Demo ’08 – 3
With biomass and biomass gear at just about every live site, DEMO visitors got to see some players we don’t always associate with biomass get in on the action – Like loader and grapple makers. Here, a Liebherr track log loader operator uses his elevating cab and purpose-built Rotobec 4-3 tine rotating grapple to load harvest residuals into a Morbark vertical grinder. And why not? After all, biomass researchers at Feric among others stress the importance of keeping the grinder running at full capacity, and that includes details like a dependable loader and proper biomass grapple. Like any other supply chain, the weakest link will set the pace. www.liebherr.com, www.rotobec.com
For more biomass-specific gear and news from DEMO 2008, stay tuned for the December issue of Canadian Biomass.
Ponsse shows up big
One of the best organized and best run live sites at DEMO 2008 was the Ponsse/ALPA site, which also boasted some neat gear for the biomass sector. This included Barrett Lumber’s recently purchased Bruks 450-hp portable chipper mounted on a Ponsse forwarder chassis, as well as the company’s BTS (bio transport system), which uses retro-fitted compression stakes on a standard forwarder to help contractors bring more btu’s, and less air, to roadside with each turn. More on both these machines in the December issue of Canadian Biomass. www.ponsse.com
New heads and teeth at GN Roy
No slouch in the felling head market himself, Quadco’s Chuck MacLennan stops in at the GN Roy booth for a chat. The Amos-based manufacturers had two new heads on display – the GN5300 and the GN5600, each with a list of improvements that include a new 360-degree rotation (retrofitable to other heads), new saw blade design that includes holders that are an integral part of the blade, re-inforced top clamps, and a brand new in house tooth design. www.gnroy.com
A bridge too far?
With Hultdins’ new portable bridge system, never. The Swedish supplier with offices in Canada is more known for its industry-leading grapples, but the Terrain Bridge 500 was in fact the show stopper at its DEMO booth. The crossing aid comes in two easy to transport sections, and is simple to transport and position with a forwarder. Each section weighs 1,370 lb, spans 16 ft, and can be used to cross a variety of wet sections or creeks and streams to buy you extra harvesting time in spring or fall. While it can handle the largest of loaded 20-tonne forwarders, it can also be carried by a small forwarder. The secret is in the steel and engineering, which is no surprise given the manufacturer. It is built of high-strength steel sections, connected by steel cables like an inverted suspension bridge. This combination of strength and flexibility allows the Terrain Bridge 500 to adapt to all sorts of terrain. www.hultdins.com
And the winner Is...
Actually, the DEMO 2008 International Forwarder Operator Challenge winners were a couple of very efficient operators from the North Shore region of Quebec, competing a long way from home. Top honours were bagged by Pierre-Olivier Fortin (first place) and Charles Pilote (second), both of St. Urbain de Charlevoix. Competing against almost 20 operators in a combination obstacle course and skills test, the two recorded the fastest times in an elimination style two-day tournament held right in the woods. Maneuvers include all the skills of a peak forwarder operator, including driving, loading, pulling and extracting logs among obstacles, and stacking stumps before crossing the finish line. In this particular case, experience operating in mud would also have been a benefit. Winners are determined by the fastest time with the least assessed penalty time. Third and fourth spots were won by John O’Donnell and Corey Hirtle respectively.
The event was sponsored by Komatsu Forest and its dealer SMS Equipment, along with the CWF and media partner Canadian Forest Industries. For the future, it may be a good thing that Pierre-Olivier and Charles are used to competing far from home. As Canadian champions, they will head off to Sweden to compete at Elmia Wood next June. SMS forestry manager for eastern Canada, Denis Fortin, says he is ready to help the operators take it to the next level. “It’s a tough competition at Elmia, so don’t worry – They are going to be ready.” CFI Magazine will be at Elmia, and will follow our champions’ exploits closely.