ByForest Machine Magazine

16th February 2024


Since 2018, Kals am Großglockner in Austria has seen one natural disaster after another. Windthrow, masses of snow – and now the bark beetle. Stefan Oberreiner, the local forester, is facing a major challenge.

The bark beetle is a significant threat to Austria’s forests. It’s attack on the spruce trees of Kals has devastated entire forest areas. It eats into the vital water-bearing layer and thus kills the tree. To limit the damage, the infected trees must be harvested quickly and delivered to the sawmills. Early detection and removal of the infested nests are crucial to prevent further spread. Kals am Großglockner is fighting resolutely against the bark beetle in order to protect nature and preserve the forests.

An important partner is essential to help deal with this and Steidl Oswald Timber Transportation has a very important role. Specializing in the transport of timber since 2008 and with four timber trucks, the company is an important partner. Together, they not only assist with the rapid removal of damaged trees, but also implement effective measures against bark beetles, helping to protect nature and the forests.

As an enthusiastic customer of PALFINGER EPSILON for many years, Oswald has not only used numerous EPSILON cranes in his career, but has also tried out various control variants – from CLASSIC DRIVE and TEC CAB to the current COMFORT DRIVE LATERAL TOPSEAT with the new TZ12 of the new GENERATION 3. Oswald and his driver Leonhard answered our questions in an interview. 


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“Oswald, what made you decide to become self-employed in timber transportation and what makes you get up every day?”

“The decision to become self-employed in the timber transport sector stems from my deep connection with nature in East Tyrol. Even as a child, surrounded by forests, I enjoyed helping friends and neighbors with their forest work. My passion for nature, together with my interest in machines and modern technologies, is my daily motivation. Everyday life in the forest with fresh air, flexible working arrangements and observing wildlife not only gives me satisfaction, but also a proud sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.”

“Leonhard, what do you think of the new TZ12 from the new GENERATION 3 with the COMFORT DRIVE LATERAL TOPSEAT?”

“The TZ12 of the new GENERATION 3 from PALFINGER EPSILON with the COMFORT DRIVE LATERAL TOPSEAT impressed me right from the start. The COMFORT DRIVE LATERAL TOPSEAT offers an improved overview when loading wood. The suspension of it effectively compensates for vibrations during loading and unloading. Protection is particularly important in the mountains, and the suspension and automatic roof contribute to this. The seat heating in winter is a luxury, and the 360° lighting increases work safety – which is very important to me personally.”

“I am also very positively surprised by the new TZ12 of the new GENERATION 3. The central lubrication system saves valuable time, and the increased reach of 9.8 m makes a significant difference in our operations. I am very impressed with the efficiency and comfort of the TZ12 – a vehicle that not only fulfills its purpose, but is also fun to operate. A heated handle for the winter months would be the icing on the cake for the future! 😉”

“I noticed that you also use a PALFINGER EPSILON grapple. Which one do you have and how satisfied are you with it?”

“I use the EPSILON FG53 grapple every day and also the FG53-SV, which has a sharper cutting edge. We use both grapples mainly for wet wood and firewood, and I am really happy with the efficiency. The precise cutting action of the FG53-SV makes it particularly ideal for my requirements – especially in winter. Overall, both grapples offer excellent grapple quality and contribute significantly to my efficient work in timber transportation

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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