Oakleaf Forestry held a demo of the Sampo Rosenlew HR46x specialist thinning harvester late last year and company MD Joe Litter admits that he is very encouraged by the positive comments towards the machine.
The Finnish headquartered company has been operating on the same plot at the heart of Pori for over 150 years. The roots of its industrial operations go back to 1853 when the family company Oy W. Rosenlew Ab was founded. Sampo Rosenlew was founded in 1991. Today the company is known worldwide for its high-quality combine harvesters and forestry machines.
Sampo Rosenlew’s products are considered to be of high quality also among its toughest competitors. Cooperation with the world’s largest agricultural machine manufacturers allows the family company to grow globally. AGCO acts as an important strategic partner and is responsible for the distribution of combine harvesters in Finland and the other Nordic countries. Deere & Company, in turn, sells combine harvesters to Western and Central Europe including Ireland where Oakleaf Forestry are the main dealers.
Irish Tractor caught up with Joe to speak about the new brand and what it has to offer the forestry industry.
This small scale, high capacity four-wheeled harvester is specially designed for first thinnings.
The HR46x Harvester has plenty of power packed in for a forest machine of its size. The large turning angle, its compact size and practical design enables the harvester to easily manoeuvre through the dense young forests without damaging the remaining trees and preserving the soil. The HR46x harvester is easy to operate, productive and cost-effective. The capital and running costs are low but the machine produce is higher than heavier machines.
Equipped with a large fuel tank, enables the forest machine to work long periods before having to refuel. The HR46x consumes less than seven-litres of fuel per hour. The driving power transmission is fully hydrostatic. It is a robust machine, the axles and wheels are difficult to damage. The cab of the Sampo harvester is extremely comfortable. The operator has excellent visibility in all directions. Filters and lubrication points are easily accessible to the operator ensuring quick maintenance.
“The HR46x has been designed to make the harvesting of small trees a commercially viable proposition,” said Joe. “Fuel consumption is very low and the price of the machine is very reasonable compared with larger harvesters available. This significantly reduces the harvesting cost per cubic metre. The low weight of the harvester also lowers the ground impact on the forest floor.
“The feedback we have had has been extremely positive. We held demos and some people who turned up and saw the machine and immediately thought it was too small for the kind of work they would need it for, but once they used it, every one of them changed their opinion.”
Joe added: “There is massive interest in the machines and the feedback has been 100% positive. We have been to customer’s sites for the demos and we tell whoever is coming to bring an operator so that they can try the machine for themselves in “real word conditions”. It is the best form of advertising.
“The machines are very competitive in price and our main focus is on pushing the brand now, but already we are heading in the right direction.”
Sampo Rosenlew also manufacture a range of Forestry Forwarders and have introduced two new models this year. The New Fr48 build on the success of the slightly smaller FR28 Forwarder that has been very well received all over the world. A light, compact, 10t Forwarder tha uses industry proven engines from Agco, NAF Axles, Parker Hydraulics and a choice of cranes from Kesla and Mesera. The Forwarders are very competitively priced and are certain to be a big hit with Irish forestry contractors due to the cost, efficiency, durability and operator comfort.
Oakleaf Forestry certainly continues to move with the times so much so that they moved to new premises in the last few years and Joe revealed that they are also looking to expand the workforce.
“There are currently nine employed here, but we are looking to take on another four people and more in the coming months, it’s not easy to get the right people with experience in this industry but we are happy to take on people from a Construction or Agri Plant background and take the time to train them with support from the machinery manufacturers.
“We are always adding new brands to the range and we are well supported by our service partners. When we sell a machine, we send out an instructor to help the client get started on operating and routine maintenance for the machine and we place a big emphasis on after sales.”
The majority of Oakleaf’s customer base would be repeat clients which suggests that the service they provide is of the highest standard.
“We would have a lot of repeat custom alright. There would be guys that are dealing with us from when we first started, and I appreciate the support they have given us. I also know that if we let our standards drop, they will go elsewhere which is the nature of the business, so it is up to us to make sure that we strive to try and improve on those standards.”
From its headquarters in Portadown, Co Armagh, Oakleaf imports and distributes forestry machinery from all the leading brands, including Palax, Kesla, Hypro, Vimek, Collino, and now Sampo Rosenlew.
Joe is very particular about the products that will supply and he revealed that he will also test out any machinery where deciding on whether to stock it or not.
“I won’t sell something that I don’t know everything about. I always try to have the answers to any questions that customers can ask me. We look all over Europe, especially in Germany and Scandinavia, in our quest to find new machines. We think long and hard before adding a new product, but if it’s right, we will introduce it to our product range.”
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Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 4, August 2019