PML Coetzee, who designed and manufactured the first mobile harvester and ground nut sheller in South Africa, founded the South African company Staalmeester in 1951. The firm went on to make a number of machines especially suited to local conditions; some of these were exported and found to be equally suitable for operation in many parts of the world. When Coetzee senior retired in 1982, his son Martin took over as managing director and the company has to date expanded to where the Hartbeesfontein factory now covers an area of 5 200m2. All employees reside in Tigani and the other surrounding suburbs of Hartbeesfontein, and Staalmeester creates much needed employment in this rural part of North West.
To further expand the size of the operation the company imports a range of equipment to compliment the machines it manufactures. The latest additions to the range are wood chippers from Finland.
|A DC-65 chipper is capable of processing timber up to 170mm in diameter.|
|The THM 100 chipper can handle logs up to 100mm diameter|
In Finland, forests cover 80% of the terrain and harvesting timber is the major industry. It is therefore not surprising that this country manufactures some of the best forestry equipment in the world. Staalmeester currently markets three Finnish chipper models:
xThe THM 100 has a capacity of 8m3 to 15m3 an hour and can handle material up to 100mm in diameter.
xThe DC-65 processes logs up to 170mm in diameter at a rate from 12m3 to 20m3 an hour.
xThe DC-100 can chip logs up to 250mm in diameter and works at 15m3 to 25m3 an hour.
xLarger models capable of handling logs up to 450mm are also available on special order.
The chip size is uniform and the length can be adjusted. Two toothed rollers feed the log into the chipper at an even speed, which is adjustable, and the chipping rotor is designed to operate at a reasonable sound level. A safety mechanism allows the machine to be quickly stopped or reversed. The large feed orifice and toothed feed rollers will even accept trees with branches.
The units are available as tractor mounted or trailed machines and they can be driven by diesel engines, electric motors or by a tractor PTO. Power required is from 30kW to 55kW. These machines are ideal for making compost and mulches for orchards. – Joe Spencer
Contact Staalmeester on (018) 431 0300 or e-mail [email protected]. |fw