Europe’s leading woodchipper manufacturer GreenMech recently invited the industry media, including Turf Business’ Martin Smart and Sinead Morgan, to join them at a venue close to their production site in Warwickshire, for an update event with a festive feeling!
The assembled journalists discovered how GreenMech have overcome the numerous challenges encountered since the event last took place five years ago, together with having an opportunity to get hands-on with some of their latest innovations – including the EVO 205D and brand-new EVO 205D SURE-Trak.
In his presentation, Sales Director Martin Lucas outlined three major factors which have all had an impact on business in recent years. The first of which, and perhaps the biggest challenge for the engineering team, was the introduction of Stage V engine compliance. 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 he explained 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, 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 GreenMech have had to overcome, with the proactiveness of their dealer network noted in helping to shorten the customers exposure to long delivery times.
The third area discussed was Brexit. 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. However, there are indeed reasons to be chipper, as Martin explained that the appetite for UK manufactured product remains strong, with a keenness from their European distribution partners to remain committed to the brand.
Despite the adversity, the creativity of GreenMech shone through as Martin and members of the marketing team discussed the launch of the highly successful EVO series – with a new market image and approach meaning the EVO now accounts for a significant proportion of all orders placed. 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. The media became some of the first to see the brand-new EVO 205D SURE-Trak in the flesh as this was lined-up, alongside other models from the EVO range, for a series of working demonstrations.
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. Jonathan Turner, GreenMech Managing Director, closed proceedings by 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.”