Reinhard Stöppler, a forestry business owner from North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, is a man who feels a deep connection to the timber industry. His company is dedicated to all aspects of trees - from traditional logging to modern forestry machinery. The range of his activities includes tree felling, tree maintenance, securing work using dizzying rope-climbing techniques and, last but not least, efficient timber transport by road.
The roots of this forestry company go back to 1920. It began in the classic way that many forestry companies started out. Reinhard's grandfather laid the foundation when he started the company. With horses as loyal work partners, he went into the forest back then and moved the tree trunks with dedication and pride.
The family history continued as Reinhard's father initially worked in agriculture before fully concentrating on forestry. This decision is responsible for today's multi-faceted company dedicated to tree care and preservation.
In 1995, after finishing the forestry school, Reinhard took over the company in the proud third generation. Today, he employs a proud 30 people who dedicate themselves to the care and preservation of the forests every day. The commitment of Reinhard and his team goes beyond mere work - it is a dedication to nature and responsibility for the environment.
As support, he now has the PALFINGER EPSILON TZ15 of the new GENERATION3 at his side and talks about his first experiences in the interview:
Dear Reinhard, how did your passion for the timber industry come about?
I grew up in the timber industry, so it was already clear to me as a child that this was what I wanted to be part of later. Back in the days during summer, all the other children went to camps, but I spent every free minute in the forest with my father. I've always felt right at home there and spent every minute I could. The more technology came along, the more exciting the subject became for me. That's why there was never a right decision for me; it was my passion from the very beginning.
What do you like best about your job and what makes you like to get up every morning?
The challenge every single day motivates me a lot. We have to improvise an insane amount because of our dependence on the weather and nature. Circumstances change almost daily for us. Of course, in the last few years, unfortunately, extremely, because of the beetle wood. Every day is a challenge and I enjoy that very much. I notice that even when I'm on vacation for a week, that I'm missing something. I simply need the challenge.
What fascinates you about the forest in general?
The forest itself is an incredibly beautiful place. You simply feel good in nature itself. Especially if you have respect for trees and nature - with everything that goes with it. It's really fun to be part of it all and to be able to harvest the sustainable raw material there every day. Although this has of course become everyday life for us, I have loved being in the forest since I was a child. To this day, I still feel very much at home in the forest habitat.
How long have you been using EPSILON cranes and why did you choose them back then?
Since we only started wood haulage a few years ago, I bought a used vehicle at the beginning. By chance, there was an EPSILON crane mounted on it. At that time, however, I was already aware that I couldn't go wrong with this purchase. PALFINGER has a name on the market, so I had a good feeling. The vehicle had already been in use for several years at that time and still runs perfectly today. Today we have four EPSILON cranes in use - three short logs and one long log. And now the new GENERATION 3 TZ15 with the COMFORT CAB.
How is PALFINGER EPSILON a help to you in everyday life?
EPSILON is of course a great help for us in our everyday work. It is a reliable tool that is simply at the forefront in terms of quality. It's a lot of fun to work with. We have only been working in wood haulage for about 6 years. We currently have 5 cranes in use. One of these cranes is not an EPSILON, so you can definitely appreciate the difference. Our daily routine is made easier by the PALFINGER EPSILON crane, especially because of the driving comfort - this is a very important point for our drivers. The ease of maintenance and the price-performance ratio are also simply right. However, it has to be right not only for me but above all for the drivers. The crane is very user-friendly, and the new series is of course a highlight thanks to the load-sensing control system.
You had topseats on your earlier models and now a COMFORT CAB? How has the work changed here?
We have now been using the new GENERATION 3 for a few weeks. This is the first time we've opted for a cab and we're very enthusiastic about it, because it makes it much easier for the driver to work in dry conditions in bad weather. At the same time, the issue of occupational safety is very important to me and also to our client. We don't want to be inferior to our competitors, and that's why we decided to make the switch.
How did you decided to go for the new GENERATION 3?
At the beginning, we ordered a new truck and then we were looking for a crane that was also new on the market and available at the same time. I was in close contact with our bodybuilder Janzen and he recommended the new GENERATION 3. When we ordered the new model, it had just been presented at the Interforst trade fair in Munich. Unfortunately, I wasn't there myself, but I already had full confidence in our partner and reserved the new model directly. We really wanted the COMFORT CAB and I was immediately enthusiastic about the new technology. It's also fun to be able to offer the drivers the latest technology and sweetens the working day. 27.09.2023
What are your big goals and how do you see the future in the industry?
The goal for my company is to satisfy and retain the workforce. At the same time, to be able to work economically and to be successful in the long term - and to do this together as a team. That only works if everyone pulls together, and so far that has worked very well in our company. I am very grateful for that and also very happy. For me, being able to continue to work sustainably is also really important. So if we manage to continue our work as we have done in the past decades, we will have already achieved a great deal
ABOUT PALFINGER AG
PALFINGER is an international technology and mechanical engineering company and the world's leading producer and provider of innovative crane and lifting solutions. With around 12,700 employees (without contingent workers.), 30 manufacturing sites and a worldwide sales and service network of around 5,000 service points, PALFINGER creates added value from the challenges of its customers. PALFINGER is consistently continuing on its course as a provider of innovative, complete solutions that deliver increased efficiency and better operability, while leveraging the potential of digitalization along the entire production and value chain.
PALFINGER AG has been listed on the Vienna stock exchange since 1999, and in 2022 achieved record revenue of EUR 2.23 billion.