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03.11.2014 | Three into one!

Three into one!

Cutting, fragmentising and loading - three working operations which the GMHT 140 from JENZ does all at once. Private contractor Hans Thun from Schleswig Holstein first started to use the machine last winter. He now talks about his experiences in JENZ News.

"We drove into Mecklenburg Vorpommern. The working areas were bigger there than at home in Schleswig Holstein and in North Rhine Westphalia: up to 10 ha. That's really when working starts to be fun" said private contractor Hans Thun on the telephone. He operates an agricultural private contractors in the Rendsburg-Eckernförde district together with his wife Kirstin. The company has 24 permanent employees. They do all sorts of work from sowing to harvesting on their customers' land. Mr Thun is also active in the woodchipping business. He uses a JENZ HEM 583 Z for this work. He had already ordered the new HEM 593 Z. A second-hand AZ 660 D crushes maize, manure and grass silage for biogas facilities.

Many mainstays

The businessman places great importance on the fact that the company is broadly-based. It is therefore not a surprise that he is continually looking for new fields of activity. Harvesting rapid-growing plantations (RGP) is one of these new activities which he first started to offer in winter 2013/14. This means that he can occupy his employees better over the time of year with less work, and also utilise his vehicle fleet more effectively.

Decision for JENZ

Since Mr Thun had already had good experience with his JENZ power takeoff shaft chipper, it didn't take long to find a suitable machine for the RGP harvest: a GMHT 140 copse mowing cutter from JENZ. Although his contracting company also owns self-propelled field chippers, Mr Thun decided to buy an add-on machine. "Self-propelled chipper manufacturers are pulling out of the energy wood sector more and more. It appears that the sales levels are too low. The purchase costs for the add-on chipper are more manageable for us and we can work more flexibly with it" is how Mr Thun justifies his decision. Suitable towing vehicles were already available: three Claas Xerion 3800s, which are otherwise used to spread manure, compress silage and make woodchippings. Each of these huge tractors operates for between 1600 and 2000 hours every year. The energy wood harvest is an excellent supplement for the winter months.

Initial experience

Around 100 ha of willow and poplar were harvested in the first winter. Mr Thun explained that the machine performance is mostly dependent on the size and shape of the growing plots. "We managed more than 100 cubic metres per hour on the larger areas in Mecklenburg Vorpommern. However, we often only managed half of that on the smaller areas in Schleswig Holstein and North Rhine Westphalia. 0.5 ha per hour is a realistic average value, I reckon". The tractor deals with the heavy 3.5-tonne machine without problems. The machine works particularly well in three-year-old trees. The two sawblades cut the trunks cleanly so nothing can get in the way of reliable re-sprouting. During the work, it does not matter whether the trees are planted in single or double rows. The proven JENZ drum chipper technology fragmentises trunks of up to 14 cm diameter. The company organises transport of the woodchippings using its own chipping trucks which are normally used for the silage harvest. Good cooperation JENZ engineers visit regularly to further optimise the machine. Mr Thun praises the good cooperation and considers that he is professionally supported by JENZ: "Bernd Ruhe and his team are always working hard to keep the machines running. It's quite clear that the people know exactly what they're doing in practice." The private contractor wants to expand his energy wood business further. He will be looking for additional areas in the coming season.