Nov. 17, 2017 - John Deere has announced a new extended stick boom option for the 800MH-Series tracked harvesters. With a design based on customer feedback, the new extended boom stick offers a longer reach option, enabling operators to minimize the number of cut trails. “With the addition of the extended stick boom option, we are able to meet the needs of customers who require a longer reach, helping them to be more efficient in the woods while meeting local regulations,” said Jim O’Halloran, product marketing manager for John Deere Tracked Harvesters and Feller Bunchers. “With the extended boom, operators are able to harvest larger areas, reducing the frequency of required movement of the machine. This not only benefits the surrounding terrain, but also improves the efficiency of the machine.” Designed for use with smaller attachments, the new extended stick boom option reaches 32.5 feet (9.9 meters). Additionally, the extended option features a narrow boom tip, allowing the operator to reach past standing timber in thinning applications. This also helps operators minimize damage to the trees being harvested. To learn more about the new extended boom stick offering, as well as the John Deere 800MH-Series tracked harvesters, please visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.deere.com/en/tracked-harvesters/.
Nov. 16, 2017 - Tree seeds are of course critical to future forests. Management of high quality seed of known origin is crucial if our future forests are to withstand the impacts of climate change. Despite this, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has decided to close the Ontario Tree Seed Plant (OTSP) in less than a year. Located in Angus (west of Barrie) since 1923, it is a unique facility that is home to expert processing and storage of billions of tree seed. The OTSP is the seed bank for future forests in southern and northern Ontario, managed by 6 expert staff with an annual budget less than $2 million. The shutdown decision came as a surprise - no analysis of other delivery or cost cutting options, and no consultation with clients, stakeholders and the community. Historically, MNR Seed Program staff managed seed for government programs that annually planted over 100 million trees on Crown Land in Northern Ontario, and up to 20 million on private land in Southern Ontario. Those trees became the forests that surround us today. In the mid-90’s, cutbacks saw the MNR reforestation program dismantled. Tree nurseries, established by pioneering foresters Drury and Zavitz in the 1920’s, were closed and sold, and plans made to privatize the Seed Plant. The Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA), working with stakeholders, helped MNR management understand that tree seed expertise was an irreplaceable ecological and social benefit. Even private nurseries advocated for keeping the Seed Plant in public hands. In 1999, MNR leadership reconsidered, and recognized the value of the OTSP’s critically important role in providing genetically adapted native seeds for planting programs. Tree nurseries were able to increase the propagation of locally adapted trees for our cities and countryside. OTSP seed was the foundation for the 50 Million Tree Program in 2007, without it the program could not have been built. The OTSP closure is a game changer - with the potential to be a game ender. The FGCA and Forest Ontario’s grower and planting partners are very concerned. Where will the millions of stored seeds go? Where will next year’s seed crops be processed? Who will monitor seed quality and track seed source? Who will invest in the expertise needed to establish and maintain a long-term seed bank - a critical weapon to fight the impacts of climate change? Dianne Saxe, the Environmental Commissioner recently reported that Ontario’s forests are under increasing stress from climate change. Climate models show that southern Ontario’s trees, adapted to a warmer climate, will be the best source of seed for Northern Ontario before the 22nd century. But many southern forests have been lost to agriculture and development. The remainder face introduced exotic plants, insects and diseases that challenge native trees from regenerating. Given these serious threats, seed management and banking capacity needs to be increased, not stopped. Premier Wynne has shown leadership on climate change - a tremendously complex challenge. And the FGCA knows the best way to manage complex challenges like forest restoration is to make it easier for people to do the right thing. But this short-sighted decision by the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, to abandon seed management and banking, will make it very difficult to ensure the resilience of Ontario’s forest under climate change. There is no future without forests, and no forests without seed. The plan to close the OTSP must be reconsidered.
Nov. 15, 2017 - Canadian Forest Industries Top 10 Under 40 contest is an annual tradition, drawing in nominations from coast-to-coast and recognizing young leaders in forestry. To individually acknowledge each winner and his or her contributions to the forest industry, CFI will feature each of our top 10 winners of 2017 over the next 10 weeks.
Nov. 14, 2017 - Global demand for forestry equipment is forecast to reach $9.2 billion on gains of 4.5 per cent per year, more than four times faster than in the 2011-2016 period. Gains will be driven by the transition from manual to mechanical logging solutions in the developing economies of the Africa/Mideast and Asia/Pacific regions and Latin America, as well as the rise of logging methods, such as cut-to-length, that require more sophisticated (and expensive) forestry equipment in industrialized nations like Canada and Finland. Global Forestry Equipment, 2nd Edition, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm, offers in-depth analysis of these and other trends.Western Europe, the world's largest exporter of forestry equipment, will see its trade surplus increase by $200 million to $1.0 billion in 2021. Factors driving these gains include the reputation of West European forestry equipment suppliers, whose hefty R&D budgets deliver cutting edge products, and the massive scale of their global distribution networks. The Asia/Pacific region, the only other global market with a trade surplus in this industry, will see an increase of $70 million as local producers and foreign multinationals invest heavily in new production capacity and upgrading existing facilities.Felling machinery will see the fastest gains of all product segments through 2021. Demand for felling machinery is projected to rise nearly 5 per cent per year through 2021 as market conditions improve in the US and other mature markets, and logging sector mechanization rates in developing nations increase. Sales of separately sold parts and attachments will rise 4 per cent annually as the global stock of forestry equipment grows and more advanced attachments are developed. In dollar terms, chippers and grinders will experience the fastest growth in the forecast period as global demand for wood pellets as a power plant feedstock rises and the use of on-site processing equipment in developing nations increases.Related studies include: #3539 Global Construction Machinery, 6th Edition (August 2017) #3519 Global Power Tools Market, 9th Edition (May 2017)
Nov. 14, 2017 - A new report by Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), commissioned by the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB), highlights the importance of softwood lumber manufacturing to the U.S. economy and, in particular, the health of rural communities. Through both direct manufacture and via downstream industries that use softwood lumber as a primary input, FEA estimates that 775,674 jobs, with a total payroll of more than $46 billion, are tied to the softwood lumber manufacturing industry.There are currently 509 sawmills operating in 464 mostly rural communities across 32 states.  Softwood lumber’s economic impact extends far beyond the direct sales, employment, and wages of the nation’s lumber mills. In many ways, mills formed microeconomic hubs that generated substantial indirect and induced employment and wages, in the form of the goods and services mills purchased for their operations, and the goods, materials, and services workers bought using their incomes, including through investment in housing. Because most mills are in rural areas with limited alternative employment opportunities, these jobs are of particular importance to state and regional economies.  When tabulating these, softwood lumber’s total direct impact in 2016 was 208,107 jobs and $11.35 billion in wages. Many would be surprised to learn that the softwood lumber industry employs more people than oil and gas extraction (181,430 jobs) or primary steel manufacturing (140,200 jobs).FEA also assessed the economic impacts of seven downstream industries that rely heavily on lumber as a primary input in their operations, including the manufacture of trusses, windows, doors, millwork, wood containers, and pallets; wood preservation; wood remanufacturing; and the lumber wholesale trade. Together these industries accounted for 567,567 indirect &induced jobs, with annual wages of $34.93 billion.The Softwood Lumber Board’s role is to strengthen and diversify the demand for softwood lumber.  Over the last five years the SLB has contributed to increasing demand by 2.59 billion board feet.  The SLB’s impact has grown each year, creating 906 million board feet of increased demand in 2016 alone.  The SLB supports the market by supporting strong and safe building codes for wood, inspiring and educating architects and engineers on the benefits of wood construction, promoting the benefits of softwood lumber products in and around the home, and pursuing new markets for softwood lumber such as mass timber, mid-rise and tall wood construction.FEA’s findings confirm the importance of the SLB’s efforts to safeguard and increase softwood lumber’s market share, as literally tens of thousands of families in hundreds of different communities rely on a healthy, strong softwood lumber industry.
Nov. 8, 2017 - Western Forest Products Inc. announced on Tuesday the closure of its Englewood logging train. This announcement is consistent with the company's ongoing efforts to reduce costs and strengthen its competitiveness. Logs will be transported by truck at a lower cost to create efficiencies in the transportation of logs to its mills from northern Vancouver Island forestry operations.At peak operations, the train employed 34 people. As a result of the closure of the train, these positions will be eliminated. The company will work with its employees and union representatives to identify opportunities for the impacted employees to transition to other positions within its operations. Accordingly, the reduction in overall jobs is anticipated to be fewer than 15. As always, the company is committed to work with its employees in a fair and equitable manner.Western employs over 3,500 employees and contractors on the coast, of which 600 are directly employed on northern Vancouver Island. Western remains focused on ensuring the safe, competitive, long-term viability of its operations for the benefit of its employees, shareholders, and the communities in which it operates.
Nov. 7, 2017 - The Barko 270B processor is purpose-built for its application, providing several performance advantages over equipment commonly used for processing jobs. Offering exceptional horsepower, swing torque and tractive effort, the 270B features a dangle head boom configuration for picking, delimbing, cut-to-length harvesting, and stacking. Powered by a 225-horsepower Cummins Tier 4 Final diesel engine with SCR aftertreatment, the 270B offers excellent fuel economy and features large fuel and DEF tanks for longer job cycles between refills. A 36-inch-diameter auto reversing fan with automatic blade pitch control further optimizes engine efficiency. The hydraulic system on the 270B is designed to keep power constantly available, allowing operators to instantaneously shift from function to function without any of the delayed reactions common with the hydraulics on other machines. Responsive IQAN controls are customized to provide programmable settings for individual operators, along with machine diagnostics and troubleshooting. The processor features load sensing hydraulics to automatically adjust performance according to the load. High pressure and high flow contribute to delivering more hydraulic horsepower to the attachment, while a dedicated attachment pump runs the attachment without robbing power from the machine for other functions. Dual swing drives provide continuous rotation and high swing torque of 58,384 ft-lbf. Bare pin maximum lift capacity is 31,150 pounds. The 270B provides firm, stable footing thanks to long tracks measuring 15 feet, 2 inches, along with a D7 undercarriage that offers ground clearance of 29.5 inches, an overall width of 11 feet, 5.5 inches, and max travel speed of 2.9 mph. The unit delivers exceptional drawbar pull of 66,700 foot-pounds to handle hills and rough terrain with ease. Side door entry provides easy access to the comfortable cab, which offers excellent visibility of the working area. Operator ergonomics are enhanced by a heated air-ride seat, cup holder, dome light, and radio with MP3 auxiliary, AM/FM/WB, USB, XM-ready and Bluetooth. A 1.25-inch polycarbonate window and 8 exterior LED lights provide added safety. The 270B is designed to provide ample storage space, including a storage tray, two storage areas on the door, space for a lunch box inside the cab, and two additional storage areas outside the cab. Attachments can fold completely under the processor, keeping the unit compact and easy to transport on the road. A forward-sliding design allows the cab to move up to 36 inches for easier machine servicing. Additionally, a large, hydraulically-operated gull swing door offers direct access to the engine compartment and hydraulic components. The gull wing serves as a convenient working platform and includes a slip-resistant walking surface. An optional Proheat system is available to warm the engine, fuel tank and hydraulic tank in cold weather. Other performance and service options include a high pressure hydraulic filter for attachments, automatic fire suppression system, hydraulic tank vacuum pump, electric fill pump, boom lights, and various track shoe sizes and styles. Cab options include a rear-view camera with 7-inch display, CB radio, window reinforcement bars, oversized skylight, window shades and cab lights. Barko Hydraulics, LLC is part of the Pettibone, LLC Heavy Equipment Group. Founded in 1963, Barko has consistently led the industry with innovative solutions to the forestry, scrap and construction markets, including industrial tractors, crawlers, handlers, loaders, forwarders, chippers and harvesters. For more information, call 715-395-6700 or visit www.barko.com.
Nov. 7, 2017 - The John Deere 900M-Series Tracked Feller Bunchers and 900MH-Series Harvesters are now equipped with Final Tier 4 (FT4) engines, offering fuel and fluid-efficient machines without sacrificing power and performance. John Deere's FT4 technology offers a diesel particulate filter (DPF) solution that is known for its ability to reduce the dependency of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Built on decades of John Deere engine experience and millions of hours of FT4 runtime, the 900M-Series and 900MH-Series machines deliver premium performance, optimum fluid efficiency, increased reliability and economical operating costs. “Out in the woods, machine productivity and uptime are crucial to business success. Our FT4 engine and emission solutions have been rigorously tested and in the most extreme applications, loggers can be confident that their tracked feller buncher or harvester can withstand even the most challenging conditions,” said Jim O'Halloran, product marketing manager for John Deere. “As a proven partner offering the most comprehensive solutions in the industry, John Deere is proud to offer loggers a powerful, reliable machine that meets current and future emissions standards.” With the required emissions change, John Deere FT4 engines maintain power density, torque, and transient response – which results in productivity, uptime, and more value for your machines. In addition to excellent fuel economy, the design of the engine after-treatment system results in exceptionally low Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) usage. “DEF usage has become a real input into the planning and cost of the overall equipment operation,” says O’Halloran. “We have to talk about overall fluid economy now, and if you use less fluid, there is less handling and storage requirements. It’s a real positive factor in the efficiency and overall bottom line of our customers.” John Deere has also made changes to the machine line-up, and improving the structure, design and horsepower on select machines. John Deere offers three 900M-Series tracked feller buncher models, the 903M, 953M flat bottom and 959M leveling machines, as well as two 900MH-Series harvesters, the 953MH flat bottom and 959MH leveling machines. All of the 900M-Series and 900MH-Series machines feature a redesigned engine enclosure, improving structural strength while maintaining the excellent serviceability that John Deere machines are known for. In addition to all of the 900M-Series and 900MH-Series machines now boasting 330 horsepower, the 959M Feller Buncher and 959MH Harvester continue to have best in class leveling envelope, maximizing operator comfort and performance requirements in demanding steep slope logging applications. Other updates include an improved LED work lighting option, and the expansion of the Disc Saw Felling Head option availability. This includes the 22-inch felling head, which is now available for all of the 900M-Series tracked feller bunchers. The John Deere M-Series and MH-Series machines are available with JDLink™ five years in base. JDLink remotely connects owners and managers to their machines and dealers, providing alerts and machine information to better manage where and how equipment is used. To learn more about the John Deere 900M-Series Tracked Feller Bunchers and 900MH-Series Tracked Harvester, visit your local John Deere dealer or www.johndeere.com.  
Nov. 6, 2017 - Caterpillar has announced the launch of the Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader with two models, the Cat 559D and 579D. The new loaders, which meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards, provide increased reliability and durability along with greater customer value in performance, comfort, and serviceability. The new models are manufactured in LaGrange, Georgia. “We have built on the superior performance of the Cat C Series and taken the Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader to a new level,” said Caterpillar product specialist Blake Vaughn. “The D Series puts industry-leading hydraulic multi-functioning productivity in the hands of loggers.” The Cat Tier 4 Final C4.4 ACERT engine provides equivalent horsepower as the previous series (rated at 173 hp or 129.5 kW) while minimizing overall fluid consumption. The engine is equipped with a combination of proven electronic, fuel, air, and after-treatment components to provide high levels of productivity, efficiency, reliability, and service life. An automatic idle feature with multiple settings minimizes fuel consumption when the loader is on standby and not actively working. “With its high torque characteristics and impressive transient response performance, the Cat C4.4 engine is ideal for the work of tough delimbing and loading applications,” Vaughn said. Twin, fixed-geometry, waste-gated turbochargers enable maximum turbo performance to improve productivity, fuel efficiency, and engine life while reducing operating costs. The Cat C4.4 ACERT engine has exceptional cooling capability with a large side-by-side engine coolant, hydraulic, and charge air cooling package. Coarse fin spacing lets outside debris pass through and efficiently dissipates heat. Individually isolated cooling cores eliminate core-to-core thermal stresses, increasing durability. The large diameter variable speed fan is electronically controlled to provide cooling only as required, reducing noise levels and fuel consumption. The purpose-built negative flow hydraulic system is at the core of the D Series to provide continuous, reliable, responsive control. The operator can lift, swing, and rotate the grapple simultaneously without sacrificing performance.“With excellent hydraulic speed, substantial lift capacity, and impressive swing torque, the D Series provides operating versatility,” said Vaughn. “It can handle small stems from first thinnings, loading heavy, mature pine, or delimbing those large gnarly hardwoods.” The new Cat GLK Series Grapples are available in two models, the GLK55 and GLK48. Reliability improvements over the previous model include optimized hose routings and larger pins and bushings to increase durability. Both models include cylinder hold valves as standard and are available in the following configurations for delimbing and loading applications: ●      Tapered Wedge (TW) or Straight Narrow (SN) Jaw Configurations ●      2 Port or 3 Port Hydraulic Swivel (Grapple Saw Ready) Caterpillar offers a delimber/slasher package that is a complete factory-installed timber merchandising system featuring loader and grapple, trailer with trailer-mounted delimber, and ground saw slasher connections. The new Cat DLK426 four-knife delimber makes for easy loading of trees, fast delimbing, and producing clean stems. Integrated safety features of the Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader range from a robust step system with two handrails, heavy-duty front window guard, stabilizer movement alarm and pilot enable alarm, anti-skid plates, and more. The cab will keep the operator working safely and productively all day. Other features that contribute to market-leading comfort and reduce fatigue include the smooth hydraulic controls and superior balance, high-capacity HVAC system, high back comfort seat, and the quiet, spacious cab. “We know it’s important to keep the operator comfortable in order to maintain productivity throughout the day,” Vaughn said. “The D Series Knuckleboom Loader cab was designed strategically and built with loggers in mind.” Other amenities for the operator include cupped, adjustable arm rests for better support, sound-dampening insulation, storage trays to eliminate clutter, and factory-installed mounting bracket and other accessories for a CB radio. Satellite radio and auxiliary audio port for MP3 players are standard. The loader has three operating modes to meet various requirements for production and fuel consumption. Hydraulic flow is managed automatically and increases in each mode by adjusting the horsepower load on the engine. Each operating mode provides superior multi-function ability, function response, control, and fast cycle times. The upper and lower structures are robust, built to last for rugged applications. The upper frame includes cross plate head-side reinforcements for severe delimbing applications while the lower frame includes a large bearing ring to support the upper frame swing bearing. The Cat D Series Knuckleboom Loader is easy to service and maintain. Engine, fuel, pilot, and case drain filters are accessible at ground level. A standard on-board service hose and electric fill pump makes it easy and safe to service the hydraulic oil. Product Link, the remote monitoring solution that enables efficient and effective fleet management, is standard. Caterpillar customers are supported by the industry’s largest network of dealers who will keep them up and running with parts availability, field services, state-of-the art diagnostic programs, remote monitoring, and more. For more information, contact your nearest Cat dealer or go to www.cat.com/forestry.Caterpillar Forest Products is a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of timber harvesting, millyard, road-building and land management equipment. Products are marketed under the Cat, Prentice and CTR brand names through a global independent dealer network. Caterpillar Forest Products is a unit of Cat Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com. For more information on Cat products, visit www.cat.com 
Nov. 3, 2017 - Morbark, LLC announced Thursday it had completed the acquisition of Rayco Manufacturing, Inc. This transaction represents the first addition since affiliates of the private equity firm Stellex Capital Management LP acquired Morbark in 2016. The purchase of Rayco represents a significant move towards the Company’s strategic focus on broadening the range of tree care and industrial equipment, aftermarket parts, and service offered to their customers.Rayco was founded in 1978 in Wooster, Ohio, by John M. Bowling, who as the owner of a tree care service identified the unique needs of the tree and landscape industry and began to build equipment to meet and surpass those needs. Today the company is dedicated to the design and production of an incredibly innovative line of environmental equipment. The current range of Rayco products includes: stump cutters, crawler trucks, forestry mulchers, multi-tool carriers, and attachments, brush chippers and the all-new AT71 aerial trimmer.John Bowling, Chief Executive Officer of Rayco, stated, “Our family is very proud of the legacy we have established and nurtured over the past 39 years. As a family-run and -owned business, we view today’s transaction as an opportunity to continue growing our business while joining an even larger family.”Dave Herr, Chief Executive Officer of Morbark, commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Rayco to the Morbark portfolio of companies. Rayco is a company that our senior management team has admired for a long time. We value the long-standing success of Rayco and are committed to providing the Bowling family and their dedicated employees the resources they need to continue the success they have built.”Transaction highlights:The transaction is a positive, strategic fit for both companies. Rayco brings a lineup of innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories. In particular, Rayco stump cutters, aerial trimmers, forestry mulchers and crawler trucks will enhance and complement the existing Morbark family of products.Rayco founder, John Bowling, will continue his work with the team to develop new products and help improve the company’s existing product lines. He will continue to have an economic interest in the combined business and will be a member of Morbark’s Board of Directors.Morbark will operate Rayco as a new division maintaining its brand identity. Rayco’s experienced management team will continue to manage their operations. Teams from each company will work together to determine how to be more efficient and leverage each other’s strengths.Herr continued, “Rayco has a well-deserved reputation for providing customers with the equipment and service they demand and the value they deserve. That product innovation and dedication will continue without interruption. We are excited by what we can bring to Rayco in the way of our experiences, our dealer network and products to complement current Rayco equipment owners.”Morbark, LLC, based in Winn, Mich., has been innovating and manufacturing durable, high-performance equipment for forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill and biomass markets for more than 60 years. Morbark equipment helps customers harvest, process and convert wood and other organic waste materials into valuable, useful and profitable products. The Company produces a full line of whole tree and waste wood chippers, flails, brush chippers, horizontal and tub grinders, sawmill equipment, material handling systems and more. For more information, please visit www.morbark.com. Since 1978, Rayco has been one of the most recognizable brands in environmental, forestry, landscaping, and construction equipment. Rayco’s line of stump cutters, horizontal grinders, brush chippers, forestry mulchers, and rubber crawler trucks feature innovative designs and a range of options to suit any-sized job and budget, from landscaping to major construction projects. Rayco equipment is engineered and manufactured in Wooster, Ohio, and sold through an international dealer network offering equipment sales, rentals, parts, and accessories, including warranty and technical support. For more information, please visit www.raycomfg.com. Stellex is a private equity manager that invests in and oversees the US and European corporate assets. Stellex’s focus is on middle-market companies going through business or industry transitions, as well as special situation opportunities. Stellex seeks to identify and deploy capital in opportunities that have the potential to provide stability, improvement, and growth for its portfolio companies.
Oct. 30, 2017 - This month, the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) held their first annual Forestry Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park. OFIA staff and Board Directors met with several Ministers and Members of Provincial Parliament from the Liberal, Progressive Conservative (PC) and New Democratic Party (NDP) Caucuses. During these meetings, OFIA and its members, presented Provincial officials with their 2018 pre-budget submission. The OFIA submission outlines how Ontario can develop a Provincial forest strategy that accepts and embraces the sustainable use of Ontario’s forests. (To read OFIA’s 2018 Pre-Budget Submission, please visit: www.ofia.com). For generations, OFIA’s member companies have been putting Ontario’s wood to work responsibly, growing local economies by harvesting and growing trees. “On OFIA’s Forestry Advocacy Day, and every day, we want to acknowledge the vital role that forestry plays in our communities across every region of Ontario and for those 57,000 men and women directly employed by the sector,” OFIA president and chief executive officer Jamie Lim said. “We have presented the challenges in forestry in Ontario, provided a path full of opportunities to grow the sector, and now we look forward to working with all three parties to make Ontario’s forest sector stronger.” During OFIA’s Forestry Advocacy Day, OFIA and its members spoke to the three provincial parties and encouraged the establishment of a provincial forest strategy for Ontario. All three parties acknowledged that Ontario harvests so little of its Crown forests – less than 0.5 per cent – and yet the benefits are so great in a sector that generates $15.5 billion of economic activity and provides well-paying jobs for 172,000 people in every region of the province. Erik Holmstrom, chair of OFIA and Ontario timberlands manager for Weyerhaeuser noted, “Our businesses run and prosper on certainty, yet for Ontario’s forestry community, consistent access to affordable wood in Ontario continues to be uncertain. The sustainable use of our renewable Crown forests results in well-paying jobs and a wide range of social and economic benefits. As members of OFIA, we are grateful for the opportunity to be at Queen’s Park speaking to the people involved in making decisions that affect our livelihoods.” OFIA believes that by working with government and affected stakeholders to address key competitive challenges, we can make Ontario’s forest sector stronger, maximizing the full potential of Ontario’s renewable resource, create good paying jobs and assist the province in transitioning to a low carbon economy that will support sustainable growth for future generations. Ontario’s renewable forest products sector supports over 172,000 direct and indirect jobs in 260 Ontario communities. Since 1943, the Ontario Forest Industries Association has represented forestry companies ranging from multinational corporations to family operated businesses producing advanced manufactured products and technologies. OFIA believes that by working with government to address key competitive issues, secure long-term access to affordable and accessible fibre and promote the province’s 21st century forest products sector, Ontario will be the number one jurisdiction in Canada for today’s green and growing renewable sector. To learn more about OFIA and its innovative forestry members, follow us on Twitter @OFIA_info, or visit www.ofia.com 
Oct. 30, 2017 - With the launch of its new tire look-up mobile app, the Alliance Tire Group (ATG) reaffirmed its commitment to make doing business with the swiftly-growing global manufacturer easier than ever, said Barry Clifford, manager of marketing communication at Alliance Tire Americas, Inc.“In the last year, we’ve launched our Warranty Wizard app, upgraded our corporate website, and revamped our online ordering system, and now we’re launching our tire look-up app,” Clifford said. “It’s part of our effort to make sure ATG’s dealers, customers and OEMs have the fastest access to our services and the best, most updated information about our tires right at their fingertips.”The easy-to-use ATG Tire mobile application gives users access to detailed technical specifications for the company’s extensive lineup of Alliance, Galaxy and Primex brand tires. Intuitive and user-friendly, users can search the new app by tire size, machine application, and industry segment (Agriculture, Construction, Forestry, etc.). Results include detailed load and pressure tables.According to Clifford, the app has all the information ATG customers will need to drill down to the best tire for any job from among the company’s more than 2,000 SKUs.“Not sure about which tire will be best your specific needs? Ask the app!” he says. “Are you looking for the air pressure that will minimize soil compaction for your load? Here you go!”In addition to its tire look-up features, the app allows users to stay updated with new products, save items to a “wish list,” or email tire information directly from inside the app.The ATG Tire mobile app is available for free download and can be found by searching for “ATG Tire” on the Google Play and iTunes platforms.Alliance Tire Americas, Inc. (ATA) is the American sales and marketing arm of the Alliance Tire Group (ATG), a global leader in agricultural, logging and other off-the-road (OTR) tires. The company’s Alliance, Galaxy, and Primex brands have earned global reputations for excellence and performance. Alliance Tire Americas is also the sole U.S. distributor for Aeolus truck, bus and OTR tires, and also markets its own Constellation brand of truck tires.With its US-based field engineering, R&D, sales and customer service staff, ATA is in the field every day, solving problems and creating new tires to help farmers, contractors, loggers, and truckers get the most out of their machinery.For more information on Alliance, Galaxy and Primex tires, visit www.atgtire.com. 
Nov. 17, 2017 - WorkSafeBC said it is upholding its decision to impose more tha $1 million worth of penalties against Babine Forest Products for a major explosion and fire at its Burns Lake sawmill in 2012.The explosion killed two people and injured more than 20 others.WorkSafeBC determined the cause of the explosion and fire to be wood dust. Read the full story by the Prince George Citizen. 
Nov. 17, 2017 - Tolko Industries Ltd. said it is committed to rebuilding its Lakeview mill in Williams Lake, B.C. after it was damaged by fire.
Nov. 17, 2017 - Eastern Canada’s first continuous kiln has found a welcome home in Timmins, Ont., at EACOM Timber Corporation’s sawmill operation. Mill manager Marc Fleury says the kiln has removed a bottleneck in the mill’s production.
Nov. 6, 2017 - Tolko Industry Ltd's Lakeview Mill in William's Lake, B.C. was shutdown over the weekend after a fire broke out at the sawmill on Thursday. The fire was declared officially extinguished on Friday. There were no injuries.Tolko said in a release on Friday that structural engineers were to be on site assessing the fire damage on Saturday. "When we have a better understanding of the impact, we can begin to develop a recovery plan to return the sawmill to full operations," Tolko said.A Tolko representative told CFI on Monday afternoon EST that efforts are still underway to get operations back in order and to get the planer running again.
Oct. 25, 2017 - Veteran custom cutter and log broker Dave Chalmers has more than 25 years of experience eyeing up freshly cut logs, shaking hands and making cuts.
Oct. 24, 2017 - In my last column (May/June issue), I gave folks a bit of my back-story: how I managed to go from a production level grunt to the prestigious role of master and commander, all-knowing demi-god of the saw shop kingdom. That’s at least how I see myself. Or how I used to see myself . . . maybe that’s how others see me? At any rate, I seem to be the first one they ask, and the last one they tell.
Oct. 23, 2017 - CFI has a rundown of new kiln technology for drying Canadian lumber.
Oct. 23, 2017 - So you want to be a filer? Well, you’ve done the hard part and passed your pre-apprenticeship exam and secured your spot in the filing room. Now it’s time to learn the trade. Most of what you need to know will be taught in school and by your fellow filers, but here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to get you started.
Oct. 13, 2017 - To further secure the supply of quality fibre for Québec sawmills and processors, Solifor continues its expansion outside Québec with the acquisition of Ste-Aurelie Timberlands, a 24,910-hectare forest property in Maine. The $36 million deal is Solifor's second outside Québec, bringing its out-of-province investments to $65 million.Located at the border of Maine and Québec, this property, subject to forest management, is characterized by a mixed forest cover (coniferous and hardwood) and is in full development. The territory's main customers and users are Québec companies, including Maibec and Groupe Lebel. Transportation being an important cost for Québec sawmills, this transaction will contribute to a better bottom line. "By prioritizing forestry as a sector of excellence, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is showing its clear support for this vital industry and its 160,000 workers," said Janie Béïque, senior vice-president of Natural Resources, Industries, Entertainment and Consumer Goods at Fonds de solidarité FTQ. "This second investment in Maine offers an innovative solution for our forest industry and will drive job creation and preservation here at home." An initiative of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Solifor has invested $200 million to date to acquire 153,000 hectares of forest land in Québec, more specifically, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lotbinière, Charlevoix, Saguenay, Portneuf, Mauricie and Abitibi regions, as well as 46,000 hectares in Maine, near the Québec border."Solifor is planning other acquisitions to further secure the fibre supply for Québec companies, making it a partner of choice for the Québec forestry industry," said Solifor president Raynald Arial. It will be recalled that Québec's forest industry is one of the province's four economic sectors of excellence prioritized by the Fonds in its strategic planning.
Oct. 5, 2017 - Cardinal Equipment of Angliers, Que., announced on Wednesday its acquisition of Lanoraie, Quebec-based Sawquip International. Founded in 1988, Sawquip International designs and manufactures sawmill equipment. Cardinal Equipment specializes in designing, manufacturing and distributing equipment destined to sawmills, forestry, recycling and biomass processing. The company has been in operation since 1980."Sawquip International has an enviable reputation in matters of equipment quality," said Cardinal Equipment president Pascal Labranche. "Its products are complementary to the range of products offered or manufactured by Cardinal Equipment."Sawquip International president Eddy Ste-Croix said it was very important that this transaction be beneficial for his company. This transaction will also be beneficial for the clients, as Ste-Croix will remain in position for the next year, in order to assure the transitional period between the two administrations."The entrepreneurial values of Cardinal Equipment are the same as the ones in place at Sawquip International. I am convinced that this transaction will be good for our clients, as they will profit from the structure already being established at Cardinal Equipment," Ste-Croix said.Cardinal Equipment's sales manager Karie Bernèche said Cardinal's sales department will add the new range of Sawquip products to its catalog.Sawquip's clients will continue to obtain service at the current location, and Cardinal plans to maintain the existing jobs at Lanoraie.
Oct. 4, 2017 - White River Forest Products is pleased to report that its donation of lumber has arrived in Houston to assist in the rebuilding of 111 Habitat for Humanity homes that were affected by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August.The community-based Northern Ontario lumber mill quietly took on the challenge laid down by Resolute Forest Products, who donated a rail-car of lumber after Hurricane Harvey and asked other lumber manufacturers to follow suit. Frank Dottori, CEO of White River Forest Products (WRFP), spurred his team to mobilize and send over $20,000 worth of 8 foot 2×4 lumber to Houston to help rebuild.Bob Schlaegel, a shareholder of WRFP, and the owner of Bedrock Logistics, based in Houston, donated the shipping, noting that he had family who were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey and was aware of the challenges of rebuilding. Bob Giroux, of Soanbert, WRFP’s marketing agent, contributed logistics and organized the transaction.“When you put yourself in their shoes, it doesn’t take long to realize what you have to do,” said Dottori. “We’re proud of our product, and we wanted to help, so we made it happen…we hope this will turn up the pressure on other lumber companies to follow suit to help the people affected by Mother Nature’s rampages on both coasts, in Florida and in Houston, alike.”   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriac2a00f8cbc  Houston Habitat for Humanity is still in the process of gutting many of the homes flooded and destroyed by Harvey. Rebuilding should begin in a few weeks.“This has been a very emotional time for many Houstonians and this donation of lumber will truly help raise spirits along with going straight to the affected areas,” wrote Matt Murphy, ReStore manager, Houston Habitat for Humanity, in an email to the company. “Many are donating on a national level, which is great, but it is the donations going straight to the local level that have the fastest and largest effect. The city is coming back strong and we couldn’t do it without great partners like [White River Forest Products]. We sincerely thank you and everyone involved on this incredible donation of lumber.”White River Forest Products (WRFP) is a community-based lumber mill that is owned by private investors, Pic Mobert First Nations and the White River Economic Development Corporation. WRFP is located in Northwestern Ontario in White River. WRFP reopened the mill formerly shuttered by Domtar in 2013, and now employs over 140 people. The goal of CEO Frank Dottori, who is also the founder and retired CEO of Canadian forestry giant Tembec, is to make WRFP one of the most efficient mills in North America. A multi-million dollar re-investment program is ongoing and the company is hiring.
Oct. 3, 2017 - Quebec-based timber drying company Secovac has partnered with KBI to launch their Kiln Booster system in Western Canada and the USA. Secovac launched a year ago their innovative drying technology in Eastern Canada, mainly Quebec, and already has 10 installations. The Kiln Booster system (patent-pending technology) is supported by multiple field tests that demonstrate that the system accelerates the drying of the lumber, improves quality of the dried lumber, and is cost-saving for the mills. The Kiln Booster system maximizes heat transfer within the dry kiln to enable low temperature drying while reducing the drying time of traditional high temperature drying schedules by up to 25 per cent. A lower drying temperature means radically less drying defects resulting in a higher percentage of premium and MSR grades lumber as well as an increase in the productivity of the planner. The Kiln Booster system is easily installed on existing kilns and integrates seamlessly with current control systems. As part of the launch, KBI will be offering a promotional free 30-day trial* of the Kiln Booster system to mills interested in purchasing the technology. *Installation costs included. Some conditions may apply. For more information about the Kiln Booster system, please visit www.kilnbooster.com.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Henco Viljoen, co-owner of Timbersoft in South Africa, is passionate about timber drying. He inherited this passion from his father, mentor, and co-partner, Johan Viljoen. Together they have developed customized drying systems for fine tuning, improving, and upgrading kilns. The result? Their client sawmills in South Africa are now generating greater productivity, higher quality products, and increased profits. “Our main business is optimizing the drying process,” says the younger Viljoen, who works from Sedgefield in the Garden Route section of the Western Cape. “Our strong suit is my father’s 50+ years hands-on knowledge, not only of drying, but the sawmilling industry as a whole, and my 20-year wood technology/IT automation background.” When Johan retired from milling in 2005, he decided to use his hands-on approach in helping other mills to improve their kiln drying. But he quickly discovered a problem – mills were now very technology driven, using computers, PLC and SCADA interfaces. He soon realized that processes happen behind the scenes in software code that he had no control over. This is where Henco got involved. With his IT knowledge, the Viljoens installed their first PLC/SCADA based kiln controller in late 2005. Installations and upgrades followed at regular intervals. The client base grew, and by 2013 Henco joined Timbersoft on a full-time basis after a career in IT and automation. In 2013, Henco started a small research project where he combined solar and heat pump technologies with their PLC and SCADA system to dry hardwoods “smokeless without a boiler.” The kiln dried Eucalyptus boards, which normally dry in four weeks, dried in less than two weeks. This technology opened up many more advancements, including the development of smoke/boiler free drying and ISPM15 heat treatment systems. “It also allowed me to make an in-depth study of the drying process, dynamics, and controls, enabling me to really improve our drying system by leaps and bounds. We used Johan’s vent cycle approach and developed a dynamic, self-adjusting schedule. “Although not yet 100% foolproof, we are very close. The system keeps improving. The goal is to leave the operator with only a start button…the program does the rest and stops at target moisture content (MC%). The operator won’t have to make any decisions,” Viljoen remarks. Since Henco joined the company full time, the business has grown by more than 300 percent and is still growing. Kilns running their system are currently drying about 300,000 cubic meters annually and are expected to increase to 400,000 cubic meters by the end of 2017. Measuring Moisture Moisture measurement is an integral link in the drying management chain -- and forms part of Timbersoft’s Process control. For that very important reason, Timbersoft relies upon moisture measurement. Viljoen says a moisture meter in the hands of a kiln operator is like a calculator or Excel spreadsheet in the hands of an accountant. Neither can go without it. Viljoen personally uses a Wagner L606 handheld meter to measure moisture in the kilns because of its speed, accuracy, dependability, consistency, and ease of use. Many of his clients use Wagner’s MMC220, L612 and L622 models, and the L722 stack probe for exactly these reasons. “The Wagner brand is very big in South Africa sawmilling with good reason. If you think capacitance moisture meter, Wagner is the first name that comes to mind. Even in student literature used by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Wood Technology course, the Wagner is used as an example of a capacitance meter,” Viljoen says. “You don’t hear of a Wagner meter that just stopped working,” he adds. While in-kiln moisture meters are important in achieving excellent results, Viljoen believes that MC alone should not be used as the only guide to where the schedule should be. However, for stopping at a desired final MC, it cannot be beaten. “The way the moisture evaporation rate in the timber reacts to a set point should be taken into consideration. This can be seen by observing how your vents react to a set point, but only when preparation, process control, and maintenance remain constant. “If you have the in-kiln moisture measuring facility AND you know how to interpret all the information your kiln controller is giving you, then you are on the road to becoming the best kiln operator a boss could ask for,” Viljoen declares. Photos by Tony Morgan, Wagner Meters. Photos by Tony Morgan, Wagner Meters.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriace882e14ec High-Tech Advisory Because the Viljoen team is highly knowledgeable about using technology to dry timber, Timbersoft has achieved exceptional success. However, he cautions that operators who do not know how to interpret the information provided by high-tech systems can block improvements. “A kiln operator should be more skilled than just able to see the dry bulb is running low (call the boiler room), or the wet bulb is running high (fix water issue/check probe), or the in-kiln target MC% is reached (pull the timber),” he declares. The new high-tech systems have made kiln drying more graphic, and for a good operator with a clear understanding of these systems, it should be considerably easier. But for operators who lack this understanding, Viljoen says the ease of changing multiple variables can and has been catastrophic. “Kiln operators who use high-tech systems should never make more changes to a schedule than what they can accurately identify the outcome of,” he remarks. “Make a study of your kiln controller. Don’t just accept everything it presents you with. Try to figure out the logic it’s applying. More often than not, the programmer has no idea what kiln drying is about. The same applies to the kiln expert – he/she often has very little idea what programming is about. The operator needs to ask questions because the more he knows and understands, the more he’ll realize how little he knew when he started,” he adds. Kiln Drying Management Viljoen says there are five points of drying management. If one of the first three changes, then the schedule optimization is affected. The first three points include preparation, process control, and maintenance. Preparation involves sawing accuracy, board dimension, and stacking procedures. Process Control involves airflow, energy distribution and management, humidity control, and venting. While maintenance involves electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, and structure. “When any of those three changes, it affects the dynamics of the kiln. This affects the rate at which moisture leaves the timber – meaning that the MC is not yet where it’s supposed to be at that stage in drying. “A MC-based schedule is more forgiving, as it is supposed to only progress to the next stage of drying when a certain MC is reached. A standard time-based schedule, however, won’t know what to do. This is why it’s of utmost importance that a kiln operator spots these abnormalities on the process graph and have the authority to stop the kiln and have it fixed,” Viljoen says. Achieving Higher Profitability Quality control is essential for production yield and profitability. And one of the key factors in a good quality control program is moisture management. Inaccurate readings can lead to delays, low yields, and poor grade inspections. That’s why Timbersoft considers kiln moisture monitoring, using the Wagner moisture meters, to be part of their overall success. Timbersoft has many successful client case studies as proof of its customized approach to kiln moisture management. Learn more at www.tskilns.co.za. And, learn more about Wagner’s wood moisture measurement solutions at https://www.wagnermeters.com. Tony Morgan is a senior technician for Wagner Meters, where he serves on a team for product testing, development, and also customer service and training for moisture measurement products. Along with 19 years field experience for a number of electronics companies, Tony holds a B.A. in Management and his AAS in Electronics Technology. Call Wagner Meters today at (800) 634-9961 and ask for Tony, or visit www.wagnermeters.com.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Nestled in between the forests of Kenora, Ont. is Weyerhaeuser’s Kenora TimberStrand, a 10.5-acre engineered wood products facility that resides on a 65-hectare site. This plant is the base of operations for the production of the company’s TimberStrand Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) products, which include wall framing, rimboard, concrete forms, columns and headers and beams.
Oct. 11, 2017 - Do you remember the last time you ate a popsicle? There is a good chance that you were holding on to your icy treat with a wooden stick produced by Quebec company John Lewis Industries. John Lewis provides the vast majority of popsicle sticks to food companies throughout North America.
Oct. 5, 2017 - American pallet manufacturer PalletOne, Inc. ("PalletOne"), announced its purchase of North East Texas Pallet, a pallet manufacturer located in Clarksville, Texas."I am happy to join the PalletOne team," said former owner Lance Downs. "The company's national presence provides many growth opportunities for the Clarksville operation." PalletOne chief executive officer Howe Wallace said, "We are excited to expand our market share in Texas. This acquisition enhances our operational efficiency and customer service. We are proud to have such a capable group of managers and employees join our team and excited Lance will continue with the company as a part of our leadership team."Founded in 1989, North East Texas Pallet primarily served customers in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Kansas. Producing over 100 truckloads weekly, the Clarksville facility manufactures standard, block and export pallets.Organized in 2001 from predecessor companies, PalletOne now operates 17 locations in 9 states and manufactures new pallets, repairs and recycles used pallets and produces a variety of other wood products.PalletOne's operations include Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation, one of the largest producers of pressure-treated lumber and residential fencing in the Southeast. Sunbelt operates four plants in Florida and Alabama.The combined operations of PalletOne processes more than 500 million board feet of lumber annually and employs more than 1,500 people at 21 locations.
Sept. 15, 2017 - Representatives at WOODRISE 2017, the 1st world congress dedicated to midrise and tall wood buildings taking place in Bordeaux, France, will make a formal call to take one step closer toward carbon neutrality by strengthening the share of wood used in building construction.
Sept. 14, 2017 - WOODRISE, the world's first conference dedicated to mid-rise and tall wood buildings opens its doors in Bordeaux, France.
Aug. 23, 2017 - Structurlam is the first Canadian manufacturer of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's 2015‑2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard.
Aug. 22, 2017 - A new report available from reThink Wood demonstrates the fire resistance rating of glulam beam to column connections in Type IV construction. The findings support mass timber as a safe solution that meets, and in some cases exceeds, stringent fire safety standards for U.S. building design and construction.
July 27, 2017 - Tolko has ordered two pocket batch feeders to upgrade its OSB line at its re-opened High Prairie, Alta., mill.The OSB mill was restarted in June 2017. It had been closed since 2008 prior to that when the North American housing market fell and forced the mill to shut down.Production is expected to resume in the first quarter of 2018.“We are confident that current improvements in market conditions are sustainable and that customer demand for Tolko oriented strand board products will remain strong,” said Tolko president and chief executive officer Brad Thorlakson in a release. Tolko has ordered the pocket batch feeders from Surrey, B.C.-based equipment manufacturer Kadant Carmanah Design.  “We’re very happy to see this mill resume operation and to be awarded the order for critical equipment for the OSB line upgrade, said Kadant Carmanah president Michael Colwell. “Tolko and Kadant Carmanah share a long history of partnering to make the best solutions possible.”Once fully operational, the mill is expected to directly employ approximately 175 people.
June 26, 2017 - The Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has granted Norbord a wood allocation for its curtailed Chambord, Que., OSB mill that will take effect next April.
June 6, 2017 - You can’t go to an industry conference today without hearing about the mass timber movement, and more specifically about cross-laminated timber – the wood panels that make up the 18-storey UBC Brock Commons building, the world’s tallest wood building to date.
April 4, 2017 – An 18-storey wood building with a fire code that has left even fire chiefs impressed? That is what has been achieved in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia where mass timber was used to build the world’s tallest wooden building. Fire Fighting in Canada magazine’s feature on the project explains that the building is much taller than the six-storey limit for wooden buildings laid out by the National Building Code of Canada. The naturally fire resistant mass timber material used for it also requires its own permit. According to the article, the National Building Code of Canada may consider encapsulated mass timber wood construction of up to 12 storeys come 2020. “The building’s 169-millimetre-thick CLT panels, used for the floors, were constructed with five layers of dimensional lumber oriented at right angles to one another and then bonded together. Glulam, used in the columns, is also composed of bonded dimensional lumber, with the grain running parallel to the beam’s length,” the article reads. A fire demonstration done in Quebec showed that in the event of a fire in with the same CLT panels, with temperatures reaching their highest, the fire would be contained to the compartment it started in, and even burn itself out in about two hours. “I would call this extremely safe from a fire perspective,” Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services assistant chief of community safety Ray Bryant told FFIC magazine. “It’s a very safe building, once completed.”  Bryant told FFIC that the use of mass timber in the construction of the building is what made it safer than a stick-built structure. The building is being used to house university students living on the UBC campus this spring. The success of this building could be a catalyst for similar uses of wood in the future. | READ MORE
Nov. 3, 2017 - Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) ("Stella-Jones" or the "Company") today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017. "Stella-Jones' growing reach in the utility pole and residential lumber markets led to solid sales growth in these product categories during the third quarter, more than offsetting the effect of lower year-over-year pricing in the railway tie product category. Furthermore, a strong operating cash flow generation allowed us to significantly reduce our long-term debt and positions us for future expansion," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer.  Financial highlights (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data) Quarters ended Sept. 30, Nine-months ended Sept. 30, 2017 2016 2017 2016 Sales 517.6 512.6 1,508.8 1,496.6 Operating income 63.1 67.3 178.4 205.1 Net income for the period 42.0 45.7 116.8 135.4   Per share - basic and diluted ($) 0.61 0.66 1.68 1.96 Weighted average shares outstanding (basic, in '000s) 69,330 69,255 69,319 69,200           THIRD QUARTER RESULTS Sales reached $517.6 million, up 1.0% from $512.6 million last year. Acquisitions contributed sales of approximately $2.1 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, had a negative impact of $9.9 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased by $12.9 million, or 2.5%. Railway tie sales amounted to $160.8 million, compared with sales of $186.6 million in last year's third quarter. Excluding the currency conversion effect, railway tie sales declined approximately $21.7 million, or 11.6%, mainly due to lower pricing. Utility pole sales reached $172.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, representing a 7.8% increase over sales of $160.0 million a year ago. Excluding the contribution from acquisitions and the currency conversion effect, sales increased approximately $14.4 million, or 9.0%, reflecting organic sales growth in the southeastern United States and a gradual return to historical maintenance demand. Sales in the residential lumber category reached $125.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, up from $107.3 million a year earlier. Excluding the currency conversion effect, residential lumber sales increased approximately $20.2 million, or 18.8%, mainly reflecting higher selling prices due to increased untreated lumber costs and more favourable weather in Canada during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. Industrial product sales reached $25.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $27.5 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation is mainly due to lower sales of marine pilings in Canada, partially offset by higher sales of rail-related products in the United States. Logs and lumber sales totalled $32.9 million, versus $31.3 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation reflects the timing of lumber purchase and resale activities, the timing of timber harvesting, as well as higher selling prices due to increased lumber costs. Operating income stood at $63.1 million, or 12.2% of sales, compared with $67.3 million, or 13.1% of sales in the third quarter of the previous year. The decrease as a percentage of sales essentially reflects lower selling prices for railway ties and a less favourable geographical mix in the utility pole category. Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $42.0 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, versus $45.7 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2016. NINE-MONTH RESULTS For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017, sales amounted to $1.51 billion, versus $1.50 billion for the corresponding period a year earlier. Acquisitions contributed sales of $40.9 million, while the currency conversion effect had a negative impact of $4.3 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales decreased approximately $24.4 million, or 1.6%. Operating income reached $178.4 million, or 11.8% of sales, compared with $205.1 million, or 13.7% of sales, last year. Net income totalled $116.8 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, versus $135.4 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the prior year. SOLID FINANCIAL POSITION As at September 30, 2017, the Company's financial position remained solid with long-term debt, including the current portion, of $454.1 million, down significantly from $615.8 million three months earlier. The decrease in long-term debt reflects a solid operating cash flow generation during the quarter and, to a lesser extent, the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at September 30, 2017, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.30:1, down from 0.37:1 three months earlier. QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF $0.11 PER SHARE On November 2, 2017, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per common share payable on December 21, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 4, 2017. OUTLOOK "Based on current trends, we expect to conclude 2017 with slightly higher sales compared to the previous year. Looking ahead to 2018, conditions prevailing in the railway tie category should yield relatively stable sales. Meanwhile, normal maintenance patterns and improving demand for transmission poles should provide further momentum in the utility pole category. We also expect margins to slightly improve throughout 2018. Our focus remains on growing shareholder value by maximizing operating cash flow through ensuring efficient and cost- effective operations. Funds generated will be invested in working capital and our existing network, while maintaining an optimal dividend policy and examining expansion opportunities that offer strategic value in our main product categories," concluded Mr. McManus. CONFERENCE CALL Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on November 3, 2017, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Interested parties can join the call by dialing 1-647-788-4922 (Toronto or overseas) or 1-877-223-4471 (elsewhere in North America). Parties unable to call in at this time may access a recording by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 83494502. This recording will be available on Friday, November 3, 2017 as of 1:00 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 10, 2017. NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES Operating income is a financial measure not prescribed by IFRS and is not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Management considers this non-IFRS measure to be useful information to assist knowledgeable investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations as it provides an additional measure of its performance. ABOUT STELLA-JONES Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The Company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the Company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the Company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.
Oct. 27, 2017 - Over the past few years, the lumber industry has been confronted with chip production above and beyond the demand, resulting in the creation of big surpluses in various regions of Quebec and Ontario. This situation may well get worse in the coming years, as pulp and paper mills—which used to be large consumers of this resource—buy less and less chips or if there is a substantial increase in production. At the same time, the wood panel manufacturing industry is facing a certain number of challenges relating to the constant supply of raw materials, and particularly with regard to the quantity and quality of the materials.To meet the needs of panel manufacturers that want to diversify their sources of supply as well as respond to the necessity of finding new markets for sawmill residues, FPInnovations has launched a new project aimed at evaluating innovative fragmentation technologies adapted to sawmills that convert small diameter logs for the production of by-products to be used in manufacturing structural and non-structural panels. Within this project, FPInnovations’ Engineered Wood Products Manufacturing team shipped to a European company already using the fragmentation technology sawmill residues in the form of slab wood, trim ends and cull logs from various species and in a variety of shapes and diameters. FPInnovations will evaluate the possibility of fragmenting these logs that are unfit for being processed into lumber in order to use them to make wood wafers of desired dimensions for panel board mills.Thanks to this new approach, wood wafers produced in sawmills may be delivered to panel manufacturers and used directly as raw materials, without any subsequent processing. In addition to offering new opportunities, this approach will help improve the mechanical and physical properties of the panels, while cutting the production costs, through a decrease in the density of the panels and a reduction in the amount of resin-based binder required.This development project aims to offer companies producing wood chips a way of increasing revenue from non-traditional markets. For more information, contact 
Aug. 14, 2017 - The owner of Precision Custom Remanufacturing in west Abbotsford, B.C., is crediting firefighters for preventing a fire that broke out on the property last week from destroying a $1.2-million thermal kiln. 
Aug. 10, 2017 - The low Canadian dollar as well as acquisitions helped Stella-Jones post a sales increase of 5.5 per cent from last year's number in Q2. 
Aug. 3, 2017 - Litco International, Inc. announces the publication of a new white paper: A Comparison of Pallet Strength and Functionality. The 12-page white paper, authored by Dr. Marshall White, provides detailed analysis comparing Litco's Inca molded pallets to GMA-style, new and repaired, traditional nailed wood pallets for one-way shipping.
July 18, 2017 - Hardwoods Distribution Inc., through its subsidiary Rugby Holdings LLC, has purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Downes & Reader Hardwood Company Inc. for a total value of US$6.0 million.
July 10, 2017 - Weston Forest has acquired Great Northern Lumber of Michigan, the company's first acquisition of U.S. assets. 
July 6, 2017 - Have you ever considered building a log cabin by hand? Log Cabin Hub has all the information you need to make it happen. The website lists, in detail, the steps needed to make a log cabin from scratch, including consideration of costs, zoning laws and building codes.
June 12, 2017 - Quadra Wood Products, a cedar remanufacturing company based in Abbotsford, B.C., is not unlike the wood it processes: weather resistant.
March 22, 2017 - Hardwoods Distribution Inc. has announced financial results for the three months and full year ended December 31, 2016.  Hardwoods is North America's largest wholesale distributor of non-structural architectural grade building products to the residential and commercial construction markets, with a strong US and Canadian distribution network.Highlights (For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016) On July 15, 2016, Hardwoods acquired Rugby Architectural Products ("Rugby") for a purchase price of US$107 million. Revenue increased 69.8% in the fourth quarter and 38.1% for the full year, compared to the same periods in 2015. The Company increased gross profit by 74.2% in the fourth quarter and by 44.3% in the 12-month period, compared to the same periods in 2015. Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA climbed 42.6% to $10.9 million, and full-year Adjusted EBITDA increased 32.6% to $46.1 million. Fourth quarter profit increased 47.4% to $6.6 million, while full-year profit climbed 18.4% to $23.9 million. Fourth quarter adjusted diluted profit per share increased to $0.29, while full-year adjusted diluted profit per share increased to$1.33. The Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share, payable on April 28, 2017 to shareholders of record as at April 17, 2017. "We achieved record top and bottom line results in 2016 as we benefited from the addition of Rugby Architectural Building Products and generated organic growth in mixed market conditions," said Rob Brown, President and CEO."The Rugby acquisition was the highlight of the year and has already proved accretive to our results with adjusted diluted profit per share growing 10.8% to $1.33 in 2016, from $1.20 in 2015. Rugby is a large and successful US wholesale distributor of architectural grade building products to customers that manufacture end-product to the commercial market. With the addition of Rugby's 28 distribution facilities, Hardwoods has emerged as the number one North American distributor in our sector with a total of 58 distribution facilities, more than 35,000 customers and a pro forma annual sales of approximately $1 billion.  During the five-and-a-half months we operated this business in 2016, Rugby contributed revenues of $175.1 million."Organic growth accounted for $20.4 million of Hardwoods' year-over-year sales growth. Foreign exchange was also a factor in the Company's performance, but affected the fourth quarter and full-year periods differently. Results for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were negatively impacted by a decrease in the value of the US dollar compared to the Canadian dollar, while full-year results were positively impacted by a strengthening in the average value of the US dollar during that period. A stronger US dollar benefits the Company by: i) increasing the value of sales and profits earned in the US operations when translated into Canadian dollars for financial reporting purposes; ii) increasing the selling price of US dollar-denominated products sold to Hardwoods' Canadian customers; and iii) improving the export competitiveness of the Company's Canadian industrial customers, many of whom have the capability to sell their manufactured products in the US."Our global product sourcing and commercial market strategies continue to play an important role in our business. We have the size, scale, and strong balance sheet position to pursue growth by acquisition, and the highly fragmented nature of the US architectural building products distribution industry provides numerous opportunities. We will continue to pursue opportunities that take us into new US markets, expand our presence in existing markets, and that can be added on an accretive basis for shareholders."On March 13, 2017 the Company acquired Eagle Plywood and Lumber ("Eagle") for a purchase price of US$0.4 million plus up to an additional US$0.2 million subject to future sales performance. "The Eagle acquisition  is an example of our ability to expand our presence in an existing market," said Mr. Brown.  "We've now completed five successful acquisitions in the past five and a half years and have a demonstrated ability to achieve profitable growth in this way," Mr. Brown concluded.OutlookThe recent change in US government administration is expected to usher in new approaches to trade and economic growth in the US. While it is still too early to identify what specific policies will be implemented or how they will impact the US economy, proposals for a large infrastructure spending program, a reduction in the corporate tax rate, and a more protectionist approach to trade, including the potential for a border adjustment tax (BAT), have been discussed.With 85% of its operations now domiciled in the US, Hardwoods is positioned to benefit from policies that stimulate the US economy or prove generally positive for business.   Conversely, the Company could be negatively impacted, at least in the near term, by trade decisions that affect its import program. As discussed in Hardwoods' press release of November 21, 2016, a trade case has been initiated in the US with respect to imported hardwood plywood from China. Although Hardwoods sells more domestically sourced hardwood plywood than imported, approximately 11% of the Company's total sales could be affected by this case. In the event that trade duties are levied against hardwood plywood, this would impact the market for hardwood plywood in the US with the potential for significant changes in selling prices, margins, and/or product supply availability. Should the US government move to impose a BAT, similar effects could be seen on a wider range of import products and not just those from China. We are watching both the current trade case and broader US trade policy decisions closely, and have worked to secure a range of alternative supply solutions.  Furthermore, we have increased our inventory balances and positioned ourselves to respond in the event significant changes occur.Notwithstanding the uncertainty around US trade and economic policy, Hardwoods' outlook for 2017 is positive. Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales is expected to remain above the levels Hardwoods has traditionally achieved, reflecting Rugby's higher-margin product mix. Operating expenses are also expected to be moderately higher due to Rugby's sales model. While EBITDA on a dollar basis is expected to benefit from increased sales, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue is expected to be moderately lower due to the increased operating expenses.On the market front, the unevenness and relatively slow growth experienced in the US residential construction market in 2016 is expected to continue into 2017.  As a result Hardwoods expects organic growth to remain modest in the near term. Market fundamentals remain sound however, with US job growth and income levels gaining momentum. Harvard's Joint  Center for Housing Studies report on the "state of the nation's housing" concluded that housing construction should average at least 1.6 million units a year over the next decade in order to replace older units and meet demand. With average housing starts at 1.2 million in 2016, there is considerable room for growth in this market, although it could take time to reach the 1.6 million level.In the non-residential construction market, the American Institute of Architects predicts moderate growth of 6.7% in 2017, with the strongest gains anticipated for the commercial sectors that Hardwoods focuses on.Strategically, the Company will continue to implement its strategies, including leveraging its excellent global product sourcing capabilities, capitalizing on opportunities in the commercial market and pursuing strategic acquisitions.The Board will continue to review Hardwoods' financial performance and assess dividend levels on a regular basis. However, the primary focus will be to retain the cash necessary to finance the significant market growth opportunity in the US and to keep the balance sheet strong, reduce debt and support future strategic acquisitions.Results from Operations - Year Ended December 31, 2016For the year ended December 31, 2016, total sales increased by 38.1% to $789.3 million, from $571.6 million in 2015. Of the $217.7 million year-over-year increase, $175.1 million, representing a 30.6% increase in sales, was driven by the addition of the Rugby operations, $20.4 million, representing a 3.6% increase in sales, was due to organic growth and $22.2 million, representing a 3.9% increase in sales, was due to the positive impact of a stronger US dollar when translating US sales to Canadian dollars for reporting purposes.Hardwoods' sales growth came primarily from its US operations, where sales activity increased by US$142.5 million, or 40.1%, toUS$498.2 million. Rugby, which was acquired on July 15, 2016, contributed sales of US$132.6 million. Organic growth accounted forUS$9.9 million of the US sales uplift as Hardwoods increased sales volumes in response to higher demand and yielded sales gains from its strategy of leveraging import products and strengthening sales into commercial construction accounts. Sales in Canadaincreased by $13.1 million, or 11.2% in 2016, reflecting Hardwoods' success in winning new business, as well as the positive impacts of a stronger US dollar.Gross profit for the 2016 year increased 44.3% to $143.8 million, from $99.6 million in 2015. This gain reflects the increased sales, together with a higher gross profit margin. As a percentage of sales, gross profit margin increased to 18.2%, from 17.4% in 2015.Full-year operating expenses increased to $104.9 million, from $67.4 million in 2015. The increase includes $29.3 million of Rugby operating expenses, $2.4 million of transaction expenses related to the Rugby acquisition, a $3.0 million increase in expenses due to the impact of a stronger US dollar on translation of US operating expense, and $2.7 million of added costs to support organic growth. As a percentage of sales, annual operating expenses were 13.3%, compared to 11.8% in 2015.Adjusted EBITDA for 2016 increased to $46.1 million, from $34.8 million in 2015.  The 32.6% gain primarily reflects the $44.1 millionincrease in gross profit, partially offset by the $32.8 million increase in operating expenses (before expenses related to the Rugby acquisition and before an increase in depreciation and amortization).  Adjusted profit for the period increased 26.0% to $25.4 million, from $20.1 million in 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects the higher Adjusted EBITDA partially offset by a $1.4 million increase in income tax expense, a $1.6 million increase in net finance costs, and a $2.2 million increase in depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization in 2016 includes $0.9 million intangible assets amortization relating to customer relations acquired in connection with the acquisition of Rugby.A more detailed discussion of the Company's financial performance can be found in Hardwoods' 2016 Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). The MD&A will be posted, along with the Company's audited financial statements, on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website (www.hardwoods-inc.com) on or before March 17, 2017.Results from Operations - Three Months Ended December 31, 2016For the three months ended December 31, 2016, total sales increased by 69.8% to $239.4 million, from $141.0 million in Q4 2015. Of the $98.4 million year-over-year increase, $93.5 million, representing a 66.3% increase in sales, was due to Rugby's operations and$5.8 million, representing a 4.1% increase in sales, was due to organic growth. The sales gain was partially offset by a $0.9 millionnegative foreign exchange impact resulting from a stronger Canadian dollar, representing a 0.6% decrease in sales.Hardwoods' US operations, which accounted for approximately 85% of fourth quarter revenues, increased sales by US$71.3 million, or 84.5%, to US$155.7 million.  The Rugby operations contributed US$70.1 million of this increase, with the remaining increase related to organic growth.Sales in Canada, which comprised approximately 15% of fourth quarter revenues, grew by $3.6 million, or 12.9%, to $31.7 million.  The improvement in Canadian sales reflects Hardwoods' success in winning new business.Fourth quarter gross profit increased to $43.5 million, an increase of 74.2% from $25.0 million in Q4 2015. The year-over-year improvement reflects higher sales revenue combined with a higher gross profit margin from both the Rugby and Hardwoods operations. As a percentage of sales, fourth quarter gross profit margin increased to 18.2%, from 17.7% in Q4 2015.Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were $34.8 million, compared to $18.0 million in Q4 2014.  This increase primarily reflects Rugby operating expenses of $16.3 million, $0.1 million of transaction-related expenses, and $0.5 million of added costs to support organic growth. These increases were partially offset by a $0.1 million decrease in expenses due to the impact of a stronger Canadian dollar on translation of US operating expenses. As a percentage of sales, operating expenses increased to 14.5% from 12.8% year-over-year, primarily reflecting Rugby's higher ratio of operating expenses as a percentage of sales.Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA increased 42.6% to $10.9 million, from $7.7 million in Q4 2015. The $3.3 million gain reflects the increase in gross profit, partially offset by higher operating expenses (before expenses related to the Rugby acquisition and before an increase in depreciation and amortization).  Profit for the period increased 47.4% to $6.6 million, from $4.5 million during the same period in 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects the higher Adjusted EBITDA and a $1.1 million decrease in income tax expense, partially offset by a $0.8 million increase in net finance costs and a $1.4 million increase in depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization includes $0.9 million intangible assets amortization relating to customer relations acquired in connection with the acquisition of Rugby.
March 2, 2017 - Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC (GP) announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Huber Engineered Woods LLC (HEW) to settle litigation related to GP's ForceField System products. HEW, the maker of ZIP System branded products, has a portfolio of patents and related pending applications for a structural roof and wall system incorporating water resistant and air barrier technologies that streamline the weatherization process. These technologies provide an advantaged means to weatherize a home. The confidential settlement terms grant to GP a license to offer its ForceField System products with the payment of an undisclosed upfront amount and ongoing royalties. "Our license with Huber provides GP with the flexibility to meet our customers' needs for products that install more quickly than house wrap," said Clarence Young, vice-president of oriented strand board (OSB) at Georgia-Pacific Wood Products. "We are pleased to bring closure to the lawsuit with Huber so that we can continue to serve our customers with innovative products that solve real challenges in the building community," added Young. For additional information regarding the ForceField System, visit www.gpforcefield.com.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Ever had your eyes glued to the screen watching elaborate cottage and cabin renovation shows? Well Log Cabin Hub magazine has created an infographic offering a peek at log homes that go beyond your typical, humble abode. Belonging to public figures ranging from Ralph Lauren and Paul McCartney, all the way to Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II, here are 20 log cabins of the rich and famous:(Click on the image below and expand to see the full list.) Infographic//Courtesy of Log Cabin Hub Infographic//Courtesy of Log Cabin Hub   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria3609fdb794

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