Swedish haulier Wobbes utilises the full power of the V8
2 DECEMBER 2020
When emotion meets logic, reads Scania’s V8 slogan. That is unquestionably true at Swedish haulier Wobbes, which operates a Scania 650 S equipped with a wood chipper. In the woods and forests of western Sweden, Wobbes blood red Scania trucks efficiently gulp heaps of twigs and branches before spraying chips into the tipper unit and trailer.
“Along with farming, my father started hauling woodchips in the early 1980s with a Scania 140,” says Jens Wobbe, who manages the business together with his siblings Anders and Caroline.
The family has since ceased farming and instead put all their efforts into the wood chip business. Their fleet includes two trucks with chippers, one truck for shuttling chip-filled trailers and a 25-year old huge dump truck with an enormous chipper powered with a Scania engine.
To turn the 24-metre truck is nearly impossible
Wobbes gets work from major forestry companies but also from homeowners that need to clear their grounds of twigs and branches. The peak season for wood chips is during the winter months when heating plants operate at maximum capacity. To supply them when demand is at its greatest, Wobbes stores sizeable heaps on its land. But when there is sufficient demand it is most convenient to transport the chips directly from forests to the plants.
That is also the case during an autumn morning when driver Peter Svensson takes on the day’s first assignment. The land owner has prepared for his arrival by placing all heaps of twigs and branches to the right in the direction of the dirt road since the chipper is on that side and turning the 24-metre truck and trailer combination is nearly impossible.
The heaps accumulated following logging have previously been left to dry and shed needles. “I don’t get more than 20 eurocents per cubic metre for the chips but chipping has other advantages since it simplifies planting new trees and clears the field of view when hunting wild boar,” says landowner Lars Torbiörnson
The chipper can handle up to 200 cubic metres an hour
When great dexterity, Peter Svensson manoeuvres the grapple and collects a full load of 30 tonnes in less than a half hour before heading off to the heating plant. The robust chipper can handle up to one-half metre big branches and chip up to 200 cubic metres an hour while the truck’s power take-off works at maximum capacity.
With their two Scania 650 S and the R 580, Wobbes prides itself on a new and updated fleet. “We try to have good equipment and really utilise the full power of the V8,”says Jens Wobbe. “Frankly speaking, we don’t really need the S cab but our drivers could choose and it helps provide more air around the engine for cooling. And it’s nicer to drive.”
We’ve nearly always had Scania and that’s worked well. We’ve been satisfied and because of that there’s no need to shop elsewhere.”
With five employees, business is solid. The demand for woodchip is reasonably constant and not especially subject to competition. On the contrary, when heating plants now are trying to phase out fossil oil. Wobbes tries to carry out as much maintenance and repairs themselves, also of the high-tech Bruks chipper. Each day the blades need to be sharpened and changed. Some gravel always finds its way into the chipper but larger rocks can seriously damage the mechanism and require repairs in their workshop.
Driver Peter Svensson has worked at Wobbes since 2009 and fully masters the noble art of feeding branches in into the chipper in the right amount and pace.
“The work involves long hours but it’s also fun,” he says. “And during summers there’s less to do when not as much woodchip is needed.”
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