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Tue May 03, 2022 - National Edition
As one of the first road maintenance departments in Germany, the North Rhine-Westphalia state road construction authority "Straßen.NRW" is leading the way for road maintenance depots and municipalities. The SENNEBOGEN 718 tree care handler ensures all tree felling along state and federal roads in its territory is done efficiently, quickly and safely.
Throughout the entire North Rhine-Westphalia region, there are several tree inspectors who are on duty every day to preserve the tree population while ensuring traffic safety. This area is made up of more than 8,000 mi. of state road, 2,500 mi. of federal road and 620 mi. of district road.
Although, it's a massive territory, virtually every tree along these roads is meticulously assessed and documented.
In the past, this was done on index cards, but today all trees are being tracked in a digital tree registry, including the GPS location of each tree. To date, more than 300,000 individual trees have been logged. Detailed notes such as stability and breakage safety, fungi or deadwood are all recorded and the necessary steps and decisions are based on the data.
Tree felling is often unavoidable.
Trees primarily serve to provide visual, glare and wind protection but also are critical to securing slopes. If trees or tree crowns impair the field of vision, professional pruning is usually sufficient.
However, if branches or even trees are threatening to fall due to a lack of stability, the last and final option is to dismantle it. The information in the tree registry helps all the inspectors to ensure traffic safety and do so in a responsible, environmentally-friendly manner on behalf of the municipality.
To accomplish these goals and objectives, the North Rhine-Westphalia region uses a SENNEBOGEN 718 E tree care handler with a grapple saw to maintain the roadways.
"The high volume of orders and operations due to the increasingly extreme climatic influences, such as drought or flood disasters, led to a rethinking. Occupational safety and efficiency in daily work are taking on an increasingly important role," said tree inspector Michael Göckeritz.
The extreme drought of 2018 and 2019 had an impact on German road maintenance services.
Trees by the edge of the road have been permanently under stress due to the drought, causing them to become diseased and unstable. This meant they needed to be removed. The consequence: more operations, more effort, more staff. By using their SENNEBOGEN tree care handler, the work along the roads is now much more efficient, especially during the cutting season.
The traditional use of chain saws and boom lifts for pruning along the roadways have some major disadvantages when compared to SENNEBOGEN 718 tree care handlers. The issue of occupational safety in particular plays an important as tree care handlers are less labor-intensive.
In addition, the operator is protected with safety features including full protection guarding of the SENNEBOGEN Maxcab and the use of bulletproof glass for the windshield and the skylight.
With the help of the SENNEBOGEN 718 E, the logs are gripped in a controlled manner, sawed off and laid to one side. The logs are then sawn off by the 718 grapple saw. At the same time, the tree care handler also holds the log so that it can be carefully placed by the operator by the edge of the road to be picked up later.
"Jobs for which we would have needed a whole week in the past, we now sometimes manage in one day," said Göckeritz.
For more information, visit www.sennebogen-na.com.
This story also appears on Forestry Equipment Guide.