AFGRI gets into forestry equipment
AFGRI Equipment Construction and Forestry has opened a new branch in Tzaneen, Limpopo province, South Africa. The new branch is equipped to offer a wide range of forestry and agriculture equipment including John Deere harvesters and skidders, Waratah heads, ProMac three-wheel loaders, Dipperfox stump crushers, PALMS trailers as well as big brand construction and agriculture equipment.
AFGRI Equipment has appointed Pieter Bosch as the dedicated forestry marketer for South Africa. Pieter will be based in Tzaneen, overseeing the company's forestry portfolio. His extensive knowledge and expertise will be of great benefit to customers, as well as the AFGRI Equipment team.
Beyond forestry, the branch in Tzaneen also caters to the residential and commercial services sector, construction and agriculture industries by providing the comprehensive John Deere equipment range and AFGRI Equipment services.
According to AFGRI’s marketing manager, Etienne Meyer, it made perfect sense for AFGRI to take on the supply and backup for John Deere’s forestry equipment in South Africa as there is a 60% parts overlap between John Deere’s agriculture and forestry equipment.
“We know machines, and we know how to keep them running,” commented Etienne.
AFGRI has a big footprint in South Africa with 25 equipment supply and maintenance branches around the country plus 42 retail outlets. Specialised AFGRI forestry equipment hubs are located at Middelburg, Piet Retief and now also Tzaneen.
Contact the AFGRI Tzaneen branch on 071 647 6384 to schedule an appointment or discuss your equipment needs.
Ponsse goes electric
Ponsse has unveiled its new technology concept Ponsse EV1 forwarder. Its fully electric platform is one important step on Ponsse’s journey towards zero-emissions harvesting.
The next step on Ponsse’s radar is to switch to fossil-free steel for the manufacture of their forestry machines.
To this end Ponsse has joined forces with SSAB, a Nordic and US-based steel company, who will deliver fossil-free steel to the Ponsse factory in Finland, starting in 2026.
This partnership will further solidify Ponsse’s position as a provider of sustainable forest machines and bring SSAB closer to its goal of establishing a fossil-free value chain.
“It’s great to have a reliable partner like Ponsse now joining our fossil-free journey,” said Lotta Ruottinen, Sales Director at SSAB Europe. “Joint efforts are needed to meet the challenging CO2 reduction targets in forest machines. Both companies prioritize sustainable solutions and will strive to make a positive impact on forest machines using SSAB Fossil-free™ steel, fostering innovation while respecting nature.
SSAB plans to revolutionize the entire steelmaking process, and aims to start delivering fossil-free steel to the market at a commercial scale in 2026 and to largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from their operations in around 2030. SSAB works with iron ore producer LKAB and energy company Vattenfall as part of the HYBRIT initiative to develop a value chain for fossil-free iron and steelmaking, replacing the coking coal traditionally used for iron ore-based steelmaking with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. This process virtually eliminates carbon dioxide-emissions in steel production.
Ponsse has also unveiled their latest models of the PONSSE Scorpion Giant harvester, the PONSSE Mammoth forwarder and the PONSSE H8 harvester head.
Ponsse forestry equipment is distributed and supported in South Africa by MTS Parts, Piet Retief.
Mechanical tree pruner
Green Projects, based in Lions River in the heart of KZN midlands forestry country, supplies and supports an interesting array of forestry equipment including Logset heads, Stihl saw chains and bars, ProMac cane and forestry loaders, Nokian tyres and Advaligno Patas tree pruners, manufactured in Germany.
The ProMac loaders, designed and manufactured in Richards Bay, are popping up all over the place providing stiff competition to the well known Bell loggers. Frank Uzzell of Green Projects reckons they are powerful and efficient machines, and as an experienced forestry equipment fundi he should know.
Green Projects also supplies and supports Logset equipment, manufactured in Finland. The Logset heads are versatile and efficient, and are highly effective tools attached to an excavator or purpose-built harvester.
The Advaligno Patas is a mechanical tree pruner operated by two people and powered by a tractor. It is attached to the base of a tree, and delimbs it cleanly in seconds. Very useful tool for delimbing pine or Eucalyptus. It can prune up to 15 meters, and in an ideal plantation site can do up to 100 trees in an hour, or so the manufacturers claim.
Frank also supplies an innovative anti-theft device that prevents fuel theft from any vehicle or piece of equipment.
See the tree pruner in action here:
Contact Frank for more info: 082 820 5701.
Chop-em tree fellers goes green
Green is the colour of choice for Chop-em Tree Fellers of Benoni who recently purchased a brand new Sumitomo excavator from ELB Equipment, and promptly had it painted bright green.
Rather than the ordinary yellow finish on most excavators, Chop-em Tree Fellers owner, David Kretzschmar wants his equipment to be easily recognisable in the field as belonging to the specialist arborist business.
Having grown up in a tree felling and bush clearing family, David’s first recollections are of riding and sleeping in various types of plant equipment and trucks while his father went about his business. As a result, there is little that he does not know about plant equipment and along with his brothers Malcolm and Karl, can operate any type of machine.
And contrary to popular belief, arborists like David usually do their utmost to save valuable trees through careful pruning, tying, root containment and supporting trees with cables and other techniques, rather than chopping them down. They usually discuss options with customers and try to preserve them - especially indigenous trees. Only as a last resort or if trees are invader species will the axe – or rather the excavator - be brought out.
The Kretzschmar brothers are now planning to ‘green’ their entire fleet of excavators, stump grinders, trucks and saws.