What do forest contractors who aren’t satisfied with the existing machines do? They build one themselves – like the Swiss family Widmer has done.
– Our father worked in the forest for fifty years and knew what he wanted, explained Elias Widmer who, together with his brothers Sebastian and Joachim, run Swiss Tracked Forwarder Gmbh (STF).
As the name implies, the Switzerland-based company manufactures smaller tracked forwarders as well as carrying out forestry and tree care contracting work. At face value, the tracked forwarder has an appearance and functions that resemble other brands on the marketplace.
– The difference is that we go for higher quality. Our father was irritated that his machines were always breaking down. We’ve chosen slightly more expensive materials that last a lot better, revealed Widmer, mentioning hardened steel tracks as one example.
The family company is now entering the international arena and presenting its forwarder at the world’s largest forestry fair, Elmia Wood.
– We’re exhibiting a prototype of the next-generation tracked forwarder. To us, it’s self-evident to hold our world premiere where the forestry professionals are gathered, said Widmer.
It’s a familiar story as over the years many self-made prototypes and contraptions had their first, and for some final, public appearance at the show.
Whether or not the Swiss Tracked Forwarder prototype gains any traction at Elmia Wood remains to be seen but Elias Widmer and his brothers hope that its quality will also be appreciated in the homeland of cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting.