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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Mon 10 May 2021

Marvellous Mecalac Down in the Woods

Anyone who has ever witnessed Graham at the controls of one of his Mecalac machines, will know that the man is a class act, who can make these unusual looking machines sing, and having spent some time last week on the latest 8MCR model as one of a select few guests of Mecalac UK, it really made me appreciate how skilful he is on them.

Marvellous Mecalac Down in the Woods

These machines are like nothing else on the market, I liken them to an excavator crossed with a skid steer but on steroids, they really are interesting and very capable bits of kit, especially in the right hands and armed with multiple work tools.

Having sold his original Mecalac 6MCR to one of his customers, back in 2017 Graham invested in another model for the forestry side of his business, his option then was the larger 8MCR which tips the scales at 7200kgs without bucket and no additional counterweight, he is still running this machine today, alongside an 8MWR wheeled variant, but apparently has a new model 8MCR on order.

Talking about the machine Graham said, “The 8MCR for me is the machine of choice for forestry work. It’s an 8-tonne class machine that packs a serious punch! It can work in very tight spaces, which is perfect for thinning works and with its 10kph tracking speed means that with my log trailer hitched up it is capable of shifting timber very quickly”.

“I originally built the log trailer as a bit of an experiment, thinking it would be good to get small amounts of timber out of awkward areas that other machines could not get to, but it has been so successful that we have ended up doing a lot more timber extraction than ever planned.

The huge lifting capacity of the 8MCR makes light work of moving logs, it picks up 24ft lengths of timber with complete ease. Its closed-circuit hydrostatic transmission means that it can run a flail whilst tracking at the same time, which is really good for forest ride vegetation management”.

“The advantages of this machine in the woods are huge. It is an excavator, a loader, a forwarder and hedge trimmer all in one. It can even perform tree surgery with the tree shear attached”.

Photo: Graham's 8MCR with log trailer on a previous job we covered for Forest Machinery magazine

For most onlookers not in the know, it is the boom and arm that looks a bit strange. This boom is a very clever piece of design work and the ability to be able to tuck it right up beside the cab is excellent for when working in such tight quarters.

On our most recent visit to see Graham, he and his team of family members were working on clearing invasive Laurel plants on Duchy of Cornwall land. This plant has to be controlled because due to its nature it shades out other native plants and degrades the surrounding habitats. Grham was being assisted by Bert Sandercock with his Kubota U27-4 and his Finnish built Avant 860i compact loader.  

Graham and the guys have been working to remove the plant which is in turn burnt in the traditional fashion, which is long regarded as the best way to eradicate the species in that area.

Graham really gets the best out of his Mecalac machines, and its always a joy to watch him in action.

I'll be reporting on my experiences during the Mecalac event I attended in a future edition of Earthmovers Magazine, but in the meantime, checkout our video from the day of our visit to see Graham in Cornwall.  




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