"This is efficiency!", says landscaper Stefan Schatz about his Unimog U 530.
Stefan Schatz's company is called "Schatzgarten" (treasure garden). And the creative landscaper has indeed found a real treasure in his new U 530. In conjunction with Unimog salesman Markus Förster from RKF Bleses, he configured his blue treasure to handle virtually any task that might occur in his gardening and landscaping business.
"At the end of the day, none does the job better."
Stefan Schatz, landscaper, Schatzgarten GmbH
Expert in the landscaping job.
Stefan Schatz likes to point out that he is "just a simple tradesman”. Apart from the fact that there's nothing "simple" about his trade, the master landscape architect demonstrates his creativity with a wealth of good ideas on a daily basis. His designs include stunning pool areas, well-planned koi-carp ponds, as well as exotic ornamental gardens. But Schatz is also – and especially – creative when it comes to his vehicle fleet. Universal usability and economy are key. He cites an example of his approach: "Think about a tank howitzer. It has enormous penetrating power – much more than a battle tank. But taking all its attributes into account, the battle tank is the more powerful vehicle, because it is more manoeuvrable, faster, and more variable in application. – And that's what I think about my Unimog: There may be vehicles that are better in individual aspects. But at the end of the day, none does the job better."
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Cutting green strips and chopping down trees.
The creative landscaper demonstrates exactly what he means through his use of the U 530. One of today's jobs is cutting the wide green strip between a forest track and a busy main road, and chopping down a number of leaning trees that are threatening to fall on the road. To do the job, Schatz hitches a sturdy trailer to the Unimog, combining a woodchipper and a short timber crane, complete with a tree-gripper and saw. The chipper drum needs enormous drive power, because its feed roller handles tree trunks up to 50 centimetres in diameter, which are then chopped into finger-sized chips. It draws its power from the Unimog's power take-off shaft. The crane hydraulics are operated by the hydraulic unit installed in the U 530.
Safely operated by remote control.
Stefan Schatz stands well outside the danger zone with his radio remote control. He skilfully deploys the crane, and positions the gripper just below the crown of the tree. With a brief tap of the button on the remote control, the chain saw deploys and neatly separates the crown from the trunk. Schatz swings the cutting away, and expertly places it on the chipper conveyor. Now, if not before, we know why the thoughtful landscaper has provided us with earplugs. The chipper is as loud as it is efficient. A few more skilful crane movements, the noisepeaks a few more times – and the over 15 metre high tree is history.
The Unimog at Germany’s largest municipal forestry department
In the quieter phases, Schatz asks: "Hear how neatly the load-sensing controller adapts the power take-off on the engine? It thrills me every time how the engine and power take-off management system operates in harmony. There' no hydraulic jerk, and the revs don't drop a notch – even when the chipper is handling the really thick stumps." The subject of hydraulics is particularly important to Stefan Schatz. His U 530 has all the features possible on a Unimog with a rear power take-off shaft. The Kerpen-based landscaper has also had quick-couplers fitted everywhere, so as to be able to swap the trailer and mounted implements as quickly as possible.
Artist in gardening and landscaping.
The fact that he has lots of skills extending beyond landscaping is demonstrated by the tipper units. "There was nothing that met my needs," Schatz recalls. "So I got myself a basic kit, but made my own twin side panels, complete with hydraulically operated load space cover. I designed it myself, and did all my own welding and painting, and installed it." The raised side panels add capacity. It means Schatz does not need to bring along a second vehicle to transport away the chippings. With around eight tonnes load capacity, the loading platform can also handle heavy items. "I often use the Unimog to collect paving stones for example," Schatz reports. "I prefer to take it rather than the Sprinter."