Camp Wood – Woodland Crafts and Rural Skills Centre

Alpine Tractors

Alpine Tractors

We have been using Alpine tractors in the woods for the last 5 years. These small, light weight and maneuverable machines are ideal in situations where larger machines would be too big for access and cause too much damage to sensitive environments. The combination of light weight machinery on a wide tyre means that soil compaction is massively reduced. The machine doesn’t leave deep ruts, which then become waterlogged making future access difficult. The scale of the machine is such that it is able to maneuver between trees without the unnecessary felling required to allow access for larger machines. Though small in size, the tractor we use is 95hp.

Running costs are lower than for larger tractors, with reliable turbo diesel, fuel efficient engines. Damage to the vehicle (and trees) due to scuffing against trees is reduced due to the maneuverability and good visibility of these vehicles. Weighing around 2 tons the tractor can be moved between sites on a standard 3.5 ton trailer without the need to use a low loader or larger lorry.  This further reduces running costs since transport is very costly.

Stability for work on sloping sites is excellent. Alpine tractors have a lower centre of gravity and smaller wheels which make them much more stable on sloping ground than conventional tractors. Their light weight means that they are less likely to sink and get bogged down. To illustrate; we have recently bought a forestry mulching flail to use for clearing rides and scrub. Previously we had a local contractor mowing the rides in late August/early September after the flowers had finished. He used a Ford County and flail mower, but wasn’t happy to take it on some of the side sloping and boggy areas for fear of  getting stuck. The Antonio Carraro 10400 with Seppi Miniforst that I use had no problem getting to all the rides and tracks in our 22 acres of woodland. And all the mowing is done in a day.