Europe’s leading woodchipper manufacturer GreenMech, invited industry media to a hands-on demonstration of some of their latest EVO innovations and to discuss the challenges the business has met in recent years
Welcomed by Managing Director Jonathan Turner, members of the press recently gathered together at the GreenMech headquarters in Warkwickshire. Ready to have an up close and personal experience of some of their latest innovations – notably the EVO 205D and brand-new EVO 205D SURE-Trak – the press also learnt how the international manufacturer had been managing the challenges flung at them from Stage V compliance, Brexit and the forever lingering COVID pandemic.
To explain in detail, Sales Director Martin Lucas took to the stage to explain how the above has impacted the business and how they have come out stronger releasing their latest innovations within the EVO range.
Challenges to the EVO brand
The biggest challenge for the engineering team, says Martin was the introduction of Stage V engine compliance. “Stage V has been challenging over the last few years,” admits Martin. “The need to fit new certified Stage V engines required the re-engineering of in the region of 20 GreenMech models – a massive task that required careful consideration to balance customer expectations, unit performance and cost.”
While the transition period of Stage V was extended due to COVID-19, the wider impact and knock-on effects of the pandemic were also discussed. With their own dedicated manufacturing facility, Martin detailed how GreenMech endeavour to produce as much as they can themselves on site, however like a lot of manufacturers, rely on the availability of third-party components – some of which, including hydraulics and electric components, remain in short supply. “This meant lead time management was another hurdle we have had to overcome,” explains Martin adding that the proactiveness of their dealer network helped to shorten the customers exposure to long delivery times.
Brexit has also proved somewhat challenging. With exports accounting for roughly 70% of their business, the implications of the new European guidelines have seen added complexities and a big increase in the amount of paperwork GreeMech need to complete to get a machine to its final destination.
“The bureaucracy and paperwork to get the machines to their destination has been a pain, especially across multi-borders.,” admits Martin. However, there are indeed reasons to be chipper, as the appetite for UK manufactured product remains strong, with a keenness from their European distribution partners to remain committed to the brand.
Evo sets precedent for GreenMech
Despite the adversity, the creativity of GreenMech shone through as Martin and members of the marketing team showed off some of their products to the press since the launch of the highly successful EVO series.
First launched at the 2019 Arb Show, the EVO 165D set a new precedent for GreenMech, in terms of the specification which delivered more aggressive torque, bite and throughput. A tracked version, the EVO 165DT followed, then shortly after a 37hp petrol engine was introduced to bring the new EVO 165P into the sub-750kg category. More recently the ‘big brother’ came to market in the form of the EVO 205D – an 8” unit powered by a 50hp Kubota diesel engine.
The newest launch, the EVO 205D SAFE-Trak and SURE-Trak models, provides the operator with ultimate safety and stability when working across slopes of up to 35o and is the only tracked chipper with Network Rail approval. GreenMech’s SURE-Trak system (patent pending) allows each track to be raised or lowered independently on the move, ensuring the machine maintains a horizontal position when climbing or descending slopes. Providing up to 540mm of ground clearance, the SURE-Trak will provide ultimate manoeuvrability for the operator and maximise stability when traversing uneven ground, together with protecting machine components and engine lubrication.
After getting hands-on, the press were then given an insight into how the machines are made with a step-by-step virtual factory tour. The day ended when Jonathan Turner closed proceedings saying: “We’re proud of our achievements and how we’ve overcome such a challenging couple of years, but now is the time to be even more positive and excited about our future. We will be continuing to work on industry-leading new products, designed to perform without compromise with the support of a great network of colleagues and dealers around us.”