10 September 1999

Tree-mendous double act

A MULTI-PURPOSE tractor capable of performing all essential management tasks in tree plantations. Such a description sums up the capabilities of the specialist forestry machines produced by Danish manufacturer Jydeland.

There are two models – the Combi Unik Forst (unique forest combination) Model 98 has three-wheel drive and is powered by a 50hp Kubota diesel. Its smaller sibling, the Skovfuglen (forest bird), has just one powered wheel and uses a 19hp Ruggerini diesel for power.

"They are very versatile mach-ines that can be used for pretty well all operations in the life of a Christ-mas tree plantation," says Jyde-lands UK marketing consultant Brian Watson. "But we are also getting interest from soft fruit growers who need specialist equipment capable of performing different roles within the confines of row-crops."

Both machines straddle two rows at a time. But while the smaller one can carry as many inter-row spray heads as the larger model, the extra power and traction of the Combi means it can also operate a full complement of cultivator units. The Skovfuglen is limited to one central unit.

Using a simple arrangement of implement linkage mountings, the machines can be used for:

&#8226 Inter-row spraying to control weeds;

&#8226 Overall spraying (mostly for aphid control);

&#8226 Cultivating with spring tines or hooded rotary tiller between rows;

&#8226 Cultivating with a rotary hoe between the trees in the row;

&#8226 Laying fertiliser at the base of each tree;

&#8226 Trimming the lower branches of young trees using a rotary knife;

&#8226 Harvesting the finished product using a circular saw.

"With so many functions, the machine has a very high level of utilisation," says Mr Watson. "Harvesting output gives you a measure of the capabilities of the bigger machine. A good chainsaw operator will probably cut down 500 Christmas trees a day. The Combi will do 1000 an hour."

In designing the attachments, consideration has been given to doing the job without harming the crop. The inter-row sprayer unit has shields with flexible hoods and spring-loaded rigid sides that are easily deflected by young trees without interrupting spray coverage.

And the power harrow has a deflector mechanism that allows the operator to work up the row with the harrow moving neatly in and out to work between the trees within the row, as well as to one side.

Being positioned relatively high up at the centre of operations, the driver should get a decent view of whats going on.

The larger of the two portal tractors has a central fully-enclosed cab, engine and transmission assembly, with a single driven wheel at the front which also steers the machine. Two driven outrigger wheels stop the device from falling over, while the frames on which they are mounted also provide implement attachment points.

The same layout applies in principle on the smaller machine but there is just one driven/steering wheel located behind the driver and the less powerful engine/transmission assembly.

Non-powered outrigger wheels keep the tractor upright and the frames on which they are mounted are adjustable by a pin and hole arrangement to fit different row widths.

Track adjustment is a hydraulic function on the more sophisticated Combi; there is sufficient adjustment to accommodate 0.85m to 1.5m row centres. &#42

Jydeland portal tractors

Model 98 Skovfuglen

Row 0.85m 0.85m to widths to 1.5m 1.5m

Engine 50hp 19hp Kubota Ruggerini

4cyl diesel

diesel

Drive Hydro Hydro

3wd 1wd

Tool mounts Three Three

Price (base

vehicle) £50,000 £15,000