The biennial Agritechnica show took place in Hanover, Germany last month with visitors left wowed by a fantastic array of new machinery and equipment on display. Chris McCullough reports on exhibits of interest to the forestry sector.

DIEHARD machinery fans flocked to the massive machinery Mecca Agritechnica Show in November to view the latest equipment and technology developed for the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Held every two years, the event attracted over 450,000 visitors to the exhibition grounds in Hanover, Germany over the course of a week, 30 per cent coming from outside the host country.

More than 130,000 visitors attended from 152 countries, most of them from the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Italy and Russia, followed by Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom.

The trade fair saw an above-average growth in the number of visitors from Russia, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and the US.

When it came to exhibitors, there were 2,820 companies from 53 countries participating, showing a complete range of tractors, machines, implements, spare parts and accessories, including many dedicated to the forestry sector.

Despite ongoing financial pressures on both the agricultural and forestry sectors, the mood from those in both industries was optimistic and showed a willingness to spend money.

This sentiment was reflected by the visitor survey, which reported two thirds of the farmers, contractors and machinery rings surveyed intend to invest in the next two years.

Dr Reinhard Grandke, CEO of the DLG, the German agricultural society that organises the show, said: “With 2,820 exhibitors and 450,000 visitors, more than 130,000 of them from outside Germany, Agritechnica has once again impressively demonstrated its outstanding position as the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural technology.”

Forestry Journal: Remote-control Merlo multipurpose unit with Muthing cutter.Remote-control Merlo multipurpose unit with Muthing cutter.


There was an entire hall at the show dedicated to forestry machinery and equipment, plus a working area outside offering demonstrations of some of the most popular kit.

Every year, the Agritechnica organisers award a number of gold and silver medals for new innovations they deem worthy of recognition.

An independent expert commission appointed by the DLG determined the winners of the Innovation Award from among 291 approved applications for product innovations, based on stringent criteria.

Forestry Journal: Fischer equipment on stand.Fischer equipment on stand.

This time around there was only one gold medal awarded, while a further 39 innovations received a silver medal, including two for forestry machinery innovations.

Winning one of the silver medals was the Danish company GreenTec, specialising in the manufacture of machines for maintenance of green areas.

GreenTec won the medal for developing a new series of Scorpion boom mowers with its highly innovative hybrid arm system, auto height control and four-point mounting system.

The company highlighted that parallel control and cutting irregular vegetation has not been convenient with reach-arm mowers in the past. Switching between control modes has only been possible by swapping reach arms or reprogramming the reach-arm control, and it has not been possible to switch control modes on the move.

Forestry Journal: New chainsaws from Stihl.New chainsaws from Stihl.

Scorpion mowers now offer both types of cutting head control. On one hand it offers parallel control that allows operators to maintain a consistent cutting depth on the hedge with very little adjustment by the operator. On the other hand, its hybrid arm system comes with a standard control unit that allows operators to control the cutting head flexibly when cutting irregular vegetation.

The hybrid arm system makes it possible to switch between the two modes on the move. Parallel control allows operators to keep an eye on the surroundings for increased work safety, while switching to manual mode on the move allows them to carry out specific cuts for boosted productivity.

Also winning a silver medal was the German company Pfanzelt Maschinenbau, which manufactures a full range of forestry machinery from three-point geared winches to specialist forestry tractors.

Forestry Journal: Growi staff demonstrating firewood processing equipment.Growi staff demonstrating firewood processing equipment.

Its medal was awarded for a new protective screen for tracked forestry tractors that increases safety for tree fellers who are at risk of injury from falling branches and treetops, especially when felling or cutting dead timber.

The new protective screen is attached to a Moritz crawler tractor and is opened when the tractor is at the tree. Embracing the tree at two metres from the ground, the screen offers effective protection to fellers, especially in the preparatory phase.

For the actual felling, only one half of the screen stays open so that the remaining hydraulic power is available for the actual felling job. Unlike existing solutions where a protective screen is suspended from a forwarder, this solution offers the advantage that fellers are not working under an unpropped crane.

Another advantage is that the new screen is used in conjunction with a tracked tractor, which is less expensive to operate than a forwarder.

Forestry Journal: Multiforest log carriers.Multiforest log carriers.


Outside the halls, in the working arena, a number of exhibitors braved the cold to demonstrate or exhibit their machinery.

One of the more active stands was organised by Growi Maschinenbau from Germany, which exhibited a number of log-splitting machines and firewood processors.

Vertical splitters as well as horizontal ones proved very popular with the spectators, many of whom said they processed their own wood at home and were interested in upgrading their own equipment.

Forestry Journal: Irus Quatrak unit with cutter.Irus Quatrak unit with cutter.

Another company based outdoors was Wood-Mizer, which exhibited and demonstrated its LT15 sawmill.

The LT15 Classic cuts logs up to 70 cm in diameter and 5.4 m long, with the standard bed options. In order to cut longer logs, bed extensions can be added to extend the sawmill bed to any required cutting length.

Thin-kerf blades require minimal energy consumption, so smaller motors provide sufficient power to cut all wood types. Petrol and diesel engine options are available.

Also outside, Merlo had one of its telehandlers on display alongside its Treemme multipurpose specialist tractor with mulcher attached to the boom.

Forestry Journal: Grabenmeister GM160 AS trencher.Grabenmeister GM160 AS trencher.

Popular log trailer manufacturer Uniforst displayed its 12.48 model with the 7274 crane attached.

This latest crane now has a maximum range of 7.4 m with single telescopic extension and a gross lifting torque of 72 kNm. The swing torque of 21 kNm was specially designed to meet the requirements of alpine areas.

A 60-litre control block with standard pressure filter and an emergency stop function have also been added to the unit.

Forestry Journal: Mini mulchers and shredders on the Eliet stand.Mini mulchers and shredders on the Eliet stand.


Moving indoors, there was a vast array of forestry equipment ranging from the latest small electric-driven Stihl chainsaws to the large self-propelled log cutters and transporters.

From mini tracked mulchers on the Eliet stand to hydraulic folding grabs from the Italian manufacturer Daniele and Giraudo, those involved in the forestry industry certainly had a lot to see.

One of the more unusual exhibits was a new Truxor T20, which is essentially a boat that can cut and clear reeds from forest lakes and is powered by a 24.8 hp Kubota engine.

The T20 comes with a single hydraulic outlet that can cater for tool operation, making it suitable for simple tasks such as reed cutting and collecting. The T20 can be fitted with most cutters, grips and grabs, as well as a digging arm.

Some log transporters from Multiforest on display indoors included the MF1050 model with V7300 crane.

Robotic units to be used in forestry were also a very popular exhibit at Agritechnica, with a number of the main manufacturers dabbling in this sector.

Featuring on the McConnel stand was the Robocut RC56 remote-control cutter powered by a 56 hp Hatz diesel engine. The manufacturer said this latest machine is 40 per cent more powerful than before and is 20 per cent more fuel efficient.

Forestry Journal: Treemme multipurpose specialist tractor with mulcher attached.Treemme multipurpose specialist tractor with mulcher attached.

Outside of the specialist forestry machines, the tractor manufacturers were keen to promote their brands and latest models for forest users.

While there was a plethora of large tractors to choose from, it was interesting to see the number of small tractor manufacturers at the show. Such tractors made in India and Turkey are becoming very attractive in terms of price and power for smallholders and foresters.

All in all, the forestry sector was well represented at Agritechnica. The key message being driven home to those involved in the sector was all about protecting the environment and using forestry methods to enhance it.

While there have been advances in electrical power for the smaller tools such as chainsaws, leaf blowers and strimmers, diesel power is still required for the larger, more powerful machine the forestry sector needs.

Increasing safety while working in forests was another key aspect of the show and that’s where robotic machines excelled. Winning the silver medal for its safety net was a huge boost for Pfanzelt Maschinenbau.

The next Agritechnica show will be held in 2021, once again in Hanover.