Returning to the show calendar for the first time since before the pandemic, Interforst was back with a bang. Forestry Journal joined thousands of guests at Messe München last month, as 31,000 visitors and more than 300 exhibitors ensured there was plenty to see. In this series of articles, we provide a small taste of what was on offer. 

FOLLOWING the Treeva visit (see here), the Innovation Tour made two more stops inside the hall. Firstly, to see Flügel’s TR4P – an intelligent monitoring system for bark beetles and weather data – and then HDG’s Hackschnitzelheizung HDG Compact 95E, essentially a device that more efficiently and cleanly turns wood into heat; it’s tipped to play a more prominent role as the cost of living crisis worsens for many across Europe. 

It was outside, though, where visitors found a concept that wasn’t entirely new but impressive all the same. Vertical Tec Concepts’ (VTC) tractor-mounted elevated platforms have been used by the firm in its native Ireland and around parts of Europe since the late 1990s. 

Forestry Journal: The Forestry Journal team (centre) on the VTC stand during the Innovation Tour The Forestry Journal team (centre) on the VTC stand during the Innovation Tour

Easily installed, the hoists provide arborists with greater flexibility, especially for those working around power lines or similar obstacles.

They were designed by Belgian firm Thomas Hoogwerkers, with VTC bringing the 180NCTJ – and its impressive 18 m height – to Interforst. 

“It’s a wonderful machine that I’ve been using myself since 1999, back in Ireland, where we do a lot of clearance for electricity companies,” said VTC’s Tom Vaughan. “We find it extremely good because you access fields or lawns and do a very minimum amount of damage. We have huge reach, which is most important in this game. When you want to do strategic work near power lines, for instance, this machine is perfect. 

Forestry Journal: Flügel’s TR4P could prove valuable in the fight against bark beetles.Flügel’s TR4P could prove valuable in the fight against bark beetles.

“I’ve done it the hard way with blood, sweat and tears, but I find this machine makes the work so much easier. I’m down the road with an extra hour.” 

He added: “Unlike a truck, this machine can gain access in 98 per cent of places. That’s a huge plus. I see the opposition and I wonder how they can manage without something like this.”