Palfinger Epsilon’s latest generation of timber harvesting cranes

PALFINGER EPSILON's Generation 3 timber harvesting cranes

I met up with Ian Valentine, Sales Director – North, and Dave Wadby, Product Manager, of Palfinger UK in Larbert to find out more about this new generation of cranes.

To develop the new cranes PALFINGER EPSILON listened to their customers so that they could incorporate the best features of their previous models while integrating the latest technology. PALFINGER EPSILON’s aim was to provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly range of cranes which are reliable, helping to make their customer’s work much easier.

Highlights of the Generation 3 cranes

  • Reach. With up to 10.9m reach the Generation 3 cranes offer the longest reach in their class. This provides a significantly larger working arc for fewer lorry repositioning manoeuvres. PALFINGER EPSILON wanted to offer customers a longer and stronger crane without adding extra weight. The steel structure has been completely redeveloped and optimized, so that longest, refers to both reach and service life.
  • Comfort Drive. This newly developed system is designed to reduce operator fatigue and increase ergonomics. These include the new Grammar seat, which features suspension for superior operator comfort and the Hydraulic Pilot System for precise crane operation with new joystick options. For night operation the new cranes offer a 360° lighting concept with new LED floodlights which turns night into day.
  • Centralised Greasing Options. Greasing can be done either automatically or manually. With the automatic system, it applies grease to the main axes of rotation from a dedicated grease pot (a quick visual check of the level of the grease, is all the maintenance that is required) and the manual system lubricates the crane from a central greasing point using a grease gun.
  • Outrigger Options. With the longer reach, optimum stability is required. PALFINGER EPSILON has achieved this by offering new outrigger options with a support width of up to 5.4m while still maintaining a compact design in the retracted position. Internal hose routing reduces the risk of damage to the hydraulics.
  • Smart Control. I had the opportunity to try this out for myself at Interforst while it was still being developed and was impressed at how easy it was to use. It works by using integrated sensors to operate the separate functions on the crane while the operator concentrates on the positioning of the crane tip. This system makes it much easier to control the crane, lowers operator fatigue and increases productivity. It is also beneficial in decreasing the time it takes new operators to get up to speed.


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Other upgrades include moving the spool valves to a new location under the seat platform for better protection and the hydraulically operated Epshood weather guard.

The Generation 3 cranes are 250kg lighter than their predecessors and this can have a significant financial benefit over the life of the crane. Ian and Dave pointed out that the new cranes offer so many individual customisation options available for the customer.

Palfinger Epsilon latest generation of timber harvesting Cranes
Palfinger Epsilon latest generation of timber harvesting Cranes

Palfinger UK

Palfinger UK is the official UK distributor for Palfinger lorry cranes, Epsilon construction, recycling and forestry cranes plus branded ancillary equipment. Although the recent pandemic and Brexit have significantly increased the challenges they faced, Ian pointed out that “It’s good to see some normality returning to the world”.

Palfinger UK (Falkirk) formally Outreach has undergone many changes over the last few years, most important was that in 2018 it became part of the TH White Group and in 2021 the retirement of product manager James V Stronach. James had been with the company for almost 50 years. Firstly, when it was owned by the James Jones and Sons Engineering Division, then through the Outreach era and finally Palfinger UK. James started out as an apprentice draftsman, before moving into sales, he is a highly respected individual, so finding a replacement for him was always going to be a difficult task for Palfinger UK.

Fortunately, Dave Wadby proved to be the ideal candidate to carry the mantle. Dave has worked for TH White for many years, he started as a welder/fabricator moving onto crane installations before travelling around the UK helping to familiarise customers with their new cranes and offering operator training. Dealing with customers on a one-to-one basis has given Dave a good foundation for his new position as the product manager. James was a massive help and stayed on at Palfinger UK temporarily as a consultant, helping Dave to settle in and introducing him to customers. Although retired, James is still available on the end of the phone if Dave ever finds he needs a little bit of advice.

This is Dave’s first foray into the forestry sector, there wasn’t that much of a demand for timber lorries in Bradford, 😊 and he is enjoying learning about the industry and the challenges it brings. He was quick to point out that his forestry customers have been more than friendly and welcoming in helping him settle into his new position which he is thoroughly enjoying. Whilst the overall UK numbers are modest in comparison to the overall levels of Sales & installation activity in the Palfinger-Epsilon construction and Palfinger PK ranges, Palfinger UK continues to regard the forestry crane sector as a key market and an area they want to continue growing, hence Dave’s appointment.

Dave understands that being able to offer a first-class aftersales service to customers is equally as important as the sale and installation of the equipment, an area Palfinger UK are looking to strengthen as the year progresses.

I have met Dave on a few occasions since taking over from James and I enjoy spending time with him, he has a friendly demeanour and is an intelligent and interesting person to talk to I am impressed with the depth of knowledge he has gained regarding timber haulage in such a short period of time.

“The order books are full” he explained “which proves we must be doing something right. Our partnership with Palfinger stretches back 50 years so we have built up a fantastic relationship. Our current lead time for a forestry crane from the date of ordering to arriving in our depot is an average of 16-20 weeks.”

Dave Wadby, Sales Director - North, and Dave Wadby, Product Manager, of Palfinger UK

he facility was a hive of activity when I visited with every single workstation utilised to
its full potential. The company has continued to flourish and increase its presence in the market, but this creates another problem, staffing. To combat this Palfinger UK have a constant recruitment drive in all departments in all areas of the business. Apprenticeships are also available to people of all ages, so whether you are starting on your career journey or looking for a change, it is well worth getting in touch.

PALFINGER EPSILON is a forward-thinking company with dynamic leaders at the helm and an excellent global dealership, they are not a company to sit on their laurels and strive to be at the forefront of timber haulage by adapting to customers’ requirements as they arise.

Palfinger UK

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