A David among Goliaths
The young sole proprietor Florian Buder from Garsten is the proud owner of a new compact Welte W130 harvester. It thus covers harvesting, moving, rope and log extraction. As a forest helper in Upper Austria, he can come up with a great deal of forestry expertise and also use a chainsaw. That makes it an all-rounder as well as its machine.
"I was looking for a small, powerful machine," said Florian Buder, explaining his situation at the beginning of the year. In the case of a used world that he would have "pointed" at, he did not access it quickly enough. And so the question arose for him: wait for another suitable "used one" - or order an optimally configured new machine? Florian Buder opted for the latter and is clearly satisfied with his choice.
Made a virtue out of necessity
The trained carpenter from Garsten near Steyr used to run the forest service "with tractor and winch" on the side. He has been a full-time forest contractor for six years and has been working on his own again since he was seriously injured. And that will stay that way for the time being, adds Florian Buder. His client - about one third each of the church forest offices, the federal forests and private forest companies - appreciate his profound forest knowledge and his conscientious work. In the event of peaks in work, the young entrepreneur has good contact with an industry colleague. "I am of course well positioned with my new compact processor. Processor work has generally increased. In any case, I never stood up during the corona crisis," reveals the 30-year-old.
The articulated 4-wheel model of the W130 is on the one hand extremely manoeuvrable with its length of 6.5 m and its width of only 2.60 m and can be used for thinning even on very narrow back lanes. On the other hand, he appreciated the roadworthiness of the bright yellow machine for the renditions. "I drive it on the road like a normal tractor. I can cover my regular areas of use with it," reports Florian Buder. He finds the 2-speed, hydrostatic SIB 3.0 gearbox with the operating modes "Driving", "Slope" and "Working", which can also be continuously changed while driving, to be pleasant.
He had his machine equipped with an Epsilon S120R72 crane with a 7.2 m reach and a Kesla RH25-2, from whose great power to weight ratio he repeatedly benefits. This combined the 2 x 80 kN double drum winch from Welte with a high-density steel and plastic rope, each 120 m in length. A large terminal bank as well as a drive and winch radio complete the package. "Everything fits together perfectly, is stable and I am prepared for all eventualities. Because in the forest you never know what you will encounter," smiles the entrepreneur.
New is new
A look at Florian Buder's world from the outside, and even more so into the driver's cab, suggests that the owner appreciates a new device and knows how to operate it. "Here everything can be controlled via the joystick. Once you are familiar with it, cutting, sorting, moving and steering are very smooth, interlinked processes. If handled correctly, the machine can be operated very economically. New is new working is fun, "says the proud owner with satisfaction.
Florian Buder sees the high off-road mobility of the W130 as a further asset. The torque of the Volvo Penta 4-cylinder engine of 840 Nm, which is already available from 1200 rpm, is only one side of the coin. The other is the interaction of the differential locks on both axles with the hydraulic torsion lock of the massive central joint, which can be switched automatically or manually. "With a maximum load and a full crane boom, this is an important function and an enormous plus for stability," explains Thomas Maier, who is also responsible for the Austrian market as a sales consultant.
Rationalization for small business owners
"The forester in this Kirchenwald does not want a large machine in the forest. I do everything with the W130 that we did before with two or three people," says Florian Buder. He comments on his way of working as follows: "Due to my forestry background, I make sure that no breeding material remains in the forest. I prefer to go to the forest more often so that nothing is overlooked." He had laid out back lanes at 20m intervals - even if that meant for him that he occasionally had to cut trees by hand and pull them together. "It may well be that a larger harvester will continue here," he says. But it doesn't just deal with the first and second thinning. He also takes care of the planting of forest plants and cultivation. With Florian Buder and the W130 two all-rounders would have met, laughs Thomas Maier.
"I think the time has come for compact generalists like the Welte W130: low consumption, no high transfer costs, biodegradable lubricating and hydraulic oils, state-of-the-art exhaust gas cleaning, high maintenance friendliness - this is a niche in the market that we are entering "is how the Welte sales advisor for Austria sums things up.
The full article by Robert Spannlang was published in the forestry magazine "Waldtec", November 2020 issue.