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This month’s front cover photo features Gwyn Alun Ellis Williams on a PONSSE Ergo. Gwyn operates the Ergo C5 H8 which is equipped with a Herzog traction winch in North Wales.

This month’s front cover features Gwyn Alun Ellis Williams on a PONSSE Ergo. Gwyn operates the Ergo C5 H8 which is equipped with a Herzog traction winch in North Wales.

“I live on the outskirts of Tywyn, Gwynedd. I am 28 years old and originally from the Bala area.
I gained interest in forestry from my father who has been mounding for 30+ years and I used to tag along with him on weekends as a child. Once when I was going to work with my father on a Saturday morning, I remember him stopping the van to watch a Ponsse Cobra working on a harvesting site. I think that’s where my love affair of timber harvesters originates from. I have been operating harvesters for six years now, and have always been on Ponsse’s as they are the strongest brand in Wales.

I enjoy working in forestry because it allows you the freedom of flexible hours and being able to be ‘your own boss’ running your own harvesting sites. I enjoy the responsibility of organising my harvesting site and relish working in the forest.

Much of our work is reasonably local so I never really stay away, I am home every night. The area we work is north and mid Wales and the harvesting sites vary massively. Nice, easy sites are a rarity these days, steep ground is regularly a common theme which often requires a T Winch, or the Herzog traction assist winch. Whenever sites are not steep, they are usually awkward and will vary from standing sales to estate work.

Since the arrival of the Ponsse Ergo in 2021 the timber parcels

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I work are usually clearfells but I have done the odd bit thinning from time to time. The Ergo is very capable and can happily do both types of work! The tonnage of the sites we harvest can varies from a 1000 tonne up to 20,000 tonne, normally most of the sites generally average around 5000 tonne.

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Since starting in forestry I have always operated Ponsse harvesters, but I will do the odd day on a Ponsse forwarder now and again to help out. The Ergo is my third Ponsse harvester, previous to this machine I had a Ponsse C44 H7, then a Ponsse Scorpion King with a H7 before my current Ergo.

I started my journey in the industry manually felling with a chainsaw and working a Skyline, I then progressed onto excavator mounding to gain experience of operating machinery in the forestry. I then got offered a position operating a Ponsse Ergo by a local forestry contractor before moving to brothers Sion & Lee Lewis of D L & Lewis in May 2019 to operate their Scorpion King.

I currently operate a Ponsse ergo C5 H8 equipped with a Herzog traction winch mounted on the rear that I had new in June 2021. I love the Ponsse product, they’re built strong, the heads are phenomenal from my experience from the H6 to the H8 they work very well, operator friendly and are very durable.
The H8 and C5 combination make the Ergo punch well above its weight, the telescopic crane delivers phenomenal strength and the H8 head is a game changer.

The back up in my experience has always been very good, and by now I have built a good relationship with the Ponsse mechanics and they’re always readily available for advice or just a chat!

The winning photo was taken at Lake Vyrnwy, Powys. It was a tricky site with a water supply reservoir at the bottom. The site was a larch Phyto site with some spruce and was harvested using traction assist winches and amounted to 5000 tonnes in volume.

The company runs almost all the Ponsse range of forwarders from a Wisent to an Elephant King, and the forwarder following me depends on the volume and the distance to the stacking area.
Usually it’s a Ponsse Buffalo that follows me which has a tilting king post which is a big help in easing loading on the steep ground.

My cutting sizes can vary from 2 to 8 sizes as we cut for a wide range of timber merchants.
I think I will be staying in the industry for the foreseeable future, I have made a lot of friends and connections since I began in the industry and I couldn’t see myself working out of the industry now, it’s in your blood!

My working hours are usually 10-12 hours a day 5-6 days a week.

Forest Machine Magazine is written and edited by a forest professional with over 40 years hands on experience. We are dedicated to keeping you informed with all the latest news, views and reviews from our industry.

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