Updated: Feb 10, 2021
Not satisfied with having the world’s first rubber-tracked and rail-mounted chipper in its railway plant fleet, national rail contractor QTS Group has unveiled its new Mega Chipper V2. The firm has re-engineered and improved on the original version to create a more powerful and efficient 460 hp machine that can chip a 600mm diameter tree in 10 seconds, enabling the company to process more material than any other rail contractor in the UK.
The new features include a personnel carrier for up to four operatives, SMS fault reporting and also remote diagnostic access for fault finding. The new blade configuration helps to make the machine operate more smoothly and efficiently.
The rail wheels are hydrostatically driven when in work mode and can be fully operated via remote control, enabling the operator to be located in a position of safety, while the rubber tracks are more powerful for both climbing steep embankments and road travel.
The Mega Chipper V2, part of QTS’ 47-strong vegetation fleet, is currently being used on the East Kilbride line, which is undergoing electrification works. This six-month long project will see QTS work along 16 track miles, clearing all vegetation from both sides of the track by six metres, removing any dead, dying and dangerous trees which pose a risk to the infrastructure.
Alan McLeish, managing director of the QTS Group, said: “With track access becoming increasingly limited, efficiency is more crucial than ever. My vision behind the first Mega Chipper was to create a machine that could handle large trees and chip them on site, saving both time and manpower. The QTS Mega Chipper was the world’s largest and only rail-mounted chipper, however, we wanted to continue to innovate and improve on the original version. After many discussions on adaptations with the operating and design teams here at QTS, we created the Mega Chipper V2, a bespoke and upgraded chipper with even more power.”
The Mega Chipper V2 is part of QTS Group’s £3 million a year investment in machinery, which includes purchasing new machines, as well as upgrades to existing machinery which are carried out by the firm’s specialist internal team.