"It is like going to war every day with a musket and then one day swapping it for a machine gun“, says Jason Yerke, using dramatic words to describe the efficiency of the new SENNEBOGEN 718 E and showing just how excited he his.
The 718 E is a 21 ton mobile material handler, equipped with a telescopic boom and a grab saw. The machine has a maximum reach of up to 13 m and, thanks to the powerful hydraulics, can safely operate numerous attachments useful for tree surgery. The load capacity of up to 1.7 tons and the hydraulic pruning saw mean that Yerke's machine can grab, cut, move and stack tree sections and branches with astonishing speed. The operator sits in his comfortable Maxcab which makes use of the hydraulics to give a view height of 5.5 m. The cab is also equipped with a tilting mechanism to optimize the driver's view.
Yerke is, of course, "only" doing standard tree surgery with the SENNEBOGEN 718 E, but according to him it goes so much better. "It's not about what we can do with it," he explains, "but how fast we can now do it, and with one person instead of three."
Until now, one person worked from the work cage, another operated the winch and a third person loaded the wood by hand or with a mini-digger. Now, one operator can safely and precisely remove and load branches, all from the elevated cab. "It has improved our productivity tenfold – no joke!"
Over the last year, after another season of heavy storms following hurricane Sandy and storm Alfred a few years previously, Yerke had been looking for a new solution. He had been thinking about getting a digger for the job but he had doubts about being able to find one that would perform how he wanted it to. Last October he visited the TCIA show in Columbus and discovered the 718. A colleague, Dan Mayer of Mayer Tree Service, was at the fair as a SENNEBOGEN ambassador. Mayer purchased the first 718 in North America and became a fan. Yerke recalls, "Dan explained the benefits of the 718 to us at the fair. We got on well and I recruited him to work on a site in Connecticut. I have been in this business for 25 years and I knew that the job would take around 20 days with our usual diggers and crews. He did it all in just three days! That's when I knew I had to have one of these machines."
Since then, Yerke has successfully started using his own SENNEBOGEN 718 E and is particularly impressed by the safety features. Multiple peripheral cameras give excellent all-round visibility and he no longer needs to bother about the danger area immediately around the tree. The machine's strengths really come to the fore in urban surroundings. Its rubber tires mean that it can work on the sidewalk or in a parking lot – elaborate base or steel plates are not needed.
"You only need to see the machine in action once to understand. The high load capacity means that even large sections can be moved and loaded - very rarely do we have to do anything by hand anymore and cleaning up the work area is easier too. When you have finished at one location, you can simply drive the machine to the next location – perfect!"Jason Yerke, Distinctive Tree Care