Scottish forestry and woodland news

Malwa - Treeline Visits Sweden to try the Malwa 560F Forwarder

31 August 2014  post by Nick Marshall

Last year we visited the Elmia Wood show in Sweden with one aim being to look at small scale harvesting and extraction machinery.  We feel that purpose built machinery is getting bigger and heavier, which works in large commercial stands, but is not suited to smaller woodlands, on farms and estates, or in many thinnings applications.  

In many farm and estate woodlands you cannot rely on always having 6 feet of brash mat beneath you and you regularly have to cross fields or use farm roads and tracks.  In these situations ground damage is a major factor with machine weight being key.  None of the big names in forest machinery now offer any forwarder under about 13 tonnes, unladen!

The alternatives are to go for an older machine, from the days when everything was smaller and lighter, use an agri-based forwarder, or go for a machine from one of the less known manufacturers who are making small purpose built machines.  As far as I know Vimek, Alstor, Novotny, and Entracon, are now offered in this country, if not all represented with a machine on the ground.

Walking round the huge number of exhibitors at Elmia Wood there were several other companies offering small scale machinery, at various stages of development, but the one company that stood out was Malwa.  Their machines looked very well thought out, designed and finished, incorporating many of the features of the large purpose built machines but into smaller packages.  As we were not in a position to buy a new forwarder at that stage we didn't do much more than admire the machines, but Malwa remained stuck in our heads.

Fast forward a year and we were falling behind with our forwarding and having to look at purchasing a new machine.  Having looked at several options, none of which ticked all the boxes, we thought we would try calling Malwa in Sweden to see if there were any options there.  I had a long discussion, in perfect English, with Magnus Wallin, the CEO, followed by a couple more, which finally led us to Sweden and the reason for this post...

Our choice of flights and other commitments meant we had quite limited time in Sweden, but our short visit was well filled and very enjoyable. Magnus picked us up from the airport in the evening before taking us to see and try out one of their forwarders.  The next morning we had a tour of the factory, and a tour of some of the sites that their machines had worked to see their results before sitting down to discuss details.  We were hugely impressed by the whole setup, the machines and the people we met.

The result was that we placed an order for one of their forwarders and agreed to help represent Malwa in the UK, showing and demonstrating our machine to anyone interested.  The machine is being brought over for the APF, where Malwa have taken a stand and asked us to help man it.  We are looking forward to showing it off before bringing it north and putting it to work.

I will look at the forwarder and its manufacture in more detail in a following post (found here) but have included some pictures from our trip for now...

  • Malwa 560F forwarder in the Swedish evening sun Malwa 560F forwarder in the Swedish evening sun
  • Arriving at the Malwa Factory near Gothenburg in Sweden Arriving at the Malwa Factory near Gothenburg in Sweden
  • Loading some logs with the Cranab crane Loading some logs with the Cranab crane
  • Gavin Marshall getting the hang of the mini lever controls for the crane Gavin Marshall getting the hang of the mini lever controls for the crane
  • Resting the crane on a part load, ready to go for a drive Resting the crane on a part load, ready to go for a drive
  • Gavin getting a driving lesson from Magnus Gavin getting a driving lesson from Magnus
  • And off for a test drive down the road And off for a test drive down the road
  • The neat little Malwa forwarder The neat little Malwa forwarder