JENZ chippers are based on MAN chassis. The HEM 821 DQ-Truck hybrid is mounted on an 8x8 chassis but the HEM 821 DQ Cobra hybrid is fitted to a 8x6-4 chassis. "Each chassis has its advantages and disadvantages. The 8x8 is of course completely unbeatable in terms of off-road work with its four driven axles. The 8x6-4 is available as a special option with three driven axles. This means that the manoeuvrability is considerably improved. The JENZ standard machine is the extremely manoeuvrable 8x4-4 chassis with a Tridem axle package. "This is sufficient for most deployment cases" said Waldemar Braun, the responsible JENZ design engineer. "In the end one just has to ask oneself how much off-road capability really makes sense, because the removal vehicles also have to be able to follow our machines over the terrain."
In addition to the chassis, the machines differ in their cabin fittings as well. The HEM 821 DQ-Truck is fitted with the standard HGV driver's cab, the chipper is operated from the separate crane cabin. On the other hand the Cobra offers the advantage of one single workplace with its rotating cabin. The driver no longer has to climb down out of the HGV cabin and back up into the crane cabin - he simply turns the driver's cab in the required direction.
According to Marc Figueras, both concepts have their advantages and disadvantages. "The raised position of the crane cabin means that you have a very good view of the working area. On the other hand the cabin is very small and not particularly user-friendly, especially when the temperatures are high. In contrast, the Cobra cabin is extremely comfortable but the view is not as good as that provided by the higher crane cabin position. My personal conclusion is that both are good concepts, but I'll only be buying one machine next: the Cobra!"
The engine technology used appears to be identical at first glance. Both machines are given the designation "hybrid" in their machine names, which stands for dual engine technology at JENZ. Both machines are driven by the MAN HGV engine in addition to a separate add-on motor. However, there are differences here as well: "The HEM 821 DQ-Truck is fitted with the Mercedes OM 473 engine with 625 hp, in the case of the Cobra the customer decided to buy a CAT C18 with 776 hp" explained Waldemar Braun. Marc Figueras has a clear opinion about both engines: "The OM 473 is very good and it's quiet, you can even hear the turbocharger working. In contrast, the C18 is loud and powerful. You notice the engine immediately, it's very impressive. You get goosebumps!" Even if the emotional components play a part, uninterrupted service in cases of damage is much more important to the businessman. "Service is crucial, and Caterpillar currently provides much better service in our region. Apart from that, the C 18 does not use AdBlue and is therefore the more simple engine in my view."
After almost a year, Marc Figueras is able to form a conclusion when comparing his two coarse chippers. "It is often said that the diesel consumption is higher with CAT engines. However, I can't confirm that. We mostly process pinewood. The diesel consumption when we are producing G100 woodchippings is about the same for both engines."
Mr Figueras has not noticed any differences in the throughput rate for light cuttings. In terms of standing timber the Cobra with its CAT engine is more productive. However: "The machine is a real challenge to the driver. Depending on the source material, feeding correctly is a challenge. The CAT manages around 20-30% more throughput. However, the throughput rate we manage is more or less identical for both machines in the end because there are a lot of other variables which influence it, for example trouble-free removal logistics or the quality of the material."
Marc Figueras places considerable value on maintenance and service so that his machine performance is retained."That is extremely important to me! We change the blades at least once a day, and always check the clamping pieces as well. We also replace the counter-blades after around 10,000 hours. We also check the blower every week. Apart from that I reckon that daily cleaning of the machines including both engines is extremely important, as is a careful check for any possible leakages." Despite all this, rapid help is guaranteed if there are any unplanned breakdowns. "Our machines are always accompanied by a service van. We always have the most important wear parts available in our Sprinter.
Lignia Biomassa nowadays carries out jobs at up to 200 or 300 km distance from L'Escala and also up to 100 km behind the French border. "Our HEM 821 DQ-Truck on the 8x8 needs about 50l/100 km with manual transmission. The Cobra with its 8x6 and automatic transmission consumes about 35l over the same distance." Hans Heinrich Hermeier, Product Manager, and the fourth generation at JENZ, reckons: "You can only achieve that type of fuel consumption with a mechanical propulsion drive with current state-of-the-art technology."
In the future, the deployment area used by Marc Figueras and his team will be further extended. "We are currently planning the construction of a new logistics centre in Riudarenes - Santa Coloma de Farners (Girona). It is strategically well-placed and is located near three forest regions in the vicinity of Girona: Montseny - Montnegre - Gabarres", which means that the businessman is looking optimistically into the future.