Chipping away at global success

In the 1970s, German-born Manfred Vogel developed a design for a new woodchipper – a piece of machinery that was effective but user-friendly and that would appeal to keen home gardeners.

At the time, Manfred was living in New Zealand and working for a company as a mechanical engineer. When his employers showed no interest in building his design, Manfred decided to bring his vision to life himself. He spent months designing and then building his first chipper in an old shed in Ohaupo, New Zealand.

In 1981, that first design became a chipper shredder known as ‘the box’ due to its basic shape.

Fast forward to 2024, and Manfred’s business, HANSA Products, has grown to become an international company specialising in the design and manufacture of chippers for home gardeners, for people with an acreage, and for the small and larger commercial market.

HANSA is now led by Manfred’s son, Martin, who has focused on expanding the HANSA range and the reach of the company’s products.

Steven Milburn, Managing Director of HANSA Products in Europe and the UK, says the company’s sustained growth and success are due to focus and consistency.

“We only do what we do and that’s wood chippers. While other manufacturers have other products in their portfolio, we don’t and that has been key. From the beginning, the company decided what it was best at and stuck with that,” he says.

“We’ve also focused on constant improvement of the design and performance of our machines. They are fantastic but our engineers still look for improvements without over-complicating things. Our customers don’t have time for downtime, particularly in the commercial sector, and by keeping machines simple we reduce the risk of issues.”

HANSA’s customers range from keen gardeners and people living on acreages to small landscaping and arborist businesses and businesses with large scale council contracts who are responsible for powerline clearance and road and street maintenance.

To meet their growing customer base at home and overseas, HANSA has developed a range of products and since late 2019, some of those products have been powered by DEUTZ engines. The C45, C65 and C65RX all come with a DEUTZ engine.

The C45 Chipper has a powerful hydraulic feed system and a DEUTZ diesel engine which makes it versatile and able to process any material. The C65 Chipper is a powerful, lightweight and adaptable hydraulic feed chipper and the top of the range C65RX is particularly suited for rough terrain, narrow access or soft ground conditions.

“We work closely with our customers and they felt DEUTZ engines were good. DEUTZ also had a good sales and service network so we knew that, if things did fail on a job site, our customers would have a local solution,” says Steven.

“DEUTZ already had the engines we needed for our chippers and the DEUTZ engineers worked with our engineers to decide the best fit for each machine. Engine match testing looked at what happens when load is placed on the engine – when a log hits the feed rollers and starts being chipped – and how quickly it recovers.

“On a product level, we know DEUTZ engines can be trusted and on a people level, the team in New Zealand are fantastic. Everyone supports each other and we’ve built a very collaborative relationship with DEUTZ.”

This year is set to be another big year for HANSA. The company recently changed its distribution model in Australia for its commercial chippers and now sell via Tree Care Machinery (TCM), which is a subsidiary of Earthmoving Equipment Australia (EEA).

“A key focus for 2024 is to develop that network across Australia,” says Steven.