Maggie Walsh takes a trip to the Tyrol alps, Austria to visit STIHL’s Competence Centre
Just before Christmas STIHL invited the press to its state-of-the-art Competence Centre in the Tyrol alps, Austria. The facility, which employs more than 600 people, has been the main driver of many of STIHL’s new lawn care innovations, including the development of the iMow robotic mower range.
It is also where the research and development teams design and tests all STIHL’s groundscare machines and many of its cordless products. While there, we were also allowed a peek inside the the factory’s anechoic chamber (STIHL is the only manufacturer to have one), to test the sound levels of said tools.
We naturally also got to test drive the latest products on the market with STIHL.
While battery powered tools are making huge advances across the industry, with STIHL amongst the innovative players in this field, the German manufactures still place importance on petrol engines within their mower range. I saw first hand how the company continues to expand this range with the introduction of the RM 655 RS rear roller mower, ideal for professional landscapers.
The RM655, which comes at a recommend retail price of £1,499 inc VAT, includes a single speed, split, driven rear metal roller for a great quality striping effect (STIHL reports that the perfect strip is essential for British customers) as well as making manoeuvring around borders easier. The rear roller features high quality bearings and stainless steel build for longevity and the mono-comfort handlebar is adjustable to three different heights allowing users to find the most suitable setting and to access the grass catcher box more easily.
For landscapers who find themselves working in noise-sensitive areas but still need to tackle large grass areas, the latest battery power offering from STIHL is the RMA 765 V.
Both front and rear wheels are height adjustable from 25mm-100mm, and the professional mower also runs using STIHL’s new AR 2000 L and AR 3000 L higher capacity backpack batteries, helping to deliver longer running times for full-day work assignments. With a cutting width of 63 centimeters and a mowing time of up to 70 minutes (with AR 3000 L), lawns of up to 3,100 square meters can be mown quickly, neatly and efficiently.
Like the petrol mower this model has a foldable handlebar, to aid is transport and storage. Additional features include a diagnostic connection for servicing and a safety key required for operation.
For professional landscapers and those working in local authorities the BR 800 C-E stands out offering a high-performance blowing force of 41N. The 80cc STIHL 4-MIX® engine runs on a fuel-oil mix just like a 2-stroke model and offers the benefits without the compromises of 4-stroke power. The STIHL 4-MIX® engine provides fast acceleration, more power, added torque, and lower noise during operation to complete jobs quickly and more easily. In addition, the engine offers reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency.
Thanks to its intuitive design, the BR 800 C-E has an excellent power-to-weight ratio and comes complete with an ergonomic backpack carrying system including S-shaped shoulder straps for maximum comfort when wearing.
For those looking to swap to a cordless blower in the not too distant future then look out for the BGA 200, which comes to market in Summer 2020. It cleans large areas quickly and efficiently and thanks to its low-noise operation, it can be operated without restriction in noise-sensitive areas and can be used without hearing protection.
The BGA 200 appears exceptionally easy to handle, thanks to its newly developed comfort carrying system. This innovative feature allows the tool to be used in different ways depending on the application; hand-held in confined working areas or suspended in the carrying system for larger-scale cleaning work. This approach is practical, efficient and increases operational comfort.
Best best known its range of chainsaws, the STIHL family won’t disappoint with its latest offering – the MSA 220 C-B, the most powerful cordless chainsaw in is range.
The PRO cordless chainsaw is suited for felling, thinning work, construction and wood carving and
comes as standard with the STIHL exclusive 3/8″ Picco Super 3 (PS3) full chisel saw chain with a guide bar length of 35cm/14”. This chain has a high cutting performance and a low kick-back.
The new AP 300 S battery is recommended to ensure the best possible cutting performance, and is also compatible with all other tools within the STIHL PRO Cordless system.
The sturdy MSA 220 C-B is suitable for use in any type of weather and also enables cutting work in confined areas, making it the ideal tool for professionals working in horticulture and even for those who may take up a spot of wood carving.
With the launch of an enhanced version of its AR backpack battery, STHIL’s latest power innovations should hopefully keep landscapers who choose to use these tools content. Part of their research and development includes listening to their distributors and customers needs, with the end game of manufacturing tools that deliver on performance and make the end users task as productive as possible.ive as possible.