Aug. 13, 2018 - Dan O’Brien wears many hats. First is his hard hat as the owner of one of northern B.C.’s larger logging contractors. O’Brien has been harvesting cut blocks in northern B.C. since 1992. Today his group of companies harvests 650,000 cubic metres a year.
Aug. 10, 2018 - In front of us is a tracked Neuson Forest 103HVT single-grip harvester, operated by 22-year-old Gabriel Leblond. He is felling young trees one after another at a private woodlot in Saint-Damien-de-Buckland, in the foothills of Bellechasse, Que. With its new AFM 35 harvester head, the machine can work impressively fast.
July 17, 2018 - To maintain the health and diversity of the forest ecosystem, it is all about balancing the good and the bad. Prescribed fires act as a valuable resource management tool for enhancing ecological conditions and eliminating excessive fuel buildup. However, wildfires do occur — ignited by lightning strikes or caused by human activities usually related to carelessness.
June 28, 2018 - Forest sector contractors in British Columbia are a shrinking breed. The industry has contracted in so many ways but one could argue the most impacted in the supply chain is logging contractors. Contractors are getting larger, owners are aging, and average margins are poor. Risks are increasing while the reward is decreasing. The result is fewer logging contractors. Those left are being asked to do more, and will have to do more. This spring we have seen the impact of the reduction of logging contractors and the risks associated with operating on the land base. Even with a longer than normal winter harvesting season and the use of satellite yards to lengthen the hauling season, we are seeing sawmills at risk of production shutdowns because of log shortages. The trees are on the land base but there is not enough capacity to harvest, process, and transport logs to sawmills within the seasonal opportunities. This shortage exists because logging contractors are not generating a sufficient return to be sustainable, recruit and train new staff, or invest in innovation. Over the last few years, TimberTracks has been analyzing logging contractor accountant prepared year-end financial statements to understand the situation of the industry supply chain. We underwent a robust third-party verification process to ensure our analysis and sample is representative of the industry. The results were worrisome. There are two types of capacity challenges for the supply chain. The first is labour. The workforce is aging and forestry is not generally considered an attractive vocation for younger people. The days are long, the risks are high, and the compensation is not as good as historically found in other mechanized industries such as mining and oil and gas. The collective industry needs to assess its image and how it attracts young people to careers in forestry. The second capacity challenge is return on capital. Without getting into the specific details, the evidence indicated that logging contractors are financially underperforming the requirements of their capital-intensive industry. The reasons for underperformance are myriad and beyond the scope of this column. How the industry arrived here is not important. What is important is how we move forward to make sure that the supply chain is sustainable. If we look to other capital-intensive industries we see that supply and demand principles are evident. When demand is high and supply is low, prices rise. When supply is high and demand is low, prices sink. The forest industry has gone through cycles of high supply and high demand of harvesting capacity but return on capital has experienced a long, slow downward trend regardless of contractor demand and supply. The low return on capital has resulted in a supply chain that is an unattractive place to invest capital. Owners of logging contractors are aging and need to have succession plans. Many multi-generational transfers are occurring, but usually rely heavily on the older generation taking most, if not all, of the risk of funding the transition. Succession plans to employees or unrelated third-parties are becoming almost unheard of. These businesses are worth more in a complete dispersal than they are as a going concern. Is it any wonder that contractor capacity is shrinking? The long-term solution to supply chain sustainability is creating an attractive investment environment for capital. We are often asked about the proper return on capital for logging contractors. The answer to that question is really dependent on the returns of realistic alternate investments with a risk adjustment based on the circumstances. Contractors are usually financially dependent on, at most, a few customers and that has concentration risk. They also almost exclusively depend on the fortunes of lumber prices. Investment in a logging contractor would need to yield a return risk adjusted higher than could be experienced in a diversified investment such as a public stock market index which usually made up of large corporate enterprises with broad industry, geographic, and product offering diversification. As we look to the future of forest sector contractors, we have to understand how we manage the long-term sustainability to attract capital and young people to the business. The inability to generate proper returns on capital will invite capital to invest in other industries. It would be a shame if the Canadian forest industry ground to a halt, not because of market demand or wood supply, but because no one was left to harvest and transport logs to sawmills.Aaron Sinclair, MBA, is the president of Timber Tracks Inc., based in Prince George, B.C.
June 26, 2018 - Canada is the home and native land of Western Forest Products, the largest coastal timberlands operator and lumber producer in British Columbia. For years, the company, which has an annual available harvest greater than six million cubic metres (2.5 billion board feet), has relied on a private railway and off-road trucks to move logs to its sort yards, where they then were towed by water to their seven sawmills on Vancouver Island.
June 19, 2018 - Given the challenges faced by Canada’s logging contractors, it’s vital to have numbers behind the story. In 2016, Canadian Forest Industries and its sister publication in Quebec, Opérations forestières, surveyed over 500 logging contractors across the country to get the pulse of our sector. The results were shared in print and online over six months, in this final report, as well as in mainstream media. These efforts started a lot of conversations, helped loggers get a better feel for where they stood (not alone) and even helped convince one provincial government to take a closer look. To keep the conversation going, and to help establish key trends, we are doing it again in 2018. But we need your help — please take 10 minutes to carefully complete the survey. We are using an independent research firm, so no one, including ourselves, will ever see the raw data. We will only report on aggregated results. You can also enter for a chance to win a Garmin field GPS. Research like this is not cheap. Thanks again to our generous sponsors Tigercat Industries and Hultdins, without whom this project would be impossible.Go to survey
Aug. 9, 2018 - Ontario's Ford government has committed an additional $100 million to fight forest fires across the province.Since April 1, Ontario has experienced an escalated fire situation, with approximately 120 wildfires currently burning in parts of central and northern Ontario."This money will pay for continued fire response efforts, which includes supplies and equipment used to suppress the fire and the work of support personnel and MNRF fire rangers," Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Jeff Yurek said. "It will also fund further assistance from our out-of-province and international partners so we can continue to fight the fires aggressively on the ground and in the air."Almost 1,000 firefighters from Ontario are currently being assisted by about 480 firefighters and support staff, as well as aircraft and other equipment, from other provinces, Parks Canada, American states, and Mexico."Our number one priority is the safety of the public and the protection of communities and private property," Yurek said.Ontario is an internationally recognized leader in wildland fire management. Annually, the government provides base funding of almost $70 million to deliver front-line operations for forest fires.Ontario will continue to dedicate as many resources as necessary to fight the wildfires across the province and help ensure the safety and protection of communities and private property, during one of the worst fire seasons in over a decade.For more information on the wildfires, please visit ontario.ca/forestfire.
Aug. 9, 2018 - Maritime Innovation Limited — J.D. Irving Limited’s (JDI) research lab in Sussex, N.B. — is one of only three places in the world that applies genetic science to grow softwood trees to sustain healthy forests and related forest products jobs. That means growing taller, straighter and more disease-resistant trees faster than they’re being harvested. The original seed sources are from local parent trees selected from forests across the region.
Aug. 8, 2018 - Field Surveys are an important part of sustainable forest management. Most of the forest departments across Canada have been using traditional paper-based surveys. However, Manitoba Forestry and Peatlands Branch digitalized their survey workflow using mobile geospatial technology. Tony Viveiros and Marianne Porteous at Manitoba Sustainable Development elaborate more on their use of geographic information system (GIS) technology to increase efficiency and collaboration across the department.
Aug. 2, 2018 - TimberWest is once again a classroom to a group of excited summer students, eager to further their knowledge of the forest industry.
July 27, 2018 - Effective July 25, 2018, the allowable annual cut for Western Forest Products’ Tree Farm Licence 37 is 847,000 cubic metres.This new cut level includes a partition, so that no more than 770,200 cubic metres per year can be harvested from areas suitable for ground-based harvesting systems.“After reviewing all of the factors involved, consulting with First Nations and considering information provided by the licensee, I am satisfied that the new allowable annual cut reflects government’s objectives for all forest resources within Tree Farm Licence 37, and will sustain the timber supply over the next 10 years,” said Shane Berg, deputy chief forester.The cut level is about a five per cent reduction from the previous allowable annual cut of 889,415 cubic metres set in 2009, when 18,351 hectares were removed from Tree Farm Licence 37 to form a portion of the Pacific Timber Supply Area.The reduction is consistent with a previously projected decline in the harvest level. It will ensure there is no disruption in the timber supply over the next decade, as harvesting in the tree farm licence gradually transitions from old-growth to second-growth timber.Located in the Nimpkish Valley on the northern half of Vancouver Island, Tree Farm Licence 37 covers nearly 160,000 hectares, with approximately 86,000 hectares available for timber harvesting. It includes the communities of Port McNeill, Sayward and Woss.The new allowable annual cut takes into consideration biodiversity, old-growth forest management and wildlife habitat protection, as well as social, cultural heritage and economic factors in the region.The dominant tree species are western hemlock, mountain hemlock, western red cedar, balsam, Douglas fir and yellow cedar.The deputy chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is an independent, professional judgment based on information ranging from technical forestry reports, First Nations and public input to the government’s social and economic objectives.Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.
Aug. 14, 2018 - Quiet. That word describes, perfectly, the new 3.0L Power Stroke diesel just introduced by Ford. I’ve driven it, stood beside it while idling and floored it uphill while towing — it is eerily quiet. This trait, plus the power it makes, now available in the F-150, makes this introduction a true milestone in the history of the F-series. And, as of today, you can order this diesel engine in your new half-ton — a first in the 70 year life of the brand. If you do, here is what you’ll be getting.
July 12, 2018 - The Brawler Solidflex HPS solid tire line, from Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has been selected as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) solid tire option for Cat medium wheel loaders and small wheel loaders from Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.“The team at Caterpillar, as well as our other customers, have long understood the value of our Brawler line to their businesses," said Jared Steier, director of OEM/OEA sales in North America for Trelleborg’s industrial and construction tires. "Engineered for extreme environments, Brawler tires provide the optimal total cost of ownership for which Trelleborg is known. Caterpillar’s choice of the Brawler Solidflex HPS tire as its OEM solid tire option on its wheel loaders is right in line with their tradition of providing the best business-driving value to their customers.” The Brawler HPS Solidflex features elliptical apertures to deliver a comfortable ride, resulting in reduced equipment and operator fatigue. Durable cut resistant rubber compound eliminates downtime caused by tire damage, while deep lug tread design offers three times more wearable rubber than most pneumatic tires.
March 29, 2018 - As a business owner, you do not simply purchase a wood grinder or chipper, you invest hard earned money in an asset that over time is expected to produce revenue for your business. To maximize this revenue, the machine must work consistently and efficiently, producing a merchandisable product for your market. Machine downtime and inefficient operation will create excessive expenses increasing operating costs, which reduces your gross profit.
Feb. 26, 2018 - This year’s challenge consisted of mid-size, full-size and HD entries – 10 trucks total – all vying for a win in what is now the 11th year of the Canadian Truck King Challenge. We tested 10 2018 pickup trucks covering the 2500 HD segment; two midsize and five full-size pickups completed the rest of the 2018 entries. A complete list of scores by model reveal our choice for the winner of the 2018 Canadian Truck King Challenge.
Jan. 23, 2018 - Ponsse celebrates two important milestones today. The biggest extension project in the company's history has reached the topping-out phase, and the factory has produced the 13,000th forest machine made in the Vieremä facility in Finland. Ponsse machine number 13,000, a PONSSE Ergo 8w, was delivered to the company's German customer FoWi GmbH & Co. This also marks the beginning of Ponsse's and German distributor Wahlers Forsttechnik GmbH's jubilee year: 25 years have passed since Ponsse and Wahlers signed their contract on distribution and service collaboration in the German-speaking regions of Europe. The seeds of this collaboration were sown already in the early 1970s when Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse's founder, was logging on a storm devastation sites in Germany. Quality and flexibility through investments The current production facility investment is the biggest in Ponsse's history: the factory will expand from the current 2.7 hectares to 4 hectares. Most importantly, the investment contributes to ongoing improvement and development of quality, flexibility, safety and productivity of Ponsse's operations. The extension of production facilities enables the company to respond to changing market situations with more flexibility, and to tailor machines to customer requirements more efficiently in a serial-production environment. The new facilities in Vieremä will be completed by the end of the year, and will be the most advanced forest machine production facility in the world. Our strong focus on the development of cut-to-length forest machines requires constant development of our production operations. That is the only way we can fulfill the needs of our customers and stay at the forefront of technology in the demanding forest machine market. A safe, modern factory is also an important investment in our employees, says Ponsse's president and chief executive officer Juho Nummela. The Ponsse factory in Vieremä currently employs 570 employees, 390 of whom work in production tasks. All Ponsse forest machines are made in Vieremä, Finland. New factory in operation by end of year New assembly lines and storage facilities housed in the new extension will be phased in gradually during 2018. Relocation to new facilities starts in March with warehouse operations. New smart warehouse technologies make production warehouse logistics more efficient and increase the degree of automation considerably. Warehouse automation covers 15,500 storage slots for small items and components and 3,900 pallet positions. After the warehouse relocation, a new harvester head assembly line will move to the new facilities. A new assembly line for base machines will be in operation by the end of the summer, and by end of 2018 cabin and crane assembly lines will also be renewed. The amount of production-time testing used to support quality control will increase in all production lines. High-quality work from local experts Starting with earthworks, most of the factory extension has been built by local companies. The massive project was split into several smaller parts to enable local companies to offer their services. The main contractor, construction company U. Lipsanen, delivered the factory extension project that was started one year ago to Ponsse today.
Dec. 21, 2017 - Following FPInnovations and Laval University’s industrial NSERC Chair recommendations, Alberta Transportation recently changed its Winter Weight Premium (WWP) policy allowing an estimated average of 8 days of WWP extension.
Aug. 13, 2018 - Canadian Forest Industries has compiled the newest feller bunchers on the Canadian market.
Aug. 8, 2018 - Komatsu America Corp., has previewed its new XT-5 Series of Track Feller Bunchers. Models include the XT430-5 (non-leveling), XT435L-5, XT445L-5 and XT465L-5, which replace the prior XT-3 Series machines.
July 26, 2018 - Steep slope harvesting with winch-assisted machines has been steadily increasing in Western Canada. Although this technique is still new here, winch systems with harvesters and forwarders have been used in Europe for more than 20 years.
July 5, 2018 - Nokian Tractor King was presented for the first time in public at Euroforest 2018, along with Nokian Tyres complete range of forestry tires. As a culmination of long experience and intense development process, at Euroforest 2018 Nokian Tyres presents many cutting-edge innovations that help professionals to get the most out of their CTL machines, skidders and tractors. Revolutionary from surface to core Nokian Tractor King features radical new thinking in tractor tire technology. It was designed for a reason: there is a growing demand in forestry, road maintenance and earthmoving for a strong tire that combines supreme traction with premium on-road qualities. Usually increasing traction of the tire means losing some of the driving comfort."Having a team with so much experience and so much passion about what we do gave us the opportunity to innovate and create a new kind of tire without sacrificing one or the other key quality," said Caleb Claassen, Nokian Heavy Tyres designer. The durability, wear-resistance and environmentally friendly production process of the new Nokian Tractor King make it a sustainable choice for modern forestry, giving the driver peace of mind in all conditions. Innovations for daily work With over 120 years of experience, Nokian Tyres makes forestry work all over the world safer and more sustainable. From game-changing ideas to the tested and trusted products, in the very core of Nokian Heavy Tyres business is knowing the world where tires operate in. Driven by real life, Nokian Tyres constantly aims to exceed all previous achievements. So, at the end of the day, the work gets done safely and efficiently. Technology and service leadership come from experience and innovation, from deeply valuing the daily work. Presented at Euroforest 2018 by Nokian Tyres: Foresty Broad selection of premium and replacement tires for CTL machines, skidders and forestry tractors Agriculture Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI for tractors and Nokian CT flotation tires for trailers Trucks and buses New Nokian E-Truck Trailer designed for Central European medium and regional haul transport, and premium all-season drive axle tire Nokian Hakka Truck Drive Passenger cars SUV/ 4x4 summer tires Nokian Rockproof and Nokian Rotiiva AT
June 7, 2018 - Reinforcing its commitment to producing the industry’s most reliable and durable machinery, John Deere extended its machine warranty on all Commercial Worksite Products to two years. This coverage includes new compact track loaders, skid steer loaders, compact wheel loaders and compact excavators. “Extending our warranty across our entire lineup of compact machinery reinforces our confidence in the quality of the equipment we produce,” said Graham Hinch, division manager at John Deere Commercial Worksite Products. “Backed by our robust dealer network, this added protection offers our customers peace of mind so they can focus on maximizing productivity and profits.” The standard warranty now promises that Deere will fix any defects in materials or workmanship for two years after delivery or 2,000 hours — whichever comes first. The previous standard warranty was for one year. For complete warranty information, customers should visit their local John Deere dealer or visit www.johndeere.com.
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2018 Great Lakes Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo
September 6-8, 2018
Canadian Institute of Forestry AGM & Conference
September 17-21, 2018
International Woodfiber Resource & Trade Conference
September 17-19, 2018
Wood Pellet Association of Canada 2018 AGM & Conference
September 18-19, 2018