by Sara Smith | Aug 06, 2021

Weißenstadt, Germany – The sawmilling industry has continued its meteoric rise despite the strained economic situation in many other industries. In response to this surge in demand, one of Germany's largest wood processing companies, GELO Holzwerke decided in 2020 to make a far-reaching investment in a new small-diameter wood sawmill. And a featured machine in the sawmill is a SENNEBOGEN 835 E electric material handler which is now responsible for all its log handling duties.

At the end of 2020 and after 11 months of construction, the 750,000+ ft² (70,000 m²) plant in the Wunsiedel Energy Park went into operation exactly as scheduled. GELO Holzwerke along with a strategic partner combined to invest almost 40 million euros into the new site, where 50,000 solid cubic ft. (1400 cubic m) per day will be processed in a two-shift operation.

To make this project a reality, an electrically driven SENNEBOGEN 835 E with a unique rail gantry was imagined, designed and engineered. Built with precision, the track is 105 ft. (32 m) wide and travels a distance of 368 ft. (112 m) and fits seamlessly into the operation of the new plant. Matched to a SENNEBOGEN 730 E, the pick & carry machine with all-wheel drive and a Tier 4 Final engine, was also selected to unload incoming trucks as well as stocking the new infeed deck.

GELO Holzwerke is committed to the major goal of sustainable management. This is achieved in three ways:

1) by the processing of renewable raw material wood;

2) by increased regional value through the neighbouring, densely wooded Fichtelgebirge;

3) by using low-emission systems and machines that allow the large demand of the market to be well served.

The decision to go with an electric machine was a significant step forward for the Managing Director Wolf-Christian Küspert as he built a sustainable business while leading by example.

The 835 E saves on operating and service costs

A SENNEBOGEN material handler with a 271 HP (200 kW) electric motor is used to transfer the logs from the sorting boxes to the stackers as well as to feed the sawmill. This eliminates exhaust emissions. Another advantage of an electric operation is that there are enormous savings in operating and service costs that are achieved through longer service intervals.

In addition to the cost and emission savings, having built-in flexibility also played a major role in the purchase decision. The gantry design gives the operator the ability to move in all directions at the same time. This means that the material handler can be rotated 360 degrees while at the same time moving forward, reverse and sideways. These movements are possible due to an integrated trolley, which means that the gantry covers a very expansive working area. Thanks to the 30 ft. (8.9 m) long and curved banana boom and a loading stick with a length of 26 ft. (7.9 m), the 835 E achieves a reach of

50 ft. (15 m). For increased efficiency, attached to it is a SENNEBOGEN hydraulic timber grab, which allows logs up to 20 ft. (6 m) in length to be easily moved.

The SENNEBOGEN Mastercab delivers the view

An excellent all-round view is provided by the SENNEBOGEN Mastercab, which impresses drivers with various features such as a large-area floor window and an air-suspension comfort driver's station with heated seating. Manuel Wildgans, one of four machine operators at GELO Holzwerke is thrilled with the new sawmill and the material handler, "The SENNEBOGEN 835 E is the first machine of this size that I have been able to operate. In the meantime, all of us drivers have become accustomed to it and are pleased with the simple controls using the joysticks. At a height of over 33 ft. (10 m), we can now enjoy the best view over the entire site every day."

SENNEBOGEN has been a leading name in the global material handling industry for over 65 years. Based in Stanley, North Carolina, within the greater Charlotte region, SENNEBOGEN LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, SENNEBOGEN LLC has quickly become a leading provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, demolition, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations, waste facilities and the tree care industry from coast to coast. A growing network of distributors supports SENNEBOGEN LLC sales and service across the Americas, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability.

For more information on the full line of SENNEBOGEN material handlers, contact:

1957 Sennebogen Trail
Stanley, NC 28164
Tel: (704) 347-4910 or fax (704) 347-8894
Visit the website at