Ready, Set, Fortis!

"Welcome to Pohorje," Miran Lah, Director of Biomasa Lah, greets us with a big smile on his face upon our arrival to Rogla.

November 18, 2020

The area of Pohorje in northeastern Slovenia, which stretches 50 km long and 20 km wide up to 1600 meters above sea level and attracts with its extensive green forests, peat bogs and lakes, is, so to speak, his second home.

Specialized contractor

Biomasa Lah from Ravne na Koroškem is a company engaged in the purchase, sale and grinding of wood biomass and the harvest and hauling of timber. Miran Lah, who has a love for farming, nature and wood written in his genes, hauls wood biomass from Pohorje forests and slopes with two employees and the help of modern machinery. "We specialize in clearing forests and overgrown areas, rehabilitating windbreaks, thinning forests and removing, grinding and transporting timber according to your wishes," says Lah, who is well aware that only regular forest care ensures proper growth and further quality forest development.

A project in an attractive location

This year, in addition to the existing activities, they accepted an interesting project on Rogla, one of the most important Slovenian winter sports centres, where it was necessary to clear and remove forest wood assortments and hauling residues. "This work at height needs to be completed in just two-and-a-half months - from July to the end of August - and even then, in the middle of summer, unpredictable weather such as fog, heavy rain or even snow can make work difficult," says Lah, who carries out his work with passion and complete devotion. "It’s certainly not an ordinary and everyday job, and it’s not even for everyone, " he adds.

The company sells only abroad

Although interest in wood chips in Slovenia has been increasing in recent years, almost the entire final product is sold abroad. "We sell exclusively to our regular and reliable customers in Austria," says Lah, noting that last season was not optimal. "Because of the mild winter and high temperatures and the consequent poor heating season and the closure of companies as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, this year has been terrible," says Lah, emphasizing that the sale of wood biomass represents their main source of income. They currently have surpluses in the warehouse, and quite a bit of unprocessed material in the field. In addition to forestry, Lah also owns a farm which with 30 hectares of arable land is one of the largest in this predominantly forest-oriented area, and is a service provider for both the agricultural and forestry sectors. Therefore, they do not lack work, but capacity.

A versatile partner

Farmtech is no stranger to him. Last year, he was presented with the opportunity to thoroughly test the Fortis 3000 push-off trailer in the tridem-axle version, and this year the even smaller Fortis 2200 in the tandem-axle version, all in difficult working conditions. "We have to be versatile in the field - meaning well-trained machine operators, foresters, mechanics and more - so we need versatile, robust and reliable machines to work in such conditions," says Lah, adding that he was impressed by both Fortis models. What makes him happiest is that he can bring 50 cubic meters of wood chips into the valley with one transport and unload them quickly and easily.

For the most demanding

"Because of the difficult and unpredictable work in the field, it is invaluable for us to know the home terrain, high level of concentration is required from the driver, and at the same time we have to trust the machine completely," says Lah. And Fortis trailers can be trusted. The durable chassis is resistant to heavy loads. The relatively low centre of gravity and special off-road mobility with a free-moving axle make it easier to maneuver and drive on demanding terrains of Pohorje - from roads and terrain with various slopes. The built-in air suspension, which is electronically controlled from the truck cabin, prevents tilting regardless of the level of load and the type of ground, which further ensures better control and safety at work.

With investment to growth

Compared to competing products, he says clearly, decisively and argumentative, the Fortis - due to its more compact dimensions, the smaller 2200 model suits him better - meets his demands because of its reliability, driving quality, comfort and robustness. "If it weren't for the current unpredictable market conditions, I would probably have already purchased it," says Lah, who still has some minor individual needs, but in principle, this is a machine he desperately wants and needs for everyday use. It is through new investments and capacity increases that Lah wants to further expand his business and market position. "There are almost no more cultivated fields, and there are still plenty of forests, so the potential here is huge," Lah concluded ambitiously and set off on the Pohorje slopes.