A chance to let existing and potential customers see and try for themselves some of the latest Rabaud forestry equipment, this year’s Home Forestry Demo Day also included Scott Burton from SB Forestry with the new Pfanzelt Moritz remote-control multipurpose tractor, direct from the German Alps, along with the new compact Alstor 840 Pro combo machine and harvester. Nathan also unveiled his new Workbox toolbox, a piece of kit you really have to see to believe. 

Home Forestry is the main dealer for the French forestry, construction and maintenance equipment manufacturer Rabaud, whose distinct red-and-yellow machines are finding an ever-expanding group of new and existing customers. With sensible pricing and a variety of models within each segment, Rabaud has been able to ensure that if, for example, you only need a small log splitter, there is one. But if your requirements are for something larger, then there’s one in the range.

“We have a large customer base and the fact many of them can come along and see the actual machines in use and ask as many questions as they want goes a long way to helping them make their final decision,” said Nathan. 

“The other thing is that while we might not have the exact piece of kit they want, we’ll have the smaller or larger version for them to see. We’ve also launched the new 15-tonne Rabaud forwarding trailer. That’s already selling well, along with the F80 80-tonne log splitter, which is new to the UK. Horizontal in action, these have been in Europe for quite a while and are designed to work with big, oversized logs. This means that while some forestry companies use smaller machinery they can’t handle bigger logs or have to make more than one visit to the site to carry out the work. With this new machine it’s all done there and then, while reducing the environmental impact of two, three or four visits with heavy machinery along with a considerable saving in time.”

Forestry Journal: 8x8-wheel drive, the latest Alstor 840 Pro is attracting serious attention.8x8-wheel drive, the latest Alstor 840 Pro is attracting serious attention.

The other new item Nathan was extremely keen to show off was the Alstor 840 Pro 8x8. A hydrostatic combination machine that’s manufactured in Sweden and one that offers versatility in a compact and well-engineered design.

“We’ve been with Alstor since the very beginning,” he said. “I started with machine number six. That was a mechanical drive through a variator, which was basically skidoo technology. With the 840 Pro it’s a hydrostatic drive going through two hydraulic motors which gives you far more control. You can inch over any terrain while the design means you can run a stroke-head through a Parker valve. This means you can use the Alstor for harvesting, then go back into the forest to forward. It’s powered by a 25 hp diesel engine, has a 12 V 60 A generator, hydrostatic transmission and variable diffs offering full-time eight-wheel drive, along with high and low ratios. Plus, there’s the driver-beneficial orbital power steering and reverse drive.”

Incredibly manoeuvrable, even carrying a maximum 3,000 kg load, the Alstor is 5.77 m long and 1.57 m wide with a 2,300 kg kerb weight. Sat on 25 x 12.5-10 8-ply ATV-style tyres, its crane provides a 300 kg lifting capacity and a 4.98 m reach, and the machine has an 18 km/h maximum speed, should you require it. From an operator’s perspective, the Alstor offers excellent visibility and ease of use from a modern, airy, easy-to-access cabin that significantly reduces any potential operator fatigue.

Forestry Journal: The latest Rabaud log trailer is already selling well.The latest Rabaud log trailer is already selling well.

Throughout the day, Nathan’s wife Rachael maintained regular demonstrations of the Polycompact post splitter and Biface post sharpener, while large and small log splitters were in regular use, as was the Xyloflam kindling machine. Elsewhere, examples of the new compact circular saw and scrapper were positioned within the covered display area, with plenty of information on hand for those who wanted to study before they made their minds up.

Forestry Journal: Scott Burton was on hand with the new Pfanzelt Moritz remote-control tractor, operated from a safe distance by a simple-to-use transmitter.Scott Burton was on hand with the new Pfanzelt Moritz remote-control tractor, operated from a safe distance by a simple-to-use transmitter.

Another star of the day was the new Moritz Fr50 remote-control tractor from Pfanzelt, with northern area representative Scott Burton from SB Forestry on hand to 
give full displays. Controlled using an ergonomic and easy-to-understand remote-control unit, the width of the tracked running gear can be varied between 1,100 mm and 1,500 mm which, when combined with the low ground pressure of 0.30 kg/cm², means the Moritz causes minimal damage to any surface it has to cross, even when it hits the 6.5 km/h top speed. A 300 mm ground clearance and 45 degree climbing angle mean the Moritz can go almost anywhere.

“There are other similar units that are cheaper than the Moritz Fr50,” said Scott.

“What the others don’t have is the build quality, reliability, backup or high residual values. The tractor has three auxiliary hydraulic functions along with a PTO for various attachments. Designed to work in the Alps on the regions steep slopes, the Fr50 is already proving extremely popular, one reason being the safety aspect.

“With the operator working a safe distance away from the tractor, if it rolls over, which can happen, there’s no human sat in a cab to be injured. With this in mind, once the Fr50 has been put back onto its tracks, it’s been designed to check itself over and reset itself. So give it about ten minutes and set it going again. You can’t do that with a conventional tractor.”

Forestry Journal: It’s a tool box but larger than usual. Nathan with his latest multipurpose creation the Workbox.It’s a tool box but larger than usual. Nathan with his latest multipurpose creation the Workbox.

Last but not least is the new Workbox, a secure storage unit and mobile workshop all in one. Designed by Nathan, the Workbox looks exactly like a normal toolbox apart from its size and the fact you need a forklift truck to lift it. Constructed from 5-mm-thick steel, capable of storing up to 1,000 kg of whatever you need to keep inside, a split two-piece folding lid opens up to provide a heavy-duty working bench. Similarly, the tubular handle has been conceived to carry long blades or similar, and the Workbox functions as a solid, stable work bench when the flaps are opened up.

Available in two sizes, the smaller of the two is designed to fit in the rear of a standard crew cab pickup bed. The Workbox is able to withstand anything you care to throw at it and, with a variety of options, there’s likely to be a Workbox to suit you and the environment you and your crew work in. The great thing is, no matter where you are, your workshop is with you, so you’ve no excuse not to have the spare part you need with you or the tools you’ll need to carry out the job. Transferable from vehicle to vehicle or a stand-alone unit, the Workbox is one of those ideas that makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t have one.

With Rabaud manufacturing a range of forestry machines that suit most requirements and budgets, Nathan and Rachael’s Home Demo Day has become a must-attend event for a vast number of those in the industry. The other main benefit is that, unlike many shows, the machinery on show can be seen working in a fully functioning timber yard – the exact environment in which the visitors and implements will spend their working life.

For details of next year’s Home Forestry Demo Day, along with full details and prices of the full Rabaud range, the Astor 840 Pro and the Pfanzelt Moritz tractor, visit www.homeforestry.co.uk, email Nathan on nathan@homeforestry.co.uk or give him a call on 07966 365157. 

And keep an eye on the website for Demo Day 2020. It’ll be well worth attending, if only for Rachael’s free barbeque!