CWF logging forum’s evolution
April 8, 2016 – One of the greatest traditions of the annual spring meeting held by the Canadian Woodlands Forum is undergoing an evolution.
By Andrew Macklin
The Logging Operations Group of the Canadian Woodlands Forum has always provided an opportunity for logging contractors to come together with equipment manufacturers, distributors and technicians to discuss equipment issues experienced in the forest.
In previous years, as LOG Chairperson Deon Hamlyn pointed out, the forum has often disintegrated into a series of contractors detailing their struggles over one piece of equipment’s inability to perform a task, the length of time it takes to get a replacement part or the ineffective help that one company or another has provided.
But with the rise of technology that helps better identify issues before they reach their critical mass, and an improved interaction between dealers and contractors, the form has become less about complaining about equipment, and more about the issues facing logging contractors in the bush.
For the contractors, this evolution has now become something resembling more of a peer network, one that helps provide solutions for each other’s struggles in the woods. For the equipment crews, the forum has become an opportunity to discuss new technologies, as well as provide valuable best practices information on issues involving maintenance or health and safety.
At the 2016 Spring Meeting in Moncton, New Brunswick, one of the key topics of discussion surrounding the use of workers returning from Alberta’s slumping oil, gas and energy sector. Like most of the country, many logging contractors are struggling to decide whether or not to hire these highly-skilled workers, knowing full well that when business picks back up in Alberta, those same workers could leave once again.
Other issues discussed during the forum included balancing increasing costs with flatlining rates, machine uptime and machine productivity.
The Canadian Woodlands Forum’s next conference is the DEMO International 2016 pre-conference, taking place in Vancouver September 19-21. For more information, visit www.cwfcof.org.